Joined: Jul 5, 2010
There are many different ways to make money in San Andreas. Here, I will be discussing them. I will ONLY discuss methods I have actually tried and succeeded at.
THE MISSION REWARDS
The amount of money you make at a mission slowly increases. In the beginning, you will get 100+ dollars every once in awhile; at my rate of consumption, pay day happened a short while after going broke. However, you'll then hit a stretch of missions which only reward Respect. And, some missions cost you money to buy services, food, or clothes.
Later in Los Santos you will get several hundred dollars every once in awhile. By now, you should be capable of drumming up money for small purchases easily, and able to gain money to buy property in a short period of time.
Once you reach the Countryside missions begin to pay thousands at a time, though if you want property in Whetstone and Red County you'll go broke spending your earnings on it.
By the time you reach San Fierro and the desert the money you make is good. However, by this point you'll spend it faster than you make it: some of these missions require tens of thousands of dollars to unlock! Zero's RC, Verdant Meadows, and Wang Cars are unjustifiable black holes that suck in all the money you have. The combined cost of these properties is 130,000$.
You ain't seen nothin' yet, though. Reach Las Venturas, and that turns around: Woozie pays generously for your services to the Four Dragons Casino. In Breaking the Bank at Caligula's, you get 100,000$!
I'm not lying, it's the most lucrative mission in the game! BTBAC is the last of the "Heist" strain.
Once you return to Los Santos, the good times end, and you'll be scraping up cash. Of course, you should have so much saved it won't really matter that you (shouldn't) have much of an income.
Assets are won through challenges, and over time generate money. When you stop by, you can pick up all of the money that has been collected since your last visit. Some require an initial investment.
Johnson House, Ganton, Los Santos: Generates gang money over time. Unlocked in the mission Doberman, shuts down after The Green Sabre, and reopens after Home Coming. Turf War loot also goes here.
Zero's RC, Doherty, San Fierro: Generates money over time. Unlocked after New Model Army. Initial investment of 30,000$.
Hotel Valet (name made up), San Fierro: When at the Doherty Garage, drive north until Calton Height's "squiggly" road appears. Make a direct right until you see the hotel. Unlocked by finishing the five levels of Valet Parking consecutively. Doesn't make much money at all.
Verdant Meadows, Bone County: A good little piece of property to milk. Finishing every mission you receive at this airstrip will unlock the Asset function of it. Initial investment of 80,000$.
There is a number of potential occupations that are known as "R3 Missions". Enter an appropriate vehicle, press R3, and it begins. Most importantly, these have special rewards for completing all of the levels in one sitting.
Most vehicle missions will have you going to a location and doing a task. The location of the task will be in your "area", but it's progressive. For example, suppose you are in Dillimore. You might end up on the highway next. A little more time, and you're in Blueberry. Now you're in Bone County, and then suddenly you're in Fort Carson. ALWAYS take into consideration your location, and how your location might change. You DO NOT want to have to do Vehicle Missions in Area 69 or Mount Chilliad.
- Earn a respectful living putting out car fires. This requires a Fire Truck with a water pump on the top, NOT the ladder model. This is the most lucrative job. Initially, you will have to put out a car fire. Afterwards, multiple cars and even people will appear.
- After Level 1 (of 12 Levels), cars may have passengers inside. Once the car fire is put out, the passengers will get out. Unfortunately, the AI is moronic: the passengers will run around, making them hard targets.
- You have a time limit. Destroying a target car or killing a target passenger will cause you to fail. Try not to trigger a Wanted Level; the cops will make you miserable.
- I completed this mission in Las Venturas. When choosing a location, think of the terrain. The Fire Truck will easily fall over on uneven terrain, and if it falls on it's side you'll have to get out and flip it over with another car, which fails the mission, while flipping onto it's back will destroy the vehicle. However, in cities you must take into account the likelihood of running over some dumb police officer and having to avoid him as he tries to detain you. Now, here's a rundown of the regions:
Las Venturas: Flat land, and the Prickle Pine, Airport, and Strip regions are easy to navigate. Significant police.
San Fierro: Hills are annoying. Police are at their worst. Very easy to maneuver around the map, though.
Los Santos: Confusing layout. I haven't had police problems, but there are now enemy gangs to deal with. Not a good place to fight fires, though you won't have to worry about the passengers falling over cliffs.
Whetstone: Angel Pine is easy to handle, but you will inevitably end up on the highway and inevitably flip over, leading to your doom. The highway is awful to work on.
I haven't tested firefighting in Bone County, Red County, Tierra Robada, or Flint County. The reward for this is huge: you become fireproof. This bonus is more or less necessary for completing "End of the Line".
- Steal one of the following:
*HPV-100 (Police Version)
- This is about hunting heavily-armed, mobilized criminals for petty rewards. Oh, and despite you working for the police, they will not appreciate your efforts and will attack you just the same as if you were mindlessly rampaging outside of the mission. You have a time limit, and within that time limit you must kill all of the bad guys. The criminals will initially be in their vehicles, but sometimes they will get out if you light up their cars and, if they are lucky, will survive the nearby explosion. In this case, the car doesn't matter: you just need to kill the criminals. At higher levels (there are 12), passengers will shoot at you.
- I don't know about the Hunter, but there are only two vehicles even vaguely decent for this foolhardy task: the HPV-100 and the Rhino. A run-down of pros and cons of a Police Car, HPV-100, and Rhino are below.
+ Crashes won't throw you out
+ You have to lure the police out, but it is easy to obtain
(Neutral) Moderate Size
- You have to do drive-by shootings
+ Nimble, Agile
+ You can fire from the front, making it easy to take out the baddies
+ If you find a motorcycle officer, just knock him off to steal it
- Crashing into a car is a major disaster
- Police just have to knock you off
+ Any car it collides with will be automatically destroyed: just slam into the enemy
+ It has a huge cannon!
+ Something this large is unlikely to tip over
+ Useful in other situations
+ It's invincible
- If something this large DOES tip over, you probably won't tip over again and therefore be able to continue moving
- It has no agility at all, meaning that if you have to go through a thin spot you won't be able to do it
- It's not hard to obtain, but it's time-consuming
- The way to obtain a Rhino is by taking the Jetpack after you finish the Verdant Meadows missions it will spawn at the airfield and flying into Area 69. There are three hangars, with Rhinos in them. Get in a Rhino, and ram your way through the breakable gate area to the south. Take your sweet time: unless an FBI jerkoff hijacks your tank, you won't have anything to worry about. Drive to Verdant Meadows Airfield, back into the garage, jump out, run like the dickens into the Safe House, and save.
- So, which is the best? This probably depends on the terrain, but it's pretty much the Rhino. By the time you've reached Level 3 you will probably have two stars on your Wanted Level, and by the time you complete the mission it should be three or four stars at least. This kind of chaos makes it almost impossible to survive in a conventional vehicle, so why not just run over your enemy with no problems?
- Like with all missions, the location is important. In this case, the ease of traveling is important. I've only tested Vigilantism in one region (Bone County/Las Venturas), but we can speculate: Los Santos has wide roads, just fine for traveling, while San Fierro has a grid-like map (albeit with a few confusing intersections). Las Venturas is [heck], having that stupid Julius Thruway messing things up.
- The Prickle Pine is one of the easiest places in Las Venturas to do this mission. When I beat Vigilantism, I started in Prickle Pine and ended up out in El Castillo del Diablo. Some of Bone County's long, winding roads, far away from intersections, are quite ideal for laying an ambush: the criminals won't have any room to escape.
- You make nowhere near enough money, but the final reward is a just 50% increase in your Body Armor. I figure this is helpful in Turf Wars. The gist of the levels is that each level adds one more criminal, and every time it is necessary a car is added (Level 5 introduces two cars, Level 9 introduces three).
- Paramedic pays decent money, though I wouldn't use it when Firefighter is an alternative. Paramedic takes a lot of time to be truthful, but if you have any skill and are in the right location you should glide through.
- Basically, you are moving patients from their original location to the hospital via the Ambulance. There is a time limit; the limit is way too low, but picking up patients give you a boost, as does dropping them off. The time boost is self-adjusting, so early on it will let you scrape through with +15 seconds at a time while later on you will get a generous +40 seconds.
- Patients must survive the trip, and you are not allowed to exit the vehicle. Banging up your car can kill a passenger patient, but it's never happened to me: just be careful. The ambulance can carry up to three people at a time; it's generally good to fill the ambulance before returning, though you may wish to limit it to two if there are just two people in an area. At Level 1, there is one patient. Every level after that adds a patient.
- Large cities are hard to move around, so stick to small towns. The only successful time I did this mission was in Fort Carson: the patients all spawned in Fort Carson, making the job easy.
- The reward for this is having maximum Maximum Health and free medical care. If you date Katie Zhan and do this, there will be NO consequences for being Wasted!
- Get in a Taxi, and experience the tough life of a taxi driver. Early on, Taxi Driver is a lucrative source of money, though later on in the game you will blow through your wages in a tenth the time it took you to earn them.
- The Taxi Driver mission has a Time Limit and a Tip Bar. There are no levels or special rewards for this. Just look for a fare: at the start, these blue dots will appear very close to you. Drive up to the person with the fare, and they will enter, telling you your destination.
- The Time Limit will reset, and your goal is to get to these destination before it runs out and your passenger gets really pissed off. The Tip Bar decreases over time and also when you have "accidents", so floor it, but drive carefully. You may very well have to drive all over the city. Personally, I don't think there is much strategy to which city or county to do this in.
- One important thing to remember is that you ABSOLUTELY need to keep the Tip Bar functioning. It might seem pointless when you just have 3% of it left, but without a Tip you get about 10$: worthless money. With ANY Tip left, you get at least +30$, so all that matters is the tip.
- You need a Broadway for this. Any Broadway will do, especially the one Jizzy gives you but you should lock those rare cars up in a garage and pimp your ride (pun intended).
- This is about bringing your.... ah, "stock" from location to location. After they are finished with their side of the deal, you have to pick them up, and they will give you your cut. Sometimes, due to one reason or another, you will have to race against the clock to kill the customer. During these times you are allowed to get out of your Broadway, but once you complete the task you have 20 seconds to get back in, so take note of that. I usually make 300$ for every cut.
- While driving a prostitute to a customer, you have a time limit. When picking them up, though, you have infinite time, so use these breaks to strategically repair your car; while Pimping, you get free Pay'n'Sprays.
- This takes a while, but it should be profitable in the long run. There are ten "levels": you have to pimp girls ten time in one sitting to complete it. In theory, this should lead to you collecting 3,000$, and becoming a prostitute! That's right, the reward for all this is that prostitutes now pay YOU when you use their "services".
- As for location, you HAVE to do this in a city, it's that simple. Prostitutes will not spawn outside of the city. Use common sense: San Fierro has grids but it has jacked up bridges and intersections, Los Santos is confusing, and Las Venturas is messed up with the Julius Thruway.
CASINOS, BETTING, LOWRIDERS, AND BAR GAMES
CASINO: Slot Machine
Ever been told the Slot Machine is a waste of money? On the contrary, it is the best way to make cash gambling at a casino. I prefer Four Dragons.
The Slot Machine is based on pure luck, and the reward varies. Always gamble at the 50$ one; once, I made 50,000$ in one gambling spree. Unless you are skilled at card games in the real world, don't bother with Blackjack and Poker. Roulette will waste your money.
NOTE: I have MUCH more winnings than I do lost money or "invested" money at the casinos.
This post has been edited by A White CJ on Monday, Jul 26 2010, 18:42