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Gather Intel is a freemode mission in Grand Theft Auto Online that is needed to progress to the preparation missions for The Cayo Perico Heist. The mission is initiated from the planning screen aboard the Kosatka, after the player initiates Heist strand, and becomes an optional, repeatable mission after the initial playthrough until the player begins the heist Finale.
The mission initially has a special variant that acts as a guide for handling the mission, and features a unique setup that is unavailable in subsequent playthroughs of the heist. Intel that can be found during the mission is marked down on the planning screen, which details the value of the primary and secondary loot items for the heist, and notable points of interest such as approach routes.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Intel Screen
- 3 Gallery
- 4 Cut Content
- 5 Deaths
- 6 Trivia
- 7 Bugs/Glitches
- 8 References
- 9 Navigation
The mission is the first piece of preparation needed for The Cayo Perico Heist, and are tasked with finding a set of important intel points, including the primary target for the heist and entry points to reach the island of Cayo Perico, with the optional task of seeking out secondary loot items and optional equipment that can be found during the heist, each of which must be either found via CCTV feeds or photographed.
The player is tasked with visiting the island while undercover, and then to sneak around to find intel spots to scope out. A condition of the mission is that players cannot use weapons, and must therefore avoid detection by guards and security cameras, with each playthrough respawn certain items to different locations. After all targets found by the player are scoped out, they must leave the island via the Airstrip - they will also be ejected (along with other crew members) if spotted too many times by guards, or by a Valkyrie helicopter that spawns some time after the primary target is located, and be returned to Los Santos, reappearing at Vespucci Beach near the former location of John Doe. If the player approaches the patrol Valkyrie while it is still on its helipad within the compound's fences, it will immediately spot the player, thus instantly ejecting them back to Los Santos.
The mission functions similar to the scoping mission for The Diamond Casino Heist, in that players can repeat it from the planning screen in the Kosatka, though must do so under the same conditions each time, and do not need to find items that they have already located. While the first playthrough functions on a unique scenario, future playthroughs have the player visit the island with the same undercover role.
It is also possible to access certain normally inaccessible areas by parachuting from the top of the Communications Tower, such as the barbed-wired areas surrounding the party beach or to get past the fences surrounding El Rubio's Compound. Getting too close to the compound itself however will automatically teleport the player back to the beach party (first playthrough) or the airstrip (subsequent playthroughs).
- First Playthrough
Players are tasked by Miguel Madrazo to visiting the island undercover as the tour manager for Keinemusik, who are providing music for a beach party on Cayo Perico, arranged by Juan Strickler. Players first travel to the Pegasus Concierge hangar at LSIA, to reach the island, where they are joined by English Dave. Upon arrival, they travel to the West Beach, driving Dave and Strickler to the party, and must wait for Pavel to contact them in regards to leaving the area.
After players have escaped from the party, Pavel will guide players over certain tasks they must conduct. They must first travel to the southern half of the island and to a security checkpoint that guards the passage to Strickler's Compound. After a short while, Pavel will instruct them to find and visit the island's Communications Tower, and hack into a switchbox at the site. Doing so grants access to view the compound's CCTV system from anywhere on the island via the Sightseer app.
After witnessing a scene involving Strickler executing his head of security with his pet panther, players must switch camera feeds to find the primary target (the Madrazo Cartel files) and the access route to it. This requires searching for the feeds in the Basement and the Office to find each, and then searching through the camera feeds for the Main Gate, North and South Wall, and North and South Gate to mark down one of the entry points to the compound that these feeds cover.
After the player have found an entry point, Pavel sends them to the North Dock to scope it out, find and locate a secondary target and a point of interest (POI) - a set of bolt cutters - photographing each and sending the image to Pavel (if done correctly). At this point, players are given the freedom to continue exploring the island for other sites to scope out and photograph; with exception to items in the compound, which simply are located via the CCTV feeds. If the player travels close to the Airstrip, Pavel will instruct them to find and photograph the control tower. After they have completed as much as they wish to do, players must visit the pilot for their plane at the Airstrip, in which a cutscene plays out with Dave seeing them off before returning to the party.
Gather Additional Intel
As the mission is repeatable, while the heist strand is active, players can return to Cayo Perico to scope out any additional targets that they missed, and will conduct it under the same conditions and leave via the same route as before. For the first playthrough, they must visit VIP Charter Jets at LSIA, whereupon they will be met at the airfield by Enrique and transported to the dance party, which they must escape from.
- Repeat Playthroughs
Gather Intel on the primary target and additional points of interest
After their first playthrough, players who proceed for another run of the heist will be tasked by Pavel with stealing a Velum 5-Seater plane from one of Strickler's drug smugglers, as the beach party they used to sneak onto Cayo Perico has since now ended (in terms of the mission's scenario). The approach is similar to acquiring the plane in its preparation mission, although it will spawn randomly around Blaine County, and once secured, players must fly towards a marker south of Terminal to trigger the cutscene of arrival at Cayo Perico. There they will be met by an unnamed member of El Rubio's Private Security and be told to wait at the airfield for their smuggling packages to arrive
The mission itself focuses on the same arrangement as above, but this time, players simply must reach the Communications Tower, hack into the switchbox (which will respawn around the tower for each heist playthrough), and then locate the Primary Target. Any fixed site intel not previously found can still be scoped out, otherwise the optional task is for players to simply locate POIs and secondary targets. Once they have scoped out all that they can find, they must then return to the Airstrip and use the Velum to return to Los Santos. Being caught by the guards returns the player to the airstrip. Repeated apprehension will result in being deported back to Vespucci Beach.
Gather Additional Intel in Subsequent Playthroughs
For subsequent playthroughs, the player is advised by Pavel to visit Miguel Madrazo's personal hanger at LSIA and use the Velum 5-Seater they took, in order to fly back to Cayo Perico. From there, they can explore the island, and leave at any time by returning to the Velum.
During the mission, players have a chance of finding a box of cutting powder in one of three locations, mainly around the Main Dock and Crop Fields. When found, Pavel hints at its use at weakening the guards, at which point, players have the opportunity of doing a side prep task upon picking up the powder; this task is only available when conducting the Gather Intel mission, and becomes unavailable when the finale begins.
Upon finding the powder, players must visit one of two water towers on the island - one at the North Dock, the other at the Main Dock - climb to the hatch on top and use it, in order to add the powder to the island's water supply. By doing so, players effectively weaken the guards during the heist finale, by reducing their firing accuracy and reaction time.
- Cutting Powder Locations
Cutting Powder Locations
|1||At the eastern storage area at the Crop Fields.|
|2||Inside a cocaine processing building in the east side, near the Crop Fields.|
|3||Entrance of the building located south of the Main Dock watertower.|
Water Towers Locations
|1||Main Dock Water Tower|
|2||North Dock Water Tower|
The intel screen, along with providing access to the Gather Intel mission, also provides details on all intel information found by the player upon a map of Cayo Perico - the map itself can switch between that of the island, and the Compound. While fixed items are marked down for subsequent playthroughs of the heist, respawnable ones must be located each time in order for them to be marked down. In addition to the locations of important intel found, the screen also denotes the value of the Primary Target, and the total value of the Secondary Targets that the player has found, with the map information and values available on the Preparations and Finale screens.
The Primary Target is a required piece of intel for proceeding into Preparations Missions. Except for the first playthrough, the target varies in value, with the amount increased if the heist is being conducted on hard difficulty:
|Primary Target||Image||Value||Value on hard|
* denotes the target for the first playthrough, cannot be encountered on subsequent playthroughs.
† denotes the target is only available for a limited time.
S denotes the target will be locked in the safe.
G denotes the target will be inside the glass case.
For each playthrough of the heist, a series of secondary loot items will spawn in various sites around Cayo Perico - some will spawn in secure storage areas within the compound, while others will be in secure lock-ups at major facilities across the island (such as the Cayo Perico Airstrip). Finding these targets are optional, but acquiring them during the heist will increase the overall payout when it is completed. Although those situated in the compound simply need to be located via the CCTV system, others must be photographed with Snapmatic in order to be marked down on the planning screen - these must also be photographed separately, as a group shot of two stacks will only mark down one of the items.
There are five categories of secondary targets that can spawn during the heist, and the total amount varies for each heist; during the first playthrough, players must find a secondary target as an objective. The total value of secondary targets located by players is displayed under the primary target info, and the amount varies depending on what valuables are spawned - the total value can range between $3.8 to $4.5 million, and amount is not altered by the difficulty of the heist. At least one of each target is available for players to steal and can be found in these respective sites:
- Cash - Found in both the lock-ups and storage areas, this target is the most prolific to spawn in the heist.
- Weed - These will spawn in the lock-ups, and are the second most common target to find.
- Cocaine - These will spawn in the lock-ups, but are the most uncommon to find.
- Gold - These will spawn in the storage areas of the Compound, and are the more valuable items to steal.
- Artwork - These will spawn in the storage areas of the Compound, and can also spawn in the main office.
An additional $50,000 to $99,000 can be stolen from the safe in El Rubio's office inside the compound. Note that it does not take up space inside the lootbag.
Solo players should note that with the exception of paintings that spawn in El Rubio's office (and the bonus cash in its safe), secondary targets in the compound are located behind doors that require two players to open. Targets located in lock-ups elsewhere on the island can be obtained by single players.
Any secondary targets that the player misses will still appear in the Finale mission, but will be unmarked on the map during it. The following table details the value of each target, and the maximum amount that can be stashed in a crew member's loot bag during the Finale (the value can fluctuate, and the upper and lower bounds are still not yet known):
|Target||Image||Take (any difficulty)||Maximum numbers|
of secondary targets
(to fill the loot bag)
|Artwork||$176,200-$199,700/Painting||2 ($352,400-$399,400 total)|
|Weed||$145,980-$149,265/Weed brick stash||2.66 ($389,300-$398,050 total)|
|Cocaine||$220,500-$225,000/Cocaine brick stash||2 ($441,000-$450,000 total)|
|Cash||$78,480-$89,420/Cash stack stash||4 ($313,920-$357,680 total)|
|Gold||$328,584-$333,192/Gold bar stash||1.5 ($492,876-$499,788 total)|
Possible Secondary Target Locations
|Ref Number||Location Description||Image||Map|
|1||Located at the end of the hangar.|
|2||Located above the one at the end of the hangar. A forklift lifting a nearby object will be needed to access the loot.|
|3||Located south of the hangar in a shed not far from the airstrip, near the possible spawn location of the Supply Truck.|
|4||Located in a storage shed near the main road.|
|5||In the back of a storage shed north of the docks.|
|6||In a locked building south of the docks at the end of a road. Two players are needed to access the loot.|
|7||Inside of a wooden shed with a large entrance east of some of the larger buildings.|
|8||Inside of a locked building north of the main docks. Two players are needed to access the loot.|
|9||In the front of a large building between two roads in the main docks.|
|10||Located inside of a long wooden shed south of the main docks near an intersection.|
|11||Inside of a small shed near a large plantation.|
Infiltration, Escape and Compound Entry Points
For each playthrough of the heist, Cayo Perico has eight infiltration points, four escape points, and six compound entry points to be found by players, with at least one of each needed to be used to conduct the Finale. Each site can be found during the Gather Intel mission, though the first time playthrough of the heist provides a number of these as mandatory sites for the player to visit; the rest must be found by the player themselves, with Pavel providing hints when a site is being approached. Although players must find each themselves, they only need to do this once, with each site being marked down for future playthroughs of the heist.
On the planning screen, each point is detailed out in terms of how they are used - Infiltration points denote how they can be used to approach the island, and what vehicle will be needed to use it for the heist; Escape points denote how they can be used to leave the island once the player has secured the primary target; and Compound Entry points denote how these can be used to enter and leave the compound.
Infiltration, Escape and Compound Entry Point Locations
Points of Interest
Cayo Perico has six types of POIs to be found - two at fixed sites that are marked down on the planning screen for subsequent playthroughs; and four that spawn across the island and must be found again on each playthrough. These POIs offer opportunities for different methods of tackling the heist during the finale, regardless of the approach taken by players:
- Control Tower - Found at the airstrip, and marked down for all subsequent heists. Disables the island's air defenses, allowing players to call in any hired support crew members or use the airstrip to escape during the heist.
- Power Station - Found near the airstrip, and marked down for all subsequent heists. Temporarily disables cameras and lights, the latter reducing the guards' sight range at night. Note: with the exception of shutting off the lights in the drainage tunnel, shutting down the power does not disable cameras or lights within the main compound.
- Bolt Cutters - Randomly spawns at four of sixteen locations around the island. Allows entry into padlocked areas without alerting nearby guards (not needed if the team later obtains a cutting torch).
- Grappling Hook - Randomly spawns at four of sixteen locations around the island. Allows entry into the compound via the North and South Wall during the heist.
- Guard Uniforms - Randomly spawns at four of sixteen locations around the island. Provides access to the compound via the main gate, in conjunction with the Supply Truck.
- Supply Truck - Randomly spawns at one of five locations around the island. Provides access to the compound via the main gate, in conjunction with the guard uniforms. The Supply Truck may also randomly appear during the heist finale, driven around the island by a guard.
Although spawnable POIs do not need to be found, they will still appear in the heist finale for players to use, but remain unmarked on the map.
Point of Interest Locations
|Ref Number||Location Description||Image||Map|
|1||Right next to the Cayo Perico Airstrip.|
|2||On a toolbox in front of a house at the airstrip.|
|3||On a workbench at the side of a building.|
|4||On the ground next to the small photovoltaic power station.|
|5||On a dilapidated boat.|
|6||On a rusty generator at North Dock.|
|7||On a wooden boat at North Dock.|
|8||At a large fuel tank in east North Dock.|
|9||On a shelf in a small building.|
|10||On the ground under a small shed at the Crop Fields.|
|11||Beneath the guard tower east of the fields.|
|12||Under the guard tower east of the Communications Tower.|
|13||Next to some tools at a cut-through part of the fence surrounding the compound.|
|14||Leaning against a rusty generator south of the Main Dock.|
|15||On a wooden crate alongside some tools.|
|16||On a dilapidated boat at the Main Dock.|
|Ref Number||Location Description||Image||Map|
|1||On a sandblock next to a red container at the end of the runway.|
|2||Next to some tools south of the power station.|
|3||Between a wooden crate and a cliff, east of the previous location.|
|4||On a crate beneath a guard tower.|
|5||On a boat next to some run-down buildings.|
|6||Behind some small wooden boats on a beach.|
|7||On a water tower at North Dock.|
|8||On a building in North Dock.|
|9||On a tower in south North Dock.|
|10||On the base of a red crane.|
|11||On some boxes at the Crop Fields.|
|12||Next to some tools north of an air defence system.|
|13||On the highest platform of the Communications Tower.|
|14||Under the stairs at the lighthouse.|
|15||On a water tower south of the Main Dock.|
|16||At the base of a red crane at the Main Dock.|
|Ref Number||Location Description||Image||Map|
|1||At the runway.|
|2||On a long balcony of a building at the airfield.|
|3||Next to some steps on the wooden pier.|
|4||Inside a building at North Dock.|
|5||Next to some wooden pallets in front of a house at North Dock.|
|6||Next to a building in east North Dock.|
|7||Next to a small red wooden boat in North Dock.|
|8||At a small brick shed near a guard checkpoint.|
|9||Next to some boxes and barrels.|
|10||On a red platform trolley at the Communications Tower.|
|11||At an air defence system.|
|12||Below a guard tower near the entrance to the compound.|
|13||At a house south of the Main Dock.|
|14||At another building south of the Main Dock.|
|15||Beside two water canisters next to a house at the Main Dock.|
|16||Inside a green-red container at the Main Dock.|
|Ref Number||Location Description||Image||Map|
|1||Parked next to the buildings at the runway.|
|2||Next to a building in North Dock.|
|3||Next to a building.|
|4||Parked next to the main entrance to the compound.
Note: Scoped via security camera hacking. A guard will be driving the truck through a random path on the island during the heist finale.
|5||Next to some containers at the Main Dock.|
- Unused voice lines from Pavel indicate that the Kosatka may have been able to be used to scope out Cayo Perico. Dialogue indicated that since the protagonist has no disguise, they'll only have one shot with this approach, getting caught likely means they'll get kicked off the island and wake up back at Los Santos.
- Gustavo - Killed by Juan Strickler by feeding him to his panther after accusing him of always embarrassing him in front of his party guests.
- Contrary to Pavel's warnings, the player is never actually shot or killed in the mission when they are caught while gathering intel.
- The guard patrolling the Airstrip will not react to anything the player does, even to being hit with a vehicle. This does not apply during the player's first playthrough of the heist. Of note, the guard's icon is a white circle, rather than the usual red circle denoting danger.
- In repeat playthroughs, visits to the island can randomly take place either during the day or at night. At night, it's possible to revisit the party location and see lighting effects and displays not usually visible during regular visits to the party that take place during daytime (and post-heist visitors to the party aren't allowed to stay past sunset). Note: as of fall 2021 this appears to no longer be the case; players can still visit the party site at night, but the lights are no longer activated.
- If the player calls the Assistant as a CEO and keeps it without hanging up or selecting any services before entering Cayo Perico and during a cutscene, they can use "Request Luxury Helicopter" service later to make a quick travel to any location on the island. Note the glitch will not work during the first playthrough.
- This was patched in later updates.
- If the player tries to record clips of the player pouring a cutting powder into the water tower's hatch and editing it to Rockstar Editor, the game crashes before it shows the clip of a player pouring the cutting powder into the hatch (tested on PC).
- Sometimes, the player is prompted to pour the cutting powder while standing under the water tower; if the action key is pressed, the pouring animation begins, teleporting the player onto the top and also instantly wasting them (tested on PC).
- Sometimes, the Velum 5-Seater will have its front left door open and will stay that way, unable to being closed normally.
- Sometimes, the cutscene cannot be triggered when the player approaches the marker at the Terminal, aborting the mission. This seems to happen at random to any crew member, meaning the group may split between those who made it to the island and those who did not make it.