There is absolutely no question regarding why GTA Online became the absolute monstrous hit that it developed into, heists. The cornerstone of the online experience, heists embody everything that is great about GTA Online by providing enough story content and a robust co-op mode.
As of late, Rockstar has been experimenting with the heist formula, opening up approaches as well as a new location, plus the ability to play them solo. While these are all positive moves in the right direction, there is still room for improvement.
A game mode as fantastic as heists deserve more innovation and constant improvements from Rockstar.
Note: This article is subjective and solely reflects the opinion of the writer.
5 things Rockstar must improve about heists in GTA Online as of 2021
#1 - Better matchmaking
One of the most annoying parts of a player's day in GTA Online is staring blankly into the endless void that is the loading/lobby screen of the game for hours on end. It's not a given that players will always manage to get their friends along for each session in GTA Online, and it's rarer for them to get matched with equally competent players.
The game's matchmaking has always been painfully slow and often very incompetent. As communication in the game is restricted to just pointing, should the player be playing without mics, the overall effectiveness of the crew goes down by quite a lot.
#2 - Setups available solo
Heists are generally what players flock to the game for, and playing the finale with friends is what everyone looks forward to. Yet, completing the setups should be available as a solo option so that friends can get together for the heist finale.
Whether this means bumping up the payout for the leader or increasing the level of challenge is entirely up to Rockstar. Setups are often tedious, and it can be pretty annoying to try and convince friends and crew to pool in their efforts for them.
#3 - Request heist from Lester
Every new GTA Online player who has purchased a high-end apartment has felt the pain of not being called by Lester for a heist. The game asks the player to wait until Lester makes a call, which arrives about an hour too late.
The ability to request a heist from Lester to be an option, as simply waiting it out in Freemode does not make sense. The absurd decision from Rockstar to have Lester call the player for heists is absolutely puzzling, as it does nothing but delay the process.
#4 - Better communication tools
It is extremely confusing why GTA Online doesn't have a ping system yet, as many online multiplayer games have adopted it. A game mode that relies on communication as much as heists should ideally have a far better communication tool than simply pointing.
A point communicates as much information to a crew member as Einstein would explain the theory of relativity to a toddler. It is absurd just how ridiculously dysfunctional heists can be without the use of mics and something that Rockstar should have fixed by now.
#5 - Modifiers and challenges on replays
Modifiers can often spice things up in a major way, and many co-op game modes in other games have been able to use them effectively. While players can impose certain challenges and modifiers themselves, there needs to be a more robust way to significantly alter the heist experience in GTA Online.
While the challenges for heists are pretty great, there is a lack of any significant creativity when it comes to modifiers. Effective changes such as "Pistols Only" or "Pacifist Run" should be an option for GTA Online players who want to experiment outside of the box.