Do Not Buy Security Upgrades
Your businesses can be raided when certain conditions are met. The exact conditions vary according to the business, but they boil down to these general criteria:
- The stock level of your business has exceeded a threshold
- You have been playing in Freemode for a reasonable amount of time, without doing any management mission for the business (at least 3 hours, depending on the type of business)
- You are being a VIP, CEO, or MC President
Raids are triggered as random events after all those conditions are fulfilled. Once a raid starts, you have to defend the business by eliminating all NPC enemies, and for some kinds of raids, return your staff or product back to the business property. Usually, if you ignore a raid or die in the defense, you risk losing everything in stock, but this is not always the case.
After the attack, your NPC business “partner” might tell you to buy the Security upgrade for the business to reduce the likelihood of future robberies. As the title of this article says, don’t buy it. There are several reasons for this:
The Security upgrade does not completely eliminate the likelihood of raids.
There are alternative ways to reduce, or even remove, the probability of raids, that do not require paying for anything.
For some business properties, the Security upgrade has side effects.
Reduction of Risks Rather Than Removal
Despite similar spellings, there is a difference between the meanings of “reduce” and “remove”. To remove means to completely get rid of something, decreasing the value to zero if it is quantitative; to reduce means to lower the quantity, but not necessarily to zero. If the probability of something is 50%, then both a decrease to 25% and a decrease to 0% can be called a reduction, but only the change to 0% is qualified as a removal.
The Security upgrades in GTA Online are advertised to reduce the likelihood of attacks. Strictly speaking, there is nothing wrong with the description because they do make the raids less frequent. Nevertheless, this can still be misleading because the game is not clear about whether they can completely eliminate those raids.
The only effect of the Security upgrades on reduction of raids is they double the time needed to trigger a raid. For instance, without the Security upgrade, robberies targeting Bunkers can be triggered if you have been playing in Freemode for 5 hours, after the raid timer ends. Buying the upgrade extends the raid timer’s duration to 10 hours. Thus, the likelihood is only reduced, not removed.
Alternative Ways to Avoid Raids
Recall the requirements for a raid listed at the beginning of this article: stock level, time spent in Freemode, and your VIP, CEO and MC President status. If any of them is not satisfied, then a raid cannot be triggered. Since you can control all of those factors, attacks against your businesses can be avoided even without purchasing the Security upgrade, as long as you can form any of the following habits:
Retire from your VIP/CEO status and disband your MC when you don’t need them anymore. Try not to register as a VIP, CEO or MC President unless you really need to, or you know that the current stock levels of your businesses and the time spent in Freemode are far from triggering raids.
If you have been not being a VIP, CEO or MC President for many hours in Freemode and you think a business is likely to be attacked once you start your Organization or MC, then just go to your business, register as a VIP/CEO or MC President inside the building for that business, and immediately sell all the products. Attacks for a business will never be started if you are in the property for it.
Should you think more than one of your businesses will be attacked once you register as a VIP, CEO or MC President, sell from the one with the most expensive stock first, and immediately quit your Organization/MC once the sale is concluded. Then, go to the rest businesses and repeat this strategy.
If you need to go idling, use the AFK-in-Mission method. The raid timer counts down in Freemode only, but Contact Missions are not part of the Freemode, so you are free to stay in them for hours without triggering raids. In addition, this method also helps you avoid the daily property utility charges.
Sell from your businesses in time and frequently. This helps with two things: preventing the stock level from going high enough for raids, and resetting the raid timer by completing a sell mission.
The Security upgrades might be helpful in the sense of increasing the time needed to trigger raids, but given those free methods of avoiding robberies, the upgrades are no longer quite useful. On the other hand, there are some side effects introduced by the upgrades.
For the Bunker and MC Businesses, the Security upgrade will increase the utility charges of those properties.
For the Nightclub’s Security upgrade, it is bundled with a gun locker that breaks your custom weapon loadout, as mentioned in the article about gun lockers. If you purchase the upgrade, you will lose the ability to hide your weapons effectively.
These side effects are just adding more reasons to not buy any Security upgrade for your businesses. Just stick with the free alternative ways to avoid attacks against the businesses, and you will be fine.