The Criminal Enterprise Starter Pack is a paid add-on to GTA Online that gives the owner GTA$1M and the ability to claim some properties, vehicles, weapons and cosmetic items for free. Rockstar’s advertisement claims that all the items included in it are worth more than GTA$10M and would let the players buying it “jumpstart their criminal empires.”
Later, Rockstar introduced the Grand Theft Auto V: Premium Online Edition, which is the original game bundled with the Criminal Enterprise Starter Pack. Sometimes, this edition is also referred to as “Premium Edition”.
On Steam, PlayStation Store and Microsoft Store, both the standard edition, which includes only the game itself, and the Premium Online Edition are available.
On Epic Games Store, however, the Premium Online Edition (referred to as “Premium Edition” there) is the only available option.
Should I Buy the Bundle With the Starter Pack?
New players often ask which bundle of the game they should buy. Some of them are confused by what is contained in each bundle; others wonder if the Criminal Enterprise Starter Pack is helpful at all.
First and foremost, the Premium Online Edition is not required for playing GTA Online. Even if you buy the standard edition with GTA V itself only, you will get access to GTA Online. The Premium Online Edition’s name can be misleading, as some people, even including me when I was new to this game, think it is the only edition that contains GTA Online. This is wrong. Every edition of GTA V you can purchase includes GTA Online.
Everyone who owns GTA V on PC can play GTA Online for free; on consoles, you need paid subscription to PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold to play GTA Online, but the subscription is all you need to join the multiplayer mode as long as you own GTA V, regardless of which bundle you own.
Because you are not required to buy the Premium Online Edition to play GTA Online, purchase of the Criminal Enterprise Starter Pack becomes voluntary. But, the screenshots above show that the Premium Online Edition’s price might be the same as the standard edition, depending on your gaming platform. If you don’t need to spend additional money on the Starter Pack, why don’t you go for it?
On the other hand, if the standard edition of GTA V is on sale but the Premium Online Edition is not, which can happen on Steam sometimes, buying the bundled version with the Starter Pack requires some deliberation. To find out whether you should get the Starter Pack when you need to pay extra money, let us look at what is included in it.
A full list of items included in the Criminal Enterprise Starter Pack can be found at Rockstar’s official website. While some of the items are useful, others are probably not.
Imagine someone gifts you something which is worth $100 but is not what you like. Would you like to exchange it for a $100 gift card, so you can buy what you want? I think everyone will answer “yes”. The GTA$1M included in the Starter Pack is just like a gift card: you can spend it freely on anything you want to have.
In addition to the free cash in the Starter Pack, you can also complete some easy tasks to get another GTA$1.25M. So, you will be able to have $2.25M to start your GTA Online career.
Maze Bank West Office
Of course, this is the cheapest office, but as mentioned in the Offices Guide, this is not a bad choice if you don’t have enough money for a more expensive Office. You can buy the Del Perro Heights Apartment if having an Office close to your Apartment matters to you.
Great Chaparral Clubhouse
In the Clubhouses Guide, I said the location of your Clubhouse should not matter because you are not likely to make frequent visits to it. As long as you own a Clubhouse, you are good to start MC-related activities. And the free Clubhouse in the Starter Pack will save you $200,000.
Senora Desert Cash Factory
This is the cheapest Cash Factory, located at the greatest place for MC Businesses in my opinion. The Cash Factory is not the most profitable passive business, but it is not a bad one. If you purchase a Nightclub later, the Cash Factory will also grant you an additional source of income in the Nightclub Warehouse.
Marksman Rifle is one of the essential weapons in my weapon recommendations. It is useful in missions that require you to do stealth kills. Some PvP players also favor this weapon.
The items listed here can be useful in some cases, but you still can live your life without them.
When you don’t have access to flying vehicles like Oppressor Mk II, a helicopter is the best tool for moving around the map quickly. Having your own helicopter is great; however, LSIA and Sandy Shores Airfield often spawn helicopters, so even if you don’t have a chopper, you can steal one from those places.
What is more, the Frogger does not have any weapons, so you can use it merely for transportation, not combats against NPCs. For the latter purpose, the Buzzard Attack Chopper is a better choice.
1337 Exceptionalists Way Garage
This is only a 10-car Garage which can only be used to store your vehicles. In order to do Heists, you might want to buy a high-end Apartment, which also includes a 10-car Garage. Unless you really have more than 10 vehicles to stash, you can just use the Garage of your Apartment rather than a dedicated one.
1561 San Vitus St Apartment
Like all Apartments, this free Apartment included in the Starter Pack can be used as a spawn point. But it is a low-end Apartment with a tiny 2-car Garage, which cannot be used for Heists. In order to unlock Heists, please get a high-end Apartment. Nevertheless, you can still claim this one since you can own multiple Apartments.
Once you have the Starter Pack, there are many outfits, clothes and tattoos you can get for free.
Besides these player customization items, the Starter Pack also includes a few coupes, sports cars and motorcycles, which are not the best ones with the greatest performance. I am classifying them as cosmetic items as well because they do not make any significant difference to your GTA Online gaming experience, but some players, especially car collectors, might want to have them.
I want to make a special remark on the Dune FAV, the only weaponized vehicle in the Starter Pack. It is neither bulletproof nor very resistant to explosions, and its weapon can be controlled by the passenger only, not the driver. Thus, this vehicle is weak in combats. You can play around with the Dune FAV, but please don’t expect to knock down lots of enemies with it.
Items to Avoid
If the cosmetic items are not very useful but still OK to have, then the following things in the Starter Pack should not be claimed at all.
Paleto Forest Bunker
This is the infamous Bunker I have criticized in the article about Paleto Bay properties. Do not get it; the Gunrunning business run with this Bunker is very unlikely to be profitable.
Compact Grenade Launcher
I have given reasons not to buy this weapon before. To summarize, this weapon is less powerful than the regular Grenade Launcher, and using it on motorcycles is dangerous. As mentioned multiple times before, a smaller weapon collection is more preferable in GTA Online. So, if you are not sure whether you should have this weapon, then don’t claim it at all.
This weapon has not been mentioned in this collection so far. It is an assault rifle that can be used on motorcycles, just like the Compact Grenade Launcher be the heavy weapon available on motorcycles. But, why not just use an AP Pistol instead? The AP Pistol can be used on not only motorcycles but also cars, and its performance is comparable to assault rifles, so it is the weapon you can use everywhere. To keep your weapon inventory compact, you should not go for the Compact Rifle, but use AP Pistol and Special Carbine instead.
Re-Evaluation of the Starter Pack’s Value
The fact that all the things included in the Starter Pack are worth more than GTA$10M is true. However, as I have shown in the discussion above, only a few items in it are really useful. Let us calculate the value of all “useful items” and “optional items” combined:
|Maze Bank West Office||$1,000,000|
|Great Chaparral Clubhouse||$200,000|
|Senora Desert Cash Factory||$845,000|
|All Useful Items||$3,060,750|
|1337 Exceptionalists Way Garage||$112,500|
|1561 San Vitus St Apartment||$99,000|
|All Useful and Optional Items||$4,572,250|
Ignoring all the cosmetic stuff and items you should not purchase, the value of all interesting contents in the Starter pack is no more than $4.6M.
If the Premium Online Edition, which is the game bundled with the Criminal Enterprise Starter Pack, is sold at the same price as the game itself or an even lower price, then you should get it without a second thought.
Otherwise, subtract the price of the game itself from the price of the Premium Online Edition. For example, the standard edition of GTA V is sold at $29.99, and the Premium Online Edition is $35.18 on Steam, so the price difference is $5.19. Are you willing to pay that amount of money for in-game items worth GTA$4.6M? Your answer to this question determines whether you should buy the Premium Online Edition.
Here are some rough estimates on the time and effort required to earn GTA$4.6M for common grinding methods:
- About 7 Pacific Standard Jobs with 55% cut (assuming your team lose no more than $62,500 of your take in each Finale), which can take 8 hours or more
- 3 full sales (333 crates, 111 each) from your large Special Cargo Warehouses
- About 60 top range vehicles exported from your Vehicle Warehouse (assuming you lose no more than $4,000 to repair cost and market value loss per car on average)
- 85 hours of Bunker production
If you have a friend who can host The Diamond Casino Heist for you and is willing to give you the maximum cut, then things will become much more easier. You can get $4.6M from 2 Casino Heists, provided that in every run of the Heist, you get 85% cut and your team secure a take of at least $2.7M. This should only require 3 to 4 hours.
Thus, if you can find people who will carry you, then you only need a few hours of gameplay to earn the money equivalent to the Starter Pack’s real value. In this case, the Starter Pack’s marginal utility is low. Otherwise, as a lone-wolf player, you might have a hard time in getting enough money to buy business properties, and the Starter Pack could come in useful.