There are a lot of helicopters in GTAO, some have a general purpose others are more specific. So here's a list of 5 helicopters which I think every player should consider to get for themselves, simply because all these aircraft are really good at what they do!
When it comes to aircraft in Grand Theft Auto Online ("GTAO") then I prefer flying helicopters over jets. I dunno, in my opinion the map doesn't really allow for decent jet flights but more so: it's easier to land a helicopter somewhere in the city than it is to land a jet (though practice makes perfect I suppose...).
Anyway; the old days when we only had access to a few helicopters are over, now we have a ton to choose from so I figured I'd share a list of my five favorite helicopters. With these you absolutely can't go wrong but do make sure you check what their general purpose is. Some are obviously better (or rather: more useful) than others.
This list is in order of my personal preference and general usability and goes from low to high.
Personal vehicles shown!
Keep in mind that (nearly) all the vehicles I'm showing you in this guide are my own personal vehicles which I'm keeping in my hangar:
Figured I'd mention this because I could imagine that new(er) players may get confused if they purchase any of these aircraft only to discover that they can't pick or change any colors. To customize these vehicles you'll need to own a hangar with the workshop expansion, and storing them in your hangar also turns them into personal vehicles which you can recall using the interaction menu. Another advantage: if you store a Pegasus aircraft in your hanger you also don't have to pay 200 GTA$ to collect it, but keep in mind that you can only have 1 personal vehicle on the map at the same time.
#5 - The Frogger
I know, I know... Why add a helicopter to this list which hardly anyone uses, right? But honestly.. although I think many (veteran) players hardly use this chopper anymore you still can't deny the fact that it can be a very helpful vehicle for new(er) players. Also: it's free for anyone who got themselves the Criminal Enterprise starters pack, and I think there's a good reason for that...
Easy to handle, easy to fly
The Frogger doesn't rely on any rear support, only the front is enough...
The Frogger is really easy to fly; it's quite stable in the air (doesn't tilt too much), easy to manoeuvre and there aren't too many places which you can't reach with this thing. And like I said: I think this helicopter can be very useful for new(er) players. Trying to get the packages in the Sightseer VIP mission is a lot easier if you can fly. Some contact missions can also be a lot safer to do if you have flying transportation (because you won't be attacked by NPC's). And speaking of contact missions: if you get into High Priority Case then you'll be happy to have a helicopter available...
Sure it doesn't have any weapons or other useful features to defend yourself, but that's also not the purpose of this aircraft. It's simply a civilian helicopter meant to transport you from point A to B and it does a good job with that.
There are very few places which you can't reach using a Frogger...
1st person view of the Froggers cockpit.
The Frogger sells for 1,3 million; you can get it from the Elitas travel website in-game. Players who got themselves the criminal enterprise starters pack can 'purchase' this one for free. Keep in mind though that I wouldn't recommend buying a Frogger even despite the fact that I think quite positive about this helicopter . That's because you can get yourself something better for only 500k more. I'll get into that soon enough ;)
Fun fact: You can carry up to three other players in the Frogger; one passenger next to you (you being the pilot) and two in the back. However... if you look closely at the back you'll notice that it has three seats instead of two:
We really should be able to fit an extra player in here, don't you think? ;)
#4 - The Cargobob
This is definitely not a helicopter which you should buy early on in the game and even if you're a veteran then this thing will only become more useful once you got yourself a vehicle warehouse for doing import/export missions.
Still, this can definitely be a very fun helicopter to have, even if you don't own a warehosue just yet!
So what does it do?
The cargobob is the first helicopter on this list which can actually 'do' something other than transporting you and some optional friends to another location (actually.. the Frogger is the only exception which can't really do anything else besides player transportation). As you can see above the cargobob's main function is to transport cars across the map by air.
Once you're flying you can release the hook underneath the helicopter which is used to pick up a car. Then (carefully!) position yourself above the car, lower the chopper enough for the cable to hook onto the car and then you're home free! Note that this procedure can be a little tricky with specific cars such as high end cars which you sell during import/export missions.
Another fun feature is the ramp at the back which you can open if your cargobob is a personal vehicle, you need to use the interaction menu for this as I'm demonstrating above.
Once open you or your friends can get into the back of the helicopter which allows you to transport even more stuff across the map. This is also why having a cargobob as your personal vehicle can end up in a sort of love/hate relationship.
Meaning? Well.. on the positive side it doesn't cost you money to spawn the cargobob anymore and in addition you can lower the cargo ramp in the back. But on the down side there isn't much for you to store in the back if you're a solo player. Because as soon as you spawn your "personal cargobob vehicle" then all your other personal vehicle(s) will despawn because you can only have one personal vehicle on the map at the same time.
Leaving me to wonder which cargo I should shove up the cargo ramp ;)
First person view of the Cargobob's cockpit.
The Cargobob can be bought from the Warstock cash & carry (in-game) website and is available in 2 different versions: the regular version which also spawns during some (contact) missions as well as in free-roam on the northern airfield and then there's the 'Jetsam version' which is roughly the same as the regular one except that its colours can be somewhat better customized in your hangar (basically the regular cargobob is a military vehicle while the 'Jetsam' is a civilian version. However.. both versions maintain their "livery" so the military version will always have a military pattern (the same you see on my screenshot above) and the 'Jetsam version' will always keep the civilian paintjob).
The normal (military) version will cost you 1,790,000 while the 'Jetsam version' costs 1,995,000. But keep in mind that there is no real difference between them other than appearance.
#3 - The Buzzard
Buzzard > Frogger!
If you're new to the game and considering to buy a helicopter then do yourself a favor and forget about getting a (cheaper) Frogger right now and go the extra mile to get this beauty instead! Nothing negative about the Frogger thank you very much but honestly: in comparison this thing is a beast which can literally blow the Frogger out of the sky (and more!)!
So what can this thing do?
It can blow your enemies into kingdom-come is what!
The Buzzard is an armored aircraft and comes equipped with both a missile array that will never run out (!) as well as a pair of mini guns which can wreck some serious havoc to your enemies. Although they're not the best guns in the game they do carry some very decent damage.
You can choose between homing missiles that 'home in' on their targets or go with the free-aim missiles where you have to aim yourself. Both have their advantages because trying to shoot a moving target can more than often result in a total miss, especially if the target is moving towards you.
On a positive note however the Buzzard is very agile and so is its weapons system. Meaning that even if an enemy is holed up somewhere then chances are high that the Buzzard can still haul them in:
Notice the high building on the other side? It actually shields the targets... but not for long ;)
This thing takes getting used to because it's quite light and very nimble, meaning that it can easily move into directions which you may not have intended. Yet that also means that once you do know how to control this thing then you can even cram it into places where a Frogger wouldn't fit, and i'm not making this up!
The only down side (meh!) to the Buzzard, but only in comparison to others, is that you can't really shoot missile "barrages". There can only be 2 missiles active at once, if you try to fire more it'll refuse until one of the other missiles has hit (or missed ;)) their target. Which is also where my 'meh' comes from because if you really know your stuff you'll learn to cope with it.
How? Well, this thing has more tricks up its sleeve you know ;)
If you're a CEO (meaning: you own a CEO office) then you'll gain access to some specific "organization vehicles" which you'll be able to spawn instantly and right next to you: you can see an example above.
And the best part is that if you bought yourself a Buzzard then spawning one in won't cost you anything. That's right: a Buzzard attack helicopter can instantaneously spawn right next to you and for no extra costs as long as you're registered as a CEO with SecuroServ.
True story: I personally prefer my Oppressor MkII these days but if I play the 'Head Hunter' VIP mission then I sometimes still run into trouble because the Oppressor only has a limited amount of missiles. And I can't fire my own guns while riding it.
The solution? Well: spawning in a Buzzard of course! This thing has saved many of my missions dozens of times!
Inside view of the Buzzard's cockpit.
You can get a Buzzard from the Warstock cash & carry (in-game) website and it will set you back 1,750,000 GTA$. But trust me when I say that this is an investment that will be more than well worth it.
If you own a hangar then you can store the Pegasus vehicle in there which will turn it into a personal vehicle, meaning that it won't cost you 200 GTA$ to call for one. But owning a Buzzard also means you'll get one available for free while you're a CEO. Just use the interaction menu and one will spawn instantaneously right next to you!
And the best part? You can apply all these three options (personal vehicle, Pegasus vehicle & CEO vehicle) at the same time! Let me show you:
From front to back: Personal Buzzard, Pegasus Buzzard and the CEO Buzzard.
See? Your own Buzzard army, buy one and get many ;)
#2 - The Savage
I honestly believe that the Savage is one of the most underrated helicopters in the game, which is exactly why it's part of this list and scores so high. Fun fact: the Savage was the very first attack helicopter I bought after I owned & used the Buzzard for a while.
This thing can easily blow a Buzzard out of the sky!
So what does it do other than shoot weapons?
Shooting insanely powerful weapons, is what...
As you can probably see in the first screenshot above this thing carries four missile pods. And as one should be able to expect this also means that it can fire more active missiles than the Buzzard. So while the Buzzard can have only 2 missiles flying out at the same time the Savage raises this to four.
And that's not all... The Savage also has a cannon, and what a cannon this is! As you can see in the screenshot above it doesn't fire ordinary shots. No... the Savage was one of the first (if not the first) vehicles in GTAO to fire explosive rounds!
If you teach yourself to aim that thing properly then there's very little stopping you other than taking on too much (extensive) damage over time. Because the explosions also cause plenty of collateral damage meaning that even a near miss will more than often kill or at the very least severely damage your target.
Another very interesting feature is that the Savage will automatically climb while you're flying it, this happens because of the way the rotors are positioned.
This is but a detail for sure but one that can be very convenient, because if you plan a little bit ahead then you no longer have to gain altitude in order to scale a building or mountain, simply because at the time you arrived there you probably already have the right altitude in the first place!
The interior view of the Savage.
As with the previous helicopter you can grab a Savage at the Warstock cash & carry (in-game) website and this will cost you 2,593,500 dollars which is quite high. Play the Pacific Standard heist however (the convoy mission) and the amount gets dropped to 1,950,000. Honestly? This beast is easily worth the full price.
Number One: The Akula Hunter!
I know, I know!!
There is no such thing as an "Akula Hunter" helicopter, you're absolutely right. No need to rub it in ;)
So... have I lost my mind or something here? Nope! The number one spot on this list is shared by two helicopters and for good reasons too (or so I think!). See: the thing is that both helicopters excel at the things they do best but, and here is also the problem, they're at their best when used for different purposes. Both involve armed combat, but in a different way.
This is all about "the best tool for the job"; allow me to explain...
But before I begin I'd like to share my personal bias for the Akula; this is my personal favorite. Not because I think it's better than the F1 Hunter, oh no, but because the Akula matches my playing style a lot better.
Yet that doesn't mean that I don't recognize the sheer potential of the Hunter anymore... heck no: I can come up with situations in which the Akula will end up superior just as well as I can come up with situations where the Hunter will reign supreme.
But enough blabbering, let's get to the point (but in order of personal preference):
Just like the Savage can (somewhat) easily blow a Buzzard out of the sky the same can be said about the Akula (and F1 Hunter!) vs. the Savage. We're now dealing with the "next generation" of militarized choppers and it will show.
Both the Hunter and the Akula can only be purchased once you own a hangar. These are not Pegasus vehicles anymore but can only be used as personal ones. And you'll quickly see that it makes sense too as soon as you try to customize them because there is a lot of tweaking which you can do here.
Regular Pegasus helicopters (Frogger, Buzzard, Cargobob and the Savage) can only be customized with a different paint job (and when customizing a Cargobob you also won't be able to change the livery). But as I mentioned these two helicopters are in a completely different category of their own:
Customizing the Akula using my hangar workshop...
What sets the Akula apart from the Savage is its insane collection of weaponry:
- Missiles: You can apply the Akula with either 'homing missiles' or 'barrage missiles'. The first lock onto their target and try to track it, the latter variant relies on manual aiming but shoots off a large amount of missiles (4) nearly at the same time which will severely increase your chances to hit something (or at least do significant extra damage). Also: the homing variant behaves in the same way as the Buzzard: 2 can be out at the same time.
- Miniguns: Comparable to the ones in the Buzzard but these fire at a slower rate which makes them noticeably less effective. It's still a good alternative to have.
- Nose-cone minigun: You need a co-pilot to fire this, but the nose cone provides a three barreled minigun which can be fired in roughly the same way as those of the Buzzard (= the co-pilot can zoom in on their targets to pinpoint their aiming).
- Bombs: As if the above wasn't enough the Akula also has a bombing bay which can hold up to 50 bombs that can either be dropped individually or in pairs of 5 to perform a 'carpet bombing'. The amount of damage depends on the kinds of bombs you loaded up.
But wait... there's more: Stealth mode!
The Akula has one very specific trait that really sets it apart from all the other vehicles: stealth mode. And this is why I mentioned "best tool for the job" earlier on because the Akula is at its best when used for covert operations. Do not try to take on a jet head on with this thing because that is bound to fail, also because the Akula doesn't have any counter measures.
Instead activate stealth mode which will hide yourself from the radar. Yes... even if you have a bounty on you or you're carrying crates which have already been revealed to the lobby: once you get into a 'cloaked' Akula then no one can see you on the map anymore. Of course they can still see you in the actual game itself, you're not really invisible or anything.
Hides from the LSPD too!
Cockpit view of the Akula.
If you cloak yourself then you'll also reduce your (optional) wanted level from whatever you had back to 2. Which can be a lifesaver (those LSPD choppers can slowly, but steadily, really damage your heli!).
Of course you may still end up in severe problems if someone actually uses their eyes and spots something strange in the sky. If they can also aim somewhat decently then that could spell doom for you because, as I mentioned earlier: The Akula can't really defend itself from incoming missiles.
So what to do if you need to take on a target head on? well....
The F1 Hunter
While Akula is all about stealth and sneaky attacks, this one is about blowing your enemies out of the sky and laughing at their feeble attempts to take you down afterwards! However, all of this might has its price...
- Missiles: These missiles can be fired in two modes: homing & barrage. Homing missiles home in on their target and try hit it that way. What sets the Hunter apart is that you can keep on firing missiles over and over and over and over and over again. And then even more ;) It does not suffer as much from the setback as with the Buzzard or Savage. Barrage mode shoots out 7 (!!) missiles at once making it actually quite hard not to hit a target. Did I mention there's an unlimited supply of missiles? ;)
- Bombs: Same as with the Akula you can load up to 50 bombs which can be dropped individually or in groups of 5 to perform a carpet bombing.
- Armor & Counter measures: and now we get to the advantage of the Hunter... First it has superior armor in comparison to the Akula making it more resilient to missiles or explosive rounds. But speaking of those missiles... the pilot can also shoot off counter measures which have a huge potential to stop any missiles in their tracks.
- Nose cone chaingun: And if all of this wasn't enough: the co-pilot can operate the chaingun mounted at the cone which can do some decent (yet not very excessive) damage to targets. The down side though is that the pilot can only fire missiles or drop bombs, they don't have access to the chainguns.
Cockpit view of the F1 Hunter.
Of course there is a trade-off... The Akula is more agile than the Hunter (it can even do a 360 flip!) but the Hunter is (much) more robust than the Akula. While the Akula can run away & hide (if executed properly) the Hunter has better armor & counter-measures to block any aftermath shenanigans.
Ergo: 2 different helicopters for 2 different purposes. But both of them are my absolute number one! The Akula sells for 3,7 million but if you play the Doomsday heist this will be brought back ("trade price") to 2,7 million. The Hunter sells for 4,1 million but its trade price is 3,1 million.
For the record: I bought both helicopters full price and I think it was well worth it!
You've seen five different helicopters which each excel at different tasks:
- The Frogger is great for quickly transporting players across the map.
- The Cargobob can transport cars through the air (don't try to lift an Insurgent or Terrorbyte though ;)) and some passengers as well.
- The Buzzard can be a deadly yet general aircraft thanks to its missiles & miniguns.
- The Savage simply lives up to its name by doing things better than the Buzzard.
- And the Akula Hunter... 2 helicopters for the price of one! More seriously: if you mostly play on your own and avoid combat then the Akula may be just the thing for you: take off, activate stealth mode and you're gone for many (probably most) players in the lobby (not visible on the map). But if you want to take on the enemy head on and not "cower away" then you can't go wrong with the F1 Hunter: more armor, counter measures and a deadly barrage of weapons are available to you, even when operated solo.
A special mention of appreciation goes out to the Avenger. This is a command center helicopter-like vehicle (a 'VTOL' (= 'Vertical Take Off and Landing')) and it serves a specific purpose. It can be used to customize your weaponized (and some special) vehicles and you can even use it to transport some of your cars across the map....
Just keep in mind that although the Avenger can withstand plenty of abuse and is also equipped with plenty of oppressive firepower of its own it is not invincible. In fact.. it can go down rather quick especially when handled solo.
As such only a special mention because despite its flaws (when used solo) I still really enjoy this aircraft for what it is. Stand in the shadow of an Avenger in free-roam and I cannot help but be convinced that you'll agree with me that this vehicle is awesome in its own right!
Of course... end up on the wrong end of the Hunter's weapons system and you'll be forced to acknowledge that for what it is as well.
And there you have it!
Five different helicopters for five different purposes and I honestly think you should keep all of them into close consideration. These helicopters can severely change your game, when properly used!