How to beat Death From Above – GTA Online’s toughest mission

By Matt Martin
20 February 2015 13:22 GMT

Three fool-proof ways to earn $20,000 and the respect of your criminal peers.

gta_5_ps4_xo (15)

There are a lot of tough missions in GTA Online, and some that don’t really reward the player for the amount of effort they put in. It’s easier and quicker to farm Rooftop Rumble for cash and RP rather than play through a Boat In The Bay for example, despite it being a lot more fun.

Death From Above is one of those notoriously difficult missions that is often dismissed as not worth the effort. It’s hard, and on a first attempt will leave you broken. But once you know the rules it’s a lot of fun, earns you some big cash and a wedge of RP.

The brief

Martin Madrazo wants an old associated iced and he wants proof of his death. The guy you’re looking for is barricaded in a mansion surrounded by cops and security guards. Once you’ve killed him and photographed his corpse, you need to lose the cops and deliver evidence to Madrazo.

The reward

RP: 4,100
Cash: $19,250

No small beans. And remember you’ll bag extra RP for cop, guard and helicopter kills.

The mansion

mansion layout
To the extreme left you can see the entrance gate. Directly in front under the mezzanine will be your target. Don’t use the Jacuzzi.

The mansion is big but it’s surrounded by cops and private security. Once past the two main gates you have to get into the back garden, where there’s a swimming pool, a mezzanine, jacuzzi and other furniture. If you’re not familiar with the layout you’ll get trapped by gunfire within seconds.

Before you begin

Do not attempt this mission from the ground. The clue is in the title. Death From Above needs to be tackled from the sky. I don’t care if you’ve got a Rhino and ninja skills. The mansion is heavily guarded from the outside and although it has two entrances, both electric gates move deathly slow. There’s shooters on the roof top. Even if you get in successfully you’ve still got to get out alive, which is no mean feat when the heavily armed police and helicopters move in.

The trick

The one key thing you need to know about the mission is this: no matter who photographs the body, afterwards any one of your crew members can get to Madrazo and complete the mission. If someone photographs the body but then gets killed, it doesn’t matter so long as one of you is left to complete the assignment. This means you can go into the mansion knowing you won’t necessarily come out alive. If you know your role is to take the photo and that’s it, there’s no reason to panic. Focus on your one important job.

Method 1: Parachute party

This is for those that are happy to complete the mission on the Easy setting. You’ll only earn around $10,000 and RP 2,500, but it’s not a bad start if you want to try it out for the first time.

You don’t need to own your own personal chopper. Call Lester and he’ll locate either a Frogger or Maverick for $700, or save your cash and steal a chopper from the police or local hospital. Get in the chopper and take it as high as it will go, above the mansion. Now one of you parachutes down into the grounds while the other stays in the chopper out of the way.

The parachutist needs to steer towards the pool and land on the green grass near the umbrellas. There’s a few guard here – take out the one near the entrance gate first, then the three people under the mezzanine. One of those is the target. When they’re dead, run over and take the photograph.

Now just stay put in the mansion while the helicopter pilot flies over to Madrazo’s place and lands to complete the mission. Bingo.

Watch on YouTube

This video gives you a good view of the back garden and where you’ll find the target.

Method 2: Crash landing

Now whack the difficulty up to Hard. Let’s earn some proper wages.

Again, call Lester for a chopper and make sure you’re packing body armour and a deadly weapon. On Hard you can’t parachute into the grounds because guards will cut you to ribbons while you’re taking the chute off. So this time you’re going to land the chopper by the pool.

Fly low and be quick. Land on the green grass and get out. At least one person should stay right next to the chopper and take down the guards. Kill the guys near the gate first, then any others, including the target under the mezzanine. One other player should run over and photograph the body while the other crew members provide covering fire.

Now get back in the chopper and lose the cops. The best way to lose police helicopters is to fly directly up. Once you get in the clouds they can’t follow you, so you’ll eventually lose the wanted stars.

This method is a bit tricky and one of you may get killed in the mansion or as you attempt to get some height in the helicopter. If it’s the first player death (it should be) you’ll respawn outside the mansion, but as the photo has already been taken you just need to get to Madrazo. It might be an easier option for you to go via car rather than the pilot, who is by now trying to fly a pretty beat-up chopper.

Method 3: Buzz kill

This is for players who already own a Buzzard attack chopper and want to get their money’s worth from what is arguably the best vehicle in the game. Preferably you’ll have two in your crew to make this much easier. Once you’ve picked up the choppers, fly towards the mansion but don’t get too close. Position your chopper at the top end of the golf course, as seen in the screen below.

Fly a little further to the top edge of the golf course and unleash rocket hell.

From here one chopper can direct rockets at the mansion, with its auto-targeting taking out the guards, the snipers on the roof, the security around the pool and police at the entrances.

The second chopper should work on defending the first from police helicopters that fly in. There’s at least three of them. Neither pilot should get too low (you risk being shot at by the cops on the ground) or two high (where auto-targeting won’t be effective enough).

This might seem like overkill – and it is – but you’ll bag loads of extra RP by taking out the guard and cops, and you can even earn a little Rockstar achievement called Pigs Can Fly, which is worth an additional 400 RP.

Once you’re happy most of the security is down, one of you can quickly fly into the mansion and land on the grassy area.

2 buzzards
We don’t recommend landing two Buzzards. There’s barely space for one.

Now it’s just a case of following the same advice as above – get out the chopper, check the guards at the gate and kill the target. Once you take the photograph the heavily armed police will arrive. Kill any at the gate again otherwise they’ll shoot you as you take off.

Now fly up and away and get your ass to Madrazo’s place. Don’t take any chances or get too cocky – the Buzzard packs deadly firepower but it’s not very robust.

So there you have it. You can now complete Death From Above in around 7-8 minutes and stop grinding the same old missions.

Want help with more missions in GTA Online? These all pay out good RP and cash.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our policy.

VG247 logo

Buy our t-shirts, yeah

They're far more stylish than your average video game website tat.

VG247 merch