Ram Raiding is a method available to Criminals to increase stash and earn cash. Ram Raiding is a "world" activity; several parts cannot be performed while in a mission (ramming targets, fencing loot, or laundering money). However, if the player enters a mission in the course of ram raiding, any loot acquired can still be transported by the player.
Ram Raiding Summary
- Ram an appropriate target with a vehicle, and pick up the loot
- Repeat raiding as desired (e.g., until player carrying or vehicle cargo capacities are reached)
- Deliver the loot to a fence (increases the stash value)
- Launder the stash (transfers stash value to cash)
Ram Raiding Details
Ram Raiding involves driving a vehicle into "raid-able" storefronts and garages. The player's display will show a "Drive vehicle into this target" message when the mouse is over a viable target, and the aiming dot will be highlighted. When the vehicle is moved into the target (by driving or being shoved, e.g., during a collision with another vehicle), the storefront or garage will "break". Once this occurs, the player's stash will increase, and "loot" may spawn in front of target. This loot can be picked up; some can be carried in the player's loot pool, while other loot (such as TVs) must be carried, slowing the player's movement speed, and holstering the player's weapon.
When the loot is taken within the "fence radius" of a fence, the player's stash is increased, and all carried loot is removed. Loot stored in a vehicle must be manually removed and brought within range of the fence in order to increase the player's stash.
There are three sizes of items that can be picked up from a raided building, each with different required vehicle storage capacity, and add different amounts to the player's stash when fenced. Loot value typically increases with the size of loot. Loot types are:
- Small: (Cell phones, jewelry, etc.) These items are invisible once picked up, and do not need to be loaded into a vehicle. The player can carry up to 50 small items.
- Medium: (Cameras, suitcases, etc.) These items cause the player to walk slightly slower, and the player's weapon is holstered. Such items can be carried directly (e.g., while driving), or may be put in the vehicle's storage area. when stored in a vehicle, these items require between 2 to 4 available cargo capacity points.
- Large: (Safes, TVs, etc.) These items cause the player to walk significantly slower. These items require 5+ available vehicle cargo capacity points in order to be stored in a vehicle. A player cannot enter a vehicle while holding a large loot item.
Fully-loaded ram-raiding example: A player may carry up to 50 small items, hand-carry one medium item while driving, and store up to 25 points of medium and large loot in a Packer Ceresco.
In all cases, all loot carried by the player will be dropped if the player is killed or arrested.
First off it is recommended that the player unlock the Packer Ceresco through the Criminal contact Terri Quan for $15,000. If a player simply steals a Packer from the streets they are at risk of losing all items gained during their ram raiding session. This is because once the player leaves the vehicle it is registered as a "free" car, i.e. it is a civilian car all over again. If another unscrupulous player sees another player unloading equipment from a vehicle and decides to steal it there is absolutely nothing stopping them from doing so. One way of avoiding this from happening is working as a pair and leaving one player in the van while the other unloads it. Regardless of who is taking the items inside, the money is split evenly once taken to the Money Laundry area (which will be marked on the player's map).
This is why it is near essential to get a legitimate player-owned Packer because it has the highest cargo carrying capacity of any early vehicle, and the player can customize it any way they choose. It also has decent durability so that a player can crash into a few storefronts without having to repair the vehicle. In addition to being able to customize a player-owned Packer, nobody can steal it while the player is unloading/loading it, allowing for solo ram raiding with very minimal risk.
After a recent patch ram raiding has become more risky for Criminals and more lucrative for Enforcers, but very slightly so. The main part of the patch that effects ram raiding is the fact that now once a Criminal has more than $1500 of un-laundered money on them, they are witness-able until they launder it. If caught off guard the player has a chance of losing all money they have received thus-far unless they win the match (explained in more detail in the witnessing section). Upon losing the match all money collected will go to the witnessing Enforcer, no questions asked. Because of this it is more common for Enforcers to patrol town looking for witness-able Criminals to pick up for easy money, sometimes camping the Money Laundering drop-off point. This has become a major point of contention amongst players and may be changed in the future.
Before the patch was added to the game Criminals could ram raid without penalty, unless they were caught unloading/loading their vehicle with stolen goods. Because of this non-existent limit Criminals could raid for hours and rack up cash in the 5-figure mark in a few hours, well above what a Enforcer could ever make doing missions in the same time frame. Due to the patch Criminals now have to watch their backs, or travel in groups, while laundering money in excess of $1500. A seemingly simple way around being witnessed is going to low population instances with very few Enforcers. The Enforcers there, however, may be there simply because there will be more ram raiding there than a high-population instance, netting more money for them than missions if they catch someone.
Once the vehicle is loaded up the player must then take the car to their nearest contact and unload it once again, this time simply walking the items to a contact. Small items on the player will automatically be deposited to the contact once they walk up to them, all subsequent items must be walked to the contact, from the vehicle, one by one; during this time the player can be witnessed again if they have a stolen item in their hands. As the player delivers the items the money from turning them in will show up in the top left of the screen, still unavailable to the player until the money is laundered. This is when the risk is the highest.