It’s been over a month since Rockstar’s incredible Red Dead Redemption 2 came out, and after basking in its vast, beautiful single player journey for dozens of hours, many of us are ready for more. Thankfully, Red Dead Online is here, and even though it’s in a beta stage right now, there’s a lot to be excited about. There is, however, also much that it doesn’t tell you, much that would probably be very useful to all players in many respects. Here, we’ll be taking a look at ten pointers that you should keep in mind that will probably help you out a lot while you’re playing Red Dead Online.
DEEP DOING STORY MISSIONS
Given that Red Dead Online is, well, online, it’s natural to expect that a large number of players probably won’t be going in to do story missions- you might want to engage in its PvP modes, or just mess about in the open world aimlessly. However, Red Dead Online currently features a very tight economy, and continuing to do story missions is a steady supply of money, not to mention XP. The amounts story missions give out aren’t huge, but keep plugging away at them and you’ll at least always have a decent amount of money to fall back on. Plus, the missions are fun and not too long, so what’s the harm?
DO STORY MATCHMAKING
If you do want to do story missions to gain large amounts of money quickly, there is still a way to do that. You can queue in matchmaking lobbies, and can tackle story missions out of order in Red Dead Online, and tackling later missions can net you large amounts of cash. If you don’t care about the story of Red Dead Online too much and are looking for a way to make some extra bucks quickly, this is the way to go.
DON’T IGNORE TREASURE HUNTS
Given just how much there is to do in Red Dead Online, and the fact that the vast majority of your time may very well be spent with its PvP modes, it’s easy to ignore things like treasure hunts- but we would recommend that you don’t. Maps for treasure can be found through simply exploring, or by killing bandit leaders, among other things, and the treasure that those maps lead to can be quite valuable at times. It’s not guaranteed to be a great find every single time, but more often than not, chances are you’ll chance upon some pretty sweet booty.
LOOT THE TRAIN
There is a single train that does the rounds of the map in Red Dead Online, and just like the several trains in the single player campaign of Red Dead Redemption 2, robbing that train can be very profitable indeed. The train is usually hiding away decent amounts of cash and valuables, not to mention tonics that are necessary for survival in Online – given how strict its economy is, constantly buying tonics isn’t really an option, so finding them in decent amounts on the train is quite handy. Keep coming back to the train any time you come across it – if you have the inclination to do so, of course.
Hunting is an important part of Red Dead Redemption 2, and though it’s not quite as vital in Online, choosing to focus on it and investing some time in its can be a pretty useful tool for multiple reasons. For one, getting that meat and cooking it means you always have some essential stuff for survival, which is money saved on things you’d otherwise have to buy. More importantly though, pelts can be sold for decent prices at Fences (and carcasses at Butchers), and though that by itself can’t really ever be a huge payday, it’s a nice way to support yourself on the side. Try to get those perfect pelts whenever you can.
RAISE THE WHITE FLAG
Your camp is your home base in Red Dead Online, just as it is in the campaign itself, but in a cool twist, Online allows players to invade each others’ camps for loot and XP. If, however, you’re not in the mood for that sort of PvP, you can raise your camp’s white flag to mark yourself as a pacifist and prevent that from happening. That doesn’t keep your camp safe at all times – only while you or one of your posse members are within its boundaries – but it’s a nice safety tool to fall back on nonetheless.
ALWAYS KEEP YOUR HONOR METER IN MIND
Honor plays quite an important part in Red Dead Online, perhaps even more so than it does in Red Dead Redemption 2’s campaign itself. That’s because the game gives you missions to tackle based on your Honor meter- which means that the missions vary depending on how Honorable you are (or aren’t). So if, for example, you want to do robberies and just be a heartless outlaw, you need to make sure your Honor aligns with that. As such, your Honor is something you should keep in the back of your mind, and base your actions in the open world and in missions accordingly.
KEEP SWITCHING YOUR ABILITY CARDS
Progression in Red Dead Online is tied to Ability Cards- levelling up essentially allows you to unlock these cards, which act as perks and buffs, that you can then apply to your character. However, you shouldn’t ideally think of any build for your character as a “permanent” build. There are many different Ability Cards that provide unique advantages, and depending on what activity you’re undertaking or what kind of mission you’re going to do, it’s best to swap out your cards to pick the ones that would be most useful in that particular situation.
KEEP AN EYE ON THE CHALLENGES
Another thing that can contribute to having a steady stream of money in Red Dead Online is to keep an eye on its vast number of challenges. Completing a challenge awards you with stuff that you can sell for decent amounts- and sure, dedicating yourself to completing challenges isn’t really worth it by itself, since the time you have to invest is far too much for the awards you get. But a lot of the challenges are the sort of thing that you can easily do even while you’re doing other activities, so keep this in your mind and try to work towards completing these within the bounds of regular play, and it’ll net you some nice rewards on the side.
CLEAR GANG HIDEOUTS WHENEVER POSSIBLE
Red Dead Online’s open world has plenty of gang hideouts, and if you see one of these, it’s usually a good idea to clear them. For starters, looting all the bandits and outlaws you kill means you get access to resources, ammunitions, and a little bit of money that isn’t admittedly a whole lot, but still nice to have. Bandit leaders or gang leaders also often have treasure maps on them, which we’ve already spoken about. Plus, clearing out gang hideouts and bandit camps is just fun, so… yeah, do them.