What You Need to Know Before Playing Red Dead Online

Though it's been more than a month since Red Dead Redemption 2, its online portion titled Red Dead Online is only now starting to roll out for players in beta form. Like the single-player portion of the game however, Red Dead Online has a lot of unique features and tiny details that some players may not pick up on right away.

In a lot of ways, Red Dead Online takes a lot of what made Grand Theft Auto 5's online mode, which was simply called Grand Theft Auto Online, work and implemented it into the Old West world of Red Dead Redemption 2. Still, there's a lot of brand new features that developer Rockstar has taken great care in adding in Red Dead Online, including an expanded reliance on natural free roam events that occur on the map. Additionally, there's a posse system that heavily encourages teaming up with friends or other players and tackling the world of Red Dead Online with a group (though solo play is certainly possible).

Related: Everything We Know About Red Dead Redemption 2 Online

Screen Rant's Red Dead Online beginner's guide will provide players with all pertinent information available about Red Dead Online's features before they even have to step foot into the game's mode. This will hopefully provide a clear sense of what to expect from multiplayer and give players an advantage heading into the often unforgiving world of the Old West setting of Red Dead Redemption 2.

Features Available in Red Dead Online

Red Dead Redemption 2 Missouri Fox Trotter

Red Dead Online has a ton of features available for players, but one of the biggest ones available include a comprehensive free roam world, where players can team up to not only complete missions, but thwart the missions of other players. This is part of Rockstar's expanded focus on a shared world where events can happen naturally as opposed to GTA Online's more matchmaking-oriented world (matchmaking does still exist in Red Dead Online, however). These notifications will pop up when available and you can even transport your character to other portions of the map if needed.

Also included is the Series mode, which pits players against each other in various competitive challenges. Here's a list of the different Series, and what they entail:

  • Shootout/Team Shootout: Bascially a team deathmatch type mode. Whoever has the most kills when time runs out wins.
  • Make It Count: This is Red Dead Online's version of a battle royale, pitting players against each other using only bows and arrows or throwing knives.
  • Most Wanted: A mode where every kill moves players up the scoreboard list. Players who are closer to the top will be worth more points to others who may happen to kill them.
  • Hostile Territory: Basically a hardpoint-like mode where the objective is to capture different areas with teams and hold them. Whichever team has the most points at the end wins.
  • Name your Weapon: A free-for-all or team-based mode where the more unique weapon used to kill other players, the more points scored.

What To Do First in Red Dead Online

Obviously one of the first things you'll have to do in Red Dead Online is create your own unique character for use. This will be done before players are even thrown into the mix of things. After that, there will be a couple short introduction missions that will help explain the mechanics of the game mode. This will be especially useful for those who haven't put too much time into the single player mode of Red Dead Redemption 2, so be sure to pay close attention. After that, it's probably a good idea to familiarize yourself with your own unique camp and then find a group of players to ally with in Red Dead Online's posse mode.

How To Form Posses in Red Dead Online

If players are going at it alone, certain missions in Red Dead Online will pair them up with three other players for the duration of a mission. These are temporary and automatically disband after a mission or activity is completed. However, the most efficient team up available in the game is the persistent posse system, which allows players to permanently team up with up to seven other players.

These posses require an in-game payment to establish and will see players creating a name and emblem for their group. Whenever the leader of the group logs in, the posse will instantly form, making it an extremely efficient grouping system. Additionally, the posse can choose similar outfits and a camp site for their home base and the leader can even toggle friendly fire.

Red Dead Online's Progression System

Red Dead Redemption 2 Weapons

Similar to GTA OnlineRed Dead Online has a rank-based leveling system. These ranks can be achieved by completing activities or missions within the world. Additionally, there are now ability cards that give players different advantages when Dead Eye is activated or even passive cards for when traversing the Old West.

These cards really give a sense of building your own type of character and play style and they can even be upgraded using both in-game cash and gold. Speaking of the gold system in Red Dead Online, it's quite a bit different from the single player version of the currency.

Currency System in Red Dead Online

Like the single player portion of Red Dead Redemption 2, players will need to build up in-game cash to buy items and new guns (they'll also need to achieve certain ranks to unlock these items). However, there's also gold nuggets that can be earned by completing activities and missions in Red Dead Online. Once players have built up 100 gold nuggets, they can exchange them in for one big gold bar. You'll need both gold nuggets and gold bars to unlock certain items in the game. There's also speculation that eventually players will be able to buy gold with real currency, confirming the addition of microtransactions.


While there are plenty of other things to do in Red Dead Online, these beginning tips and tidbits of information should offer players plenty of knowledge before making the plunge into Rockstar's latest online mode. Naturally, just like GTA Online, this Old West world will continue to receive updates and expansions as time goes on, especially once the mode moves beyond its current beta state.

More: Is This A Tease For Red Dead Redemption 2's New Undead Nightmare?

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