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When Does Red Dead Redemption 2 Online Actually Release?

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Red Dead Redemption 2 took eight years to develop with thousands of employees and it's only the beginning. In the coming weeks, players of the biggest entertainment launch ever will be able to play with (and against) each other in Red Dead Online multiplayer!

Similar to Red Dead Redemption 1 or more appropriately, Grand Theft Auto VRed Dead Redemption 2 will have a comprehensive online multiplayer mode that's expected to last for years and years to bring Rockstar Games more revenue than the base game itself. GTA Online has remained one of the most popular multiplayer games for years and helps keep GTA V in the top sales charts ever since it first debuted on last-gen platforms in 2013. Expect similar from Read Dead Online.

So, when does Red Dead Redemption 2's online mode come out and what do we know about it?

When Does The Red Dead Online Beta Launch?

Red Dead Redemption 2 released October 26, 2018 and its Red Dead Online mode will launch within a month (sometime November 2018), first as a public beta available to all PS4 and Xbox One players who have the game.

Red Dead Online is planned for launch in November 2018, initially as a public beta, with more news to come soon. As with most online experiences of this size and scale, there will inevitably be some turbulence at launch.  We look forward to working with our amazing and dedicated community to share ideas, help us fix teething problems and work with us to develop Red Dead Online into something really fun and innovative.

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Access to Red Dead Online is free to anyone with a copy of Red Dead Redemption 2 on either PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. As the exact date is announced we'll update here.

Why is Red Dead Online Releasing After The Single-Player Campaign?

Red Dead Redemption 2's online offerings releasing weeks later is the same release strategy employed by Rockstar with Grand Theft Auto V. It gives players an opportunity to experience the massive story and world, and familiarize themselves with the weapons and mechanics first. It also gives the devs and community time to adjust to testing the multiplayer modes which are expected to have growing pains at first, especially given the mass player counts of RDR2. Imran Sarwar, Director of Design at Rockstar North:

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"Also, as we have learned from experience when launching Online games at this scale, there are bound to be a few issues and we want to ensure that we have time to gradually roll out the game and make the experience as smooth as we possibly can for everyone. We believe this way of rolling out will give people the best overall experiences with both single player and multiplayer."

For this reason, it's unclear how long the "beta" will last, especially since the game will continue to evolve and grow over time regardless, similar to how Grand Theft Auto Online still does.

What Does Red Dead Online Let Players Do?

Red Dead Online is based on the open-world environment and gameplay of Red Dead Redemption 2 and takes place in the same map, with narrative threads woven through. It'll feature a variety of camps, gear, upgrades, quests, multiplayer modes, horses, etc.

  • Vehicles: Horse Cart, Small Coach, Chuck Wagon, Chuck Wagon with a Gatling gun attached, Supply Wagon, Utility Wagon, War Wagon
  • Potential Adversary Mission Types: Mission, Deathmatch, Race, Battle Royale
  • New Horse Types: Hungarian Half Bred, Missouri Fox Trotter, Dutch Warmblood, Turkoman
  • Red Dead Online Player Cap: 32 Players (don't be surprised to see that grow in the inevitable PC version of Red Dead Redemption 2 to account for the sheer size of the game map)

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Related: What We Know About Red Dead Redemption 2 Online From Leaks

Players will also be able to purchase property similar to GTA Online, according to RockstarIntel and the multiplayer mode will feature "seamless PvE."

How Will Red Dead Online Compare to GTA Online?

Red Dead Redemption 1's online mode featured the main campaign game world but more or less served as a lobby to get into traditional multiplayer modes, and it splintered the user base with content additions. Red Dead Online will avoid that, and will take from the learnings and best elements of GTA Online. Josh Needleman, Senior Producer at Rockstar San Diego:

"One of the biggest differences between GTA and Red Dead universes is that you’re often speeding through or flying over a GTA world, whereas in Red Dead Redemption the change of pace elevates the intimacy of the overall experience. Like the single player game’s story of Arthur Morgan, we want people to settle into their online characters and feel like every activity makes sense for the character, the setting and the time. This should feel intimate and personal while still feeling fun and action-packed from moment to moment.

We’ve tried to take the best elements and best content packs from Grand Theft Auto Online and use them for templates for what we are making here. We feel Grand Theft Auto Online really only found its feet creatively with Heists. That pack, along with After Hours, The Doomsday Heist, Gun Running and a few others represent the best of Grand Theft Auto Online, and provided the template for what we wanted to use here, (not in terms of content, obviously, but how they combined narrative, gameplay, modes and other content into a cohesive thematic whole) alongside all of the elements we liked from the old Red Dead Redemption multiplayer."

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Hopefully that means the Old West equivalent of GTA Online heists will be available from the get-go. And if you love GTA and its modern setting, do not fret! Rockstar continues to continue supporting Grand Theft Auto Online with new content and updates, and aims to stagger updates between it and Red Dead Online so players can experience both long-term.

More: Red Dead Redemption 2's BEST Weapons (& Locations)

Be sure to check out Screen Rant's Red Dead Redemption 2 review.

Sources: IGNRockstar Games, RockstarIntel

Key Release Dates
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 (2018 Video Game) release date: Oct 26, 2018
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