RDO Best Ways To Level Up Fast [Top 10 Ways]

A band of Cowboys in the Wild West

Let's take you through our guide to levelling up fast in RDO.

Red Dead Online is a game that recognizes different playstyles and allows different players to progress in different ways. So, whether you like to go in with guns blazing or not, you can always find a way to rank up and get a hold of the game.

This is our list of how you can grind XP and rank up faster. As we’ve mentioned before, there are a lot of ways to earn XP, so, there’s no single method that will serve you best. You can try all of these, or you can just move at your own pace. This isn’t a ranked list. So, stay with us ‘till the end to figure out the best way that goes well with your playing style.

PS: Remember to be in a posse for better rewards

10. Stranger Missions

Stranger missions are the most common in RDO!

Like in the Red Dead Redemption 2 campaign, RDR2 Online offers a series of Stranger Missions that you can find throughout the world. These also award players with XP and can be a fun and unique diversion from the other activities in RDR2 Online.

They are marked as little orange circles with a man inside on the map. You can only play one mission for each Stranger a day, and sometimes a specific stranger will move from place to place across the world. Strangers offer killing/assassination missions, robberies, supply destructions, jailbreaks, deliveries, and several other varieties.

9. Benefits

These roles get the best bonuses!

Every now and then Rockstar will announce that there’s a bonus XP event going on, and you can complete certain activities to get some serious levels. Under ideal circumstances, you can line up daily challenges, awards challenges, and a triple XP bonus for some efficient levelling.

Granted the bonuses may be tied to some activity you’re not particularly interested in or good at, but if you’re patient, the developers will come around to something you can quickly grind for decent levels with half the effort.

8. Awards

Achieve distinct goals to get cool buckles!

One lucrative aspect of Red Dead Online that isn’t made obvious to players is the ‘Awards’ system. These function similarly to the single-player awards, but have multiple levels and result in little boosts of XP that build into a roughly 500 XP crescendo and a golden belt buckle that you can wear with pride.

There are some fairly easy ones available from the start, like selling items to the three different shop types, tasting herbs, increasing your horse bonding, and shooting a flying bird with an arrow. That’s around 2000 XP just there, and if you keep at it you’ll be ranking up in no time.

7. Better Shooting

Precision is the key!

A lot of XP can be earned outside of main missions, but you have to know how to make this as efficient as possible. Better kills earn you more XP points. Headshots net you double XP, so get used to pulling up the right stick just a tad whenever you’re in a shootout. There's also a massive +20 XP per kill for turning off auto-aim in the settings.

As well as headshots, if you pick up a bow and arrow from the handheld catalogue, this particular weapon will afford you extra XP just for using it. The same is the case for Split Point ammo. Make sure to switch to it when you can for consistent extra XP.

6. Replaying Story Missions

Just in case you run out of money!

If you’ve managed to wrangle a posse of friends together, make sure to communicate properly and figure out the kinks in each mission, much like you would with GTA Online’s heists. Fewer deaths, quicker pace, and clean kills net everybody more XP, so work together for the greater good!

The experimental online honour system factors into your XP too, so being a good egg is worth 100-300 more points during the arbitrary choice sections of the story missions.

5. Story Missions

Nothing pays better than this when you're new in town!

It’s worth knowing that finishing the story mode is the best way to level up easily when you’re starting out. Replaying these missions after completing them is also a very reliable means to grind XP. 

Story missions reward you with a decent amount of points each time, plus a number of inventory items like treasure maps and money that you can use to make other XP grinding methods easier.

XP rewards: If you start this at the beginning you can reach levels 10-15 based on how well you perform

4. PVP

PvP is the best competitive way to earn XP!

If you’re into shooting the crap out of the game, this method is for you. You can take part in any online event or PVP mode to grind XP but we would recommend the Showdown series as it tends to reward you with more XP and money.

XP Breakdown
In PVP, you can grind about 55-60 XP per kill if you reach level 31 and unlock special ammo types.

  • Free aim - 20xp
  • Headshot - 5xp
  • Distance - 5xp (use a sniper, perhaps)
  • Special ammo - 5xp
  • Deadeye - 5xp
  • Kill - 10xp
  • Mounted kill - 5xp
  • Enemy on their mount - 5xp

You can probably firm 8000-9000 XP per hour if you keep at it

3. Gang Hideouts

The most enjoyable PvE activity!

This method is also for the gunslingers out there. If you feel overwhelmed by real players, then you can take a break from PVP and practice shooting NPCs. Clearing the hideout can bring in some major points and has the benefit of being a fun activity to grind for a while.

XP Breakdown

  • Free aim - 20xp
  • Headshot - 5xp
  • Distance - 5xp (use a sniper, perhaps)
  • Special ammo - 5xp
  • Deadeye - 5xp
  • Kill - 10xp
  • Mounted kill - 5xp
  • Enemy on their mount - 5xp

You’ll earn about 10-15k XP per hour given that you find another gang hideout right after clearing one. By the way, remember to be in a posse for the best outcome.

2. Bounty Hunting

The most feared outlaws in the outlaws!

If you sign up for the Bounty Hunter Role in Rhodes, it opens up a whole new range of Bounty Hunting missions for you to take on. While all of these give you experience, those with a lot of other enemies tend to be incredibly good for racking it up, such as bandit leaders with a lot of minions for you to shoot.

The legendary bounty targets Doyle and Cortez are especially good, as they can be completed fairly quickly with a lot of targets along the way. You’ll earn huge amounts of XP along with Bounty Hunter XP, money, and gold. This method can’t even go wrong!

1. Be a Collector

Get rich along with Madam Nazar!

This is another method that requires you to take on a role. You can become a collector by meeting Madam Nazar and buying the Collector’s Bag for 15 gold bars. We recommend that you also buy the Pennington Field Shovel and the Metal Detector.

How to grind
To grind this role efficiently, you’ll need to know where the collectibles have spawned at the time that you’re playing. Here’s the link to the map - Red Dead Online - Collectors Map

Collect the items of your choice. You can see their prices in this link, too. More price means more XP. Try to sell complete sets to earn more rewards. You can grind about 11000 per hour through this method.

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