[Guide] Red Dead Online Tips and Tricks (25 Best Tips)

Best Tips and Tricks for Red Dead Online
We've got your back, partner

Long gone are the Beta days of Red Dead Online, when the world was empty with hardly anything to do but screw around with your friends, pay $100 for a can of beans, and get in epic shootouts with strangers… oh and the Griefers… they were bad then.

RDO has been fleshed out with Roles like Bounty Hunter & Moonshiner, different types of missions—Blood Money, Stranger Missions, & Call to Arms— a sea of clothing and other items, new features, and weekly discounts,,, etc. The list goes on. It can be overwhelming at times especially if you are brand new to the game or haven’t played for a while. Hell, there’s even a stew pot now! 

Luckily for you, we’ve compiled a list of the 25 Best Tips and Tricks in Red Dead Online. Particularly helpful for those just starting out, these tips will help you go from a broke cowpoke to a badass Western legend. And if you’re a RDO veteran and haven’t played for awhile, this list will help get you back on track in the RDO world.


1. Don’t Waste Your Money on Clothes… 

Save the fancy outfits for later

It may be tempting to deck out your cowpoke in some flashy outfit once you get a little money. DON’T DO IT! Especially don’t spend your gold bars on clothes. That’s later game purchases when you’ve ranked up and have several different Roles that bring in the dosh. 

The only outfits you need are a cold weather outfit and a warm weather one. Being exposed to the elements by not wearing the proper attire will drain your cores and make you one sad cowpoke.


2. First Horse

The bond between a cowpoke and their horse lasts forever

Don’t skip the intro or you’ll get stuck with the Scrawny Nag! That horse sucks! If you do play the intro mission, get the Kentucky Saddler or the Morgan. They have slightly better stats than the Tennessee Walker. 

At Rank 6, you unlock the Belgian Draft horse. A great horse to purchase and ride until you are around Rank 30 when you’ll have more money and a wider variety of horses to purchase then. 


3. First Weapons


Luckily, the best revolver in the game is unlocked at Rank 1… the Navy Revolver. Its $275 price tag is steep for a new player, but totally worth it. At Rank 7, you unlock the Bolt Action Rifle, another must have weapon in your arsenal.

The Navy and Bolt Action will help you defend yourself against griefers in the open world and will get you some kills in PvP matchmaking games. In PvE, the Navy blasts NPCs like it's nothing and the Bolt Action lands you 3-star pelts on medium and large game for hunting.


4. Learn to Dive

Look out! It's coming right at you!

Speaking of griefers and PvP… learn how to dive. It’ll save your life.

For consoles, while aiming (L2/LT) move left or right with your analog stick and press Square/X to dive to your left or right. Diving drains stamina, so you can only do it so many times. But a well-timed dive will save your life when another player is coming after you. Plus, it’s epic when you pull-off a perfectly timed dive and then squeeze off a headshot on another player.


5. Stranger Missions 

Yup, that's Sadie Adler

Stranger Missions are a great way to make some cash early in the game, or if you need a break from one of your Roles like Bounty Hunting or Moonshining. 

There are a variety of Stranger Missions from a variety of different characters across the States. Rockstar will sometimes give Double XP and Double Reward on these missions, which is excellent for players of low rank. 

*Pro Tip* Don’t rush through these missions, RDO offers higher rewards if you take longer to complete the missions. I like to call it “playing cinematically”, so take your time and play like you’re the star of your own Western film, partner. 


6. Ability Cards

The right Ability Card stack will give you an advantage in PvP and PvE

Ability Cards give you extra abilities and boosts to your deadeye, damage, how quickly you regenerate your cores, and defensive abilities. Each card costs cash to purchase and upgrade. Every card can be upgraded 3 times, each time costing more money.

It is important to purchase and stack these cards to complement your play style, especially for PvP. The right Ability Card stack will give you the necessary edge to overcome your rival cowpokes. If you’re a PvE player, assembling the right stack will make you an unstoppable, rootin’ tootin’ legend.


7. Daily Challenges

Real hunters use bows...

Completing Daily Challenges racks up gold bars. It takes time, you gotta establish a Streak of completing at least one Daily Challenge every day. If you play consistently though, completing Daily Challenges will get you swimming in those golden nuggies. 

Daily Challenges come in a variety of fun and simple tasks, sprinkle in one or two Daily Challenges while you go about your playing session to keep your Streak alive.


8. Choose Your First Role Wisely

Run liquor, become a bounty hunter, collect treasures, and hunt & trade goods

You’ve immersed yourself in the world of Red Dead Online… you’ve put in the time, grinding out Stranger Missions, hunting big game, slaying some PvP Matchmaking and now the time has come. You have enough gold for your first role…

Which Role do you choose? Not the Naturalist, don’t do that one first!

Bounty Hunter is a good route. You don’t net a ton of cash, but you can make some solid gold which you can stack up and unlock your second role. You’ll have access to Legendary Bounties which are badass and can be profitable.

If you’re looking to make some money though, Moonshiner or Trader would be the way to go. Moonshiner gives you a property and has the most variety of missions and events to do… plus you can make a ton of money once you’re a high-end moonshiner. Trader is another great Role, you will meet Cripps and have a camp. Hunting, driving wagons, and stacking money is what the Trader is all about.


9. Don’t Buy Gold Bars

Don't spend your real money!!

Don’t give your real money to Rockstar, you bought the game and that should be enough. Rockstar’s commitment to Red Dead Online has always been controversial. If they don’t want to keep updating and improving the game, then they don’t deserve more money. Plain and simple, partner.


10. Pay Attention to Awards

Fun way to focus your playtime 

Awards are a fun way to structure your play time and give you something to work towards. There are a ton of different awards—selling herbs to the doctor, visiting every saloon, driving a wagon 100 miles, etc.

Some awards you can reset once you achieve them, which grants you some experience and 40 gold nuggets. These awards you can reset up to 10 times, so you can spam some gold bars out of them. You can find Awards in the pause menu, under Progress, then Awards.


11. Don’t Forget About Your Camera!

Strike a pose, partner!

Don’t forget to stop and appreciate the moment, so bust out that camera and capture the moment forever. Particularly fun if you play with some friends in a posse, stage your photos for epic or silly moments. Reddit has a community full of excellent player photos—r/reddeadphotography.


12. The Importance of a Good Camp

There's no place like home

Don’t sleep on the importance of your camp! Your camp is a place to regroup and organize yourself before your next great expedition. You can cook up some food, craft tonics and ammo, restore your core, and listen to Cripps repeat the same dialogue over and over.


13. White Flag at Camp

Sit by the fire and take a load off, partner

Everyone needs a safe space! Raise the white flag at your camp and give yourself a place of peace. When the white flag is raised, other players cannot harm you. To raise the white flag, walk up to the flag post and hold LT/L2 (if on console) to raise or lower the flag.


14. Don’t Forget to Upgrade Your Camp

You can adopt a camp dog!

As you Rank up higher in the Trader role, don’t forget to upgrade your camp. A better camp regenerates your cores much faster. Plus, it is aesthetically pleasing to have a nice camp.

Items like the weapon locker—to store your unused guns— the stew pot, and adopting a camp dog are awesome upgrades for your camp.


15. Look Ahead with Rank Unlocks

Look ahead and see what sweet new gear you're about to unlock

Look ahead and see what items you’ll soon be unlocking. This helps you budget so you aren’t wasting that hard earned money on pointless items… which happens, no worries. You can find this in the pause menu, under Progress, then Rank Unlocks.


16. Craft Your Own Goods

Don't waste the money when you can make it yourself

Pamphlets are found in free roam (mainly in treasure chests) and can be purchased from the Fence. Pamphlets teach you how to create certain tonics and ammunition. 

Making your own equipment adds to gameplay immersion, and you can learn how to make dynamite arrows and incendiary slugs. Save those for the Griefers who wanna FAFO.


17. Stay Updated on Bonuses and Discounts

You and the homies reaping in the benefits of the bonuses and discounts

Be aware of what benefits and bonuses are available! You can save a lot of money on new gear, and earn double XP and cash on select PvP games and challenges in free roam.

To check, go into the pause menu and click on Benefits.


18. Treasure Maps

It's easy money

Rockstar gives out treasure maps for special promotions and as you Rank Up. These maps are usually easy to find and will give ya a nice boost to your bank roll.

To find your treasure maps, go to your inventory and go to the Document section.


19. Check Your Telegrams

Check your telegrams or he's going to throw Bolas at you!

Telegrams under the Free Roam menu (clicking left on the D-pad) grant you access to fun missions like Skelding’s Contract, Call to Arms, A New Source of Employment, A Tough Business, and Rough Justice.

These are a variety of different jobs that can land you some solid money. They are re-playable and get harder each time you play. Some are solo missions and others require a posse. These events have a cooldown time so you can’t spam play.


20. Cover and Run!

Take cover!!

When you’re playing PvP, make sure to keep moving! A sitting target is an easy target. Running around is good for Shootout series games.

And take cover! Utilize cover that puts you in strong positioning, so you don’t get outflanked. Utilizing cover is wise for Takeover series games.


21. Invest in the Quick Travel Post

Give your horse a rest, for Pete's sake!!

Red Dead Online has one of the most beautiful maps of all time… however, after playing the game for hours and hours, it can get tedious traveling back-and-forth across the map. Save yourself some time and invest in the Fast Travel Post at your camp.


22. Eagle Eye when Fishing

It's definitely cheating, but...

This tip sorta ruins the fun of fishing… oh well! Armed with your fishing pole, activate your Eagle Eye ability (clicking down on the analog sticks) when you’re next to a body of water. With Eagle Eye you can see where all the fish are and even identify what type of fish it is.


23. Hold ‘Circle’ or ‘B’

Don't let a grizzly catch you in the pause menu!

This one took me a while to realize. Whenever you’re looking at your map, the catalogue, or in the pause menu you can hold the ‘Circle’ or ‘B’ button to quickly return to free roam.


24. Defensive Mode

Explore without worrying about other players harassing you

Turn on Defensive mode if you don’t feel like dealing with Griefers and random shootouts. This is especially helpful for new players that don’t want to get harassed by higher Ranking players. 

To turn it on, go to the Online Options menu (left on the d-pad). Go down to Online Options and change Playing Style to Defensive.


25. The Final Tip…

Don't be mean... or else!

Final Tip… don’t be a douche! Red Dead Online is an amazing game with a ton of different things to do and different ways to play it. There are some players that like to play solo and be left alone. Don’t harass them! It ruins their gameplay experience. RDO is a better place when we all get along!

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Donald can root and toot with the best of cowpokes, lookin' at you Arthur Morgan. He's liable to be wandering about, looking at trees and seeing how cool the water graphics look.
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