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We Answer Your Red Dead Online Beta Questions

This guide is still in development…

Red Dead Redemption 2‘s online component is out in beta form. We managed to play it for a few hours. We figured you might have some questions about it, so we’ll do our best to answer them and even offer a bit of insight on how to tame the online Wild West, one posse at a time.

Can I Play It Now?

Sure, if you own the Ultimate Edition of Red Dead Redemption 2 and if you played the game between 26 October to 29 October. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait until 30 November, which is tomorrow.

What Can You Do In The Beta?

You can create a new character and start off from the Sisika Penitentiary. The story in Red Dead Online is separate from the main game, so you can jump in without spoilers.

Once you’re out and finish the intro, you set up your own camp, and then get to explore New Hanover, Lemoyne, and even the first Red Dead Redemption’s New Austin. On the main server, there will be up to 32 players (yourself including) roaming around, hunting animals, raid gang hideouts, and all that extra stuff you do. That also includes the chance to harass them.

Your main story missions and bounties are dished out by a rich woman named Jessica LeClerk. You’ll even take on a sidequest or two from familiar faces in the Red Dead games like Bonnie from part 1 and Sean from part 2.

Free roam events, player-versus-player challenges, will appear throughout the world, which you can tackle solo or as a group. You’ll get notifications that certain competitive challenges are beginning, and you may warp to another area of the map if you decide you want to take part in these quick gameplay modes. And yes, there’s a battle royale mode where everyone’s armed with bows and arrows, and the map shrinks as time goes by; it’s called Make It Count mode.

If you’re feeling competitive, there’s a Showdown Series playlist which features three events in a row you and 15 other players participate in. These include the aforementioned Make It Count mode, horse-racing, and various forms of deathmatches.

How Does The Game’s Posse System Work?

You can temporarily team up with up to four players, but you’ll be disbanded once the session is over. If you want a permanent posse, you have to fork over US$200 to set it all up.

Do You Need To Go To Stores To Buy Provisions, Bullets, etc?

Nope, you can use the handheld catalogue to shop for your goods. Your orders will be sent straight to your camp. Of course, there’s a delivery fee for this. Much like Amazon.

How’s The Ability System Like?

Abilities will now be added with ability cards. These cards add active abilities you can engage while in Dead Eye mode, or passive abilities that change how you do certain things throughout the game.

You can unlock new cards by buying them with cash or gaining rank by finishing activities around the game’s world. You can also upgrade these cards with gold or by earning more XP.

You can have one active card and up to three passive cards in your loadout at any given time, so you’ll want to spend some time thinking about what kind of character you want to build as you unlock and equip cards.

How Does Dead Eye Work In Red Dead Online?

For one, it doesn’t slow down time. It’s basically a temporary power up you can activate to boost your shooting skills. For example, the Paint It Black ability card lets you paint targets while in Dead Eye, while the A Moment To Recuperate card regenerates your health bit by bit when in Dead Eye.

Can I Fight Other Players?

Yes, you can. Just find a “Showdown Series” signpost and join one of the five competitive modes in the game like classic gunfights, or “bow & arrow only” fights with limited lives.

Are There Microtransactions?

Apart from in-game cash you use to buy cards, Red Dead Online introduces gold. Gold can be spent on a number of luxury & cosmetic items. You can farm for gold nuggets while you play; 100 gold nuggets make one gold bar. If you finish your challenges and maxed out your awards, you can reset your progress for more gold nuggets.

If you want to skip the gold nugget-converting process, you can pay real money to buy gold bars, though the exact cost for this is unknown at this point in time. We’ll update this section once the beta opens up to the public.

How Is It So Far?

Pretty fun, but it’s not as developed and fully-fleshed out like Grand Theft Auto Online. Which is understandable given that Red Dead Online is fresh out of the box. The foundation for a long-term multiplayer spaghetti western action game is clearly fast, frenetic, and at the same time also detailed. We’re excited to see how this game develops in 2019 since it’ll be Take Two and Rockstar’s cash cow for the next few years.

Any Protips?

Just a couple.

  • Play with a posse. Don’t be a lone wolf; you’ll die faster and get robbed more.
  • Want to get rich and get lots of experience points? Then do Story Missions and make yourself available for public matchmaking. It’s a grind, but it’s the most consistent method so far.
  • Decide if you want to be a bad guy or a good guy. The Honor system in Red Dead Online decides what kind of missions you’ll be doing. If your Honor level is low, you’ll get crook missions like breaking prisoners out of jail. If it’s high, you’ll get more white hat missions.


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