If you want to earn money and gold fast in Red Dead Online, here are the best tips to get that $$$.
Red Dead Redemption 2 was truly an epic game – you could get lost in Rockstar’s masterfully crafted world for dozens of hours. It took a while, but they eventually released the online component, and recently released Red Dead Online as a standalone game. But, as in any online game, the question we all want answered is: What's the fastest way to get gold in Red Dead Online?
Now, many players were put off by the early reports of the game’s flawed economy, but it's undergone a lot of work since its initial release and the economy is far more balanced now. Still, it never hurts to know some handy tips and tricks for earning money and gold. What you spend it on is your choice – we just wish we could buy a proper house.
Updated by Issy van der Velde on July 30, 2021: Red Dead Online has received many updates since this article was first published. We've also had a lot more time with the online expansion to Red Dead Redemption 2, so we know how to get gold and cash fast, very fast. We've updated this article to contain all the best new ways to make money and gold in Red Dead Online in 2021.
At least initially. The story missions have two strands, one for high honour and one for low. You have to complete both to finish the story.
The first three missions offer moral choices, choose the dishonourable ones. They award more money and also lower your honour without forcing you to build up a hefty bounty. It’s easy to raise your honour for free later, so definitely start with the dishonourable thread. Just try not to become too evil. Or if you do, just don't get caught.
A reward of 0.1 gold may not seem like a lot, but keep completing daily challenges and you’ll build up a streak multiplier that will see that amount increase to 0.25 gold bars per challenge. That adds up quickly.
Also, doing these challenges earns you experience which grants club rewards such as discounts, items, and treasure maps, which lead to more money and gold. The daily challenges also encourage you to go to new areas and try new things, all great reasons to do them.
The competitive games award money in Red Dead Online depending on how well you perform, but the gold stays the same no matter how you place. The Takeover series gives 0.32 gold per match, and these only take five to ten minutes, so you’re really raking it in. These also award a good amount of XP, essential for leveling and unlocking more cash boosting benefits and rewards.
They’re also just quite fun and actually take your mind off the grind while also letting you grind, though some can be a bit confusing. There are often bonuses on certain game types, so keep your eyes peeled for those if you want to get gold fast in Red Dead Online.
Fortunately, one of the first missions sees you getting a decent starter horse. As good as this horse is, it’s among the worst available to you, so don't get too attached. You’ll be spending huge amounts of time in this game on horseback, so you need one with some giddy-up.
Time is money, and a faster horse means you waste less time. A fast horse also means you won’t have to fast travel as much – those taxi fees add up after a while. Just make sure you know how to set your new horse for every event, as it's trickier than you think.
They didn’t call it a Gold Rush for nothing. “There be gold in them hills” indeed. Every five levels you’re awarded with a treasure map. It’s a good idea to open it up and search the area immediately.
Treasure chests are filled with substantial amounts of both gold and money. Each area has multiple chest spawns, so keep searching, or look online. You won’t be able to survive on treasure maps alone, as they aren’t given to you that often, but they’re a great way to earn money and gold fast in Red Dead Redemption 2, and Red Dead Online.
While some of the earlier story missions don’t give you that much money, some give you rewards of as much as $200. They also give you a lot of XP which helps with getting treasure maps and other benefits.
You can also offer yourself up to play story missions with other people as a way of grinding them for some fast cash and XP. All of the missions are actually quite fun, too, which makes this a lot less tedious than it first sounds.
The Trader role is one of the best for new players. It allows you to start upgrading your camp and is the game’s only way to ensure any passive income. Passive income in Red Dead Online means that you can go and do a bounty or a mission while Cripps turns the animals you gave him into product for you. The Trader Role also gives you access to the Moonshiner Role, also a great cash earner.
Sure, you still have to hunt for Cripps, but while you wait you’re free to do whatever you want. Wait until you've got a full wagon's worth of goods, and if you're in a posse, do a long delivery – this is the best combination for earning a lot of money fast in Red Dead Online.
Bounty Hunting is possibly the most lucrative Role in Red Dead Online. Each bounty is quick and earns you both money and gold, fast. There are also enemies to loot, which can help with the Collector Role, so you really boost your earnings over time with this.
The legendary bounties don’t provide any gold, but they do offer large sums of money and very fun and unique missions. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty – go and hunt some outlaws. If you'd rather be kind than ruthless, the Naturalist Role is also decent money-wise, just don't expect to love Harriet.
The only person who can start missions in Red Dead Online is the posse leader. Also, the entire posse will do a mission regardless of who has what role. Use this to your advantage and have your friends separate out the cost of roles. You can start bounties while another can start trades. This way, everyone can benefit off of just one cost.
You can also assign one person as posse leader so only they have to buy camp upgrades, just be sure to help them on missions as your way of contributing to the costs. Eventually, you'll want to make sure you have every Role so you can take advantage of double cash and XP, but it doesn't hurt to specialise like this to start off with to keep costs down.
Everything you pick up, loot, hunt, and scavenge can either be used or sold. Full animal carcasses are best for Cripps, skinned ones go to the butcher. Break down small fish for food but sell larger ones to the butcher. Sell rare items you loot to the Collector, and sell samples you collect from animals for the Naturalist Role.
Even weird parts of animals like feathers and wolf hearts can be sold to butchers – they didn’t waste anything in the old days. You can even sell wild horses you break to stables, sell herbs and don’t forget to sell stuff like jewelry and pocket watches to the fences every now and again. You are an outlaw after all.
Should you play Red Dead Online solo or in a posse? In a posse, for sure. Playing alone might be tranquil, but you're more likely to get bullied by other players.
If you're a crack-shot, then you may be fine, but it's easier to take people down when you've got some backup. Also, a posse means you have more people to help you hunt for the Trader Role, it can be boring doing it alone, and it's incredibly risky to go on long deliveries without some security.
The Collector Role is one we initially overlooked in Red Dead Online. It seemed like a simple, passive money-making scheme, but if you play this Role actively you'll make money faster than you'll be able to spend it.
Collectibles spawn and change every day or so, so use this website to chart a route that will get you every collectible available and sell entire collections to make huge amounts of money, fast. Is it cheating? A bit. But, you're an outlaw, aren't you?
As a live-service game, Red Dead Online offers weekly bonuses and discounts. Keep an eye on these, as they'll often be quite lucrative.
Double money, gold, and XP from certain Roles or activities, as well as huge discounts on certain Roles and Role-specific items, or horses, and more. Take advantage of these discounts to ensure you can hoard as much of your hard-earned gold and money as possible.
Missions in Red Dead Online don't end when the story does. There are loads of NPCs who are willing to pay you for your services, from people at train stations, to shady men out in the desert who are willing to pay you to kill people.
The Blood Money Update has added another NPC, Guido Martelli, who works for Angelo Bronte, a character in Red Dead Redemption 2's single-player campaign. He has some lucrative work for you, which you can find out about in our guide.
Next: Everything You Need To Know About Red Dead Online In 2021
Issy is an avid film lover, writer, and game-player based in the UK. He combines his love of film and games in his writing, trying to find as many connections between the two mediums as possible. When he’s not writing, playing, or watching, Issy loves to DJ and look after his growing collection of houseplants, as they make him feel more adult.