After the highly successful (and wonderfully immersive) release of Red Dead Redemption 2, Rockstar Games has also bestowed upon us the Red Dead Online Beta, where you can form a posse of good guys or outlaws with your friends. It is in many ways quite a bit like Fallout 76, but without the release drama and with NPCs. It also adds a really interesting new way to explore this wild western world without having to play as Arthur Morgan, bless him (or “URTHERRR” as Dutch would say).
To help players get the most out of the online beta, Rockstar has released a list of tips to get you started (and above, you can see our own list of tips from Collider Games). And for those who weren’t aware of the beta, it’s open to everyone who owns a copy of Red Dead Redemption 2. In the game, you can “form posses, battle enemy gangs, hunt, fish and search for treasure, challenge other settlers and much more.”
For those of you who are already playing, or who plan to soon, you can give Rockstar feedback here, as they’re “constantly working to improve and evolve the experience.” With that in mind, let’s dive in!
Before you spend at least 10 hours on character creation, keep this in mind: many initially missed the fact that you can really fine-tune your character’s facial features within the menu, and also hide facial hair as you make adjustments. But keep in mind that once you make your base decisions, those won’t change once you enter the game:
Use the character creator’s in-depth tools to detail your character’s appearance and facial features. To further adjust a number of facial features, tap X/A to enter the Customize section and use the sliders to fine-tune your character. You can also click R3/Right-Stick to quickly see your character’s face without facial hair, and tap L1/LB and R1/RB to quickly check your character’s profile. While you can always make changes to your character’s hair, facial hair, makeup and dentistry at the local Barber or clothing from your Wardrobe or shops, your permanent features like your nose, eyes, mouth and freckles will not change after you finish creating your character. If you’d like at any point to start anew with a different character, you can delete your current character and create a new one by going to the PLAYER section of the pause menu and holding down Square/X; please keep in mind that this will delete your existing character and progression.
One of the things that’s obviously different about the online beta is the multi-player aspect, so even for those who are familiar with the mechanics of RDR2, you’ll need to keep in mind that there is now a new social menu for you to control. (Something you’ll definitely want to adjust regarding chat and voice controls once you’re out in the world):
Tap d-pad left to bring up the Player Menu. From here you can find many practical tools and features: see other players in the session and your friends, form or join a Posse, manage your Camp and horses, quickly join matches or series, adjust your voice chat options – select Everyone to chat with everyone in your proximity, or isolate your chat to your Posse, Friends or Crew only – and much more.
Like Fallout 76, fast travel is possible — but at a cost. Also, returning to your base camp is not free like in Fallout, so plan accordingly!
Visit Fast Travel signposts to quickly travel to where your Posse or friends are located and various other locations around the map, or return to your camp for a flat fee.
A Land of Opportunities
Like in RDR2, there is an honor system, and if you want to really explore how that changes the stakes for your character, you can follow the online beta’s cooperate story missions. It’s also a good way to get introduced to this new world and its new characters (and enhances replayability):
Visit Horley in Blackwater to start A Land of Opportunities, a cooperative series of story-based missions that can push your honor high or low based on your decisions. You’ll get to know some new characters in Red Dead Online, fight alongside fellow outlaws and earn a pretty penny along the way. If you made all positive honor decisions throughout and want to see how the storyline changes and push your honor in the other direction, you can replay making all negative honor decisions (and vice versa), all while receiving further payout and experience.
One of the perks of leveling up in the Red Dead Online Beta is that you are gifted treasure maps that will give you a chance to (likely dramatically) increase your purse while also providing new side missions:
When you hit Rank 10 you’ll receive a Treasure Map, uncover the treasure for Gold and Cash. You’ll receive Treasure Maps for every 5 ranks after that. There’s also a chance you’ll uncover a Treasure Map when looting enemy bodies after clearing a Hideout or surviving an Ambush.
You have limited options to start, but one of the most fun aspects of playing an RPG is of course dressing up your character as well (or as horrifically) as you can. You can also peruse the catalog offline, which can be easier and faster to use if you normally play on a console. Rockstar also clarifies where your loot will go and and how it’s stored:
Hold down left on the d-pad to bring up the Catalogue and pick up provisions, tonics, weapons, ammo and more while on the go. Alternatively, when not in-game, purchases can be made via the web Catalogue on Social Club. Once purchased, you can recover most of your goods from your Camp’s lockbox or the Post Office, new weapons can be found on your horse and clothing will be added to your Wardrobe. Any horses or saddles will go to the Stable.
And lastly, you may not know that you can manage and change your Ability Cards based on any scenario:
Utilize different Ability Card categories (combat, recovery and defense) to help you survive the frontier. You can upgrade Ability Cards through 3 tiers of benefits and you can adjust them at any time to suit any scenario: use combat cards for attacking missions where you’ll rely on your weapons, or switch to defensive cards when escorting a wagon.