Rustlin’ up some cash in Red Dead Online is a lot less difficult than you may expect. The Wild West was all about making a name for yourself and earning an honest living (for some folks, that is) and even an outlaw like you can earn some spending money without resorting to shady tactics like robbery. And you’ll need money, if you want to accomplish anything.
The items you can purchase in Red Dead Online are decidedly more expensive than what you can buy in the regular game, which may come as a bit of a shock. This means you’ll have to beef up your cash stores considerably if you want to make any real progress. Whether you want a better horse or some different clothing to wear around town, you’re going to need some extra funds to back it all.
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How Currency Works in Red Dead Online
There are two types of currency in Red Dead Online: regular cash and gold bars. Currently, Red Dead Online is still in its beta period, so both currencies could see changes in the near future. But it’s still important to know what you’re capable of purchasing with both types of money, as their fundamental uses won’t change when the “complete” version debuts.
You can grab weapons, ammo, upgrades, and cosmetic items, as well as a host of other goodies with regular dollars. Think of it as your everyday cash store instead of “play money.” You earn regular money simply by playing the game, and earn gold by playing the game or via microtransactions (when you can purchase them). It’s easy to think of gold like “gems” in freemium games, if that helps you.
You don’t earn money nearly as often or as often in Red Dead Online when compared to the main game—and much less of it when you do. It’s proportionate to the more expensive item, as well. You’ll notice they empty your pocketbook a lot quicker than they would during Arthur Morgan’s quest. So you can’t earn money “fast,” per se, but we’ve got ways for you to grind it out a little quicker than you might otherwise without knowing the ropes.
Complete Story Missions
This may seem like a no-brainer, but complete all the story missions that are available to you. It’s one of the simplest ways to progress and you’ll earn a handsome fee for completing them. Unfortunately, repeating the same mission won’t yield the same cash rewards. You can redo them for XP, however.
You don’t need to spend a lot of time going through the story missions, either, and they’ll leave you with plenty of bodies to loot. After completing the first six story missions, for example, you can earn around $450 and 0.7 gold bars (fractions of bars are measured in “nuggets”). Your character will have grown to around level 8, and you can continue progressing up to level 10, which nets you a treasure map and a way to make a quick $100.
If you don’t care about the story very much, you can even play missions out of order with the Quick Join feature. Just tap left on the D-pad, choose Quick Join, and then Story Mission On Call. If it’s a mission you haven’t already done before, you can matchmake with strangers and deal with it quickly for extra cash.
Collect and Follow Treasure Maps
Treasure maps are an easy way to seek out caches of goodies. You get the first one in-game when you try out multiplayer, by ranking up to level 10, and at random from corpses—especially on bandits in camps or the ones you seek out in the wilderness.
Following them will lead you to the general locations of treasure chests with hefty sums inside. While the strongboxes aren’t too hard to spot, your controller will also vibrate when you’re especially close. And it’ll always be worth your while to stop and grab one.
Hunt for Game and Fish
Hunting is going to be one of your favorite activities in Red Dead Online. It’s one of the only activities you can do in the game’s online portion that nets you almost as much cash as in the regular game. Gather game and pelts and take them to butchers to sell off some fancy trophy animals. You’ll be rolling in dough (or as close as you can currently get) in no time.
Likewise, once you reach level 14, players unlock a fishing rod. Fishing in Red Dead Redemption 2 is exceptionally easy and, if you use a Lake Lure instead of bait, doesn’t require any travel time. You can just set up shop at a body of water and nab fish all day.
Don’t Forget to Loot
Any time you find a dead person in Red Dead Online, make sure you pilfer anything you possibly can from them. You’ll find some good stuff left behind from time to time, and those little finds tend to stack up.
Yes, it’s a bit tedious, and you’re probably used to skipping it after a certain point in the single-player campaign. But it’s well worth earning items for free that you may have otherwise had to pay for, and there’s almost always cash in it for you.
The Infinite Money “Glitch”
While some people refer to this as a glitch, it actually seems to be the game working as intended. Although it could be subject to change (Red Dead Online is still in beta, after all). Not to mention the method is pretty cheesy and tedious.
Basically, you want to start Red Dead Online all over again. After you complete the initial run of story missions (or just after you collect the level 10 treasure chest, if you’re thorough), delete your character and restart the game. Red Dead Online tracks your cash between characters. So you’ll keep the $400 or so you get early in the game—plus, perhaps more importantly, your 0.7 gold bars.
Another nice thing about this method is that you control the pace. You can skip cutscenes without putting it to a vote (such as when you play story missions with strangers). Not to mention, you can always just decide you have enough, and just start playing the game normally.