Red Dead Online has finally left beta with a huge patch that brings a number of new story missions, side activities, and showdown modes to Rockstar’s online western world.
So what’s new in Red Dead Online? Well for starters, players can continue Jessica LeClerk’s tale of revenge with new honorable and dishonorable missions. The honorable path will have players battle the Del Lobo gang and help Marshall Tom Davies save the town of Valentine, while more nefarious players will pull off a heist at the Saint Denis Bank. Both paths eventually lead players to a showdown in Blackwater with a “dangerous adversary.”
A handful of new free roam missions have also been added to the open world of Red Dead Online, and players will run into familiar faces from the story of Red Dead Redemption 2 like Thomas the Skiff Captain and the Aberdeen Pig Farmers in “a variety of new and diverse mission types.” As you travel from mission to mission, you’ll come across dynamic events in the open world, making the world feel more alive like the single-player portion of Red Dead Redemption 2.
For those of you into PvP, a new showdown mode called Overrun has been added to Red Dead Online, and posse versus challenges have been expanded to include activities other than shooting. Now you and your friends can compete against other posses to see who’s the best at fishing, shooting birds, or picking herbs. Lock-on aiming has also been tweaked to make headshots more challenging to pull off, which should do a great deal to make showdown series feel fairer.
Poker has been added to the game as well. You’ll be able to find tables scattered throughout the world, and you can create private games for you and your friends or play at public tables where “the buy-ins and rewards are even higher.”
An array of new clothing has been added to Red Dead Online, including the highly requested ponchos and bandanas. Also, the fan-favorite LeMat Revolver returns from the first game and can now be purchased at shops.
The hostility system has been reworked to reduce griefing. Now players won’t be penalized for defending themselves from players who have been deemed an “enemy” due to their aggressive behavior. Daily PvP challenges have been removed to discourage griefing in the open world as well.
Any player who logs into Red Dead Online this week will get a gift of 15 gold bars and a 25% XP boost. Treasure chests will contain 25% more money and gold, and those who own the Ultimate Edition of Red Dead Redemption 2 will get an extra $100 and a free emote on top of that.
Gold payouts have also been increased across the board, with activities that reward gold now paying out “up to double the previous amount.” Players will now receive one gold bar every time they level up too, which is a nice touch.
Rockstar also detailed some of the major changes coming in the future to Red Dead Online. Later this summer, players will be able to choose one of three roles, each complete with its own outfits, weapons, and other rewards. The Bounty Hunter role tasks players with tracking down wanted criminals, the Trader role allows players to build a business at their camp, and the Collector role sees players searching for treasure throughout the world. These aren’t exclusive, so you can progress multiple roles at the same time.
Rockstar says this is “just the beginning” for Red Dead Online, promising “brand-new experiences that establish a deeper, more immersive connection to the world and you character” in the future. New showdown modes and free roam events will be released weekly, and in-game cash and gold gifts will continue to be offered going forward. Hopefully in the coming years Red Dead Online will grow to be able to stand alongside the single player portion of the game.