One thing that you will quickly learn in Red Dead Online, is that money is an extremely valuable resource, as weapons, clothing, and horses are extremely pricey. Without a decent stack of money in Red Dead Online, there isn’t really too much that you can actually purchase.
While there are a ton of fun ways to make money in Red Dead Online, like completing Stranger missions and competing in races or Showdown matches, the rewards for those activities don’t necessarily dole out a ton of bang for your buck.
Whether you’re running low on cash, just starting out and need a bunch of cash quickly, or have finished the story and are trying to fatten your wallet, here are some of the best and fastest ways we’ve found to make money in Red Dead Online.
How to Make Money Early
The best way to make a bunch of money early on in Red Dead Online will sadly throw your Story experience a bit out of whack. You’ll still be able to play through it in your own time, but first you’ll need to play a few random missions.
The late-story mission Kill Them, Each and Every One offers a first-time reward of $250. You’ll want to join a queue of story missions by pressing left on the D-pad and selecting Quick Join, then select Story Mission On-Call.
This will randomly queue you into other players story missions – you’ll earn between $20 and $50 for most missions, but you’ll want to keep at it until “Kill Them” comes up. This sets you up well to save some extra cash and unlock the Bolt-Action Rifle once you reach level 7.
Most Efficient Money Loop
You’ll need the Bolt-Action Rifle unlocked at Rank 7, because the most effective method of making money in Red Dead Online(at present) is to hunt for Bison and other rare-ish pelts to sell to the butcher (but really just Bison).
A perfect bison pelt is worth $5.00, and there’s usually a large herd of bison with at least one or two three-star specimens a short ride from the butcher in Blackwater. You can usually average one perfect bison pelt hunted roughly every five minutes once you get a good rhythm going.
If you really want to rake in the cash, do yourself a favor: rope and break a wild horse or “borrow” one from someone else. The mild hit that horse thievery gives your honor is well worth the ability to carry a second bison pelt back to Blackwater, doubling your profits for just a bit of extra time on the hunt.
Easiest Money in Red Dead Online
Far and away the easiest way to make money in Red Dead Online is to find yourself a Treasure Map.
To do this, you’ll need to stumble upon a Gang Hideout in Free Roam. These are randomly spawned at a series of locations around the world, such as Quaker’s Cove in West Elizabeth or between Armadillo and Mercer Station in New Austin.
Kill (or spare) the bandit leader in each hideout to receive a Treasure Map – while it’s been reported that “spare” offers more frequent map rewards, our experience so far has been about 50/50.
You can “use” in your Satchel to reveal the location of a hidden chest somewhere in the game world. Travel to this area and hunt down the chest to find a stash of cash, some helpful items and roughly half a bar of Gold.
This particular method is pretty straightforward, as completing missions with other players – whether it be with a random posse or with friends – can actually land you a rather surprising amount of money.
To get started with completing missions with other players, simply press the Left D-Pad to open the Free Roam menu. From here, select the Quick Join option, followed by Story Mission On-Call. Once you have been matched with four other players – any remaining slots will be filled with a random player should your posse not be full – to complete a random Red Dead Online mission.
Depending on who you are matched with, you may potentially be completing missions that are more towards the end of the game, which will in turn provide higher rewards.
Most standard missions will net you anywhere from $30 to $50, however, we have encountered missions that offer upwards of $100 to $250 for no more than 20 minutes work – and that’s being very lenient.
It’s important to note though, that dying and restarting missions can affect your rewards, so keep that in mind should you be one to take risks.
It’s also important to mention that you can only receive money once per mission. Should you encounter the same mission more than once, you will only receive XP as a reward.
Complete Horse Races
Yet another way to earn some quick money is to complete the Race Series events that can be found around the map – identified by the checkered black and white flag.
There are three different types of horse races that you can complete:
- Lap Races: Race a number of laps around a set course.
- Point-to-Point: Race from one location to another.
- Open Races: Race through a number of signal fires around a set location.
This method can currently earn upwards of $50 per hour. While it is not great, it is definitely a method to consider if you are short on cash.
As you learn during the online introduction, you can find Treasure Maps in Red Dead Online by invading Bandit Camps. Unlike the Jack Hall Gang Treasure Maps in Red Dead Redemption 2’s single player, these treasure maps are much easier to complete.
In order to complete a treasure map, simply head towards to marked location on the map and search for a hidden lock box in the area.
In most cases, you will receive anywhere from $50 and $100, along with pieces of gold and several other sellable pieces such as jewelry.
At current, there are three different ways that treasure maps can be found in Red Dead Online. As we already know, you will receive a treasure map during the opening introduction to Red Dead Online, followed by a free one in the post when you reach Rank 10, as well as raiding bandit camps.
When raiding a camp, it is important that you always try to keep the leader alive, as they will often provide you with a free treasure map. There is also the possibility of looting a treasure map from fallen bandits in the area.
Sell Pelts For Quick Cash
Much like Red Dead Redemption 2’s single player, you can also sell pelts in Red Dead Online. If your heading close to a town, make it a point to always kill an animal on your way, as their pelts, depending on the quality, can earn some quick cash by selling them to a Butcher.
While this definitely isn’t a method that will make you rich, it will instead be a great way to earn extra cash on your travels.
It’s important to note though, that any pelts you may have stowed away will be lost when fast traveling or leaving a session.
It’s also important to remember to always use your Bow when killing animals, as it will in most cases provide the best possible quality, earning you even more money.
Earn Money By Playing The Race Series & Showdown Series Playlists
If your looking to earn some extra cash, taking part Red Dead Online’s different game modes is a great way to earn a few extra dollars.
There are currently three different playlists available that all feature several unique game types: The Showdown Series (upwards of 16 players), Showdown Series Large (upwards of 32 players), and Race Series.
Each round takes approximately 10 minutes to complete and depending on if you win, you earn anywhere between $4 and $10 every round.
As slow and painful as looting every kill may seem, you would actually be surprised at just how quickly those additional few dollars add up. Combine this with the additional loot that you often receive such as small trinkets, looting is one of the best ways to earn quick cash.
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