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How to Make Gold in "Red Dead Online"

I started writing about "RDO" when I noticed how little info was available online.

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No Mining Required

In Red Dead Online there are two currencies; Cash and Gold. Both can be earned by playing the game, but Gold is considered a premium currency since it can be bought with real-world money. Keep your wallets in your pockets though; in this guide I will be exploring ways to earn Gold by just playing the game.

There are several ways to make Gold by just literally "playing the game" however this will only get you nuggets (any amount listed as 0.12, 0.16, etc.) For larger amounts you need to participate in Daily Challenges and Awards.

NOTE: The Table of Contents is currently down for maintenance. To find a specific part of this article please press CTRL+F for PC, COMMAND+F for Mac, and any other text search feature if you are viewing on mobile.

Daily Challenges

Do your Dailies for 28 days straight and you earn a bonus Treasure Map and $100. Note: This is a screenshot from AFTER the "Bounty Hunter Expansion" update.

Do your Dailies for 28 days straight and you earn a bonus Treasure Map and $100. Note: This is a screenshot from AFTER the "Bounty Hunter Expansion" update.

Daily Challenges are the best way to make Gold in Red Dead Online. Unlike the Daily Objectives of GTA Online you only need to complete one task to start a streak, however you will earn a bonus if you complete all seven General Challenges for that day.

Doing all General Daily Challenges for the day, during week one, amounts to 0.1 Gold per Challenge. With the seventh Challenge you get 0.1 but also 0.3 as a bonus for completing all Challenges for the day. That is a total of 1GB per day IF you get all seven General Challenges done.

During week two each Challenge gives out 0.15 plus a 0.45 bonus for Challenge number seven, equaling 1.5GB at the end of the day. Week three amounts to 0.2 per Challenge with a 0.6 bonus after the seventh one, this comes out to 2GB each day (this was also the original Week 1 amount before the change). Week four you will make 0.25GB per Challenge with a 0.75 bonus on Challenge seven. In addition to doing Dailies for 28 days you get a Treasure Map and $100.

After the Bounty Hunter Expansion update you can no longer have a streak past 28 days. Once you get to the end of Week 4 it will reset back to Week 1. I once made it as far as 89 days, and a user on Reddit had 553; so in a way I can see why Rockstar changed it. More on that below.

For the sake of your browsing I'm going to separate these Challenges into several different categories; ranging from ridiculously easy to the nigh impossible Posse Challenges. The ones you're most likely to accomplish versus the ones, in my opinion, are not worth frustrating yourself over.

Note: Not all Challenge titles may be listed accurately or may be changed over time. Numeral values, of the amount of times the Challenge must be done before completion, may vary. Use "CTRL+F" and type in your desired Daily Challenge to help navigate you through the article faster. If you're browsing on mobile please use the "find in page" feature of your chosen browser. Just leave the numeral value out of it . . .

Statistics for New Players

Starting off fresh, trying to earn Gold, in Red Dead Online can feel like an overwhelming task. I’ve been there, and so have a lot of other players, but hopefully a little numbers crunching will help inspire you. As mentioned above each Daily Challenge starts off at 0.1 nuggets, which essentially means performing any 10 equals 1GB. If you’re a new or returning player this can seem depressing (literally) but remember that this is only for the first week.

Hypothetically let’s say you’re a new player who has not begun any of the Specialist Roles yet. Since I highly recommend focusing on one Role at a time this is not a bad thing for you.

The Roles should be purchased in order of release, but I suggest the following:

  • Trader – 15 Gold Bars
  • Bounty Hunter – 15 Gold Bars, then another 15 for expanded levels
  • Collector – 15 Gold Bars
  • Moonshiner – 25 Gold Bars (30 if you skip Trader Role)
  • Naturalist – 25 Gold Bars
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Each Role adds some items that improve the overall gameplay, and variety, and for the sake of “too much too soon” I think that order would work best for you. None of the Roles should really be “grinded” though they will feel like that for the first five Ranks. Statistically, by doing Daily Challenges, you can have enough Gold to unlock the Trader Role within 12 days. It could be more, or less, if you factor in finding/unlocking Treasure Maps and whether you get the bonus for completing ALL challenges within a day. Items can be purchased with Cash, Gold, or a combination of either. This also doesn’t factor in weapons, horses, or outfits that fluctuate based on player preference.

For the Trader Role you will need $2,775/211 Gold Bars to purchase just the important items.

For the Bounty Hunter Role you will need $1,225/49 Gold Bars to unlock the Reinforced Lasso and Bounty Wagon which are vital items for bringing in Bounties. The Bounty Hunter Expansion update has only added cosmetic items (so far as of 12/6/20).

For the Collector Role you will need $1,050/42 Gold Bars to unlock the Pennington Field Shovel and Metal Detector which are both highly useful tools in being able to grab all Collectibles.

For the Moonshiner Role you will need $1,700/68 Gold Bars to unlock the two still upgrades to maximize your Moonshine profits (once you reach the required Ranks to unlock them).

For the Naturalist Role you’re going to mostly need Cash money to unlock everything that comes with this update, except for the Advanced Camera ($540/22GB) and Elephant Rifle ($580/24GB) which can be alternatively purchased with Gold. (Note: As of the Blood Money update the Wilderness Camp ($750/30GB) is worth it too for the Fast Travel ability. However you will need to buy the Pamphlet for $1,280/52GB if you did not unlock it during a previous Outlaw Pass.)

I can almost hear you saying “Eric why the hell are you telling me to get the Trader first!? That seems to cost the most!” And “I thought the Bounty Hunter Role gave out Gold Nuggets for doing Bounty Missions!” You’re right on both accounts, but the Trader Role comes with items that will improve your experience outside of just THAT Role. The Hunting Wagon, Stew Pot, and Weapon Locker add items that in my opinion should be in standard gameplay already. The Collector and Moonshiner Roles will get you a lot of Cash. The Bounty Hunter is good for extra Daily Challenges and the Legendary Bounty Missions provide some extra action and challenge. Naturalist is good if you have the Gold to spend on it and/or like tracking down animal species, but for the most part skip it until you have been playing for a while.

The Mathematics of Rockstar's Gold Restructuring

Rockstar announced that with its Bounty Hunter Expansion update that you will no longer be capable of doing a Daily Challenge streak past 28 days. As you can imagine this is not sitting well with some people in the community. Though in my opinion this is going to help cut down on the obsession of having a streak that goes on for multiple days. This move positively will cut down on the people who feel shackled to NEEDING to have a multi-day streak. I have read several posts that make this need for a constant streak almost sound like addiction, and in some cases the player feels relieved when their streak gets broken (at least I did). Considering the obsessive compulsive disorder of having "perfect streaks" this might not be a bad change.

However I am not happy with the new amounts of Gold for doing Daily Challenges. Don't take my realistic thinking for a positive attitude toward this change. I am simply going to try to make the best of the hand Rockstar is dealing us. You might be concerned that you won’t make a decent amount of Gold, and that you will be forced to purchase it from now on. Daily Challenges are not going away, however Rockstar has changed the amounts of Gold by 50%. I wasn't happy about this myself personally, and we all know why it's like this now, though hopefully after doing some math the follow will maybe put us at ease.

Week 1 (Per Day/Week Total):

  • Six General Challenges: 0.6GB/4.2GB (1GB/7GB with seventh Challenge and Bonus)
  • Eight Role Challenges: 0.8GB/5.6GB (1.2GB/8.4GB with ninth Challenge and Bonus)
  • Total: 1.4GB/9.8GB (2.4GB/15.4GB with Bonuses)

Week 2 (Per Day/Week Total):

  • Six General Challenges: 0.9GB/6.3GB (1.5GB/10.5GB with seventh Challenge and Bonus)
  • Eight Role Challenges: 1.2GB/8.4GB (1.8GB/12.6GB with ninth Challenge and Bonus)
  • Total: 2.1GB/14.7GB (3.3GB/23.1GB with Bonuses)

Week 3 (Per Day/Week Total):

  • Six General Challenges: 1.2GB/8.4GB (2GB/14GB with seventh Challenge and Bonus)
  • Eight Role Challenges: 1.6GB/11.2GB (2.4GB/16.8GB with ninth Challenge and Bonus)
  • Total: 2.8GB/19.6GB (4.4GB/30.8GB with Bonuses)

Week 4 (Per Day/Week Total):

  • Six General Challenges: 1.5GB/10.5GB (2.5GB/17.5GB with seventh Challenge and Bonus)
  • Eight Role Challenges: 2GB/14GB (3GB/21GB with ninth Challenge and Bonus)
  • Total: 3.5GB/24.5GB (5.5GB/38.5GB with Bonuses)

Per Month Totals:

  • Six General Challenges: 29.4GB (49GB with seventh Challenge and Bonus)
  • Eight Role Challenges: 39.2GB (58.8GB with ninth Challenge and Bonus)
  • Total: 68.6GB (107.8GB with Bonuses)

The above does not include Gold earned from Treasure Maps, missions, and game modes, just Gold earned from Daily Challenges. You can still earn a decent amount of Gold if you're patient.

Super Easy Challenges

These Challenges aren't a headache to complete but they may require some leg work and a little money.

  • Change Facial Appearance/Hairstyle: Go to any of the Barber Shops on the map and hold Y/Triangle to customize your Appearance. Keep in mind that this will cost money and/or Gold depending on the style chosen.
  • Used an Emote on a Local: Go to any town, or settlement, and hold Left Trigger/L2 to lock on to an NPC. Then press Right Bumper/R1 to open your available Emotes. From there just hold any of the face buttons for your chosen Emote.
  • Used an Emote on a Player: This one could prove tricky but not impossible. In my experience, other players are always doing this as a way to communicate. When close to a player press Right Bumper/R1, to bring up your Emotes, then hold any of the face buttons for your chosen Emote. Just don’t press Right Trigger/R2 by accident, in which case things could get socially awkward by old west standards . . .
  • Items Sold to a Fence: The only hard part about this challenge is finding the items; which just requires a little leg work. Any Pocket Watches, Rings, etc. collected from looting dead enemies can be sold. However, if you can also find Jewelry in specific places you can get guaranteed items to sell.