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How to Make Money Fast in "Red Dead Redemption 2": Legendary Animals, Gold Bars, & More

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Kain writes video game articles that include tips, tricks, and tutorials. He is especially enthusiastic about horror games.

The monumental world in Red Dead Redemption 2 is varied and complex. The video game has an agglomeration of different types of mountains, rivers, towns, cities, and other miscellaneous locations that you are free to explore. Not only will you need money for your character, Arthur Morgan, but you'll need to contribute money or valuables to the gang.

While the map is massive, you won't have access to most of it until you complete the first few hours. The game introduces Arthur Morgan and Dutch's gang, the Van der Linde Gang. They are trying to survive in the harsh winter. The game is quite slow paced in the first few hours. There are not many opportunities to make cash other than looting a few enemy bodies. The beginning of Red Dead Redemption 2 is linear initially, but it becomes completely non-linear when you reach Chapter 2.

There are numerous ways to make money quickly, but some methods or endeavors are definitely quicker than others. The game can be overwhelming at times, but if you're patient, you'll be adequately rewarded.

  1. Complete the Jack Hall Gang Treasure Hunt to find two gold bars that are worth $500 each
  2. Hunt legendary animals and sell them to a trapper for a good price
  3. Tame horses and sell them
  4. Rob bandit camps to acquire loot
  5. Sell carriages to the trapper/fence
  6. Gamble by playing poker and other games
  7. Don't purchase a lot of weapons
  8. Be honorable to get discounts and free items
  9. Be kind to strangers and help civilians
  10. Complete the main story and side missions to earn more money
  11. Sell valuable items at store vendors or a fence
  12. Commit crimes like train robbery or horse theft
Arthur Morgan in Horseshoe Overlook

Arthur Morgan in Horseshoe Overlook

1. Jack Hall Gang Treasure Hunt

Once you progress past chapter 1, the Van der Lind gang settles in Horseshoe Overlook. You'll now be able to contribute to the camp, complete missions, explore the world, and make more money.

By completing the Jack Hall Treasure Hunt, you'll obtain two gold bars! Each gold bar can be sold to a fence for a whopping $500 each! To start the treasure hunt, travel just west of Flatneck and northeast of Bard's Crossing. Speak to the man wandering the area to start a cutscene.

Pay the man $10 to receive a treasure map. Find the three secret locations by looking at the treasure map clues. The gold bars themselves are on an island in the far east. Go to O'Creagh's Run. It's just north of Three Sisters. Take a boat to the middle of the island to find the gold bars.

It might be possible to skip the first two locations and get the gold bars immediately. However, the game may require you to find the other treasure spots first. Personally, I have not tested that out.

Location of two gold bars

Location of two gold bars

2. Hunting Legendary Animals

Hunting is a major aspect in the video game. Much of the hunting is optional, though. You can hunt varmints, big game, and more exotic game. There is a limited amount of animal meat that you can hold. Additionally, you'll only be able to carry one large animal (like a whitetail deer) on your horse at a time. If you wait too long to sell the animal to a trapper or butcher, then it will start to rot, decreasing the price that you can sell the animal for.

Legendary animals fetch a high price in the game. They are more rare than other types of animals. The game will indicate when you're in a location of a legendary animal. Near the beginning of chapter 2, there's a mission that involves a bear that attacks one of the characters. You can either return to the camp or hunt the legendary bear.

I sold a legendary bighorn for $28.50. Butchers will buy regular animals from you, but you'll probably have to sell the legendary animals to the trapper.

Keep in mind, you won't be able to sell an animal for a high price when it is damaged. Make sure to get a clean shot when hunting. Use the bow and aim for the head or neck to avoid damaging the meat too much. The varmint rifle can be used for smaller game like rabbits, beavers, skunks, and other small game.

Whitetail deer in Red Dead Redemption 2

Whitetail deer in Red Dead Redemption 2

3. Tames Horses and Sell Them

Horses are the main means of transportation in Red Dead Redemption 2. After all, the game takes place at the end of the western era in 1899. While you can sell your own horse, it's better to keep one or two just for riding. You'll develop a bond with your horse that enables it to perform special moves when riding it. You can feed your horse, clean it, and pet it. Multiple horses can be stored at stables. Your horse can permanently die if it sustains too much damage.

Sometimes you'll see wild horses roaming the map. Some horses are more rare than others. Wild horses will sell for a variety of prices at the stables. Stolen steeds will sell for less. Race horses and shires sell for better prices.

You must tame a wild horse before you can ride it. Approach with caution and stealth, otherwise, the animal will become spooked and will escape with unparalleled speed. You have to lasso a tame horse to stop it from running. Then mount it without falling off by pressing the directional pad in the opposite direction of the horse's movement. It takes some patience, but it can be worth it.

Arthur Morgan Speaking to Woman

Arthur Morgan Speaking to Woman

4. Bandit Camps Loot

Other gangs roam the map. Sometimes they'll attack you when you're on horseback. Be cautious in the game, for you will lose money if you get shot. Bandit camps are scattered throughout the world. You can usually locate them by searching for the smoke that is shooting up into the sky.

Bandit camps are dangerous. Many enemies will await you. It's best to approach stealthily at first. You can shoot them while on horseback, but that might be a reckless strategy, especially when you're low on health, stamina, and deadeye.

You can loot their chests, corpses, and satchels. You might find valuable items, food, ammunition, or miscellaneous items.

5. Selling Carriages to the Trapper/Fence

Initially, you won't have access to a fence. During chapter 2, you'll complete a mission that involves stealing a carriage and robbing a house for valuables. Once you've done that mission, the fence will be unlocked in Emerald Ranch, east of Valentine. You can sell your valuable gold bars to the man in Emerald Ranch. Not all vendors in the game will buy everything from you. Many of the vendors in Valentine will only buy basic stuff.

6. Playing Poker & Gambling

If you're interested in poker or other games like Fiver Finger Filet, you can earn money fast in Red Dead Redemption 2. Make sure you understand poker and pay attention to the rules, otherwise, you'll lose a lot of cash. Some of the major towns have places to play poker. You can play some games at the Horseshoe Overlook camp.

Screenshot of Arthur on a Horse

Screenshot of Arthur on a Horse

7. Avoid Buying Weapons

If you're looking to earn cash fast, avoid buying every weapon you see in stores. You'll get some weapons for free by simply playing the main quest or completing side missions. It may be tempting to buy weapons, but it's not necessary. You'll waste money that could be spent on upgrading the camp.

8. Be Honorable to Get Rewards

While Arthur Morgan is generally a bad guy, an outlaw, you can make him honorable. Red Dead Redemption 2 has an honor system that changes based on your moral actions or decisions. The game has a meter that indicates your current honor. Helping strangers and being as moral as possible increases your honor.

Committing major crimes (like robbing a train) is a way to earn money in the game, but it affects your honor. Stealing too much, murdering innocent civilians, and being a nuisance in the world will make your honor drop. Lawmen will hunt you down when there is a bounty on your head.

Being honorable has its perks. You'll get discounts at stores and may be rewarded with valuable items.

9. Help Random Strangers

Sometimes you can save strangers that are being robbed, getting beat up, attacked by wolves, or something similar. Random events will transpire throughout the world of Red Dead Redemption 2 where civilians require your help. You'll often hear the cries of help from strangers when you're nearby. The mini map will display a white dot of individuals that are under stress.

Significant strangers (not random events) can be spoken to. Find the (?) on the map. Strangers will usually ask for your help and may offer information. You can earn valuable items (that can be sold) or money by helping strangers. For example, you can get a treasure map from a stranger or a free weapon from a man that you can save from poison.

Selling Animals at the Butcher

Selling Animals at the Butcher

10. Complete the Main Story or Side Missions

While exploration is a key element to increase your immersion, progressing through the main story will earn you big rewards at certain points. You should eventually complete main missions after exploring and earning money from other endeavors. There's no need to rush, but certain missions in the main story pay big dividends.

11. Selling Rare Valuables

During your travels, you'll frequently find loot like golden pocket watches, rings, gold bars, and other valuable items. Make sure to visit a vendor to sell them. Certain valuable items, like gold bars, can only be sold to a fence.

Because you can only carry so many valuable items in your inventory, make sure to sell your loot whenever possible. You can discard cheaper loot for valuable items if you run out of space.

12. Train Robberies & Stealing (The Option Ones)

Arthur Morgan is not portrayed as the most vile and evil character ever, however, he is not exactly a "good guy." He's an outlaw that has robbed for money, fought gangs, gets drunk occasionally, and acts disrespectful towards people that he has no loyalty to or friendship with. Some actions done by Arthur Morgan are quite benevolent, like when you can choose to make him retrieve a horse for a stranger that has a wrecked carriage. Arthur Morgan can be morally ambiguous, though. Sometimes, however, his actions are unequivocally nefarious and malignant. For example, when he aids the gang against pursuing law enforcement officers or breaks a guilty person out of jail.

If you want to make cash fast, but don't mind getting pursued by the law, you can rob trains, steal horses hold up civilians, and steal from places. Being a hardcore criminal is potentially lucrative, but it can be difficult to make money in other ways. Law enforcement can be relentless. You'll have to avoid the law constantly. Bounties can cost a lot of money to pay off. Lastly, witnesses can report your crimes.

You can steal horses, but make sure witnesses do not see you ride away. You'll have to prevent them from getting away if they spot you. Escaping as a wanted man can be monumentally difficult, for your death will be inevitable if extra caution is not taken.

Trains can be robbed

Trains can be robbed