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Is Red Dead Online free, or will you have to pay a fee?

Red Dead Redemption 2 has been out for a few weeks now, which means people are starting to reach the Red Dead Redemption 2 ending and are questioning exactly when Red Dead Online is going to arrive. With the success of GTA Online, it's going to be interesting to see how Rockstar turn their cowboy epic into a multiplayer extravanganza. 

But I've heard a few people asking questions around as to whether Red Dead Online is free? I've got good news for you. It is! Rockstar confirmed when it announced Red Dead online that it would be free for anyone to play as long as you've bought a copy of Red Dead Redemption 2.

"Access to Red Dead Online is free to anyone with a copy of Red Dead Redemption 2 on either PlayStation 4 or Xbox One," wrote Rockstar on its official blog.

That means, as long as you've bought the base game you'll be able to dive into what Rockstar calls its "new online connected experience set against the backdrop of Red Dead Redemption 2's enormous open world". No subscription fees or nothing. 

What Red Dead Online will no doubt have though is Red Dead Online microtransactions. GTA Online thrives because of its Shark Card business, which lets you use real-world money to buy in-game money (because of course that's a thing). GTA Online Shark Cards are basically what powers the beast that is GTA 5's online component, so I'm sure they'll appear in Red Dead Online too. 

But thankfully, all of that is optional, so all you need to do is buy the base game and get involved with Red Dead Online. 

Oh, and if you're wondering why the beta isn't launching with the main game, in an interview with IGN, Rockstar said the following:

"As we have learned from experience when launching Online games at this scale, there are bound to be a few issues and we want to ensure that we have time to gradually roll out the game and make the experience as smooth as we possibly can for everyone. We believe this way of rolling out will give people the best overall experiences with both single player and multiplayer."

Online's tricky, y'all. 

Sam Loveridge

Sam Loveridge is the Global Editor-in-Chief of GamesRadar, and joined the team in August 2017. Sam came to GamesRadar after working at TrustedReviews, Digital Spy, and Fandom, following the completion of an MA in Journalism. In her time, she's also had appearances on The Guardian, BBC, and more. Her experience has seen her cover console and PC games, along with gaming hardware, for over seven years, and for GamesRadar, she is in charge of reviews, best lists, and the overall running of the site and its staff. Her gaming passions lie with weird simulation games, big open-world RPGs, and beautifully crafted indies. Basically, she loves all games that aren't sports or fighting titles!