Knowing which are the best Red Dead Online weapons means you can arm yourself appropriately, to deal with the numerous dangers you'll face as you progress through the Wild West. Although you'll already have had a taste of the many weapons available if you've played through the single player campaign, what works well there doesn't always translate directly to the Red Dead Online world, plus there's an entirely different route for how you unlock them. With the high-end guns carrying a large price tag, we want to make sure you're spending your money on the right choices, so here's our lowdown on the best Red Dead Online weapons to get you suitably tooled up.
Rank unlocked: 11
Arguably the best gun in the entire game. Sharing the same lever firing system as Red Dead Online’s repeating rifles, the Repeating Shotgun combines gut-punch stopping power with admirable accuracy. With a generous chamber that holds six slugs, this beast favours gunfighters who may need that extra shot or two to down their target. In close quarters there’s no stopping this shottie, and even at mid-range this weapon proves surprisingly potent. No, it’s not cheap, but save up your cash for your first few hours with Red Dead Online, and you’ll soon be inflicting cowboy carnage with this slug-spewing beaut.
Rank unlocked: 10
Alright, so it’s not a gun, but going all Robin Hood with this stealthy weapon can lead to all sorts of arrowing online success. Pair the bow with Dead Eye, and this silent weapon becomes absolutely deadly. In closely contested matches of Hostile Territory, remaining under the radar as you take out the opposition can be key to capturing bases. After all, if they can’t hear you coming, you’ve got a better chance of stealing the objective. Steely nerves are needed when you’re pulling back on that quiver, but for those with ice running through their veins, Red Dead Online’s bow is a brilliant, brutal enforcer.
Rank unlocked: 22
Another gun that pairs beautifully (and devastatingly) with Dead Eye. Predictably, it’s this pistol’s snappy rate of fire that makes it the most deadly handgun in Red Dead Online. Great for tackling enemy gangs in story missions or taking down foes in hectic games of Team Shootout, the Semi-Auto Pistol is pleasingly accurate and quick to reload. It may be the third most expensive gun in the game, and you’re going to have to be patient until you hit rank 22 when Red Dead Online finally lets you buy this lethal weapon, but the wait is definitely worth it.
Rank unlocked: 7
Slow to fire but packing deadly power, the Bolt-Action Rifle is the most powerful weapon you can buy within your first few hours with Red Dead Online. Super accurate and lethal at range, this gun is perfect for those who like to dish out death from a distance. In PvP, the Bolt-Action is best reserved for larger maps, as its unwieldy reload action makes it too plodding for close-range encounters. Attach a scope to this formidable gun, and you’ve got a good (much cheaper) substitute for the Carcano Rifle.
Rank unlocked: 18
With well-rounded stats and large ammo capacity, this is the beast repeater you’ll find in Red Dead Online. It’s high rate of fire and impressive accuracy make it the ideal gun for clearing out gangs from a safe distance. Online outlaws who favour a more cautious approach will appreciate it’s meaty damage stats, which make this weapon one of the most formidable mid-range guns in the game. It’s not the easiest weapon to aim while on the move, but if you’re willing to go slow or choose your shots carefully from behind cover, there are few more reliable cowboy killing tools.
Rank unlocked: 38
It may be a single-shot weapon, but when the shots are this powerful, whatever is facing the wrong end of your barrel most likely won’t need a second. The Springfield is one of the most powerful rifles in Red Dead Online, and it’s great at both mid and long-range distances. Its reticle also has a usefully quick cooldown, meaning you can line up multiple kill shots surprisingly swiftly. This beast’s rounds are so powerful, anything around or above the chest should be an instant kill in PvP. If you’re short on funds and need to collect some pelts to raise cash, the Springfield Rifle is also a great option for hunting.
Rank unlocked: 9
This hard-hitting pistol should be available to you after your first couple of hours with Red Dead Online. Though its firing rate is kinda cumbersome and other revolvers reload more quickly, few handguns out punch the Schofield for impact. Highly accurate and capable of dealing serious damage, if your aim is true, this revolver can be one of the deadliest weapons in Rockstar’s online Western. The fact the gun is so stable also makes it ideal for pulling off reliable headshots.
Rank unlocked: 36
When you enter into Showdown Series events, occasionally certain matches will see you start with this lethal throwing tool. Though it doesn’t exactly fly through the air at a brisk pace, once you hurl a tomahawk, any enemy unlucky enough to get caught in its path will immediately crumple in a very dead heap. Its sheer stopping power makes its cumbersome handling understandable, but if you see an opposing player wielding this weapon, get to cover fast. Chances are, they know how to use it, and they’ll happily put you down with a single throw if you’re too slow getting out of Deadwood dodge.
Red Dead Online Weapon unlock levels
As part of the Red Dead Online rank unlocks, you'll get access to these weapons at the following levels:
- Rank 5 – Pump Action Shotgun
- Rank 7 – Bolt Action Rifle
- Rank 8 – Throwing Knife and Varmint Rifle
- Rank 9 – Schofield Revolver
- Rank 10 – Bow
- Rank 11 – Repeating Shotgun
- Rank 12 – Lancaster Repeater
- Rank 13 – Rolling Block Rifle
- Rank 15 – Cleaver
- Rank 16 – Dynamite
- Rank 17 – Double Action Revolver
- Rank 18 – Litchfield Repeater
- Rank 19 – Sawed-Off Shotgun
- Rank 21 – Volcanic Pistol
- Rank 22 – Semi-Automatic Pistol
- Rank 24 – Fire Bottle
- Rank 28 – Hatchet
- Rank 30 – Double-Barreled Shotgun
- Rank 32 – Machete
- Rank 34 – Mauser Pistol
- Rank 36 – Tomahawk
- Rank 38 – Springfield Rifle
- Rank 42 – Semi-Auto Shotgun
- Rank 50 – Carcano Rifle
Red Dead Online Weapon prices
If you've followed our pointers for how to make money fast in Red Dead Online, then this is what you can spend some of the proceeds on:
- Cattleman Revolver - $50
- Varmint Rifle - $72
- Carbine Repeater – $90
- Sawed-Off Shotgun – $111
- Bow – $124
- Double-Action Revolver – $127
- Springfield Rifle – $156
- Double-Barreled Shotgun – $185
- Schofield Revolver – $192
- Bolt-Action Rifle – $216
- Lancaster Repeater – $243
- Volcanic Pistol – $270
- Litchfield Repeater – $348
- Rolling Block Rifle – $411
- Repeating Shotgun – $434
- Pump-Action Shotgun – $444
- Carcano Rifle – $456
- Semi-Automatic Pistol – $537
- Semi-Auto Shotgun – $540
- Mauser Pistol – $600
Pre-order guns and other free weapons
If you own one of Red Dead Redemption 2’s special editions or if you pre-ordered the Old West epic, you’ll have some free guns waiting for you once you get past Red Dead Online’s intro. Clear the tutorial, and when you visit your first gunsmith and get your hands on the Handheld Catalogue, you’ll see certain weapons retailing for the grand price of $0. These are your gratis pre-order or special edition guns, and if you bought the Ultimate edition of RDR2 then you can also choose three guns for free.
Playing on PS4? Then you can pick up the High Roller Double Action Revolver for the grand price of nothing. Head to a Fence to collect this powerful handgun, which boasts the highest firing rate of any revolver in Red Dead Online. Sorry, Xbox outlaws.
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