The game doesn't do a great job at communicating this from the start, but Red Dead Online actually features the same Awards system found in Red Dead Redemption 2. There's actually even more to complete in the online portion of the game, with a jaw-dropping 425 awards to tackle. As you achieve a gold medal in each one, you'll receive 500 XP and a gold buckle; not bad, right? Some of them can be tricky to complete, but if you use this easiest Red Dead Online gold buckles guide, then you should be able to fly through them without many problems at all.
Note: when you've unlocked a gold buckle, you can equip it via your wardrobe at your camp from the Buckles menu.
- Essential Red Dead Online tips to improve your game
- How to earn XP fast in Red Dead Online
- How to make money fast in Red Dead Online
Diversify your cash flow
You can manage this one in less than five minutes, so make it your starting point. You’ve probably sold pelts to the Butcher and traded in stolen items at the Fence, but you most likely haven’t been to the Doctor to turn in herbs. Fortunately, there’s a very easy award available for selling items to each merchant type in the game. There is one of each in Saint Denis within walking distance of each other, so pick up a herb, head to the big city and get trading to claim your rewards.
Catch a falling bird
This one is a walk in the park. In the Hunting section of the Awards categories, you’ll find a symbol of a bird with an arrow lodged in its wings. This award only has one medal (instead of the more difficult tiered structure of other awards) and it’s incredibly easy to complete. Simply pick up a bow and some arrows (Rockstar’s gift of $250 and 15 gold bars should help you there) and when you see a bird in the sky during your explorations, pull out your weapon and take it down. You can even use Dead Eye to make this a sure shot.
Go hell for leather
You may remember some of the horseback awards from the campaign that require you to race to designated spots on the map in a certain time window. This carries over to online and there are three awards (around 1500 XP!) that are very easy to complete as long as you know what you’re doing. All you have to do is make sure you’re stocked up on provisions like stimulants and carrots, and then pick up the horse care package from the stable and sprint between Valentine and Strawberry, Emerald Ranch and Braithwaite Manor, and Colter and Adler’s Ranch. The horse we used wasn’t even that good, which goes to show that as long as you have the required kit this should be manageable early.
Honor amongst thieves
Throughout Red Dead Online’s story mode you will be forced to make honor-bound decisions that will push your character into Outlaw or Gunslinger territory depending on your choices. Make sure to be consistent and focus on one strand all the way through the proceedings, being careful not to be evil. Your honor will be at maximum capacity by the end, depending on the path you walk. The associated award will then afford you a healthy bump in XP for your trouble.
This is an easy award but also a general tip to bolster your online efficiency. Bonding with your horse is something you should spend time on, even though it will most likely happen naturally without you thinking. Click in L3/LS to calm your horse to give it a little stamina boost when you’re riding. Hold L2/LT when you’ve hopped off to brush and feed it with herbs and other provisions to aid your relationship, and be sure to give it a nice belly pat when you’re feeling kind. You’ll be at maximum horse bonding in no time, and the XP & belt buckle will be yours.
Green Fingers (and Lips)
Another single-tiered award is earned by simply eating herbs that you find in the wild, specifically 20 of them. Every herb has to be different, but seeing as there are over 40 herbs to find in the game, this shouldn’t take too much time as long as you know how to look for them. Click in the left and right sticks on your respective controller to activate Eagle Eye and you should see the plumes of particles surrounding herbs in the wild. It’s not too annoying to pick these up whilst you’re busy with other activities, so make it a habit and get your levels!
Proceed as normal
There are a lot of other easy awards that you don’t necessarily need a guide for, but it’s best to point them out so that you can work towards them in regular play. For example, you want to make a habit of headshots with every weapon, as awards are based on the weapon, the kill and the manner in which you dispatch of an enemy - so, for example, a headshot with a rifle keeps you in the running for three separate awards. Especially, make sure you’re headshotting with the bow (again, use Dead Eye to make this easier) as you only need 100 bow headshots for a gold award rather than the usual 1000. Aside from that, look through your awards and see what you’re close to and what you need to work on. By making a habit of checking, you can ensure you’re receiving massive chunks of XP at random intervals during your play sessions.
Are you regretting some of the moral decisions you've made? Then here's how to switch your morality in Red Dead Online.