The Red Online beta has been out for a week now, and players are already rushing to the multiplayer component of Red Dead Redemption 2 like 19th century venture capitalists to an oil mine. However, the reception so far has been mixed, with many criticising Rockstar's in-game economy, which offers petty rewards for long, often menial work. You can read about the latest developments on that in our Red Dead Online beta hub here, which details everything you need to know before jumping into the experience.
Following that, check out our Red Dead Online guide for everything else, including how to earn XP fast in Red Dead Online, how to make money fast in Red Dead Online, information on Red Dead Online microtransactions, and more. For words and analysis of the game's epic single player instead, meanwhile, you can have a read of our Red Dead Redemption 2 ending as we make sense of everything that went down at the climax of the campaign.
Rockstar won't reset your progress once the Red Dead Online beta finishes
In a post on Twitter, Rockstar has confirmed that player's who level up and rise the ranks in the Red Dead Online beta will be able to keep their progress in the transition to the multiplayer experience's full release. “For players concerned about the potential for progress and stat resets, we currently do not have any plans to reset them as part of the Beta’s rollout", stated the studio, while reiterating its promise to release an update to the in-game economy later this week. So, it sounds like your beta cowboy is safe, unless extenuating circumstances force Rockstar to perform a hard reset in the future. That would be... not ideal.
The Red Dead Online beta's economy is already being reworked
It's only been a week since the Red Dead Online beta hit PS4 and Xbox One, but Rockstar has already listened to the feedback its received from the community about the game's stingy virtual economy, which has clearly been built with microtransactions in mind (though purchasing gold bars with real money isn't yet an option).
The studio plans to release the beta's first update sometime this week, stating in a blog post that its "current areas of focus include the in-game economy, which will require some additional balancing in order to ensure all activities are appropriately rewarding and fun, as well as some persistent bugs that are causing some players to be kicked from sessions." Phew! Hopefully Rockstar can solve this anti-consumer mess before things get too out of hand.
When does the Red Dead Online beta end?
Following its staggered release, Rockstar has now opened the Red Dead Online beta to anyone who owns a copy of Red Dead Redemption 2, but stresses that this is not the finished experience by any means. While the studio hasn't provided any timelines as to when Red Dead Online will transition from beta to full game, we'll update this page once we have more news of when the Red Dead Online beta will come to an end.
What platforms is the Red Dead Online beta on?
The Red Dead Online beta will be playable on both PS4 and Xbox One, very likely at the same time. However, Sony has confirmed that PS4 players will get access to certain content 30 days before Xbox One players, and that will likely apply to content in the beta too. No PC versions of Red Dead Redemption 2 or Red Dead Online have been announced, but that doesn't mean they won't happen eventually.
How can I get in the Red Dead Online beta?
Buy a copy of Red Dead Redemption 2 and wait! Well, you'll also need an internet-connected console that you can use to play online multiplayer games. Access to Red Dead Online will be included with every copy of Red Dead Redemption 2 and that goes for the beta as well. No need to sign up on any lists or pre-order anything, Red Dead Online will come to you.
What does the Red Dead Online beta include?
Although this is technically classed as the Red Dead Online beta, this is really the full Red Dead Online experience. It's called a beta because Rockstar is still testing various elements of the game, fixing bugs and adjusting for what we assume will be a huge number of players flooding into Red Dead Redemption 2's online world. Because of that you should file any issues, glitches and other problems you find with the official Rockstar Support site, and give any feedback you might have to the official Rockstar Feedback site.
But, like we said, this is still the full game you've got here. Set across the same map as Red Dead Redemption 2, Red Dead Online is a continually expanding experience where you can embark on cooperative story missions exclusive to Online, find even more Red Dead Redemption 2 Strangers, join (or create) your own Posse of outlaws, try out Free Roam challenges, and also fish, hunt, bond with your horse (again), and generally exploring the world with the online community.
Of course, before you can do any of that you'll need to run through the Red Dead Online character creation and design your very own cowboy. You'll be going on a journey from Sisika Penitentiary, which is where you'll get a horse, hunt down some treasure (naturally), set up Camp and start equipping Ability Cards, meet some fateful characters and more. There's a whole new story to uncover too.
There are also five new modes in the beta, which are all part of a larger series of Showdowns, plus you can also enter your horse into races, which include point-to-point, lap and open races, all of which are littered across the map.
The five game modes are:
- Shootout and Team Shootout - Classic gunfight mode with unlimited lives where you rush to rack up the most kills before the time runs out
- Make It Count - Basically Red Dead Online Battle Royale, but you use nothing but a bow and a handful of arrows or throwing knives in your attempt to be the last standing
- Most Wanted - A tactical race to the top of the leaderboard, where every kill pushes you up the leaderboard, but the higher you are the more points others get for taking you out
- Hostile Territory - Work in teams to control the land. You capture a territory to start racking up points, and the team with the most points win
- Name Your Weapons - A free-for-all or team based match where the trickier the weapon you use to kill someone, the more points you get
Make sure you check out our Red Dead Online tips to get the most out of the online experience.