Red Dead Online gold bars: How Microtransactions work and what you can get

Being stocked up on Red Dead Online gold bars means you have instant buying power, as they're much more valuable than the virtual dollars you'll be drip fed as you progress. You can use this bullion to shortcut your way to purchasing items without having to save up the much higher dollar value, but arguably more importantly you can invest it in certain special rare items in Red Dead Online that can only be obtained by spending gold bars. If you're already aware of how things work in Rockstar's other multiplayer world of GTA Online, then this virtual currency works in a similar way to the GTA Online shark cards you can spend real money on to keep your account topped up.

You can actually earn Red Dead Online gold bars in-game by collecting gold nuggets through various activities, but you could find yourself playing for a very, very long time to amass the same number of bars that you can instantly purchase in one of these handy packages instead.

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Red Dead Online gold bar prices

Red Dead Online microtransactions currently comes in six varieties from $4.99/£4.49 to $99.99/£89.99, the first of which is only available for purchase once. You can access the store page directly from Red Dead Online's title screen. As is the case for many online games that sell virtual currency, the value proposition steadily increases for buying more at once; you'll get more gold bars for buying the $19.99/£18.49 option than you would for buying the $9.99/£8.99 option twice, and so on.

That said, the "one-time special offer" of 25 gold bars for $4.99/£4.49 is by far the best value proposition. Since you can only pick it up once per account, it's also a clever way for Rockstar to prime the pump for customers to make more and larger currency purchases. Here is how all the gold bar prices break down for players in the US and then in the UK.

Red Dead Online gold bars - US prices

  • One-time offer - 25 gold bars for $4.99 ($0.20 per gold bar)
  • 25 gold bars for $9.99 ($0.40 per gold bar)
  • 55 gold bars $19.99 ($0.36 per gold bar)
  • 150 gold bars for $49.99 ($0.33 per gold bar)
  • 245 gold bars for $74.99 ($0.31 per gold bar)
  • 350 gold bars for $99.99 ($0.29 per gold bar)

Red Dead Online gold bars - UK prices

  • One-time offer - 25 gold bars for £4.49 (£0.18 per gold bar)
  • 25 gold bars for £8.99 (£0.36 per gold bar)
  • 55 gold bars £18.49 (£0.34 per gold bar)
  • 150 gold bars for £44.99 (£0.30 per gold bar)
  • 245 gold bars for £69.99 (£0.29 per gold bar)
  • 350 gold bars for £89.99 (£0.26 per gold bar)

How to get Red Dead Online gold bars free

Red Dead Online gold daily challenges

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

If you don't want to pay extra (you already had to buy Red Dead Redemption 2 after all) the best way to get gold bars for free in Red Dead Online is by participating in activities. These range from co-operative story missions, to competitive showdowns, to impromptu free roam events that pit posses against each other. Completing these activities will typically give you a dollar reward as well as a handful of gold nuggets. Once you earn 100 gold nuggets, they'll automatically be converted to a single gold bar.

The other way to really make Gold fast is to use the Daily Challenges. Press left on the D-Pad to open up the player menu and select the challenges option, and each one will earn you a small amount of Gold. However, by completing at least one a day, you can start a streak that the game rewards adding a Gold multiplier at the end of every week, all the way up to 2.5x the regular amount by completing at least one challenge a day for a month. As you unlock Specialist Roles, these will also unlock new challenges to add to the daily pool.

How to earn gold bars through Specialist Roles

At time of writing, the only Role that can earn players gold bars is the Bounty Hunter, which offers players a small amount for each bounty brought in (though the amount goes up depending on the difficulty of the target and, oddly enough, if you spend a long time bringing them in). Signing up for that role actually costs you 15 Gold Bars, but it might be worth it if you're committed to the idea, as enough time will make it pay for itself. The other Roles also cost gold bars, but don't pay it back in the same way as the Bounty Hunter Role does. If you're planning on becoming a Bounty Hunter, head to the marked mission in Rhodes with 15 Gold Bars.

Red Dead Online roles - Bounty Hunter

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

What can you do with Red Dead Online gold bars?

Many customization options for your character's clothing, your guns, your horse tack, and camp visuals can only be purchased with gold bars. Yes, that includes many of the fanciest varieties of hats. However, Rockstar has made more items available for purchase with dollars (the non-premium currency which is much easier to earn in game) than when Red Dead Online first went live. You'll make your virtual cowpoke's life much more lush if you pay up for gold bars, but it isn't required to make progress in the game. 

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Joel Franey
Guides Writer

Joel Franey is a writer, journalist, podcaster and raconteur with a Masters from Sussex University, none of which has actually equipped him for anything in real life. As a result he chooses to spend most of his time playing video games, reading old books and ingesting chemically-risky levels of caffeine. He is a firm believer that the vast majority of games would be improved by adding a grappling hook, and if they already have one, they should probably add another just to be safe. You can find old work of his at USgamer, Gfinity, Eurogamer and more besides.