The latest update has arrived in the Old West, bringing with it a new environmentally friendly Naturalist role, which lets players sedate and sample animals. Alongside the wholesome Pokedex gameplay, Red Dead Online Gus MacMillan has also been introduced to the mix, a quest-giver that wants the player to go against the grain by killing and selling the pelts of animals to him for profit and unique equipment.
If you don’t fancy helping Harriet Davenport catalogue the natural world, read on for our guide to her nemesis, Gus MacMillan. We’re going to run through how to find MacMillan and meet his demands in Red Dead Online, while looking at what items you can expect to receive for helping him over Harriet and exploring the consequences of those actions.
Who is Red Dead Online Gus MacMillan?
Gus MacMillan is a super trapper and a moustache-twirling capitalist who would love nothing more than to receive pelts a plenty from the player. We’re introduced to him in the opening cutscene of the Naturalist update, which you can trigger by heading to the hotel, or Welcome Center, in Strawberry, which is just at the back of the town along the main road.
He’ll let you know that instead of sedating animal’s with Harriet Davenport’s Sample Kit (which you have to purchase for 25 gold bars to kick off the Naturalist role,) you should bring the pelts and parts to him so you can make some sweet profit and unlock unique items, such as trinkets and garment sets that only he sells.
If you work with Gus, you’ll run the risk of alienating Harriet, and she’ll eventually spray you with a hallucinogen if you kill too many animals in the wild. After being sprayed, you’ll wake up in the wild and be unable to trade in samples or work with Harriet for a short while.
Beyond that, the wider ramifications of annoying Harriet are unknown, so go wild and work for both, that’s what everyone appears to be doing anyway!
Where to find Gus MacMillan in Red Dead Online
If you’ve played Red Dead Redemption 2’s campaign, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding Gus on the map. He has many locations available to the player, and each one will be marked with a paw with a dollar symbol inside of it on the overworld map. To make it easier you can even bring up the index and select the Gus tag to find your closest location.
How to hunt and kill animals for Gus in Red Dead Online
Gus doesn’t have any specific missions tied to him, and he won’t be able to give you any quests if you talk to him. He’s more of a trader than your typical quest-giver with some extra features tacked on. Regardless, here’s how to get the most out of your business with Gus MacMillan.
As well as providing a basic hunting and trading loop, his influence does feature across some of the missions available in the Naturalist update, mostly during Harriet’s Legendary Animal Missions, instanced expeditions to take out unique creatures. After you follow the steps, wipe out the poachers and track down the special animal, you’ll get a prompt in the top left telling you that you can either sedate and sample the legendary animal or hunt it for Gus.
You can also use the Legendary Animals Map given to you by Harriet once you reach Level 5 in the Naturalist role to find legendary animals in the wild - just be aware that the spawns are unreliable and will depend on the actions of the other players in your server.
Keep in mind that you won’t get any Naturalist XP for either of these legendary animal hunting methods. However, if you want special garments and trinkets, follow the steps below to hunt animals so you can take them back to Gus to trade the pelt for profit or unique equipment.
- Activate Eagle Eye (L3 + R3, LS + RS, or Middle Mouse Button on PC) to find and track animal trails.
- From afar, you can also study and track animals by focusing on them and selecting the prompts that appear in the bottom right corner.
- Once studied, you should see what gun and ammunition is required for a perfect kill.
- Equip these weapons and aim for the animal’s vitals, they should glow red but mostly aim for the head or the heart to preserve the pelt’s quality.
- After dealing a killing blow, skin and carry the animal on your horse, then travel to one of MacMillan’s stalls to trade in your haul.
How to unlock Gus MacMillan’s unique Garment Sets and Trinkets in Red Dead Online
The main reason you’d want to skirt sedating an animal in favour of Gus’ methods is to unlock the unique Garment Sets and Trinkets that he has on display at his many stalls.
To take advantage of this system, don’t sedate Legendary Animals but follow the steps in the above section to take them down and skin them. The good part about the Legendary Animal missions is that you won’t ruin the pelt even if you shoot the animal multiple times - all you have to do is kill it to get the top quality pelt. This is why it might be a good idea to purchase the Elephant Rifle, the new weapon added with the Naturalist update that deals incredible damage to even the tankiest animals, such as bears and elks.
Once you’ve skinned a legendary animal, return to Gus to trade it in. Note that this won’t give you the associated garment or trinket outright - it will only unlock the item for purchase in his store. So you may notice that you can see the new garment set tied to the legendary animal you killed in his shop, but you’ll still have to spend a chunk of RDO$ to put it into your wardrobe. This tracks for the trinkets too, which are listed below. Unlike the purely cosmetic garments, Gus’s trinkets have statistical effects on the player.
Beaver Tooth Trinket
Ingredients: 2 x Beaver Tooth, 1 x Calumet Turquoise Earrings
Effect: Permanently slows degradation for all weapons by 10%
Buck Antler Trinket
Ingredients: 1 x Buck Antlers, 1 x Dane Topaz Necklace
Effect: Player has a higher chance of receiving better quality pelts and skins from animals in perfect condition.
Javelina Tusk Trinket
Ingredients: 1 x Javelina Tusk, 1 x Elliston Carved Bracelet
Effect: Permanently increases the player’s horse bonding rate by 10%
Ram Horn Trinket
Ingredients: 1 x Bighorn Horn, 1 x Aubrey Onyx Ring
Effect: Picking Creeping Thyme, Oregano, and Wild Mint yields 2x more herbs
Snowy Egret Trinket
Ingredients: 3 x Snowy Egret Plume, 1 x Braxton Amethyst Necklace
Effect: Permanently decreases the speed that horse Health and Stamina Cores drain by 10%
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