After months and months of silence, the next update to Rockstar's Western epic is here, bringing with it the Naturalist role and a set of new quest givers, including environmentalist Red Dead Online Harriet Davenport. Davenport is your main point of contact for everything to do with the Naturalist role, and plays an important part in helping you get to grips with the new Frontier Pursuit.
In this guide, we’re going to run through everything you need to know about Harriet Davenport, including where to find her in Red Dead Online and how to start the new role. We'll also talk about what new equipment she can offer you, and the mission types you can expect to endure if you wish to develop your skills as a Naturalist.
Who is Red Dead Online Harriet Davenport?
Red Dead Online Harriet Davenport is a friend to all animals and a staunch environmentalist, who baulks at the concept of hunting Red Dead’s creatures for sustenance or sport. She functions as the Naturalist quest giver, and you must visit her and pay 25 Gold Bars to get the Sample Kit and unlock the new Frontier Pursuit. She butts heads with the Naturalist update’s other quest-giver, Gus MacMillan, who is a big game hunter who would prefer it if you killed any and all animals and brought him the pelts so he can turn them into trinkets and garments.
She hates him so much in fact, that if you kill animals in Red Dead Online after becoming a Naturalist, she’ll refuse to work with you after a certain point. Keep this in mind when you’re hunting for food or hunting to trade - Harriet will take umbrage with your methods and eventually shut off her shop for a small amount of time, roughly 15-20 minutes. You’ll know you’ve screwed the pooch when you go to talk to her and she starts to chide you. Chide her too much and she’ll spray you with a hallucinogenic perfume, causing you to wake up nearby without the ability to trade or work with her. Beyond that though, there doesn’t appear to be any wider ramifications to annoying her, but don’t hold me to that - it’s still early doors.
Where to find Harriet Davenport in Red Dead Online
To find Harriet Davenport you need to head to Strawberry and trot down the main road towards the hotel (known as the Welcome Center) at the back of the town. Her missions are denoted by a magnifying glass symbol on the game’s map. As soon as you enter you’ll be treated to a lengthy cutscene introducing the player to Davenport, and her gripes with MacMillan’s hunting regime. If you have the 25 gold bars to hand, she’ll ask you to pay for a Sample Kit at the end of this cutscene, and you’ll instantly unlock the Naturalist role after that.
After you’ve wrapped up your business in Strawberry, Harriet’s symbol will pop up in a number of different locations across the map, where you can visit her to accept missions, trade-in samples, or get sprayed with hallucinogenic perfume.
How to unlock sedative ammo and Harriet’s tonics and pheromones in Red Dead Online
To take part in the Naturalist role, the main ammunition you need is .22 Sedative Ammo, which was brought to the game with the Naturalist update. This is ammunition for the Varmint Rifle, which you can purchase from any of Red Dead Online’s Gunsmiths for $72 in $RDO.
To get sedative ammo all you have to do is visit Harriet Davenport at any of the available spots on the map. She’ll sell you the ammo for cheap, and it’s good to keep stocking it up as you progress through your career as a Naturalist.
Eventually, once you reach level 5 in the Naturalist role, you’ll get the option to purchase a pamphlet to craft the sedative ammo yourself, but honestly, it’s really not worth the cost of entry, or the effort to source the materials necessary to craft it. The ammo is so cheap that you should definitely save your money for other equipment, like the Wilderness Camp that Harriet sells once you reach Level 5. It costs $750, but it also lets you lay down a base in the middle of nowhere while you’re out hunting to rest, craft and cook. It’s super useful if you’re grinding out the role.
Harriet also sells tonics such as the Blending Tonic which lets you blend in with nature and will stop animals from being alerted to your presence. There are also a set of tonics that will play with your character’s in-game weight. If you wish to change the way you look, you can purchase them from Harriet at her shop. Harriet also sells Legendary Animal Pheromones, which you can use while exploring to find Legendary Animals. In my experience, I haven’t found this item very useful, as it’s very expensive - you can just use the Legendary Animal Map Harriet gives you at Level 5 and seek them out yourself with Eagle Eye.
How to sample animals in Red Dead Online
Once you’ve activated the Naturalist role and picked up your sedative ammo, all you have to do is shoot animals with the sedative ammo to put them to sleep. Depending on the heft of the animal, it will take more or less ammo to tranquilise them, so try and figure out how many shots it takes for each animal type so you don’t waste bullets. You can see when you’ve sedated it when you get the red hit marker (which you usually see when you’ve killed someone.)
You should also be able to see a red paw marker with a little symbol in the top right on your minimap, which will show you when an animal has been successfully sedated. Once you’ve got the animal sedated, simply walk up to it, holster your weapons and hold the button to sample it.
For common critters like Frogs, Birds, Squirrels and other small game animals, you’ll kill them instantly if you hit them with the sedative rounds from the Varmint Rifle. It’s not clear how you get around this just yet… so uh, yeah, just try to keep it light so Harriet doesn’t get angry with you.
You’ll draw a sample from the animal and it will enter your inventory. From here all you have to do is head back to Harriet. You can trade it to her for cash and Naturalist XP, and this is the right thing to do when you’re starting out. However, like the Collector role, you’ll get bigger rewards if you collect an entire category of animals first and trade in the set. This takes much longer but the rewards are substantial.
With the Naturalist role, you’ll also receive a field guide which you can check in your radial items menu, on the right where your Collector’s Bag is found. To complete an entry for any animal you have to track, kill, skin, study, sedate, sample and photograph the animal to get the 100% entry in your log.
Harriet Davenport mission types
There are two mission types associated with Harriet Davenport:
- Poached Animal Missions
- Legendary Animal Missions
You can pick up Poached Animal missions from Harriet Davenport as soon as you start the role. You’ll find them in the missions menu when you talk to her. In these missions, you’ll liberate a camp full of poachers and get a chance to free any animals there. It’s an easy way to boost your Naturalist rank early, so keep picking them up in between sample hunting, and when you embark upon them, make sure that you sedate the held animal after you shoot the lock to free it for an extra sample, as the animal can be quite rare on occasion.
The Poached Animal missions are a separate option to the Legendary Animal missions, which are unlocked at Naturalist level 5.
Legendary Animal missions are instanced expeditions like Legendary Bounty Hunter missions where the player must track and hunt a specific animal. You can accept them by talking to Harriet at her post and picking the animals available during the current cycle.
It usually involves following trails, inspecting poop and tracking and taking down rogue poachers who also want the animal for themselves. Wipe them out quickly so they don’t spoil the game.
You can also just use your Legendary Animal map to find Legendary Animals in the wild yourself, beyond the instanced missions. Though keep in mind these are open-world events, so they’re quite rare and will depend on the actions of other players in your session. It’s also worth keeping in mind that the game will offer you a choice once you encounter the Legendary Animal. You can sedate and sample it to bring back to Harriet or kill it for Gus to pick up a unique garment set. The choice is yours!
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