How Red Dead Online's new Roles echo the Red Dead Redemption 2 campaign

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

Red Dead Online's biggest update yet is just weeks away. It will add three playable Roles - Bounty Hunter, Trader, and Collector - to the online mode in a push to bring it closer to the Red Dead Redemption 2 campaign. In a new feature from our sister publication Official Xbox Magazine, Rockstar outlined how these Roles will push the RPG side of the pseudo-MMORPG and give players more meaningful ways to build their characters. 

"What elements of the single-player feeling do we need to bring over into Online?" asked Rockstar North co-studio head Rob Nelson. "It's not a one-to-one translation, but we want to know what aspects of the game, what feelings and experiences resonated with people." Roles are the first step toward folding those feelings and experiences into Red Dead Online. Rockstar wants "to bring the world of Red Dead Online as close to the level of immersion and interaction of Red Dead Redemption 2 as we can." 

"One of the biggest challenges I think we face is trying to create an experience that allows people to truly role-play in a non-linear way, while still feeling a deep sense of connection to their character and the world that they inhabit," Nelson said. "It means we can give players more agency and freedom, but without being able to structure the experience as much [as we can in single-player], how do you still make it meaningful?" 

READ THE FULL INTERVIEW IN OFFICIAL XBOX MAGAZINE

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

This interview came from Official Xbox Magazine. To read all of Rob Nelson's thoughts on the future of Read Dead Online, pick up a copy of OXM #180.

What Red Dead Online lacks in structure, it makes up for in flexibility. Rockstar is planning to evolve these Roles using player feedback in the months and years to come. Players will also be able to freely swap between these roles at any time, which Nelson hopes "will help players create their own story." At the same time, if you do commit to one Role and really channel your inner Bounty Hunter, Trader, or Collector, you'll receive Role-specific gear and rewards you can use to demonstrate your dedication. 

The hope is that these Roles will give players clear paths to latch onto and make their own, while giving the often chaotic Red Dead Online a throughline of investment to help define the mode. From what we've heard thus far, they sound mighty promising and could fill a void in Red Dead Online, so I reckon this update can't come soon enough. 

Head here for more on the Cyberpunk issue of OXM feature the full Rob Nelson interview. Find out where to buy OXM near you with this store finder. Don't fancy walking to the shops? Get OXM delivered directly to your door every month, with some great savings on an OXM print subscription.