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Red Dead Online Roles: What are the best specialist roles to focus on

Red Dead Online roles
(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

The online Western world continues to evolve, and the biggest update since it left the beta phase sees Red Dead Online roles introduced on September 10. As part of the Frontier Pursuits update, specialist roles will be added that allow you to take your Red Dead Online character down a specific path to unlock unique items and abilities. Initially there are three specialist roles available – Bounty Hunter, Trader, and Collector – and each will develop your skills in a different way. If you want to know what the best Red Dead Online roles are for your particular play style, then read on and we'll explain the benefits of each one.

How do Red Dead Online roles work?

Red Dead Online roles

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

Each of the Red Dead Online roles has 20 role ranks to progress through by earning role XP, which you get by completing activities specific to that role. You'll receive a role token for every role rank you unlock, which you can save up and use to purchase unique items for that particular role. You'll also unlock new skills at certain ranks that will help you better fulfil the role you're working on. Each of the Red Dead Online roles has a requirement to get started on that path, which we'll detail further below.

Red Dead Online role: Bounty Hunter

Red Dead Online roles - Bounty Hunter

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

How to get started as a Bounty Hunter: Go to Rhodes and find the Legendary Bounty Hunter to buy the Bounty Hunter License. This costs 15 gold bars, though if you previously linked your Twitch and Rockstar Games Social Club accounts before September 8 then you can collect it for free.

If you want to become a fancy gunslinger, then the Red Dead Online Bounty Hunter role should appeal. You'll unlock various gun spinning tricks as you rank up by bringing in wanted criminals, as well as additional weapons such as bolas and a reinforced lasso to help you restrain tough targets. Bounties can be acquired from boards near post offices, railway stations, and law offices, with greater rewards available for felons you bring back alive. Once you hit role rank 12, you'll also get the opportunity to apprehend other online players with a bounty of $20 or more, by following an invite if a pursuit is happening nearby.

As a Bounty Hunter, you can unlock unique skills and items including:

  • Focus: Targets glow red in Eagle Eye
  • Reinforced Lasso: A lasso made with reinforced rope to keep bounties secure
  • Reverse Spin: Perform a Reverse Spin with a single pistol or revolver
  • Tonics Satchel Upgrade: Store more items in your Tonics Pouch
  • Eagle Eye+: Track enemies while sprinting or galloping
  • Spin Up: Perform a Spin Up with a single pistol or revolver
  • Kit Satchel Upgrade: Store more items in your Kit Pouch
  • Tracking Arrow Pamphlet: A pamphlet recipe on how to craft Tracking Arrows
  • Reverse Spin Up: Perform a Reverse Spin Up with a single pistol or revolver
  • Ducking: Duck for protection while on horseback
  • Bolas: A thrown weapon, perfect for tangling the legs of bounties
  • Bounty Wagon: A wagon for securely retaining bounty targets
  • Perception: Receive a notification of bounties from a greater distance
  • Alternating Flips: Perform Alternating Flips with a single pistol or revolver
  • Dual Gun Spinning: Perform gun spinning tricks with two pistols or revolvers

Red Dead Online role: Trader

Red Dead Online roles - Trader

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

How to get started as a Trader: Buy the Butcher's Table for your camp. This costs 15 gold bars, though PlayStation 4 players can collect it for free.

If hunting is your game, then taking on the Red Dead Online Trader role is the next logical step. Working alongside Cripps at your camp, you'll rank up by harvesting pelts and carcasses for materials, which your trusty companion will then convert into sellable goods. You'll need to send out these goods as safe local deliveries or riskier long distance runs, and as you progress you'll unlock better delivery wagons and improved security measures to protect your camp from raids. Levelling up will also make you a more efficient hunter, allowing you to harvest and carry an increased amount of materials.

As a Trader, you can unlock unique skills and items including:

  • Stew Pot: A camp upgrade that unlocks stew recipes to boost cores
  • Ingredients Satchel Upgrade: Store more items in your Ingredients Pouch
  • Awareness: Identify rival Trader wagons at an increased range
  • Canine Warning: Train your dog to warn of thieves raiding your camp
  • Medium Delivery Wagon: An upgraded wagon that can hold 2 barrels for transport
  • Weapons Locker: Store weapons for later use
  • Lance Knife: A bespoke knife style available to Traders only
  • Efficiency: Learn to increase the amount of usable materials from perfect carcasses
  • Materials Satchel Upgrade: Store more items in your Materials Pouch
  • Large Delivery Wagon: An upgraded wagon that can hold 4 barrels for transport
  • Hunting Wagon: A sturdy wagon fit for carrying multiple carcasses, hides and pelts
  • Protection: Reduce the chance of raids at your camp

Red Dead Online role: Collector

Red Dead Online roles - Collector

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

How to get started as a Collector: Find the Red Dead Online Madam Nazar travelling saleswoman and buy the Collector's Bag. This costs 15 gold bars, though if you've already found all 54 GTA Online playing cards then you can collect if for free.

For the completionists out there, the Red Dead Online Collector role should be a perfect fit. You'll rank up by searching out hidden trinkets, including lost family heirlooms, Tarot cards, and buried treasure to dig up with your handy field shovel, which you can either sell off individually or work towards completing sets for a bigger payday. While levelling up you'll improve your searching skills, allowing you to detect collectible items with greater accuracy, as well as unlocking new tools such as a metal detector to identify buried treasures and a horse lantern to help you continue your searches in the dark.

As a Collector, you can unlock unique skills and items including:

  • Divination: Sense when near collectibles
  • Pennington Field Shovel: An essential tool for uncovering buried collectibles 
  • Potential: Detect disturbed earth when using Eagle Eye
  • Intuition: Narrow your search area
  • Horse Saddlebag Upgrade: Carry more in your Horse’s saddlebag 
  • Refined Binoculars: Specialized binoculars that make dig sites glow from a great distance
  • Águila Machete: A classic machete restyled for the use of adventurous and belligerent Collectors
  • Metal Detector: An important tool which can identify collectibles buried underground
  • Equine Assistance: Collect herbs from horseback
  • Horse Lantern: Light the path ahead with a lantern attached to your horse’s breastplate
  • Valuables Satchel Upgrade: Store more items in your Valuables Pouch
  • Witford Compass: A decorative compass designed to adorn the Gun Belts of budding Collectors

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