Red Dead Online (opens in new tab) is still technically in beta and Rockstar's making good on that pre-release designation with a big ol' update on February 26. It will have the usual assortment of new modes and items of course, but there are also some fundamental tweaks to how players can find and interact with each other. Rockstar's keeping some of the changes a mystery until the update arrives, but here are the biggest tweaks you can look forward to right now. Unless you're a griefer, in which case "dread" will hopefully be a more accurate description of your emotional state.
Fishing tournies and daily challenges give you more to do
Red Dead Online will require no further updates after the addition of Fishing to the existing array of Competitive Challenges, though it will probably get them anywhere. Players who participate in a Fishing Challenge will be outfitted with a rod and the appropriate lures (there are separate challenges for river fishing, lake fishing, and so on). Then find yourself a good spot and cast out in peace, as no other players will be able to attack you while you're participating. Whoever hauls in the most fish by weight by the end of the challenge wins. New (non-competitive) Daily Challenges will also reward you with XP and Gold Nuggets for everything from foraging herbs to clearing hideouts.
Fool's Gold event joins a set of Showdowns
Want more legitimate excuses to shoot your fellow players? That's healthy, so listen up: the new Fool's Gold Free Roam Event will give one player an ostentatious, yet quite protective, suit of armor. Get kills in your King Knight (opens in new tab) cosplay to rack up points, but if anybody can take you down, they'll get some points of their own and become the new fool-in-gold to boot. Rockstar also teased a trio of new Showdown modes, titled Smoke, Spoils of War, and Plunder. New Target Races will combine horseback shooting with a checkpoint charge toward the finish line.
Griefers beware map tweaks and bounty hunters
Jerk moves like tracking down the same player and repeatedly killing them will be much harder when the update goes live. You can check out our previous writeup (opens in new tab) for the gritty, gleeful details, but the key notes are this: you won't be visible on the map by default any more, but players who kill other players a lot will be, and NPC bounty hunters will come after them just like in single player. Heck yeah. One more for the road if you don't like listening to a bunch of randos shout at each other across the map: the voice chat radius will be reduced to only work at a closer vicinity as well.
New guns, clothes, and emotes
It's all about the acquisition of stuff in the end, and the update will give you plenty more of that too. Arsenal-wise, you can look forward to the high-capacity Evans Repeater rifle and double-barreled Rare Shotgun joining the catalogue. If you've got the cash and/or gold to spare on fashion statements, a whole assortment of new wearables (including a hat with a snake on it) are coming as well. You'll also be able to express yourself with a selection of new emotes to greet, react to, and taunt your fellow desperados.
Get some cash together to spend on all the cool new stuff with our guide on how to make money fast in Red Dead Online (opens in new tab).