20 updates that could save Red Dead Online
News - Red Dead Redemption · · by Magnar
Red Dead Online, the newest release from Rockstar Games recently turned 3 years old, yet for many fans, it feels as if the game has been forgotten, when at this stage, Red Dead Online should be in its prime. It’s not uncommon for live service titles to start slowly before gaining traction, Sea of Thieves, Fallout 76 and many other titles traversed this path, including Red Dead Online’s older sibling, GTA Online.
Throughout January, #SaveRedDeadOnline, a campaign started by frustrated fans has been trending on Twitter, and almost every announcement or retweet from Rockstar since, has seen their comment section flooded with the hashtag, with many accompanying comments from fans giving ideas & concepts for future updates. The previous Red Dead Online update, Blood Money, released in July 2021, received a lukewarm reception from many fans, and a delay to the typical Winter update has only made matters worse as fans are left wondering what the future holds for the game they love.
The rumour mill is currently silent, leaving fans to speculate about what types of updates Red Dead Online will see in the future if any, so we’ve compiled a list of 20 features and updates that not only could be feasibly added but would also bring a new lease of life to the frontier.
#20 – Multiple Character Slots
A staple in most RPG and MMO-lite games, players have long lamented that Red Dead Online limits you to only one character, requiring you to delete your existing character if you wanted a fresh start on the same account. The only other alternative is setting up a brand new profile on your platform of choice, meaning achievements & playtime wouldn’t be credited to your primary account and in the worst-case scenario, would require a second purchase of the game.
How multiple character slots could work in Red Dead Online
Following the GTA Online model could work well, as it’s already popular among GTA fans. Players are permitted two characters per account, with both characters sharing a bank balance and for those wanting an easier time, the second character can also match the level of your primary character up to level 120. Purchases such as vehicles, apartments & cosmetics are all separated, meaning your second character can have its own identity.
#19 – Player-Owned Wagons
The only current option for players travelling across the frontier is riding a trusty steed, and even then, players are limited to the number of horses they can own. There are also the Bounty & Hunting wagons, however, they aren’t always practical and for those riding with a large posse, have limited space. Adding to that, horses alone offer limited protection from the elements, ambushes and animals you’ll encounter on your travels.
How player-owned wagons could work in Red Dead Online
Giving players the option to own wagons and carts to keep would not only introduce more variety when travelling, but it would also give players a new approach to dealing with different scenarios. Perhaps an armoured wagon to deal with ambushes & hideouts, carts so players can have impromptu races or even a six-seater wagon so the whole posse can travel in style. Any vehicles added should also come with a host of liveries and customisation options, giving players their own unique identities.
#18 – Player-Owned Properties
From GTA Online to games like New World & Elder Scrolls Online, players can own homes as a place to store weapons, vehicles and even display trophies from their adventures. Yet even the wealthiest characters in Red Dead Online are relegated to a temporary campsite as their main base of operations.
How player-owned properties could work in Red Dead Online
There are already hundreds of properties across the map in Red Dead Online that have the potential to be player homes. Some are currently used for online missions, whilst many more have no use and are little more than shells. Giving players a permanent base of operations would allow players to plan heists or robberies in a future update, store horses, pets or even wagons. The wide variety of properties also means players at different points of their Red Dead Online journey can own a property suitable to their needs. Lower end properties in slums can provide shelter, storage and a place to rest, with high-end mansions giving players space to display trophies and plan any outlaw opportunities that may come.
#17 – Change Mission Pay-out Timer
Usually, when a mission timer starts, players are rewarded for finishing as quickly as possible. Yet in Red Dead Online, it’s the opposite. Players are penalised for finishing missions too quickly, receiving lower rewards when turning in a bounty or recovering a wagon. This has led to an “AFK” meta in Red Dead Online that’s been present since launch, players will idly wait for several minutes at the end of a mission to earn the maximum reward, which is fun for nobody.
How changing mission timers could work in Red Dead Online
In most other games, including Red Dead’s older sibling GTA Online, players receive the maximum reward for completing a mission in good time. It would make sense if the same logic applied to Red Dead Online. Mission rewards should decrease the longer it takes to complete an objective, so players who’ve completed the mission optimally are rewarded for their efforts. It will also rid Red Dead Online of the stale, boring, AFK meta.
#16 – Guarma Expeditions
Guarma played a pivotal role in the Red Dead Redemption 2 story and players have long been hoping for a chance to revisit the tropical island in Red Dead Online. Currently, there is no legit way to visit Guarma in what feels like a massive wasted opportunity to give players a new region to explore.
How Guarma could work in Red Dead Online
A Guarma Call to Arms map would be an easy solution, as it would allow players to visit the island, albeit in a limited capacity. Another option could be adding a legendary animal to the island, and having Harriet send players exploring to take a sample. Players could also book a ticket at the Saint-Denis docks and sail to Guarma, exploring freely.
#15 – Player & Horse Items
One thing Red Dead Online players often mention is that they’ve managed to accumulate a lot of wealth, but they don’t have anything to spend it on, as the Naturalist update in 2020 was the last update that added a bunch of items for players to buy. The only noteworthy items added with the Bounty Hunter & Blood Money updates were story mode outfits, which ended up costing a staggering amount of Gold Bars or the Outlaw Passes, which have seen a decline in quality and quantity since 2020.
How new items could help Red Dead Online
Players love it when their character feels and looks unique, yet when the number of cosmetic items becomes limited, players lose that feeling. Adding new horse variants with more customisation options, along with player clothing & appearance options, weapon variants, camp themes and wagon variants could help players, as they’ll have more things to buy and have a greater sense of individuality with their character.
#14 – Economy Rebalancing
The Red Dead Online economy has been troubled since the game was released. Rockstar Games did make adjustments during the games beta period, yet problems remain. Activities such as Stranger Missions and Gang Hideouts aren’t worth the time invested, especially if the player’s primary goal is to earn money, as collecting a few coins will net several hundred dollars profit which presents a much better time investment.
How fixing the economy could work in Red Dead Online
Reducing the number of currencies available would be the place to start:
- Role Tokens don’t need to exist, as players can unlock all Role items by levelling up. It seems like Role Tokens were intended to allow players to have unique a “build” in a Role, unlocking the perks they want, yet they fail at this too.
- Capitale also serves no great purpose other than being the entry cost to the Blood Money opportunities. Capitale also costs Gold Bars, so with the opportunity rewards only being a few dollars, players will essentially be losing money by completing them. Removing Capitale or allowing players to convert dollars into Capitale would be a better alternative.
- Cash & Gold could in theory work, but with almost all recent additions to the game costing Gold Bars and not Cash, players are accumulating wealth as there simply isn’t anything to buy with the dollars they have. Allowing players to convert dollars into Gold Bars, via a bank or the fence could be an option.
Outside of currencies, activity rewards should be standardised, as some reward you with Gold, some reward you with Cash, and the amounts vary greatly with little rhyme or reason, save for Trader & Moonshiner deliveries which pay-out on your time invested, the rest of the pay-outs are random. Having a standard reward, with bonuses for time completion, difficulty and side objectives would be a better solution
#13 – Gang Allegiance
There are ten prominent gangs in Red Dead Redemption 2, yet in Red Dead Online, they’re only mentioned in passing and can rarely be interacted with in any meaningful way. Even Legendary Bounty missions only give brief mentions of some of the gangs.
How gangs could work in Red Dead Online
Players should be allowed to ally with different gangs, taking the rewards and accepting the consequences of their allegiance. For example, ally with the Del Lobos and be rewarded with weapons, ammo and gang member assistance throughout New Austin when completing missions. Venture outside of the Del Lobos sphere of influence, you could face ambushes from O’Driscoll’s or Lemoyne Raiders, be hunted by the Night Folk or have stores & fences refuse your custom where the Skinner Brothers hold power. Red Dead Online already has MMO-lite elements, so adding gang allegiances onto that would be a natural way to build upon the world and add meaning to decisions players make.
#12 – Dog Companions
Having a companion join you on adventures is something games have been doing for time immemorial. With Dogmeat accompanying you in Fallout 4 to Lydia carrying your burdens in Skyrim, many players, especially those who play online games solo, have enjoyed having company on their journeys. Yet even though you can purchase a dog in Red Dead Online, it’s relegated to sitting at your camp day & night, dealing with Cripps’ scorn.
How dog companions could work in Red Dead Online
Players can already own dogs and mods have allowed players to recruit bodyguards that follow, protect and listen to instructions. A similar system should come to Red Dead Online. Adding Roles into the equation, you could even give specific dog breeds an affinity to each Role, making your objectives easier. Perhaps a Husky can spot collectibles, Collie can help track bounties or even have a Bloodhound warn you of ambushes up ahead. There are plenty of opportunities to give pet companions the chance to have a meaningful impact as we play.
#11 – Game Mode Adjustments
Red Dead Online features great game modes, but many have a common flaw, PVP is enabled. In the horse races, which could be fun, players have access to a range of weapons, rather than races being a test of the skill of a rider, they quickly become a shootout. Master Archer has a similar problem, the game mode in free aim could be a good test of a players skill, yet it always devolved into chaos reminiscent of a deathmatch rather than an archery contest.
How could game mode adjustments work in Red Dead Online?
To put it simply, copy GTA Online. Allow players in a lobby screen to set game mode rules. In GTA Online, players can choose whether PVP is enabled, what camera mode is used, whether it’s owned weapons or player weapons only, even the time of day & weather. Red Dead Online doesn’t have any of these options and enabling players to choose how they play their game modes would be a breath of fresh air.
#10 – Boats & Canoe Races
When travelling across the Frontier, players will encounter sprawling rivers, rapids & creeks, so it’s a surprise that boats and canoes have little to no use. Boats will also sink if taken too far from shore in Red Dead Online, resulting in certain death and leaving players with little reason to use them if they can even find one, as players can’t buy boats to keep, which outside of the main rivers makes them tricky to find.
How boats could be improved in Red Dead Online
Allowing players to sail in a boat without sinking would be a good start. From there, boat races should be available throughout the world, be it drifting through the swamps of Lemoyne, or canoeing down the winding Dakota River with all its obstacles. It wouldn’t be a major addition to the game, even so, adding more enjoyable social games will always be a win.
#9 – Hot Air Balloon Rides
Many players have encountered Hot Air Balloons in Red Dead Online, though usually they’re spawned in by modders, as there is no legit way to buy them. In such a beautiful game, it’s a great shame that you can only see it from the ground. Allowing players to rent Balloons to take a scenic tour of the map would be incredible, as the Red Dead Redemption 2 can be truly breath-taking.
How Hot Air Balloons could work in Red Dead Online.
The Naturalist & Collector Roles provided the perfect opportunity for the Hot Air Balloon to arrive in Red Dead Online. Naturalists could use it to track rare & legendary animals that Harriet has sighted, or Collectors could use their binoculars at a higher vantage point to locate collectibles.
#8 – Casino Boat
The Grand Korrigan is the extravagant riverboat first encountered in the Red Dead Redemption 2 story, notable for gambling tournaments. The Grand Korrigan also has a bar and stage for performers. Although it can be accessed in Red Dead Online using glitches, players trying to access it via the river will get teleported back to land.
How The Grand Korrigan Casino boat could work in Red Dead Online
In Red Dead Online, there are poker tables across the map, yet they don’t see much use, as some are in towns that aren’t too popular with players. The Grand Korrigan would be a central social hub for players to gamble, chat with others or even hang out. Rockstar could take the opportunity to add in other casino games or have musicians perform on stage, something that they’re fond of in GTA Online.
#7 – Store Robberies
In a game with a story mode following a gang of outlaws, surprisingly little of that reaches Red Dead Online. Players aren’t able to hold up stores or even rob NPCs and players. Players had hoped the Blood Money update would remedy this, sadly it failed to do so, leaving playing once again longing for an Outlaw Role or at least the opportunity to pursue an Outlaw lifestyle.
How Store Robberies could work in Red Dead Online
Similarly to GTA Online and even the Red Dead Redemption 2 story, players should be able to enter a store, and if they’re pursuing a life on the wrong side of the law, they should be able to rob it, whether it’s just stealing inventory, emptying the cash register or even busting into a safe.
#6 – Bank Heists
In most media set in the Wild West era, bank heists and robberies are usually featured somewhere along the lines. Yet Red Dead Online doesn’t have any heist game mode, and only house robberies are available as part of the poorly received Blood Money update. Since Red Dead Online launched in 2018, players have been crying out for heists, yet their pleas go unanswered, and Rockstar has given no indication that heists will arrive any time soon. At this point in GTA Online’s life, heists had been around for ages, and many other major updates, including more heists, were still on the way.
How adding bank heists could work in Red Dead Online
There are a few banks in Red Dead Online, and although many aren’t the size or scale of those in GTA Online, there is still potential for heists if done right. Allowing players to choose their approach, weaponry and escape method could add a level of gameplay not yet seen in the game. Heists could even involve breaking into the prison on Sisika, or even the fort at Guarma.
#5 – Train Heists
Adding Train Heists to Red Dead Online in a free-roam environment would be incredible. Currently, trains are useless, with only the Red Ben Clempson bounty and a Moonshiner mission using them to decent effect. Outside of that, trains have no loot and rarely even have passengers as they drive around the map aimlessly, if they even spawn at all.
How Train Heists could work in Red Dead Online
Allowing players the opportunity to choose how they approach the heist would be great, be it the method of stopping the train, breaking into the loot carriage or even how they deal with people on the train. Different approaches will give players more reason to replay the heists, which is sorely lacking in other Red Dead Online content.
#4 – Private Lobbies
Dealing with players who grief and harass you is never fun, especially when playing a game that doesn’t have a working block function. For many who play Red Dead Online, this is unavoidable due to all servers being public. Over the years, players have found ways to create private servers, yet, they’re usually tricky to make and come with limitations. Players who use private servers have noted that animal spawns even work better, likely due to the reduced player count.
How adding private lobbies could work in Red Dead Online
Although comparing Red Dead Online to GTA Online doesn’t always make sense, in this case, it really does! The system in GTA Online works great as players can create friend only sessions and even make their playlists invite only. There are also options for crew lobbies and solo lobbies, so players can decide how they want to play.
#3 – Finish A Land Of Opportunities Story
A Land of Opportunities is a multi-part story, that for many players, serves as the introduction to Red Dead Online. Jessica LeClerk along with her right-hand man Horley is seeking revenge against the men who killed her husband. Throughout the missions, players will uncover the plot that led to the death of Jessica’s husband and reveal everyone involved.
During a cutscene in the mission Destroyed by Grief, Jessica mentions Grace Lancing, wife of Amos Lancing who needs to be brought down. Yet after almost three years, the story hasn’t concluded and Jessica is still waiting to get her revenge.
How A Land of Opportunities story could be finished in Red Dead Online
Finishing the story would tie up these loose ends and give players more content outside of Roles. Jessica & Horley could be re-introduced as they now have intel on Grace Lancing, and how they plan to get revenge for her part in the death of Jessica’s husband.
#2 – Rockstar Editor
The Rockstar Editor was a tool in GTAV that allowed players to record their gameplay without using 3rd party tools. Players could edit what they’ve recorded, with custom camera angles, camera effects and camera movement. The Rockstar Editor resulted in the production of thousands of videos, from players showing stunts to fully-fledged machinima movies. References to the Rockstar Editor are in the Red Dead Redemption game files, yet there is no sign that Rockstar is going to bring it to the game, and so far have remained silent on the subject.
How adding the Rockstar Editor could work in Red Dead Online
Players have been using mods to create short videos, yet the time and patience required to complete videos this way is off the charts. Along with mods, many 3rd party tools are required to record & edit videos. Introducing The Rockstar Editor would allow players to capture & edit videos in-game. Bringing about a content creation renaissance, which is something that Red Dead has lacked when compared to GTA.
#1 – Job / Content Creator
The Content Creator in GTA Online is one of the greatest tools available in the game. For nine years, players have created thousands of races, missions and even recreated popular modes seen in other games. Browsing through Social Club, you’ll see creations with over 50 million plays. It’s obvious that the Creator is not only something players enjoy using, but also that players love playing the games created.
How the Content Creator could work in Red Dead Online
Many small features & game modes are missing from Red Dead Online, yet a content creator could fix that. Players could go and make game modes that are missing and improve on existing game modes. Players could create wagon & boat races, PVP adjusted in game modes and we could see brand new creations. As seen with GTA Online, the possibilities are endless, we just need a bit of desire from Rockstar Games to add the Content Creator to the game.
In Red Dead Online, the possibilities truly are limitless and with more love from Rockstar Games, the game has the potential to flourish. These are just 20 ideas out of the thousands suggested by fans, what would you like to see added in a Red Dead Online update if it’s not included in this list?
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