New Naturalist Role XP Guide
Naturalist · · by Magnar
A quick guide to earning XP in the Naturalist Role.
The Naturalist Role in Red Dead Online is one of the most confusing, in this guide we’ll hopefully clear up any confusion and show ways that you can easily earn XP & level up quickly.
Starting out as a level 1-5 naturalist playing “solo”.
As you start out in this role, the XP gain will be very slow. Out of the five existing roles, it’s by far the most “grindy” up until you reach the first role tier at level 5.
The first thing you should do is learn how to sedate animals & take samples that can be sold to Harriet. We have a guide about sedation & samples here. Once you know how to do this, you should continue reading.
What are animal “Categories”?
If you complete a collection for Madam Nazar, she will refer to it as a “Set”. Harriet refers to them as Categories.
There are multiple Animal/Habitat categories, Farmland Habitats, Desert Habitats, Wetland Habitats & more.
Each animal you sample fits into one of these categories and when you sample all the animals within a category, e.g Desert, you will have completed the Category/Set which can be traded in for bonus XP. Just like a completed Madam Nazar set.
How much is a completed Category worth?
The XP & cash earned varies depending on the category, for example, Legendary animal categories are worth much more than Desert or Farmland categories. However, this is a beginner guide so we will focus on the Desert Habitats Category.
The Desert Habitats Category has 14 animals, all of which can be found in New Austin. They’re all very common animals to New Austin, like Iguanas, Bucks, Sheep & Rams.
If you sedate & sample all 14 of the Desert Habitats animals, you can sell them all to Harriet for 700 XP. Harriet will then stamp your samples, which will result in a completed Desert Habitats category which can also be Traded in via your Animal Guide Book for $80 and 1000 XP.
To summarise, you can earn 1700 XP in a short amount of time just by sampling animals from the desert. Each level in the role requires 2000 XP so you can level up in no time at all.
TIP: Use the Red Dead Online map to locate any animals you are struggling to find, however, they are all super common! – https://jeanropke.github.io/RDOMap/
You should do this until you hit level 5, at which point you unlock legendary animal missions.
Legendary Animal Missions.
When you reach level 5, Harriet will give you assignments to track down and take samples of legendary animals. It can be a boar, a beaver, elk, fox or even a bison.
Completing these missions will net you 300 XP for the mission and 400 XP for the sample when sold to Harriet. The missions do have a cooldown, so you may need to be patient if you complete them quickly.
You will also unlock more missions as you level up and rockstar have promised to add more in the coming weeks.
Have a friend above level 5? Join legendary missions to earn XP much faster!
If you have friends who are already level 5 and above in the Naturalist role, you can join their posse and take part in their Legendary animal missions that will earn you 300 XP per mission and 400 XP when you trade in the legendary animal sample.
This is a quicker way than playing solo, however, the legendary missions do have cooldowns so you will have to wait after you complete them.
Whilst your waiting, follow the guide above, get to the desert and get that easy XP!
All ways to Earn XP in the Naturalist Role:
You will earn XP for the following:
- 10 XP for reviving a sedated animal (requires expensive tonics)
- 50 XP for studying an animal
- 50 XP for selling an animal sample
- 150 XP for completing a poacher mission
- 300 XP for completing a Legendary animal mission
- 400 XP for selling a Legendary animal sample
I wouldn’t recommend reviving animals, the tonics are very costly and you only earn 10 XP.
Poacher missions are also very repetitive and for the time taken, don’t net you any more XP than getting samples from 3 deer would.
Legendary Animals/Missions are by far the best way, however, if you are under level 5 they won’t be accessible if you play solo.
Naturalist Role XP Guide Tips:
Tip 1: You can only have 1 of each animal sample “stamped” within each category at a time. The most efficient way of selling categories is to sell Harriet 1 of each sample until a category is completed, you can then trade the category in for bonus cash & XP and do it again.
Tip 2: If you have the Outlaw Pass, you can unlock a Role XP boost that will increase your XP gain by 15%, 25% or 30% depending on which you have unlocked.
Tip 3: If you have Twitch Prime linked, you can earn XP/Benefits via the Outlaw Pass a little quicker which can help you get to level 5 and start completing your own legendary missions.
Tip 4: You can go to Emerald Ranch and earn XP/Samples from all of the farm animals, as sedating them won’t get you in trouble with the law!
Tip 5: Legendary Animals can be found in free-roam as soon as you start the role, however, they are very rare, so it’s not worth spending too much time searching for them. It’s better to encounter them randomly as you do other activities.