Red Dead Redemption 2’s online component drops sometime this month and there are a few things you should do if you plan on playing Red Dead Online when it arrives.
The company hasn’t announced a specific release date, but Red Dead Online is slated to hit the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 sometime in November.
The game’s online mode will start in beta which means it’ll likely be plagued with a variety of bugs and performance issues. Rockstar will use the feedback from the beta to improve the game going forward.
With the Red Dead Online release date set for November, here are a few things we think Xbox One and PlayStation 4 players should do before the game mode arrives.
Buy Red Dead Redemption 2
If you want to play Red Dead Redemption 2 online, you need to own a copy of Red Dead Redemption 2. Red Dead Online is a separate component, but it’s not sold on its own.
Anyone who owns a copy of Red Dead Redemption 2 can play Red Dead Online for free though there will be micro-transactions in the game.
Buy the Right Edition
If you haven’t bought Red Dead Redemption 2 yet, make sure you buy the right version for you and your budget.
There are three versions of Red Dead Redemption 2. You’ve got the $60 (without a deal) standard version of the game. You’ve also got the $80 (without a deal) Special Edition and the $100 Ultimate Edition. The Special and Ultimate Editions come with some in-game bonuses.
While the Special Edition bonuses are mostly focused on the Story Mode, the bonuses from the Ultimate Edition will appeal to those of you who plan to play a lot of Red Dead Online.
The Ultimate Edition comes with bonus outfits, a bonus horse, a Survivor Camp theme, access to additional weapons, and rank bonuses.
It’s expensive, but if you plan to play Red Dead Online for the next year, or longer, it might make sense to go with the Ultimate Edition.
For more on the pros and cons of each Red Dead Redemption 2 edition, take a look at our guide.
Get Through the Tutorial
If you don’t have a strong desire to play the single player story mode or you don’t have a ton of time to play before Red Dead Online launches, try and at least play through the game’s opening tutorial mode.
The story mode’s “tutorial” will take most of you a couple of hours and it will introduce you to the game’s basics which include hunting, shooting, moving, interacting with NPCs, questing system, riding your horse, and using the inventory wheel.
All of these will likely play a role in the game’s online mode so it’s important to get familiar with them before you dive in with other players.
Get Familiar With The Map
Most players should continue beyond the tutorial a) because the game is good and b) to get familiar with advanced game mechanics and the map. The single player map will likely mirror Red Dead Online’s.
Prepare for a Red Dead Online Update
We don’t expect Red Dead Online to require another 90GB download, but Rockstar will likely issue an sizable update in order to deploy the online game mode.
If you don’t have a ton of space available you’ll want to free up a few GB (at least) as we push toward the mode’s release date. Look through all of your data and delete files you no longer need.
Find People to Play With
Some of you are gearing up to play Red Dead Online with friends and family. Others are going at it alone. If you don’t have a group to play with just yet, but would prefer to roam the map with a gang of like-minded people, try and find some people to play with right now.
These are a ton of places to seek out future playing partners, but the Red Dead Redemption Reddit is probably the best place to find a group.
Red Dead Online will likely be enjoyable as a solo player, but if it’s anything like GTA Online or Red Dead Redemption’s online mode, you’ll have a lot of fun riding around and exploring with a group.
Keep an Eye Out for Rumors
Rockstar hasn’t gone into the specific Red Dead Online details just yet, but rumors have outlined some of the key details ahead of time. We aren’t going to spoil them here, but if you’re interested, take a look at our guide to Red Dead Online beta.
If you don’t care about spoilers or if you’re still on the fence about picking up a copy of the game before Red Dead Online launches, make sure you keep an eye out for unofficial and official information.
It will help you set the proper expectations for the beta.
Invest in a Mic
If you plan to play Red Dead Online with a group of players, it might be time to invest in a new microphone.
You don’t need to spend $200+ on a great dedicated microphone. There are some great $40-50 mics out there that will do the job just fine.
Here are a few reasons to invest in something a little nicer than a pair of earbuds:
- Red Dead Redemption 2’s score and sound effects are great.
- Situation awareness. Great sound can put you a step ahead of your enemies.
- Your friends will thank you because your voice will come through clearly.
PS4 and Xbox One controllers still have a 3.5mm headphone jack so if you don’t want to spend a ton of money, you should look around for a pair of headphones. Just be sure to test them before the Red Dead Online release date arrives.
Think About Buying the Xbox One X or PS4 Pro
If you’re still using an original Xbox One or PlayStation 4, and you own a 4K television, you might think about buying a new console in and around the Red Dead Online release date.
There are some great reasons to invest in a new console in 2018. Games not only look better on the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, but they perform better too.
If you want the best version of Red Dead Online you’ll want to consider buying one this fall. If you don’t know where to start we’ve put together guides to buying the Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro.
We should see a bunch of PS4 and Xbox One X Black Friday deals keep your eyes peeled as we push toward the start of the holiday shopping season.
Buy for a Great Story & Voice Acting
Red Dead Redemption 2 is a sprawling game with lots to do. There are plenty of other games that provide a huge sandbox to play around though few games can match the quality of Rockstar's open world experiences. And that starts with the story and the voice acting.
I'm not going to spoil anything here, but know that Red Dead Redemption 2's storyline, characters, and dialogue are the backbone of this game.
Many games provide a huge playground, but very few back it up with a memorable cast of characters that you truly care about and want to interact with.
Often times characters are underdeveloped, annoying, and/or forgettable. It's the exact opposite in Red Dead Redemption 2. You'll might even come to love the game's most vile characters.
The main story line is outstanding and believable and the actors (including the original John Marston) and actresses that voice the main characters, lesser characters, and various other NPCs truly bring these them to life.
The main story is just one piece though. There are side quests with minor characters and random events with strangers. You can also interact with every person in the game.
These side missions and the organic random interactions have been quite enjoyable. On one ride up into the mountains to look for a legendary animal I ran into five unique random events.
This is a world populated with characters that are truly interesting and believable and it's one of the game's obvious (once you start playing) strengths.
If you love a good western or if you like good writing, the story alone is worth the price of admission.
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