Even though everyone more or less agrees that Grand Theft Online was an enormous disaster that squandered its great potential due to Rockstar’s incredibly poor economy driven by the need for Shark Cards, fans everywhere have basically given up pushing back against the rise of microtransactions in favor of just accepting life as it is. As a result, Red Dead Online is booming in popularity despite Rockstar having learned nothing from their last outing. If you’re one of the brave few trying to enjoy the game’s online half without giving into Gold Bars, you’re probably struggling, but that’s why we’re here.
Although making money online is both time consuming and initially difficult, it is by no means impossible. Rockstar is not so evil where players who refuse to give into microtransactions will be barred from progress. You’ll need to dedicate some time, of course, but there are some surprisingly easy methods for money making online. Some are even deceptively simple, making use of ideas that almost seem too obvious to work. That’s the beauty of any online world, though- sooner or later, players will discover the most optimal ways of progression through trial and error, and teamwork. Rockstar’s economy might be intentionally horrible, but that doesn’t mean we can’t game the system.
25 The Stone Hatchet And You
The Stone Hatchet is one of the best weapons you can get in Red Dead Online, at least insofar as melee weapons go, but actually getting the hatchet requires you to play a fair bit of Grand Theft Online. If you don’t have access to both games, move along because you won’t be getting this hatchet.
In GTO, do five bounties for Eccles and then you’ll unlock the hatchet. With the hatchet, slaughter 25 opponents with it and you’ll unlock access to it in Red Dead Online. Hop onto RDO and you’ll need to find the Stone Hatchet near the burial site. It’s a bit of work, but it isn’t difficult to get done by any means.
24 Don’t Buy Clothes
In an online game, it’s only natural customization play a key role. Ultimately, every player will want to carve out their own personal identity in the economy of the game. Doing so requires money, though, and buying new clothes to customize your avatar is going to run your wallet dry fast.
Get used to those default clothes.
This does mean, unfortunately, you shouldn’t be buying clothes. Ever. The less you spend on clothes, the more money you’ll naturally be spending. You should only buy clothes when you have a surplus of money that you truly do not need. Otherwise, you’re throwing your cash down a virtual sink with no bottom.
23 Or Upgrades
On that note, this also means you should avoid buying upgrades as much as possible. This is a bit more problematic since upgrading your weapons will actively make the game a smoother experience, but this is a luxury we can’t afford. Literally. You’re better off saving your money and getting accustomed to the guns as they come. A skilled or talented player won’t need upgrades to play well. Does it eliminate your in-game identity even more so? Most definitely, but that’s just an unfortunate consequence of Rockstar’s online game design.
22 Hunting Perfect Pelts
If you don’t stop to study every single animal in your path, you simply aren’t hunting correctly. When you study a new animal, you specifically get information on how to obtain a perfect pelt from skinning them. As hunting plays such a large role in making easy money online, you’ll naturally want perfect pelts.
Only fools don't study their prey.
Whenever you see an animal on your hunt, simply steady your study on them and adjust your equipment to match what the blurb suggest you hunt them with. Keep in mind that your equipment not only has to be exact, you need to aim for a clean kill without damaging the animal too much.
21 Never Eat
You need to eat to survive, this is not debatable. Should you stop eating for long enough, your stats will decrease and you’ll find it incredibly difficult to have enough stamina to get around anywhere. Did you think we meant real life? You know what kind of article you’re reading. That said, let’s not eat, alright?
For every can of beans you feed your virtual avatar, you’re throwing away precious money that can be placed into your wallet. Sell your food, don’t eat them. Sometimes you might need to eat in order to actually survive, but… don’t. It’s counterintuitive, but it’s an easy way to make money. If you want to eat, get ready to be poor. Online’s weirdly realistic, isn’t it?
20 The Leisure Of Fishing
Red Dead Redemption II might actually have one of the easiest fishing mini-games in the entire medium. Traditionally, a fishing mini-game requires quite a bit of effort on the player’s end, but Rockstar decided to go easy on our thumbs. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing as it means you can catch fish online incredibly fast. Regardless of which fish you catch, you’ll find yourself with more than enough soggy critters to trade into the butcher, earning you a respectable payday from just lounging about.
19 Catching The Steelhead Trout
The Steelhead Trout is easily one of the best fish you can find in the game. Not just because it makes for a good and reliable meal, but because it fetches a nice price. All you need is some worm bait one of the cheapest baits in the game) and to fish in either the Kamassa River, Flat Iron Lake, Lannahechee River, Lower Montana River, or San Luis River.
Don't even think about eating that trout, though.
If you can manage to catch a few Steelhead Trouts, you’ll be able to cash in a bigger profit than you would just be leisurely fishing. Of course, the fish’s notoriety does mean you’ll likely be competing with some players so there is still a benefit to fishing elsewhere. If you can get a quiet spot, though, the Steelhead Trouts will be kind to you.
18 Alligator Skinning
Go to any swamp on the map and just start going to town on alligators. Well, maybe not “to town” since the key to hunting is ensuring you get a perfect pelt each time, but the point is that alligators will fetch you quite the pretty penny. Slaughter as many alligators as you can (cleanly, of course,) and take them to the butcher for a handsome payday.
So long as you can gun down alligators fast enough, you’ll never be in any real danger and the ease of taking them out will pay for itself before you know it. Thankfully, alligator hunting isn’t all too popular as of yet so this is a reliable and peaceful way of making some easy money. So long as you get those perfect pelts, of course.
17 Shoot Every Bird
There are a lot of birds online, and we do mean A LOT of birds. You cannot go anywhere on the map without looking into the sky and seeing flocks of birds in the distance. More often than not, you’ll only notice these birds when you’re on your way to a new location, but you really should take the time to shoot them down.
The world's got enough birds.
So long as you shoot every single miserable bird in your path, you’re going to end up with an incredible amount of feathers in your satchel. While feathers may not fetch much of a price on their own, a surplus of them will net you a nice payday, especially if you sincerely do take your time to shoot every bird you see.
16 Race Series
Although the main draw of the online component is the freedom of playing as your own character in the game’s overworld, there is a more organized set of multiplayer modes unified through the “series” moniker. In a “series” mode, you basically play through conventional competitive modes for money.
The Race Series is one of the most reliable- and most fun thanks to how unique it is- pitting you against other players as you race your horses on different tracks. This really isn’t much different from the first game’s racing mode, but it does make for a reliable of earning money. If nothing else, it’s easy enough to boot up and play.
15 The Turkey Trot
As if Rockstar themselves were telling you to hunt turkeys, Valentine has a good chunk of turkeys south of the butcher. Since turkeys are one of the easier animals to get perfect pelts for, you can just boot up in Valentine, carefully trek southward, slay your turkeys, and then rush back up to the butcher in no time flat to redeem your cash. Not only is this is a safe way of making money, it’s also incredibly easy. Most players will be fiddling around with Valentine in other ways so you’re more than welcome to take advantage of the town’s turkey surplus.
14 Showdown Series
On the flipside of Race Series, we have the Showdown Series. When playing Showdown Series, you’ll be placed into different shootouts- team or otherwise- where you’ll simply be tasked with engaging in raw carnage typical for a competitive game. Team shootout is arguably your best bet for making easy money, particularly if you aren’t an especially skilled player, since you’ll be making money just if your team wins, but the matches themselves do go by fast enough while offering some genuinely gripping gameplay.
13 Actively Ruin Other Players’ Hunts
If you have reached the absolute brink of desperation and have no clue how to proceed in order to make more money, there is one fairly nefarious way you can “earn” some easy cash: sabotage. If you truly do not care about playing fair or the online code of ethics, you should just ruin other players’ hunts.
You're a monster, but valid.
If you see someone hunting, and they’re hunting fairly big game, let them secure a perfect pelt before rushing in to take their life. With the hunter out of the way, you can take their spoils and make some easy money. Of course, you’re a monster if you do this, but the economy is bad enough where there is some semblance of justification.
12 Rank Up
We’ve talked quite a lot about money, but what about weapons? There are so many different guns to choose from online, but how’s a player meant to get them all? Well, outside of some very few exceptions like the Stone Hatchet, pretty much every obtainable weapon is locked behind rank.
In gaining XP from story missions or challenges, you’ll gradually level up, increasing your rank. With each rank, you’ll unlock some new items or the ability to purchase items. Virtually every single weapon in the game is locked behind a rank wall so you’ll need to make sure you’re actively doing the story and challenges if you want new weapons.
11 Showdown Series (Large)
If the regular Showdown Series wasn’t enough for you, you can test your luck even further by checking out the LARGE Showdown Series. Basically the Showdown Series, but with more players, this is an ideal way of putting your skills to the test once you’ve gotten good enough to outgrow the basic competitive scene. Naturally, it’s far chaotic, but the frantic nature does make each game go faster ensuring you’ll be making money quick enough so long as you play well.
10 Skin Valentine’s Pigs (If You Can)
Crime, what is it good for? Quite a lot if you’re poor, honestly. The online economy can be a slog if you’re committed to being a proper good boy and obeying the laws, but this is a Rockstar game. Naturally, you’re expected to break some rules. With that in mind, why not steal some livestock?
It comes down more to luck than anything.
In Valentine, you’ll notice a pig pen with quite a few pigs. Should you find a way to stealthily skin these pigs, you can immediately dump them onto the butcher and make an insanely fast profit. The problem? This is a well-known exploit so you’ll need to do this at a time where there aren’t many players at Valentine. If you can, though, you’ll make bank fast.
9 Gang Hideouts
There’s nothing like a good gang hideout to promote some group bonding and earn some quick loot. Not only do hideouts simply make for engaging setpieces- therefore making the process of earning money go by faster than it would otherwise- having access to so many fallen bodies ensures you’ll have plenty of cowpokes to loot.
More importantly, gang hideouts bestow upon you natural rewards just for completing them. There’s an incentive to seek them out as they give you a fair bit of money and XP. Should you decide to leave the gang leader alive at the end, you can even nab yourself a treasure map! Speaking of…
8 The Joy Of Treasure Hunting
Unlike in the main game, treasure hunting doesn’t require you to solve any riddles. Rather, you just need to hunt your treasure map and hunt down the loot. In some respects, this is a bit worse since it’s actively depriving players of an interesting twist on the treasure hunting formula, but it does mean you’ll be finding treasure with a greater ease and frequency than you would be otherwise. Need more treasure maps? Just do a gang hideout and keep the leader alive. It’s a win-win situation where you’re making money two different ways at the same time.
7 The Methodical Crawl Of Looting
Considering how undervalued everything is online, chances are you’re going to stop looting sooner or later. It just comes off like a waste of time when you’re getting cents at a time. This point of view is valid and makes perfect sense. It isn’t beneficial, though, not in the slightest. You need that loot.
You can afford to be patient.
Rather than abandoning those fallen bodies and lost pennies, make sure you loot everything. Is it a pain? Yeah, it is. It’s time consuming, tedious, and a waste of time on a surface level, but those cents genuinely do add up. There is no reason not to loot everything in your path. It’s free money.
6 Wallace Station’s Gold Cabinet
West of Wallace Station, you’ll find a house with a cabinet that will always give you gold. Every time you visit this cabinet, you’ll be sure to walk away with a few dollars. Unfortunately, you can only access this cabinet’s stash once per game cycle. Once you grab your loot, you won’t be getting any more until you turn off the game and come back.
Which is exactly the strategy here. Simply turn your game off once you get your loot from the cabinet and come back in to repeat the process. Is it time-consuming? Yup, sure is. Is it easy? Incredibly. This is arguably the easiest way to get money in the game since it requires no skill or effort- just time.
5 Play The Story
It’s easy to avoid “mandatory” content in an online game. Chances are, you’re online because you want to goof off with friends, not to play a story. This goes double for an online component attached to a game with a ridiculously long story mode. Naturally, you don’t want all the baggage of narrative bogging you down.
Who knew playing the game would help?
That said, perhaps you should invest some time in that narrative if you haven’t already. Put simply, playing through the online’s campaign is one of the easiest and fastest ways to make money. Some missions are harder than others, but you can get through them without too much trouble while progressing fast enough.
4 Replay The Story
So you’ve played through the whole story and now you’re stuck needing to grind like some kind of “normal” to get money. What’s a cowpoke to do? Well, you could just replay those story missions. A feature from both games in the series, missions are replayable and give you the same rewards you would get for clearing them the first time. This is a great way of making easy money and earning quick XP. Just pick either a mission you enjoy quite a bit or one that doesn’t take much time at all and waft in the cash flow.
3 Keep Remaking Your Character
Although money making is designed to be as deceptively difficult as possible while still keeping us reeled in like the greedy fish we are, Rockstar is not so evil where they won’t bestow upon you money for the hard work of making a new character. Once you start your adventure, you’re given some pocket money.
Interestingly, should you make a new character, your money will transfer over to your new character. This is abusable. All you need to do is erase the character you’ve spent so much time working on and just keep making new characters to take advantage of all the free cash Rockstar throws at you in the early game.
2 Give Into Microtransactions
If all you care about is making easy money- if playing the game for the game’s sake truly does not matter to you either anymore or at all- then you may want to consider taking a bite of the forbidden fruit: microtransactions. The greatest sin we as an audience can commit, microtransactions can elevate us to new heights.
It's time to accept your fate.
Of course, in buying virtual currency in exchange for your actual money, you’re sending a message to Rockstar that this type of behavior is not only alright, but perfectly justifiable. Why grind when tossing a few dollars towards a few Gold Bars gets the job done infinitely faster? It’s a dark magic, but an easy and quick one.
1 Wait Until Rockstar Fixes The Online Economy
Look, when it comes down to it, there’s never going to be an “easy” way to make money online simply because Rockstar knows there doesn’t need to be. They can make it as difficult as possible because, sooner or later, people will buy Gold Bars in waves. More importantly, a longer grind incentivises longer interaction with the game.
The only way to get Rockstar to fix this is to stop playing. Stop playing until Rockstar fixes the monster of an economy they have built. Stop playing and send the message that you won’t stand for this. Then, and only then, will you be able to make money fast enough to afford some new clothes, some beans, and a maybe a new gun.