All Roles in Red Dead Online Explained

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Dustin Brady
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In Red Dead Online, Roles are unique ways for players to earn money and earn exclusive Role-limited items. However, it can be very daunting trying to figure out which one to do first as there are a total of five specialist roles which all cost large amounts of gold to unlock. That said, keep reading like in this guide; we'll walk you through all the roles in Red Dead Online and tell you which one you should play first.


How to Unlock Roles in Red Dead Online

Before we start explaining all the roles, let's first explain the basics. To start, to unlock a role in Red Dead Online, you will need around 15-25 gold bars, depending on the role you want.


You can get gold through farming missions, treasure hunting, and various other gameplay methods. You can also pay for it with real money โ€“ this is something you might want to consider if you don't like grinding.

Once you have obtained the required amount of gold, all you have to do is find certain NPCs in various locations and talk to them to unlock the role. By the way, some roles are harder than others, so be sure to read which role we recommend you start with first.

How do Red Dead Online roles work?

In short, it is as precisely as we mentioned earlier; Roles in Red Dead Online generally give you a unique way to earn in-game currency and access interesting activities like bounty hunting missions and moonshine races. You'll also level up these roles over time and earn unique items through 20 ranks.


As you level up, you will also earn what are known as Role Tokens, which can be used to purchase various skills such as the ability to dodge on horseback. Each role also includes exclusive gear, skins, weapons, and even carts you can ride in. Keep reading below to find out everything you need to know about Roles in Red Dead Online.


The Role of the Red Dead Online Trader Explained

How to unlock: Talk to Cripps after you get the letter from him in the mail.

Price: 15 gold bars (PS4 players can get it for free)

The Trader role is one of the best for making easy money and for new players to start doing. It's also good if you like hunting because you will follow the game all the time with this role. With the Trader role, you'll work alongside your Cripps Camp Manager to start a fur trading company by bringing back materials for the Cripps to process into salable goods.

After Cripps processes the skins and furs, you process it into commodities; you will need to make two types of deliveries; Local and long distance races. Locally, you'll usually be attacked by NPCs at the end; however, with long-distance races, rival players can intercept your delivery and steal your goods. Along with this, you will also need to protect your camp from time to time from bandit raids trying to steal your supplies.

Here are some of the skills and items you can unlock with this role.


  • Stew Pot โ€“ This is a camp upgrade that unlocks a stew pot where you can cook various stew recipes to boost your hearts.
  • Awareness โ€“ When this skill is unlocked, you will see rival merchant wagons at an increased distance.
  • Ingredient Satchel Upgrade โ€“ Unlocking this upgrade will allow players to store more ingredients in their satchel.
  • Canine Warning โ€“ Once unlocked, you will train your camp dog to warn of thieves trying to loot the camp
  • Weapons Locker โ€“ Another camp upgrade that will allow you to store some of your weapons at camp.
  • Lance Knife โ€“ A special knife only available to traders.
  • Improved Materials Satchel โ€“ Unlocking will allow players to store more materials in their bag.
  • Large Delivery Wagon โ€“ An upgraded version of the Delivery Wagon that can hold four barrels in delivery missions.
  • Hunting Cart โ€“ Unlocking will allow you to purchase a cart to store multiple carcasses, pelts, and hides.
  • Medium Delivery Wagon โ€“ An upgraded version of the Delivery Wagon that can hold two barrels in Delivery Missions.
  • Efficiency โ€“ When unlocked, increases the number of raw materials from Perfect Carcasses when donating to a Trading Company.
  • Protection โ€“ This skill, when unlocked, will reduce the chances of raids in your camp

Red Dead Online Bounty Hunter Role Explained


How to Unlock: Talk to the Legendary Bounty Hunter and purchase the Rhodes Bounty Hunting License


Price: 30 gold bars in total if you want both licenses; otherwise, it's just 15 for normal.

The bounty hunter role is the perfect role for someone who just loves combat and challenging missions. As a bounty hunter, the game will require you to hunt down and capture or kill various randomly generated criminals for small amounts of cash and gold. Or instead, you can take on a long list of high-profile criminals dubbed "legendary bounties" in missions that get harder the more you do them. Along with this, the rewards increase as the missions increase in difficulty.

Both types of bounties can be supported at any of the main settlements in the game via a bounty board next to the sheriff's building. Additionally, when you reach Rank 12, you can even go after players with a bounty of $20 or more. To do this, all you have to do is join a pursuit if you receive an invite.

Here are some of the skills and items you can unlock with this role.

  • Focus โ€“ Targets in Deadeye mode will light up red
  • Reinforced Lasso โ€“ An improved version of the lasso that will keep bounties safe
  • Upgraded Tonics Satchel โ€“ Unlocking will allow players to store more items in their Tonics Satchel.
  • Reverse Spin โ€“ Unlocking will allow you to reverse spin with a single pistol or revolver
  • Eagle Eye+ โ€“ When this skill is unlocked, you will be able to track enemies while sprinting or galloping.
  • Kit Satchel Upgrade โ€“ Unlocking will allow players to store more items in their Kit Satchel.
  • Spin Up โ€“ Unlocking will allow you to spin up with a single pistol or revolver.
  • Tracking Arrow Flyer โ€“ Unlocks crafting tracking arrows.
  • Ducking โ€“ Once unlocked, the player will be able to duck on horseback for extra protection in fights.
  • Bolas โ€“ A throwing weapon where you can prevent targets from running away or moving. This is perfect for capturing bounties and players.
  • Bounty Wagon โ€“ A wagon that will safely get you bounties โ€“ I highly recommend picking it up as soon as you can.
  • Perception โ€“ Unlocking this skill will give you bounty notifications at a farther distance.
  • Alternating Flips โ€“ Unlocking will allow you to do alternating flips with a single pistol or revolver
  • Dual Gun Spinning โ€“ Learn how to do a spinning gun trick with two guns or revolvers.

Red Dead's Online Naturalist Role Explained


How to Unlock: Access the Strawberry Welcome Center

Price 25 gold bars

If you like the trader role and hunting, this role is for you because that's all you will do with the naturalist role. When you unlock the role, you will have access to two sets of activities offered by two different NPCs.

One is named Harriet, and she will want you to hunt animals and collect blood samples, while the other Gus Macmillion will want you to hunt game and bring back their skins. In return, the two NPCs can give you access to unique skills, outfits, and trinkets that will help you become a better hunter. Along with this you will get exclusive hunting missions.

It's worth pointing out that the Naturalist role isn't the most important role for making money, but it will help a lot with the Trader role, so it's worth the gold if you can afford it.

Here are some of the skills and items you can unlock with this role.

  • Naturalist Varmint Rifle Skin โ€“ As the name suggests, unlocking will give you a unique skin for your Varmint Rifle.
  • Wilderness Camp โ€“ Unlocking will allow you to create temporary camps where you can rest, craft, and cook.
  • Legendary Eagle Eye โ€“ Unlocking this skill will allow you to differentiate between normal and legendary animal trails.
  • Animal Attraction โ€“ Increases the chance of spotting legendary animals.
  • Varmint Sedative Rounds Brochure โ€“ Unlocks crafting Sedative Ammo for the Varmint Rifle.
  • Mercy โ€“ Unlocks the ability to kill wounded animals out of mercy.
  • Focus on Animals โ€“ narrows the search area when searching for Legendary Animals.
  • Legendary Animal Pheromone Booklet โ€“ Unlocks crafting Legendary Animal Pheromones.
  • Blending Tonic Pamphlet โ€“ Unlocks crafted blending tonics.
  • Leaflet Animal Reviver โ€“ Unlocks crafting Animal Reviver Tonics.
  • Tonics Satchel Upgrade - This allows you to store even more items in your Tonics Satchel.
  • The Kennewick โ€“ Unlocking this will allow you to wear a sturdy outfit exclusive to naturalists.

Red Dead Online Collector Role Explained

How to unlock: Talk to Madame Nazar and purchase the Collector's Bag.

Price: 15 gold bars

If you're a fetch quest junkie, you'll love the Collector role because that's all you're going to do with it. When you unlock the Collector role, you'll have access to a bunch of items that can be gathered around the map to put into salable collections.

When you get a full collection, you can then email them to an NPC called Madame Nazar and sell them for insanely good payouts. If you want to find Madame Nazar or the various items, use this great tool here, it will show both where to find her and all of the items that make up the collections.

As a side note, each item in a collection only appears on a specific day, so I recommend using this online tool to find them all. Along with this, you will need to obtain certain items sold by Nazar before you can collect specific collectibles. For example, you will need to purchase the Field Shovel to dig up mounds of dirt and the Metal Detector to find objects buried underground. Also, I would recommend starting with this role alongside Trader if you're a new player, as it's a great source of XP to increase your rank.

Here are some of the skills and items you can unlock with this role.

  • Pennington Field Shovel โ€“ Once unlocked and purchased, you will be able to dig up dirt mounds for certain collectibles.
  • Divination โ€“ Unlocking this skill will allow you to sense when you are near collectibles; you will hear a ringtone that will haunt you in your sleep when you approach a place.
  • Potential โ€“ Unlocking this skill will allow you to sense disturbed earth while using Eagle Eye.
  • Intuition โ€“ This skill, when unlocked, will narrow the search area for collectibles.
  • Collector Saddle Bag โ€“ A collectors exclusive saddle bag that has additional pouches and pockets
  • Refined Binoculars โ€“ Special binoculars that will allow you to view dig sites from a distance.
  • รguila Machete โ€“ Unique melee weapon exclusive to collectors.
  • Metal Detector โ€“ Once purchased, it will allow you to dig and find buried collectibles.
  • Horse Assist โ€“ Unlocking this skill will allow you to grab collectibles on horseback โ€“ probably won't let you dig for them.
  • Horse Lantern โ€“ Unlocking will allow you to purchase a cool lantern for your horse, so you can see where you are going at night.
  • Witford Compass โ€“ A unique belt buckle for collectors
  • Improved Valuables Pouch = When unlocked, it will allow you to store more items in your Valuables Pouch.

Red Dead Online Moonshiner Role Explained

How to Unlock: Complete at least one Sell Mission or reach Rank 5, and Cripps will introduce you to this role. After that, you will then need to buy a moonshine cabin.

Price: 25 gold

The last and final role, the Moonshiner, is a good role to play alongside the Trader role. You basically do the same type of work, but instead you collect materials to craft various types of illegal liquor. You will also have access to various missions and a story campaign involving a tale of revenge.

On top of all that, you can even buy your own bar, serve drinks to friends, and customize various options. You'll also need to complete trader-like delivery missions with Moonshiner for pretty decent payouts. That said, I would recommend giving Moonshiner a try if you play the role of Trader often.

Here are some of the skills and items you can unlock with this role.

  • Bar Expansion โ€“ When purchased, builds a secret bar in your Moonshine Shack.
  • Levens Pistol Belt โ€“ Exclusive Pistol Belt available only to Moonshiners
  • Sabotage โ€“ Unlocks the ability to identify rival Moonshine lairs.
  • Still Upgrade โ€“ Still upgrades your moonshine to increase the strength of moonshine produced.
  • Strip Extension โ€“ Adds a strip to your basement bar.
  • Sawed Off Shotgun Skin โ€“ A unique skin for the Sawed Off Shotgun available only to Moonshiners.
  • Flammable Moonshine โ€“ Basically an angry and more powerful Molotov cocktail throwing weapon.
  • Nevin Hip Flask โ€“ Adds an ornate hipflask to your pistol belt.
  • Recipes โ€“ Unlocks various Moonshine flavor recipes
  • Darrow Buckle - Unique belt buckle exclusive to Moonshiners.
  • Master Distiller โ€“ When unlocked, reduces the time to create a moonshine batch.
  • Toxic MoonShine Pamphlet โ€“ unlocks crafting Toxic Moonshine, a throwable deadly poison.

There you have it, all the roles in Red Dead Online explained. If you still need help with Red Dead Online or Story Mode, head over to the game page for more helpful guides and news.

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