Box art - Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Online Beta – Release Date, Microtransactions, Battle Royale, and More

Woah there, cowboy. The Red Dead Online beta is nearly raring to go – if you can tame it. There’s so much to dig into for the Rockstar sequel that it’s hard to know where to begin. A quick scroll down will open you up to the opportunities ahead of you in the Old West: we’ll show you how to join the Red Dead Online beta, what the release date is for the multitude of multiplayer shenanigans on offer, whether microtransactions will play a part, and, whisper it, if a Red Dead Redemption battle royale is going to become a reality. It’s all here in our Red Dead Online guide.

How to Join the Red Dead Online Beta

how to join the red dead online beta

Rockstar has announced that Red Dead Online will be coming to the game in November 2018 as a public beta, that much we know. However, there are no further details about the nature of the beta, nor its length, or what’s included in it. That being said, the pointed description of the beta being public would indicate that it will be open to all, and act as a stress test for the Red Dead Online component to launch later in 2018 or possibly early 2019.

The Red Dead Online beta will be free for everyone who owns a copy of Red Dead Redemption 2. The full mutliplayer add-on, too, will also be free of charge for RDR 2 owners in much the same way GTA Online was for Grand Theft Auto V. Don’t expect there to be store-specific beta codes, though you may need to pre-order to get a spot.

Red Dead Online Microtransactions

red dead redemption 2 multiplayer guide

Rockstar has made an absolute fortune from its microtransactions in GTA Online, so it would be a massive shock if they didn’t employ a similar feature in Red Dead Online. GTA Online used shark cards – in-game cards that allowed you to buy virtual currency using your real world money, to get a better exchange rate depending on how much real world cash you spend – as an easy means for players to spend their money, so expect Red Dead Redemption 2 Online Multiplayer to do likewise. Of course, there aren’t many sharks around in Red Dead Redemption 2, so maybe we’ll see a change in name to something more akin to the American Old West, like ‘horse bucks’.

In GTA Online there are six shark cards of differing values – red, tiger, bull, great white, whale and megalodon – and each corresponds a different amount of in-game cash. The Red card is available for $2.99, and gets you $100,000 of GTA cash. The tiger card will cost you $4.99 for $200,000, the bull card $9.99 for $500,000, the great white card $19.99 for $1.25 million, the whale card $49.99 for $3.5 million, and the megalodon card $99.99 for $8 million. Those prices should give us a rough estimate of what to expect for Red Dead Online.

With regards to what you can buy with your in-game cash, probably similar items to those in GTA Online. New weapons, horses with better stamina, weapon skins, and other items that will give you an advantage on multiplayer servers. There’s no official confirmation of what’s on offer, but as more information from Rockstar leaks out, we’ll be sure to keep you updated.

Red Dead Online Release Date

red dead redemption 2 multiplayer guide

Strangely, Rockstar has elected to roll out a beta version of Red Dead Online – its multiplayer component – around one month after the game’s official launch. That means that Red Dead Redemption 2 Online Multiplayer won’t be available until November, and even then it won’t be its full release. Given that Rockstar will want to iron out the kinks in this mode, it could be that Red Dead Online’s beta lasts for a good few weeks, which means that we won’t see a full release anytime before December rolls around.

With the festive period right around the corner, you would suspect that the Red Dead Redemption 2 Online Multiplayer mode would be done in time for then. However, with Rockstar likely to down tools and enjoy some much needed rest around late December heading into 2019, it would be unwise to fully launch Red Dead Online before then, especially if the mode encounters massive server issues, bugs, and more with no one about to fix them via patches. So who knows? It’s a double-edged sword over what the best course of action would be for Red Dead Redemption 2 Online Multiplayer’s full release. We’ll definitely be getting the beta in November though, so be sure to keep an eye out for an exact date soon.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Battle Royale

red dead redemption 2 multiplayer guide

This is the big one. With the success of Fortnite, it’s clear that the appetite for a battle royale mode has reached fever pitch. The likes of Call of Duty and Battlefield have jumped on the gravy train, but Rockstar tends to dance to the beat of its own drum.

Despite that, Take Two CEO Strauss Zelnick has spoken on future possibilities of battle royale appearing in upcoming Rockstar titles. While not exactly effusive at the thought, he tells GameDaily.biz: “We’ve used battle royale mechanics before. I wouldn’t rule it out, but any mechanic you use would want to be in service of the core entertainment experience, and would be consumer-focused. It wouldn’t be driven by revenue focus in our view.”

Reading between the lines? Expect a Red Dead Redemption battle royale, if it indeed happens, not to go down the Fortnite path of constant cosmetic plate-switching to keep the consumer base hungry.

There’s even more good news, too, in the shape of a leak from Trusted Reviews. In it, the site confirms what they believe to be the existence of a battle royale mode in the game, along with two more bespoke modes. The signs are looking promising, then, for some proper rootin’ tootin’ battle royale action.

Red Dead Online Modes

red dead redemption 2 multiplayer guide

The aforementioned Trusted Reviews leak also mentions two more modes that may make their way into the game. Again, at this stage, nothing has been confirmed, but they both sound promising. They are as follows:

  • Revive and Survive: Essentially a team deatchmatch mode, pitting two teams against each other, with the added feature of being able to revive downed teammates within an allotted time limit.
  • Money Grab: A mode which sees money spread out across a location on the map. You are then tasked with beating the other team to the dosh and taking it back to your base before they do.

Elsewhere, we can probably expect the laundry list of side activities, as is Rockstar’s trademark, to pile up. The original Red Dead Redemption online mode ended up including the likes of card games and wagon races in its DLC, so it’d be a real shock to see those thrown to the wayside for the sequel. The game’s emphasis on hunting and fishing may also play a role  If GTA Online is any indication, expect a clan-style system for you and your friends to join, in a similar vein to Dutch van der Linde’s gang of ne’er-do-wells.

Red Dead Online Player Count

red dead redemption 2 multiplayer guide

This is another one of those reveals that Rockstar hasn’t made public yet. There’s still a month to go before the full title is released, and it’ll be another month before the beta arrives, as we’ve already stated. There’s not much else we can do except speculate, so let’s take a look at what GTA 5’s online component and the original Red Dead Redemption’s online multiplayer mode had.

Red Dead Redemption allowed up to 16 players to game with one another over a multiplayer network, with a variety of game modes available to play in. The co-op aspect of the game, meanwhile, allowed four players to join forces in certain game modes. GTA Online allowed up to 16 players to play on the same server in the previous generation of consoles – Xbox 360 and PS3 – while up to 30 gamers can mess about on Xbox One, PC, and PS4. There was apparently talk of higher-end computers being able to handle around 100 players on a single server, but it remains to be seen whether current console generation will be able to hit that number.