The 5 Specialist Roles (& How to Unlock Them)


Red Dead Online has five different specialist roles, each with unique activities, abilities, and items that unlock as players rank up in the role.

Unlike the single player campaign of Red Dead Redemption 2, Red Dead Online allows players to create their own custom characters to roam the Wild West. That includes giving their character one or more specialist roles, professions that come with unique activities, items, and abilities.

Red Dead Online is an online mode that is available to all owners of Red Dead Redemption 2. Red Dead Online will soon be available as a standalone purchase as well, with Rockstar setting the price to $4.99 until February 15th, 2021, when it will increase. Red Dead Online offers both solo and co-op missions, as well as competitive modes that include special objective-based battles over territory and a 32-person battle royale. Red Dead Online has also had seasonal events that add special items, weapons, and photo mode filters to unlock.

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Related: Why Red Dead Redemption 3 Is Almost a Certainty

Red Dead Online currently offers five different specialist roles that a player can choose to unlock. A player can have as many of these roles active as they choose, as long as they can afford the gold cost to unlock them. The specialist roles allow players to focus on Red Dead Online activities they prefer, while avoiding other types they don’t care for. Doing activities for a specialist role gains the players ranks in that role. As players gain ranks, they can gain new items, abilities, or access to certain activities.  The five specialist roles are the following:

The Naturalist

Red Dead Online Naturalist Role


The newest specialist role is the Naturalist, which can be unlocked by finding Harriet Davenport in the town of Strawberry and purchasing a Sample Kit from her for 25 gold bars. From there, players can interact with wildlife in one of two ways. They can aid Harriet in her preservationist activities, photographing wild life, obtaining blood samples, and fighting poachers. Players who prefer big game hunting, however, can choose to work with hunter Gus Macmillan instead to kill animals and exchange them for high quality gear. Working with Gus will eventually cause Harriet to turn against players, so players need to weigh which path they wish to pursue. Ranking up through The Naturalist role allows players to find Legendary Animals and to unlock abilities such as Mercy Kills and the ability to set up temporary wilderness camps. Red Dead Online frequently adds special Legendary Animal Sightings that offer special items if players complete a task during a certain week.

The Bounty Hunter

Red Dead Online bounty hunters

Perhaps the most iconic of the the Red Dead Online specialist roles, the Bounty Hunter role can be unlocked by finding the Legendary Bounty Hunter in the town of Rhodes and paying 15 gold bars to obtain a Bounty Hunter License. After that, visiting any bounty board will alert players of wanted NPCs available to be brought back dead or alive. Some bounties will include groups of people to be hunted and require forming up into a Posse with other players to complete. Items and abilities that are unlocked in this specialist role are geared towards making it easier to track and capture targets. At level 12, Bounty Hunters unlock the ability to receive bounties on other online players. The Bounty Hunter role will be expanded when Red Dead Online becomes available as a standalone, adding ten new ranks to the leveling track and adding more Legendary Bounties to hunt down.

The Trader

Players looking to earn cash in Red Dead Online can unlock the Trader role at their Camp by buying the Butcher’s Table for 15 gold bars from the Wilderness Outfitter run by Cripps. Players must then hunt animals to be brought back to Cripps to turn into goods that can be sold. Once the player has enough goods, they can then embark on either local or distant delivery escort missions to deliver the items to a town and turn a profit. Distant deliveries are more profitable, but take longer to complete and are at a higher risk of being attacked. Abilities and items unlocked through Trader ranks help a player defend their Camp from raids, collect more goods from killed animals, and increase the amount of goods that can be delivered in a single trip.

The Moonshiner

The Moonshiner is currently the only role that requires ranks in another role to unlock.  A player must be a Trader who has either completed a sell mission or achieved 5 ranks in Trader. At that point, Cripps will introduce players to Maggie Fike at the Emerald Ranch, who will allow them to purchase a Moonshine Shack in one of five locations for 25 gold bars. Players can only ever have one Moonshine Shack, but they can pay to move the shack to one of the other locations. Once set up, players can brew Moonshine based on recipes they buy or collect. Once they have enough product, they can go on a selling mission, where Revenue Agents might attempt to attack the players. Upgrades acquired through ranks include the ability to make higher quality Moonshine, options to upgrade the Moonshine Shack into a more reputable-looking bar, and Moonshine recipes.

The Collector

Red Dead Online Collector

The Collector role is perfect for those who like to explore and hunt down rare items. Players must find the traveling saleswoman Madam Nazar and purchase a Collector’s Bag for 15 gold bars. After unlocking the role, they can begin finding collectibles that can be brought back and sold to Madam Nazar. Collectibles can either be sold individually or in a set, with a set fetching a higher total price. Players can find Collectibles by exploring locations, looting bodies, or obtaining Treasure Maps from Madam Nazar. Abilities unlocked through Collector ranks help players find Collectibles more easily and carry more items.

The specialist roles offer players of Red Dead Online a variety of ways to interact with the game and expanded ways to roleplay. Those who want to take in the beauty of nature can focus on the Naturalist role, while those who are itching for combat will likely lean towards Bounty Hunter activities. Red Dead Online occasionally runs limited time weeks of bonus XP for specific roles or discounted prices on role-specific items, encouraging players to try a little of everything. With new content for roles constantly being added, Red Dead Online makes a good case to players to come back to the game from week to week.

Next: Red Dead Redemption 2: Best Mods for 2020 (& How To Install Them)

Red Dead Redemption 2 is available on  PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

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Updated: November 25, 2020 — 10:13 pm

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