Red Dead Online features a number of Specialist Roles that let you immerse yourself deeper in the world of the Wild West with more roleplay oriented content. Three Roles were initially released with the Frontier Pursuits DLC, with more added later on, including Moonshiner. The Trader, one of the first three, is the focus of this guide.
Becoming A Trader
In order to start your own business, operating straight out of your camp, you need to head over to a post office. A letter from Cripps lets you know that he has a proposition for you which requires further discussion. When you meet up with him he'll speak about his work experience, and propose a partnership.
To get your business off the ground, you'll need to buy a Butcher's Table for 15 Gold from Wilderness Outfitters - unless you are playing on PlayStation 4, in which case it's free.
Once you have the table, you are free to set up shop in your camp and begin exploring all the Trader role has to offer.
Camp selection is key and the best location for your Trader Camp is Gaptooth Ridge, so if you don't get this camp spawn make sure to cycle camps until you get it. One of the Trader activity types is local deliveries, which are closest from this location.
You will want to grab the Hunting Wagon as soon as it is unlocked, but until then you'll need to do a bit of grinding. One of the best methods to fill up your materials meter before you have access to the wagon is by doubling down on carcasses. Typically, your horse can only carry one carcass, but you can also use your lasso to pull a second one back to camp with you, doubling the speed at which you accumulate materials.
When you are starting out and Role XP is more important than time, make sure never to buy supplies. Resupply missions give you nice Role XP rewards. It usually isn't the best idea to buy supplies for the $20 they cost later on either, unless you are overflowing with cash and are of the impatient sort.
The basic workflow of being a Trader involves getting materials through hunting and supplies through resupply missions or purchases, crafting product back at your camp and then selling that product, earning RDO$ and Role XP. The income from sell missions depends on the amount of product and distance of the client.
Tips And Tricks
Always remember to keep yourself unflagged for PvP, marked by a white flag at your camp, to prevent other players from messing up your deliveries. Plenty of folk like to mess around with other players, even unprovoked, so it's better to err on the side of caution.
Immediately get the Large Wagon and the Hunting Wagon the moment they are unlocked, as they will significantly boost your income and Role XP accumulation. When collecting material, Bucks should be your main target. Perfect Buck carcasses provide 10 units before the Efficiency upgrade, beaten only by Cougars at 13. However, Cougars are rarer and more difficult to kill in a way that their carcass retains the perfect rating.
If you can, always leave the carcass in its complete form. Skinning it or doing anything else to it will reduce material yield, and Cripps is picky with what he accepts. He takes skins, but the skinned carcass itself cannot be delivered for material. If you steal a horse, or tame a wild one before you have the hunting wagon, you can increase the number of carcasses you bring back to 3.
You can forget fishing - for whatever reason, fish aren't a source of any material at all. Only hunted game will yield any materials that Cripps can use when crafting product. For smaller, quicker sources of material, hunt birds - but keep in mind that not all birds are applicable either! Turkeys are your best bet.
When it comes to selling your product, you should always sell full wagons only. This is very important to maximising income, as selling a full wagon doesn't simply mean 100% of the product's value, but it comes with a bonus that you only earn on full wagons. The XP bonus is also significant. Taking a full Large Wagon on a long delivery will give you almost enough Role XP for an entire Rank.
Taking a full Medium Wagon - meaning 50 units - on a long delivery will yield 1,250 role XP, which is an entire 1,000 XP bonus compared to non-full deliveries. Large Wagons, on, the other hand, award 2,000 Role XP when taken on a long delivery at full capacity.
If you have a few friends who can help, using the Posse XP bonus will speed up earning ranks significantly. The larger the Posse, the larger the bonus - full 7-player Trader Posses pulling full long deliveries will chomp through Ranks in moments.
We cautioned against relying on buying supplies, however you might have noticed that resupply missions aren't always available. These missions become available each time Cripps produces 25 units of product, calibrated to fit the first sales cap.
Profiting As A Trader
It only ever makes sense initiating a delivery with a full wagon - never bother selling product unless you've hit the maximum. Payouts differ based on whether the delivery is long distance or local.
- Local: $200
- Long distance: $250
- Local: $500
- Long distance: $650
Keep in mind that the value of an animal part, when not delivering a full carcass, does not affect how much material is derived from it. All feather types have the same material yield. Keep this in mind when deciding what parts to sell at the butcher - the valuable ones - and what parts to give to Cripps!
Trader Role Unlocks
As you progress through the Ranks of the Trader role, you will unlock a number of useful items and abilities.
|Ingredients Satchel Upgrade||The capacity of your Ingredients Satchel is increased - unlocked at Rank 6|
|Awareness||Other Traders will be identified at a distance - unlocked at Rank 7|
|Canine Warning||Your canine companion will warn of impending raids - unlocked at Rank 8|
|Efficiency||Increased material yield of perfect carcasses - unlocked at Rank 11|
|Ingredients Satchel Upgrade||The capacity of your Materials Satchel is increased - unlocked at Rank 13|
|Kit Satchel Upgrade||The capacity of your Kit Satchel is increased - unlocked at Rank 9|
|Protection||Decreased rate of raids - unlocked at Rank 16|
|Stew Pot||Unlocks core-boosting stew recipes|
|Hammer||Unique melee weapon - costs $75|
|Lance Knife||Unique melee weapon - costs 5 Gold Bars|
|Hunting Wagon||Can carry multiple carcasses and other materials - unlocked at Rank 10, costs $875 and 2 Role tokens|
|Medium Wagon||Can carry 50 units of product - unlocked at Rank 5, costs $500|
|Large Wagon||Can carry 100 units of product - unlocked at Rank 10, requires Medium Wagon|
|Weapons Locker||Camp upgrade for storing weapons|
|Kladruber Horses||Unique breed of horse|