Red Dead Online: broken economy and other issues

Dec 06 2018 3 min read

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Red Dead Online's open beta was not as positively met as the game itself. Gamers criticized the RDO economy, complaining about 'microtransactions' and the incredible difficulty in earning premium currency. There are also problems with regular money in beta: the current economy makes it a difficult quest to purchase the usual food. For example, ordinary canned beans cost you $1.20 while the golden wedding ring is worth only $1.10 for sale. The same goes for weapons: one of Reddit users made a real research. He found out that in 1899 the real Mauser cost only $35, and in the online Red Dead Redemption 2 mode its price tag is exactly 1000 American 'bucks'.

Let us turn to history. In 1800, an ordinary cow cost about $10, a kilo of coffee cost 50 cents, and the value of the currency today has increased by 17.6 times compared to the beginning of the XIX century. That is, even if the price of a Mauser in Red Dead Online should correspond to the current value of a dollar, it cannot exceed $616-620.

In addition to premium currency, which is usually spent on cosmetic items and fast travels, players need something to eat, something to shoot and somehow get healed. Dollars are earned by hunting, completing missions and picking pockets of people you shoot.

The problem is that the volume of loot is reduced by 10 times compared to the single mode. And food, ammunition and weapon prices, on the contrary, increased. It is clear that the economy in singleplayer also does not work perfectly and after one bank robbery for $2500, Arthur practically does not need funds. But it was not necessary to turn everything upside down.

Another Reddit post shows us more curious facts. A player named polyphemus counted, that in order to simply maintain horses' and characters' health at the needed level, it will take approximately 2 hours to play. Not to mention affording a decent amount of ammunition and weapon supplies. There is no question at all about the usual game in which you can do whatever you want.

We should assume that Rockstar, while driving one of the biggest hype-trains ever, decided that fans, blinded by the love to the Van der Linde guys, will swallow everything that they are served. And speculations with grinding push players to buy gold bars via micro-transactions. Some even started to put forward a theory that the standard currency in Red Dead Online will be sold for real money, as in GTA Online. The truth is now all the theories can be safely sent to hell: publishers realized their mistake and announced big changes in the near future.

To date, we focused all our attention on the processing of the economy. Obviously, the system will require additional balancing, which will be designed to make all things in the game more interesting and beneficial for users.

We hope that developers will fix the game. Still, do not forget Rockstar Games motto and the fact that GTA Online makes a huge amount of money with donations and microtransactions. 


In general, Red Dead Online causes a feeling of inferiority. As if the creators of the game had invested their entire creative potential in a single mode, and the online version was thrown off to very bad outsourcers. Even if you walk briefly on the points, we get:

  • enormous open world you just can't fully browse through, because of bugs and battle-royale fans shooting at everything that moves;

  • nondescript and short campaign for 4 hours of playing time;

  • lots of annoying and equally boring quests 'bring, carry, shoot';

  • store overpricing;

  • no robberies in the game about robbers;

  • lack of content.


So far, Red Dead Online is in no way similar to that masterpiece that we saw on October, 26th. Sorry, Rockstar, but that won't do. We want to see in the full version of RDO if not a mirror image of a single-user story, then at least something of a similar level.

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