Taking out the trash
The horse you start out with in Red Dead Redemption 2 Online is a total scrub, and earning enough money to buy a proper one is looking to be a real chore with the current in-game economy and its feeble payouts. Luckily, Rockstar is handing out some goodies at no cost during its early access period that’ll help ease the initial pain of being a penniless cowpoke.
The items on offer are the Grizzlies Outlaw outfit, a High Roller Double-Action Revolver, an Alligator Skin Ranch Cutter Saddle, and a Red Chestnut Arabian Horse. Like everything else with this game, it’s a bit of a process to actually claim the damn things, but free is free. [Edit: As a couple users have pointed out below, this offer is currently only available on PS4.]
The outfit can be picked up at any general store or by opening your catalog with the left D-pad, but the revolver can only be had by visiting a fence. That stuff is all fine and dandy, but the real winners are the horse and saddle which can be found at stables. Unlike the hag you receive in the introduction, who has the stamina of a drunk Homer Simpson, this stud can go the distance.
Unless you’ve purchased an extra stall at the stable, you’ll have to “dispose” of your old one to make room for the new guy. I felt a little guilty throwing him away (because it’s literally so worthless you can’t sell it) after having spent a few hours bonding with them, but any reservations I had quickly disappeared after seeing the Red Chestnut’s improved stats. Just go to the “Buy Horses” menu, and you’ll find it under the “Superior” listing.
The fancy saddle, which comes with some solid performance bonuses, is available in the “Tack and Services” category under “Special Saddles.” When all is said and done, you’ll be traveling around at a speed similar to what the steeds in the story mode can pull off.
Hopefully, assuming you’re not a dumbass like me, you haven’t yet spent your one free use of horse insurance on the one you just threw in the trash, because each additional horse costs five gold bars to insure. For a frame of reference, I’ve put about 12 hours into the online component so far and have only accrued about one and a half of the damn things. The grind is super real.
Despite the near-constant disconnects and incredibly stingy payouts, I’ve been having a ton of fun running around in a posse with my friends and duking it out in Showdown against strangers. These freebies might not sound like much to anyone who hasn’t yet experienced the hustle of the old west, but goddamn are they ever a welcome boost.
The Red Dead Online Beta is Now Live [PlayStation.Blog]