Rockstar Starts Selling Red Dead Online Gold For Real Money

Rockstar Starts Selling Red Dead Online Gold For Real Money

Red Dead Online’s economy is based on two currencies: cash and gold bars. At launch, it was only possible to get these currencies by playing the game but gold also became available today as a premium currency purchasable with real money.

You can just plop down $US9.99 ($14) for 25 bars instead of earning them in-game, though you may not feel the urge to spend them.

At launch a wide variety of things could be purchased for gold, including outfits, horses, a fishing rod and horse insurance, the last of which allowed your horse to respawn instantly after it was killed rather than make players wait to recover their injured horse at a nearby stable.

After some tweaks over the past week, horse insurance and fishing rods are purchasable with virtual cash earned from gameplay, while a range of other items are still listed with gold prices only.

Rockstar is offering gold in a variety of bundles, starting with a one-time offer for 25 gold for $US4.99 ($7). If you’re some type of wild-person, you could splurge $US99.99 ($139) for 350 bars.


Players can also still earn gold just by playing the game. In order to get a bar of gold, you needed to collect 100 gold pieces earned through events like horse races and multiplayer deathmatches. Early player estimates calculated it would take eight hours to earn a single bar, though that appears to have been improved as Rockstar has tweaked the game.

Gold is required for certain items and customisations. If you want to spruce up your Cattleman Revolver entirely with nickel plating, that costs 6 gold bars. Make every bit shine with gold plating, and it’ll cost 30 gold bars.

If you want a fancy Black Arabian horse that has more stamina than most, it’ll cost 42 bars. These more expensive flourishes are prestige items, yes, but players inclined to acquire them quickly might find themselves buying a gold pack or two.

And yet, gold has lost more and more value as Rockstar reacts to player concerns about the economy. Players who log in before the 20th will automatically receive 15 gold bars, which is handy for buying whatever fancy hat and jacket combination they’ve been eying. Horse insurance no longer costs gold bars and goes for the more easily attainable virtual dollars, with the price varying by horse.

The game has already changed to make gold less necessary. If I can buy a perfectly fine horse by playing missions and insure it, what’s the point of dropping nearly 20 dollars worth of gold?


This isn’t to say that Red Dead Online’s economy is perfect. Certain items are still very expensive. A semi-automatic pistol costs $537 in-game cash, and a sniper rifle costs $411. This can be achieved with some grinding, but it’s still steep compared to the cost for such weapons in the game’s main campaign.

Costs have always been strange in Red Dead Online: at launch, a can of beans sold more than stolen gold rings. Rockstar has responded to player concerns with adjustments and continued handouts for loyal players.

The end result is an economy where some players will be tempted to buy gold even as the real-world cost make it a specious decision, and where others will find little value in the currency. So, yes, you can now buy in-game gold, but players don’t really need it.


      • I don’t go to the gym though 😮

        My bad, it’s $500 a bar, not a thousand so it’s 3k lol.

        Still, 3k worth of precious metal to coat your gun in a less precious metal seems about as good as my maths.

        • Are you talking in game dollars or real world dollars? Because if it costs 30 gold bars, then that’s less than $20 (US) to buy on the game store.

          Still seems pretty dodgy selling the gold bars for real money on the store. I’m not sure how game changing it is. No problems if it helps with cosmetics, moderately annoyed if it’s quality of life and if it’s game altering (better weapons for example) then it just shouldn’t happen.

          • Yeah in game dollars, specifically single player.
            I know they economy is different between the two modes but that difference is only made more obvious in comparison.

  • Gamers are their own worst enemy.
    They all say they’ll speak with their wallets but never do.

    • This is a load of shite, they put this in for the tiny percentage of players that will drop a huge amount of money.

      It doesn’t matter if 90% of gamers vote with their wallets as long as whales exist. I only know one person in my group of friends who spends money on microtransactions and he spends way more on them than the rest of us ever would combined.

      • I think there is some middle ground here. It is likely not a tiny minority that spend money on this stuff, otherwise the practice wouldn’t be so wide spread.
        It’s also fair to assume that it’s perhaps certain demographics that engage in this kind of thing.

      • Your only friend who spends money on MTX spends more than the combined zero of the rest of you? Not exactly a high bar 😛

        • It would probably make sense for me to put a real number value when you put it like that.

          He spends probably around a 200 bucks on loot boxes whenever there is a new event in Overwatch.

          My point was it doesn’t matter if the rest of us spend nothing as long as he is spending a large amount they will keep filling games with obnoxious “micro” transactions.

          • All good mate, I understood what you meant, was just a light-hearted jab at your phrasing. I agree with your sentiment that if you’re not an MTX buyer in the first place then there’s no substantial message in you ‘voting with your wallet’.

            I’d take that a step further (and this is a general statement, not directed at you): I think if a game works just fine without buying MTX and you enjoy it, then play it. It’s not our place to blanket dictate what other people can and can’t spend their money on, we can only choose what we spend our money on.

          • I’m sorry but that ain’t it, chief. Here’s another for your troubles, feel free to do the same if it pleases you, I promise not to get too hung up on it.

          • No worries, just looked like you’d misread the intent. What was the issue then? I’m always happy to try to communicate better.

      • True! Even a remake of the original game would be fine – the map is done (mostly), they already have the story written and the audio, would be great if they could add it to start after the main story.

  • This is why I never touched GTAV online, and if/when I get around to getting RDR2, I won’t be going near the online component of that, either.

    They might as well have made the online part a completely separate, free to play game, then this might not feel quite as gross.

  • Lol only Rockstar would have micro transactions in a beta or early access, I’m not sure anymore 🙂

    I just hope when it’s finally released they reset progress but the fact they’ve added MT’s already is a sign of the direction this game is heading.
    I mean by release players will already have purchased most items and will all be high levels.

  • “But players dont really need it”

    Fuck off, seriously go find a baseball bat and fuck off with this defense of rockstars microtransaction grind

    Its the same bloody argument that you didnt “need” shark cards in gta5
    Except you did, because besides a few tryhards nobody is playing the game 24/7 for 6 months straight with no sleep or food to afford all the high end items, thats how long the grind is in gta5 and 2k said they were UNDERCHARGING the customer
    nobody is going to play 8hours a day for a whole month for a fucking gun skin in rdo and yet thats what you have to do if you dont shell out for gold

    “Dont need it” fuck right off, its balanced to push you towards buying gold at ridiculous prices

    Rockstars entire model is to try and make you feel like you do need it, this article has shifted in tone so fast from the the other articles on kotaku rightly criticizing rockstar for its game economy that this reads like a fucking PR piece rockstar paid for

  • Prices and recent updates seem awfully generous of them for the moment but I’m still betting that’s the whole point – convince people that the gold is good value to save on a bit of time for cosmetics then slowly ramp it up. It’s exactly what they’ve done with GTA.

    Would love to be proven wrong but everything Take Two has said over the last few years leaves me with little confidence

  • Funny… Flashy skins have the opposite effect on me nowadays.

    I see players with flashy skins or noncy “personalisation” and all I see is a dolt who spent too much on microtransactions.

  • If it’s offering upgrades and not just cosmetic stuff for real money, it’s pay to win. Simple.
    This wouldn’t be happening if at least some decent percentage of gamers are spending their money on it

  • there are too many other games to play to bother with this crap.
    also, RDR2 is a really slow boring game. i find its just a slow drudge of a game. i still like it but damn, for the first time ever ive gotta have another game on the go at the same time for when i want some actual action and fun.

    • Gotta admit… investing several weeks in Arthur, in his skills, in his equipment and recipes, then hopping into RDR2O and seeing that not only did I need to grind it all up again, but that it was going to take ten times longer, I lost a LOT of interest.

  • There’s nothing worth buying in online anyway in it’s current stage. Save your money and stay in single player where the game shines.

  • Just a suggestion, but if you make it that the player grinding for gold, kenah or whatever can sell it on to other players to lazy but willing to pay, that’s a win for everyone.
    Yes I’m available for gaming marketing consultantion…. But it’ll cost you ????

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