A life of crime isn’t quite as illustrious as it used to be in the world of Red Dead Redemption 2. When the game starts, Morgan and the rest of the van der Linde gang are more than just a little down on their luck, meaning that you won’t have a lot of money to play with at all.
Money makes the world go around, but it actually isn’t the be all and end all in Red Dead Redemption 2. You will only need some to upgrade your guns and buy different clothing, but beyond that, you can find ammo and other essentials, such as food, just fine by naturally playing.
However, if you’re wanting to earn some money in Red Dead Redemption 2 quickly (without having to skin every single animal across the county), there are some ways of doing just that. Bear in mind that you will almost certainly be broke for a while, so we would recommend saving your money until at least Chapter 2.
With the release of Red Dead Online and its pretty scant ways of earning money in any quick ways at all, we’ve decided to update this tips piece with more info.
Complete the story missions
By far and away the quickest way to earn money in Red Dead Redemption 2 is to just plug away at the story, particularly when I gets to midway through the second chapter. This sucks a little if you just want to go out and explore, but heck: what’s the point of being in a gang if you aren’t in it for the rewards?
Expect to have at least $3K by the time the third chapter rolls around by using your money wisely. You don’t really need to buy stuff from a general store, so bear that in mind. As an aside, make sure you do some side-missions as these can also spare you a buck or two.
Loot all of the bodies
As slow and finicky as it may be sometimes, there’s nothing quite like looting bodies to earn you some quick money in Red Dead Redemption 2. Most of the corpses have cash on them ranging anywhere from $1 to $5 so make sure to check bodies even when the story is trying to hurry you on to the next sequence.
It’s also worth taking on any bounty hunters or gang members you come across while randomly exploring their wilderness. Their corpses will resupply the ammo you have just used on them and also provide a few dollars, as well as stuff you can sell by using the following tip. For Red Dead Online, make sure you loot bodies before any of the other players get another chance — it’s the wild west, after all.
Sell gold and jewellery to fences
You unlock the usage of fences in Red Dead Redemption 2 after completing a mission for Hosea. These fences will gladly buy and trinkets you have picked up on the way, whether that be jewellery or gold at quite a nice premium. Once you unlock the ability, you will probably have at least a couple of hundred dollars of shiny things already in your satchel.
However, you can also donate these trinkets to your camp to help everyone’s funds, so bear that in mind. You can find fences pretty sporadically around the map, but the one in Emerald Ranch is a usually easy one to get to and also the first fence you will find.
Sell to the foreman at the mill
Travel to the northeast of the map near Strawberry until you come across what looks like Dumb & Dumber Does Construction. A bunch of hapless workers are trying to build something for the Appleseed Timber Co., leading their foreman to ask you to fetch food and medicine for the camp as he doesn’t trust them enough to leave them alone for more than a second.
The foreman will buy plenty of items off you at a premium, meaning that you can earn upwards of $100 if you have a full satchel. Remember not to get too attached to your possessions as the game doles out replacements pretty often. It’s a little out the way to just ride to, but worth looking into if you’re in the area.
Sell horses at the stables
Yes, it will make you a bad person, but money’s money. You can sell horses at virtually every major town in the game as long as they have stables for a fairly nice reward, though you may have to put in more work than simply stealing and selling a horse as the hand won’t pay you as much.
Instead, roam the wilderness for a while until you find a pack of horses. Make sure you inspect them all and then choose the one with the best stats as they will fetch the highest price. Approach, calm, and then ride the horse to the nearest stable for a decent reward.
Don’t buy guns
This may be a bit of a cheat as it’s more of a money-saving rather than money-earning tip, but hopefully you will avoid the same mistake we did when throwing away hundreds of dollars. Don’t buy guns in Red Dead Redemption 2: you acquire plenty of them naturally just from playing the game’s story.
The same thing goes for ammo. Unless you’re after specialist ammo, it’s highly likely that you will find everything you need on corpses or scattered in boxes throughout the map. Instead, invest your money into upgrading the guns and improving the way they handle as well as look if you’re feeling extravagant. For Red Dead Online, you do unfortunately have to buy most of the guns before you can use them.
Take on bandit camps
If you see a long column of smoke while exploring the wilderness, there’s a good chance that it’s a bandit camp. These spots typically hold some money on whoever you kill as well as goodies hidden around in stashes if you can find them.
Once you have Dead Eye properly enabled, it shouldn’t be a problem to clear any bandit camps in Red Dead Redemption 2. Open fire when they aren’t looking at you and reap the rewards within seconds, remembering to sell any of the trinkets you find to fences. Easy as pie.
Rob a train
You can find train stations pretty frequently throughout the map and they’re typically tied to towns. You can use trains to travel quickly around and also to very quickly earn yourself some easy dollars. Equip your bandana before you jump on a train and then hold everyone up in the carriages by pointing your weapon at them and watch as they quite literally throw their money at you.
However, don’t forget to jump off the train before it arrives at a station, at which point the law will be notified and you will have a harder time trying to make a getaway. Robbing a train will also give a pretty significant hit to your Honor, so bear that in mind.
Go on-call in Red Dead Online
The early missions in Red Dead Online really don’t have a reward that reflects the effort you need to put in. You can spend a long time making your way through a particularly intense mission with many different stages but only get a few dollars as compensation, which is more than a little disheartening.
If you’re not that bothered about the story, you can go “on-call” for story missions and have a lucky dip of being dropped into a lobby for a mission that’s a lot further on than where you “naturally” are. The rewards typically vary, but get lucky and you could potentially net yourself a few hundred dollars! You might be able to afford those trousers after all.