Red Dead Online Roles: How does the Moonshiner role work, and what are the best specialist roles

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If you’re looking for new opportunities to prosper in the Wild West, then it’s worth your while to check out the various Red Dead Online roles available. These let you find work in official jobs to help further develop your character, and while there were originally three specialist roles – Bounty Hunter, Trader, and Collector – up for grabs with the Frontier Pursuits update, an extra Moonshiner role was released in December 2019. This provided an additional route to career progression in Red Dead Online, as well as opening up more unique items and abilities to earn on the way. Working at any of these jobs will increase your skills in a relevant area, so if you’re keen to learn more about the benefits they offer and what the best Red Dead Online roles will be for your particular play style, read on and we’ll explain how it all works.

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How do Red Dead Online roles work?

Red Dead Online Roles: How does the Moonshiner role work, and what are the best specialist roles

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

Each of the Red Dead Online roles has 20 role ranks to progress through by earning role XP, which you get by completing activities specific to that role. You’ll receive a role token for every role rank you unlock, which you can save up and use to purchase unique items for that particular role. You’ll also unlock new skills at certain ranks that will help you better fulfil the role you’re working on. Each of the Red Dead Online roles has a requirement to get started on that path, which we’ll detail further below.

Red Dead Online role: Moonshiner

Red Dead Online Roles: How does the Moonshiner role work, and what are the best specialist roles

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

How to get started as a Moonshiner: If you’ve reached Rank 5 in the Trader role, or completed a sell mission as part of that career, then Cripps will invite you to meet the bootlegger Maggie Fike over at Emerald Ranch. If you want to skip this requirement, then you can go through the Progress > Roles menu and unlock the Moonshiner role with 5 gold bars. After meeting with Fike, she’ll sell you a Moonshining Shack so you can get up and running, but that’s going to set you back 25 gold bars – making this a much higher start up cost than for the other roles.

There’s more to this role than just making Moonshine, however, as you’ll also get access to a series of story missions with Maggie Fike. Progress through these missions will help you improve your business and make more money, as well as set up your own bar and even hire a band to keep your clientele entertained.

As a Moonshiner, you can unlock unique skills and items including:

  • Bold Dance: Dance with flair
  • Toxic Moonshine Pamphlet: A recipe for how to craft Toxic Moonshine
  • Bar Expansion: Remodel the basement to include a bar
  • Ingredients Satchel Upgrade: Store more items in your Ingredients Pouch
  • New Buyer Order: Take on an extra buyer order
  • Flammable Moonshine: Highly potent alcohol that can be poured and set alight
  • Band Expansion: Expand a section of the bar to add a band
  • Condenser Upgrade: Allows the operation to produce average strength Moonshine
  • Cheerful Dance: Dance with joy
  • Master Distiller: Reduce the time taken to create a batch of Moonshine
  • Polished Copper Upgrade: Allows the operation to produce strong Moonshine
  • Materials Satchel Upgrade: Store more items in your Materials Pouch
  • Protection: Greatly reduce the risk of attacks
  • Rowdy Dance: Dance erratically
  • Hangover: Show barrel fever remorse

Red Dead Online role: Bounty Hunter

Red Dead Online Roles: How does the Moonshiner role work, and what are the best specialist roles

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

How to get started as a Bounty Hunter: Go to Rhodes and find the Legendary Bounty Hunter to buy the Bounty Hunter License. This costs 15 gold bars, though if you previously linked your Twitch and Rockstar Games Social Club accounts then you can collect it for free.

If you want to become a fancy gunslinger, then the Red Dead Online Bounty Hunter role should appeal. You’ll unlock various gun spinning tricks as you rank up by bringing in wanted criminals, as well as additional weapons such as bolas and a reinforced lasso to help you restrain tough targets. Bounties can be acquired from boards near post offices, railway stations, and law offices, with greater rewards available for felons you bring back alive, and you can also tackle the complete set of Red Dead Online Legendary Bounties. Once you hit role rank 12, you’ll also get the opportunity to apprehend other online players with a bounty of $20 or more, by following an invite if a pursuit is happening nearby.

As a Bounty Hunter, you can unlock unique skills and items including:

  • Focus: Targets glow red in Eagle Eye
  • Reinforced Lasso: A lasso made with reinforced rope to keep bounties secure
  • Reverse Spin: Perform a Reverse Spin with a single pistol or revolver
  • Tonics Satchel Upgrade: Store more items in your Tonics Pouch
  • Eagle Eye+: Track enemies while sprinting or galloping
  • Spin Up: Perform a Spin Up with a single pistol or revolver
  • Kit Satchel Upgrade: Store more items in your Kit Pouch
  • Tracking Arrow Pamphlet: A pamphlet recipe on how to craft Tracking Arrows
  • Reverse Spin Up: Perform a Reverse Spin Up with a single pistol or revolver
  • Ducking: Duck for protection while on horseback
  • Bolas: A thrown weapon, perfect for tangling the legs of bounties
  • Bounty Wagon: A wagon for securely retaining bounty targets
  • Perception: Receive a notification of bounties from a greater distance
  • Alternating Flips: Perform Alternating Flips with a single pistol or revolver
  • Dual Gun Spinning: Perform gun spinning tricks with two pistols or revolvers

Red Dead Online role: Trader

Red Dead Online Roles: How does the Moonshiner role work, and what are the best specialist roles

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

How to get started as a Trader: Buy the Butcher’s Table for your camp. This costs 15 gold bars, though PlayStation 4 players can collect it for free.

If hunting is your game, then taking on the Red Dead Online Trader role is the next logical step. Working alongside Cripps at your camp, you’ll rank up by harvesting pelts and carcasses for materials, which your trusty companion will then convert into sellable goods. You’ll need to send out these goods as safe local deliveries or riskier long distance runs, and as you progress you’ll unlock better delivery wagons and improved security measures to protect your camp from raids. Levelling up will also make you a more efficient hunter, allowing you to harvest and carry an increased amount of materials.

As a Trader, you can unlock unique skills and items including:

  • Stew Pot: A camp upgrade that unlocks stew recipes to boost cores
  • Ingredients Satchel Upgrade: Store more items in your Ingredients Pouch
  • Awareness: Identify rival Trader wagons at an increased range
  • Canine Warning: Train your dog to warn of thieves raiding your camp
  • Medium Delivery Wagon: An upgraded wagon that can hold 2 barrels for transport
  • Weapons Locker: Store weapons for later use
  • Lance Knife: A bespoke knife style available to Traders only
  • Efficiency: Learn to increase the amount of usable materials from perfect carcasses
  • Materials Satchel Upgrade: Store more items in your Materials Pouch
  • Large Delivery Wagon: An upgraded wagon that can hold 4 barrels for transport
  • Hunting Wagon: A sturdy wagon fit for carrying multiple carcasses, hides and pelts
  • Protection: Reduce the chance of raids at your camp

Red Dead Online role: Collector

Red Dead Online Roles: How does the Moonshiner role work, and what are the best specialist roles

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

How to get started as a Collector: Find the Red Dead Online Madam Nazar travelling saleswoman and buy the Collector’s Bag. This costs 15 gold bars, though if you’ve already found all 54 GTA Online playing cards then you can collect if for free.

For the completionists out there, the Red Dead Online Collector role should be a perfect fit. You’ll rank up by searching out hidden trinkets, including lost family heirlooms, Tarot cards, and buried treasure to dig up with your handy field shovel, which you can either sell off individually or work towards completing sets for a bigger payday. While levelling up you’ll improve your searching skills, allowing you to detect collectible items with greater accuracy, as well as unlocking new tools such as a metal detector to identify buried treasures and a horse lantern to help you continue your searches in the dark.

As a Collector, you can unlock unique skills and items including:

  • Divination: Sense when near collectibles
  • Pennington Field Shovel: An essential tool for uncovering buried collectibles 
  • Potential: Detect disturbed earth when using Eagle Eye
  • Intuition: Narrow your search area
  • Horse Saddlebag Upgrade: Carry more in your Horse’s saddlebag 
  • Refined Binoculars: Specialized binoculars that make dig sites glow from a great distance
  • Águila Machete: A classic machete restyled for the use of adventurous and belligerent Collectors
  • Metal Detector: An important tool which can identify collectibles buried underground
  • Equine Assistance: Collect herbs from horseback
  • Horse Lantern: Light the path ahead with a lantern attached to your horse’s breastplate
  • Valuables Satchel Upgrade: Store more items in your Valuables Pouch
  • Witford Compass: A decorative compass designed to adorn the Gun Belts of budding Collectors

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