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RDR2 Online: Moonshiner Role Guide and How to Become One

The world of Red Dead Redemption is chaotic, wild, and dangerous, full of outlaws and an untamed wilderness. But in addition to all the dangers the American south has to offer, there are also many opportunities for striking it rich! One of these opportunities in RDR2 is none other then the Moonshiner Role!

And what exactly is the Moonshiner Role, you may ask? What does being a moonshiner require you to do? And is the money it pays out worth it? We will be covering all of these concerns and more in this complete and definitive guide for the RDR2 Online Moonshiner Role!

Red Dead Online Moonshiner Role Guide

So what are we waiting for? Let’s jump right into the article!

Moonshiner Role Overview

Before we get into how to start being a moonshiner in RDR2, we should first go over a few basic things. Firstly, what exactly is a “role?” A role is something that you can purchase in-game that will unlock new DLC content for you to play. This content includes unique cosmetic items, missions, and even businesses to purchase. The Moonshiner Role is one of several currently in the game.

Image: Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

The Moonshiner Role is also one of the most content-packed roles in the entire game! It allows players to purchase their very own moonshine shack. This is a new business that allows them to produce and sell their very own moonshine to a variety of different customers. Additionally, players can launch story missions from this shack, which they can complete to get new lore and earn some cash.

Roles in RDR2 Online can be leveled up to unlock special new content, such as unique cosmetics and upgrades, and the Moonshiner Role is no different. If you fully level up this role, you’ll gain access to new clothing items, horses, weapon skins, and much much more! There is a whole heap of content for players to enjoy with this DLC.

Getting Started

So with all of that, you’re probably wondering how you unlock the role…

Unlock Requirements & Gold

Before going any further, I should mention that you need to have unlocked and leveled up the Trader Role to rank 5 first before you can start the process to become a Moonshiner in RDR2 Online. After you’ve done this, you will be given a letter from Cripps that will invite you to a certain location on the map.

You can find this letter from a post office (shown in the map with a mail icon) or from the post box inside your camp. Once you read the letter, a map icon at Emerald Ranch will appear on your map. But before going there, you’ll need something first…

Image: Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

As previously mentioned, roles needed to be purchased before you can gain access to their content. All roles in RDR2 Online need to be purchased with gold bars. This is a secondary currency that can be obtained in a variety of different ways. Completing missions as a bounty hunter will earn you gold and so will completing showdown missions. Daily challenges from your Interaction Menu will also provide gold bars.

Gathering gold from in-game missions and content can be time-consuming. If you want to skip out on all the grind, you can just buy gold using real money by going to the store tab of RDR2 Online. This can be accessed from the menu that you see when you first launch Red Dead Online. You need at least 25 gold bars in order to purchase the Moonshiner Role, so make sure you buy enough.

Purchasing a Moonshine Shack

Once you have the gold you need, head to the shack in Emerald Ranch shown on your map. Walk inside and a cutscene will play introducing you to Maggie, your (potential) new business partner. In the end, you’ll be given the opportunity to purchase a moonshine shack for 25 gold bars.

Image: Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

If you decline it, you can always purchase it at any time by going to the Interaction Menu, selecting camp and properties, and then buying the moonshine shack there. Just select the location you want and pay the 25 gold bars and it will be all yours.

Best Moonshine Shack Location

But in case you don’t know which one to buy, allow me to explain what the best location for a moonshine shack is. I should preface this by saying that you can move your shack to a new location at any time from the same menu that you bought it from. It will cost you a fee of $250, however. There are a total of 5 different moonshine shacks, with one being in each of the major states in the game.

Image: Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

The best location in my experience is the one found in The Heartlands, and there are three primary reasons why. Firstly, when doing delivery missions, your moonshine can be damaged. If it is damaged, you will lose profit… but the terrain in the Heartlands is not as rough as it is in some other regions. This helps minimize the chances of your moonshine getting damaged when you do deliveries.

Reason number two is because one of the potential delivery locations for a batch of moonshine is at Emerald Ranch, which is quite literally down the road from this shack, making it a very quick and easy sale mission. Third and finally, this is a great location because of the train station nearby. At this station is a bounty hunting board, so you can start a mission while your moonshine is cooking. Additionally, there is a fast travel post here, which is very convenient to have next to your shack.

Rescuing Marcel

Image: Rockstar Games via HGG

After you’ve made your choice and bought a moonshine shack, you can fast-travel to it directly by going to a fast travel post and scrolling down to the moonshine shack option towards the bottom. Once there, go inside and walk over to the nearby desk where Maggie is sitting. Talk to her, and she will explain to you that a moonshine cook known as Marcel is in need of some assistance. You’ll be in charge of getting him back unharmed.

Once she is finished talking to you, you will automatically exit the shack and the mission will begin! Ride to the location shown on your map, and when you get there you’ll find a number of enemies standing guard. You can be stealthy if you want, but you can just go guns blazing if you want to save time. Just make sure you kill or knock out all the enemies before rescuing Marcel. When you’re ready, approach him and he’ll be laying down and tied up. Untie him and he’ll start to follow you.

Get on your horse and wait for him to get on. Now follow the yellow GPS on your map and it will bring you back to your moonshine shack. Make sure you keep your weapon out! The people who kidnapped Marcel will want him back, and you’ll be attacked by them as you are returning to the shack. Once you arrive to the shack safely, the mission will end successfully.

Acquiring Moonshining Equipment

While it’s great that you’ve gotten Marcel back, it really doesn’t mean much if you don’t have any moonshining equipment for him to make product with. Approach Maggie at any time after completing the previous setup mission to start the next one. She will task you with visiting a rival moonshiner’s cabin in order to “borrow” some of their equipment. Once the mission begins, start following the GPS to the location of this rival gang.

Image: Rockstar Games via HGG

When you get there, you’ll find a bunch of enemies standing guard just like with the last mission. You can either kill or knock them all out silently, or you can go loud. Either one works. Once they are finished, climb onto the wagon shown by the white icon on your mini-map. This wagon is carrying the equipment you need. Once you’re in, start hauling it back to your own shack while holding off any enemies that will try to follow you and stop you.

Just be careful when driving the wagon, you don’t want to flip it over and crash! If it’s destroyed, the mission will end and you’ll have to do it again. After you’ve arrived safely at your moonshine shack, you can park it just outside to complete the last objective. A cutscene will play where Marcel will give you the basic rundown of how your new moonshine business works. Once this ends, you’ll be outside your shack and you’ll have done all of the setup missions for your brand-new moonshine operation!

Making Moonshine: Overview

Image: Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

After you’ve got all the setup missions complete, you can now start doing the story missions for the DLC and start producing moonshine with Marcel. We’ll talk more about the story missions in a later section of this guide. For right now, we’ll talk about how to make and sell moonshine, as that’s what most players are more interested in doing.

In case you weren’t paying attention when Marcel gave you the rundown for your business, allow me to explain to you how making moonshine works. There are three steps to it: obtaining the mash, choosing a flavor, and acquiring the ingredients for said flavor. I’ll give a brief rundown of these steps in the next two sections.

Purchasing Mash

Mash is a core component of making moonshine, and the only way to obtain it is by purchasing it. You can obtain some by walking up to Marcel, who can be found at his workstation inside the basement of your moonshine shack. Walk down the stairs and approach him. Then you can give him some money, allowing him to purchase some mash for the operation.

Image: Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

There are three different levels of mash you can buy. They all cost the same, but stronger moonshine mash makes your product more valuable at the cost of taking longer to produce. I’d recommend just buying the stronger moonshine mash every time, as you can go do other money-making activities while waiting for your batch of moonshine to produce.

Getting Cheaper Mash

Mash is normally priced at $50, but it can be made cheaper. To do this, you’ll need to complete a mission for Maggie. Go upstairs and interact with her at her desk, and look at the button prompts shown on the bottom right corner of your screen to start a bootlegger mission. Bootlegger missions will have you do a variety of tasks, from sabotaging rival moonshine operations to starting fights at bars around the map.

Image: Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

Once you complete the mission, you can return to Marcel to purchase the mash at a lower price. When doing just one mission, it will reduce the price of your mash by a total of $20. You may be wondering if it’s worth it to do these missions or not. I’d say they are if you don’t have most of the other roles in the game. Otherwise, it makes more sense to go do a bounty-hunting mission or to do the Collector Role with the time saved from just buying the more expensive moonshine mash.

Moonshine Flavors & Obtaining Ingredients

Image: Rockstar Games via HGG

Now that you’ve purchased the mash needed to make your moonshine, it’s time that you picked a flavoring! Flavorings are important as they affect the price of your moonshine, making it worth more than non-flavored moonshine. When you sell your product, you can pick one of several customers to sell to. Certain customers will only buy certain flavors of moonshine, and different flavors require different ingredients to make.

These ingredients can be obtained by scavenging for them, looting them off of enemies, or buying them in stores (all of which is done in free roam). More on this in a minute. When you choose your flavor, I recommend selecting the one which sells for the most (if you have the right ingredients for it, that is). However, because some of the ingredients for the most expensive moonshine flavors are hard to find, generally it’s more practical to just stick to one flavor in particular…

That flavor is the Berry Cobbler moonshine. The ingredients for this flavor are: 1. One raspberry. 2. One peach. 3. One canned peach. All of these ingredients are very easy to obtain. You can find raspberries in abundance around the map growing on bushes. Meanwhile, peaches and canned peaches can be bought from stores.

If you happen to have the ingredients for the most expensive moonshine flavors, select those options. But make sure to keep the previously mentioned ingredients for the Berry Cobbler moonshine on hand at all times, so you can select that flavor in case you need to. Once you’ve purchased mash and chosen your flavor, all you have to do now is wait for Marcel to produce the moonshine!

Selling Moonshine

Now comes the part where becoming a Moonshiner in RDR2 Online starts bringing in the money.

Part 1 – Selecting a Customer

Image: Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

After a certain amount of time in the game, you will get a notification telling you that your moonshine has finished production. Once this is done, fast-travel to your moonshine shack and head into the basement to talk to Marcel. He will inform you that the moonshine is ready to be sold. Interact with him and select a customer from the list of customers available. As previously mentioned, only some of them will accept certain flavors, and not all of them will be available at the same time.

There is always one customer who will buy your moonshine no matter what flavor it is. However, he pays the least out of all the other customers. Avoid him at all costs. If the customer who is willing to buy your flavor of moonshine is unavailable… simply wait until the list of customers available refreshes. You can see how much time is left before this happens by looking at the bottom left of your screen. It is underneath the list of your customers.

Part 2 – Delivering Moonshine Without Damaging it

Image: Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

Once you are ready to sell and the customer you want is available, select them and the mission will begin! The mission will task you with following a yellow GPS to a drop-off location, while you drive a big wagon full of moonshine. Be careful when driving this wagon! As mentioned earlier, your moonshine can get damaged. To prevent this from happening, stay on the roads as much as you can and drive slowly when going up/down steep terrain and crossing over railroad tracks.

I recommend that you get your wagon up to a decently high speed and then press and hold down the camera button for a few seconds. This will toggle the cinematic camera, which will cause the game to drive your wagon for you at the same speed you were going when you held down the camera button. The best part about this is that your moonshine is significantly less likely to be damaged when in cinematic mode!

But don’t let that be an excuse for you to go AFK, you’ll still need to be paying attention. You’ll need to toggle the cinematic mode off and take control when you see another wagon or a group of NPCs approach you. Or just when there is an obstacle blocking your path. The game doesn’t always go around these NPCs/obstacles, sometimes crashing you right into them! And to make things even worse, when making a delivery you’ll encounter special enemies called Revenue Agents…

Part 3 – Revenue Agents

Revenue Agents - how to become a moonshiner rdr2
Image: Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

In case you haven’t played any of the story missions yet, Revenue Agents are members of an anti-moonshining government organization. They are vicious, ruthless, and will do whatever it takes to stop moonshining operations in the American south. You are guaranteed to run into one of their moonshine checkpoints each and every time you make a delivery. You’ll recognize one when you encounter armed men in suits ordering you to stop your wagon so they can search you.

Make sure that you ALWAYS stop your wagon when you encounter a checkpoint. Slow down and stop in the yellow circle on the map and wait about half a minute while they search you. There is a chance that they will find moonshine and you’ll be busted. But most of the time they won’t find any of your moonshine and they will let you go free.

If you try to run through the checkpoint or they find moonshine… they will open fire at you and will chase you down for the remainder of the mission. This is bad as it is very likely to damage your moonshine, leading to you making less profit.

If you made it through the checkpoint without getting caught, continue on your way to the delivery spot using the method described in the previous section of this guide. If you do get caught, you can still do the cinematic camera for most of the trip. But when they start shooting at you, stop your wagon completely and fire at the enemies until they are all dead. Do NOT fire while driving, as you are likely to crash and damage your moonshine.

Part 4 – Dealing With Griefers/Other Players

Griefers - how to become a moonshiner rdr2
Image: Rockstar Games via HGG

In my experience, dealing with griefers–other players that attack you to try and destroy your moonshine–is rarer than griefers for trader deliveries. The missions for selling moonshine can be completed faster, meaning that you are less likely to encounter them. If you do encounter another player approaching you on the road… it’s best to slowly and carefully move your wagon off the road and onto a clearing nearby.

Then hop off the wagon and aim down the sights on your gun. If you press U on PC (or up on the D-pad for consoles), you can aim your gun into the air. Pull the trigger and you’ll fire a warning shot. Doing this causes the game to give all nearby players a written message prompt telling them that you are warning them to stay away. Usually, the players who are riding by will drive past you regardless. But for the ones who intended to attack, this will scare some of them away.

If they do open fire, try to stay away from the wagon, so they don’t shoot and damage the moonshine. Find a good spot to hide behind cover and fire back. If you die, you’ll re-spawn nearby and can try attacking them again. If you do kill them, get on your wagon and high-tail it to the delivery location! Hopefully, they will just try to steal your wagon, meaning you can kill them and get it back to complete the mission. But if they decide to just destroy it, leave the game and join a new lobby. Do this quick enough, and your moonshine should be back at your shack and ready to be sold again.

Part 5 – Finishing Deliveries & Payouts

Payout - how to become a moonshiner rdr2
Image: Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

Assuming you know how to deal with the Revenue Agents and are lucky enough to not encounter any hostile players, delivery missions are pretty easy and straightforward. Once you have arrived at the location your GPS is taking you to, you’ll be tasked with parking the wagon inside the yellow circle shown on your mini-map. Once you drop it off, the mission will conclude and you’ll be paid!

Payments for moonshine delivery missions are generally above $400, assuming you found a well-paying customer. Because moonshine bottles can be destroyed, you’ll make less money for each and every bottle you lose. If you lose just one single bottle, your payment will be cut by a pretty sizable amount! Be sure to make use of the cinematic camera tactic I mentioned earlier in order to preserve your moonshine.

Moonshiner Story Missions

Story Missions - how to become a moonshiner rdr2
Image: Rockstar Games via HGG

For this next section, I’d like to briefly touch on the Moonshiner story missions that are included in this DLC for RDR2. These missions are cinematic, story-driven experiences comparable to the content that we get in the single-player. While the replayability isn’t that high and the missions won’t make you as much money as delivering moonshine, they are still incredibly fun to play, especially with your friends.

I recommend that all moonshine shack owners play through the missions at least once, as they give you some interesting lore about Maggie and really help you feel like you’re the owner of your very own moonshine operation. You can start them by conversing with Maggie at her desk on the ground story of your moonshine shack. Interact with her and press the button shown in the bottom right of the screen to start a mission.

There is a cool-down between doing these missions. I recommend that you do one just after you get your moonshine up and running, as it’s a good way to pass time while Marcel is busy making your product.

Moonshiner Role Unlocks

Unlocks - how to become a moonshiner rdr2
Image: Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

Now it’s onto one of the best parts about the Moonshiner DLC… the role unlocks! When you rank up your Moonshiner Role in RDR2 Online, you will gain access to a variety of new content to enjoy. This includes cosmetic unlocks such as clothing items and gun skins.

However, it can also include useful upgrades for your moonshine shack to help make producing goods easier and faster. To access these unlocks, go to the menu and then select progress then the Moonshiner Role.

The unlocks are divided into different tiers, and you can unlock a new tier once every 5 levels. As you level up, you will gain role tokens. This is a unique currency that allows you to unlock the content. Just keep in mind that even when you unlock an item using tokens, you still need to buy it in the game in order to actually use it.

As for what unlocks I recommend… the best ones to go for are the Condenser Upgrade and the Polished Copper Upgrade. Both of these unlocks can be acquired once you reach at least rank 5 and 10 respectively. These two upgrades are great for making more money with the moonshine shack.

You can also unlock your very own bar, located inside the basement of the moonshine shack! While this doesn’t make you any money, it is useful as you can walk up behind the counter and pour some moonshine to drink. When you do this, it will overcharge your cores, allowing you to have more health, stamina, and deadeye temporarily. Get this upgrade last.

Tips & Tricks

Tips & Tricks - how to become a moonshiner rdr2
Image: Rockstar Games via HGG

Before ending this guide, why don’t we go over some tips and tricks to show you how to make the most out of the Moonshiner Role in RDR2 Online? While you don’t NEED to use some of these tips, they can still come in very handy.

  • Tip #1: Drink your moonshine before doing a mission. As previously mentioned, you can purchase a bar expansion for your shack. Once you do this, you can go behind the counter at the bar and pour yourself some moonshine. When drunk, it will overcharge your cores. Make sure you do this before doing a mission for Maggie or before a delivery mission. It will make combat easier.
  • Tip #2: Visit Madame Nazaar for ingredients. If you don’t feel like foraging for food to flavor your moonshine, you can always take a shortcut by buying the ingredients from Madame Nazaar. She is a merchant NPC whose spawn location changes regularly. You’ll need to look up where to find her online before logging into the game. Rockstar changes her spawn location every day.
  • Tip #3: Do Moonshiner Role daily challenges to earn gold and XP. Inside your Interaction Menu, you can find a section called daily challenges. Here you can complete a variety of different tasks in order to earn some gold and experience. Moonshiner Role challenges are usually the easiest to complete compared to the other roles. In one challenge, all you need to do is play in your bar’s band, which is a very easy and fast way to get some gold!

Join the High Ground

We hope that you found this guide for the Moonshiner Role in RDR2 Online informative! What are your thoughts on the moonshiner role? Do you enjoy playing it? Let us know down in the comments. And make sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter for more guides just like this one here!

Happy gaming!


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