Red Dead Online is an immersive sandbox MMO that provides players with a variety of different ways to make money. One of the most profitable and fun ways to make big dollar is by opening your very own animal goods business! But just how do you do that? With the trader role of course, and today we’ll be going over how exactly how to do that in our Red Dead Online guide!

If you are new to the game, you’re probably curious on how to even start the trader role. Where do you purchase it? How do you get your business running? How do you sell your goods? We will be going over all these questions and more in this trader role guide for Red Dead Online!

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Red Dead Online Trader Role Guide

Let’s skip over any more delays and get right into the guide.

Trader Role Overview

First off, we should cover the basics: just what is the Trader Role, exactly? Roles are “unique paths of progression” which can be purchased using gold bars. After you purchase a role, you will have access to new DLC content in the game. Roles provide players with unique missions, experiences, rewards, and of course, ways to make money. The Trader Role is one of several in Red Dead Online.

red dead online trader guide
Image: Rockstar Games via HGG

This specialized role is great for outdoorsmen and those that love to hunt animals in Red Dead Online. If you purchase it, it will allow you to open up a trading business with your camp partner Cripps. You will be in charge of hunting animals and acquiring supplies for him. Once you give them to Cripps, he will begin producing goods for you that can be sold later. This business can be operated entirely from your wilderness camp. That makes it a very convenient way to make some good money!

In addition to making money, you will also be able to unlock unique rewards that can’t be acquired everywhere else. This includes a unique vehicle for storing animal carcasses, special outfits you can wear, and a variety of other neat things from cosmetics to useful upgrades. But enough about what the Trader Role offers… how do you even start it in Red Dead Online?

How to Start the Trader Role

Thankfully, it’s not too difficult to start the Trader Role in Red Dead Online!

Getting Gold + Cripps Letter

Getting Started - red dead online trader guide
Image: Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

As previously mentioned, you will need gold in order to unlock this role. Specifically, you will need 15 Gold Bars in total. You can get gold by doing Bounty Hunter missions, completing daily challenges, and playing certain missions (such as Deathmatch Series, stranger missions, etc).

Alternatively, you can purchase gold through Red Dead Online’s microtransaction system, which is faster but requires real-world money. You can buy them by going to the “Store” tab from the Online mode’s menu when you start Red Dead Redemption 2.

Once you have the gold needed, you need to open up a letter sent to you from Cripps. If it is not in your inventory already, you can find it by going to the post office. Post offices are usually found at train stations, and are marked by the mail icon on the map. Once you are there, talk to the postmen stationed there and you can pick up the letter from him. Now, just read the letter.

Butcher Table + Setup Mission

Butcher Table - red dead online trader guide
Image: Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

Once you’ve read it, a yellow icon on your map will appear at the General Goods store located in Valentine, New Hanover. Head to the location shown on the map, and once you arrive at the store a cutscene will play with you and Cripps. He will then offer you the chance to purchase a Butcher Table, which will unlock the Trader Role for you. If you say no, you can head to your camp at any time after this exchange to purchase it from him there.

Either way, once you have spent your 15 gold bars to buy the Butcher’s Table, now you can move on to the next step, which is to complete the first mission. This mission is very easy and straightforward. All you need to do is follow the yellow GPS to the location that is marked on the map. After you get there, you will need to kill or knock out all the enemies. Then hop inside the wagon and deliver it to your camp. The mission will end, and you can now get started making money with the business!

Obtaining Supplies

Obtaining Supplies - red dead online trader guide
Image: Rockstar Games via HGG

In order to get Cripps to produce animal goods, he is going to need some supplies to do it. Supplies are a resource that will slowly drain over time as Cripps produces goods to sell. To get supplies, first walk up to the Butcher Table located inside of your camp.

You can either purchase them for $20 or start a mission to steal some. I recommend doing the former option, as it’s faster and easier. Also, $20 really isn’t that much. It will barely cut into your total profits when all is said and done.

One order of supplies will allow Cripps to produce 25 goods. This means that you’ll be spending $80 in total in order to get enough supplies for a full delivery of 100 goods. After you buy the supplies, they will be delivered to your camp automatically after a couple of minutes. If you just purchased the Butcher Table, Cripps should already have 50 supplies for him to use. Now that you have started the Trader Role and purchased some supplies, it’s time to start hunting some animals!

Hunting Animals: Overview

In addition to supplies, you are also going to need animal parts in order for Cripps to get to work producing fine animal goods. You can obtain animal parts by hunting local wildlife and delivering them to Cripps. When it comes to the quality of your goods, it doesn’t matter what species of animal you bring back. You could bring Cripps just bunny corpses or just deer skins and he’ll still be able to produce the exact same goods that are sold at the exact same value.

Hunting Animals - red dead online trader guide
Image: Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

However, while the value of the goods remains the same… the meter showing how many animal parts Cripps has will fill up more or less depending on what animals you bring him, the quality of the parts, and whether it is a full carcass or not. This means that if you want to get the meter filled up as fast as possible… you are going to want to focus on the animals that bring you the most parts for your time spent hunting them. Keep reading our Trader Role guide and we’ll give you a complete rundown on hunting in Red Dead Online!

Pelt Quality

When it comes to hunting in Red Dead Redemption 2, you should know that not all animals will give you the same quality skins. When aiming at an animal through a scope, you will notice an icon in the bottom right of your screen that will tell you its quality. It can be either 1, 2, or 3 stars, with 3 stars being the best. You’re going to want to kill animals with 2 or 3 stars while ignoring the ones with 1-star quality.

Pelt Quality - red dead online trader guide
Image: Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

You should also know that you need to use the right weapon when hunting them. If you use a caliber too big or if you kill them with more than 1 shot, the quality of the pelt will go down. Here is a guide (provided by XainesWorld) that tells you exactly what weapons to use for each animal in the game to get a perfect pelt.

Best Location to Hunt

Best Location to hunt - red dead online trader guide
Image: Rockstar Games via HGG

There are many, many different regions in the game rich in wildlife for you to hunt and kill. However, there are two locations in particular that we recommend for our Red Dead Online guide to the Trader. These places are the best for hunting as much game as fast as possible.

These locations are The Great Plains (West Elizabeth) and The Heartlands (New Hanover) in that order. The reason why these spots are so good is that they have much less densely packed foliage than other places, offering wide-open grasslands that make spotting medium and large animals easy.

When hunting in these areas, you can easily ride around on your horse and spot an animal from a great distance. Another reason why these two areas are so great is that they are abundant in two valuable animals that you are going to want to prioritize hunting: deer and bison (more on them in a minute). To move your camp to this location, go to the Interaction Menu, select Camp, then Size And Location, then move it to one of the two regions mentioned earlier. It will cost you $2 to move.

Best Animal Hunting Methods

Best Hunting Methods - red dead online trader guide
Image: Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

While you can get away with hunting any animal type in the game, if you want to make the most out of your time, you’re going to want to follow one of the meta methods for getting animal parts fast. As mentioned in the previous section, move your camp to either The Great Plains or to The Heartlands.

Once there, you’re going to want to use one of two methods depending on how much of the Trader Role you have unlocked.

  • If you’re just getting started in Red Dead Online, do the Lasso Method.
  • If you’ve been playing the game for a while and are at least rank 10 in the Trader Role, then do the Bison Method.

The Lasso Method (Best For Beginners)

This is a commonly used method that many low-level Red Dead Online players are advised to do if they want to get an abundance of animal parts fast. It’s great for low levels as it doesn’t require you to purchase any new weapons. To do this method, get on your horse and look for a herd of deer. Once you find a 3 or 2-star quality deer, pull out your lasso and throw it onto the animal. Your character will automatically jump off his horse.

Lasso Method
Image: Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

Start walking towards the deer and when the button prompt appears on the screen, pull out your knife and melee it. This will kill the deer while preserving the quality of its carcass! Don’t skin the animal, as full carcasses fill up the animal parts meter more than skins. Pick up the animal and put it on the back of your horse, then go find another deer to repeat the process. Once you’ve killed a second deer, get on your horse and throw your rope around the dead deer on the ground.

Once the rope has been thrown onto the second animal, start riding back to camp while you drag it along the ground. Avoid any obstacles that could cause you to lose your grip on the animal. By the time you get back, you can donate two full deer carcasses to Cripps at once! Keep repeating this process as long as you need to and you’ll quickly gain a lot of animal parts that will produce you valuable animal goods.

The Bison Method – Part 1 (Best For Veterans)

Now onto our next method for hunting. This is by far the best method for quickly getting animal parts to stay stocked up. You should know that in order to do this method, you are first going to need two things:

  • A rolling block rifle, which can be purchased from a gun store for $411.
  • A hunting wagon, which can be unlocked by reaching rank 10 in the Trader Role and then purchased for $875 from a stable (see “Trader Role Rank Unlocks” section for more details).
Buffalo Method
Image: Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

Once you own both of these things, spawn in your hunting wagon by opening the Interaction Menu. First go to Stables, then Vehicles, and finally Owned Vehicles before selecting the hunting wagon. Now hop on it and head to the location shown in the image above.

After you arrive at this spot, you should see a big herd of bison. If they are not there, then join a new session by opening up the menu, pressing Online, and then Free Roam. Return to the spot and they should spawn in.

The Bison Method – Part 2 (Best For Veterans)

Don’t get too close or you’ll scare them away! The next step is to pull out your rolling block rifle and look at every bison in the herd. Memorize each ones pelt quality. You’ll want to prioritize shooting the ones with 3-star pelts and then the ones with 2-star pelts in that order. Next, if you go into Deadeye mode, it will highlight the places you can shoot and kill the bison in one shot in red. Once you’re ready, take aim and fire at the one with the highest quality pelt.

Scoping them out - red dead online trader guide
Image: Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

Once they start scrambling, you’ll need to quickly shoot and kill the ones with 2 and 3-star pelts, using Deadeye to make sure you hit them in the right spot. If you are fast and have good aim, you should be able to kill at least 3-4 of them. After the dust has settled, drive your hunting wagon over and park it in the middle of the dead bodies.

Get out and skin all of the pelts and store them into the wagon. Once that is done, rejoin a session using the method described earlier, and another herd of bison should have spawned in! Now repeat the process until your hunting wagon is full. It can hold exactly 5 bison pelts at once. After it’s full, head back to your camp to donate the goods to Cripps and then repeat until your animal parts meter is completely full.

How to Sell Your Trader Goods

Now it’s onto the next part of our Red Dead Online guide for the Trader Role… making a sale! Sell missions are pretty easy and straightforward, and the nice thing about them is that they can be done entirely solo!

Selling Goods
Image: Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

The amount of goods that you can sell at once depends on the size of the delivery wagon that you own. If you just purchased the Trader Role, you will only be able to use a small delivery wagon. This can only sell a maximum of 25 goods at once. Later on, you can get a medium and large, which will sell 50 and 100 goods respectively. More on that later.

Selling Goods – Part 1

Once the meter showing how many goods you have is full, start a sell mission by walking up to Cripps inside your camp. Go to the bottom and hover over the option that says “Goods.” If you look to the bottom right of the screen, you can follow the button prompts displayed to choose between doing a local delivery or a distant delivery.

Local deliveries are easier and faster to complete. You also won’t be attacked by other players or NPCs while doing them. Naturally, long distant ones pay more. However, they put you at risk of being griefed by other players and it can take a pretty long time to complete.

I recommend choosing the long distant one when selling. This is because in my experience it’s pretty rare to get attacked by other players. But if you would be more comfortable doing local deliveries, then by all means do them. Once you’ve made your choice, follow the button prompt to start the delivery.

It’s a good idea to get other players to help you sell if you are doing a long distant delivery, as they can help you fight against NPCs and griefers. Deliveries are very straighfoward. All you need to do is follow the yellow marker to your destination. Just stay on the road as much as you can.

Selling Goods – Part 2

Keep in mind that if you chose long distant, you will regularly be attacked by NPCs. The NPCs are pretty easy to kill though. If you’re having trouble with aiming, you can shoot and kill their horses instead. They’re a much easier target to hit. Plus, you can take out two NPCs at once if there are two people riding one at the same time.

Driving off NPCs
Image: Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

If another player gets near you, pull over, get far away from the road, then get out of your wagon. Now pull out your gun, hold LT/RMB and press up on your d-pad (U on PC) then fire into the air. This will allow you to fire a warning shot. Doing this will cause the game to send out a written message to nearby players giving them a warning message.

This usually causes players to think twice about attacking you if they were planning on stealing your wagon. Most of the time, however, this is unnecessary. Usually other players are just passing through and just so happened to walk by you while you’re delivering, so they will leave you alone regardless. But better safe then sorry!

If you do happen to get into a fight and die, you will respawn nearby. Call your horse, then go catch up to the person who stole your wagon. Kill them, get back on your wagon, then drive as fast as you can to your objective. Don’t be surprised if you two get into a back and forth of killing each other and competing for control of the wagon. I’ve only ever gotten into a situation like this once before, and it was pretty intense.

Selling Goods – Part 3 + Payouts

Potential griefers - red dead online trader guide
Image: Rockstar Games via HGG

If the player is a griefer and just destroys your wagon, you will still be able to deliver some of the goods. They will be scattered on the ground in bags that you can pick up and store on your horse to deliver to the objective.

If you would prefer to get the full reward or just don’t want to bother riding back and fourth multiple times to complete the delivery, then join a new session and it will end the mission. Then just go talk to Cripps again to restart the mission.

Once you do manage to deliver your goods, sometimes you will find a shootout happening between multiple bandits and law enforcement at the drop-off location. Just park your wagon at the delivery spot, get out and kill all the hostiles. Once they are dead, the mission will conclude, and you’ll be rewarded!

The payouts for deliveries depend on how many goods you are selling and whether you are doing short or long distant deliveries. A long distance delivery of 100 goods will net you $625, which is pretty decent money in RDO! Alternatively, you can make $500 from selling the same amount of goods at a short distant delivery. Any players who help you will be paid half of what you made (this will NOT be subtracted from your own payout). So they can make $312.50 from a 100 goods long distant sale.

Trader Role Rank Unlocks

Now it’s onto one of the best parts of our Red Dead Online guide for the Trader Role… unlocking special rewards! If you pause the game, then go to progress, then roles, you can select the Trader Role.

Here, you can see what looks like a battle pass. As you level up your role by completing missions, daily challenges, and deliveries, you’ll unlock cosmetic items and upgrades. These items are locked away behind tiers, which are opened by gaining a certain amount of role XP. A new tier is unlocked every 5 levels.

Trader Role Unlocks
Image: Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

After you unlock a new tier, you can unlock specific items from that tier by spending role tokens. This is a special currency that is given to you by leveling up a role in Red Dead Online. You can spend role tokens that you earned from one role on rewards from any other role in the game. Meaning if you earned role tokens from leveling up your Bounty Hunter Role, you can use them to unlock items from the Trader Role. Keep in mind that once you unlock an item, you still have to purchase it with cash.

There are many, many different unlocks you can get from the Trader Role. For example, there are special outfits that dress up your character in fine attire as well as special breeds of horses. It’s also from this same menu that you can unlock upgrades useful for your trading business, such as larger delivery wagons and the previously mentioned hunting wagon. Be sure to check back here every 5 levels to spend your role tokens and unlock some great rewards!

Tips & Tricks

Tips & Tricks - red dead online trader guide
Image: Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

Before we end our Red Dead Online guide on the Trader Role, I’m going to give you some brief tips and tricks to maximize your profits and efficiency. Some of these are repeats of what was already stated in the article, while others will be unique to this section.

  • Tip #1: Make friends with other players on forms and help each other sell. Even if you think you don’t need the protection from griefers, as previously mentioned, players will be paid half of what you earn just for helping you make a delivery. And that money won’t be subtracted from your payout. This means if you do a 100 good sell mission then help someone else sell immediately after, you can make $937.50! And they’ll make the same if they help you sell then sell 100 goods of their own.
  • Tip #2: Unlock the stew pot as early as you can. This is a special camp upgrade you can purchase from Wilderness Outfitters. In order to unlock it, you’ll need to reach rank 5 in the Trader Role. Then purchase it for $650. This will allow you to eat a special stew at your camp that will fill up your cores and even overcharge them if you’ve unlocked special recipes!
  • Tip #3: Hunt legendary animals and donate them to Cripps for a very big boost to your animal parts meter. You can unlock the ability to find and kill legendary animals in the wild from purchasing the Naturalist Role and reaching role rank 5. If you kill a legendary animal, you can store their carcass inside your hunting wagon. You can then spawn your hunting wagon near your camp later and donate it to Cripps, which will provide you with a HUGE amount of animal parts.

Join the High Ground

We hope that this guide for the trader role in Red Dead Online was informative! Do you have any more tips and tricks you’d like to share with us? List them in the comments!

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