Why Red Dead Online players are starting over after hundreds of hours



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It’s not easy to throw in hundreds of hours of video game progress, but dozens of cowboys do. The players leave their Red Dead Online is relying on consoles in order to grab the Windows PC version of the game, even if that means leaving behind exclusive cosmetics, refurbished moon huts, and even real money investments.

Red Dead Online started as a fashion in Red Dead Redemption 2 on the humble PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but it’s now available as a standalone game, and playable on the next generation of consoles thanks to backward compatibility. Red Dead Online the accounts are not cross-platform; you can switch from PS4 to PS5 as that would use the same account but not from PS4 to PC or from PC to Xbox One. This means that players pick up Red Dead Online for $ 4.99 on PC, even though they have a rich history with the game, have to hit the restart button.

My friends all made the switch recently, which meant we left the full season passes behind, as well as established characters that we deeply loved to dress up and pamper ourselves with. So what makes this sacrifice worth it?

Red Dead Online - Two cowboys, a man and a woman, fight with knives on the open planes.  They are surrounded by a ring of fire.

Image: Rockstar Games via Polygon

For some players, it’s about escaping from a console that seems limiting. Gamers I’ve spoken to on Twitter and Discord have mentioned load times, connection issues, and keeping the last-gen system actively connected as a burden on their console gaming time. Red Dead Online.

Upgrading to a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X might fix some of these issues … but it actually requires finding and paying for one, which isn’t an easy task for most people. Meanwhile, anyone with a gaming PC can just deposit $ 5; Rockstar made the ramp very simple. All Red Dead Redemption 2 The game is no longer necessary and players can even skip the tutorial to return directly to the open world for maximum efficiency. The price is also accessible for the moment; it will drop to $ 19.99 on Feb.15.)

Some players leave behind exclusive rewards from the game’s first season passes, including cool dances, cute rings, special eye patches, or masks for their horses. There is no way to go back and get them back once you switch to PC; time-limited outlaw passes are done and dusted off.

“In the beginning, [starting over] kinda sucks, because I wasn’t that flashy and all, ”said a player who passes by HealsNKills, in a conversation with Polygon on Twitter. “But it’s really nice to have a fresh start.”

There are also some great achievements that require thousands of in-game dollars (or real money via gold) to replenish, like having a moonshine hut with a bar, band, and a big one still full of high quality alcohol.

The sacrifice is always worth it for some. “The biggest impact for me was on the performance and visuals, which were so much better on PC,” says GracelessExit, another gamer we spoke to on Twitter. “Starting over was worth the best overall experience.”

Red Dead Online - a crowd of cowboys gather in a living room to applaud.  They each hold a glass of moonlight.

Image: Rockstar Games via Polygon

There are also new social opportunities for fans who take the plunge. Private servers, as Wild West RP, offer exclusive scenarios and events to players who Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC. Private server play goes way beyond the basics Red Dead Online deals, along with mods to allow players to buy wagons, equip new headgear, or use tools like shovels and axes in the open world. These perks, along with role-playing communities, draw in die-hard fans who are fed up with the standard experience.

There is also an extent to which starting over actually improves the pace of the game. GracelessExit mentioned that earlier in Red Dead Onlinedevelopment of, there were limited roles. By playing the game in late 2020 or early 2021, the player can simply dive into all of the content on offer at once, instead of completing roles and waiting for new ones one patch at a time.

Early adopters of Red Dead Online Have often complained about the game’s update pace and timing, especially how it feels like a drip feed. A new player doesn’t take on the roles and missions of the game one by one, with breaks of several months in between. They can jump right into the right things and juggle multiple priorities at once.

Players can earn everything for free, if they log in regularly and complete daily challenges. Missions and challenges yield small amounts of gold, which can be stored and saved for expensive upgrades or cosmetics. Rockstar sometimes hosts events like the Party Series, which brings in double gold and tons of in-game dollars. It’s not a perfect system, and HealsNKills admits that the “only downside” of their choosing to start over on PC is that “the grinding of the gold bar is high and too expensive”.

Players have lost rings, horses, and robes, but ultimately the Red Dead experience transcends these things. It’s about playing with friends at the border, and it remains strong. Hopefully Rockstar finds a way to restore these lost riches, but that’s not a barrier enough to keep players from coming back into Red Dead Online on a new platform.



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