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Throughout the months that followed the launch of Red Dead Online, the Player vs. Player interaction and the crime and bounty systems have evolved considerably as part of several Title Updates, to make the playing experience as balanced as possible.

This is a full up-to-date guide to the current PvP and PvE mechanics in Red Dead Online, including Playing Styles, Hostility System, Bounties, Feuds, Honor and more.

Red Dead Online Playing Styles

Some players just want to immerse themselves in the world, riding, hunting and fishing in peace.

The May 14, 2019 Update brought the option to choose how you interact with players inside the world of Red Dead Online, via Offensive and Defensive playing styles in the Player Menu.

  • The Offensive Play Style is set as the default and is how most players traditionally interact in Free Roam – free to engage in hostile contact with other players if you are prepared to accept the potential consequences.

  • The Defensive Play Style is for those players who would rather explore the world in Free Roam than engage in conflict with others – and it’s designed to let other players know that you don’t want to battle with them, as well as minimize opportunities for griefing.
    As an evolved version of GTA Online's Passive Mode, players in Defensive mode:
    • They are indicated by a faded radar blip and a shield icon
    • They do not receive critical damage when shot, and take reduced damage from enemy players (they will survive several headshots)
    • They cannot be targeted with auto-aim, and they cannot lock-on to other players either.
    • They cannot be lassoed, melee attacked, or executed.
    • They will not be alerted to PvP Free Roam Missions and cannot be pulled into them

Those who attack Defensive players receive hefty penalties via the Hostility System, while Defensive players who initiate conflict will be instantly removed from Defensive mode and also incur a significant Hostility level increase.

Hostility System & Radar Visibility

After the February 26, 2019 Update, normally your Free Roam location won’t display to other players unless you are nearby (within 150 meters) or, if you are slightly further away, you will only appear when firing your weapon. Players in other towns or regions won’t be visible. 

However, the Hostility System highlights overly aggressive players. A player's hostility affects both the distance they appear on the map, and the color of their blip (similarly to the "Mental State" feature in GTA Online).

A friendly, peaceful player will only appear at short range (with a blue blip). This means they will be more likely to pass by other players undetected.

If your style of play becomes more hostile, your blip will progressively shift from blue to red, and your map position will become more visible on other player’s radars at longer distances. You also will respawn further and further away from your point of death.

A bright red blip indicates an enemy. With the May 14, 2019 Update, players won't receive Hostility or Bounty increases for defending themselves against a player who is blipped as an enemy, or for killing players with high Hostility. If a player attacks another player, they will not be marked as an enemy to everyone - but rather to the attacked player only, who will not receive a penalty for firing back.

Your Hostility increases through bad deeds such as attacking and killing other players or their horses in Free Roam (outside of structured modes or missions), and the shorter the time between bad acts, the more your Hostility increases. Shift back to a more righteous path and your Hostility will decrease over time.

You can view your current Hostility level through the Player Menu.

Bounty System & Wanted Status

After the February 26, 2019 Update, a Bounty System has been implemented in Red Dead Online. Players will get a bounty for committing crimes and will be incentivized to pay them off within an allotted time. Wait too long and bounty hunters (NPC) from each of the states will track the player and attempt to kill them to collect their reward.

Criminal behavior has Bounty values and consequences in Hostility and Honor, that scale based on the severity of the crime. For example, killing another player can incur a higher bounty, while assaulting townsfolk or animal cruelty could give you a lesser bounty if the crime is reported, while lower level crimes like looting and ransacking will only decrease your Honor.

If your bounty exceeds a certain threshold and Bounty Hunters take notice, you will be Wanted dead and alerted to their pursuit. A red circle will display a Wanted radius that only you can see. The law are cracking down on crime throughout the states, and they will be brutal with their justice. No arrests. No interrogations. In an effort to eradicate those who besmirch the law, they will immediately shoot to kill.

Also, be careful who you roll with. Affiliating yourself with other Wanted criminals in your Posse may result in you becoming Wanted, as will riding in a vehicle with a Wanted player. The higher your bounty, the greater your value and the more difficult the pursuit becomes for you and your Posse.

Parley and Feuds with Other Players

If you are killed by another player in Red Dead Online, you will be given the option to begin a Parley on your death screen. If chosen, the opposing player will be unable to harm you for 10 minutes.

Alternatively, if you’d rather challenge your opponent, you will have the option to start a Feud. Feuds can also take place between Posses and Posse Leaders, quickly turning a dispute into a timed mini-deathmatch for rival players to fight out amongst themselves in Free Roam, earning points for each kill on the opposing player.

When a lower Hostility player is killed without retaliating they will have an option to “Press Charges” during the respawn period, which will enforce an increase on their attacker’s Hostility and Bounty value. Press Charges is not available if you are a high Hostility player or marked as an enemy to the player who killed you.

How Honor works in Red Dead Online

Are you an honorable Gunslinger or a dishonorable Outlaw? Gain Honor and lose it as you interact with the world and those around you. Your actions have consequences and you will find that the missions you select will impact your Honor.

In Red Dead Online, your honor will shift high and low based on your decisions and behavior. You’ll shape your honor through your choices: from life or death decisions to natural interactions such as caring for your horse.

You can gain Honor by reviving your Posse Members. Lose it by killing civilians, ignoring those in need of help, or stealing or killing other players' horses.

In addition to the world responding to you in subtly different ways, you’ll also notice the nature of certain "A Land of Opportunities" missions and Free Roam missions will reveal themselves to you based on your current honor state.

If you don't like who you've become, you can visit Old Man Jones at his Honor Shop.


For more useful Guides check out the complete Red Dead Online Guides & Features, as well as the Horses Database, Weapons Database, and everything else on Red Dead Redemption 2!

 

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