In Red Dead Online, horses work differently from Red Dead Redemption 2 Story Mode in many ways, although some features are shared across both single-player and multiplayer.
We put together this comprehensive guide with everything you need to know about Horses in Red Dead Online, answering all the questions you might have on acquiring, selling and managing your Horses. (spoiler: your horse can't die!)
Buying Horses in Red Dead Online
While in Story Mode you could buy certain horses only from specific Stables, in Red Dead Online you can buy any horse you want from any Stable across all states. In addition, Red Dead Online features a Handheld Catalogue in your inventory, that you can access by holding the Left button on the D-pad: you can also purchase horses this way, anytime, anywhere.
Now, not all horses can be purchased immediately: better horse breeds require you to achieve a certain Online Rank before they become available. Horses can be purchased with in-game cash, and some of them can be also bought with the alternative Gold Bars Currency.
However, the Red Chestnut Arabian Horse can be acquired for free from a Stable (exclusively for PS4 Players for 30 days), and if you're an owner of the Ultimate Edition you also have access to a free Black Chestnut Thoroughbred.
On our website you can find the full RDR2 Horses Database with all Types, Prices, Rank Unlocks and more details.
Once you purchased a Horse, you can of course name it however you want. It's important to note that after purchasing a horse, you will need to also purchase a Saddle for your horse by visiting the Stable, to be able to ride your horse.
Can your Horse Die in Red Dead Online?
No, you will be happy to hear that your horse cannot die in Red Dead Online.
If your horse becomes critically injured and cannot be ridden, it can be healed using a Horse Reviver within 1 minute. Otherwise, if you don't manage to revive it, you can pay the veterinary to heal the horse.
You may heal your horse via the Player Menu for a fee, or at a Stable where it will cost less. Alternatively, you can purchase Horse Insurance for a fee. The cost of the insurance depends on the quality of your horse: the higher its attributes, the higher the cost.
All the Horse Insurance does is simply make your horse automatically begin to heal for free if critically injured, without additional cost, while uninsured horses will require a vet fee. Unlike with vehicles on GTA Online, you do not need to buy an insurance to avoid the death of your horse, your horse will never permanently die in Red Dead Online.
And don't worry about having to pay for other players mischiefs. If someone else "kills" your horse, he will be liable to pay to cover the veterinary's fee. Likeways, if you "kill" another player's horse, you will be responsabile for the costs of healing it.
Can you Steal Horses / Store Wild Horses in Red Dead Online?
Similarly to Red Dead Redemption 2 Story Mode, you can "break" wild horses, or steal owned horses, and you can ride with them.
However, unlike Story Mode, you can't saddle or store wild horses and stolen horses in Red Dead Online, and you can't bond with them. You can only ride a stolen horse temporarily. Only legitimately purchased horses can be stored at a Stable.
It's hard to understand why this functionality has not been implemented, we can only hope it gets added in a future Title Update.
Owning Multiple Horses / How many Horses can you own in Red Dead Online?
Your owned horses are stored at Stables. You can access them from any Stable across the world map.
To start with, you will be given 1 stall for one horse, but more stalls are available to purchase at the Stable. By purchasing stalls, you can store up to 10 horses (it was 5 before the 1.11 Frontier Pursuits Update). You must have an available stall in order to buy a new Horse.
Can you Sell Horses in Red Dead Online?
Oddly, just like you cannot store wild horses, currently you also cannot sell Horses in Red Dead Online. This is also a very strange limitation, especially considering how Story Mode has a perfect mechanic implemented for selling Horses, where the resale value gets higher based on your bonding level with the horse.
Stealing and selling stolen vehicles has been a great way to make money in GTA Online, so we surely hope this feature will be coming soon also for Horses in Red Dead Online.
How to keep your Horse safe in Red Dead Online
Horses can still be hitched to a post by holding Triangle/Y, though this does not guarantee its safety. It could be stolen if you allow everyone access to your Horse.
You are able to control who has access to your horse in the Stables section of the Player menu. Here you can select if you would like to allow everyone to have access to your Horse or just yourself, your Posse, Crew, or Friends.
You can also select if you wish to force a player to dismount your horse.
It's important to note that your horse cannot be harmed by other players while you're inside a store or a building.
Whistling / Calling your Horse in Red Dead Online
Like you've been used to do in Story Mode, you can press Up on the D-pad to call your horse to you. Bonding with your horse will improve how fast it can locate you.
However, your horse will not respond to your whistle if it's stabled or critically injured. It also cannot come to you if you are inside a building or a cave.
A replacement horse (called "Scrawny Nag") will be sent to you if your horse is unable to find you as is too far away or injured. You can dismiss or summon your horse by accessing the Stables section of the Player menu.
How to Customize your Horse at Stables
Also similarly to Story Mode, you can customize your horse at any Stable. There are stables in all major towns, shown by a blip on your map and radar. At a stable you can:
- Manage your Owned Horses, and Rename your horses
- Buy new Horses: You can buy up to 10 Horses and store them safely in Stables
- Buy or upgrade equipment such as saddles, saddlebags, stirrups, and blankets
- Customize your horse's appearance and accessories
- Buy provisions and horse care items such as food, snacks, and tonics
- Heal your horse and buy horse insurance to make your horse recover automatically
How to Set which Horse to use in various Game Modes
If you own multiple horses you can set which one you would like to use for the various Game Modes of Red Dead Online.
You do so by accessing the Player Menu (Left on the D-Pad), navigating to the "Stables" section, and selecting "Specialty". Here, you can select the default horse to use in these categories:
- Story Missions
- Competitive Matches
- Free Roam
Bonding, Horse Care and Feeding your Horse
Finally, just like in Story Mode, don't forget that in Red Dead Online it's also important to take good of your Horse, as you will rely heavily on your companion.
These mechanics work exactly the same as Story Mode. As you spend time with your horse, you feed it while it's hungry, you clean it while it's dirty, and you simply ride with it, your Bonding Level increases, which unlocks several perks.
A horse's health and stamina cores are affected negatively when it gets hungry or dirty - so keep an eye on it and make sure to keep your horse happy and healthy.
Also, a higher Bonding Level will reduce the chance of your horse becoming agitated and risking throwing you off, which is crucial for dealing with stressful situations such as combat in Red Dead Online.
For a full list of tips on looking after your horse, with details on bonding and which types of food to give your Horse, check out our dedicated guide.