To date, GTA Online has over 650 vehicles - a number that grows substantially after each update. For many, the drip-feed of new vehicles after each DLC is one of the highlights of a GTA Online update and helps increase the longevity these DLCs have after release.
Meanwhile, Red Dead Online has just over 100 individual horses available to purchase - many of which are simply different coat variants of the same breed, with identical stats. At the time of writing, it's been 420 days since Red Dead Online received any new horse coats and 568 days since any new horse breeds were added.
Considering horses are the primary mode of transport in Red Dead Online, it's a surprise to see a lack of new breeds and coats feeding their way into the game, especially when you consider how popular the car culture in GTA Online is.
"It's been 420 days since Red Dead Online received any new horse coats" - This was when 4 new Turkoman coats were added back on December 22nd 2020!
The weekly drip-feed
An integral part of GTA Online's updates is the weekly release of new vehicles following the launch of the latest DLC. It would be great to see a similar system added to Red Dead Online, in which each new update introduces a series of new horse breeds and coats that can be released one at a time each week.
Not only would this be a great way to encourage player spending, but the addition of more horses will also allow Rockstar to create better rewards - something they often fail to do with Red Dead Online, especially in comparison to GTA Online.
GTA Online's Tuners DLC in July 2021 added 17 new vehicles alone - 7 of which were drip-fed in the weeks that followed launch
It's not just a case of adding more horses, an overhaul to the entire system of purchasing and owning horses could certainly improve players' online experience.
Currently, horse stats are tied to specific coats - restricting the diversity of horses used by players, who tend to just choose horses with the highest stats.
Rockstar could introduce 'upgrade tokens' for purchase that enable players to upgrade any horse coat to the maximum stats of that breed in order to increase the amounts of coats that get used online.
An incentive to race
Horse races have always played a very minor role within Red Dead Online - partially due to many players being put off by PVP being enabled.
In order to solve this issue, a new race system could be added which involves simple, classic races without weapons enabled and, most importantly, matchmaking based upon grouping players with similar horse stats. This would allow an upgrade system to be implemented - winning races based simply upon skill will allow players to accumulate points they can use to improve their horse's stats with over time.
Hoping for future updates?
The one positive to take away from the lack of horses being added to Red Dead Online recently is the fact there's plenty left for future updates. Not only are some IRL breeds yet to be added, but there are also some coats from single players that could find their way Online.
New cars are a fundamental part of each GTA Online update and it would be great to see the same with horses in Red Dead Online. Many players have little left to spend all their money on and a new horse or two would certainly be a welcomed addition - and whilst we're at it, perhaps it's time we can purchase more stable slots too.