Making money in Red Dead Redemption 2 will be an important part of your journey through the American heartland, playing into your ability to do everything from get new equipment to pay off a bounty.
Here, we'll explain several methods for how to get money in Red Dead Redemption 2, highlighting our choices for the best ways to do so, and explaining how you'll general get cash as you progress through the game.
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The best way to get money fast in Red Dead Redemption 2: how to get Gold Bars
There are a lot of money-making methods in Red Dead Redemption 2, and depending on your prowess you might find some methods slightly faster than others, so our choice for the 'best' way to get money fast is by no means the absolute, definitive one.
That being said, it seems to work darn well when we try it. The best way to get rich quick in Red Dead Redemption 2 is to go huntin' for gold; or, more specifically, to find things called Gold Bars.
The best way to get money fast in Red Dead Redemption 2 - finding gold bars
Gold Bars can be found all over the world of Red Dead Redemption 2, but their high value (around $500!) means none of them are going to be totally easy to acquire. Here's a rundown of all the places we know you can get Gold Bars so far:
- One Gold Bar can be found in the old Sherriff's building at the burned-down village of Limpany.
- Two Gold Bars are your reward for completing the Jack Hall Gang Treasure Maps.
- Four Gold Bars as the reward for solving The Poisonous Trail Treasure Maps.
- You get one Gold Ingot - which is not the same as a Gold Bar, being worth just $300 instead of $500 - for completing the final quest of Chapter 2. More on that in our main Red Dead Redemption 2 walkthrough.
How to make money in Red Dead Redemption 2 - other methods worth knowing
Aside from hunting down those Gold Bars and Ingots, there are several other ways you can earn money in Red Dead Redemption 2 that are absolutely worth bearing in mind.
Progress through the story
It might sound simple, but it is. Playing the story will generally keep you well stocked-up on cash, with several early missions, such as An American Pastoral Scene ($300) and Pouring forth Oil ($187) awarding you decent chunks of money even fairly early on.
There's also the fact that you'll do a lot of shooting and looting in the main story quests of Red Dead Redemption 2, which brings us to the next point...
Loot everything and everyone
It might only seem like chump change, but the loot you gather from bodies and environments - even just the ones you ransack your way through in the main story alone - will very quickly add up.
Your stolen goods will need to be sold at a fence, rather than a regular shop, mind - we've more on those in our guide to Red Dead Redemption 2 fences.
Looking for more Red Dead Redemption 2 assistance? In terms of collectibles, we have solutions for Dinosaur Bone locations, Dreamcatcher locations, Rock Carving locations and World Champion Cigarette Cards locations. Looking for maps? We have Killer Clue Piece locations, High Stakes Treasure Map locations, Jack Hall Gang Treasure Map locations, and the Poisonous Trail Treasure Map locations too. For more in-depth system explains, there's hunting perfect pelts, hides and skins as well as all Legendary Animal locations and Legendary Fish locations, or all Gunslinger locations, too. Finally, here's a list of Red Dead Redemption 2 cheat codes, the various Red Dead Online release dates, and an explainer on how to make Red Dead Online money fast .
There are multiple places around Red Dead Redemption 2's world that you can gamble, but the best way to earn money from it - if you know what you're doing - is to play Poker in particular.
This is unlocked after you complete the early Chapter 2 mission Who is Not Without Sin?, where you also get a tutorial if you're not sure of the rules - you can also check up on these in the Help section of the game's menu, too.
It's all fairly low-stakes stuff, at least early on, but it's a fun way to pass the time if that's what you're into. A good early location for Poker is the larger Valentine saloon, after the mess you make in Americans at Rest has been cleaned up, and you can play Five Finger Fillet in the smaller saloon in town there, too.
Finally, another good source of income is Bounty Hunting.
If you've committed a crime at any point you'll have probably already had your first encounter with the game's Bounty system - more on that in our dedicated guide on how to get rid of your Bounty and Wanted level - but as well as accumulating a bounty on your own head, you can also go out and grab some NPCs who have picked one up themselves.
You'll get $50 for completing your first bounty hunt, which is part of the Chapter 2 side mission Good, Honest Snake Oil - head to the Valentine Sheriff's office to start this one off and get a tutorial-like introduction to your first bounty hunt.
From then on, bounties are available for you to pick up around the game. Head to a Sheriff or Post Office building and check the noticeboard inside, and if there's a bounty posted there the person's general location will be marked on your map.
Some will need to be returned alive, whilst others can be dead or alive - but they're always worth more when brought back living. Return them to the place you're told and collect your reward. It's not the fastest method in the world, but it's a decent income and breaks up some other more monotonous methods, too.