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10 ways to earn easy money in the old west

10 ways to earn easy money in the old west

At the start of Red Dead Redemption 2, Dutch Van Der Linde and his gang find themselves on the run and out of pocket. Having fled Blackwater with barely any cash to their name, it falls to your character Arthur Morgan to add to the funds. Money makes the world go round in the game, being necessary to buy better camp equipment, pay off expensive bounties, and upgrade your gear. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to earn it.

Here are some of the fastest ways to make money in Red Dead Redemption 2. With this guide you'll discover what to sell, how to steal, and other tips to help you afford the finer things in life.

1. Complete missions

Let’s start with the obvious. Completing main missions in the game is one of the easiest ways to make money. Without spoiling too much, quests focus on the gang’s attempts to rustle up some extra income. So it comes as no surprise then that they have some of the game’s greatest rewards. If you’re ever struggling for cash, go back to the main story and take advantage of these. You won’t regret it.

2. Rob banks and trains

Another way to make money is through robbing banks and trains. Robberies are hard to pull off, but also come with some excellent rewards if you’re successful. Just remember to plan an escape route in advance and wear a mask to ensure that your reputation doesn’t take too much of a hit.

To steal from trains, simply get on at any station or catch up to a train with your horse to hop aboard. Once inside you can then draw your six-shooter to threaten passengers into giving you their valuables and loot any lockboxes and drawers you may find.

As for robbing banks, the process is slightly more complex. You need to make a bank teller open the door to the vault, before unlocking the safes or blowing them up with dynamite.

Regardless of what you choose, there will likely be a gunfight after, so make sure you have enough ammo stashed away to fend off the law and some transportation nearby to make a quick exit.

3. Locate hidden businesses

Trains and banks aren’t the only places you can target. You can also locate hidden side businesses in towns, which reveals certain stores to be fronts for illegal activity. These sometimes appear on the map in the form of a question mark, while other times you will need to get a tip from an NPC in order to uncover them. These work in pretty much the same way as banks, with the player having to coax a shopkeeper to open up a door. Upon gaining entry, you must then quickly kill the gang running the operation and loot everything that isn’t nailed down before the law shows up. Just make sure your horse is nearby and don’t kill civilians or police unnecessarily as it will only raise the cost of your bounty.

4. Wrangle horses and wagons to sell

Selling horses is another great way to make some quick and easy money in game. There are two ways to get horses: the honest way and the dishonest way.

The honest way is going out into the world and finding wild horses to lasso and tame. This is fairly simple. Just calm a horse, mount it, and spin the left stick counter-clockwise so that it doesn’t buck you off. The dishonest way involves stealing horses that are already tamed. Either way, once you have a horse in your possession, travel to the horse shoe on the map and sell it. Stolen horses will earn less than ones you’ve acquired legitimately, so keep this in mind.

You can also steal any wagons that you come across, too. These aren’t sold at the stables, but instead at the wagon fence located at Emerald Ranch. They can fetch around $40 a pop depending on what type of wagon you have in your possession, so keep an eye out while on the road.

5. Gamble

Another activity that you can get up to in the world is gambling. Playable games include Five Finger Fillet, Blackjack, and Poker. It’s not the most efficient way to make money, due to the small cash prizes and the fact that you may lose more than you earn, but it is unlocked fairly early on in the game when other options aren’t available.

6. Become a bounty hunter

Inside the sheriff’s office in most towns and settlements, you will sometimes find bounty posters pinned to the walls. These are optional missions that you can do that involve finding and turning in criminals for cash.

After reading a wanted poster, a huge marker will automatically appear on the map detailing the criminal’s last known whereabouts. Go to this area and use your tracking skills to find them. Then tie them up with the lasso and stow them on the back of your horse. Bring them in unharmed to the holding cells and the sheriff will give you a reward, which can range from anywhere between $20-100.

7. Loot bodies

Early on, it is a good idea to make a habit of looting bodies that you come across. Bodies often have valuable items on them to sell and small sums of cash that you can collect.

So, whenever you’re in a situation where there are a lot of bodies around, take some time to walk about and check that you’ve taken all you that you can carry before moving on. It’s not the fastest way to make money, but it is one of the simplest.

8. Locate treasure

Treasure maps can also be found out in the world. You can buy them from strangers or simply take one off them if they’re not too keen on handing them over.

Treasure maps put your orientation skills to the test and have some fantastic rewards to reap if you’ve got the time to spare. So, if you ever come across a stranger on the side of the road, pull over and see whether they have a map on them. You never know – it could lead to more riches and wealth.

9. Sell pelts and fish

Hunting and fishing are other activities you can do to turn a tidy profit. Pelts and fish can be sold for cash at the trapper, so if you’re in need of money why not track some animals or cast a few lines? It all adds up.

As a side note, higher quality pelts earn more money. So remember to use your binoculars while hunting to identify the animals that can you give a better pelt. Also, ensure that you have the right ammo equipped. You don’t want to damage the creature’s hide and reduce its value. This information can be found inside the animal compendium.

10. Collect debts and rob homesteads

At the campsite, there are number of side missions that you can take part in, including robbing homesteads with Javier and collecting debts for the group’s treasurer Leopold Strauss.

Both of these mission types can result in some pretty good payouts. However, the payments for debt collecting need to be put straight back into the camp funds, so can’t be spent on anything else.

Look for these opportunities whenever you’re in camp. It will keep your account topped up and ensure that you also have some loose change rattling around to spend on goods or upgrades.