Red Dead Online adds a new mode, brings back a familiar firearm, and gives away free goodies for a limited time

The Red Dead Online (opens in new tab) portion of Red Dead Redemption 2 (opens in new tab) is still technically a beta, but with every patch Rockstar releases, it gets closer and closer to a 1.0 state. In the latest update (opens in new tab), Red Dead Online got a new competitive Free Roam Event, the return of an iconic weapon from the original Red Dead Redemption, and a box of goodies for anyone who plays this week as a way for Rockstar to say thanks for participating in the ongoing beta.

Anyone who wants to test their mettle in a frantic, enjoyably silly firefight will want to jump into Fool’s Gold, the new Free Roam Event. You’ve probably encountered similar modes in other shooters: everyone is chasing after a special suit (in this case, a janky, makeshift suit of golden armor), and the only way to score points is by racking up kills while wearing it or taking down an opponent who’s blinged out. You can jump into Fool’s Gold solo for a free-for-all match, or team up with friends to take on other Posses. Rockstar promises to add more Free Roam Events to the ever-rotating lineup, and they’re perfect as a quick bit of frivolous fun or a method for completing PvP Daily Challenges without becoming a rampant Free Roam murderer.

Jumping into Fool’s Gold with also give you the chance to test out the Evans Repeater, a rifle John Marston used in the original Red Dead Redemption which has now made the jump to Red Dead Online. This highly accurate firearm is perfect for nailing headshots at long and medium range, and can be customized with stocks, sights, and wraps for better handling. With its high rate of fire, the Evans Repeater will be deadly in the hands of any player with crack-shot aim.

Last but not least, Rockstar is giving away a care package full of helpful items to everyone who plays Red Dead Online this week, redeemable at your camp lockbox or any post office. Inside you’ll find 60 High Velocity Pistol Ammo, 60 High Velocity Repeater Ammo, two Fire Bottles, eight Fire Arrows, two Jolly Jack’s, two Potent Horse Medicine, and a Lake Lure. Speaking of Lake Lures, Rockstar is giving players an additional incentive to complete Daily Challenges this week, particularly if you enjoy virtual fishing. If you complete five Daily Challenges between now and March 11, you’ll be gifted with a Special Spinner next week, a (seemingly limited-time use) lure that makes catching fish much easier and won’t be lost if you cut the line.

Recent financial reports revealed that Red Dead Online is making a hell of a lot less money than GTA Online (opens in new tab), but Rockstar is clearly in it for the long haul to bring this online version of the Wild West up to snuff. “As Red Dead Online evolves, we will keep adding and improving features to give you a deeper connection to the world, your character, your horse and your weapons, as well as adding new gameplay that will help players carve out their own fate across the lawless frontier,” Rockstar wrote. As always, Rockstar is encouraging players to share their opinion of the beta and help shape its course via the official Feedback website (opens in new tab).

On the single-player side of things, Arthur Morgan’s struggle in Red Dead Redemption 2 is a Shakespearean tragedy worth reflecting on (opens in new tab). 

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