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9 new specialist roles we'd like to see in Red Dead Online

Red Dead Online Roles
(Image credit: Rockstar)

I haven't been playing a heck of a lot of Red Dead Online lately—as I wrote recently, the various glitches, bugs, and infinite loading screens common with the online experience have been chasing me away. I've also gotten a little burned out on the available specialist roles: trader, bounty-hunter, moonshiner, and collector. These Red Dead Online frontier pursuits can all be fun, but they grow a bit repetitive after a while.

I'm hopeful Red Dead Online's bugs will be squashed eventually, and I'm certain more roles will be added in the future, too. In the meantime, I've been thinking about some other jobs I wouldn't mind doing with my online cowboy. Here are 9 specialist roles I'd love to see come to Red Dead Online someday.

Stagecoach driver

(Image credit: Rockstar)

There's something weirdly enjoyable about being a taxi driver in Grand Theft Auto. Occasionally in Red Dead Online you'll need to give someone a lift on your horse as part of a radiant mission, but I'd be perfectly happy operating a legitimate stage coach business. It's doubtful other players would be patient enough to take a ride (not when fast-travel is available) but escorting NPCs and their valuables over the countryside through all sorts of bad weather and hold-up attempts would be fun. 

Speed is obviously essential, but you also don't want to jostle your passengers too much, and having to stop midway through a coach mission to repair a wagon wheel or replace scattered luggage would hurt your reputation. You could begin with a shabby little stagecoach running passengers out of Tumbleweed and progress to an elegant, upgraded coach comfortable enough for the finest, wealthiest bottoms of St. Denis.

Sheriff

(Image credit: Rockstar)

We have the bounty hunter role that lets us lasso baddies, but it's not particularly historically accurate—professional bounty hunters were exceedingly rare in the Old West, regardless of what the movies tell you. But it would be fun to become an actual sheriff. Start as a deputy in a small town breaking up saloon fights, locking up drunks, and keeping an eye on unsavory sorts, and work your way up to sheriff of one of the bigger towns—putting together posses to chase down bank robbers and locking up hardened criminals. Maybe you could even become a federal marshal. GTA Online roleplayers really get into playing cops, so I'm sure they'd love being lawmen in Red Dead Online, too.

Snake oil salesman

(Image credit: Rockstar)

I routinely craft effective tonics and potions in Red Dead Online, but I've got plenty of leftover ingredients. Why can't I make completely useless concoctions and then sell them to gullible townfolk, too? I can't do the sales-patter like Nigel West Dickens in Red Dead Redemption (our characters in RDO are mute) but I could have a fancy little wagon and top hat, and travel from town to town, selling ridiculously named cure-alls and elixirs to the locals, then getting the hell out of there before they discover it's just diluted opium and berry squeezings that won't really do anything to cure their dropsy or chillblains. 

If your reputation plunges in a particular town, you could avoid it for a while—or just change the names of your miracle cures. People no longer trust Dr. Quackenfelder's Amazing Teething Tonic? Now it's called Professor Pepperpelt's Remarkable Brain and Blood Elixir!

Photographer

(Image credit: Rockstar)

There's nothing stopping me from taking pictures in Red Dead Online—I do it often and I even have my own old-timey camera. But it would be great to have it tied into a role that you can progress through by taking pictures of wildlife, landmarks, other players, and AI citizens. You could even take on specific photographic challenges, like snapping a shot of a gator attacking a boar in a swamp, or capturing a lightning bolt striking in a storm, or preserving the moment in a gunfight where someone's hat gets comically shot off. You could sell your photos to the galleries in town and work your way up to better cameras and film-developing equipment. Did you capture a weird lens flare or over-exposure? Nope, that's a ghostly apparition! Proof of the afterlife. Now the photo is even more valuable.

Anything with trains

(Image credit: Rockstar)

In games, I've ridden everything under the sun, from giant toads in Ark: Survival Evolved to cargo haulers in No Man's Sky. But I'm still somehow completely enchanted by trains. The first time I saw a train steaming through Red Dead Redemption 2 I just stopped my horse and watched, completely transfixed. There's just something about 'em.

So, give me some job having something to do with the train. I'll be the engineer. I'll shovel the coal into the furnace. I'll sell tickets at the station, then climb aboard and ask each passenger to show me the ticket I just sold them. I'll be one of the dudes who guards whatever is in the safe in the back. If there's a job to do on a train, I'll do it.

Postman

(Image credit: Rockstar)

The Red Dead Online postal service clearly doesn't need my help. It's already incredibly efficient—order something from a catalog and it'll show up in your camp or at any post office on the map immediately. But I'd still like to be a part of that magical industry beyond the couple of little radiant mail missions that already exist. I'll deliver mail on horseback or by wagon, by boat or by coach, by train (obviously!) or by attaching notes to pigeon's legs. Hell, let me pilot a hot air balloon and I'll even invent air mail.

Farmer

(Image credit: Rockstar)

There's a surprising amount of farming in RDR2 and basically none in Red Dead Online. But I enjoyed it in the singleplayer game—keeping stables clean of horse plops, toting sacks of feed here and there, milking cows, chopping wood—and even just hanging around on a farm is pleasant. I'm not quite sure how you could have a proper farm in RDO, considering how often your tiny camp disappears from the map, but I wouldn't mind raising a few chickens and pigs, tending crops, mending fences, having shootouts with the occasional livestock rustler, and hauling goods into town for market.

Gold panning

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

(Image credit: Annapurna Pictures, Mike Zoss Productions, Netflix)

I just spent a couple hours riding along the rivers banks in Red Dead Redemption 2 trying to find one of the randomly appearing, extremely distrustful gold panners so I could take their picture. But I couldn't find one, so above is a picture of Tom Waits from The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. 

I'd like to do some gold panning of my own in RDO, though, setting up my little operation along a river's edge, sifting through the muck and mud just hoping to catch a little glint off a flake of gold. Naturally, finding a nice big nugget would be exciting, not to mention nerve-wracking as you attempted to safely reach a fence or merchant to sell it to.

Mining

(Image credit: Rockstar)

The idea of doggedly chipping away at a tunnel wall with a pickaxe while the entire beautiful, expansive game world is out there seems a bit unpleasant, but I wouldn't mind doing it in small doses. Plus, if you're blowing up a bunch of dynamite underground you know you're going to find something besides just coal—dinosaur bones, rare gems, a mineral vein, or maybe a bigfoot skeleton. Haul the coal and whatever else you dig up down to the tracks and sell it to other towns on the train line. 

And don't forget to take some medicine to protect you from black lung. In fact, I think I know the perfect snake oil salesman.

Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring stories in RPGs so he can make up his own.