Reach max level fast with these Red Dead Online XP tips

red dead online xp
(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

How do you earn fast XP in Red Dead Online? Levelling in Rockstar's online cowboy world doesn’t have to be a tiresome grind. In fact, there are a few little tips you can employ to make the process a bit quicker. That said, you’ll still need to play smartly and efficiently if you want to hit the high levels sooner than everyone else. 

It’s a good job the game looks so damn good on PC then, isn’t it? After all, you could do a lot worse than losing your hours levelling up in the stunning vistas offered by Red Dead Redemption 2. Anyway, here's how to farm XP in Red Dead Online.

Get headshots with a bow

This might sound like a weird tip, but it can really help you out if you’re willing to practice. Killing things with a bow grants extra XP, and you can double that with a headshot. It pays to hunt animals this way when you come across them, too. Just be careful to not cause mass extinction while you're at it.

Do the story 

Story missions are a great source of Red Dead Online XP, and you can boost that by completing them quickly or with no deaths. It’s all about replaying each one until you've mastered them. On top of that, if you take the moral high ground and give your Honor meter some love during them, you’ll gain even more sweet, sweet levelling juice.

Take part in the Showdown Series

The Showdown Series Playlist is the competitive PvP mode in Red Dead Online, and it's also an excellent source of XP to help you climb those levels quickly. The only downside is that you need to be rather good to place high enough to get a worthwhile amount. Find a good team to tackle it with you, or you're going to need to hone your aim. Otherwise, consider trying this once you’re feeling more comfortable with the controls.

Clear Gang Hideouts

You’ll occasionally see Gang Hideouts pop up on the map. These are excellent sources of loot, money, and, experience. It’s a good idea to get a feel for their layout before going in guns blazing, and make sure you leave the leader until last. Each hangout has a gang of enemies to take out and will usually lead to a treasure map too, which is a great way to get even more cash.

Bring friends 

This one applies to every other tip on this list. If you can ride around with a group of friends, then you’ll be able to coordinate better, complete missions faster, and even have a chance in the Showdown Series. This will boost your XP massively and streamline the whole process. It'll also make everything much more enjoyable. It’s not essential, but it’s the the best way to experience Red Dead Online and boost your success rate.