Let’s face it, Red Dead Online has been a buggy, yet fun mess since it was released last November on PC. I can’t speak for the console versions, but from what I’ve read, they had and still have the same problems as the PC version. Problems range from disconnections, missions not appearing/starting/spawning, camps vanishing, etc, and worst of all: hackers.
Hackers have been a major problem in Grand Theft Auto Online, which is why I stopped playing it years ago. Sad thing is, Rockstar has never resolved the hacker problem, and don’t really seem to care about it, because the game still doesn’t have proper anti-cheat measures, and hackers are still running wild in the game, ruining it for all the legit players.
I was sad to see that RDO was going to apparently suffer the same fate, until this this past week. Rockstar seems to have silently changed some things on the servers.
I started to notice that I wasn’t seeing very many people in the game, especially in the larger towns. Also the time and weather in the game were no longer instantly changing from cloud to sunny, and night to noon in the game. (hackers had been constantly and freely changing time and weather in game). And best of all, random free roam missions were spawning, something I’ve haven’t seen in in the game for months.
Video of a modder/hacker spamming time and weather change:
The timing is weird, because just a couple weeks ago a friend I used to play RDO with was complaining that the game is so boring, “there are no random missions like Far Cry, no out posts to attack, etc, just ride around, hunt, do bounties, etc, zzz”, but now ever since Rockstar changed whatever they did, I am constantly running into free roam random missions. Last night I encountered several missions just riding from my Camp by Emerald Ranch in The Heartlands to my moonshine shack in the swamp in Bayou NWA swamp, which aren’t very far apart. I encountered two Moonshine missions, one was attacking another bootleg moonshine camp, and the other was clearing out Revenue Agents. Then, after those, I ran into some Hillbillies who had someone hog tied. I’d say the missions are a spawning a bit TOO much, but i’d rather have this then not have them at all.
Seems that the random Treasure Hunter guy still spawns rarely, I’ve only ran into one of those, sadly.
The low population is a bit boring though, hardly ever run into another player to interact with. Most of the time the servers/sessions only seem to have 3 other people in them, and a lot of times it’s just myself, while before, nearly all sessions were maxed out player count, which I think was over 20.
The low population is good in a way because it seems to make the attention seeking hacker/modders get bored since they have no one to troll/grief and get attention from, but it kinda makes the world seem dead without player to player interactions.
I have yet to see anything about this change announced officially by Rockstar. There are many Reddit Threads about it, like this one, which consists of most players just guessing what’s going on. I’m just happy to see Rockstar finally doing something, and this change, while isn’t perfect, is allowing alot of us to be able to play the game properly and enjoy it.
If you are looking for other players to play with, I suggest using the Official Red Dead Redemption 2 Discord. They have special channels to find other players to play with and do missions/deliveries in the game, so you’ll always be able to find some people to play with.
I’m a bit sad that it took Rockstar this long to finally start trying to resolve some of the major issues in the game, but I am glad that are. I really love this amazing game, and the world is so beautiful, it deserves to work as Rockstar intended. I just reached my 500 hour mark, which is alot in a game for me, especially within less than a single year!