Be the fastest, most prepared cowpoke with this guide to Red Dead Online's horse races.

How to Win Horse Races in Red Dead Online

Be the fastest, most prepared cowpoke with this guide to Red Dead Online's horse races.

The Red Dead Online beta has finally rolled out for everyone and with it comes an array of activities for players to participate in. For those who want to feed their need for speed, horse races will scratch that itch.

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After logging into Red Dead Online and jumping into Free Roam, there will be checkered flag markers on the map indicating a Race Series.

Head to the spot and walk up to the signpost to start matchmaking. After the loading screen, you will likely be asked if you want to spectate a race. It’s important to say “yes” because if you choose not to, you will be vulnerable to attacks from others players.

When the match you’re spectating is over, then you will be able to partake in the next race.

Let’s Race, Cowpoke

There are three kinds of horse races in Red Dead Online that currently take place in locations such as Saint Denis, Valentine, and Fort Wallace.

The first is a lap race, which will be familiar to GTA Online players. Players must make their way through checkpoints in two laps around the race area and the winner is whoever reaches the finish line first.

There is the regular race, which is a longer course and only one lap.

Then there’s the open race, where the checkpoints are scattered throughout the area and players can to reach each point in whatever order they like. Finishing in the top spots will net players gold nuggets, money, and XP.

In Red Dead Online horse races, having the fastest horse doesn’t guarantee you’ll win. A fast horse will help, but horse racing is more akin to Mario Kart.

On the course are barrels that contain weapons and stamina for your horse. The weapons are important as they can be used to take out the player in front of you.

It’s also possible to knock your horse into another player’s horse, thus causing them to fall off. Players thrown off their horse or killed will have to respawn, although not far from where they died.

Racing Like An Outlaw in Red Dead Online

Here are some tips on how to win races:

  • Stamina barrels are the key to winning. Even if it appears that a barrel might be slightly out of your way, it’s important to nab it. 
  • If you want to win, getting a proper horse will be the biggest help. As you grind through the game, you’ll obtain better and faster horses than those just starting out. A fast horse is great, but it also helps if the horse has a little weight to it to bump other players.
  • Speaking of bumping, try to avoid crowded areas. Even if you don’t get bumped, someone else might to cause a chain reaction that will wipe you out. Don’t be afraid to hit the breaks and let everyone in front take the risk. This is especially important at the beginning of certain races where there’s a tight turn early on.
  • If you have a weapon, use it. Everyone else will. You can also use your Dead Eye to give yourself a damage boost. Be mindful of any weapon you pass up since the player behind you might pick it up. If they start shooting, do your best to dodge their shots.
  • Learning where the finish line is in an open race is a big help. Since the checkpoints are scattered, some will require going well out of the way to reach them. This will add precious seconds to your time if you have to ride a long distance back to reach the finish line. A good strategy is to clear the outer checkpoints first, then make your way into the inner checkpoints to be close to the finish line.

Racing horses in Red Dead Online may not be the easiest way to make a buck, but at least you won’t have to deal with griefers killing you without notice.

Looking for (relatively) quick ways to make money in Red Dead Online? We’ve got a guide for quick methods, infinite money exploits, and gold grinding. Wondering how to fast travel? Check here. Want to know how to form a posse? We’ve got you covered

And if you want to know what we think of the mode in general, check out our early impressions (and why the economy is the mode’s biggest problem). 

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