Guide for Red Dead Online – How to Level Naturalist FAST and EASY
What you need to start
It would help if you had a Varmint rifle
You need to buy a full stack of sedative 0.22 caliber bullets for a Varmint rifle that can be bought for only 8 dollars from Harriet (I prefer her tent by McFarlane Ranch)
At least 20 dollars for fast travel, but keep in mind stable and camp upkeep taxes too.
Things you won’t need
You do not need to use any tonic during your hunt (no health damage and no dead eye needed)
You don’t need to repair a varmint rifle; after doing this for a few hours, I noticed that it takes the same amount of shots to a down animal no matter how badly damage the rifle is. So feel free to have it at 0 conditions when sedating animals.
You don’t need to buy the advanced camera and the advanced bow to complete this role.
And especially, you do not need the Elephant Rifle for this role. It is only good to take out Large Legendary Animals in 1-2 shots for their pelts.
Version for Solo/Broken Lobbies While They Last
Just go to Emerald Ranch and sedate all farm life there. Come back and sell samples to Herriet, repeat.
Short Version – Guide (For experienced player)
Start Session in New Austin > press L, Online – Disable Social Matchmaking > Fast Travel to Emerald Ranch > Sedate Animals in Pens (Get 10 sheep, always) > Fast Travel to McFarlane > Sell Samples to Harriet > Buy Sedative Ammo > Fast Travel to Emerald Ranch and repeat.
(Provided you already have the role that costs 25 gold bars, a varmint rifle, and a full stack of sedative ammo) Upon the start of your game session, you will be greeted with this menu.
You need to start your game in New Austin. Once in-game, you need to press “L,” which will open the online menu for you. You need to scroll all the way down until you see “Online.” Press Enter or click on “Online.” There you will see Social Matchmaking – change it from ON to OFF. Great.
We did this because the game will sometimes have trouble spawning wildlife around you when there are many players around. And when a session starts, all players are usually clustered together. The idea here is to start your session in New Austin and then fast travel far away from it, to the other end of the map, and with Social Matchmaking, disabled people will stop spawning around you. It helps with animal spawns and lets you evade cheaters, and griefers, and competition too.
Now, find the nearest fast travel post and pay anywhere from 11 to 8 dollars to fast travel to Emerald Ranch. Once there, go to the animal pens, nearby the fence. There should be Cows and Oxen, some Alpine goats and! Most importantly! Sheep. Loads of Sheep.
Never open or even touch, or go through any gates and if did go through, close them. Because if you do that, animals will run off, and you will lose some of them or all of them.
Proceed to empty your varmint rifle with sedated bullets on all animals around. They are stuck in pens and have nowhere to run; it is straightforward to shoot them all with hip fire; there is no need to paint it black. Or you can aim down sights. I do whatever I feel like. Then don’t forget to collect samples from sedated animals.
You should sedate a few cows, a few goats if you are lucky to see them, and always try to get 10 sheep. Sheep are easy; they usually spawn in large groups. If not enough animals spawned for you, you could ride around the area. Not too close to pens, so you do not see what’s going inside but not too far that you have trouble coming back.
If you are looking for another Ranch, you can go to my waypoint, here in the center.
It only has cows, and there is a gate missing. So make sure to stand by the gate hole to scare cows from leaving and use the scope on your varmint rifle to shoot them from afar. I had so many cows spawn for me, and they take about 10 shots to sedate (maybe a bit less, sheep take 3-4 shots, rarely 2) so that by the time I was done shooting them all, some of them recovered. Anyway, go back to Emerald Ranch pens and get the rest of the animals; make sure you leave with 10 sheep.
Buy fast travel from Emerald Ranch to McFarlane Ranch (7$) and ride to Harriet. Sell animal samples, restock on sedative ammo. You should get around 900 role XP per run if you did well. The sheep themselves give you from 570xp to 620xp for the full 10 stacks. (I do have a 15% XP bonus from the Outlaw Pa*s, so get it too, you will be able to level it with XP from the role, and it will help with the role as well, besides you will make 40 gold bars back)
This is how much I usually get per run. Sometimes I can get more. It is very time efficient.
Rinse and repeat. It should not take too much time. Eventually, someone might make their way to Emerald Ranch. But with Social Matchmaking off, they won’t stay there for long. Or you can start a new session in Austin.
Legendary Bison near Emerald Ranch
If you are lucky, you will get a message about a legendary animal nearby. It will be marked in the form of a small yellow question mark that will pop on and off. Use legendary animal secretion, mount your horse, pull a varmint rifle out, and a gun that guy (sedate) down. That is some nice extra-role XP for you.
Combine this with the Moonshiner role
Have your shack placed in New Hanover. That way, you can do a moonshiner run every 3-5 rounds you do this. If your wagon is large, you can get around 200$; besides, the fast travel and ammo cost is covered by selling animal samples.
Do a run, come back to the shack to start brewing another and on your way to fast travel, visit the ranch and get some more animals sedated.
Can you get to level 20 doing this? YES!
Yes, absolutely. You do not need to do anything besides hand in the samples to Herriet to gain XP. You do not need the camera.
There is a score counter in the compendium, but even if you 100% any specific animal, you can still collect new samples from it and hand it in for XP. You do not even need to re-set the entire section in the compendium to do that (although re-setting gives you rewards)
You get 620XP for a full stack of 10 sheep. If you wanted, you could deliver sheep 64 times, and you would be level 20 in this role. But I suggest collecting other farm animals and taking part in events to keep things fresh. Maybe get a legendary from time to time.
Do you need to grind to level 20? Nah. You can grind to level 7 to access level events, and level 7 poacher encounters for additional things to do and role XP. That is a milestone one. Or you can grind to level 18 to get the extra space for tonics. With all 4 roles maxed out, I can boast 40 normal tonics and 30 levels 3 tonics on me at a single time. Useful. Getting levels 19 and 20 is just for the tokens, which are numerous as it is. So you can let the role level itself pa*sively after level 18 and leave your varmint in the weapon locker.
– Every 20 killed animals, make Harriet spray you, barring you from using her store/missions for 10 minutes. She is all-knowing
– During Protect Legendary Animal events, if you die but wait until the end of the event in spectator mode, you will still get rewarded with a Legendary Animal sample; you could even try disconnecting; you will retain the sample if you’ve seen the animal.
– During Animal Taming events, you do not actually have to do anything, it is a group effort, and you get rewarded with the samples the group gets; however, the best player gets more.
– If you are hunting with a friend, you can la*so a large animal like moose or deer and hold them in place while your friend is pelting the animal with sedatives
– If someone has collected samples from that animal, you can collect them as well. In fact, as many people as there can be can collect 1 sample from the same animal
– To have the trapper craft you trinkets and clothing, you first have to “sell” the crafting materials to him
– During Protect Legendary Animal events, try not to get too close to the animals. An Elk or Bison will try to buck you, whereas a Puma or a Crocodile will instakill you.
Please, have fun and enjoy and be well!
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