Why Red Dead Online’s Prestigious Bounty Hunter is a Worthy Upgrade

Article By 
Alan Walsh
March 21, 2021

Why Red Dead Online’s Prestigious Bounty Hunter is a Worthy Upgrade

Article By 
Alan Walsh
March 21, 2021
"Bounty Hunting isn’t so hard. Alive gets you full price. Dead, a little less."

Bounty Hunter was one of the first Specialist Roles to be introduced into Red Dead Online and it arrived with the Frontier Pursuits update. It came alongside Trader and Collector but delivered the most action-driven gameplay of the lot. Those who pursue this Role will find wanted targets pinned to Bounty Boards located across the five states and can track them down from there. Whether you bring them in alive or dead is up to you.

The Bounty Hunter Role launched with 20 Ranks featuring all sorts of useful skills, beneficial upgrades and dandy cosmetics. There are even cool Gunspinning Tricks that allow you to show your dedication to bringing in the frontier’s wanted criminals. 10 Legendary Bounties also await justice being handed to them. These offer the most cinematic and engaging quests in this Role, with the difficulty level and pay-out increasing each time you replay them. Meanwhile, if you’re playing with friends, then I highly recommend selecting posters with up to six targets! Not only will these keep everyone on their toes, but they provide a fun challenge. Just take this piece of advice, a dead target is better than one who escapes.

Infamous Bounties – The Most Notorious Reprobates

While Bounty Hunter has always delivered plenty of gunfire and action, it always felt like the one Role that would really benefit from an expansion, which makes it fitting that Rockstar did just that in its latest Red Dead Online content update, appropriately titled “Bounty Hunters.” It was made quite clear that this “Prestigious” upgrade – which costs 15 Gold Bars to acquire – featured 10 new Ranks for the Bounty Hunter Role, but what went under the radar for most are the all-new Infamous Bounties. These multi-threaded questlines consist of 13 different gangs (one pinned onto each Bounty Board) that must each be brought to justice. However, this time you won’t be bringing in all targets at once – instead, they’re divided between multiple missions. Not only is this more friendly for solo players, but they feel like an adventure whether you’re playing in a posse or by yourself.

Unlike the existing Free Roam Bounties, these new Infamous Bounties are much deeper by design and typically last longer. Some will slowly have you track down the wanted target, searching for nearby clues or interrogating locals for information on their whereabouts, whilst others will require some gun-smoke before apprehending the criminal. You’ll even sometimes have to work alongside the law as they investigate a homicide scene or ask for your assistance in defending a town. One of the most memorable sees you ambush a train alongside some officers as a sandstorm passes through Armadillo, requiring you to get past the gatling fire of maxim guns as you get aboard to find and lasso the convict amidst a sea of auburn. Another will require you to figure out the next hit job planned by a notorious burglar in Roanoke Ridge, as you hide inside the designated property and capture the target dead or alive as he commits the crime. At least it saves the law the trouble of doing it themselves.

Infamous Bounties consist of Moonshiners, religious cultists, murderers, kidnappers, thieves and even poachers – and yes, the values placed on the heads of the latter were set by none other than conservationist Harriet Davenport of the Naturalist Role! These missions will see you catching up with big game hunters as you free their poached animals to get a hold of their attention. You might just even have to save one from being eaten alive before he serves his time. Another favourite of mine are the cultists from the Valentine board. In this questline you’ll have the chance to interrupt numerous inauguration sermons as this raging cult attempts to grow their following. Bringing in each of these preachers alive is a dignifying and satisfying experience. However, you won’t be the only Bounty Hunter in the state after this group, so you may need to assist a fellow colleague or two in your effort to bring this entire clergy to justice.

To initiate an Infamous Bounty, simply visit any of the following Bounty Board locations, navigate to the third poster and if required, press up/down on the d-pad to scroll through the available posters and begin the hunt. Remember, each Infamous Bounty poster consists of 3 missions, so be sure to check back after 50 minutes to initiate the next part. In the meantime, you can always visit a different Bounty Board to track down another Infamous Bounty.

  • Annesburg — Tobin Anderson’s Wreckers
  • Armadillo — The Butchers of Benedict Pass
  • Benedict Point — “Los Pasajeros”
  • Blackwater — Thaddeus Walter’s Men
  • Emerald Station — The Three Widows
  • Rhodes — The Bellingham Brothers
  • Riggs Station — Bartholomew Brown’s “Gentlemen”
  • Saint Denis — Hoare, Roache and Gault
  • Strawberry — The “Initiates”
  • Tumbleweed — “Addison Wye’s “Jailbreakers”
  • Valentine — Allen, De La Mare and Fitch
  • Van Horn — Bradshaw, Colt and Penn
  • Wallace Station — Theodore Xavier’s Hunt

In total, there’s 39 unique Infamous Bounty missions to complete and they certainly make up the meat of the Prestigious Bounty Hunter License and the additional 15 Gold Bars required for the upgrade. While this would’ve been an awesome free addition to the existing Bounty Hunter License (which also costs 15 Gold Bars), those who frequently grind this Role as well as Daily Challenges and other Gold-paying activities should be able to obtain the necessary sum without much hassle.

Once you’ve successfully brought in each of the targets on an Infamous Bounty poster, you’ll receive a first-time completion bonus of RDO$75 on top of the usual pay-out. I do personally wish this were a permanent incentive, as it’d encourage players to replay these missions on a regular cadence to take advantage of the lump sum at the end. Regardless, each poster is still fun to repeat – especially with friends, I just can’t help but feel that the lack of an incentive to do so is a missed opportunity.

New Legendary Bounties – The Posh Boy, The Doll & The Shepherd

The Prestigious Bounty Hunter License also introduces 3 new Legendary Bounties, and these consist of some of the most enjoyable, action-packed missions to be added yet into Red Dead Online. In fact, these new Legendary Bounties almost feel like “raids” when played at five-stars. It’s the closest we’ve had to the difficult, challenging but rewarding-to-complete content that hardcore players have desired since Red Dead Online launched. Like all other associated Bounty Hunter content, these missions can be played in solo or co-op and feature many approaches and tactics that you can use.

The first of these is Gene “Beau” Finley. Born into a rich, wealthy family, this fine and dandy outlaw figured it’d be okay to orchestrate bank robberies across the south of Lemoyne. You must track him down at Shady Belle with the option to approach him guns-blazing from the front or sneaky, but silently by water using a boat. The manor is heavily fortified with dozens of guards both inside and surrounding it. Use your wit to take them down stealthily one-by-one by using a bow. You can free a cougar to distract the enemies, but be warned – it’ll happily eat you alive, too! You’ll also find a captive who you can free. Doing so will provide you with Beau’s precise location, as well as details of some explosives you can detonate. The entire house is wired, so tread carefully. It’s arguably safer to set them off outside. Keep in mind, that if you alert the guards, Beau may try to escape. If you make it inside and kill his bodyguards, then he’ll simply surrender like a coward and beg you to not ruin his clean white suit. Hogtie the fancy robber and bring him in for the reward, just be cautious as every Bounty Hunter wants a piece of young Beau.

The second new Legendary Bounty is Carmela “La Muñeca” Montez. She’s a cold-blooded murderer with the look of an innocent doll. I suppose that’s why she calls herself "La Muñeca," a Spanish term for “The Doll” that illustrates her clear-cut looks and natural beauty. She runs her own gang of Del Lobos who have been responsible for a spate of bloody highway robberies and is a cousin of Alfredo Montez and Jorge Montez – both of whom you successfully bring to justice alongside Marshall Tom Davies in the honourable thread of “A Land of Opportunities” Story Missions. Successfully capture Carmela alive and she’ll even assume that you were responsible for their killings.

Carmela is held up at Hanging Dog Ranch in Big Valley and she’s even got an armoured War Wagon to bring down anyone who tries to capture her. You’ll have to approach this one with severe caution. The farmstead is full of enemies and combined with Carmela’s unrelenting gatling gun, you’ll need to use cover and stock up on health tonics. Specifically, Special Health Cure and Minty Big Game meat are essential to withstand a few seconds of her non-stop firing. I recommend approaching the hideout from the back and picking off her fellow accomplices one by one. She has a substantial amount of backup defending her, so be ready for more of them to come. Her wagon can be positioned just outside of the barn, or it’ll arrive at the front of the ranch shortly after you begin making your raid. Either way, you’ll need to get her out of that wagon.

My best advice is to use your Bolt Action Rifle or high-calibre rifle and while positioned in cover, repeatedly shoot through the opening in which her head is visible. After several successful shots, she’ll exit the wagon and make a run for it. Avoid as much damage as possible and hogtie her before she escapes. Shortly thereafter, additional gang members will arrive, so do your best to fend them off and ensure her successful arrival at the Strawberry’s Sherriff’s Office. This one also likes to break free from your lasso after some time, so be sure to pay attention and don’t doze off. Carmela makes for an incredible action-filled and explosive Legendary Bounty, but before diving into the chaos head on, I recommend following a broken-down wagon clue at the beginning of the mission that’ll lead you to a nearby camp. Bringing this group down will give “The Doll” less backup later in the mission.

Players can also occupy the War Wagon for themselves if they climb upon the high driver’s seat. Bring a friend to takeover the onboard Maxim Gun and you’ve got a recipe for annihilation. Keep Montez stringed up while you bring her accomplices down in an unstoppable bloodshed. I recommend this approach at earlier difficulty settings because it’s a whole lot of fun and it’s currently the only opportunity to use the War Wagon in Red Dead Online, so take full advantage of it and enjoy the chaos. At later difficulties with zero lives, it becomes much trickier to steal the War Wagon especially as Carmela will be doing her absolute best to ensure you’re unsuccessful. Occasionally, she’ll spawn inside the house before leaving to either escape or occupy the wagon, which may provide you and your friends the perfect opportunity to seize it.

Finally, there’s Virgil “The Shepherd” Edwards, the deranged leader of the “7th Generation” cult, whom you also hunt down associates of throughout the Infamous Bounties questline at the Valentine Bounty Board. These cultists pose a threat to peace, law and order and feature an upside-down seven carved into their foreheads. Virgil is hiding out in Roanoke Ridge at one of two possible locations – Beaver Hollow or The Loft. Prestigious Bounty Hunters will need to track down a cultist campsite, a sermon and a live sacrifice in search for some of The Shepherd’s closest allies. Killing them and looting their corpses is essential, as one of them will hold a letter detailing where Virgil’s “mass cleansing of sin” will be held.

This act of purgatory known as “The Mercy” is proclaimed by “The Shepherd” to be a ritual bloodletting that’ll give eternal salvation – while the law and the civilized world see it as an act of mass murder. It’s undoubtedly the most distributing Bounty Hunter quest in Red Dead Online, backed by a freaky, yet invigorating score piece titled “The Seer” first heard in the “Dead of Night” Halloween Showdown mode. Once you gun-down his protectors and get to his base, Edwards will appear in a suit of metal armour – requiring the player to repeatedly shooting at him to wear it down. Once accomplished, he’ll surrender, assume you to be some alternative form of a living being and beg for his death. It’s up to you if you desire finishing him off, but just remember it’ll result in your pay being halved.

What feels like an incredibly nerve-racking and terrifying adventure on each replay, I’ve settled on Virgil “The Shepherd” Edwards being my favourite Legendary Bounty in Red Dead Online, due to its surprising and suspenseful nature which’ll regularly catch you off-guard. This is followed closely by the exhilarating gun-fight against Carmela “La Muñeca” Montez and her gang of Del Lobos. Regardless of which Prestigious Legendary Bounty you’re playing through, the ante is upped greatly once you reach four-star difficulty and above, as free-aim is enforced with hostile blips on the mini-map disabled for the ultimate challenge of bravery and sheer skill. You’ll have to pay attention to the world and those around you to survive, as no lives means you’ll need to succeed with the resources you have.

These missions played at increased difficulties bring together many of Red Dead Online’s staple mechanics, such as crafting and cooking as the aforementioned Special Health Cures and Big Game Meat will be essential for your success. I’d also recommend keeping a high stock of Dead Eye tonics as you’ll be replenishing it regularly, just like your health. Your choice of Ability Cards is also crucial, so ensure they’re upgraded with your passive cards providing rehabilitation for your health and Dead Eye, as well as additional offensive firepower. My usual choice of Ability Cards consists of Paint it Black, Gunslinger’s Choice (essential if you dual-wield revolvers in combat), Cold Blooded and Fool Me Once. Whether you’re playing them slow and steadily or going in with your gun’s blazing, the intense, non-stop shootouts from these Prestigious Legendary Bounties deliver the challenge diehard Red Dead Online players have sought from the very beginning. Even the most experienced gunslinger cannot let their guard down in these raid-like missions.

Prestigious Equipment, Skills & Unlocks

Spread across 10 new Ranks beyond Bounty Hunter Rank 20, the Prestigious License features a host of new skills, upgrades and equipment to unlock for both your character and horse. One of the most notable is the ability to spot wanted targets in Free Roam outside of missions at Rank 22. These Dynamic Bounties show up as a nearby event and you’ll often encounter them across all five states. You’ll be notified if one of these wanted targets are nearby, so grab your binoculars and search the designated area to find them.

Occasionally, there will be multiple targets to bring in, but these are usually lone wolves – and the situations they find themselves in are quite peculiar. For example, one of them can be found tied up on the train tracks at Bard’s Crossing, while another is living with the Green Iguanas on a small off-shore island at Flat Iron Lake. Sometimes you’ll even encounter them amid a crime, from stagecoach robbery to trying to break into a rancher’s home. You may also see them fishing or at a camp with their associates. Many of these can pop up all over the frontier, so keep an eye on your mini-map for any nearby targets. My personal favourite is a hunter out looking for game with his dogs at Cumberland Forest. When approaching the target, the dogs refuse to attack you – yet they’ll follow you back to the Valentine Sheriff’s Office and will howl for their master along the way, before fleeing once you drop him off. Man’s best friend right until the very end.

At Rank 23, you’ll also be able to find and bring in lesser-known Player Bounties worth $5 or more. These are frequently encountered in sessions, though accepting the invite to initiate the capture is still a little hit or miss – an issue that’ll hopefully be addressed in a future update. Regardless, the opportunity to a chase a player down and bring them in dead or alive for their bounty is always an unpredictable experience. Will they choose to go in easy and come out of jail clean, or do they put up a fight instead? Successfully bringing in the player alive will net you their full bounty as they spend a little time inside the jailhouse consequently for their actions.

Prestigious Bounty Hunters can also unlock new Gunspinning Tricks for their revolvers or pistols, including the Shoulder Toss and Figure Eight Toss unlocked at Ranks 26 and 28, respectively. These maneuverers can be fun to show off to your friends or those you meet throughout your travels. You can also switch between different tricks through the ‘Gunspinning Management’ option in the Player Menu. Meanwhile, at Rank 23 you’ll unlock a Provisions Satchel Upgrade that’ll allow you to carry additional food, including cooked seasoned meat – which as noted above, is essential for those five-star Legendary Bounties. Reach Rank 30 and Bounty Hunter Role XP will continue to be accumulated. Earn an excess of 10,000 Role XP and trade it in for 0.5 Gold and RDO$100 in the Awards Menu. You can do this an unlimited number of times, so be sure to keep an eye on it so you don’t miss out on that sweet bonus. You’ll also receive 1 Gold Bar for reaching Bounty Hunter Rank 30 and another for completing 10 Infamous Bounty posters.

One of the most notable new pieces of equipment available as part of the Prestigious Bounty Hunter License is the all-new Upland Saddle. It’s expensive, but arguably one of the best saddles for your horse in Red Dead Online. In terms of stamina and core drain, this will be hard beat. It also ensures your horse’s acceleration and handling is as swift as possible. All in all, make sure you pick this up. I personally recommend pairing it with one of the new Missouri Fox Trotters, Mustangs or Turkomans that were added to the Stables in December, as these fine stallions will all look the part with such a robust saddle equipped. You’d have to push them to the limit to drain the stamina on these beauties when paired with the Upland Saddle.

Finally, there’s an esteemed collection of fresh Bounty Hunter cosmetics that are unlocked for purchase with the Prestigious License. Namely, there are the new Hawkmoth, Brookstone and Gravesend Bolas that let you capture enemies in-style – but they’re significantly more expensive than the regular Bolas, so be sure to not lose them! Gunsmiths now stock the Regent Gun Belt and Off-Hand Holster, both of which should complement the outfit styles of your choosing. Madam Nazar also has new items, including the Moray Spurs that attach to your boots, featuring skull and rattlesnake decorations, while the Swanton Eyepatch features a precious-coloured stone engraved into the metalwork. It’s costly at 15 Gold Bars, but it’s incredibly stylish and shows off your prowess as a highly respected Bounty Hunter. You’ll also find the similarly expensive but desirable Tollbar Knuckles at Madam Nazar, alongside the Sharp Buckle – one of my favourite new cosmetics in Red Dead Online that stands out with its skull and pistol motifs.

The Prestigious Kit is rounded up with a series of Bounty Wagon Liveries – both Basic and Elaborate. These designs certainly add some flair to your moveable jailhouse and there’s plenty to choose from across a range of different colours, with none of them deemed too outlandish. Prices do vary and depend on the complexity of each design. There’s also The Thorogood Role Outfit, which is arguably the best and coolest Role Outfit to be featured in the game. This one has buckles wrapped around both the arms and legs, as well as a venomous bandolier and an elaborate set of gloves. It’s a perfect match for the all-new LeMat Revolver variant, controversial for its 21 Gold Bar price tag – but highly sophisticated in its metalwork and artistry.

Overall, there’s plenty of new cosmetics and useful items to sink your hard-earned cash and gold into with the Prestigious Bounty Hunter License. They’re expensive and should only be acquired as “endgame content” if you will, except for the Upland Saddle which I’d recommend all players to buy once they’ve unlocked it for purchase. The new Tollbar Knuckles, Swanton Eyepatch and the Regent Gun Belt and Off-Hand Holster paired with the Sharp Buckle and Moray Spurs are certain to spruce up any outfit in your wardrobe and since the update has released, my character has always rocked most, if not all these items. As you rank up the Prestigious Bounty Hunter License, it’s worth adding each of them to your arsenal overtime. Despite its expensive price tag, I also dig the Bounty Hunter’s LeMat Revolver and I typically dual-wield it with a LeMat of my own custom personalization.

When Should You Upgrade Your Bounty License?

If you like the contents I’ve discussed throughout this article and you already enjoy the life of bringing reprobates to justice, then the Prestigious Bounty Hunter License is undoubtedly for you. In addition to all the new skills, unlocks and cosmetics that are all acquirable from Rank 21 onwards, you’ll immediately gain access to the all-new 3-part, more narrative-driven Infamous Bounties, as well as the 3 adrenaline-pumping, but more challenging Prestigious Legendary Bounties on top of the endless number of Dynamic Bounties to hunt down in Free Roam.

For 15 Gold Bars, it’s a worthy upgrade, but should you buy it now? If you’ve already acquired all the other Specialist Roles, bought the latest Outlaw Pass and have enough Gold at your disposal, then absolutely – there’s no reason to wait. But if you’ve yet to check out the other Frontier Pursuits in Red Dead Online, then I personally recommend you consider exploring those first and revisit the Prestigious Bounty Hunter License once you’ve experienced them all. Of course, if the activity you enjoy the most is Bounty Hunting, then I absolutely urge you to upgrade right away because you’ll immediately have access to a host of new targets to chase down across as a range of new, immersive action-packed missions.

Visit any Bounty Board across the five states to upgrade to the Prestigious Bounty Hunter License today. Otherwise, meet with the Legendary Bounty Hunter by the Rhodes Sheriff’s Office if you’ve yet to get started with the Specialist Role as that’ll be your prime opportunity to express interest in helping to bring in some of the frontier’s most dishonourable villains.

Alan Walsh

Alan is the co-founder and co-owner of FullThrottle Media. As someone who enjoys spending all his free time playing video games, he keeps the website updated with new and relevant content, including news stories, reviews and opinion pieces for the games he likes writing about the most. He also tweets too much, probably.