How to start the Naturalist Role in Red Dead Online

Will you study wildlife or will you poach them for the sweet new clothes?

Red Dead Online Naturalist Role

image via Rockstar

Red Dead Online has expanded its roles offerings. The naturalist role that was promised in the Newswire has been revealed to be called just that: the Naturalist. (Rockstar isn’t the most subtle of developers.) Like previous roles, and similar to many online games, it’s not a free role. Players have to invest a little gold to start doing the missions and earning the rewards. 

What is the Naturalist role?

The Naturalist role adds a new perspective to the game. Prior to the addition, animals were for hunting. Players hunted to level up the existing Trader role and earn money and rewards. The Naturalist looks down its nose at the trader for its violence and aggression. Well, half of the Naturalist does. 

The Naturalist is split into two branches. The first is through Harriet Davenport. Harriet doesn’t like hunting and wants to study animals. She will know if you shoot and kill the animals she sends you to study.

The second is Gus Macmillan, a retired big game hunter. He fills a similar role that the Trapper did in Red Dead Redemption 2’s single-player setting. He will send you to kill these legendary animals and will give you outfits based on the animal’s pelt and trophies. 

In order to start the Naturalist Role, you will need 25 gold bars. If you can only get the Naturalist Role or the Outlaw Pass, we recommend getting the Outlaw Pass, leveling it up fast through the Collector, and using the returned gold bars to purchase the Naturalist. 

How to become a Naturalist

  • If you are just loading up the game, you will see the Naturalist as part of your log in options, after Free Roam and before Camp. Clicking this will transport you to Strawberry.
  • If you are just logging in, go to Strawberry. 
  • Once in Strawberry, approach the Welcome Center on your map. It will have the yellow mission indicator cloud around it. 
  • A cutscene will begin when you are close enough.
  • After the cutscene, Harriet will ask you if you want to buy the role. You have a slight time limit to accept. We accepted it at this point so we do not know what happens if you let the time run out. It’s possible you can accept this role at a later time, or perhaps it will let you interact with Gus if you do not take the role from Harriet.
  • If you accept the role from Harriet, another cutscene begins. Your character will be transported outside Strawberry with all the new role items unlocked.

The Naturalist is designed to force players to make a choice of conservation and study with Harriet, or further hunting with Gus.

Looking at the map shows the locations of both Gus and Harriet after accepting the Naturalist. Both are unlocked with the single purchase, but Harriet will not be happy with you if you attempt to play both sides.