How to stay transformed longer in Red Dead Online

Five minutes isn’t long enough.

Red Dead Online unleashed the Naturalist’s Vitalism Studies in the latest update. For now, there’s not much, but as drip-feeds continue to add small bits of content, more are anticipated to appear. The only animal available with the update is the buck, and it is a sad, restricted transformation. Players can only be in one small area in Big Valley, and the transformation only lasts five minutes.

While the location and restricted range can’t be changed, players can increase the time they spend as the deer. 

To transform, players need five Harrietum Officinalis and to inspect the correct tree in Big Valley. After five minutes, the transformation starts to wear out. When the transformation nears its end, a notification will pop up in the top left corner, telling players that the connection with the buck is ending.

If you want to play as the buck a little longer, you need more Harrietum Officinalis. In addition to the notification, players will see a prompt in the lower right part of the screen. Holding the button (the focus button for interacting with strangers) shows the “Extend Connection” option. Hit that button to extend your transformation time and use more of the plant. When we tried it, it only used one more plant, but we only had the one extra, and it only gave us one extra minute.

There’s not much to do as the deer thanks to the limited range and time limit. You can call with the whistle key, run around, drink water, bully non-player characters (or player characters if you like). It’s a far cry from the Peyote plant’s mechanics in GTA Online.