Moonshine recipes in Red Dead Redemption 2 Online give you the ability to make your special booze, own your very own speakeasy and earn a lot of money. It’s a fun addition to the world of RDR2 and in this article I’ll be covering all there is to know about RDR2‘s Moonshine Recipes.
In this post, however, I will simply go over the recipes and ingredients that are required to make the best moonshine.
Add power to your booze!
First things first: upgrade your distillery as soon as you can. That will increase profit drastically and the distillation takes longer, which allows you to do other stuff in the meantime. Sure, the upgrade costs are steep, but the value you get in return is well worth the investment.
Here’s a rundown of the upgrade costs:
CondenserUpgrade: 2 Role Tokens + 825$ + Moonshiner Rank 5
Again, keep in mind that some items are buyable via the Wheeler Rawson Catalogue. I highly recommend that you use the Catalogue’s Online version, as it allows you to quickly find your ingredients by using the search functionality.
In the Wheeler Rawson Catalogue you’ll be able to find:
Canned Apricots (0.75$)
Canned Strawberries (1.20$)
Canned Peaches (1.00$)
Orchard Apples (0.40$)
Canned Berries (1.20$)
Canned Pineapples (1.50$)
Bartlett Pears (0.65$).
From Madam Nazar’s shop you’ll also be able to buy:
Caribbean Rum (via collector map)
Other ingredients are rather easy to find:
Golden Currant – West of Van Horn, near Kamassa River
Red Raspberry – South East of Stillwater Creek
Vanilla Flower – South East of Lake Lagras
Wild Mint – South West of Valentine, near the river
There’s one other recipe that I purposely avoided talking about in this article. The reason is simple: it is difficult to understand how to make it and find its ingredients. I will attempt to clarify this topic:
In one of the Moonshine Story missions, you are required to brew a vial of Poison Poppy. However, you don’t get to keep the recipe for this drink. In order to unlock the Poison Poppy recipe, you must first find a recipe pamphlet. There are multiple locations where this spawns.
Try to find a small moonshine operation camp in one of these locations. Go there at night to easily spot the campfire.
Credit: Fun2, Tez
Look for the recipe inside the camp’s chest. Once you have read the pamphlet (in your satchel), gather the following ingredients:
Go back to your Moonshine Shack and it should now be available. This recipe is harder to find, but it is worth 247$, like the most valuable ones. If you’re having trouble, check out GTAO W’s video.
Moonshining in Red Dead Redemption 2 can be a surprisingly profitable business. There are ways to increase revenue and reduce costs (to lower mash prices and even save on supplies). Some up-start investment may be required.
But before I give you a couple of tips, if you’re on the fence on whether to start moonshining in Red Dead Redemption 2, let me start by saying that it is a rather fun profession to explore. There are plenty of missions to do and they feel quite varied. Playing with friends also seems to increase the number of available bootlegger missions.
Becoming a moonshiner in RDR2 will also allow you to purchase some fancy clothes and items. However, it is the money aspect that most players are after.
Okay, so how do I lower mash prices in RDR2?
Straight to the point: in order to lower mash prices, all you have to do is to accept Bootlegger missions from Maggie. Talk to her and hold the R key.
Be aware that there’s a 15-minute timer between missions, during which you’re unable to do another one. Sometimes Maggie isn’t there, or she’s stuck in an animation sequence – in which case you should go out of the moonshine shack, give it some time and then go back in again. If this becomes a repeating issue, try using my new tool that helps you optimize CPU performance. Its called RDR2 Launch Argument Composer Tool
By doing Bootlegger missions, you will eventually be able to lower the cost of producing alcohol significantly. As an example, you will be able to lower the 30$ mash cost down to 10$. This is most noticeable when you upgrade your distillery to be able to produce stronger moonshine. Stronger moonshine requires more time and mash to produce. Instead of paying 30$ per mash dosage, you’ll be paying 50$. The upside is that stronger moonshine sells for a LOT more money. Depending on the quality of the ingredients you’re using, you could sell a batch of booze for up to 247$ per trip. Doing Bootlegger missions also earns you plenty of collectibles, since you’ll be fighting Revenue agents and rival moonshiners that have plenty of expensive items and ammo to loot.
One may argue that the time it takes to do the Bootlegger mission isn’t worth the 20$ discount on mash prices. However, the loot you get from all those revenue agent bodies is worth it in the long run. It earns you special bullets, antique liqueurs, and gold watches, which makes it all much more profitable.
Making the most of your Moonshiner role means optimizing your business in the long run. I highly recommend you check out my additional suggestions on how to make the most of the Moonshiner role:
–Oh, and if you would like a detailed overview of the Moonshiner role, Bootlegger mission tips, as well as some other ideas on how to make the best use of this new content, make sure you check out my other post – A Guide to Moonshining in RDR2 (my most popular post EVER!).
The best Moonshine Shack Location
Location, location, location
Start by considering where you’ll be placing your Moonshiner shack. Keep in mind that if you’ve already bought the Moonshine shack, you can talk to Maggie to move it somewhere else for 250$.
It may, at first glance, seem irrelevant or hard to figure out the pros and cons of each location. Here are your options:
Bayou Nwa (Lemoyne)
Hennigan’s Stead (New Austin)
The Heartlands (New Hanover)
Tall Trees (West Elizabeth)
So let me give you some perspective: Some locations are easier to access. Some are safer or quicker to traverse. It all pays (literally) in the long run.
I’ve seen a lot of players debating this topic, but none seem to ever have mentioned what I consider to be crucial when picking a location. RDR2 will have other businesses coming out in the near future. Making sure that all your businesses are close together is key to maximizing profits over time by reducing trip lengths. We may not know exactly what other businesses are coming, but we may have an idea of where Rockstar is going with their updates and try to guess their new business locations.
Grand Theft Auto V Online has always surprised players with their extensive expansions. There are lots of new varied businesses, each with their own missions, upgrades, and perks. But all of them required a physical location to use them. Rockstar did that again with the Trader and Moonshiner roles in Red Dead Redemption 2. Bounty Hunter and Collector roles don’t require a player-controlled HQ or shack, but they do rely on the Sheriff’s office’s Bounty Board and Madam Nazar’s traveling wagon to operate.
Rockstar seems to be extremely creative when coming up with stuff to do. Let’s see what the community comes up with – here are some community-suggested roles and activities:
Miner / Hauler
Here are my 6 additions:
Gold miner (panning on a river)
Miner (in the mines)
River trader (transporting goods on a ship)
These ideas are not that wild. Most use gameplay mechanics already in place or easy to add to the game. If Rockstar decides to add any of these roles, they will likely either require a large plot of land, being close to a town, or a brand new map expansion.
Where will the new roles appear?
They will try to pepper the map with new interactive locations, but the far reaches of the map or the most rugged terrain areas tend to become less populated (like the snowy Ambarino regions up north and the Grizzlies to the East). Most of the coastal regions have towns that tend to be crowded and hard to navigate in. The far West towns (Armadillo, Tumbleweed), even though they do feature some mines, are way too barren to be expected that they grow with many new industries.
This leaves us the center core of the map as a prime region for placing role buildings. from the Tall Trees region to the west, most of the New Hannover area, and the non-swampy parts of Scarlett Meadows.
Being at the center also provides you with more options for expansion as every new location option should be close enough.
Van Horn, Annesburg, Tumbleweed, Armadillo, Strawberry, Valentine, and Rodes, all lack either a butcher or a tailor. Both very important requirements for a very practical town.
This is the reason why Blackwater is my favorite town.
Blackwater has most of the stores that you may ever require. It’s small enough that it’s easy to navigate in. It is also very easy to reach via the Great Plains (an amazing hunting ground). Blackwater is also a coastal town with two rivers nearby and it features a Fast Travel post and a bounty board at a convenient location. It doesn’t have a railway line, but it is close to a military fort. No tricky swamps or cliffs to fall and lose your cargo.
All things considered, when choosing a Moonshine shack location, these two would be my ordered best picks:
Tall Trees (West Elizabeth)
The Heartlands (New Hanover)
The Tall Trees region is beautiful and brimming with wildlife. It is easy to transport goods across the Great Plains and to avoid enemies, players and roads entirely. It is also near other areas of potential future interest such as MacFarlane’s ranch, or Thieve’s Landing. To make the most of it, set your trader camp in the Tall Trees or Great Plains region and supply Cripps while waiting for the booze to be ready for delivery.
To make stronger moonshine, all you have to do is to have the right ingredients when you’re picking your flavor. Keep in mind that some recipes are unlocked by progressing in the Moonshiner role. Buyers change every two hours or so – so you’re best going for different recipes each time.
★★ Apple Berry Crumb Moonshine (Bootlegger Story Progress)
★★ Berry Cobbler Moonshine (Requires Rank 2)
★★★ Wild Creek Moonshine (Requires Rank 6)
★★★ Spiced Island Moonshine (Requires Rank 12)
★★★ Agarita Sunrise (Complete Bootlegger story)
There’s also the secretive but very profitable Poison Poppy recipe, for which you will find in-depth info on how to get it here.
Some of these ingredients are available by picking herbs in the game world. However, others are canned or liqueurs and harder to get.
So here’s my tip: many recipe ingredients are actually buyable via the Wheeler Rawson Catalogue. They’re not that expensive and they will allow you to make higher quality moonshine that sells for a LOT more money.
Always keep a healthy supply of fruits, herbs, and liqueurs with you at all times. You should guarantee enough fruits and herbs to fulfill two or three 2-star or 3-star recipes. I usually buy batches of up to 30 cans and fetch them from the post office whenever I need them.
That being said, you should aim for the most valuable drinks. Namely the Wild Creek Moonshine, Spiced Island Moonshine, and the Agarita Sunrise whenever possible.
Wild Creek Moonshine: Wild Mint, Vanilla Flower, Creek Plum
Spiced Island Moonshine: Caribbean Rum, Golden Currant, Canned Apricots
Again, keep in mind that some items are buyable via the Wheeler Rawson Catalogue. I highly recommend you use the Catalogue’s Online version, as it allows you to quickly find your ingredients by using the search functionality.
In the Wheeler Rawson Catalogue you’ll be able to find:
Canned Apricots (0.75$)
Canned Strawberries (1.20$)
Canned Peaches (1.00$)
Orchard Apples (0.40$)
Canned Berries (1.20$)
Canned Pineapples (1.50$)
Bartlett Pears (0.65$).
From Madam Nazar’s shop you’ll also be able to buy:
Caribbean Rum (via collector map)
Other ingredients are rather easy to find:
Golden Currant – West of Van Horn, near Kamassa River
Red Raspberry – South East of Stillwater Creek
Vanilla Flower – South East of Lake Lagras
Wild Mint – South West of Valentine, near the river
Wintergreen Berry – North of Brandywine Drop
How to minimize losses
Once your booze is ready you will have to deliver your batch to a local buyer. When delivering your moonshine, make sure you stick to the road at a medium-fast pace.
Going off-road will guaranteedly break your bottles and your profit will take a toll. I highly recommend using the cinematic camera (V) and then control the vehicle’s speed using Shift or Ctrl.
I don’t usually stop at the Revenue Agent’s roadblocks. There are a couple of reasons why I don’t do that:
Sometimes they won’t stop you at all. If you stop, there’s a very low chance that they let you pass unharmed. Their shots damage your cargo but only slightly. It is much more dangerous to the integrity of your cargo to go off-road.
If you’re being chased, you’re best served by slowing down your vehicle, kill them and then proceed with your trip. Going too fast will likely send you off-track. Stopping will consume time and their bullets will start to hit you.
I’ve seen players kill the revenue agents before they reach the roadblock. But the truth is that you’ll be fighting a lot more agents than you really need to – and in this business, time is money. Just go past them as fast as you can without going off-road or breaking your bottles. You may also want to experiment with the Toxic Moonshine bottles thrown at the roadblock Revenue agents, although I think it might be too expensive to do so every time they show up.
Moonshining is a fun specialist role to experience. It certainly earns you quite a bit of money – and you’re able to go hunt or do other stuff while you wait for your next batch of booze to be ready. However, some argue that the bootlegger missions are pointless, as the 20$ savings don’t justify the time cost of doing them. On the other hand, revenue agents tend to carry pretty good loot and collectibles. Thus, in order to justify your time, make sure to always go for their loot!
Battlefield V‘s Update 6.0 moves the war forward and into the jungle.
Moving further away from the ruins of Europe, it also leads us closer to the end of the war. Nevertheless, DICE mentioned it has plenty of content to deliver until mid-2021. The latest update was featured in Battlefield V’s latest teaser trailer.
The new Battlefield V update is now available for download, but it will only go live next Thursday, February 6, at 9AM GMT. PS4 and Xbox updates will go live 1 and 2 hours later respectively.
Welcome to the Jungle
The new Battlefield map takes inspiration from the Solomon Islands. It features a river that runs across the whole map. As expected, it includes plenty of choke points and close-quarters action. The new map will be available on Conquest, Squad Conquest, Breakthrough and Team Deathmatch.
The update also brings a crate of brand new old weapons, including the Type-11 LMB, Model 37 Shotgun, M2 Carbine, and the M1A1 Bazooka.
A new suicidal Lunge Mine is also expected. Lunge Mines are literally bombs on a stick that you use to banzai-charge tanks – hopefully harming them and certainly killing yourself.
Further updates incoming
DICE has announced that they expect to release a bunch more fixes, balances and even new content in the coming months. Two new elite commanders are expected later in the chapter. Update 6.2 will also feature a considerable change to weapon balancing.
Tank customization seems to have been progressing steadily with the latest teaser trailer which featured a tank with a “Coming Soon” text and an American flag.
My thoughts on the new update
This is my own personal viewpoint.
I love playing Battlefield games. I certainly do enjoy Battlefield V – but somehow, it feels like its getting less and less enjoyable by the day.
Maybe I’m getting old, but even though many players seem to really enjoy game modes such as “Grind”, I find them extremely chaotic and tactic-less. Personally I prefer matches where intelligence plays a part. Where you can make use of the map’s scale and try to outsmart and flank your enemy.
Unfortunately (for me), maps seem to be getting more and more focused on close-quarters combat, even when their scale is enormous. New weapons seem to be faster, more deadly and less precise. The age of long-range hunts is at an end.
The new update brings even more of this with the new choke points, new shotgun and even the Lunge Mine that prevents tanks from pushing into enemy territory. Coward tank pilots are definitely NOT something we need in this game.
Because of this, and even though I appreciate any new content, I’m shrugging at the sight of the new update.
Many players were facing issues when attempting to use the casino’s chips, tables or slots. Rockstar did not release any information regarding this issue which made players think it was a bug of sorts. It appeared like there was a connection issue – but nothing mentioned that gambling was disabled for certain players.
Rockstar was blocking players from certain countries
The restrictions were unclear and apparently unreasonable. Some countries have strict legislation against gambling and were able to access Rockstar’s casino games. Now, I live in Portugal. We have a ton of casinos and gambling halls in our country. Plenty of online sports betting websites. Pokerstars and mobile gambling. There’s even state-endorsed gambling available and yet we’re unable to access the Diamond Casino games in Grand Theft Auto 5. Meanwhile, our friends over in Spain who have pretty much the same regulations as we do, have no issues playing at GTA V‘s online casino.
It is kind of sad that some players get free items, free content to play with and all sorts of activities that many others are prevented from accessing altogether.
This is even more ridiculous if you consider the fact that you can’t even cash-out the money you earn. It’s all virtual. It isn’t really a gambling addiction problem, just a regulatory one. In GTA V you do have the option to buy GTA$, but you can’t convert it into real money. However, in RDR 2 Online, you can’t even buy $ – only gold, which is a very different currency.
Here’s a list of countries unable to gamble in GTA 5‘s online casino, according to Reddit user SlapshotTommy:
Afghanistan Algeria American Samoa Argentina Azerbaijan Bahamas Bhutan Bosnia Herzg. Belarus Brunei Cambodia Cayman Islands China Cuba Cyprus Czech Republic Ecuador Greece
Iceland Indonesia Iran Iraq Israel Jordan Kuwait Lebanon Libya Liechtenstein Luxembourg Maldives Mali Mauritania Malta Malaysia North Korea Oman
Paraguay Peru Poland Portugal Qatar Saudi Arabia Somalia South Africa South Korea Sri Lanka Sudan Syria Taiwan Thailand Tuvalu UAE Vietnam Venezuela
Red Dead Redemption 2 Poker? Same thing, different game
I like playing Poker. It’s fun and relaxing and a great way to socialize and meet new people.
One of the reasons why I bought RDR 2 was because Poker was a thing. It seemed like it would be a lot of fun to play against other players online. There aren’t that many 3D Poker games out there since PKR was terminated a few years ago, so I thought this would be great fun.
Apparently I was wrong. I was not going to be allowed to play Poker in Red Dead Redemption 2 Online. I’m guessing Blackjack won’t work either, even if you’re just playing against an NPC like in singleplayer…
Rockstar does not inform RDR 2 players properly
I’m a PC player. I missed the news that this was an issue back in May 2019, when it first came up to the PS4 and XBOX players.
In fact, I thought that this was not yet implemented. Until yesterday, when a random player approached me in role-playing style. He asked me if I would like to play poker with him. I laughed and said that I would love to – but that the only way to play Poker right now is the singleplayer game mode. Then he replied that he had been playing with his mates.
I was confused.
Rockstar did not release any info regarding this topic. There’s no contextual info or error message. Nothing. You can see the NPCs playing by themselves, but there’s no interaction button or error message.
The reality is that they’re hiding content to avoid complaints. In a way it kind of angers me more that they hide this content instead of informing players in-game that the content isn’t available for players in their specific region.
How to play Poker in RDR 2 if you’re excluded?
The answer is simple. Go live somewhere where your IP isn’t blocked by Rockstar… or get an IP from a different country instead.
VPN networks seem to have been working as a great workaround for players in GTA V wanting to play at the casino. This isn’t a cheat, this isn’t a mod. Now, the question is:
Will Rockstar ban you for using a VPN? Unlikely.
Is it possible they will? Sure.
Is it reasonable to do it? Nope.
Is Rockstar known for being reasonable at anything… ever? Nope.
Alternatively, play in singleplayer mode. Boring. I know.
I can’t understand Rockstar’s criteria for picking certain countries, but not others. The lack of info regarding this topic as if it wasn’t an issue at all is ridiculous. I won’t accept that they would advertise something that really isn’t available at all.
Rockstar is weird when it comes to gambling. I sure will remember that the next time I avoid buying a game with that feature.
Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 is now a winter wonderland!
There’s snow in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020! Microsoft has surprised us again with their brand new iteration for the Microsoft Flight Simulator franchise.
Snow is now present in Microsoft Flight Simulator!
Their attitude towards this simulator has been very peculiar about this release since its announcement.
There was a 13-year gap between the last version (Microsoft Flight Simulator X) and the latest version announced at E3 2019. It features the most in-depth and accurate representation of the Earth in any digital media (except maybe Bing or Google Maps). However, their announcement seemed to lack enthusiasm. Or maybe they were just being humble – which would be surprising for a Microsoft release.
At the preview event, they mentioned that they had access to the very detailed Bing maps satellite data. They developed a way to integrate that with a game engine, thus providing Microsoft’s Flight Simulator with very accurate satellite imagery for their sim. They said that lightly as if it wasn’t that much of a big deal. In reality, it provides VFR pilots like me an amazing reason to fly and explore the world. As I said in my previous post, I only fly VFR because I enjoy the views and the sense of exploring the world.
A few weeks after their preview event in one of their videos, they released a list of “highly requested features” by the users they had the chance of interacting with. In it, you would find stuff like seasons, ATC, Virtual Reality, etc.
To be honest I was actually displeasantly surprised at the lack of commitment shown when some of these features were first announced. Many of them were present 13 years ago. Most were now being considered as “possible features” to be developed still. The sad truth is that with most games, after their announcement, any additional significant changes either take years to develop or don’t get developed at all due to the complexity of adding new functionality to existing code.
Apparently this is not the case with Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, as they just unveiled a *VERY* short video where snow can be seen covering the sim’s very detailed landscape. This was one of the features that were still being considered but not guaranteed.
Seasons in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020?
While this doesn’t entirely remove “seasons” from the wishlist, it does tackle one of the most difficult things to achieve in a flight sim. Snow changes textures globally and locally. But it also adds a variable depth layer to trees and buildings that require some clever tricks to simulate geometry efficiently.
We’ll soon see whether they’re able to make it snow in just specific areas instead of the whole world, according to real-time weather patterns.
The difference between snow and seasons is that an autumn theme requires global texture changes. This is especially true in the forest or green areas of the world to make them look gold or brownish. This is especially difficult with satellite imagery. The precision of maps that sort what is a building or a road or a tree are critical to a believable color correction. You really don’t want a green building changing to brown during the autumn! Another aspect to consider is falling leaves on the sidewalks or trees without any leaf coverage. This would likely have to be affected by geometry changes which are typically very cumbersome to process.
We’ll have to wait and see how they figure out a way to do it. The fact that they’re pre-rendering everything on their servers means that their 2 petabytes of data might have to be slightly multiplied for each season. Not really a problem for the regular user. That is, unless they wish to download everything to their hard drive instead of streaming the geometry from their servers.
What’s your list of wanted features?
I have my very own list of “highly requested features”. Top of the list is Virtual Reality support. I only fly FSX or P3D using VR googles. It is the most immersive VR experience I ever had. I was really sad to learn that it wasn’t announced as featuring in the new Flight Simulator 2020. Instead, it’s listed as one of those features that might or might not be developed.
I don’t usually drink alcohol at all, but I will be drinking a cup of Bailey’s throughout the writing of this article. Please don’t mind me if the last portions of it are a bit parched weee…
With this update, you’ll be able to produce moonshine, own a bar, hire a band, have patrons showing up and serving them drinks. Smells like profit.
Want to know how to increase revenue and lower mash costs?
If you’re reading this article, looking for info on how to reduce mash costs in RDR2, please know that this article details all aspects of moonshining – including how to lower mash costs. However, you should definitely check out my other specialist post as well. It focuses not only on ways to reduce mash prices, but also on how to improve revenue via other means.
Improve your game with the new Launch Argument Composer
With the new update, the Wheeler Rawson & Co Club Pass 2 Outlaw Pack No2 allows players to gain access to a huge selection of exclusive goodies – enough to make you tipsy! These include a new dog (huskie), weapon ammo, clothing, horse masks, discounts, treasure maps, gold bars, emotes, etc.
With 100 levels and almost one reward per level, there’s plenty of content there. Regarding price, the pack costs 40 gold bars – but playing through it should unlock approximately the same amount of gold bars, plus all the discounts and ammo savings. It is one humongous task to unlock everything though.
As a reference price point, 55 gold bars cost 20€ at the Rockstar store. If you do the daily quests each day, you should be able to get approximately 5 gold bars per day.
How to start Moonshining
Before you start, please keep in mind that you need to rank up your Trader role to rank 5, or at least completed a sale.
To begin your brave new entrepreneur life, you should find Cripps at your camp (if he hasn’t packed it already!). He will handle you a quest to find Maggie near Emerald Ranch. You should also receive a letter from Cripps asking you to go meet Maggie at the Emerald Ranch. Alternatively, press F1 once the Moonshiner update notification pops up. After the descriptive menu shows up, hold the spacebar to initiate the quest to become a moonshiner.
You will then be able to purchase your very own speakeasy and become a booze baron in Red Dead Redemption 2 Online.
You will first need to pick a location for your moonshiner shack (you’ll need to pay 25 gold bars upfront, although I believe this might come for free with a Twitch Prime subscription). Later on, if you’re not happy with the location you selected, you will be able to change your shop location by paying an additional 250$.
After buying the location, you’ll be awarded several new booze recipes to explore.
Later on, you will also be able to upgrade to a bar and even add a dancing stage and a band. The bar expansions or the patrons that show up to your bar do not earn you any money. Most extras are just cosmetic, with the exception of the distilleries that provide you with a stronger alcohol that sells for more money.
Producing and supplying the bar
You can access the Moonshiner Shop when talking to Maggie. There you will be able to expand your moonshine operation with an underground bar. This costs 950$ plus one token – or 38 gold bars instead.
At first, the bar feels empty and sad and more like a milk parlor. There are 6 people in there quietly sipping their milk. Fortunately, you will be able to change this by drawing in more patrons and improving the room decoration.
Marcel, the cook, will supply the bar with whatever recipe is being produced. If you’re not giving Marcel the right ingredients and tools, he will supply the bar with a standard quality recipe. This doesn’t really draw that many customers in. To improve your business, you should upgrade your recipe on the table next to Marcel.
This connects with the supply missions, where your mission is to deliver moonshine to potential customers on the world map. The mash cost can be lowered from 50$ to 30$ by asking Maggie to do Bootlegger Missions, explained further down this article.
On the table next to Marcel you are able to pick the type of moonshine, and the flavoring (ingredients which can be bought or picked outside, like fruit and herbs). Distilling takes time. Once a batch of moonshine is ready, you can go deliver it to your clients. You are transporting fragile cargo, and special care must be taken not to break the bottles of moonshine.
While on your way to your client, you might come across Revenue Agent roadblocks. You can either let them search your cargo or try to break through the barricades and avoid inspection.
The best way to prevent any bottles from being destroyed during the transport is to use the Cinematic Camera. Going off-road is certain to cause damage to your cargo. Bullets will harm your cargo just slightly. So it is best to stop your transport, kill the baddies and then start moving again. Trying to keep running while shooting back at the agents is a recipe for disaster.
To increase your profits you should upgrade the strength of your moonshine. To do that, you must first buy the Condenser and Polished Copper upgrades from Maggie.
A batch of booze that costs approximately 30$ to produce can be sold for 80$ with a weak distillery. If you upgrade it to a strong distillery, you might be able to earn up to 247$. This makes for a very good investment (if all goes well with the delivery). The time it takes to produce a batch varies, but it should take somewhere between 30 minutes (weak distillation) to 60 minutes (strong distillation) to be finished and ready for export.
Setting up shop – the story missions
The first mission Maggie will give you is to find Marcel, the French cook. The mission is rather simple – he has been kidnapped. Just go rescue him by the small bandit camp nearby.
Alternatively (non-exclusively) you can also permanently borrow some moonshining equipment from a nearby rival moonshining operation.
Once these two quests are finished, Marcel will show you the “Engine Room”. This is where he will show you the distillation tools and equipment.
Marcel tip: A stronger alcohol sells for more, but it takes longer to produce.
After this is cinematic, you’ll be spawning outside the shack. Once you go back in, Maggie will allow you to access the Moonshiner Store, which grants you access to recipes, bar and band building expansions, bar decorations, equipment to improve the quality (and price) of your booze, and a bunch of pictures to place behind your bar counter. All of this for a price, of course.
At the moonshiner store, you’re able to buy a toxic moonshine bottle or pamphlet (recipe). These create a noxious cloud that chokes and stuns enemies.
If you can’t afford the 1 token + 950$ for the bar, you can always buy the upgrade with 38 gold bars instead. It sounds absurd, but its true. You’re better off trading with Cripps until you get those 950$ and save the 38 gold bar expense for other stuff!
Before we go into the next missions, let me just add that sometimes the game won’t allow you to accept a new one in order to progress with the storyline missions. This could be because either Maggie is stuck in an animation, or maybe because there’s a timer between missions. Relogging seems to solve this issue sometimes. Doing these missions will lower the price of the mash ingredients to make the beverages.
Blood is thicker than ‘shine
You need to pick up Maggie’s nephew Lem. Lem is being transported to the penitentiary. Once you arrive at your destination, you will need to find Lem’s prison transport documents which are located in a chest inside the larger tent to the south (might depend on where the camp spawns). Listen to the officers talking – they will tell you where to look. Stealth is an option if you manage to get to the chest unnoticed. Be careful not to waste any lives – you will need them later on!
After clearing the camp or running with the documents, you will have to wait for the convoy to arrive at a different location. There will be plenty of enemies – I recommend a rolling block rifle and a shotgun. Be careful – these enemies are not your usual bandits. Their weapons are good and their aim is very accurate at long distances.
While taking Lem to your shack, a cutscene shows what happened to Maggie, and what caused her gruesome scars.
Once you finish all the missions, you will be able to replay them at different difficulty levels. Considering this one is tough in regular mode, it should prove challenging to play it in higher difficulty levels.
Where There’s Smoke There’s Firewater
This storyline mission takes you to the swamps of Bayou Nwa.
You will first need to find Maggie’s explosives in the Scarlett Meadows. Look for clues to their location. I highly recommend using a bow and arrow to quietly dispatch the two guys overlooking the stable. The explosives should be inside a lockbox in one of three locations. The clues highlight a trail to those lockboxes.
Further down the road, a wagon will appear. Use it to infiltrate the moonshine camps undetected. Take out the driver as soon as possible, as to avoid being spotted by the camp’s guards.
Once inside the camp, avoid collisions and be prepared. This is a huge camp with many enemies. Alligators roam the outskirts of the mission area. You’ll be fighting Lemoyne Raiders, which are easy to kill – but there are plenty of them. Many of them are carrying sawed-off shotguns – so you’re better off attacking them with a repeater or a rolling block rifle to avoid close-range surprises.
Once you find all the stills, all you have to do is attach a stick of dynamite to it and light the fuse. You can also shoot the stick of dynamite. These are Maggie’s sticks of dynamite and not the ones on your inventory. There’s a collectible tarot card at the entrance to the first house next to the northwestern bridge.
There’s no timer on this mission so take your time to pick them rivals one at a time. Most of these enemies have very little loot, though some collectibles may be found.
Come Hell, Come High Water
In this mission, you are tasked with protecting Lem, during a ship delivery at Van Horn. The mission is rather straightforward – just hop on the boat and shoot at the enemies until Lem manages to reach a safe harbor and deliver his trades.
During this mission you will find enemies on small boats, along the shores and even on a moving train. When facing enemies on the shore, be aware that some carry dynamite to damage Lem’s ship. Make sure to take them out before they reach the ship.
The train is so far away that you need a rolling block rifle to take out those enemies. There are ammo boxes for rifles and shotguns on the top tier of the boat.
A Bitter Means to a Bitter End
In this one, your objective is to ruin a rival’s production by adding a special mixture to the booze. Tainting the vats will earn you a bigger reward. If for some reason you fail to accomplish this, you can always destroy the vats with your weapons.
To make the mixture, you will need fresh ingredients. Maggie points out the location of some of the ingredients. Along the way you will find a bear (watch out) that will supply you with animal fat. Closer to the objective you’ll find a couple of tents with 3 enemies being attacked by a cougar. Try not to be seen by crouching and avoiding them. Grab the Oleander sage past the camp. If they spot you, take the time to loot them and skin the cougar.
Move forward to the next camp and go around it until you find Creeping Thyme. You only need one. Try to avoid the guards as there are many of them.
To craft the mixture hold E to rest and then R to craft.
Next up, you will need to taint the vats without alerting the guards by staying undetected. If they are looking at the vats, wait for them to move away, or deal with them silently.
These guys have an army of dirty, sick dogs that will sniff you out and attack you if you’re detected.
To destroy the vats simply shoot them and they will blow up. They will send a couple of horsemen after you – a fight you can easily avoid by running towards the final objective.
The Certainty of Death and Taxes
In this mission, your job is to protect Lem, capture your rival Danny-Lee and get rid of Hixon.
On the first part of the job you will need to prepare an ambush by spilling moonshine around an area. Then you wait.
Things don’t really go as planned. Grab a shotgun and run after Hixon. Instead of killing them one by one, simply push your enemies into the fire or fire at them into it.
When you finally exit the fire corridor, you’ll find yourself on a road riddled with enemies. Use the trees for cover. There are some crates along the road so try to avoid it. Move to the left of it. It will be easier for you to spot them on the road, behind cover. There’s also a very good reason to move left of the road. There’s a deadly Maxim machine gun at the end of the road. When you move to the left, the machine gunner will have his view obstructed by a tree and thus unable to hurt you.
After dealing with Hixon, avoid all enemies by running into the swamp and over the railway. Keep running towards Danny-Lee, hogtie him and deal with the enemies. If you’re unable to call your horse, grab one from the bandits and stow Danny-Lee on it. Then make a run to the final objective.
This was the last storyline mission.
You are now able to repeat these missions at a different difficulty level. Besides any loot and mission rewards, you should earn 50$ through the Benefits menu that shows up when you access the multiplayer main menu (simply press ESC while in free roam).
“Bootlegger” missions are available from Maggie. These represent simpler-than-storyline-missions that also help you lower mash prices.
In one of them, you need to deviantly poison a rival bootlegger’s stock. Alternatively, you’re able to destroy it and then deal with every enemy around it and the ones that spawn later on. Be careful when approaching the distillery as, when punctured, it fires steaming hot vapors that throw you to the ground. Enemies deal a significant amount of damage with their weapons, and time is a concern as things can get tricky if you start respawning too often. In one situation, the initial mission objective was so far away from my shack that the timer wasn’t enough to go there while going in a rather straight line.
In another mission, Maggie asks you to clear roadblocks placed by the Revenue Agents in two locations. Once you reach the first one, a timer starts, so make sure you don’t waste too much time dealing with all the agents. A stealth approach is possible but very difficult as they face both sides of the road. Revenue Agents are trained shooters. Be aware that they are very precise even at longer distances. Shoot the oil lamps to prevent them from taking cover behind the boxes nearby.
The third one was my favorite. I even giggled a little. You have to escort a drunk patron from the nearest saloon. While doing so, you will face a couple of enemies with their fists raised, ready to strike you. The patron is too drunk to go from point A to point B in a straight line, so expect having to follow him into some dark alleys. This mission is rather simple and easy, but fighting with your fists is always tricky in RDR2. Make sure you do it after drinking a few shots of moonshine.
Corpses, corpses everywhere
The substantial number of corpses leftover from these missions means that there’s plenty of stuff to loot. These Revenue Agents also seem to hold special ammo very often. Considering the number of shots required to take them out, it is only wise to loot them all afterward!
This article was made possible by the contributions of several Redditors: Waydownunder91, dbern707, Freejaveliner, (adding more as they come)
Coming up with the new update, you will be able to own your very own moonshine production facility. You will require a place to do it. Soon after, patrons will start pouring in asking for your very spicy miracle tonics served in a glass.
Eventually, you will be able to upgrade your moonshine “facility” into a very dandy and customizable speakeasy. Afterward, you’ll surely want to add some entertainment – like a local band and a dance floor.
Moonshining in Red Dead Redemption 2 wouldn’t be complete without new gear to make you look like a proper booze king. You will also meet a new character, Maggie who will provide some missions to help you set up shop.
Strangely enough, this will require the player to be Trader rank 5. This might be kind of cumbersome to obtain. Alternatively, you are able to acquire it by completing a sale. Selling is ridiculously easy once you’ve obtained the Butcher’s table. I will eventually post a guide on how to progress your trade rank quickly! Subscribe to my blog via the sidebar on the left to be the first to know!
Now that I’ve given you the latest news, let’s delve deeper into what this effectively means but also how economy systems can add immersiveness to a game, or break it entirely – and why I feel like Rockstar’s fears are a missed opportunity (if at least they allowed us to mod it…).
The gaming dreams of a trader
Trading and owning a store is one of the coolest things I love seeing in a videogame. Unfortunately, this ability doesn’t come along often. Most games do not support this feature. The ones that do are usually limited in their nature to have it run at a very basic level.
In particular, I love the concept of buying and selling stuff online, to other players and NPCs.
I’m pretty sure I am not alone.
Star Citizen‘s most profitable month in 2019 just passed. It featured a concept sale of a ship (the Kraken Privateer – more like a mobile station) that allows other ships and players to dock and shop inside it. It also marks the detailing of the game’s economy system. This system is definitely of the juiciest and most complex ones I’ve seen in ages. I’ll detail this subject later on in another post.
A balancing act
The problem with most PTPE (player-to-player-economy) game mechanics will always be balancing supply and demand.
There’s only a limited variety of stocks – which everyone is getting all the time from actively farming the game. There’s also a need to have a surplus stock of every item to avoid absurd prices or unavailability of stock. This means that supply needs to exceed demand, which in turn lowers prices over time to a nil-value.
Most games that feature an economic system, have centralized market prices or, instead, player-driven shops. The first reduces your liberty to set the prices for your items but makes it easier (and boring) to buy/sell goods. The second one creates an anarchic price system where each player charges whatever he wants to charge for exotic seashells.
–How much are exotic seashells worth right now? Oh well. I’ll just spend all of my money on this one right here sir, thank you.
Other games tackle this challenge more creatively.
I remember playing Pirates of the Burning Sea – almost 10 years ago now – and spending most of my gameplay time at the game’s player auction house. Until I realized… it was rigged! Well, supposedly it wasn’t, at the start, but having a fully realized player-driven economy is no easy feat. Commodity prices were skyrocketing and plummeting at such a quick rate that it became impossible to figure out the value of your items. Large trade guilds were able to sell silly amounts of supplies in an instant – thus selling their wares at a very steep price and forcing the price to plummet for everyone else in one server tick – just before they were affected by price updates. This made the auction house obsolete and the game’s economy was ruined.
As mentioned before, Star Citizen attempts to fix this imbalance caused by the players by introducing a majority of NPC-generated trades. However, these NPCs aren’t just averages and hidden calculations. They are actually real NPCs present within instances of the game world, hauling cargo, consuming and producing goods. Moreover, the developers devised a system in which the whole universe breathes economics. NPCs will become unemployed and wander aimlessly on the streets or, instead, the city booms with trade and becomes fancier and more crowded. The minerals for every missile that players use need to extracted, transformed and sold as missiles. This will be a very interesting economics system to study.
One other big concern for online games with an economic system is cheating – and Rockstar haaaaaates cheating. They avoid the problems of failing economies by tackling this in a very smart, albeit slightly frustrating way.
Rockstar’s economy system isn’t frustrating because of what it is, but because of what it could be and isn’t.
In reality, they only give you the illusion of an economy system. All the money you own only exists in the bubble that is you.
In Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption 2, you may be incredibly rich and feel like a boss (no, I mean, literally) by owning several companies and employing NPCs that generate revenue on their own – but you will never ever exchange money with another player. One example is buying drinks at your friend’s bar in Grand Theft Auto V which earns him 0$, yet your wallet shrinks a little.
In Red Dead Redemption 2 Your hunting sales aren’t affected by the price of fur in a particular area and all the money you make can only be used to buy cosmetics or other means of making money. You can’t buy a horse for your girlfriend. You can’t even gift her a hat or buy her a drink.
No sugar daddies allowed in RDR2.
Ah… Taxes. Can’t live with them. Can’t live without.
One other issue with Grand Theft Auto V – that I predict will be coming to Red Dead Redemption 2 soon enough – is the time and money cost of maintaining these establishments. Grand Theft Auto businesses follow the same logic as the Trader role in RDR2. They only generate revenue when you constantly supply them with tools or stock. The butcher table in RDR2does give you revenue semi-passively, but it consumes time. A lot of it.
What happens with GTA V is that, when you own many different businesses, you will have to pay regular fees to keep them running. To a point where it will eventually become too expensive to keep them running without supplies. This is only an issue if you’re running around trolling other players or role-playing with your friends or if you just want to have fun without having to worry about sustaining your businesses.
With the incoming moonshiner trader role update, which adds a speakeasy with a band, I’m prrrreety sure these recurring fees will be applied.
These fees act as an economy-balancing mechanism or money-sink. Even if the economic system is just an illusion and individually-set, they keep adding new content to the game and they charge prices according to the global value of money. You will notice that the average price for new cars in GTAhas been increasing proportionally to the global amount of money available to purchase them.
To slightly counter the effects of having too much money in-game, they charge the wealthiest players, who actually own several money-making establishments, with these unavoidable regular fees.
Riding into the sunset…
Don’t get me wrong. Their system works really well. It makes players focus on the fun aspects of the game instead of turning this into a spreadsheet simulator like EVE Online. However, there’s a layer of economic strategy that is missing as well.
As I said before, I feel like It’s a shame for what it isn’t – an immersive, real player-driven economy, where your money is made and lost by the effects of other players around you and where your actions affect others. However, it is really good for what it is – a simple game that entices players to keep playing it for arcadey fun.
There’s room for modding – if only Rockstar would allow us to do so…
I’ll be honest, I was a bit disappointed when I realized that I had gotten the wrong impression before buying the game. I thought that being able to open up shops was already a feature present in the game. It wasn’t. My bad.
Moonshining in Red Dead Redemption 2 makes things more interesting and I’m really looking forward to it. I can’t wait for December 13th and all the missions and assets that the new update brings. These updates are free content that we all get to enjoy piece by piece.
Do you think the economy could be improved in RDR 2? Variety of content to spend your money on seems to be a common request. What are your thoughts on this?
I’m an original backer since when it first was announced way back in 2012.
I wanted to distance myself from the game before posting on my blog since Star Citizen is (still) in development. Thoughts about the game’s development tend to be polarized and I did not want my fan enthusiasm to compromise my perception of the game.
Star Citizen is hard to define, but let’s start by saying that it is one gigantic sandbox for many different types of emergent gameplay. Composed of two parts, it will feature a single-player campaign (Squadron 42) and an online Persistent Universe (MMOG-like).
They create the universe, you make the rules.
As with most 4X space games, FREEDOM is the keyword for the universe. Star Citizen allows you to become a space farmer, a miner, a bounty hunter, an explorer, a smuggler, a racer, a law enforcer and anything in-between.
The Star Citizen team is looking to develop a sandbox universe that provides a fertile ground for emergent gameplay. They are creating the tools for you to become whatever you want to be. As an example, for a while, I had fancy a ship called Constellation Phoenix, which I planned to rent out to factions interested in using it for important meetings. During their stay, I would provide them with drinks, entertainment, and security.
I eventually traded the Connie for the Endeavour – a sprawling modular ship that will allow me to cultivate plants and make drugs on the same ship (legal …or otherwise) – it even stars a hangar to allow willing traders to dock with my ship!
The game will feature unprecedented sci-fi realism and a ton of complex missions and mini-games that will require learning and skill to master.
Nothing is dull or simple in Star Citizen.
As an example, mining requires foreplanning and skill – unlike most space games, you actually have to learn how to mine and be very careful when doing it in order to avoid damage to your ship or even loss of life. Selling your minerals won’t be linear either. Prices fluctuate according to supply and demand in different parts of the Universe, influenced by real-time player and NPC interaction. This was also analyzed in my other post that discusses economics.
This sandbox gameplay leads to many venues of gameplay exploration. This freedom to do whatever you want is the core focus of Star Citizen.
I also expect this game to become a major social hub for me and my friends.
COMPLAINT #1 – The game has no objective.
Objective – Achieve fun (0/100)
There’s no denying it. It’s true. Is that REALLY a problem though?
If you really think you need guidance, then why not set YOUR OWN goals? Why not set a personal goal to explore every single system? …or instead to amass wealth and spend it all on a luxury liner like the 890 Jump?
The ghost cruise ship of enjoyment
A long time ago, I used to play a game that had very much the same essence of Star Citizen – Freelancer, a game by the same head developer (Chris Roberts) that I mentioned in my previous post. When playing Freelancer online, you would find yourself cruising the star lanes for long periods of time on your way to make a trade. One day I was crossing a remote part of the game’s universe when I spotted a massive player ship that was constantly communicating in system chat. Oblivious to my presence, this was his message to his own imaginary crew of tourists:
“Ladies and gentlemen, we have now arrived at the Tau-31 system. To our left, you will be able to spot the beautiful semi-desertic landscape of Planet Harris, one of the first terraforming efforts by Planetform, Inc. Please return to your seats. We will dock at the Holman Outpost in 5 minutes.”
To think that this player was investing his time roleplaying as a tourist cruise ship really blew my mind. That route was probably not even profitable – but he didn’t care – because having fun was his objective. And whatever he was doing was fun for him.
Oh, by the way, there’s no “endgame” in Star Citizen either. Sandbox.
If you can’t understand the concept of setting your own goals, then please stop reading now. This is NOT the game for you – Abandon ship!
COMPLAINT #2 – The game is pay-to-win.
As I discussed in one of my previous Youtube videos, the concept of Pay-to-Win is that you get an edge in a competitive environment by injecting real money into the game. Whoever pays the most has the most chances of “winning“.
Although it is true that you are able, through various means, to buy in-game credits or ships with real money, the real question is WHY would you do it when the game has no end-goal…
Star Citizen is not about genital length comparisons. There’s no point in spending money in this game except for two very honorable reasons:
To support the game development process if you believe in it
To unlock new gameplay layers without having to grind to get there
However, if grinding is made fun (which seems like it will be with so many different things to do), you will actually be LOSING content by skipping gameplay aspects that you would otherwise have to explore and experience to achieve your final objective.
That sense of progression
This is exactly the reason why I’ve considered giving away all my ships – so I could start with the smallest, cheapest one ever and see my own game story grow from there.
If you believe SC is still pay-to-win then embrace it this way – or Abandon ship!
Instead, think of the guy cruising his tourists for fun. -Does it really matter how he bought his ship? -How does his enjoyment affect you? -What are his goals?
Sure, there are ships that cost over 400$ and there are ship packages which include a ton of ships (which are actually at a bargain price when you consider each ship’s individual price). But those ships and packages are NOT intended for just one person or a newcomer. They require several people to play.
Think of the Banu Merchantman which has a crew capacity for 8 people and costs 430$. Divide 430$ by 8 people and you get the price of the cheapest game package. Go gather your friends and buy one!
These massive ships are NOT intended for solo play.
People who buy large ships now are simply trying to support the game’s development.
Also: every ship will be available to purchase with in-game money. GTA V does this well. It gives people a reason to try to make in-game money. Something to strive for. An objective.
COMPLAINT #4 – The game will never be finished
Star Citizenhas been in development for 8 years now. The same amount of time as the sci-fi single-player game Cyberpunk 2077 by CD Projekt Red studios – which is expected to be delivered in 2020.
However, unlike Cyberpunk, Star Citizen is nowhere near completion. At the same time, and unlike Cyberpunk, it shares its progress with the community regularly, instead of working behind the scenes and ultimately presenting a finished game. The complexity of developing each game is also radically different.
Some claim that the game will never be finished because of the feature-creep-Cthulhu. Others say their plan is actually to never even deliver a finished game. Even more skeptic ones say that Chris Roberts has run away with the crowdfunded money to a tropical island in the Pacific.
If you’re one of the investors (a.k.a. players) who feels frustrated by the way that they seem to keep adding new features and delaying the final delivery – then consider accepting it as a requirement or, instead, by blaming it on the idealistic dreams of the community.
A couple of years into development Chris Roberts suggested he could deliver a simplified game in two or three years. One day a poll showed up on the Star Citizen website. The developer wanted to figure out whether the community would prefer to see a simplified version of Star Citizen within their initially planned timeframe or instead to deliver a more in-depth experience, one which would require a longer development stage.
As I somewhat expected, the community overwhelmingly (I believe almost 70%) asked for the later without knowing exactly what the real timeframe would be.
This meant that Chris Roberts could freely deliver his dream game. One he had been preparing for most of his career as a film director and game developer (Wing Commander, Privateer, Freelancer). Now he had big plans for Star Citizen and hiring the feature expansionist Tony Zuroveck (Ultima series) would only reinforce his interest in developing very in-depth and detailed game mechanics.
Innovation and delay
Even though many of these features or minigames are a gameplay delight, they take time to develop. A very long time for some. They also exponentially increase the number of bugs to tackle and problems to solve.
One of these features is the planetary tech they’ve developed. To render such massive planets and avoid loading screens sure was impressive – but it was also one of the reasons why the so-difficult 64-bit precision had to be accomplished in the engine.
Ships, in order to support the newly added features or concepts also have to be redesigned from scratch, like the Cutlass Red which serves as an ambulance and integrates with the health system, or the Carrack for the exploratory aspects of the game.
As a result, yes, feature creep is real and a real concern. It does divide the community between those who just want to play the game as is but in a more polished state and those who instead want the game to become better, with more content, features, and professions to explore.
Star Citizen will never be released!
We should consider that the initial team for Star Citizen was rather small (50 employees) and the company had to slowly grow. Now they employ approximately 500 people in 5 studios across the world. This meant that more people had to be introduced, and teams still had to learn to work together on core aspects of the game, which ultimately lead to a slow start.
To support the growing number of employees, the initial record sales of the game wouldn’t suffice.
Looking at their latest financial report, one would quickly realize that what’s keeping this game in active development aren’t the initial sales anymore, but rather the on-going ship purchases, upgrades and merchandising. These sales sustain the whole team throughout the year.
Some people claim that they’re only making ships and concepts for ships to make money.
Well… this is… true. They need to do so, in order to keep the project alive and proceed with development.
The reality is that the players are frequently buying paper ideas that aren’t yet realized in-game and are likely to change. Understandably, spending a lot of money on something that doesn’t yet exist seems difficult to accept for many outsiders.
Tic Tac Tic Tac
Adding to all this, as time goes by, age takes a toll on the game’s engine and assets, which has to be updated from time to time. Physics-Based Rendering (PBR) wasn’t a common feature in games back in 2012, but as time passes and technology evolves, it had to be introduced to avoid the pitfall of ending up with an already outdated game on release. This meant refactoring all ships once again.
The same happened when the components feature was introduced. Ship components are parts of the ship that can be handled, fixed or replaced. The ships weren’t prepared for that and had to be refactored one more time.
Due to the live development approach, CIG prefers to deliver functional updates to allow the players to access other features or content. These features are developed iteratively, being later on optimized, improved or further developed to add new innovations. The fact that they keep revamping the same features over and over is not a pre-planning issue but instead a requirement of the live development process.
I don’t think Chris Roberts is on an island in the Pacific.
This is his dream work. His unique chance to build his masterpiece.
His previous games have revolved around this theme and now he’s finally got a chance to make his vision truly come to fruition on his terms without any form of corporate pressure. Why waste the opportunity?
The fact that the game development costs are just as high as their regular revenue is a concern as there’s a point when players stop investing in new ships and merchandise. They will constantly need to reach out to new players in order to keep development going. This could also be seen asfinancially and strategically sound to work as fast as they can with the assets they have access to.
Apparently, last month was one of the most profitable ones for Star Citizen with many new citizens joining the ranks.
I’m convinced by my peer’s attitudes towards this game that there is a significant amount of people who are actually interested in the game but still patiently waiting for it to release before buying it. Maybe still afraid of it being vaporware. If true, this should act as a life-saving device as they can “release” the game whenever they want and get a large influx of fresh new money to sustain development for a few more months or years. The truth is that the game is more than playable right now, even if it still lacks content.
Star Citizen is said to be being developed to achieve a 10-year longevity goal. This is the main reason why they wish to build a solid core game engine that allows for improvements and extra content over time.
Game development tends to become faster and faster as more of the foundational game mechanics are set in place. We should see a LOT more content coming in 2020.
What are your thoughts on Star Citizen and this article? Do you share my view? What are your concerns?
Leave me a comment below, or check one of my other posts! If you liked this one, you might also like THIS one.
You should also check out my Star Citizen Ship Comparison Tool which is currently on standby waiting for some support from the community. Leave me a comment if you would like to see it shine again!
As you might remember from my previous post I’ve been playing Red Dead Redemption 2 recently. Unfortunately, sometimes, as with Grand Theft Auto 5 and The Division 2, I would experience CPU and graphics card usage peaks that caused the game to pause for a few seconds or even disconnect from the online game when the peak was too long. Sometimes I would get stuck in a loading screen for ages until finally, the game’s online status timed out.
The game “loses” connection to the server, not because of an Internet connection problem, but instead due to an extended delay in a response to the server. This is caused by the local CPU/GPU.
ALERT: You have been disconnected from Red Dead Online due to a fault on Rockstar game services (Error: 0x20010006)
This was particularly common when Red Dead Redemption 2got released, but I thought I had fixed it until yesterday (14th November 2019) when the new patch was delivered. Apparently, this affects some CPUs and NVidia graphics cards.
I’ll go over the official and the non-official fixes. I’m currently using both.
How to fix stuttering, disconnects, and performance with Launch Arguments
Before following through this post for more in-depth fixes, check out a tool I developed to help you set up Red Dead Redemption 2 launch arguments. One of the sections on that tool is specific to performance. It also helps with graphics, bugs, stuttering, etc.
Before changing anything, make sure you update your graphics card drivers! I’m pretty sure this is a CPU+graphics card issue and it definitely might help to make sure you’ve got the latest graphics driver – especially for NVidia graphics cards.
The Official Patch
This new official patch actually introduces a CPU load balancing feature – but it has to be enabled manually in the Rockstar Games Launcher. To do this, you should go to your Rockstar Games Launcher and click Settings on the top right corner. Then at the lower-left corner select Red Dead Redemption 2, which will display your options for the game. Scrolling down to the bottom you’ll find a Launch Arguments section, where you should input the newly added argument (on the 14th November 2019 patch):
Another Official Update – 14 Nov 2019
On the same day, Rockstar dropped an article on how to fix an issue related to certain NVidia graphics cards. Check it out:
Players with NVIDIA graphics cards and 4-core or 6-core CPUs should install the GeForce Hotfix Driver Version 441.34 from NVIDIA and remove any launch arguments to resolve this issue. – ROCKSTAR
This alternative hotfix is available right here by installing the latest GeForce Hotfix Driver Version 441.34. Apparently, if CPU isn’t your problem, then the graphics card might be the culprit! Let me know if this solution fixes it for you!
The non-official way to improve system stability
Let’s start by reducing your current CPU load.
By doing so, we’ll be giving more room for the game to function properly without resorting to RAM buildup or disk caching which both may cause bottlenecks and thus stutters, disconnects, and crashes.
CPU, RAM, DISK, how does that even work… and why is that a problem?!
As you know, a processor makes mathematical calculations, but it takes some time to deliver them. Let’s say you arethe CPU and I’m giving you a paper which says 3+5=?. Easy. Right?
Now I’m giving you a sheet of fifty pieces of paper, each one with a different calculation to perform. Aaaand now I’m giving you one hundred more calculations.
You can’t really hold them all in your hands and you need more time to deliver those results before I give you more calculations to perform!
…This sounds a lot like my old boss.
So you put those sheets of paper on your desk while you make your calculations. That’s yourRAM. Once your desk is filled up and there’s nowhere else to put more paper on it you start using your desk’s drawers, which takes a bit longer because now you need to open them up before placing the paper in there. That’s yourDISK.
This has led me to try and find ways to circumvent this issue and get the best performance out of my rig. So let’s get right to it.
Steps to reduce CPU usage
Let’s start by freeing up your CPU from unnecessary calculations and clearing up your RAM usage by turning off stuff that isn’t required to run the game.
Start by closing EVERY browser window, WhatsApp, Spotify, opened Windows folders, etc. also check your tray icons next to your system clock for useless software that might be running in the background. Disable any on-going anti-virus full system scans (no need to turn real-time protection off).
Google Chrome is a heavy CPU load hog – make sure you save this page to your bookmarks and close it now! I mean, later, when you’ve read through this post!
Check your system load by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ESC to bring up your Windows Task Manager and click on the CPU tab to check which processes are consuming the most out of your processor and make try to turn them off if you can.
Note: to the right you’ll also see a tab for GPU usage. If you notice that your GPU usage is above 70% then you definitely should consider upgrading your graphics card. Check your graphics card at GPUCheck and see how it performs compared to more recent card models. If instead you wish to see how your CPU compares, check out PassMark.
An alternative to improve CPU usage and reduce stalling
It helps to maintain system stability by adjusting CPU process priorities. This means that it will do its best to make sure that your system keeps running smoothly by prioritizing processes that are critical to System stability. RDR2 likes to peak CPU usage from time to time – to a point where it will make the whole system unresponsive, which leads to a crash to desktop or a BSOD (it did happen to me before using Process Lasso!).
You may also use it to safely free up RAM automagically.
I have to say that I noticed a significant improvement in system stability since I started using Process Lasso.
They have very nice documentation that explains how to use it in detail. Make sure to check them out beforehand!
Sure, maybe your old machine needs an upgrade – but the truth is that even with new PC builds, you’re prone to encounter issues like these again, as the CPU usage spikes are abnormal and caused by bad programming and rushed software development.
Before spending any more money, follow my tips and see if they solve your problem!
Let me know if they help you play this awesome game!
I just recently decided to hop into Westworld… I mean, Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC knowing that this would be a game I would enjoy. I’m currently writing a review for it (If only I could stop playing it to write my review…).
Unfortunately, just like its older brother, Grand Theft Auto 5, it doesn’t natively support my NVidia Surround ultra-wide screen resolution for my triple-screen setup.
This fix may not be required for everyone, but for some reason, the resolution simply didn’t show up on the game’s graphical settings. It only went up to 1920×1080.
Just to be clear, I’ve got 3 monitors and I’m also a streamer on Twitch with a streaming computer that uses one of my screens when I stream, which automatically changes my screen resolution to 3840×1080 – I’m using DisplayFusion to achieve this behavior. Plus HDMI routers, DVI adapters, screen recorders… Not even my computer understands what’s going on with my screen resolutions.
How to fix ultra-wide surround screen resolutions the easy way with Launch Arguments
Before following through this post for more in-depth fixes, check out a tool I developed to help you set up Red Dead Redemption 2 launch arguments. One of the sections on that tool is specific to screen resolutions. It also helps with performance, bugs, stuttering, etc.
Apparently, the game engine has progressed quite significantly since GTA V. Back then, I managed to find a work-around for GTA V, but RDR2 seems to accept 5760×1080, much more easily.
To make 5760×1080 work, I had to go through My Documents folder and find the Rockstar Games folder. Within it, the Red Dead Redemption Folder and then the Settings folder. In it, you should find a file called system.xml
In my computer this is located at: C:/Users/[windows username]/Rockstar Games/Red Dead Redemption 2/Settings/system.xml
Here, you should set the screenWidth and screenHeight to your desired screen resolution. After this step, you should save and close the file and then right-click on it and go to File Properties and set it to Read-Only. This prevents the game from making any changes to it. Keep in mind that setting this to Read-Only will keep you from saving adjusted game settings from within the game. This means that if you make any changes in-game, the settings will be reset every time you launch the game.
Also note that, for even more exotic users, if you’re using several screens but only wish to use one set of them, then you should change the outputIndex and/or the adapterIndex value. This may only be required if you’re using more than 3 screens, or when you’re having trouble with stretching or positioning on 2 screens.
Alternatively, if this change fails to set your resolution correctly, try following my GTA V video which uses windowed mode and a piece of software called ResizeEnable.
An updated method to get 5760×1080 in RDR2!
As of the last update, it seems like some of these tricks aren’t working for some users. Instead, try using the command line.
Go to your Rockstar Games Launcher -> Settings -> Red Dead Redemption 2 (on the left sidebar) -> search for the launch arguments text field Then type the following:
-width 5760 -height 1080 -borderless
You may also replace borderless with “-windowed“. Alternatively, try using
…and then try to stretch the frame of the window to your screen resolution (can’t do this in borderless mode)
The reason why you’re not usually able to go full resolution is that when not in surround mode, the game knows you have 3 screens but thinks that you only play in one of them so it sets itself to 1920×1080.
Now bask in the glorious landscapes that this game has to offer. They look absurdly beautiful at a 5760×1080 resolution.
Next step: VR.
If this guide helped you, send me your best Ultra Wide Wide West Screen Shots! Too many puns. Bang!