‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ online mode gallops into open beta in November

We’ve known that Red Dead Redemption 2 would boast an ambitious online mode for quite some time, but Rockstar has been mum on official details until now. Expanding on the multiplayer mode from the original game, Red Dead Redemption 2‘s online mode, titled Red Dead Online, will feature a combination of competitive and cooperative objectives in a persistent open-world experience.

As expected, Red Dead Online, from the initial details, sounds an awful lot like Grand Theft Auto Online. That’s a good thing. Red Dead Online will receive “constant updates and adjustments to grow and evolve this experience for all players.”

You won’t be able to hop online when Red Dead Redemption 2 launches October 26, though. Red Dead Online will enter public beta sometime in November and will be free for those who own the base game.

In an interview with IGN, Imran Sarwar, Rockstar North director of design, offered a few more details about the mode. Sarwar said players can feel free to enjoy the online component solo but that you can also “easily join with friends or other players to compete or work together.”

There appears to be an increased emphasis on providing rich story experiences in the online mode this time around. While the original game had engaging online modes, it felt mostly detached from the characters and stories that existed throughout the main campaign. Josh Needleman, Rockstar senior producer, told IGN the team took cues from Grand Theft Auto Online when building Red Dead Online in terms of story.

As for why Red Dead Online won’t be available at launch, Rockstar told IGN that the team views the main game and the online component as two different games. Red Dead Redemption 2‘s solo adventure will provide a huge open-world experience, and it sounds as if Rockstar doesn’t want the online mode to distract from the main game at launch.

The public beta will allow users to submit feedback to see what’s working and what’s not, and give the developers time to work out kinks for the full release.

Red Dead Redemption 2 lands on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on October 26.

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