An image of Red Dead Online.

How to Avoid Griefers in Red Dead Online

Has your game experience been ruined by griefers in Red Dead Online?

With the release of Red Dead Online, the fan favorite wild west setting has been introduced to multiplayer servers. While that generally enhances gaming experience by letting you compete and cooperate with other players, there are occasional griefers who do the opposite.

Griefers are players who try their best to mess with other players, even at the expense of their own success. This is particularly annoying for players who are focused on grinding and improving in the different career paths instead of simply getting into shootouts. Luckily, Red Dead Online has also introduced Defensive Mode to help with this dilemma.

If you want an easier experience, check out our detailed guide on how to avoid griefers in Red Dead Online.

Red Dead Online

An image of Red Dead Online.

After the success of Red Dead Redemption 2, Rockstar Games released its online component and eventually standalone multiplayer version, Red Dead Online. This game introduces a whole new protagonist, storyline, and career paths while retaining many of your favorite characters and features from the original game.

Released in 2019, this action-adventure multiplayer open world game was originally introduced for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Rockstar later released Microsoft Windows and Stadia versions as well. In Red Dead Online, you will play as a new silent protagonist whose appearance you can customize. The backstory is that you have been framed for murder and is eventually broken out of prison by a group of criminals.

You can play individually or in cooperation with a group of other players. Just like Red Dead Redemption 2, you can also set up camps in the wilderness where you can change clothes, cook food, and craft tonics and other materials. Unlike the original game, you have to purchase horses in Red Dead Online.

Red Dead Online has regular updates that introduce brand new features to enhance your experience. Two of the most popular updates in recent years were the Frontier Pursuits and Blood Money updates. These came with new career paths such as being a full time criminal, Bounty Hunter, Naturalist, Trader, Collector, and Moonshiner.

How to Avoid Griefers in Red Dead Online

Griefers are some of the most annoying people you will encounter in your travels in the Wild West. These players do nothing apart from trying to ruin other users’ experience by griefing their activities. Some may try to rob you while you are transporting valuable items, try to kill you for no reason, or even involve you in shootouts that you are not a part of.

Here are several ways you can avoid griefers in Red Dead Online.

Play in Defensive Mode

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The introduction of Defensive Mode is Rockstar Games and Red Dead Online’s way of acknowledging the existence of griefers in their game. Defensive Mode allows you to survive longer but also find it harder to kill or maim others. This is perfect for players that only wish to grind on the many nonviolent aspects of the game, such as jobs and hunting.

Once you turn on Defensive Mode, other players will not be able to lock onto you, use auto-aim against you, or deal a lot of damage through headshots. At the same time, you also cannot do any of these things against other players. This means gunfights are just not worth anyone’s time, which is meant to discourage griefers from attacking random players that have this mode turned on.

To turn on this mode, open your Online Options menu. From there, you should see the Playing Style option. Toggle this from Offensive to Defensive Mode. After that, wait for about 30 seconds and you should now be playing in Defensive Mode.

The slight delay prevents you from abusing this feature. Without it, players can simply ambush other players and then immediately turn on Defensive Mode for themselves to avoid the inevitable retaliation.

Activities That Remove Defensive Mode

An image of Trader delivery in Red Dead Online.

Defensive Mode strongly reduces the amount of violence in your game experience. As a result, you cannot have it on in certain activities that require the latter. If you engage in any of these activities, the game automatically turns you back from Defensive to Offensive Mode.

Rockstar disables Defensive Mode for Trader deliveries. This is because ambushes and subsequent gunfights are a key aspect of the Trader specialist role. Another violent activity that disables this mode are Legendary Bounties. Legendary Bounties require you to track, capture, or kill some infamous criminals. Defensive Mode will make it easier to do these otherwise challenging yet rewarding tasks.

Story Missions also sometimes require you to get into shootouts. As a result, Red Dead Online opted to remove Defensive Mode for this to make it fair for everyone. Some Stranger Missions and Free Roam Events also disable this toggle option immediately.

you cannot toggle Defensive Mode during Red Dead Online Showdown Series. This is only fair to make sure everyone has a fair shot at killing their opponents.

What You Can Do in Defensive Mode

An image of fishing.

If you would rather play Red Dead Online in constant Defensive Mode, there are also many activities you can enjoy with it. These activities let you keep playing without too much griefer impact.

Hunting, fishing, and following treasure maps do not require you to turn off Defensive Mode. This is a good way to protect yourself from griefers who may want to steal the pelts, carcasses, fish, and valuables that you have. You can also play the Naturalist specialist role with Defensive Mode on. Players can track, hunt, sedate, and kill wild animals with this mode toggled on.

You can do Moonshine deliveries and standard bounty hunter missions from posters in Defensive Mode without a hitch. You can even do Trader resupply missions smoothly with Defensive Mode on.

Basically, you can do a lot of profitable activities in Defensive Mode. You cannot, however, go on violent missions where this can be an unfair advantage.

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