Red Dead Redemption 2‘s online beta, named Red Dead Online, has begun today for select users with the release of a new update. For the time being it’s only available to Ultimate Edition owners, and it will expand to a wide release beta in two phases to take place later this week. The progressive roll-out is meant to help mitigate any issues from a wide public launch. It has already hit some reports of Xbox access and general errors causing the game not to work, however.
As of Tuesday, November 27, only users of the Ultimate Edition have access to the beta. Some Xbox One Ultimate Edition owners have reported issues with their access, and Rockstar Support has stated that it is aware of the problem and investigating. The support account has not mentioned any similar problems on PlayStation 4. [Update: The Xbox One-specific issues involving Online access have now been resolved, according to Rockstar. In our experience, players are still being periodically booted out the game, though.]
Those who are getting into the game are also getting their own share of errors. In our own time with the beta, we’ve seen several errors that have booted us out of the game in progress.
The next phase of the beta will be any early adopters, as defined by those who played the game on launch day, gaining access on November 28. After that anyone who played by October 29 will gain access on November 29. Finally, the beta will go to a full public launch on November 30. The initial Ultimate Edition launch began at 8:30 AM ET / 5:30 AM PST / 1:30 PM GMT / 12:30 AM AEDT, so it’s likely the other days’ expansions will too.
Red Dead Online aims to blend the multiplayer from the original Red Dead Redemption with lessons Rockstar says it has learned since then, likely referring to its years of experience with Grand Theft Auto Online. It touts the “deeply detailed landscapes, cities, towns and habitats of Red Dead Redemption 2 into a new, living online world ready to be shared by multiple players.”
Using Red Dead 2’s vast open world as a the core of the online experience makes sense, given that it was one of the most widely praised aspects of the campaign.
“Red Dead Redemption 2’s version of America is vast and wide open, stretching from snowy mountains and the Great Plains down to the original game’s New Austin in the southwest,” said critic Kallie Plagge in GameSpot’s Red Dead Redemption 2 review. “Further to the east is the Louisiana-inspired Deep South, which is still feeling the effects of the Civil War after nearly 40 years. There’s a distinct shift when traveling from region to region; as grassy hillsides become alligator-filled swamps, Union veterans give way to angry Confederate holdouts, and good intentions and casual racism turn into desperation and outright bigotry.”