Following Red Dead Redemption 2's release in October, things haven't slowed down for Rockstar Games, who has continued to refine and improve Red Dead Online. Still considered to be in beta, the online mode has seen various updates and changes since its launch in November such as tweaking the in-game economy and scarcity of gold bars. In the meantime, players have been discovering all sorts of details including what it takes to fully bond with their horse, which one Reddit user has done and posted the results online for others.
The original post on the Red Dead Redemption 2 subreddit shows an image from user Captain_Jalapeno detailing his path that ultimately leveled the bonding progression with his Red Chestnut Arabian horse from level 1 to the maximum of 4. According to the map, he appears to have started from the stables in Valentine, traveled south to Flatneck Station, continued west to Riggs Station, then turned north towards Wallace Station, and finished only a short distance beyond to reach maximum level. The more impressive feat is that this was all done through walking and leading the horse, not riding.
The original poster also reveals that this route ultimately takes a full 24 hours of in-game time, which roughly translates to an hour of real time. Another tip for those attempting to replicate this journey would be to bring plenty of weapons, as Captain_Jalapeno ran into some aggressive wildlife such as wolves, even when sticking to main roads.
Other discussions quickly broke out in the post regarding the type of horse used. As Captain_Jalapeno revealed, the horse used for this experiment was the Red Chestnut Arabian, a horse that was available for early access PS4 players and a breed a level above most other types. As others pointed out, the better quality the horse, the longer the bonding process takes, which means the entire bonding process may be slightly different for others. Factors that need to be accounted for are the horse breed and the dynamic day-to-night cycle, which others confirmed slightly changes in-game based on if the player is moving or not.
As players have discovered since the online portion of Red Dead Redemption 2 launched, there's a lot to discover in this mode. Thankfully, a lot of the research has already been undertaken by the community including how much money it costs to buy everything through microtransactions. While Rockstar slightly improved the drop rate of gold bars in the online portion, it's still going to take players a very long time to unlock everything through the free to play method instead of dropping the nearly $600 it'll take otherwise.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is available now for PS4 and Xbox One.