Red Dead Online: How to Sedate Animals

Red Dead Online: How to Sedate Animals

As part of the Naturalist role, you'll be asked to tranquilize animals and take samples you can then sell to Harriet Davenport. We'll show you how to get the items you need and how to use them here.

In order to become a first-class Naturalist in Red Dead Online, you'll need to know how to sedate animals and take samples from them, a multi-stage process that allows you to gain money and Naturalist EXP. We'll take you through it in our guide below, as well as what special items you'll need.

On this page:

How to Sedate Animals in Red Dead Online

To sedate animals in Red Dead Online, you'll need the varmint rifle and the special .22 Sedative ammo for it. The varmint rifle can be bought from any gunsmith once you reach level eight for just $72.00. The sedative ammunition can be bought from Harriet Davenport after opening up the Naturalist role, a process we've outlined here. It's thankfully not too expensive to buy them (40 cents per box of 20 bullets), but there's no other way to get them than finding Harriet herself. She also sells a recipe that allows you to craft them, purchasable once you reach level 5 Naturalist.

How to Use the Varmint Rifle to Sedate Animals

Once you have both the varmint rifle and the right ammo, you can begin to sedate animals. Once you find one you want to take a sample from, go into the weapon wheel with the varmint rifle equipped and switch ammo types to the sedative ammo.

From that point on, you need to begin to shoot animals with sedative ammo. There's several things to remember while doing so:

  1. Most animals will have to be shot more than once to sedate them. The bigger an animal is, the more you'll have to shoot it. A large animal, like a wolf or elk, will probably have to be shot over a dozen times to finally bring it down.
  2. Headshots will sedate an animal more effectively than body shots.
  3. If you shoot an especially small animal, like a sparrow, it'll kill it even if you're using regular sedative ammo.
  4. Once the reticle turns dark red after a shot, you've sufficiently sedated them. They won't fall immediately, but at some point within the next 30 seconds or so.
Slotting a .22 sedative round into your varmint rifle will allow you to knock out animals. | Joel Franey/USG, Rockstar North/Rockstar Games

There's no shortage of Red Dead guides to help you master the Wild West here at USG, whether it's in the single player campaign or online mode. You can find them all here at our Red Dead Guides Hub.

How to Take Samples from Animals

Once an animal is sedated, you can approach it and hold Square or X (depending on whether you're using a PS4 or Xbox controller) to harvest a sample from it. It'll be sent to your inventory, and you'll get a small amount of experience both yourself and the role of Naturalist specifically. You can then return to any of Harriet's locations to sell her samples and gain money, as well as more experience in the process.

Red Dead is something we know about here at USG. If you want to see how the online element suffered from a sudden outbreak of clowns, we've got that here, or check out what made Red Dead Redemption 2 our game of the year.

Joel Franey

Guides Writer

Joel loves books, games, comics and drinks that make a person feel like they just got kicked in the head by a mule. He has a Masters in writing from Sussex, which he somehow got by writing about Superman. He is absolutely NOT three children in a long coat, so please stop asking.

In other news

No More Heroes 1 and 2 Are Out Now for Nintendo Switch

Travis Touchdown is really making himself at home on Nintendo's latest device.

Sony Delays PS5 Launch Title Destruction AllStars to February

On top of the delay, it'll also be launching as a free title through PlayStation Plus.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night Is Heading to iOS and Android

Hopefully it'll run better at launch than the Switch version did.

Luigi is Real in Super Mario Bros. 35

Play as Luigi in Super Mario Bros. 35. (Or wear his skin, whatever.)

You may also like

PlayStation Overhauls Its Phone App Ahead of PS5 Launch

The PlayStation App is getting a new look and some new features.

AMD's New 6000 Series Graphics Cards Are Putting Pressure on Nvidia

It looked like Nvidia was pulling far ahead with GPUs. Now, it might be neck-and-neck.

Apex Legends Season 7 Features a Floating City and the Battle Royale's First Vehicle

A new map and a new way to get around are coming to the Apex Games.

Halo Infinite's Creative Director Has Left the Project

Chris Lee is the second director to leave Halo Infinite's development over the last two years.