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
- How to Use the Varmint Rifle to Sedate Animals
- How to Take Samples from Animals
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:
- 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.
- Headshots will sedate an animal more effectively than body shots.
- If you shoot an especially small animal, like a sparrow, it'll kill it even if you're using regular sedative ammo.
- 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.
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.