Red Dead Online's latest content update is out now, and its biggest addition is a new role: that of the Naturalist. In actuality, it's something of two different paths for players to walk down: you can either put your knowledge of the natural world and animal tracking skills toward science and conservation, or use it to hunt down rare animals for high-value rewards.
The Naturalist update adds two new characters to the world of Red Dead Online, researcher Harriet Davenport and hunter Gus Macmillan. Starting the Naturalist role path will introduce players to both characters, and from there every player will have to start making choices. Cooperating with Davenport will mean tracking animals, sedating them for research, and even defending new Legendary Animals from poachers. Alternatively, players can go out, hunt those same rare species, and bring their quarry back to Macmillan.
It might be possible to do a little of both, in practice, but Rockstar warns that Davenport will take note when players decide to poach animals themselves. Either way, it seems like Naturalist players of either inclination will rely upon a new Animal Field Guide and will be able check out new additions like an Advanced Camera (perfect for nature photography) and the Elephant Rifle (perfect for... well, you can guess).
As with the other roles added to Red Dead Online, you will need to put up a bit of money to get started. The Naturalist role costs 25 gold bars to start, which costs $9.99 as a single microtransaction bundle. Red Dead Online also doles out gold for free upon completion of daily challenges, but it can be slow going to earn that many bars.
Here's hoping that the dedicated Red Dead Online players who recently took to clowning on themselves to protest a drought of new updates find plenty to like in the Naturalist role. If any players are likely to be both swimming in gold bars and able to finesse Davenport and Macmillan, it's those cowpokes.
If you're interested in checking out the Naturalist role for yourself, USgamer Guides Writer Joel Franey already has you covered on where to get started. For more, be sure to check out our complete Red Dead Redemption 2 guides section, which also has info on the other Wild West career paths you can embark upon in Red Dead Online.