Red Dead Online: Switch To Defensive Playstyle To Avoid Griefers | New Features Guide

A common occurrence in RDO.

Red Dead Online has finally exited Beta, and new features are flooding into the multiplayer portion of the open-world wild west shooter. One of the biggest new features for casual players is the playstyle options — you can now swap to a ‘Defensive’ playstyle to discourage griefers, or anyone really, from shooting at you while you’re playing online.

By default, everyone is ‘Offensive’ playstyle, and you’ll need to change the setting every time you login. It’s very simple if you know what to do, but having taken a pretty long break from the game, it took me an absurd amount of time to figure out how to actually toggle on ‘Defensive’ — if you’re looking for a less hardcore open-world, this might be the best option released so far.

Rockstar, the developers of RDO, have spent a majority of the Beta period releasing more and more features meant to combat PVP in the open-world. Not everyone wants to live with the specter of death, and you can still be killed with ‘Defensive’ mode active, but your chances are far, far better. Learn all about the setting below.

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How Defensive Playstyle Works | Anti-Griefer Guide

‘Playstyles’ are a new option you can toggle from the Player Menu when you’re online in RDO. There are two playstyles — Offensive and Defensive. By default, all players are ‘Offensive’ when you log into the game. You’ll have to manually swap to Defensive every single time.

  • Offensive: Same as always. You can shoot other players, and they can shoot you — players can auto-lock onto each other with firearms, and there is a Hostility boost when killing indiscriminately.
  • Defensive: Swap to defensive and enemy players cannot auto-lock onto you. Killing Defensive Mode players, or killing while in Defensive Mode increases Hostility a large amount. You also won’t take critical damage (headshots) when in Defensive Mode.

While Defensive, you’re also prioritizing non-PVP content in the game. If you matchmake, you’re much more likely to join co-op missions instead of PVP series. You can still be sent to join in PVP series, though. The chances are just lower.


How To Swap To Defensive Playstyle: To become ‘Defensive’, open the Player Menu in RDO. Tap [D-Pad: Left] to bring up the menu, then select ‘Online Settings’. Scroll down to Playstyles and switch from ‘Offensive’ to ‘Defensive’.

After switching playstyles, you’ll need to wait 30 seconds before the effect takes place. During that time, you can still be attacked like normal. If you’re planning on being Defensive, you should swap right as you spawn into the game. You can swap from Offensive / Defensive at any time, but it takes 30 seconds each time to take effect.

How Hostility Works Now

The Hostility System was added months ago, but it’s an important aspect of the Playstyle System. When in ‘Offensive’, you’ll earn less Hostility for killing than in ‘Defensive’. If you’re playing ‘Defensive’, then killing other players, or other players killing you, will gain a huge amount of Hostility.

As your Hostility, increases, so does your notoriety. You can no longer see every player on the map. Players are marked with a blue dot — the most hostile a player becomes, the darker the dot will be, until it turns red. The more hostility you accumulate, the further away players can spot you on the map / mini-map. This allows less PVP-focused players to stay out of hostile players way.

While in ‘Defensive’ Mode, players are free to fight back and kill enemy players that are attacking them. Killing a player while defending yourself, after taking damage from an enemy player, will not incur a hostility increase.

‘Defensive’ players will be removed from ‘Defensive’ playstyle if they kill another player, if they are not defending themselves. You’ll revert back to ‘Offensive’ after a single non-defensive kill. We haven’t tested all the nuances of the system yet, but this might be a great addition for players looking to hunt or fish in peace. We’ll just have to wait and see how this newest system works out.

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