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Red Dead Online guide: Treasure Maps, Chests and locations

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Vibration is the key to finding the Lock Box

Red Dead Online treasure map chest location Rockstar Games via Polygon

You’ll get a Treasure Map in Red Dead Online every so often, but pinpointing the exact location of a Treasure Chest in Red Dead Redemption 2 Online isn’t so easy.

For reasons we’ll explain in this guide, we can’t tell you the exact location of a Lock Box, but we can tell you how the system works and how to find your loot way faster than aimless searching.

How Treasure Maps work in Red Dead Online

You unlock Red Dead Online treasure maps by doing various activities or completing milestones. Select the map from your Satchel, and you’ll receive the following message:

You have opened a Treasure Map. Search the area for the treasure to claim your reward.

Open your world map, and you’ll see the broad geographical location of the Treasure Chest.

You’ll get your first Treasure Map during the introductory series of missions. Later, when you reach Rank 10, you’ll receive the Bard’s Crossing Treasure Map (pictured below).

Red Dead Online Bard’s Crossing treasure chest map
Red Dead Online’s Bard’s Crossing Treasure Map is somewhere inside the yellow area on the map
Rockstar Games via Polygon

There are two important things to know, based on our testing:

  1. Treasure Chests are associated with a broad geographical location. For example, the Bard’s Crossing Treasure Map you’ll get after reaching Rank 10 will be in New Hanover, just west of Flatneck Station. (You can see that in the map above.)
  2. Treasure chests can spawn in different locations within their broad geographical areas. In one of our games, we found the Rank 10 Loot Box/Treasure Chest on the edge of a cliff overlooking the nearby Dakota River. In another, we found the same item hundreds of yards away on the banks of the Flat Iron Lake. (You can see both in the gallery below.)

So: The yellow clouds that appear on your map will show you where to look for the treasure chest. Finding it within the yellow cloud is up to you.

How to find Treasure Chests/Lock Boxes in Red Dead Online

And that brings us back to the original question: How do you find treasure in Red Dead Online? The answer is not, as you might expect, methodically riding or running around the blob on your map, hitting the analog sticks for Eagle Eye.

Instead, just run (or ride) around the area waiting for your controller to vibrate. You’re waiting to feel the same kind of thump that you’d feel if you walked over an herb or a carrot. That’s Red Dead Online’s way of telling you that you’re close to the treasure.

When you feel your controller vibrate, pick a direction and start walking. If you’re headed the right way, the vibrations will increase in frequency, almost like your controller has a heart beat. If you’re headed in the wrong direction, the vibrations will become faint and eventually disappear altogether.

When you’re 20 yards or so away from a Lock Box/Treasure Chest, you’ll be able to use Eagle Eye (click both analog sticks) and see the Treasure Chest glowing orange with a trail of yellow particles wafting from it. (It’s more or less the same thing you’d see if you were hunting a Red Dead Redemption 2 Legendary Animal.)

That’s it. Get a Treasure Map. Open it. Go to the place marked on your map. Explore the area, waiting for your controller to vibrate. Walk around until your controller starts vibrating like it has a pulse. Use Eagle Eye to pinpoint the exact location of the Treasure Chest.