Red Dead Redemption 2 is finally here, and boy does it live up to expectations.
Allowing you to explore a massive open world that truly feels alive, Red Dead Redemption 2 really is epic. But before you embark on the game’s 60 hour story, take some time to read our tips. There are no spoilers, so you don’t have to worry about having the game’s story ruined for you, but they might just make your time with the game that bit more enjoyable and productive.
1Look after your horse
Your horse is likely to be your best friend in Red Dead Redemption 2, so treat it well.
Bond with your horse regularly to develop a stronger connection to it – not only will your horse begin to have more health and stamina, you’ll be rewarded with new manoeuvres to show off with too. Always travel with some food for your horse in case its health gets low, and also maybe invest in some horse reviver from a general store. When your horse dies that’s it, it’s gone forever, and you’ll have to start from scratch with a new one.
2Pay off your bounties
You may be an outlaw, but you can make life a little easier for yourself by paying off any bounties before things spiral out of control.
Any bounties placed on you can be paid off by visiting a mail office, marked by a letter symbol on your map. Being bounty free means there’s less chance of bounty hunters and the law being a pain in your backside as you explore. It also allows you to quickly travel from one town to another via stagecoaches, though it will cost you.
3Maintain your guns
Your guns are going to get you out of a lot of dangerous predicaments in Red Dead Redemption 2, so make sure you look after them.
Over time they get dirty and worn, so maintain them every once in a while to make sure they’re performing as they should. It might just mean the difference between taking a bullet yourself and putting down your enemies. Also, it pays to consistently use the same weapons, as you’ll get used to how they handle.
4Unlock fast travel
While it’s better to travel everywhere in Red Dead Redemption 2 by horse, being able to travel to any town from the camp is very handy.
To unlock fast travel in Red Dead Redemption 2 you need to upgrade the lodgings at your camp. Once done, you’ll find a map on Arthur’s caravan that allows you to instantly travel to a range of destinations you’ve previously visited. It’s a one way thing though, so you’ll have to travel back to camp by horse.
5Make some money legally
If you want to earn some money legally and maintain your squeaky clean image after paying off your bounties, why not do some bounty hunting yourself?
There are a number of despicable criminals just waiting to be caught, and if you bring them in you can earn yourself a decent bit of cash. Just look for wanted posters in any towns that you visit – they’re usually in the sheriff’s office.
6Loot when possible
Robbing banks, trains and carriages is a good source of income and all, but there’s plenty of money and valuable items to be had from taking time out after a firefight to loot corpses.
Pocket watches, rings and buckles can be sold at fences for a decent amount of money, and most of your victims will be carrying cash too – some of them quite a bit of it. If done during a story mission, don’t be surprised if some of your fellow gang members get impatient about waiting for you though.
7Maintain your cores
You have three meters to worry about in Red Dead Redemption 2: health, stamina and dead eye.
Whenever one of those meters gets depleted, they are gradually refilled by reserves stored in their respective cores. To give yourself a better chance at survival then, maintaining your cores is crucial. Eating and drinking is one way refill cores, and they can also be replenished by having a good nap. If you run out of food and drink supplies you can obtain some from your camp. Alternatively, you can do some hunting to get some meat, or head on over to a butcher or general store to buy some food for your travels.
8Get your guns off your horse
When travelling, your character will usually stow their weapons on their horse. So, when you get off your horse, make sure you retrieve any weapons that you need.
You’ll always have your pistols on you so you’ll never be truly defenceless, but getting into a firefight only to realise you’re not carrying a rifle can be disastrous, and hunting without a bow just isn’t practical. So, make a habit of checking your weapon inventory before running away from your horse – it may just save your life, or at least some frustration.
9Always leave camp prepared
Your camp is essentially your base of operations, and it’s wise to get yourself prepared there before heading out on missions or to explore.
For a start, you can find food, potions and ammunition that you can take for free – just look for the appropriate icons for their location. Arthur can also sleep at the camp, refilling all of his cores, and there’s often coffee and stew available.
If you find the camp running low on supplies because you’ve taken them all, pay a visit to the ledger near Dutch’s tent. You can replenish the supplies there – for a price.
10Wear the right clothing
The clothes you wear in Red Dead Redemption 2 aren’t just for show.
If you’re heading to a cold part of the map, like the snowy mountains, get yourself dressed in something warm. And if you’re heading into a hot desert, put on something a bit cooler. Failure to do so may result in you suffering a penalty to your health and stamina. Also, changing your clothes is a good move after you’ve pulled off a job that has resulted in the law being after you. They might not recognise you if you’ve trimmed your facial hair and changed your outfit.
While Red Dead Redemption 2 has a solid autosave system, it pays to make a manual save from time to time.
Sometimes a brief encounter can result in a situation that gets out of hand, and before you know it you’re dead, your horse is dead, and you’re respawned with some of your cash taken away from you. But if you have a manual save you can turn back time prevent the catastrophe happening.
Live life as it happens or have the comfort of being able to undo unforeseen events: it’s up to you.
12Use you bow to hunt
Guns are great for killing things, but not very cleanly.
If you’re wanting to make some money selling pelts or use them to craft new equipment, you’re going to want them to be perfect. For that, you better make sure you use your bow when hunting. Silent but deadly, your bow might not look like much, but it’s effective enough to kill most animals with headshot. So remember, when getting off your horse to hunt, equip the bow.
13Tweak the game to your liking
There are a hell of a lot of options in Red dead Redemption 2‘s settings menu.
Is the aiming not responsive enough? Increase the sensitivity. Fed up of having to repeatedly tap a button to sprint? Make it easier for yourself. Before you really start playing Red Dead Redemption 2, make a visit to the game’s settings menu and tinker until everything feels just right for you.