Diving into Rockstar’s newest effort is like entering a daunting, dense, and rich world, which at times can understandably feel a little too much to handle. We’ve got you covered with 7 tips and tricks to get you started in Red Dead Redemption 2.
Horses in Red Dead Redemption 2 are just as susceptible to gun fire as protagonist Arthur, meaning they can die. When this happens, there’s no way to raise them back from the dead and find them waiting patiently back at camp. Once a horse is gone, it’s gone. Given that a central pillar of the game is Arthur’s relationship with his steed and the painstaking work put in to develop a bond through patting, feeding, and brushing, to have have a max stat horse fall is more than an inconvenience. With this in mind, care for your horse particularly if you’ve spent hard earned cash on a pricey stallion at a stables. If you’re embarking on a particularly hairy mission where the chances of a gun fight erupting are high, use a secondary horse that doesn’t mean so much to you. My trusted Tabatha has become my sidekick and I’d hate to see her go down in a flurry of gunfire.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is defined by the attention to detail and if immersion is what you’re seeking then perusing Arthur’s journal at regular intervals is a wonderful way to get a glimpse at his take on the unfolding events as well as his endearing doodles of wildlife, people, and towns. In keeping with this, reading documents, looking at photographs, and checking the newspaper also add to lore and world building.
The game doesn’t do a great job of introducing camp upgrades though they are vital to being well equipped as you explore the world. The donation box isn’t simply the place where you cash in to help the camp survive, but also where the ledger is found. By viewing the ledger not only can you gauge your contribution to camp supplies, but also buy upgrades with camp funds. The first tier of ammunition, health, and provision upgrades are cheap and provide a steady supply of all three at a lower cost than the shops in towns. The leather works upgrade is also crucial to crafting better gear over at Pearson’s tent. As for upgrading Dutch’s tent, this will grant higher contribution rates from other gang members, and if you fork out for the second $325 tier, you’ll get access to fast travel back to the camp, saving you loads of time.
Saddle Bag and Weapon Wheel
The whole saddle bag and weapon wheel swapping mechanic can be a little confusing at times. There’s nothing worse than going on a hunting expedition, leaving your horse on the outskirts of a forest and setting off on foot only to find you’ve forgotten your bow. Always check what’s in your weapon wheel before leaving your horse, and if something’s missing transfer it over to the wheel before proceeding. The same applies to gun fights, ensure you’ve got closer quarter and long range weapons depending on the scenario.
Acquiring money by any means necessary is a central theme of Red Dead Redemption 2. In the opening hours of the game, amassing cash is mainly centered on hunting game, which isn’t the most lucrative pursuit. A good option is to take the debtor missions offered by Leopold Strauss as soon as they pop up. He can be found sitting to the back of the camp in Horseshoe Overlook looking out at the sprawling vista of the valley below. The missions involve a bit of enjoyable intimidation and chasing, banking quite a nice profit for both the camp and Arthur. In addition, it unlocks the aforementioned camp upgrade ledger. As the game progresses, money starts flowing in, but to start off this is your best bet.
In general, Red Dead Redemption 2 does well to introduce new skills organically through missions. If you are dumbfounded by a particular mechanic or have heard of a particular feature, but haven’t encountered it in game, don’t fret. Rockstar have cooked up a great running tutorial meshed inconspicuously into the natural flow of the narrative. If you’ve yet to learn something, the chances are you don’t desperately need it yet. In some cases, new skills are still being acquired well into the second half of the story line. Trust the game to reveal its secrets at the opportune time and enjoy the ride.
Match The Flow
For a game about the frantic final years of the Wild West, Red Dead Redemption 2 is a pensive experience marked by a slow, languid pace and this is how the game is best experienced. Try to lock in to the natural flow dictated by what’s happening, don’t be too eager to discover it all immediately. Rockstar have excelled at making simple activities such as riding on horseback from one place to another a pleasurable and engrossing experience. There’s always something going on, be it a herd of deer scarpering as you approach, an unexpected event to get involved in, or a stranger to help. Red Dead Redemption 2 is to be savored.