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Red Dead Redemption 2 FAQ, Tips & Tricks

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This page contains Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and Beginner Tips & Tricks for Red Dead Redemption 2 (RDR2). It’s a quick collection of tutorials to get you started with the game, you can also view these in the help section of Red Dead Redemption 2’s pause menu.

We’ll go through 5 categories: General Tutorials, Combat Tutorials, Crime Tutorials, Horse Tutorials, Activities.

These are all the basics you should know before getting started with RDR2:

Story Chapters

When a mission is available for you to start, you’ll see a mission blip on your map and radar. The initials marked within the blip will be linked to the person you need to see. Make your way to the place marked and talk to that person to begin the mission.

After successfully completing a mission, you will receive a Gold, Silver or Bronze Medal. To check your Medals or replay any missions, navigate to the Progress section in the Pause menu, then Story. The Chapters panel will show all the story chapters you have completed and the option to replay the mission.

Strangers’ Missions

As you travel around the world, you will also encounter Strangers who have questions or tasks for you. The “?” blip will be displayed when a Stranger wants to talk to you.

How to Unlock Fast Travel / How to Use Fast Travel

You can travel between towns using Stagecoaches or the Railroad. Train tickets can be purchased from the Post Office. Upgrade your Gang Camp tent to acquire a map. You can use this to travel from camp to any towns you have discovered.

How to use Automatic Travel / Autopilot with Horse

Put a waypoint marker anywhere on the map. Get on your horse, start riding and hold Touchpad (PS4) to start the autopilot. It’s not exactly fast travel but the closest thing to it. Your horse will ride to the desired point automatically. You must be on a road for this to work properly.

How to Save the Game

This game uses an automatic save system, and your progress will be saved when you complete story chapters, saving within your Camp and whilst progression through certain actions. Don’t switch off your system while the saving icon is displayed.

Health, Stamina and Dead Eye Cores

Your Health, Stamina and Dead Eye Cores drain over time. If your Health or Stamina Cores are low, the corresponding bar for each attribute will refill at a slower rate. Cores can be Fortified to stop them draining for a short period of time. To refill a Core, you must consume an appropriate Provision.

Your Health Core will drain quickly if you are exposed to conditions such as extreme temperature, or are poisoned by a snake bite. More information about these conditions can be found in the Player section of the Pause Menu.

Cores also act as an extension of their related attribute bar. If you a bar is emptied while using an ability, then the Core will begin to drain rapidly, allowing you to use the ability for a few additional seconds. Keep your Cores full to guarantee the maximum amount of reserve energy is available, should you need it.

Where to Sleep

Sleeping at a camp or bedroom will restore your health and save your game. You can sleep at the gang’s current camp or hideout, set up individual camp in wilderness, or rent a hotel room.

Provisions, Kit, Documents, and other items that you find or purchase are stored in your Satchel. To access the Satchel, hold :right: . You can also choose to store Provisions on your horse as long as it is near you.

You can craft or cook items whilst in the wilderness by selecting Camp in the Item Wheel. This allows you to cook Meat and craft Ammo, Tonics, and Hunting supplies. You can find Pamphlets in the wilderness to learn new crafting recipes.

Items you can craft include meals, ammo, health cures and remedies for yourself and your horse, lures for fishing, and improved weapons and equipment.

You need to select the right outfit for the weather; being too hot or too cold for long will cause your Health Core to drain faster. You can change your clothes at a camp, a hotel room, a Tailor’s store or when facing your horse.

You can earn special weapons, equipment and upgrades by completing various challenges.
There are nine categories:

You can equip weapons, switch ammunition or view stats using the Weapon WHeel. Hold :l1: to open the Weapon Wheel, use :r: to select the weapon you want to use, then release :l1: to equip i.t

These six-chambered sidearms offer greater damage and accuracy compared to pistols, with the downside of slower reload times and fire rates.

Compact and modern. Pistols are not as powerful as revolvers, but can hold more ammunition and can be reloaded quickly during a fight.

Repeaters offer a superior rate of fire and ammunition capacity when compared to rifles, at the cost of lower accuracy and damage.

These ranger longarms are designed for precise shooting at distance. Great accuracy, but can be slow and cumbersome. With some long scoped rifles, a single shot can deal serious damage.

These are hefty firearms that shoot a batch of buckshot, effective at close range and against multiple targets. For a greater impact, switch to Slug ammunition.

Bow and Arrows

A silent and accurate weapon, a Bow allows for a stealthy approach to hunting or combat situations. Various kinds of arrows can be crafted and used.

Weapons like throwing knives and tomahawks can be used to take out enemies quickly and quietly. If stealth isn’t a priority, throw a Fire Bottle or some Dynamite in their general direction.

Melee Weapons

In situations where it’s not polite or possible to carry a gun, you can always use your fists. Find various knives and hatchets in the world which can give you the edge in a brawl.

You can use the lasso to rope animals, and to immobilize enemies – it’s particularly useful for bounty hunts where the target is wanted alive. To lasso a target, equip your lasso like any other weapon, aim at the target with :l2: and :r: , and press :r2: to hurl your lasso.

Once you’ve lassoed a target, you can quickly approach them and press :circle: to hogtie and keep them still. The hogtied enemy can then be picked up and carried and even placed on your horse. Lassoed targets will break free after a short time if they’re nog hogtied.

Ammunition for your weapons can be bought from Gunsmiths or General Stores, crafted, looted from dead enemies, or found in the world. Certain types of ammunition have special properties that can give you an advantage in combat.

For gun weapons, High Velocity cartridges increase range and penetration through enemies. Split Point cartridges improve accuracy and reduce Dead Eye drain. For extra damage, purchase Express cartridges or craft special Explosive ammunition.

When hunting, craft Small Game arrows to end up with better quality pelts, or use Poison arrows to take down big animals quickly. When faced with enemies, craft Fire or Dynamite arrows for increased power.

Equipment upgrades can be bought from any Gunsmith store, allowing you to carry more ammunition and slow the degradation of your weapon.

Reinforced versions of weapon accessories that provide further upgrades can be purchased from the Trapper store. The shopkeeper will require both money and the correct crafting materials gathered from hunting.

Weapon Condition / Weapon Decay / How to Repair Weapons

A weapon’s condition will deteriorate due to usage and environmental factors, and requires regular maintenance to stay in perfect condition. Letting your weapons get dirty or rusty will lead to lower damage, slower cocking, and longer reloads.

How to Clean Weapons

To maintain your weapon, select it from the Weapon Wheel and :r3: to inspect and clean your weapon. This requires Gun Oil, which can be purchased from any Gunsmith Store.

Weapon Familiarity

When you use the same model of gun over a long period of time, your skill with it increases, which can improve weapon handling, reduce recoil, and speed up actions like reloading.

To view your current Familiarity level with a weapon, visit the Weapons section of the Compendium.

Fighting with Companions & Using Horse during Fights

When taking on enemy gangs or the law, it can be invaluable to have your fellow gang members by your side.

You can use weapons while on horseback, but bear in mind that some horses will become agitated if they feel threatened or you make loud noises. Use silent weapons, like the bow, to avoid spooking your horse. Its courage will increase as you unlock horse bonding levels.

Gunsmith stores can be found in all major towns, and each has a unique selection of items available. Browse the store’s catalog or buy weapons, ammunition and accessories, or take a look at the store’s shelves to see what’s for sale.

You can also customize weapons at a Gunsmith store. Improve stats by upgrading components, make the weapon stylish with new materials, engravings and carvings, or repair your weapon to perfect condition.

Dead Eye

Dead Eye is a special ability that you can use by pressing :r3: while aiming a gun or bow. In Dead Eye mode, time passes more slowly and you take less damage, making you more effective in combat.

While using Dead Eye, you can target multiple enemies. Move the aiming reticle and press :r1: to mark your targets, then press :r2: to fire at all targets in the order in which they were placed. Press :r3: again to deactivate Dead Eye.

You can see your Dead Eye Core, along with Health and Stamina, displayed near the radar at the bottom left of your screen. Dead Eye capacity drains while in use, and regenerates over time. Your Dead Eye bar will refill slightly each time you kill an enemy.

Using Chewing Tobacco will make Dead Eye drain slower than usual.

You can permanently increase the capacity of the Dead Eye bar by gaining experience from completing actions such as hunting, crafting, and finding collectables.

Exposure to extreme heat or cold will negatively affect your ability to regenerate Dead Eye, as well as other attributes.

You can press :l3: to crouch, avoiding enemies’ lines of sight, and move more quietly and stealthily. Sneak up on enemies from behind and press :circle: to knock them out while unarmed, or to stealth kill if you have a knife equipped.

Use :r1: to use a nearby wall, building or other structure as cover, and use :r: to look around while in cover and use :l: to break out. To move around corners or to the next available cover, use :square: .

Weapons Expert

Using certain weapons will increase your rank in the Weapons Expert Challenge, allowing you to unlock special reinforced combat accessories that can then be purchased. Challenge completion information can be found in the Progress – Challenges section of the Pause menu.

The Weapons section of the Compendium keeps track of all weapons you have encountered so far, as well as key statistics like kills and headshots.

Be on the lookout for some unique versions of weapons. These could be hidden in the world, dropped by certain enemies, or given as a reward for completing activities.

The WANTED text will appear in the top right of your screen whilst you are wanted by the law. While wanted, you can lose your pursuers by escaping the region, killing all nearby lawmen, or hiding and staying out of sight until they call off the search.

The red circle on the radar will indicate the direction of where the law is currently looking. If you are spotted by law enforcement you will become fully wanted again.

If you commit more crimes while the law is chasing you, more and more vicious law officers will show up to pursue you.

If you have committed serious crimes before, you lost the local constabulary, they will hire a posse to chase after you across the wilderness. Commit enough murders and the local lawmen will call for the big guns – the US Marshals – to hunt you down.

When law officers approach you, you have the opportunity to surrender to them. You must be on foot, and have your weapon holstered, to surrender.

If you injure an officer of the law, or shake out of an arrest attempt, then the law will no longer attempt to capture you alive – they will shoot to kill.

The next time you commit a crime, your state bounty will include all crimes you have previously committed in that state- Lawmen and bounty hunters will attempt to track you down unless you find a telegraph operator at a post office and pay your debt to society.

As you commit more crimes in a region, lawmen and civilians become more vigilant, eventually place the region of Lockdown. This turns the region map red and prevents use of local shops and events until enough time passes or your bounty is paid.

The West is home to many rival gangs of outlaws and misfits. Gangs vary in size and structure, but each has their own territory, and none of them are likely to welcome Dutch’s Gang onto their turf.

You’ll find enemy gangs’ camps and hideouts throughout the land. Attacking a hostile hideout can be extremely dangers, but yields valuable loot if you pull it off.

Gangs that you’ve encountered will be added to the Compendium. Here you can see a record of your rivalries.

There’s no shortage of targets – some easier than others – for you and Dutch’s Gang to rob. Look out of the banks, shops, homesteads, and camps on your map, and draw your weapon once iside to threaten the occupants. Some shop and home owners will fight back, or involve the law.

You can hold up stagecoaches and trains loaded with valuables. Try talking to people who work at stations to see if they have tips to share with you.

Cattle and horses can be rustled from some ranches and farms. Look out for fellow gang members who may invite you to join rustling jobs.

Loansharking is an important source of ready money for Dutch’s Gang, and encouraging reluctant debtors to pay up is Arthur’s specialty. Find Herr Strass in the gang’s camp to take on new loansharking jobs.

Individuals who owe money to the gang will be marked on the map with “$”. Seek out the debtors and recover the money. You can’t track debtors while you are being pursued by the law.

Bounty Hunting

Each town has a noticeboard at the depot or sheriff’s office, displaying suspected criminals in the area. Retrieve bounty posters from these boards to get the details and hunt down bounty targets for rewards.

Certain shopkeepers won’t trouble you with questions about whether items were legally acquired. Look out for their icon. You can sell stlen horses at stables, though they will fetch a lower price than legitimately owned ones.

Once you’ve been witnessed taking part in criminal activity in an area, law enforcement will make a note of your physical description. Make yourself harder to recognize by changing your clothes and facial hair, or wearing a mask.

Dealing with Witnesses

If a civilian spots you committing a crime, they will try to tell law enforcement. When an eyewitness reaches a law officer, law enforcement officers will come after you and place a bounty on your head.

You can threaten the witness by pressing :l2: + :triangle: to try to frighten them into silence. Bear in mind that no all witnesses respond well to threats.

Any bodies found will be reported and lawmen dispatched to investigate. Hide or dispose of bodies to avoid unwanted attention.

Minor crimes make the victims and witnesses angry. They may take matters into their own hands and come to fight you rather than getting the law involved.

Horse Breaking

You can train, or ‘break’ wild horses to gain their trust so that you can saddle and ride them.

Horse Bonding Explained

As you spend time with your horse, you will develop a bond of trust and understanding with it.

There are four levels of Bonding. As Bonding increases:

You can increase horse bonding by:

At certain Bonding levels, you can perform more complex maneuvers:

Horse Care

To keep your horse happy and healthy, and retain a strong bond, you will need to keep it fed and clean. A horse’s health and stamina cores are affected when it gets hungry or dirty – meaning it’ll tire faster and withstand less damage.

You will see a warning when your horse starts to become hungry or dirty. Hold :l1: and navigate to the horse item menu to select and use food items or the horse brush.

Nutritious foods like oat cakes, apples, and hay will satisfy your horse’s hunger for longer than treats. Giving these foods at your horse also increases bonding significantly.

Certain plants and herbs picked in the wild can also be fed to your horse.

Treats, such as Sugar Cubes, Peppermints, Common Bulrush, and English Mace will increase bonding a medium amount but will give almost no nutritional value.

You should be careful feeding your horse. Overfeeding it when it is already full can cause it to become overweight. Underfeeding it will cause the horse to become thin.

Hold :triangle: to hitch your horse safely at a hitching post. This means it can’t be stolen.

How to Call the Horse / Whistling

You can press :up: to call your horse to you. As you bond with your horse, the range at which you can call it will increase.

Your horse will not respond to your whistle if it’s too far away, stabled, or dead. It cannot come to you if you are inside a building or a cave.

There are stables in all major towns, shown by a blip on your map and radar. At a stable you can:

Saddling Horses

You can buy and sell horses at stables throughout the world. You can break wild horses, or steal owned horses. You can ride a horse temprarily, but to make it yours, you’ll need to put your saddle on it.

To saddle a horse, approach it with a saddle in hand and hold :up: to put it on. You can only have one saddle, and therefore one main horse at a time. To remove a saddle you must approach the horse and hold :l2: to lock on and hold :up: to remove.

Arthur cannot saddle, bond with, or own horses belonging to the member’s of Dutch’s gang.

Remove your saddle from a dead horse by approaching it and holding :up: to remove.

Animals and birds are valuable natural resources and can be hunted for their meat, hides, and other useful materials. Animal carcasses can be sold in town or brought back to camp to help the gang. You can cook and eat many types of game, and sell hunted animals at General Stores and Trapper stores.

Certain pelts can be used by trappers to upgrade your clothing and accessories. Some more unusual parts, like teeth and claws, have mysterious powers when worn as talismans.

When hunting, choose your weapon carefully to avoid damaging the animal’s pelt too much. Carcasses which have been damaged by multiple wounds, or have been dragged around while the animal struggled, are worth less money than pristine ones. You can buy or craft bait to attract wild animals. Predators and herbivores will respond to different types of bait. Drop bait on the ground, then crouch nearby to hide and stay still while waiting for the aimal to arrive. The bait can take a few minutes to begin working.

You can also use carcasses as bait. Carnivores and predators will be attracted to freshly killed animals left in the wilderness. Cover scent can make it harder for animals to detect your presence, allowing you to sneak up closer and catch your prey unawares. You can craft or buy a supply of cover scent.

If you use stealth and a silent weapon, like the bow, then you’ll be able to creep closer to animals without startling them. Companions who want to go hunting with you will be marked with an icon on the radar.

Meat Quality Types

Each species of animal will provide a different quality of meat. The type of meat will provide different benefits and can be used for different recipes.

Low Quality:

Good Quality:

High Quality:

Best Quality:

You can track nearby animals by selecting L3 + R3 (press Left Stick + Right Stick) to activate Eagle Eye. Press R1/RB to focus on the track, making it easier to follow. Look out for other signs of animal life in the wilderness too, such as footprints scat, or remains of eaten prey.

Hunted animal pelts and parts are stored in your satchel or stowed on your horse. Entire animals can be stowed on your horse. Carry the carcass to the horse and hold :square: to stow. You can bring carcasses to Pearson and donate them to the gang camp or take them to a Butcher in town to sell.

You can cook meat at a campfire. When you have hunted and skinned an animal, and set up your camp, you can cook meat through the crafting menu. Using herbs and seasoning makes for a more satisfying meal.

Animals left on your horse will eventually start to decompose. Be sure to sell, or butcher and cook them, before this happens. You will find many different species of animals which live in their own particular habitats around the world. Keep an eye on your Compendium and Map for hints about good hunting grounds. Gathering certain animal parts will help you unlock ranks in the Master Hunter Challenge.

Equip your Fishing Rod from the Item Wheel then select a bait to use. You can find or buy various types of baits and lures to attract different types of fish.

Fish attracted to the bait will often nibble before taking a firm bite. When you get a firm bite, the Fishing Rod will be pulled strongly downwards and the bobber pulled underwater, but the bite won’t last long so quickly try to hook the fish.

Each species bites at the bait differently. Some species nibble cautiously until taking a firm bite, other species are more confident and will repeatedly take firm bites. Predator species can bit suddenly without warning, so, when waiting for a bite, be ready to strike at all times.

When a hooked fish is struggling, it is aggressively trying to get away. Control the fish by pulling the rod left or right in the opposite direction to the fish movement. This will tire the fish so that it struggles less, making it easier to reel in.

When you reel in and unhook a fish, you can either keep it to eat or sell, or release the fish back into the water to gain honor if it is still alive. Smaller fish you keep are stored in your satchel, while larger specimens can be stowed on your horse.

How to Use Fishing Bait

Fishing with a bobber uses perishable baits such as bread and worms. Baits are cheap and readily available but are often lost whilst fishing, such as fish sometimes escaping with the bait if you miss a firm bite, so you will often need to rebait your hook.

When bobber fishing, cast out and keep your bait still to attract fish. The bobber rests on the surface of the water and is connected by fishing lines to the hook with a bait attached to it. When a fish firmly bites at the bait, the bobber gets pulled under the water to indicate when you should strike with the Fishing Rod.

How to Use Fishing Lures

Artificial Lures are more expensive than bait, but they are sturdy so can be used more than once. There are different lures that are suited to attracting river, lake and swamp-dwelling fish species.

Once you have cast out using a lure, keep reeling it in slowly to make it look like a little swimming fish or insect. A stationary lure just looks like an inanimate hunk of metal so will not attract any fish. Lure fishing is more difficult than bobber fishing due to the need to keep the lure moving, but will attract much larger fish species.

Fishing Tips

You can flick you Fishing Rod to help attract fish if you are not getting any bites, but doing so too often will spook them.

‘Pump’ the Fishing Rod to make faster progress hauling in a hooked fish. Pull down :l: to drag the fish towards you then quickly reel in line. When a hooked fish is struggling grab hold of the reel by pushing and holding :r: in any direction to prevent the fish pulling out line. However, doing so for too long or too often may snap the line.

Fishing activity is affected by weather and time of day. Fish are more active whilst it is raining and during cloudy days, compare to when it’s sunny.

Try fishing at different locations. You will find different species of fish aroudn the map. Each fish species has a legendary fish which is the larges, most aggressive, and therefore, most difficult to catch of its species. Each legendary fish will be marked on the map when you are close to it.

With the above tutorials you now have a solid foundation to get started with Red Dead Redemption 2, enjoy the game! For more guides check out our full Red Dead Redemption 2 Wiki & Strategy Guide.

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