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Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of the most epic open world games ever made. There’s a lot to do in the game, from story missions to sidequests, from hunting animals to robbing banks. And that means Red Dead Redemption 2 can, at times, feel overwhelming.
There are some fundamental things you need to learn in order to enjoy Red Dead Redemption 2. And they should help you succeed at playing the game without dying too often. So, here are some essential Red Dead Redemption 2 tips all players should know…
1. Take Note of Your Surroundings
This may seem obvious to some, but it’s worth mentioning. Don’t just focus on your destination or waypoint. Instead, scan the horizon for places worth exploring and people worth meeting.
Smoke rising into the air means someone has a campfire. A white circle denotes a stranger mission is close by. You’ll also see or hear animals close by that may be worth hunting.
2. Always Set Destinations on Your Map
The map in Red Dead Redemption 2 is vast. So vast, in fact, that a fast travel option becomes available in Chapter 2 by upgrading Arthur’s lodgings.
However, if you are riding anywhere, always set a destination on your map, just as you would with Google Maps. The game will guide you via the shortest route, and with a destination set you can enable the cinematic camera and travel hands-free.
3. Keep an Eye On Your Cores
In Red Dead Redemption 2 your character and horse have cores that need to be maintained. Your character has cores for health, stamina and dead eye, while your horse has cores for health and stamina.
These all need to be maintained, or your character will suffer. So keep an eye on your cores, and eat, sleep, and take tonics as required. This is especially important when you’re heading into a mission.
4. Pay Your Bounties Off ASAP
For every crime you commit (even by accident) you’ll earn a bounty. This will be specific to the region in which you committed the crime, making it difficult to travel there in the future.
If you commit a crime don’t make it worse by killing people to escape the law, as that will just increase your bounty. Instead, surrender to lawmen or clear the area while they investigate. Then, as soon as you’re able to do so, go and pay the bounty off at the nearest post office.
5. Bond With Your Horse
Horses are crucial in this game. Without one you’ll struggle to get anywhere or do anything. Which is why it’s important to bond with your horse as much as possible.
Doing so will open up new moves (making it easier to get away from enemies) and increase the range at which you can whistle for your horse. And all you need to do is pat, brush, and feed your horse now and again (by standing near your horse and opening the relevant menu).
6. Greet Everyone You Meet
Red Dead Redemption 2 employs an honor system. Do good deeds (such as helping strangers) and your honor will increase. Do bad deeds (such as killing people camping in the wild) and your honor will decrease.
There are advantages to being honorable, including getting money off items for sale in shops. And one simple way of increasing your honor is simply greeting everyone you meet. Just don’t accidentally press the wrong button and shoot them dead instead.
7. Do Talk to Strangers
As kids we’re taught not to talk to strangers, but in the case of Red Dead Redemption 2 you definitely should. Even random NPCs can pass on useful or interesting information. Or provide you with a reward for helping them out.
However, it’s the strangers in the stranger missions that you should seek out. You’ll get rewards, tips, and extra strands of story often ranging over several chapters.
8. Use Dead Eye Whenever Possible
To survive in Red Dead Redemption 2 you need to be handy with your gun. You can fire off the hip or take aim in the hopes of killing someone with a single shot.
However, Dead Eye is by far the best method of winning a gunfight. It enables you to tag a number of enemies at once in slow-motion, giving you a definite advantage.
To activate Dead Eye, hold down the aim button, and then click the right stick. Everything will then slow down, allowing you to tag enemies before firing off a barrage of shots.
9. Keep Your Weapons Clean
Over the course of Red Dead Redemption 2 you’ll pick up a lot of different weapons. And unless you’re an absolute saint you’ll shoot them all numerous times as well.
Your weapons will get dirty, and when they’re dirty they’ll be less accurate and slower to load. So buy some gun oil and clean your weapons more often than your character cleans his clothes.
To clean your weapons, just open the Weapon Wheel, highlight a weapon, and press the right stick to inspect it. You’ll see the condition it’s in, and can select the option to clean it.
10. Make Friends With the Fence
In Red Dead Redemption 2, fences are black market traders who will buy and sell illicit objects. You’ll unlock one after a Chapter 2 mission, but you can also take the long ride out to Saint Denis to meet one early.
Fences are invaluable assets. They’ll buy your ill-gotten gains off you without asking questions, and sell you valuable items such as new recipes, talismans, and a silent lock breaker.
Savor Every Minute of Red Dead Redemption 2
There’s one more piece of advice that you need to heed. Which is to savor every minute of Red Dead Redemption 2. Rockstar has built a living, breathing version of the American Frontier circa 1899, and you should embrace every part of that.
Don’t rush through the storyline to get to the end. Don’t skip stranger missions to save time. Instead, camp out under the stars, visit saloons late at night, and ride your horse to the four corners of the map with the cinematic camera enabled.
This is the only way to truly appreciate the world Rockstar has created. And when you finally finish the game using our Red Dead Redemption 2 tips you should check out some other classic games set in the Wild West.