Red Dead Redemption 2 is finally here. Rockstar's new open-world western game is now available on both PS4 and Xbox One, and it presents players with a massive, deep open world to explore. The main story alone will take you in the neighborhood of 50 hours to complete, and that's before engaging in much of its side content–and all of this is to be followed by Red Dead Online in November, the game's online multiplayer component.
To help you make the most of the experience, we've put together numerous guides and tips, tackling both specific aspects of the game and a broader array of things you should be aware of before starting. Rockstar has opted not to hold your hand with many features in the game, leaving it to you to either discover them or find them hidden away in menus. We'll also be taking a look at some of these examples to ensure you're aware of everything the game has to offer.
We've got plenty of other guides and tips on the way, and we'll continue to update the list below with all of them. While you wait to actually get your hands on the game, be sure to check out our RDR 2 review.
One potentially big aspect of the new game is cheat codes. Like GTA V before it, RDR 2 allows you to use cheats and even has an entire menu available for the feature. However, at this early stage, we don't actually know what all of them are; at least some are cleverly hidden in newspapers in-game. We'll be doing our best to hunt these down and will report back as they are uncovered–you can see those we've been able to confirm in our list of all the Red Dead 2 cheats. In the meantime, we've also got a rundown on the best RDR2 cheats that are worth a try.
Do You Need To Play Red Dead Redemption First?
Red Dead Redemption 2 is the third game in the Red Dead series, though it's only closely connected to its direct predecessor. However, RDR 2 is a prequel, taking place years before the events of the first RDR. If you've played the previous game, you'll recognize the names and faces of many of its characters, including RDR protagonist John Marston. We dive into whether you should play RDR first in our feature, but whatever choice you make, you should give our Red Dead Redemption story recap a look to refresh your memory–or fill in the holes for the first time.
Tips To Know Before Starting
As with any game, it can be useful to start with certain knowledge in hand. That's certainly true of RDR 2, which is a dense game full of various systems that interact with each other. With that in mind, we've put together a list of key tips you should know before booting up the game for the first time. We've kept spoilers to a minimum, but you'll want to be aware, for instance, that side missions can expire if you don't get to them quickly enough.
How To Make Money Fast
As an outlaw, you're after money, but not necessarily out of sheer greed. Whether your motivation is the betterment of your gang and its members or because you simply want a new gun and horse, you're going to want to get your hands on as much money as possible. With that in mind, we've put together a guide on how to make money quickly.
Outfits And Climates
Among the ways Red Dead 2 tries to immerse you in its world is with its climates. You'll have to account for temperatures if you want to maximize your performance, wearing appropriate clothing depending on where in the world you are. We've rounded up all of the outfits we've come across so far to give you an idea of what you can find.
Things The Game Doesn't Tell You
As you play and share stories with friends, you may come to realize there are any number of things the game doesn't tell you. There are various interesting details and tidbits you could miss because Rockstar isn't throwing them in your face, so we've done our best to round up a number of these so you don't miss out on some opportunities during the course of your adventures.
How Do Morality And Honor Work?
Among the many systems you'll find in Red Dead 2 is honor. Arthur Morgan may be a criminal no matter what choices you make, but there are degrees to which he is a bad guy. That comes into play with morality and honor, as your actions will either boost or lower your honor. Pressing down on the D-pad allows you to see this at any time, and something as simple as greeting a passerby will allow you to build it up. Aside from how people react to you, it's worth being aware of the implications of your honor–Good Guy Arthur will get discounts at stores, which is one way to save some cash.
Some Side Missions Can Expire
If you're a completionist, the thought of optional missions disappearing is downright awful. But whatever your approach to playing games like Red Dead 2, you should absolutely engage with some of the optional content involving your gang. These sequences feature some of the best character moment in the game, but if you advance far enough in the story, some of these missions will go away whether or not you've done them. You can find out more about how this works in our PSA on side missions expiring.
How Do I Fast Travel?
Fast travel does exist in RDR2, although it's not something you'll do by selecting a point on your map and warping there. The means for quickly moving around involve using actual modes of transportation, such as stagecoaches. Provided you have the patience, you're much better off running or taking your horse, because you'll encounter some of the game's most interesting content that way. But if speed is of the essence, consult our explanation of how fast travel works.
All The Guns
As noted above, money is at a premium, so you don't necessarily want to buy every weapon you lay your eyes on. You may want to plan ahead, so we've rounded up all of the guns we've discovered so far in order to give you a sense of what awaits.
Health, Stamina, Dead Eye, And Horse Cores And Bars Explained
One of the many new wrinkles in Red Dead 2 is the Core system, which dictates a variety of aspects of your character. It can be a bit complex to wrap your head around, with Cores influencing bars but bars being used before Cores, among other thing. Do yourself a favor and get a good grasp on this key system by checking out our guide to how Cores work.
Early in the game, you'll gain the ability to fish, which can be a fun mini-game to kill some time with. You can get by without much strategy, but if you're interested in getting the biggest, legendary fish that existing in Red Dead's world, you should consult our fishing guide for tips and legendary fish locations.
How To Find The Legendary Animals And Pelts
During Chapter 2, you'll encounter your first Legendary Animal–an enormous Grizzly Bear. From here, you'll be able to track and hunt the game's rarest animals, some of which will require added firepower. If you want to know the location of every single elusive animal in Red Dead 2's world, go check out our Legendary animal sand pets guide for guidance on how to find them, and what to do with that legendary bear pelt.
Perks Guide: Trinkets, Talismans, And The Crafting Components You Need
Perks offer improvements to Arthur's overall abilities that are unlocked by obtaining Talismans and Trinkets, which are primarily crafted at Fences. You'll need parts from Legendary Animals to craft them. Others are rewarded to you by completing specific missions under special conditions. Check out our Perks guide offering a detailed run down all of the Talismans we've found so far, what they do, and what you need to unlock them.
The Best Horses And Where To Find Them
There is no singular "best horse" in the game. There are only strong breeds that fair much better than the standard breeds you encounter early on. Speaking on the different types: the Arabian, Turkoman, and Missouri Fox Trotter breeds stand out as the most well-rounded and top-tier. Here's our best horses guide offering details on each.
Hidden Weapons You May Have Missed
There are a number of weapons to find in the massive world of Red Dead 2. However, some of these can't be bought from weapon shops, and they can be easily missed if you aren't paying attention. With this in mind, we pulled together a list of weapons that can take some extra effort to find, but are among the game's most interesting tools for combat. In addition to personalized six-shooters from legendary Gunslingers, there are also melee weapons that can be traced back to ancient cultures lost to time. Go check out our guide on how to find these hidden weapons.
Where To Sell Stolen Items: Every Fence Location In Red Dead Redemption 2
Fences–merchants, not boundary markers–in Red Dead Redemption 2 are the only businesses that will buy goods you've found while looting strangers and rifling through private property, and by gum, they sure are hard to find. Considering the size of RDR2's map, and that there are only four fences in all the land, odds are you may be wondering where they're hiding. We've got a handy reference guide to help locate the black-market traders that peddle in illicit goods.
How To Start All The Challenges
As you play Red Dead 2, you'll start to see notifications informing you that you've completed a challenge. Now this all sounds fine and dandy, but you're likely asking yourself: "What does completing challenges do? Heck, why should I even bother completing them?" That's a fair question, and we're here to answer it. Here's our challenge guide containing details our each, as well as specifics on what you earn.