20 Things You Didn’t Know You Were Doing Wrong In Red Dead Redemption 2
On October 26th of 2018, one of the biggest games of the decade hit the market. This, of course, was the open world, Wild West masterpiece, Red Dead Redemption 2. The title, which was in development for more than half a decade, was met with rave reviews praising nearly every aspect of its design. Each character is fully realized and feels like a real person (a far cry from the hyperbolic caricatures of previous Rockstar titles), the world is breathlessly detailed and seamlessly reveals itself to the player, and the writing is on par with the best films and television shows. To put it simply, Red Dead Redemption 2 is an unprecedented achievement in gaming that takes the medium to new artistic heights.
Players are still hungrily digging into this opus, but there are certain things they may be overlooking, making their experience with the game less enjoyable. To remedy this, the next 20 entries will shine a light on a few actions gamers may be doing incorrectly. These range from gameplay mechanics to methods of progressing through the story. There may be minor spoilers for those sensitive to any details, but no specific plot events will be revealed. So, pay off those bounties, because here are 20 Things Players Didn’t Know They Were Doing Wrong in Red Dead Redemption 2.
20 PAYING OFF BIG BOUNTIES EARLY IN THE GAME
It is no secret that many of the game’s missions involve shootouts. Despite an increased emphasis on more leisurely activities like fishing and resource gathering, it is still a game about outlaws during a violent era in history. Sometimes, these missions end with a big price on Arthur Morgan’s head in that particular region and many players want to prioritize paying off these bounties, but it is better to invest elsewhere.
Money is hard to come by in the early hours and paying these fines can drain funds quickly. The best thing to do is ignore them until later missions that have bigger payouts. Once Arthur starts getting more money, these bounties get easier to pay off.
19 PLAYING SINGLE PLAYER WITH AUTO AIM
The settings menu offers a plethora of tweaks for players to toy with. Most recent games from the studio offer several options for aim assist, ranging from minor help to full-on auto aim. Unless the player is severely inexperienced with shooting in video games, playing through the campaign with auto aim takes something away from the experience.
The aiming is far from perfect, falling somewhere between the smooth perfection of Max Payne 3 and the mediocrity of Grand Theft Auto V, but playing with free aim makes battles more engaging. The game is also not difficult, so using auto aim takes away any semblance of challenge or risk of failure, making the whole journey less entertaining.
18 TRAVELING EVERYWHERE ON A HORSE
Arthur’s journey begins in a similar vein to most open world Rockstar games: seemingly endless waves of tutorials. Though these can be arduous to sit through, they are vital to understanding the ins and outs of the mechanics, but some details are still left out of these learning missions. One particular mechanic that is not mentioned is the inclusion of fast travel.
Players ignorant of this convenience will waste countless hours on horseback. The most obvious way to get around faster is train transportation, but there is also a way to fast travel from the camp. Upgrade Arthur’s tent and the ability to travel to previously visited locations will be unlocked, but only from the hideout.
17 SKIPPING THE STRANGER MISSIONS
Stranger Missions have been a part of the developer’s open world game design since Grand Theft Auto IV. With each game in the studio’s catalogue, they have gotten progressively more complex, and the ones in Red Dead Redemption 2 rival the story missions in their depth. Some players may still end up wanting to bypass them, but those who have beaten the game know this is a bad idea.
First and foremost, the missions are usually entertaining. Secondly, they flesh out the world and a select few actually shine a new light on Arthur Morgan. These missions are bonus content, but skipping them will make players miss out on a huge chunk of the Red Dead Redemption 2 experience.
16 PLAYING RED DEAD ONLINE WITHOUT AUTO AIM
The single player campaign should absolutely be tackled with free aim, as using auto aim takes away any challenge during shootouts and hunting. It would be nice to say the same thing about Red Dead Online, but at the moment, using free aim will just put the player at a severe disadvantage.
Currently, every player is free to use whichever aiming method they like. If a player decides to ride out into the world using free aim, they will more than likely end up dueling an opponent using the wide aim assist option. The story missions also throw massive hordes of enemies at the posse, so using auto aim is a must, especially when playing solo.
15 BUYING GUNS
It can be tempting to visit the gunsmith early in the game and use whatever change is jingling in Arthur’s pocket to buy the nicest gun available. Maybe he won’t have a penny left over after the purchase, but at least he can shoot in style. Since money is so valuable in the beginning chapters, there are better ways to invest towards combat effectiveness.
Instead of purchasing guns, any cash should be used to upgrade currently owned arms. There may be certain desirable firearms in stock, but most of them can be found throughout the world and added to the saddle that way. Once money isn’t an issue, buy to the heart’s content, but until then, stay frugal.
14 LEAVING THE HORSE BEHIND
Arthur’s steed is a helpful friend throughout the course of the game, and its contribution should never be underestimated. The horse will usually accompany the player, but there are times when Arthur leaves him behind, whether on missions or in the open world. Whatever the case, never forget to have the horse follow Arthur by whistling periodically while on foot or whistling once to have it pursue a wagon.
Certain missions automatically have the horse follow a carriage, but a select few will not. Should the player forget to order the horse to follow, they can reunite with it by sleeping in a camp or taking the easy way out and respawning with the trusty mare.
13 NOT UPGRADING THEIR SATCHELS
Inventory space is more important than ever, and free slots are limited at the start of the journey. Arthur is bound to collect pelts, herbs, and meat, so the player should make it a priority to expand their available space by upgrading their satchel. For the majority of the game, this is only doable through Pearson, the camp cook. Donate the correct pelts to him and he will craft the satchel for Arthur. Near the end of the game, any satchel not already acquired can be bought at a store.
The highest ranked satchels allow for 99 of each item, eliminating the need to worry about inventory space entirely, unless the player is especially prodigal.
12 NOT STAYING WITH ONE HORSE
Don’t treat horses like cars from Grand Theft Auto, they are living beings and the game fully realizes this. Stick with one long enough and they will become better at traveling and grant new abilities. Of course, there will come a time when Arthur upgrades to a better horse, but he should always make an effort to stick with one horse at a time and not go through them like candy on Halloween.
What’s more, there is even a small story reward for staying loyal to a horse. Near the end of the game, there is a small cinematic that plays during a mission, but the moment will only transpire if Arthur has fully bonded with the steed.
11 HUNTING WITH THE WRONG AMMUNITION
Shooting willy-nilly may work when battling human opponents, but more careful planning has to go into hunting. To get the most from the game, the player must know which ammo corresponds to which animal. Hunt with the wrong weapon and wrong ammunition, and the pelts will come out poorly. This is more important when hunting legendary animals, as their pelts are more valuable and will be used to craft special clothing.
This also applies to the online component, where these resources are a steady source of income. Using the correct ammunition and getting the best quality pelts is a surefire way to quickly rack up some money. This aspect may be bothersome to some, but it showcases the game’s dedication to realism.
10 NOT DOING THE OPTIONAL HONOR MISSIONS
Every member of the gang is so fleshed out, it feels like they could each star in their own spinoff game. “Cooking With Pearson,” “Grifting With Hosea,” and “Being Jolly Cheerio With Josiah Trelawny” all sound like games for which people would pay 60 dollars. Thankfully, Red Dead Redemption 2 gives each person time to shine in the spotlight; however, these can be skipped out on, but it is a mistake to do so.
The honor missions are optional, but add so much to the lore and make players appreciate Arthur’s friends two fold. Some of these missions are hectic, but others are serene, giving Arthur and his companions much needed respite in the violent Wild West.
9 PUTTING BONUS STATS INTO STAMINA
Red Dead Online is still in beta, but already the service is running smoother than GTA Online did when that ambitious project first launched. Like its predecessor, players create their own avatar and roam around the game’s expansive map, completing missions and participating in numerous competitive modes.
When crafting a character, the game grants two bonus stat points to distribute to health, stamina, and Dead Eye. These can all be maxed out eventually, but one can start out better than the others. Whichever one players opt to enhance, it is best to not enhance stamina. It may be tempting, but Stamina maxes out the fastest, so starting out with a small bonus is pointless.
8 NOT USING THE MASK
The game’s themes go far beyond the outlaw lifestyle, but a large part of the story still involves committing crimes. This is a Rockstar game, after all, and simulated felonious acts are nothing new for the legendary developer. When breaking the law, whether in a mission or not, always remember to don the trusty bandana.
Arthur will not become wanted right away, and nothing will become of the matter if there are no witness. If an NPC does happen on a crime, they will rush and report it to the authorities. If Arthur is obscuring his face, then police will still come to the scene, but Morgan will not have been identified as the culprit.
7 NOT MANUALLY RESETTING AWARDS IN RED DEAD ONLINE
Like all the best online multiplayer experiences, Red Dead Online has an extensive meta game for players to go through. Micro-transactions are there for those who wish to expedite the process, but there are a few ways to rack up experience points without doling out dough. Completing the awards for the various challenges will add experience points, and some of them are simple to accomplish.
Many players may ignore this system altogether, and those that do them may forget about them afterwards. This is a mistake, though, as most of the awards can be reset, offering a chance to repeat them once again for more experience. A select few cannot be redone, but enough of them can be to warrant attention.
6 NOT HUNTING WITH A LASSO AND KNIFE
Throughout both the single player and online component, gamers are going to encounter wild animals while traveling. Naturally, they are going to want to strike down these animals for the meat and pelts they supply. Sometimes, misfortune follows and the right ammo is not in the inventory. What is the best course of action, then? Should one mow down the game anyway and settle with a less than perfect pelt?
What some people may not know is that there is a method of acquiring perfect pelts from big game. First, one must get a lasso around a big animal’s neck. Then, they will be able to slay it in close quarters with their knife. This comes in handy when resources are scarce.
5 GOING INTO THE MOUNTAINS UNPREPARED
The game’s dedication to realism affects the player in unexpected ways. Taking a page from The Breath of the Wild’s playbook, the environment impacts the character. The game starts off in the snowy mountains, and Arthur is dressed for the elements by default. After they leave, the protagonist slips into something more comfortable and returning to the mountains in these clothes will cause cores to drain at an alarming rate.
There are two ways to combat this. The first way is to pack a coat on the horse. With this in tow, Arthur can equip it and explore the treacherous terrain without succumbing to the cold. He can also pack enough meat with him in order to periodically refill the dwindling cores.
4 USING REGULAR AMMO IN RED DEAD ONLINE
Leveling up and acquiring new equipment can happen at a suspiciously slow rate in Red Dead Online. Cynics can argue that this is done to promote the purchasing of equipment through micro-transactions, and they probably would not be far away from the truth. This doesn’t necessarily put a damper on the fun, though, as riding around the Old West with friends is still a total blast. Plus, there are ways to progress through the ranks quickly.
One thing people may not know is that dispatching enemies and players with different ammo types nets additional XP. Once they become available, be sure to regularly craft and utilize them to make the level grinding a little faster.
3 GOING STRAIGHT INTO THE EPILOGUE
Like the series’ first entry, there is an epilogue for players to go through after the main chunk of the story concludes. Unlike its predecessor, this epilogue is extensive, rivaling the length of most games. Where Red Dead Redemption’s epilogue can be done in less than an hour if the player bee lines to the finish, this one will take several hours.
Some people complain about this, but it is only because they do not know what they are in for. Due to its length and unexpectedness, it is best for players to take a small break once this chapter begins. This way, people won’t burn out and they can let the events of the main game really sink in.
2 DOING EVERY MISSION IN RED DEAD ONLINE LETHALLY
It is understandable to want to shoot everything in sight, and Red Dead Onlineoffers plenty of opportunities to riddle foes with bullets. This extensive multiplayer outing offers more variety than most, so not every mission should be solved with extreme violence. Sometimes, quest givers will explicitly state their wish for the player to spare lives. When this happens, a bonus will be rewarded for a non lethal run.
However, that’s not to say the mission will be completed peacefully. In lieu of guns, the players will have to take on enemies with Lassos and fists. Thanks to this game’s heavily improved hand-to-hand combat, engaging in fisticuffs with a rival band of outlaws is wildly entertaining.
1 NOT PLAYING RED DEAD REDEMPTION FIRST
This one may seem obvious, because there is a big old “II” in the game’s title, but some may be confused as to the creator’s intention because this second part is a prequel. Those who have not played the first one may be tempted to jump straight into this one, but doing so will make some moments harder to appreciate.
Just because a second part is set before its predecessor, doesn’t mean it should be experienced first. A prequel is just a sequel set in the past, and fully understanding certain parts hinges on knowing what happens in the future. People who go through Red Dead Redemption 2 before playing the 2010 game will still have a blast, but the story will be less impactful.