Top 5 tips to get started in Red Dead Redemption 2

These five tips will be essential to your survival in Red Dead Redemption 2.

Red Dead Redemption 2’s open-world is not only incredibly detailed, it’s also absolutely huge. In fact, the sheer amount of side quests, collectibles, exploration, and various other features make it all too easy to get lost in its vast and unforgiving world. Of course, being able to survive in your new surroundings will be vital to your success as an outlaw, so we’ve put together a spoiler-free top tips guide to help you prepare for Red Dead Redemption 2’s arduous adventure.

Remember to clean your weapons

Maintaining a deadly arsenal of prized weapons is vital to your overall effectiveness in combat. Every weapon will gradually degrade and lose out on damage as it’s used, but a quick clean can polish up even the most battle-hardened rifle. To clean your weapons, equip it and bring up the Weapon Wheel with L1/LB, then press R3/Right Stick to enter the maintenance menu. You must have Gun Oil to clean your weapon, so be sure to stock up when you come across any new towns or settlements. After all, you don’t want to be missing out on damage during a particularly tense robbery or rescue mission. Take care of your weapons and they’ll take care of you.

Track your challenge progress

There are a whopping 90 challenges to complete in Red Dead Redemption 2, but thankfully tracking them all is incredibly easy. Simply pause the game and open the Progress menu, then navigate all the way to the right and you’ll see every challenge broken down by category. Challenges offer various game-changing bonuses and opportunities to unlock new gear that you can craft, so always try to complete these when and where you can. Of course, you’ll naturally complete many of the challenges as you progress through the game, but some will require a little more input. 

Study up on the animals you see 

Red Dead Redemption 2’s world is absolutely brimming with colourful characters and unsavoury faces, but its wilderness is also home to a vast number of animals. Alongside your trusty steed there are 178 animals in total (not including fish) and each beast offers its own in-game uses. When you see an animal, press L2/LT to focus on it and study it. This will allow you to see vital information about the animal you’re hunting. For example, it will display what type of weapon or ammunition is recommended to avoid destroying its valuable pelt. Be sure to study up before you pull the trigger.

Keep witnesses quiet

Gone are the days of committing grievous acts in front of crowds of seemingly oblivious bystanders. If you want to break the law in Red Dead Redemption 2, you’ll need to be a little more careful when carrying out your crimes. Witnesses will now report you to the local law enforcement if you’ve been seen doing something naughty. This will quickly raise your Wanted level which can be hard to lose if you’ve been caught too many times. If you happen to get caught in the act by a nosey bystander, then a big on-screen notification will flash up, so act fast if you wish to go undetected by the local authorities. Be prepared to chase down any witnesses and keep them quiet with a threat, or make their silence a more permanent ordeal. 

Your actions have consequences

Arthur Morgan can perform both good and bad deeds. The choice is ultimately up to you and there’s nothing stopping you from going down either route. However, the Honor system in Red Dead Redemption 2 is impacted and judged by your in-game decisions. For example, donating resources to your camp and saving civilians will boost your Honor, but robbing and killing innocent people will cause it to drop. Having high Honor will reward you with high paying bounty hunting jobs, while low Honor increases the amount of money you obtain from robberies. See which playstyle you prefer and let the bullets fly.


James is a journalist who has written for the likes of PC Gamer, Games Radar, Kotaku, LoL Esports, and many more. If you’d like to get in touch with James you can contact him via email at or by following him on Twitter


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