The detailed nature of Red Dead Redemption 2 means that there's a lot of stuff that is easily missed when playing the game. This game requires a fair amount of patience, so understanding some of the shortcuts that can save you time and help you throughout are very important. I've gone ahead and detailed as many tips and tricks for RDR 2 as I could think of and find. Hopefully, these will help you along the way as you learn to become a more efficient outlaw.
While Red Dead Redemption 2 has some pretty detailed tutorials that help you learn the ropes in the game, some of this stuff is fairly easy to forget. Not to mention there's a lot of stuff that isn't covered very well and can be greatly beneficial to you as you progress in the game.
Table of Contents
- Aiming for the Head
- Always Wear a Bandanna or Mask During Crimes
- Blow Open Safes with Dynamite
- Bond With Your Horse
- Carry Horse Reviver
- Cinematic Mode for Auto-Travel
- Clean Yourself Off
- Combat Dive
- Craft Tonics
- Dog Constantly Barking at You - Give it a Pet!
- Eagle Eye for Hunting
- Fast Travel
- Fire a Warning Shot
- Flip Your Gun
- Groom Your Horse
- GROW A BEARD
- Hitch Your Horse to Things in Nature
- Jump on Stagecoaches or Trains
- Lost Your Hat?
- Open Your Map Faster in Game
- Paying Off Bounties
- Perfect Pelts
- Quickly Exit a Catalog
- Reloading Quicker
- Stealing from Horses
- Storing Outfits on Your Horse
- Take a Selfie
- Toggle Run
- Use Binoculars
- Use Eagle Eye for Fishing
- Watch Your Cores
Red Dead Redemption Tips and Tricks List
Some of these tips might seem obvious, but they can still be useful to people who are new to the genre and are playing this kind of game for the first time. It's been a long time since the last Red Dead Redemption, and people are far less familiar with the game.
Aiming for the Head
While the game will snap the aim to an enemy when you go to target someone, you can help eliminate them easier if you shoot for the head. Once the aim snaps, slightly press up on the stick to put the crosshair on their head and then fire! It should only require one shot if you do this correctly to kill someone, and it will help you deplete a lot less ammo and get you through fights quickly.
Always Wear a Bandanna or Mask During Crimes
This one you might learn the hard way, but make sure to put on at least a bandanna while doing a crime or holding someone up. You don't want to get a bounty on you and have to pay a ridiculous price if you end up getting in a shootout because law enforcement caught onto your schemes. In the items menu, put on your bandanna before doing a crime so your identity is concealed. As you get further into the game, you can purchase a mask that fully covers your face. I'm not sure if it actually makes a difference, but it would obviously be on the safer side. You'll eventually just want a full outfit that you dedicate to doing your nefarious deeds so no one recognizes you when you are just doing mundane activities.
Blow Open Safes with Dynamite
Whether you are robbing a place or you happen to come across a safe in the world, you are going to need to get that bad boy open. If you've got yourself some dynamite, this can be made a lot easier. If you equip the dynamite and get close to the safe, you can stick it on there and then walk away from it and it will explode. You can now loot up the money and head off with your pockets now a bit heavier.
Bond With Your Horse
Bonding with your horse can be an important aspect of the game and allow you to unlock some extra and more advanced maneuvers with it. As you level up your bond, you will be able to rear your horse back in that standard cool looking horse on two legs pose, you can perform what amount to a J-Turn and quickly do a 180, and finally you will be able to strafe left or right to get you through some tight areas.
Carry Horse Reviver
If you've got a particular horse you are fond of then you are going to make sure to have a bottle of this on you at all times. Horse death is permanent in this game, and so if you don't want to your horse to be killed in the crossfire, be sure to purchase some of this at any supply shop.
More Great Red Dead Redemption Content
- How-to Find All of the Rock Carving Locations in Red Dead Redemption 2
- How-to Get the Fastest & Rarest Horses in Red Dead Redemption 2 – Best Horses for Traversing the Wilds in RDR 2!
- How to Get Perfect Pelts in Red Dead Redemption 2 Guide – Upgrade Your Satchel, Create Unique Gear!
- Red Dead Redemption 2 Legendary Animal Locations – Hunting Down the Rarest Animals in RDR 2!
- Red Dead Redemption 2 Grave Locations – All Nine Character Gravesites
Cinematic Mode for Auto-Travel
While Cinematic Mode was kind of a cool addition just for getting a chance to check out the scenery, it actually also functions as a useful way to travel to other destinations. Go to your map and mark where you'd like to go. Exit this and start moving in that direction. Go ahead and put yourself in the Cinematic Mode and your horse will take you to the destination you marked without any intervention from you. This is good for long range destinations that you've been to and you just want to get there without worrying about what's going on.
Clean Yourself Off
Often you'll find yourself getting pretty dirty by traveling around or fighting in the mud. To get rid of the muck and grime, you can head to a saloon and take a bath in one of the rooms if you want to pay (you can even have someone help clean you off). Alternatively, if you find a deep enough body of water, you can just jump into it and it will get rid of the mud for you.
As far as I know, this isn't listed or mentioned in the game, but you can actually do a combat dive or roll while you are fighting enemies. While you are aiming down the sights, press square or X in the direction you'd like to dive and you will do a quick maneuver in that direction. This can be great for getting out of the way of gunfire, or just making your way towards cover without taking a lot of damage.
You can craft a fair amount of tonics at a campfire as long as you have the herbs to do so! Be sure to grab any herbs you see while traveling around, and when you have some down time you can craft up tonics rather than have to purchase them or find them off of any slain enemies.
Dog Constantly Barking at You - Give it a Pet!
There's been a few times in the game where a dog was constantly barking and annoying me while I was doing something. Instead of taking it out back like Old Yeller, go ahead and give it a pat and the dog will not bark at you when it sees you next and hopefully keeps from yapping constantly!
Eagle Eye for Hunting
Now Eagle Eye is quite useful for when gunfights are getting out of hand, it can also be useful when hunting. First, you can use it to track down the animal you are looking to hunt. Put yourself in Eagle Eye and you'll see a blue or red trail (red means it's wounded). You can then focus on the trail and find the animal. Another way to use Eagle Eye for hunting, is that when you level it up a bit it will show the vital organs of whatever animal you are targeting. This is helpful for getting a clean kill which can get you a perfect pelt!
Let's face it, the map in this game is huge and you aren't going to always want to travel across the whole thing yourself. Well, there's some different options that you can attempt. You can hop in a stagecoach and head to another area that you've previously visited. You can jump on a train and ride the rails until you reach your destination. Finally, you can fast travel! This isn't exactly obvious at first, but you can do this at your campsite.
To get started with Fast Traveling, you will need to upgrade Dutch's lodging at your campsite. You can do this at the Ledger that is located near Dutch's tent. You will first see some of the recent donations and deductions happening around the camp, but you can go to the next page where you can upgrade the various things at your camp. You will then need to upgrade Arthur's lodging, and it will create a map behind your stagecoach. Go to this map and you will be able to Fast Travel to various locations you have previously visited.
There is a caveat to all of this, however, and that is going to be you can only travel one way. So, you won't be able to quickly travel back to camp. You will have to use one of the alternatives I mentioned above, or you will just have to use your horse to make it home.
Fire a Warning Shot
If you want to intimidate someone, alert friendly people, or scare some animals then you can fire off a warning shot into the air! To do this, aim down the sights as you normally would to fire your gun but then hold up on the D-Pad and it will fire a shot straight up in the air. Hell, you might even get lucky and get some free dinner!
Flip Your Gun
Have you just shot your way through a bunch of bad guys and are looking to stow away your pistol in a way that is suited for the situation? Well, all you need to do is double tap the holster button and you will do a quick little twirl of your gun while you put it away. This isn't going to change the game any, but it will make sure any witnesses nearby know you mean business.
Groom Your Horse
As you travel around, you will notice that your horse gets dirty. Now this is a pretty cool realism feature, but this also is a practical issue. If your horse is dirty, it will be slower when you are riding it. So, be sure to take the time to brush your horse off every now and again to keep it running fast and looking good.
GROW A BEARD
If you are a fan of some long and lustrous facial hair then you can grow yourself a mighty fine beard in the game. However, if you want to have it be as full as it can be then you'll need to help it along with a Hair Tonic. Don't let mother nature dictate how long your beard can be, use the wisdom of the wild west to grow it out even longer!
Hitch Your Horse to Things in Nature
While it's obvious that you can hitch your horse around town or at your campsite, it's less obvious that you can hitch it to a lot of other things that are found around you. Hitching your horse has the added benefit to replenishing its cores, so if you had just ran it ragged previously, it will hopefully gain some of its stamina back by the time you need it again.
Jump on Stagecoaches or Trains
If you are looking to rob a Stagecoach or Train then you can run alongside it with your horse and you should see a button option at the bottom right of your screen that says "Jump to ..." Hit that button and you will leap from your horse and onto the vehicle of your choice.
Lost Your Hat?
As you play the game you'll find that your hat gets knocked off if you are getting in physical scrapes, someone shoot it off, or you fall off of your horse. Whatever the reason is that you lost it, you will sometimes forget to grab it afterwards. Good thing for you, the game has you covered and if you go to the items menu on your horse, you'll find the hat on the option wheel!
Open Your Map Faster in Game
Now this is a very useful tip to know because you are going to be in and out of your map quite a bit. Instead of hitting the menu button and then going to the Map option, you can HOLD the menu button and it will take you directly to the map. This saves you a ton of time, and you can then immediately hit the menu button to exit the map.
Paying Off Bounties
This is one I wish I knew early on because during one of the missions I did I got a huge bounty and couldn't return to the area where I had a huge battle. I was getting shot up every time I went to the area, so I was pretty out of luck if there was something I needed over there. I thought at first you'd just go to the Sheriff office and pay them, but once I went there they stuck me up and threw me in jail. So, if you want to payoff a bounty then you'll need to go to a Post Office to get rid of it. You can do this at any Post Office, so the best way to do it is head to one that isn't in the area of your bounty so you don't get shot!
This one is kind of easy to gloss over at first, but if you are getting into hunting then this is one you will need to know. First, when you look over at animal for the first time make sure to study it. This gives you information on what weapon is required of you to use to get a clean kill on the particular animal. This is vital information as you won't get a perfect pelt if you don't get a clean kill. The second thing you'll need to do when trying to get a perfect pelt is make sure that the animal is three stars. When you are targeting the animal you will see the name of it on the bottom right of your screen, and to the left of that is the quality of the animal in stars. If the animal has three stars and you get a clean kill on it, you will then get a perfect pelt.
Quickly Exit a Catalog
If you are browsing a catalog at a gun or general store then you know it take a few button clicks to fully exit out of it. Instead of doing that, hold the Index button and it will instantly exit you out of the book so you don't have to wait for all of the animations.
If you are in a highly contested fight and the bullets are really firing then you might want to use this trick to quickly reload your weapon. If you need to reload, quickly enter and exit the Dead Eye mode and it will reload your weapon without going through the animation. You obviously need enough Dead Eye ability to accomplish this, and it will drain a bit of it every time you do it. So, only do this when it's necessary and can help you out in a battle.
Stealing from Horses
If you want to grab some quick cash and are near some horses, you can actually go up to them and steal things out of the saddlebags. However, if you try this the horse might decide you are unworthy and kick you in the brain. To avoid this, hold the trigger while targeting the horse and use the calm key. This should allow you to steal from the bags without losing a few brain cells.
Storing Outfits on Your Horse
Having outfits on your horse will help make it so you don't have to always return to your campsite or do a room with a closet. Go to your Wardrobe at the campsite and you can scroll over your outfits and you will see an option at the bottom right of the screen that says "Store on Horse." You can store up to three outfits in the early game (you might be able to increase this with a better saddle).
Why would you want to do this? Well, first if you are transitioning from different weather by traveling around a lot, you might want to keep a couple different outfits for the various weather conditions. You lose extra stamina if you are wearing an outfit that doesn't fit the climate. The other reason is that if you are doing a lot of crimes, you don't want to wear the same outfit that you are seen around town in when you are just out shopping. If you do, you will more easily be spotted and can accrue a bounty even if you are wearing a bandanna!
Take a Selfie
Maybe you are the photography type of person who likes to take pictures of yourself in front of some beautiful scenery. Well, Red Dead Redemption 2 has you covered in that respect. What you can do is switch to your Camera in the items menu. Once you have that equipped, you'll see a "Self Portrait" option in the bottom right of your screen. Go ahead and hit the corresponding button and it will put it in selfie mode! You can change your pose if you like, and take some awesome shots of yourself at remote locations.
If you get tired of having to tap the run button or hold it while you are on foot then you can go to the options and select toggle to run. This will make it so you just have to hit the run button and you won't have to hold down the key constantly. To sprint, however, you will still need to tap it!
If you are looking to hunt and sneak up on your prey then using the binoculars to do so is actually pretty beneficial. You can do it without spooking the animals, but you can also study them from afar so you can learn how best to kill them. This also allows you to pinpoint which animal is three stars so you can get the perfect pelt. If you are still having trouble with animals running away from you, then you can purchase a scent removing lotion from the store.
Use Eagle Eye for Fishing
Eagle Eye has so many awesome uses outside of just murdering people in your spare time. You can use the Eagle Eye skill while you are fishing and you will see where fish are in the water. This can give you a good idea of where you can cast your line and hopefully catch that big fish you've been looking to haul in!
Watch Your Cores
Arthur has three cores available to him: health, stamina, and dead eye cores. Each of these you will want to keep topped off so you can be as effective as possible in all situations you find yourself in. To keep these topped off, be sure to keep yourself fed, but drink down some of the various tonics you find in the game. If you are looting consistently, then you should have a pretty steady flow of these coming into your satchel. Don't shy away from using them, and if you are running low be sure to upgrade your medic tent at your campsite so you can easily get more.
Tobacco and Snake Oil are good for topping off your Dead Eye Core which is going to be one of your often used cores.