Seven Spoiler-Free Tips for Red Dead Redemption 2

By Dave Horobin, 24 days ago
The long wait is over! Red Dead Redemption 2 is finally here, and if you've read our review, you'll already know that it lives up to its high expectations. Before you saddle up and dive it to the game's 60-hour story and attempt to make some headway with the Red Dead Redemption 2 achievement list, here are seven quick and spoiler-free tips to get you started.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Look After Your Horse

Your trusty steed plays an important role in Red Dead Redemption 2. Not only is it your primary mode of transport, it's also a walking gun cabinet where all of your unused weapons are stored. The more you use your horse, the stronger your bond with it will grow, which offers a number of benefits including unlocking new manoeuvres and increased health and stamina.

There are four levels of bonding in total. As your bonding level increases:
  • Your Horse’s Health and Stamina will increase.
  • You’ll be able to call your Horse from a greater distance, and during combat.
  • Your Horse will cross deeper water and navigate more challenging grounds.
  • Your Horse will become more difficult to steal
You can increase your bonding level in the following ways:
  • Calming your horse when it is agitated
  • Feeding your horse when it's hungry
  • Grooming your horse when it's dirty
  • Riding, leading and swimming with your horse, as long as it isn't tired out
You can check your current horse bonding level by pausing the game, navigating to Player and selecting the Horse option.

Bonding is unique to each horse, so it’s also worth keeping a horse revival kit, which can be purchased from general stores, with you at all times. There's no greater pain than watching your horse die and having to start bonding with a new one again from scratch.

Hitting level four in horse bonding will also unlock this achievement:

Red Dead Redemption 2Trusty SteedThe Trusty Steed achievement in Red Dead Redemption 2 worth 12 pointsReach max bonding level with a horse.

Maintain Your Guns

There are over 50 different weapons in Red Dead Redemption 2, including revolvers, pistols, repeaters, rifles, shotguns, a bow and arrow and throwables. Over time, your guns will start to deteriorate through usage and environmental damage, which will lead to lower damage, slower cocking, and longer reloads. To keep your weapons in tip-top condition, you'll need to make sure you clean them on a regular basis using Gun Oil which can be purchased from the Gunsmith store.

Red Dead Redemption 2 - Maintain Your Weapons

You can also clean, upgrade and customise your weapons at any of the Gunsmith stores found throughout the game. Upgrading all of the available components for a sidearm or longarm weapon will unlock the following achievement:

Red Dead Redemption 2Locked and LoadedThe Locked and Loaded achievement in Red Dead Redemption 2 worth 15 pointsUpgrade each available component for a single sidearm or longarm weapon.

Using the same model of a gun for a period of time will increase your familiarity, resulting in improved handling, a reduction in recoil and quicker reloading.

Loot, Loot and Loot Some More

After fleeing from the law and setting up camp for the first time, money is going to be extremely tight. Corpses can be a good source of provisions, valuable items, and most importantly money. With no shortage of enemies to kill, make sure you loot as many as possible before moving on.

It might take a little while, but once you've managed to steal or loot $250 in total, you'll unlock this achievement:

Red Dead Redemption 2Take From the RichThe Take From the Rich achievement in Red Dead Redemption 2 worth 16 pointsRob or loot $250.

Make Some Manual Game Saves

Without giving away any spoilers, there are four achievements that will be missable if you progress too far into the story. Rather than ruining RDR2's excellent story for yourself by reading up on guides in advance, I'd suggest simply making a separate manual save at the start of each chapter so that you can quickly go back if you miss any of them later.

Going Fishing? Find Jeremy Gill First

You'll learn how to fish quite early in the game, and whilst catching the smaller fish is a good source of food and a fun way to pass some time in the game, you'll want to hook one weighing over 16 lbs for the It was THIS Big! achievement:

Red Dead Redemption 2It was THIS Big!The It was THIS Big! achievement in Red Dead Redemption 2 worth 44 pointsCatch a fish weighing at least 16 lbs (7.3 kg).

The easiest way to do this is by unlocking the Fisher of Fish stranger mission from Jeremy Gill, who can be found at Gill Landing on the shore of Flat Iron Lake. Pay him a visit and he'll task you with catching 13 legendary fish and mailing them into him. He'll also give you the location of the bait shop in Lagras, along with the ability to purchase three new lures:

  • Special River lure: increases your chances of catching medium to large river fish.
  • Special Lake lure: increases your chances of catching medium to large lake fish.
  • Special Swamp lure: increases your chances of catching medium to large swap fish.

Unlock Fast Travel

Head to the ledger, which can be found next to the tithing box at your camp, and you'll see a range of upgrade options. From better ingredients for the camp's stew, more health, ammo and food provisions to take on your travels, to a handy map that will allow you to fast travel from camp.

Whilst I'd recommend exploring the stunning world of Red Dead Redemption 2 as much as possible, it's worth spending the money upgrading the lodgings to save yourself five minutes riding to start the next mission.

If you donate your money to the tithing box first, rather than paying for upgrades out of your own pocket, you'll unlock the Give to the Poor achievement as well as having a quicker way to travel around in the game.

Red Dead Redemption 2Give to the PoorThe Give to the Poor achievement in Red Dead Redemption 2 worth 12 pointsDonate $250 to the gang tithing box.

Use the Cinematic Camera When You Can't Fast Travel

Sometimes fast travel won't be an option, so make use of the cinematic camera when you have to travel long distances by horse. Set yourself a marker and then whilst riding, hold down the cn_back button to switch to cinematic camera. Your horse will follow the path at the current speed, giving you the chance to take in the surroundings. Don't get too relaxed, however, as you may get attacked by enemies and predators on the open trail and have to defend yourself.

We've got the full list of Red Dead Redemption 2 achievements - check the list for guides to unlocking them.

Check out our Best Xbox Third Person Shooters Available in 2018 article for a compilation of other great games in this genre.
Dave Horobin
Written by Dave Horobin
Dave is the TrueAchievements Social Manager and has been a Newshound since 2010. When he's not chasing developers and publishers for early review copies, he can usually be found on the TrueAchievements social pages discussing all things TA related.