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Red Dead Redemption 2: Side Quest, Upgrade, and Combat Tips

Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2 is Rockstar’s masterpiece.

The studio that brought us such hits as the Grand Theft Auto franchise may be known for great games, but Red Dead Redemption 2 is something truly special. The game’s massive world harbors incredible characters, unbelievable moments, and over a hundred hours of gameplay.

Honestly, it’s all a little overwhelming. However, since RDR 2 doesn’t tell you everything you need to know to get by, here are some tips for surviving Rockstar’s wild west masterpiece.

Don’t Stress About Cash If You Just Want to See the Story

There are actually a lot of things to buy in Red Dead Redemption 2, and most people in the game won’t just give them to you. However, cash isn’t that important in the long-run.

What we mean is that everyone who just wants to see the story can see it without going out of their way to get cash. Everything “essential” can be earned through the natural course of play. Everything else is fairly cheap.

Upgrade The Tents To Get Fast Travel

Upgrading your camp in Red Dead Redemption 2 is generally valuable, but the most value upgrades in terms of convenience are the tent upgrades.

They may seem superfluous and expensive, but it’s worth the money to upgrade Arthur and Dutch’s tents. Why? Well, the Arthur upgrade lets you fast travel from camp. This saves you a ton of time throughout the game.

Get The Leather Working Tools Camp Upgrade

The other “must-have” camp upgrade (at least at the start) are the Leather Working Tools.

This upgrade allows you to easily purchase satchel upgrades which let you carry more stuff. Considering how easy it is to overload your initially small satchel, this upgrade just makes your life so much easier.

Don’t Bother With The Legendary Animals Early On

Despite being (probably) one of the first side-quests you encounter, the hunt for legendary animals isn’t that important.

Most legendary animal kills just allow you to eventually make rare items and outfits. They’re very cool items and outfits, but don’t believe that you have to do these quests just because the game presents them prominently.

Get (Kind of) Fat

Unlike Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, getting fat in Red Dead Redemption 2 is actually kind of valuable.

While you don’t want to be very fat, it’s helpful to be somewhat fatter in the game. That extra fat helps you keep your strength and have a stronger health core. Just always be sure to eat past full health when you sit to eat, and you’ should be set.

Don’t Buy Guns (But do Upgrade Them)

Most every gun you could ever want in Red Dead Redemption 2 can be earned just by playing the game. However, you should buy gun customizations.

Upgrades which actually improve your guns stats (non-cosmetic upgrades) are actually very valuable for their cost. Don’t spend too much on early weapons, but do always buy an upgrade or two.

Focus on Shotguns and Dual Revolvers

RDR 2′s rifles are very effective, but generally speaking, it’s best to focus on shotguns and dual revolvers.

Shotgun’s usual drawback (their short range) can be fixed via upgrades, which makes them dangerous close-to-mid range weapons. As for dual revolvers, you’ll unlock the ability to dual-wield following the completion of a very early story mission. Take advantage of the ability as soon as you get it.

Hunt For Deadeye Upgrades

Even if you’re not interested in hunting for skins, food, and other upgrades (which you should do anyway), you’ll want to regularly hunt animals in order to improve your deadeye ability.

There are other ways to improve deadeye, but the easiest (and most law-abiding) is to hunt animals. Considering how much easier deadeye makes the game’s toughest battles, you’ll want to upgrade that ability ASAP.

 Don’t Be Afraid to Use Items

Some games force you to play conservatively and use items sparingly. Red Dead Redemption 2 isn’t one of those games.

Some consumable items are rare, but most consumables in the game can be easily replaced. Don’t be afraid to down a few tonics before a fight to boost your stats.

Don’t Let Your Horse Die

Losing horses in Red Ded Redemption 2 is a big deal because losing one means losing all of the skill upgrades you’ve acquired with your trusted steed.

You should always aim to keep your horse alive, but if it isn’t possible, then make sure you have a horse revival kit with you. These kits let you save your horse from the brink of death if you can use them quickly enough.

Use Your Bandana to Hide Your Identity

Bounties can be really bad in RDR 2. In fact, it’s possible to make some entire towns hostile towards you. The only way to safely enter them in those instances is to pay your (rather large) bounty.

This is why you carry a bandana. While this piece of cloth won’t let you commit crimes without consequence, it can ensure that you’re able to still safely wander through towns even with a bounty on your head.

Also Read: Red Dead Redemption 2: Does it Need to be “Fixed?”

Matthew Byrd

Matthew Byrd covers the gaming industry including indies, consoles, PCs, iOS and Android apps, as well as topics related to entertainment and technology.