I believe these tips will not spoil the story for you. Overall the best thing about this game is the story of Arthur Morgan and the Van Der Linde gang, and how Arthur finally redeems himself, or not depending on how you play. Please play and enjoy the story to its fullest, and then continue your adventures on-line.
- Stay off social media. The game has been out for a year. Being on any social media is going to give you spoilers about the story. Not just from the trolls, but from well meaning people who just let things slip. I would have been stuck without asking some questions for help. The trick is to ask the question and then come back later looking for responses. No browsing.
- There are a couple of ways you can play the game. One way is to power through the story, taking your time to enjoy the characters and side quests, but not worrying about getting trophies, awards or special achievements. There is an Epilogue after the main story and you can use that time to get all the other achievements and collections. OR. You can play through a second time wracking up all those extras. I recommend this strategy, because even on a second or third play through you will be amazed at how much you have missed.
- If you really want to stretch out your time in the game getting all the extras and just having fun the time to do it is in the last part of Chapter Two, throughout Chapter Three and in the early part of Chapter Four. At the end of Chapter Four the story really picks up it’s pace, and you really won’t want to be distracted from that to catch Legendary Fish or whatnot. Chapter Three is the best time, because by then you have unlocked more skills and items.
- Turn off “auto-save”. Make your saves manually, right after you do anything successful. Keep a couple of different save files so you can go back further in the game if you have to. Make a Master Save near the start of Chapter Two. That way, if you want to start a new game you won’t have to slog through the tutorials again.
- You might be surprised at how important hunting is in the game, over robbing banks or holding up trains. That’s because hunting gets you the supplies you need to upgrade the camp and upgrade your equipment. Plus, it becomes an easy way to make money and it gets you the food you need to stay alive and improve your stats.
- The only meat you really need to save for yourself is “Big Game Meat” which basically comes from any animal that would eat you. When you cook it with mint, oregano or thyme it will boost your cores up to ‘gold’ which makes your health, stamina or Deadeye last longer. Other meat will also keep you healthy but they wont give you gold cores. Also, If you don’t have enough room in your satchel you can cook and save meat for more capacity. This way you can have, for instance, 10 Raw Venison and 10 Cooked Venison. Or, ideally, 10 Big Game Meat, 10 Cooked BGM, 10 Mint Cooked BGM and so on.
- Near the start of Chapter Two Hosea will take you on a hunting trip. This is where you begin hunting “Legendary” animals. With Legendary animals only “The Trapper” can make clothes out of the pelts, but what is more important is going to a fence, who will make a good-luck-charm (a ‘trinket’ or a ‘talisman’) from a part of the animal. These little things give your stats or gameplay a small boost. If something bad happens and you lose a pelt do not worry, they automatically ship directly to the Trapper and the fence.
- The very first legendary animal you should hunt is the Legendary Buck. That’s because the trinket you will get helps you get better pelts from your hunting. It doesn’t take a one-star animal and turn it into a three-star. It will take a three-star animal where you didn’t get a clean kill and bring it back up to three again.
- The two people who do crafting for you are The Trapper and Mr. Pearson, the camp cook. The Trapper mostly makes clothes. Pearson will make you satchels with more storage space. After you get all the satchels he can make one more that holds 99 of each thing! It’s called the Legend of the East satchel. Getting this should be a top priority.
- You will see that the camp has a collection box and a Ledger right by it. The more you donate to the camp funds the more Good Honor (Karma) you get. You get the same amount of Honor regardless of the size of the donation. That means if you have $100 to give, you should break it up into five $20 Donations. Of course, if you play as a Black-Hat you don’t care about Honor, but you will still need to donate enough to make some camp improvements so you can get the Leather Working Tools for Mr. Pearson (so he can make those satchels). BTW, if your honor is high you get discounts in the stores. It can save you a lot on a new horse!
- The ledger is more like a shopping list for camp improvements. You need to get a leatherworking kit for Pearson and there are a few things you need to buy before that. Once Pearson has the kit it’s up to you if you want to keep going. Camp improvements makes overall moral go up, and people treat you with a little more respect.
- You get an ability called ‘Eagle Eye’ which helps you sense things. The game shows you how to use it for hunting. The thing is, it has a lot of other uses, too! Indoors it will show you boxes and furniture that you can loot. It will help you find herbs you need and of course, it helps you find and track animals. It will also help you find all those collectable things you need for achievements and trophies.
- There is no “Best Horse”. Some horses are cheaper while others are more expensive. Some horses are faster, some are braver and some are healthier. Yes, you can catch and train horses, too. You can have more than one, so you can have faster ones or sturdier ones for different situations.
- When Hosea takes you hunting he will make you stop to trade in the horse that the game starts you with. Consider keeping the first one. It's a slow, but brave type. Brave means it won't freak out and throw you the minute bullets are flying or bears are chasing you. Or wait until you have a little more money for something better.
- A good horse for free. OK, I don’t consider this a spoiler because it isn’t something you must do, nor does it affect the story, but I’ve redacted it anyway. One of the early missions you have is to go debt collecting for the camp loan shark Mr. Strauss. One of those collections is at the home of a Polish guy (or some kind of Eastern European) who knows very little English. Eventually he has no cash, but he tells you to take whatever you want from the house as collateral. Well, the house includes the barn, and in the barn is a very nice horse. You can repo the horse, too and keep it for yourself! Try to watch the guy behind you as you ride away. You aren’t stealing it so there will be no bounty on you.
- A gift of gold. The game has a way of giving you one gold bar (worth $500) for almost no effort. It’s just waiting there for you to pick it up, but some people might call it a spoiler so…. Near your first campsite at Horseshoe Overlook are the ruins of a burnt out town. Look all around with Eagle eye. Look all in the Sheriff’s old office. You will find a lockbox with a gold the bar in it, if you look carefully.
- When fishing the game recommends that you pull back on the rod while reeling in a fish. What it doesn’t tell you is that if you push the rod all the way down (forward) and then all the way up (backward) it will pull the fish in much, much faster.
- When “breaking” a wild horse the game tells you to shift the control in the opposite direction from the horse’s movement. In addition to that you should pull back hard the whole time on the controller. You should also spam the ‘calm’ button.
- One of the fastest ways to reach a high level of bonding with your horse is to lead it around. It's slow traveling, but your horse will love you for it. Also, when the horse is getting frightened re-assure it a lot. Calm it and hug it. Over time even a cowardly horse can become brave.
Here are some resources. You might consider them a little spoilerish. The first is a wonderful map: https://rdr2map.com/
The other is an interactive spreadsheet that you can use to keep track of what things you have done and what you still need to get certain items/achievements. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/17OtbWz1nbbdMHDabBH_sZBLtZWQn2vY5lroLea7070w/edit#gid=0
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© Post "Thanks to the new PC players there are a lot of people asking for tips. Here is my spoiler free Strategy Guide for Story Mode." for game Red Dead Redemption 2.
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