1- The longer you take to finish a mission the bigger the payoff. It might drag the game out and aggravate the snot out of your posse. But it will maximize your reward and given how hard it can be to start missions when you're looking to collect gold it is arguably faster.
2- Don't forget the big unlocks will have extra costs so save up for them too. I was so excited to have saved up enough when the Turkoman was unlocked. And then had to leave him stabled so I could earn enough to buy horse insurance. That saddle will need stirrups (and a less dorky looking saddlebag). That rifle will need better rifling. That ability card upgrade needs experience AND cash.
3- Fishing boosts your max health. Like an idiot I didn't learn this until I'd matched guys bullet for bullet and still kept dying first. Also not a bad way to make money. Salmon is $2.50 and you can hold 10. A perfect Muskie every catch and an easy $7.50. I have favorite fishing spots now which I think my wife finds a little sad.
4- You're safe just standing in a shop pretending to browse. I've come back from the can and found myself mysteriously hogtied on the ground with no one in sight. Or possibly on my 10th or 12th respawn because some griefers found me standing still like a dummy on the map.
5- Check the map before you ride anywhere. The train tracks or cutting cross country might be much faster, but sometimes there's a cliff to deal with, or all of Iron Lake and your horse won't be able to swim across it (I tried). If your posse sets a waypoint you might find the fast travel option is worth the cost. Or just put on cinematic mode and sit back for a bit.
6- Order a crapload of ammo from the catalog so you can just stock up from the post office when you're running low and won't need to worry about if you ran out of cash. You'll also only take the number of bullets you can actually carry, the Gunsmith makes you pay for the whole box and I'm pretty sure is selling the extras to the townsfolk.
7- Keep a second horse in the stable equipped with a saddle. If/when you lose your horse in a fight because some psycho is shooting freaking dynamite from his bow, much better if your backup horse arrives and it's not the "scrawny nag".
8- Use the horse stimulant. I went in naively thinking it wasn't cool to be juicing up my horse. Not only does it boost their stamina on a long ride, the game took advise from Ben Johnsons trainer and considers it excellent horse care. Go figure.
9- Reset your gold buckle awards. It's a great way to collect experience and gold chunks. Obsessively picking herbs to sell the doctor has given me an easy gold bar. But when I'm just shy of what I need to change my trigger guard to solid gold, I check if there's a buckle I can cash in.
10- Research and upgrade the ability cards that will match your playing style right away. They aren't cheap, but they also won't start collecting experience points unless they're loaded. And I'm not sure, but I kinda feel they can be a game changer. My "Never without One" card has saved my coconut countless times from varmint gun headshots, best investment I made.
And a bonus tip…
11- Did you know you can drink beer from anyones camp? I was in a running battle with 2 guys and finally returned to my cap to get more ammo. They'd followed me there too of course, and walked around trying to piss me off which had the highlight when I learned they could help themselves to my beer! Which was awesome. I ran over to have a beer with them but they rode off so I guess they weren't friendly…
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© Post "Things I wish I’d known when I’d started" for game Red Dead Redemption 2.
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