11 early tips for being a better Outlaw in Red Dead Redemption 2

© Rockstar
We've already had the game for a lengthy amount of time ahead of release, and wanted to give you a boost out of the gate with these 11 handy tips to get to grips with Red Dead Redemption 2 early...
By Stephen FarrellyPublished on
Red Dead Redemption 2 is officially out in the wild and is already one of the highest rated games of the year. And rightly so. Rockstar has set a benchmark for open-world gaming from both a gameplay and world-building perspective. But early on a game of this magnitude, this level of majesty can be daunting, to say the least. So we've compiled some handy hints for you to grips with it early. This stuff will just set you on your way to being a stronger, more confident Outlaw.

The Trainline is Your Direct Path Friend

Red Dead Redemption 2’s mini-map functions similarly to modern GPS systems -- it will show you the correct route via actual roads and pathways, however, often this is the longest route and will take you way out of your way (often not a bad thing in this lush environment, mind). And this is an open-world game where you can go off the beaten track at any given point, so often we found that the trainline was the best way to get somewhere more quickly by risking both ours, and our trusty steed’s, lives. The best time we found them most useful though, was to cross huge chasms that had no other bridges, which meant staying on foot drove you into the cavern and then back up the other side. So if you’re willing to take the risk of not running headlong into an oncoming train on a bridge too high to jump from, we say do it.
A storm's a brewin'
A storm's a brewin'

Hitch and Leave Your Horse Off City and Town Streets

At least early on. The reason we say this is it will take you a while to bond with your horse, and depending on its personality, a skittish horse can be trouble in town streets, and if you accidentally knock someone over, you can find yourself in trouble with the law or having civilians drawing on you pretty quickly. There’s nothing worse than riding into town in the early throes of the game with a hogtied bounty stowed on the back, bounty thieves in hot pursuit trying to steal your prize from you, only to literally bowl someone over as you make a sharp turn and either get knocked from your horse or worse, kill them. Besides, walking around towns is a good way to get to grips early with the Greet/Antagonise system which can sometimes lead to quests or unique encounters.
We’ve been in completely safe situations forgetting our weapon was drawn and accidentally aimed it at a sheriff which caused a whole world of annoyance...

Get in the Habit of Holstering

Speaking of encounters, the same button you use to aim when your weapon is drawn is the same button you use to focus on someone you want to Greet. This can be problematic if you’ve forgotten to holster your weapon, especially in a crowded street. We’ve been in completely safe situations forgetting our weapon was drawn and accidentally aimed it at a sheriff which caused a whole world of annoyance. You can scare off people and generally just cause a ruckus if you’re not packing that heat away. It’s a good habit to get into early because when the game gets more complicated and more things are happening around you, not being an antagonist can actually help more than being one.
That sunset...
That sunset...

Go Fishing with Jack Early

Fishing becomes a very big part of Red Dead Redemption 2, but if you ignore a number of encounters with people in your camp, and ignore a few missions early on just to go and explore the world, it will take you a while to get to fishing. You gain access to your fishing pole after speaking with Abigail in the camp -- she’s Jack’s mother and John Marston’s wife. You’ll also be one step closer to learning how Arthur and John’s relationship will unfold ahead of the events of Red Dead Redemption, as well as get a glimpse into the type of man John was before leaving the Van der Linde gang. Plus, unlike how he is at the end of Red Dead Redemption, little boy Jack in RDR2 is actually cute and someone you want to be around.

Bounties ain’t Chicken Feed, but Pay ‘em Regular Like

Money can be hard to come by in Red Dead Redemption 2 early on, depending on how you decide to play. Ultimately you are an outlaw and this means you will break the law and often come into money, but that money is usually divided back up into the camp and split between yourself and anyone else who joined you in your law breakin’. You’ll also need to invest in your horse, weapons, clothes, baths, provisions and more. But the problem with this, is those law breakin’ activities will also likely net you a bounty on your head, and the bounty hunters in Red Dead Redemption 2 are relentless. With this in mind, strike a balance between how much access you feel you need to a town or county in order to make more money and just generally explore, and if it’s worth paying your $120 bounty, for example, over buying a shiny new saddle or sidearm. Early on, we recommend you go with the former, it definitely makes life easier.
Keeping an eye on your weapon's condition is super-important
Keeping an eye on your weapon's condition is super-important