Red Dead Redemption 1 Guide – 15 Tips and Tricks to Keep in Mind While You Play
With Rockstar having ported Red Dead Redemption 1 to modern platforms, even though the ideal scenario would have been a remake or a remaster, even with its port, the open world title is going to pull a lot of people back in, whether you’re a fan who’s itching for a replay, or someone who’s never played the game before and wants to finally change that. Red Dead is, of course, a vast, sprawling game with plenty going on, so if you are indeed going to dive into its Wild West offerings soon, make sure to keep these handy pointers in mind for your playthrough.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT YOUR BANDANA
Red Dead Redemption 1’s Honor system ties your actions to very concrete mechanical consequences, and if you’re frequently committing crimes or killing NPCs, your lower Honor rating is going to impact your playthrough (like not being able to use various shops and vendors). There is, however, a very easy way to get around that- simply make sure that you equip your bandana before you commit a crime, which will result in no changes to your Honor whatsoever regardless of what you end up doing.
USE YOUR CAMPS FOR FAST TRAVEL
There’s a handful of ways to fast travel around Red Dead Redemption’s open world, even if, true to the series’ much more deliberate approach to pacing, fast travel is never as liberal as you might expect from most open world games. One of the easiest ways to do so, however, is to use your camp. You can whip out a campsite almost anywhere in the open world, and from there, you can fast travel to any town you’ve previously visited.
GET IMPROVED CAMPSITES
Campsites are useful enough as it is, given how frequently you’ll be using them to fast travel, but it’s definitely worth it to also purchase the Improved Campsite upgrade from a General Store as soon you can. In addition to letting you fast travel to a town or a waypoint like Basic Campsites, Improved Campsites also almost fully reload all of your weapons every time you use them, which comes in incredibly handy.
COMBAT IS BETTER WITHOUT AUTO-AIM
Red Dead Redemption 1’s combat is incredibly sticky, with auto-aiming that instantly snaps to the closest target to your reticle when you’re aiming. Using Dead Eye can, of course, be a lot of fun, but where the general combat is concerned, our advice would be to turn off the auto-aiming when you’re playing the game, which makes combat feel much less rigid and railroad-y. Admittedly, aiming with precision on a gamepad isn’t something everyone enjoys, but Red Dead’s auto-aim can be a bit too tight.
SHOOT YOUR BOUNTIES IN THE LEG
Bounty hunting is a major activity in Red Dead Redemption that, in all likelihood, you’re going to find yourself engaging with a great deal. And though you do always have the option of kill the bounties you’re tracking and get your reward, it’s far more profitable, in a monetary sense, to bring in your targets alive. That won’t always be easy, because targets will often try to make a run for it, and circumstances might force you to kill them- so at the beginning of any encounter, it’s best to just shoot your target in the leg to make sure they don’t run off anywhere.
TAKE EXTRA CARE OF YOUR HORSE
Looking after your horse isn’t nearly as central to the experience in Red Dead Redemption than it is in its sequel, given how easily replacable most horses tend to be in the 2010 title- but if you do find a horse with great stats, make sure you take extra good care of it. There’s no way to bring back dead horses in Red Dead Redemption 1, so when they’re gone, they’re gone permanently.
If you’ve never played Red Dead Redemption or even its sequel before, you’ll be surprised at how easy it can be to accidentally mess up some of the side content and permanently lock yourself out of it. For instance, accidentally aiming a gun at someone might fail a mission, while in the original, you could also encounter bugs that would force you to restart the game. As such, it’s smart to keep saving your game, so you don’t ever lose too much progress or lock yourself out of a quest in such situations.
DON’T IGNORE CHALLENGES
Given their nature as optional, background content, it can be easy to completely ignore or miss out on Challenges for some, which, in turn, means you miss out on some pretty useful rewards. There are four categories of Challenges, each with 10 ranks to progress through, and hitting ranks 5 and 10 in each category gives you unique rewards, including Dead Eye improvements, additional ammo, new outfits, and more. Speaking of which…
GET THE EXPERT HUNTER OUTFIT
Upon obtaining five scraps by completing challenges, you can unlock the Expert Hunter outfit, which can be incredibly useful if hunting is something you do a lot of (which you definitely should be- more on that in a bit). With the Expert Hunter outfit equipped, every animal you kill will yield twice the items that it would ordinarily, barring a few specific items like hearts.
GET THE DEADLY ASSASSIN OUTFIT
Also acquired by obtaining five scraps, the Deadly Assassin outfit is another on Red Dead Redemption’s most useful unlocks. Dead Eye is a mechanic that you’re going to be using a ton of in combat encounters, and with the Deadly Assassin outfit equipped, your Dead Eye meter regenerates at twice the speed. In the particularly hectic firefights, that can be quite useful, to say the least.
Red Dead lets you upgrade your ammo capacity in a number of ways, but the most straightforward way to do it is, of course, to simply buy bandoliers from a gunsmith or a general store. Our suggestion would be to do that as soon as you have enough money. With the added ammo capacity that bandoliers provide, you can carry twice the amount of ammo for your repeater and your rifle.
DON’T INSTANTLY BUY NEW WEAPONS
Spending money on upgrades and new items as soon as you enter a store or visit a gunsmith can be tempting, and quite often, it’s even recommended- not always though. For instance, when you visit a gunsmith, don’t instantly buy every new weapon that’s become available. Weapons are often given as rewards at the end of quests, so you definitely need to be careful that you’re not wasting your money on something you would have ended up getting for free later on anyway.
Hunting is a big part of the experience in Red Dead Redemption, even if it’s far from mandatory. In particular, if you’re looking for a way to make decent amounts of money without spending too much time doing it, hunting and skinning animals to sell their pelts is one of the most effective ways to do that. Especially if you have the aforementioned Expert Hunter outfit equipped, hunting can be particularly profitable (since you get twice the number of skins and hides for each animal you kill)- so our advice is to do plenty of it.
SELL PELTS TO DISTANT STORES
Pelts can fetch a decent price more often than not, but there’s ways to maximize your profits even further. For instance, if you sell a pelt to a store in different region than where you hunted the animal that pelt came from, you’re likely to get a higher price- so don’t be in a hurry to sell your pelts. Or, you know, just fast travel to a distant town if you are.
WATCH OUT FOR COUGARS
One thing experienced Red Dead Redemption players are likely to tell newcomers without fail is to watch out for the cougars. You’ll find plenty of these wild cats out in the untamed wilds of the game’s open world, and if you do, it’s probably best to just steer clear. They mean business, and you’d be surprised how lethal they can be.