Outlaws for life
America, 1899. The end of the Wild West era has begun. After a robbery goes badly wrong in the western town of Blackwater, Arthur Morgan and the Van der Linde gang are forced to flee. With federal agents and the best bounty hunters in the nation massing on their heels, the gang must rob, steal and fight their way across the rugged heartland of America in order to survive. As deepening internal divisions threaten to tear the gang apart, Arthur must make a choice between his own ideals and loyalty to the gang who raised him.
The Van Der Linde Gang
A gang of outlaws, renegades and misfits, bonded together under the charismatic and idealistic Dutch van der Linde. They have chosen to live outside the law and now fear it may be catching up with them.
Some of the key gang members are:
- Dutch Van Der Linde - The leader of a sizeable gang of outlaws and misfits. Idealistic, anarchic, charismatic, well-read, well-lived, but possibly starting to unravel under the pressures of the encroaching modern world.
- Arthur Morgan - Dutch's most dependable and capable enforcer since he was a boy, the outlaw life is all Arthur has ever known. Sharp, cool-headed, and ruthless, but with his own sense of honour. A man who gets the job done.
- John Marston - Once an orphaned street kid, taken under Dutch's wing at the age of twelve, John has always had to live by his wits. Shrewd, fearless and strong-willed, he and Arthur are Dutch’s proudest protégés.
The Frontier, Cities and Towns
Discover some of the towns dotted across the vast and varied landscape of Red Dead Redemption 2; from the forests of West Elizabeth to the mountains of Ambarino to the plains of New Hanover to the swamps of Lemoyne.
- Valentine - The Heartlands, NH - A raucous, rough-and-tumble town in the Heartlands, Valentine’s livestock auctions attract traders, ranchers, cowboys, gamblers, outlaws and prostitutes from far and wide, all looking to make some money, raise some hell, and have a good time.
- Annesburg - Roanoke Ridge, NH - Life isn’t easy for the miners and their families in Annesburg, which has been providing coal up and down the Lannahechee River for almost a century. Working conditions are terrible for little pay, and many men have lost their lives down the pit.
- Saint Denis - Bayou NWA, LE - A key gateway into North America with a trade route that runs the length of the country, the bustling city of Saint Denis is a melting pot of cultures and people where businessmen, socialites, sailors, laborers, beggars and thieves all live side by side.
- Mount Hagen - Grizzlies, AM - One of the more well-known peaks in the snowy Grizzlies of Ambarino, Mount Hagen towers above Lake Isabella to the west and Beartooth Beck to the east, which provides the main pass through the western mountain range and joins up with the Dakota River further south.
- Rhodes - Scarlett Meadows, LE - Prim and proper on the surface, tensions and corruption run deep in the Southern town of Rhodes, which for years has been caught in the crossfire between the Braithwaites and the Grays, two warring plantation families.
- Strawberry - Big Valley, WE - Strawberry was little more than a small logging town until the arrival of its new mayor, an East Coast eccentric, who is obsessed with transforming it into a cultural beacon for wealthy tourists, much to the bemusement of the locals.
- Lagras - Bayou NWA, LE - A small, remote settlement out in the swamps of Bayou NWA, Lemoyne, the people of Lagras live self-sufficiently for the most part, making a little money here and there from fishing and acting as guides for travellers wishing to navigate the region.
The diverse habitats and climates of Red Dead Redemption 2 are home to around 200 species of animals, birds and fish, all of which behave and respond to their environment in a unique way.
Deer, bison and pronghorn traverse the plains in large herds, scavengers quickly sniff out carrion, sockeye salmon leap upstream, wolves attack in packs surrounding their prey, geese fly in fixed formations, possums play dead, rodents scamper into tree hollows, grizzly bears bluff charge when threatened, and birds of prey soar on thermals. They all form part of a complex ecosystem and must continually fight for their place on the food chain. The wilderness is at once a bountiful and perilous place, for both man and beast, and any predator can quickly turn prey.
Some of the wildlife found includes:
- Californian Valley Coyote
- Whitetail Buck
- Eastern Turkey Vulture
- Bald Eagle
- American Alligator
- Tennessee Walker Horse
- North American Brown Bear (Grizzly)
- Lake Sturgeon
- Morgan Horse
- Banded Gila Monster
Hunting and Fishing
Hunting and fishing are essential skills for survival in the wilderness, providing food, materials and a source of income. A huge variety of fish swim the many rivers, lakes and streams, and selecting the right bait or lure is key to a successful day’s haul. Tracking an animal takes focus and patience; move carefully and watch the wind direction or you will alert your prey. Choice of weapon and shot placement are also very important and will affect the quality of the meat and pelt, which in turn affects the price that traders will pay for them. Make sure to pick the right gauge of rifle for the size of animal that you’re hunting, or master the use of the bow for a quiet and clean kill.
- After a successful hunt, you can either skin and butcher the animal on the spot or take it with you whole. Just try not to leave it too long or the scavengers will come looking. Skins, parts, meat and entire carcasses can all be loaded onto your horse to be sold to the butchers in town, taken back to camp for the stew pot, or crafted into clothing or other items. Nature amply provides and there is no reason to ever go cold or hungry.
- Hunting wildlife provides valuable natural resources like meat, hides and other useful materials. You can sell meat and animal parts to butchers or general stores, donate them to your camp, or use them to cook and craft. For more exotic goods, bring your haul to a trapper.
- Game can be found across a range of habitats. If your first shot is not immediately fatal, your prey will try to escape. Follow clues like blood to track it down and you may need to use a mercy kill to end the animal's suffering.
- Selecting the proper weapon is important to the quality and yield from your kill. Bow and arrow is often the optimal weapon of choice for clean kills. Approach your prey quietly, cover your scent or stay downwind to make it harder for animals to detect your presence, and use a call to daw its attention before making your fatal strike.
- Like hunting, fishing also yields meat and useful materials. A range of species can be found in different habitats, each responding to different varieties of bait.
There are 19 breeds of horse in Red Dead Redemption 2 from Appaloosas and Arabians to Shires to Mustangs, each of which handles differently with its own defined characteristics. Horses can be captured and broken out in the wild, purchased from stables or acquired by more underhanded means, of course.
Your horse is your constant companion, and you will rely on them just as heavily as on any of your fellow gang members so it is important to take good care of your animal. By keeping it groomed and well-fed, you will start to see improvements in stamina, performance and handling and it will become less skittish as the bond grows between you. With 59 different styles of coat, and a huge range of customizable tack, including saddles, horns, stirrups, spurs, you can create a horse that is truly your own, and develop a personal and unique relationship as you explore the world together.
- Wild Hungarian Half-Breeds can be found in the heartlands among other habitats. Capturing and taming wild horses can be a free method to acquire new mounts.
- Buy, sell and store horses from stables, or purchase provisions to keep your horse fed, tonics that give your horse temporary health and stamina boosts, and equipment like stirrups and saddles, which can improve your horse’s performance. Or simply add style to your horse's mane, tail or otherwise.
- Your bond with your horse represents trust and understanding. As your bond with your horse grows over time and through activities like feeding and grooming, your horse's attributes like its health and speed will improve. You will also unlock bonding perks and rewards.
- Store weapons, outfits, masks and hats in your horse's saddle. You can also stow fresh kills; birds and small game can be attached to the saddle or you can store larger game across your horse's rear.