Red Dead Redemption 2 tips and tricks

Rockstar's latest Western opus can be a bit cryptic, so here's a few tips and tricks to help your travels.

4 minutes & 55 seconds read time

We've just started our Red Dead Redemption 2 playthrough, but we've uncovered some useful tips in our journey across Rockstar's incredible world.

Red Dead Redemption 2 tips and tricks |

Red Dead Redemption 2 is quite possibly the most realistic and nuance-layered game I've ever played. It's a game where experimentation and memory are key, and it often rewards you for finding new things. Everything's logical and follows real life in many ways, but there's a steep learning curve that requires you to apply trial and error. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you along your way.

The following subjects are covered in this mini-guide:

  • Fighting controls
  • Quick map access
  • Retrieving your hat
  • Binoculars, compass, camera and watch
  • Autopilot travel
  • Quick-diving and slide-diving
  • Cover transition
  • Warning shots
  • Adjusting mini-map

Without further ado let's get right to it!

Changing Third-Person Aiming Orientation

With your gun drawn and aiming with L2, press left on the D-Pad to move the camera more towards the left.

This is useful in gunfights when Arthur's back (or other obstacles) get in the way. This can be used while in cover but you must have your weapon drawn and aim to do so.

View Cash, Honor, Time, Temperature and More

Simply tap down on the D-Pad to see your wanted/honor levels, cash, ammo, temperature, location and time at any moment in gameplay.

Quick Log

Quick-press left on the D-Pad to check your log with mission objectives, challenges, and more.

Fighting Controls

RDR2's controls are wonky and frustrating at times simply because I forget what certain things do in certain situations. When in a fistfight my mind goes completely blank and I forget the controls. Maybe you do, too, and if that's the case check below:

  • Punch -> Circle
  • Block -> Square
  • Grapple -> Triangle
  • Break Free -> Press Circle Repeatedly

Quick Map Access

Hold down the options button to quickly bring up the in-game map. I found this out almost right away (I know RDR games can be weird and cryptic with their controls so I tried lots of different things right off the bat) and it's saved me a good amount of time while navigating the frontier.

Store an Extra Hat on Your Horse

You're going to lose your hat in RDR2. It's just going to happen. Even if you replay an old mission and lose it, you actually still lose it when you return to your main game (it happened to me last night).

Avoid this by sending an extra hat to your horse's inventory. When at camp, go to Arthur's makeshift room and select the outfits option, go to hats, and press square to send it to your horse.

Now if you lose your hat just call your trusty steed and retrieve it.

Use Your Binoculars

Always use your binoculars. Whether you're about to take on an enemy base or want to go hunting, your binoculars are immensely useful.

You can use them to study animals from afar without spooking them away, and then track them to hunt them. Or you can use them to simply watch enemy habits, or scout out a nearby camp that hasn't seen you yet.

Get to the binoculars by holding L1, pressing R1 for the Items tab, and going to the lower right-hand part of the circle. You may have to press R2 a few times to get to them.

There's a Camera That Takes Pictures

Red Dead Redemption 2 has a built-in camera, but you'll have to look around for it in the item menus first. Like above, go to the Items tab of your wheel and go to the bottom right-hand side. The miscellaneous items are always layered here.

The camera can be used to take selfies or HUD-less shots while on horseback or on foot. Photos you take are automatically uploaded to your Rockstar Social Club account provided you're signed in and connected to the internet.

Autopilot Travel

Tired of holding down the X button? Want to drink in the amazing atmosphere of the 1899 frontier? Arthur can automatically ride his horse to a destination.

All you have to do is set a waypoint to a location and open up the cinematic camera mode while riding (hold down the touch pad). You'll need to be on a trail or a path for this to work, and Arthur will ride across the path.

You're not invincible while riding this way so be sure to look out for predators, bandits, or any other dangers on the trail.

Quick Dive In a Shootout

With your weapon raised and aiming press Square to quick-dive in a specific direction. This is useful if someone starts abruptly shooting at you or you need to move to cover quickly.

You can quick-dive with most equipped weapons include a sidearm, longarm, or a bow/lasso. You can't do this with your bare hands or a knife equipped.

Slide-Dive into Cover

While running with a weapon drawn simply press R1 to snap into cover. If you're running towards cover like a rock or something Arthur can crouch behind, he'll often slide into it, giving enemies less room to line up shots.

Cover Transition

Press Square (or X for Xbox) while in cover to transition around the sides of whatever you're hiding behind.

For example, there's a mission in chapter 2 where you take on the O'Driscolls in the woods and use trees as cover. Arthur sometimes snaps to the trees in a way that just leaves him open, so you'll need to transition around so the gunfire is actually blocked rather than soaked into your leathery renegade skin.

Fire a Warning Shot

While aiming your sidearm press up on the D-Pad to point the gun in the air, and pull the trigger to fire a warning shot.

This can lead to a number of scenarios. It can cause roaming people on horseback to either freeze in fear or shoot at you in defense. It's also a quick way to alert the law in towns and a way to trigger huge gunfights behind enemy lines.

There's A Compass

Tired of using the mini-map and want something more blind and realistic? Just use the compass. Hold down on the D-Pad to open up the map option menu and select the compass. It's rudimentary, of course, but it points you towards goals by default and makes you actually explore and look around rather than being guided.

Enlarge Mini-Map

In the same menu listed above (holding down on the D-Pad) will let you adjust the size of the mini-map radar.

Equip a Pocket Watch to See Time

I found a platinum pocket watch from a slain enemy and was actually able to equip it. To check the time hold down L1, go to the items tab, and navigate to the Kit section on the right side to select the watch.

Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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