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With its vast landscapes and new approaches to gaming, Red Dead Redemption offers plenty of fun and exciting things to do in the Old West. It has been said many times that Red Dead Redemption is the Grand Theft Auto of the Wild West; and it's true.

Difficulty Settings

One of the features of Read Dead Redemption is different difficulty settings. This allows hardcore gamers and also newbies an opportunity to play this great adventure.
  • Casual- Full auto-aim and faster regenerating health.
  • Normal- Snap-to-target with more precise manual aim.
  • Expert- Free aim with no lock on at all.

Navigation & Waypoints

Red Dead Redemption has many of the navigation features of the GTA series. You are given a radar in the lower-left of the screen that shows the surrounding area's map as well as specific people (i.e. enemies) or mission related locations.

Just like in IV, you are able to set waypoints on the map. These then show up on your radar. The game will also show you the best roads to take to get there. Best to follow the route unless you know the area. Don't want to fall off a cliff or into a big ditch.


Your journal can be accessed from the pause menu and keeps you informed about missions or objectives you currently have to do. "Briefs" includes all dialogue spoken and information displayed on screen. You can also check your level in the various Ambient Challenges and progress of the stranger missions.


The main protagonist and your hands in the world of Red Dead Redemption.


You might be thinking, "So what can Marston do? He can obviously walk like a badass". He can do that and also run, ride horses, shoot an array of weapons, throw knives, and climb around such as on rooftops or even trains! However, Marston has restricted swimming abilities. This is a way to set boundaries in the game with large rivers. There are smaller water sources for you to pass through and give your pony a drink without fearing death.

Weapons & Equipment

Marston can carry a good array of weapons. Left bumper or L1 brings up the weapon wheel. Right analog stick chooses weapon class and then the D-pad selects your weapon. Marston can also carry an assortment of tools and other items such as binoculars, newspapers, and maps. Your carry bag is divided into Consumables, Kits, and Provisions. [weapon page]


You can fight with guns, melee, or your fists. Marston has a few moves to disarm or take care of armed opponents. You can also hide behind cover to save yourself some health. While in cover you can blind-fire weapons.

It is possible to disable an opponent simply by shooting their legs or even shooting the gun out of their hands. This is helpful with bounties or when you need to catch but not kill someone. Opponents react accordingly to your hits and can also pick up their gun again.

Dead Eye Targeting System

One of the revolutionary combat systems is Dead Eye. Simply tap a button and the game slows down, allowing you to scan your opponent and pick places on them to shoot. Marston then makes quick work hitting those spots in a smooth series of shots in under a second. You can take out more than one enemy at a time if you choose.

Your Dead Eye meter is on the right side of your radar. There are three levels. Level 1 is only slow motion. Level 2 automatically picks shots for you and Level 3 lets you choose shots.

Wanted Level

Anytime you break the law, a bounty will be placed on your head. The more you do, the higher the bounty. You can reduce your wanted level by using a bandana to cover your face or take out witnesses before they have a chance to tell law enforcement. Your level will slowly go down over time.

You can also submit to law officers and spend some time in jail or pay your bounty off at a telegraph post. Higher bounties mean more bounty hunters will come after you; sometimes with posses or dogs.

Honor Level

How much people respect you is dependent on your level of honor. Honor can be postive or negative. Doing good things and helping those in need will increase your honor. Killing innocents and horses will decrease it. Attempting to do a good deed but failing will still increase your honor a little.

Fame Level

How well known you are throughout the world is your fame. The more you do, the more famous you will be. Dressing a certain way will also increase your fame. Unfortunately being famous will make some local tough guys want to take you out. Winning duels will increase your fame. Fame only increases (never decreases) throughout the game as you travel and interact with people. Attaining the highest level of fame will cut your bounty in half.


After taking some bullets, your health will regenerate while you rest behind cover. Your current health is determined by the amount of blood splattered on the screen.


Like Niko in GTA IV, you have a limited selection of clothing to where. There are 15 outfits and some are:
  • Cowboy (starting clothes)
  • Elegant
  • Legend of the West
  • Bandito
  • Walton's Gang
A full outfit guide is available here.

Campfires, Rooms, Sleeping, & Saving

Set up a campfire to get some shut eye and save your progress. There are different types of campfires to set up (better ones with tents as you progress) or you can join another group's fire and listen to stories and rumors from around the world; including ones about you. It is also possible to fast-travel back to towns you have visited instead of riding there.

There are many houses to acquire during your journey and a few rentable places for one quick save.


Being famous has it's drawbacks. There are also some missions where duelling skills are a necessity. You can earn fame for these and honor too depending on the situation. During a duel, being first to draw means first shot but less accuracy and vice versa. View the full guide to duelling here.


With little or no law enforcement in some parts, it's no surprise outlaws are running wild. Find wanted posters and head out to their location. You can take the poster with you for later reference.

Find them, and bring them in dead or alive- the second will give double the rewards! Be on the lookout for other gang members that want to cut their brother free.


The map in Red Dead Redemption is HUGE so make sure you're up to speed in how to move around the countryside from town to town.


In a time before metal horses roamed the dusty streets of Western towns, you are left with plain old regular horses. There are various types of horses to get you around and each has its own characteristics with better horses opening up as you progress through the game. You'll need to tame new ones, though, in order to use them. Your horse can be summoned with a whistle. Included in this list of long-nosed beasts is the humble ass (a donkey).

Your ride's health and stamina is the blue on the left of your radar. There is much A.I. for horses and how they respond to you. Tie it up to prevent the horse from following you places. It can also buck another person riding if you call it. They can also buck YOU if the stamina gets too low.

Horses can also pull wagons and stage coaches if you feel like sitting in a little more comfort and style. There are taxi services available and you may trip-skip these or take the reins. Be careful taking turns because you can flip them over easily.


Steam trains are another feature in the game. There are two running around marked as a Red or Blue train marker on your map. You can enter them at stations or get your horse up to speed and perform a daring entrance off horseback. The tracks run through mountainous areas and can provide beautiful views while you travel. You can trip-skin these too.


Red Dead Redemption does indeed have some more modern vehicles. An armored car can be seen in the Weapons & Death video at approximately 42 seconds in. It is a pickup truck with a machine gun in the rear, operated by Marston. There are a few others in the game however these are not drivable and only seen in-use during cutscenes or missions.

People Encounters

You will come across all sorts of people going about their business or living their virtual lives. The people in Red Dead Redemption can be going to the store, performing executions, or be a damsel in distress begging for help. You can choose to interact with these people or walk by and let virtual nature take its course.

It is possible to find outlaws hanging out in the wilderness and also possible to only find their campsite while they are in town performing a robbery. There are many different scenarios that can play out with different people in different places.

Environment Usage

Various things throughout the environment can be used to your advantage during fights or to complete objectives. Barrels can explode, lanterns can spread fire, etc.

In another instance, it seems possible to drag or lead an enemy into known predator areas and let the animals take care of them. The possibilities seem endless. You can also scare someone's horse with a gunshot to dislodge the rider.


Find out what's going on in the world by reading newspapers. They only cost a buck! You can read about town issues or what outlaw is causing a ruckus and where. Keep the paper with you to reference later when you are searching for a certain town or person.


Before big corporate chains there were Mom & Pop stores to buy anything. From food to farm supplies and hunting equipment to weapons, various shops in town can sell you anything except a hooker! (but that's not confirmed...) Check out a listing of various things to buy or sell, what they are worth, and where here.

Ambient Challenges

There are various challenges to complete in Red Dead Redemption. Each has 10 levels to complete. Full guide to all of them here.

Treasure Maps

Find treasure maps and go find the treasure! Gaze at the gold bar you receive and cash it in for some good money! Each treasure has a map for the next one.

Plants and Flowers

Collect different and rare plants which are used to make medicine and can be sold for money.


After making a few kills, vultures will appear to feast on your wasted wastes. Take out these vultures to start this challenge. Levels involve many different shooting skills and chains.


Kill and/or collect various wildlife and their insides to complete this challenge. More info on animals below...


Being in the untamed West, you can expect some untamed animals. Not usually the cuddly kind, though. Different parts of the map will be populated by varying animal life. These can be elk, wolves, mountain lions, bears, buffalo, or other creatures. Not all are one-shot kills and some are quick to maneuver and rip your face apart!

How you hunt is up to you. Either go at them with guns blazing or try a more relaxed approach. Get some bait and binoculars where available and head out into a known area with the animal you want. Put some bait on the ground a find a spot nearbye to wait but not too close. Use the binoculars if needed. Once the animal comes into view, sneak up with a hunting knife or use a good range gun to take it down.

Kill the animal and you can skin it plus acquire other items from the carcus such as meat or teeth which can then be sold for cash. Larger, harder to kill animals will yield more profit. Also if an animal is rare or non-existent in a certain area, the trading post will offer you more money too. Check out the list of animals in Red Dead Redemption here along with what they may be worth to you.

Gang Hideouts

The various gangs in Red Dead Redemption have their own little spots to relax after a long day of robbing and killing. Bring the fight back to them and save innocent lives along the way by completing these hideouts. Each has it's own mini-story with objectives. Full guide here.


You can't be good all the time. There may come a point where you're desperate for some money or just want to go GTA on someone. You can rob all sorts of people including store clerks. There is also the option to rob carriages and even people on the train. But be careful, because someone else may be robbing the train first! Use a bandana to make your wanted level decrease faster.

Other Activities

In addition to all this there are other challenges awaiting you throughout Red Dead Redemption.
  • Drinking- Self explanatory. Go to a bar and load up on your favorite drink. Don't get too out of control because you may find yourself in a duel or passed out for a few hours.
  • Horseshoes- Toss horseshoes and get a ringer to win!
  • Arm Wrestling- Put your back into this game of strength!
  • Five Finger Fillet- Test your skills and your sanity while making a quick buck.
  • Cards- Place your bets and start flipping cards! Play poker and blackjack.
  • Hookers- The world's oldest profession in the Old West. Marston is a family man who doesn't use them but they are still worth a little cash and some fun with a lasso.
  • Liar's Dice- Roll 'em out and win some cash if you can.
  • Films- Go to a schoolhouse or a theater to catch a cartoon or other movie.