Let’s face it, the animals in Red Dead Redemption 2 can be right bastards. So can the people. You can just be riding along with your best friend, in my case my horse, Dog (yes that’s his name), and some cheeky wolf can come and decide it wants a chunk out your arm.

Then, once you’ve done the decent thing and blown its head off with your shotgun, the trapper will only pay you 60 cents for your efforts. Isn’t it about time you got your own back on nature and got paid for your efforts? Well, my friend, allow me to help with that with some Red Dead Redemption 2 hunting tips…

Study up!

Red Dead Redemption 2 Hunting Tips - n3rdabl3

When approaching new animals in Red Dead Redemption 2, keeping your distance when they are in your sight whilst holding RB/R1 studies them, allowing you to see the quality of their pelt in the bottom right corner of the screen; indicated by a three-star rating representing, poor, good, and perfect pelts respectively.

Unsurprisingly, trappers pay more for higher quality pelts, and certain crafting recipes require perfect materials. Studying animals also helps Arthur distinguish their tracks when in Eagle Eye mode. So, instead of wasting your times chasing down an ‘unknown animal’ only to be confronted by a squirrel, you can be sure of which creature you are currently on the tail of.

Avoid guns!

These drastically reduce the condition of your pelts, crafting specialized weapons is by far the better way to go – a small game arrow will keep a rabbit in much better condition than multiple bullets to the head. Similarly, poison throwing knives or arrows mean you can take down more dangerous animals like cougars or bears without having to get up close and personal, or more likely mauled, and are retrievable without losing their potency.

Recipes for these can be bought at fences, at which point you will be able to craft the items at will when resting (hold Y/triangle when otherwise unoccupied), just make sure you are stocked up on feathers and Oleander Plant!

Cover up your STANK!

Red Dead Redemption 2 Hunting Tips - n3rdabl3

Just as you can track animals by following their prints, the creatures (especially those pesky legendaries) can, in turn, detect you if you give away your position by coming into their line of sight, or through picking up your scent if you stand upwind of them.

To avoid this, applying cover scent lotion when entering an animal’s environment provides some short-term protection, or you can pay 25 cents for a bath at a hotel in most towns to freshen up. When actually hunting, Eagle Eye mode is again useful, as you can visibly see Arthur’s stench for yourself, giving away the wind direction and thus the best angle at which to approach your prey.

Ride with a posse!

Whilst not the most useful in terms of killing critters by surprise (always dismount and sneak up on an animal to avoid a chase), your trusty steed has the unfortunate job of carrying any pelts you acquire on your longer journeys. The number of pelts your horse can carry depends on the size of the animal killed, but for larger animals (anything that needs bundling up rather than laying flat on your horse eg: moose pelts), only one can be carried at a time.

Here, getting a second tamed horse to follow you, by having it out of a stable and whistling when riding, is a huge help, doubling the number of pelts you can carry whilst having the potential number of journeys you have to make.

There you have it, all the advice you need for a smoother hunting experience in Red Dead Redemption 2, I’m sure you’ll be rocking the ever-so-fashionable bear hat before you know it!

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