Red Dead Redemption

From Before I Play
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  • About a third of the way through the game, you'll be dumped in a new region. Get on the horse provided and ride to the map marker, don't quick travel or get off until you get there.
  • Do the missions for the chick at the ranch first, at least up until you get the Lasso.
  • If you are challenged to a duel and want to keep a good reputation, shoot the guy's hand and you will win (note: may not work with mission-scripted duels).
  • Whenever you notice a stranger mission called "I know you" appear, go do it before too long passes. That's the only thing that becomes impossible to finish if you go too far.
  • Water is an instant death the second so much as a toe goes in.
  • When you get a horse deed (normally used when your horse dies to summon another) you can actually use it any time you like and the game auto-saves when you do. This is much more convenient than finding a spot the game deems viable for a camp site and saving that way.
  • You can skip the skinning animation if you park your horse over top of the dead animal in question. If the animation can't go off without clipping, it'll skip.
  • If you fail a side mission by letting an NPC die and it doesn't give you the option to retry, don't worry. The mission will usually respawn in a few (real-time) hours like nothing happened.
  • Make sure you play allll the way until the end. You'll know when you get there.
  • Undead Nightmare is great and totally worth playing but you should leave it until after your first playthrough of the main game.
  • You can obtain new weapons by doing Gang Hideouts instead of buying them, including the Volcanic Pistol early on at Twin Rocks.
  • Have your Karma be all good or all bad, since you get mostly the same rewards (crimes aren't reported, etc) while neutral doesn't net you anything. Good is better than evil since you don't have the law hassling you, store prices are better (except in theives landing), you unlock the Duster Coat, and there's a random chance of a nun giving you a item that makes bullets less likely to hit you.
  • Doing bounties/jobs/whatever will leave you swimming in cash. Doing ambient challenges nets you rewards like free transport, better dead eye, etc. Animal hides sell better in regions those animals don't appear - cougars and bears in Mexico, Bobcats in America, etc. Mostly every late game animal sells better in Mexico though.
  • The trick to horseshoes is to line up the pole directly in the gap between your index finger and the rest of your hand, make a full swing and release perfect, then pray to the right God that the physics work out correctly. Don't skip the opponents turn or they'll be more accurate.
  • Jose Gonzalez does a bitchin cover of his own song and it plays when you first get on the horse in Mexico and stops when you get off. Spoilers.
  • Every time you kill a bear another spawns nearby. You will never have enough time to skin them, they kill you in just one or two hits, and they can keep pace with you. Listen, and understand. That bear is out there. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.