Red Dead Redemption 2 can be a bit daunting at first, what with the massive open world to explore and various activities for an ambitious outlaw to enjoy. While the best way to get situated in a game may be to simply sit down and play, it wouldn’t hurt to consider a few pointers that can help steer you in the right direction. Below, we’ve put together a list of five tips that we feel players should keep in mind during the initial hours of Red Dead Redemption 2 to start their adventure off right.

Honor Has Its Merits

The way you behave and interact with others in Red Dead Redemption 2 is reflected through the game’s Honor system, which essentially determines Arthur’s social standing and reputation. Behaving like an upstanding citizen or completing tasks that show you to be honorable–such as rescuing citizens or completing bounties–can help to increase your overall Honor level.

Conversely, doing dishonorable things like robbing stores or murdering people can lower your Honor. Your Honor level will impact the amount of money you make from bounties or robberies, so the “best” choice really comes down to the type of person you want Arthur to be. 

Know Your Fast Travel Options

Traveling on horseback is undoubtedly the best way to explore the vast open world of Red Dead Redemption 2. However, there may come a time when you want to quickly reach a location without having to use your mount. You can do this by finding a Stagecoach to hitch a ride, or purchasing a train ticket that allows you to fast travel across the map. Stagecoach services aren’t free, however, so make sure you have some cash handy before visiting the clerk. 

Clean Weapons Regularly

Part of the realism in Red Dead Redemption 2 is reflected in the way your weapons work. Just like real weapons, the guns in Red Dead Redemption 2 need to be cleaned regularly to maintain their quality. The dirtier your weapons get, the worse they become, so you’ll want to keep an eye on your weapons to make sure they stay in tip top shape.

Cleaning your weapons will require Gun Oil, so make sure you have some on hand before attempting to clean your guns. You can clean a weapon by accessing the Maintenance section on the weapon wheel while the weapon is equipped.

Hunt Smart

Although you can choose to hunt for sport in Red Dead Redemption 2, most of the time you will likely be hunting to obtain hides, pelts, and carcasses that can be sold for cash. The value of each pelt is determined by its quality, which you have some control over when hunting. Pelts and hides full of bullet holes aren’t worth as much as ones that are almost fully intact.

To understand the best method for hunting certain animals, you will need to learn about their characteristics. Press LT/L2 to analyze an animal to learn more about its features and the type of weapon you should use to take it down.

Tie Up Your Trusty Steed

Speaking of animals, it’s also important to get in the habit of tying up your horse when you arrive somewhere in Red Dead Redemption 2. Horses should be tied to trees or posts during their downtime, as this can allow them to recuperate from a tiresome trek. When you aren’t using your horse, remember to hitch them up so that they will be in better shape the next time you saddle up.

Hopefully these tips will help new players overcome some of the hurdles they may encounter early on in Red Dead Redemption 2. Be sure to check out our other Red Dead Redemption 2 guides for more gameplay tips and tutorials.