‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ Achievements, Explained: Can You Achieve 100% In The Game?

Welcome to yet another new entry for our Can You Get 100% series; this time, we’ll be taking a look at one of my personal all-time favorites, “Red Dead Redemption 2.” We have a review and a tour of the open world for this game, so feel free to check those out. I think it goes without saying that “Red Dead Redemption 2” is one of the greatest games ever made, with an incredible story, interesting characters, and a world that I practically want to live in. Rockstar Games went all out with this one, and it shows that even after two years since its release, the game still looks drop dead gorgeous, and people are still discovering new secrets, easter eggs, and mysteries to this day. We all know how great the game is, so let’s focus on the game’s achievements for this one. There are a total of 51 achievements here for you to unlock, which include some online achievements, and the completion of this game won’t come easy. It’s not because any of the achievements are particularly hard or something (some of them are), but more because a lot of them are extremely time-consuming and, dare I say, laborious, with a handful that will definitely test your patience. I have completed this game 100%, and this is one of my proudest completions personally, and despite sinking nearly 400 hours into it, I still come back for more. Allow me to walk you through the game’s achievements really quickly!


The Game

I won’t be taking up too much of your time here, and almost everybody who knows anything about gaming knows about or has heard of “Red Dead Redemption 2.” It’s a third-person open-world action-adventure game made by Rockstar, and it tells the story of the Van Der Linde Gang in 1899, the end of the era of outlaws. You play Arthur Morgan, Dutch’s right-hand man, and embark on a gripping and emotional tale that takes you across the different states of the United States of America. The world here is huge and has a ton of visual variety and beauty packed in with tons of biomes to visit, places to see, and people to meet. This is hands down the most alive and believable open world I have seen in any video game. Period. The game can also be played in first-person if you like and features a ton of era-appropriate and authentic weapons you can choose from. There are also so many activities you can take part in it’s simply mind-numbing. There is also an online component to this game called “Red Dead Online,” where you can do almost everything you did in single-player but now in multiplayer. The game is a blast and a must-play, so enough praising it; let’s go through its achievements.


The Story/Easy Achievements

Despite the length of the game, there are quite a few achievements you’ll unlock by just playing through the story and beating it. For instance, there are five achievements for completing the five to six chapters in the game, with “Back in the Mud” for completing Chapter 1. “To Greener Pastures” for completing Chapter 2; “Settling Feuds” to complete Chapter 3; “Washed Ashore” to complete Chapter 4; “No Traitors” to complete Chapter 5; and “Endless Summer” to complete the epilogue. Then there are a few achievements you’ll unlock for completing specific missions in the campaign, like “Redemption” for completing the mission titled “Red Dead Redemption” and “Cowboy Builder” for completing the mission titled “A New Jerusalem,” and more. These have been just the achievements that you’ll naturally unlock through playing the story, but are there more? The answer is yes and let me list them for you really quickly!

In order to unlock “Take from the Rich,” you must rob or loot $250 in total, a simple task. Now, this next one will take a little bit of your time, but it is very straightforward and simple. In order to unlock “Western Stranger,” you must complete ten side mission strands. These missions will pop up on your map as white question marks as you progress, so keep an eye out for them and start and complete one as soon as you see it. “Artificial intelligence” is an achievement tied to one of these side missions that will unlock once you reach Chapter 4 and meet a character named Marko Dragic in Saint-Denis. Finish this chain, and you’ll unlock this achievement. Speaking of achievements that will take time but are easy to unlock, try “Extreme Personality,” which asks you to reach maximum or minimum honor. You won’t be getting this until close to the end of the game, if not longer, so either be extremely evil to get the lowest possible honor rating or be a saint among these sinners to get the highest possible honor rating. “Trusty Steed” will unlock once you reach the maximum bond level with your horse, and finally, you can unlock “Locked and Loaded” by upgrading each component of one of your weapons. I know some of these achievements are time-consuming, but they are all incredibly easy, and you should have them in roughly 50–60 hours, maybe a little bit more. Next up, we have a handful of missable achievements.


The Missable Achievements

This is the first game since we started this series that features missable achievements, and there are four of them. Missable achievements mean you have one chance to unlock them, and if you miss that chance or window, you’ll have to replay the game until that point or reload a previous save to get them. 3/4 of these achievements are really simple and easy, whereas, for the final one, you have to actively take part in specific missions and make specific choices throughout the story of the game. In order to unlock “Give to the Poor,” you simply have to donate a total of $250 to the gang’s tithing box. In the same vein, you can unlock “Friends with Benefits” by taking part in a companion activity in each camp, which means a gang member will ask you to go hunting, fishing, or robbing with them when you are in camp. Do it once with any member in each camp, and this will unlock. Finally, you can unlock “Errand Boy” after completing five item requests. Basically, someone from your gang will ask you to find something for them randomly, so make sure you find or buy that item and deliver it to them. These were the three simple, missable achievements, except for the fourth one, which is much more complicated. In order to unlock “Lending A Hand,” you must find and complete ten specific side mission chains across the story. You miss a single one and poof! You will miss this achievement, so make sure to look extra hard for these side missions and complete them as you go, and sometime during Chapter 6, you’ll unlock this final missable achievement. These have been the four missable achievements in this game, and as you can probably see, they are easy; they just ask you to be thorough. Now, onto the miscellaneous ones.


Miscellaneous Achievements

There are a few miscellaneous achievements here, and they aren’t too difficult, either. For starters, you can unlock “Hobby Horse,” for which you must play all four minigames once: poker, blackjack, dominoes, and five-finger filet. “Breaking and Entering,” asks you to rob four homesteads; there are seven total in the game, so you’ll unlock this simply through exploration. “Pony Up,” on the other hand, asks you to spend a whopping $5000 across shops. It sounds daunting, I know, but you’ll be swimming in money by the end of the game, so no big deal. “Paying Respects,” asks you to visit the graves of each of your gang members and can only be unlocked during the epilogue or after you beat the epilogue. “Self Sufficient” wants you to craft 30 different unique items, which is pretty straightforward and easy but will take some time before you get this. “It was THIS big!” wants you to catch a fish that weighs at least 16 lbs. “Bountiful,” asks you to go a little out of your way (at least for my playstyle personally) and asks you to survive for three days with a bounty of $250 or more on your head in all states. Advice to unlock this will be to save your game, go on a rampage across all four states and amass a bounty of $250 in each state and then go up to the mountains, set up camp, and sleep for three days. “Collector’s Item” wants you to collect one full collectible strand, and while this belongs in the grindy section, the only reason I put it here and not there is because one of the collectibles in the game is cigarette cards, and you can easily buy a bunch of cigarettes from the convenience store and burn through them to get this relatively quickly. Finally, the most annoying miscellaneous achievement is “Grin and Bear It,” which asks you to survive 18 bear attacks and kill the bear each time. This is annoying because you will not get this naturally ever unless you are super unlucky and a magnet to bears, so you’ll have to set up camp near an area where bears spawn (Big Valley, Tall Trees, etc.) and constantly sleep, wake up, find a bear, get attacked by it, kill it, rinse and repeat. Do all of that, and voila! You have unlocked all of the miscellaneous achievements for this game.

On to the online achievements now.


The Online Achievements

I have said this before, and I’ll say it again. Online achievements stink. Fortunately, the achievements in “Red Dead Online” are pretty straightforward and can be completed super quickly if you have a group of friends who play this game. I honestly don’t feel that there’s a need to write them all down. There are 17 of them, and they are all for completing tasks like owning multiple horses, collecting multiple herbs and recipes, selling and crafting items, and so on. There’s only one achievement you should take note of here, which is “Notorious,” which wants you to reach Level 50 in “Red Dead Online.” This will take some time, but you’ll get there eventually, and hopefully, you’ll have the other achievements unlocked as you reach level 50 as well. Good luck. The whole online section is simple and self-explanatory and will take you roughly 25–30 hours to get done; it will be much faster if you play with friends. Finally, the grindy achievements.


The Grindy/Hard Achievements

If you have done everything so far, then you’ll have five achievements left to unlock, and these will test your patience and take a long time to unlock. They aren’t hard (except one), challenging, or tricky. In order to unlock these five achievements, you’ll have to do everything in the game, and with the size of this game and the amount of stuff that’s here, you’ll practically become a cowboy by the time you get these because you’ll be playing the game so much. Let’s knock two of these out of the way really quickly. Do you know there are over 200 different species of animals in this game? That’s crazy, right? Now, imagine you have to find, study, kill, and skin each and every single one of those animals; that’d be insane, right? I mean, it’s cool that they added so much, but they can’t possibly ask so much of you. Yes. Yes, they do, and you don’t have to imagine it because you’ll be finding, studying, killing, and skinning all 200+ species of animals across the map of “Red Dead Redemption 2” to unlock “Zoologist” for studying them and “Skin Deep” for skinning them. This sounds daunting, and don’t get me wrong, it is extremely daunting to the point that it becomes a chore, but these are not the worst achievements in the game and are actually quite refreshing and fun because you get to casually explore every nook and cranny of this beautiful map. Another achievement related to skinning animals is called “It’s Art,” which can only be unlocked during the epilogue. You’ll find a poster from a taxidermist who will ask you to fulfill their request and find, kill, and skin the animals they want and mail their hides to the taxidermist’s house. The hides must be in mint condition (3 stars), so use the right weapon to kill them and make sure not to damage their hides. Once you have completed all of their requests, you can visit the taxidermist, who will give you a squirrel statue as a reward that you will place in your house. It’s not over because, for some odd reason, the squirrel statue goes missing, not just in the house but all across the map, so you’ll have to find it multiple times till John places the statue on top of the fireplace, and the achievement will finally unlock.

The last two achievements here are pure pain and cause suffering. I enjoyed unlocking all the achievements, even if they infuriated me, as I love open-world games, but even I must admit, these two are the worst. “Gold Rush” wants you to get gold medals on 70 different missions, so use mission replay, take a look at the checklist, and finish any 70 missions out of 107 to unlock this achievement. In a way, this is the hardest achievement in the game, and as easy as it sounds, this alone will take you tens of hours to unlock and will test your patience to the max. This achievement was the last one I unlocked personally. Finally, we have “Best in the West,” which simply asks us to get 100% in the game. There are a huge number of things you have to do to get this one, and this will take the longest time of any achievement in the game. The game will tell you in the menu exactly what you need to do to get 100%, so I won’t be listing the obnoxious number of things it asks of you, but the basic gist is that you have to find every single collectible, max the stats of your character, complete all 90 challenges, acquire all weapons, and so much more. Basically, do everything to get 100% (that is the definition). It’s a simple but extremely time-consuming task with some RNG involved. These five achievements alone will take you upwards of 100 hours, so be prepared for that.


Final Thoughts

“Red Dead Redemption 2” is a gargantuan game, and the achievement list for this game is evidence of how big this game is and how much time you’ll have to put into the game to get everything done. As I said, personally, I had a ton of fun completing this game, and this is one of my proudest completions to date. Is it difficult in the traditional sense? I don’t think so, but it is certainly difficult when it comes to the time investment part. I love this game, and I still play it to this day, not online but in story mode, where I run around the map and take in the sights. Because of the mark this one left on me and how much I love this game, I’d recommend anybody and everybody to complete it fully. It’s not an easy task, but in my eyes, it’s worth going for to get 100% in “Red Dead Redemption 2.” It’s my belief that you’ll appreciate the game even more if you do. The score below is not for the game itself but for its completion and is a mixture of difficulty, skill, and time consumption.

7/10

200+ hours


See more: ‘Watch Dogs: Legion’ Achievements, Explained: Can You Achieve The 100% In The Game?


Kartik Sharma
Kartik Sharma
Kartik is sometimes a freelance content writer and an actor. He loves spending his time reading books, playing videogames, dabbling in music, exploring different cultures and languages, etc. loves everything that is art and loves to explore new horizons.

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