After eight long years, Rockstar’s current-gen Wild West epic has finally landed, and, well… it’s been more than worth the wait . As well as featuring a gripping, HBO-esque narrative, there’s almost an overwhelming amount to see and do in Red Dead Redemption 2‘s jaw-droppingly detailed world.
So, in order to help you make the most out of this inconceivably massive game, we thought we’d pin down the most unmissable Red Dead Redemption 2 side quests. If you ever fancy taking a break from robbing trains and tracking down those elusive legendary beasts, here are some of the wildest and most rewarding diversions you’ll find hidden around the Old West.
After a good chunk of playtime, if you take the time to return to the town of Blackwater and approach the saloon, you may be treated to the company of Acrisius and Proteus. These warring twin brothers are analogous to the popular Greek myth of the same name — and these two foolish fellows spend their time desperately trying to prove which one is better than the other.
With the tragic twosome begging for an experienced cowboy to put their lives in danger in chase of betterment, Acrisius and Proteus send you on a wonderfully absurd series of missions that culminate with a bombastic payoff that is totally worth the paltry pennies you’re given as a reward. Oh brother indeed.
THE MERCIES OF KNOWLEDGE
Whilst on the outskirts of Saint-Denis near the swamplands, you may receive a map notification for a stranger known as ‘The Inventor’, a mad scientist-type looking for Moonshine to help him build his latest creation. That creation, would you believe, is none other than the Electric Chair. Yes, Mr. Bell requires a truckload of booze and crucially, a warranted participant for his new revolutionary foray into the world of executions.
This is a long-winded but deeply satisfying stranger mission that has you traveling around much of the map, negotiating permits with the police and delivering sweet justice… well, kind of. The Just Desserts are particularly sweet in this case, so don’t miss it!
THE TIES THAT BIND US
After you’ve had your fun playing off the two warring families of Rhodes, if you take the time to wander around the train station, you’ll stumble on two escapees in prisoner garb having a scrap. When you’ve defused the situation they’ll tell you to help them take down the bounty posters in town so that they can truly complete their prison escape.
Whilst at first this mission appears innocuous, it’s easily one of the most character-development heavy side missions and is well worth playing out to its bitter end.
The duo plays off of each other in fantastic fashion, leading to some chortle-worthy lines. Funnily enough, the later quests in the series aren’t even marked on your map, meaning you have to explore to find them as they make their way across the landscape, hiding in the wilderness in a bid to fend off the law.
A BRIGHT BOUNCING BOY
In the center of Saint-Denis you’ll find a large pond and, if you’re there during the day, you’ll run into a certain Marko Dragic, a foul-mouthed European genius who is trying to woo suitors into funding his mad concepts. The first mission in this quest line involves you using some historically-accurate rudimentary technology, piloting a radio-controlled mini-submarine that Nikola Tesla (the character which Dragic is based on) patented at the turn of the century.
A fun nod to history from Rockstar and a tremendously funny mission that leads to even more technological absurdity back at Dragic’s lab.
Wandering around Saint-Denis, you’d be hard-pressed to miss the escapades of provocative vagabond Charles Chatenay, an esteemed artist and ne’er do well. You’ll find him being thrown out of an apartment head-first. Charles believes himself to be quite the heartthrob, his crimes of passion getting him into all sorts of trouble as he leads the life of a tortured artist.
This is one of the more ethically questionable side quests as you act as hired muscle for Charles, beating up the husbands of women he’s sleeping with and using as muses for his paintings. This evolves into a death-defying escape for Chatenay, and somehow concludes on an inspirational note, but I’ll let you find out for yourself just the lengths he’s willing to go to live the bohemian lifestyle.
THE NOBLEST OF MEN, AND A WOMAN
In the opening area of Valentine, you’ll most likely find your first side quest and the pair of strangers who offer it. Wander into the more wayward saloon across from the newspaper stand and you’ll find writer Theodore Levin and decrepit gunslinger Jim Boy Calloway. Levin is essentially writing a memoir for Jim Boy, but he needs Arthur to track down his former acquaintances to hear their thoughts on the so-called legendary outlaw.
To the benefit of the player, for the most part, all the NPCs you meet think that Calloway was a wet flannel, a glory-seeker with nothing but tall tales. Arthur must snap a picture of each of these legendary outlaws, who are notoriously camera shy. From picking up cow dung to duels atop a moving train, this is easily one of the more well-traveled Red Dead Redemption 2 side quests, invoking a number of characters and some fantastic set pieces along the way.
To entice you some more, each of the colourful characters you meet will drop a special one-of-a-kind weapon with unique engravings. Now THAT’s a reward.