When Red Dead Redemption 2 finally touched down in October last year, it had been long-awaited (and long-delayed). If it didn’t live up to our sky-high expectations after all of that, Rockstar were going to have a riot on their hands.
Fortunately, all was well. It was a phenomenal sales success, one of the best-received games of the year by critics and players alike. Why? Largely because it’s a vast, ambitious title that sets new standards for open-world gameplay.
This is great and all, but it also means one thing: fast travel is going to be a necessity. Yes, you can unlock fast travel in the game, but how, where and when? Stick around, friend, and we’ll explain everything.
10 It’s A Lifesaver In This Huge World
In recent years, just about everyone’s been getting in on the whole open world thing. Titles like Grand Theft Auto V and Skyrim defined what it meant to offer players a huge, sandbox world to explore, and the bar’s been raised repeatedly since.
Horizon Zero Dawn, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and others have advanced these concepts, but Red Dead Redemption 2 presents a world of dizzying scale. It’s set across five fictitious U.S. states (New Austin and West Elizabeth from the original game, plus the all-new Ambarino, Lemoyne and New Hanover), which combine to create a world map you do not want to be constantly charging back and forth across on your horse alone.
9 Wait A While To Unlock Fast Travel
So, yes. All titles with fast travel tend to handle it differently, but these tend to be variations on a familiar theme. Often, you can only instantly travel to locations you’ve visited before (think Fly in the Pokémon series), and you have to unlock the ability to do so in some way.
Red Dead Redemption 2 ticks both of these boxes. It’ll be a little while before you’re able to fast travel, and the ability to do so is hidden away. It’s so obscure, in fact, that many players stumbled upon it purely by accident. Sometimes quite late in the game, to boot.
To get you off to the best start, we’re going to take a look at the earliest possible point you can unlock this vital function.
8 Complete The ‘Money Lending And Other Sins’ Mission
Money Lending And Other Sins is the ninth mission of chapter two. It becomes available a good way into the game, once you’ve unlocked the open world and gotten a good taste of just how much this game has to offer.
This particular mission sees you collecting valuables from those who owe your gang money. After completing it, you’ll earn the ability to upgrade your camp. These upgrades may sound a little unsubstantial, but they’re the key to unlocking fast travel. You could easily miss that, as there’s very little fanfare, but this is where the functionality is hidden.
7 Arthur’s Tent Is The Key
The first upgrade you’ll want to make is to your lodgings. They look a little less-than-wonderful at first, after all, so that’s probably something you were shooting for anyway.
After doing so once, you’ll be able to upgrade Arthur’s tent. What does this do? Well, mainly, it adds a handy-dandy map to the tent (or, more specifically, somewhere in the base near Arthur’s tent). Take a look at it, and you’ll be able to pick a destination from a handy list of places you’ve already visited. Simply pick somewhere, then, after the obligatory transitional scene, there you are. It’s that easy.
6 You Can Only Fast Travel Directly From Your Camp
That makes it sound super simple and convenient, didn’t it? You might think that, after unlocking the feature, you can effortlessly hop into a menu screen and warp from one fast travel destination to another as you please. Sadly, friends, the Wild West isn’t that kind.
While Rockstar felt the need to provide the player with a quick means of traversing this huge world, they also wanted to keep things a little authentic. As such, you can’t just go warping around willy-nilly like it’s Zelda or something. You must be stationed at that map in your camp every time you fast travel, as you can only do so from there.
5 Unlocking Fast Travel Is Pretty Darn Expensive
If you’re a Grand Theft Auto Online player (as much of the darn known universe has been over the years), you’ll know that, outlaw or not, you’ve got to work for your money. You can’t just boot the game up for the first time and rule the criminal underworld right from the start. It’s a rags to ill-gotten-riches story.
The same’s true of Red Dead Redemption 2. Money’s pretty tight for Arthur and his gang, especially early on. You might be itching to unlock fast travel as soon as possible, but it doesn’t come cheap.
As VG247 reports, the upgrade to the lodgings costs $220, and the all-important map is another $325. This is a substantial amount whichever way you slice it, and it’s advised that you earmark some of the earnings from that first big heist for this purpose. It’ll pay dividends in the long run.
4 Fast Travel Is A One-Way Trip
As I say, Rockstar have implemented a fast travel system that makes things much more convenient for the player, but also tries to keep things as in-universe and immersive as possible. What does this mean? It means that there are some real limitations to it, that’s what it means.
Cost aside, here’s another: while you can quickly travel from your base to your destination of choice, you can’t fast-travel from said destination back to your base. You’ll be making your own way back to the camp whatever happens, so you’d better be sure that you’ve planned out your journey.
It’s not easy being a Wild West outlaw, as Clint Eastwood will tell you.
3 You Cannot Leave Your Horse Behind
If dogs are man’s best friend (and the billions of videos of them on social media would suggest so), what about horses? Let’s stop for a moment here and consider where the Wild West would be without them. What the Lone Ranger’s catchphrase would’ve been, if he couldn’t Hi-ho on Silver? It just doesn’t bear thinking about.
As a Western-themed title, you’d better believe that Red Dead Redemption 2 takes its horses super-seriously. So much so that you can’t fast-travel at all if your faithful steed isn’t in the vicinity. You arrive at the destination you choose riding said horse, you see, which means that they have to be there and ready for the journey too.
2 You Have To Know Exactly Where You’re Fast Travelling To
In a lot of similar games, you’ll be able to choose precisely where you’re warping to. You’ll see a convenient map of the game world, with all possible locations highlighted. Well, friends, nobody’s holding your hand out here in the Wild West.
Yes, you can pick where you want to fast travel to from a list of locations you’ve previously visited. What you can’t do is see where these locations are on the map, which means you need a good idea of where these places are in relation to each other. This is a wide, wide world with a lot of space in between landmarks, after all.
1 Stagecoaches And Trains: Not As Fast, But Still… Fast
In short, fast travel is super convenient in Red Dead Redemption 2, but it could’ve been far more user-friendly. It’s expensive to unlock, it’s unwieldy, and you may not even have known it was there in the first place.
Still, it’s better than not having it, that’s for sure, and it’ll still save you a lot of frustration. Nevertheless, you’ll be glad to know that there’s another method of traversing the world of Red Dead Redemption 2 quicker than a horse: trains and stagecoaches.
All you do is head to a nearby ticket station, pay the fare for your chosen destination and off you go. It’s limited, sure, but a much cheaper alternative (upgrades-wise).