To call Red Dead Redemption 2 big would be the understatement of the century. As well as containing a large chunk of the original game's map, players also get to experience an at times disorientating big landmass made up of several wildly different states. While the waypoint system ensures that you never get lost in the traditional sense of the word, I've certainly found myself getting lost in a much more metaphysical way. When you're presented with a world that is quite so huge, you can often wonder just where you should be going. What is worth seeing in this map? What am I potentially missing by not going here? Maybe it's open world fatigue, but to me, it's more that I've suddenly grown a massive sense of FOMO.
If you're one of these poor souls too, then read on, because we're going to show you the very best hidden locations that Red Dead Redemption 2 has to offer.
Are you a sucker for Viking history? Do you want to make Arthur look more like Ragnar Lothbrok? Then you're in luck because there's a Viking tomb on the map! If pirates are more your speed – there's a wrecked pirate ship too. Want to tingle your spine with some Blair Witch-esque Pagan horror? You can. How about chatting to the game's version of Nikola Tesla? You're in for a treat. It's a ridiculously varied game, and we're here to help you get the most that you possibly can from it.
25 The Viking Tomb
If you're bored of the various cowboy hats on offer and want something a bit more different, then get thee to th1e Old Tomb, slightly northwest of Annesburg, just across the river from the mining town. Head down inside, and you'll find the Viking Hatchet, which still makes a fearsome weapon, 1000 years after it was forged. In the side rooms, there's the incredible Viking Helmet, and hidden behind some skulls, an ancient Viking comb, which can fulfill a camp request with panache.
24 The Crashed Airship
Hot air balloons are not the only method of flight popular at the end of the 19th Century, it seems. To find this reference to the first Red Dead Redemption, make your way to Big Valley in the northwest corner of West Elizabeth. Go southwest of the stilt shack, and you'll find this primitive flying machine laying ruined in the trees. It seems that its inventor may still have some way to finessing their plan. As well as being really neat, it's also one of the points of interest required for 100 percent completion.
23 The Mad Scientist's Lab
If you've completed the mission "The Joys Of Civilization," you can find a Russian scientist by the name of Marko Dragic in the park in Southwest Saint-Denis. After 24 hours pass, you can start the second part of the mission. Head to the very north-east of the map, north of Brandywine Drop. Here you can find the Tesla-style lab, where, among other things, he's got an electric lantern you can pick up that replaces your old one. He's also working on a robot, but things are not going well.
22 The Secret Gambling Den In Valentine
This place and its rewards teach you the importance of listening to what people at camp have to say. Tilly will tell you that she heard about a secret at the Doctor's Office in Valentine, and she's been well-informed. There's a secret O'Driscoll poker game being held in the back. Point your gun at the doctor after investigating the rear of the building, and he'll let you in. There's a fair bit of money to be found here, as well as an awesome gun.
21 The Vampire's Lair
Another secret from the urban jungle of Saint-Denis, this one is a huge homage to the horror classic Nosferatu. You'll need to follow a trail of graffiti that's been scrawled by the vampire. We won't ruin the quest for you, but if you want to start it, the first graffiti can be found across the road from the big saloon in the northeast of the city. The trail will lead you all over the city, and you'll have to end this monster's existence, but the payoff is well worth it.
20 The UFO Hotspot Near Emerald Lake
Did you get UFO fever back when GTA V was still fresh? You can find the extraterrestrial visitors in Red Dead Redemption 2 as well. Go to Emerald Station and head north, where you'll find a small lake. Inside, a cult meeting has taken a dark turn, and you can find a note that gives you instructions to head to Mount Shann, then back to the shack at around 2 AM. The shack will be bathed in green light, and a flying saucer can be spotted. Want more? Another saucer can be seen from the highest peak of Mount Shann.
19 The House Hit By A Meteor
Talk about bad luck. Another one of the points of interest required for 100 percent completion, Meteor House, as its been named, can be found in New Hanover's Roanoke Ridge, southwest of Dover Hill. Here, you'll find a house that has been destroyed by a meteor, which you can pick up. If you collect both meteors, you get a bonus that reduces the effects of hot weather by 10 percent, just in case you needed more persuading to check out this cool little location.
18 The Night Folk's Ambush
If you're yet to have the displeasure of meeting the Night Folk, you're in for a treat when you do. By treat, we mean a bunch of weapon-wielding maniacs charging at you. Ride around the Bayou NWA area, and you'll find a victim hanging from a tree. Take a closer look at the body, or shoot it down, and a bunch of these mutant attackers will come charging out of the woods. They're skilled with their machetes, so be careful, and take them out quickly. Read the note on the victim and you'll unlock a side mission.
17 The Creepy Outhouse At Braithwaite Manor
This outhouse isn't freaky for regular rural toilet reasons. There's a dark secret behind it, and while you don't find out everything, you learn enough to have a good guess. Go to the gazebo where you meet Penelope near the lake, and then head left down from there, and you'll find it. You can hear gabbling coming from inside: take a look in, and a one-eyed woman will reach out to you and start reeling off a string of numbers. If it ties into anything in the game, people are yet to find out.
16 Guarma (Again)
Your time on the tropical-paradise-gone-wrong is remarkably short, which can understandably leave some players feeling somewhat cold. The good news is that if you ever want to go back there, you can, at least for now. You need to glitch your way back. It's a very complex glitch that involves making your way to the edge of the world, then falling through it, but it's currently unfixed. If you really want to go back, there are very detailed videos on YouTube.
15 The Plague Town Of Lemoyne
This town's name is Pleasance, and never was a town less accurately named. Located just above the O in Lemoyne on the map, in Scarlett Meadows, it was a thriving little town once. Then, 10 of its people suddenly perished at the hand of something. You can find the words "STAY OUT PLAGUE" daubed on a barn in the northwest of town, which has led some people to speculate that there's actually a serial criminal called The Plague behind their demise. Either that, or there really was a plague shortly after this elimination spree.
14 The Ghost Train
Another one of the supernatural nightmares that can be found in this game, the Ghost Train is seriously spooky, and can also end you, if you get in its way. Ride up and down the rails near the Lemoyne sign in the northwest of the state, at 3 am. You'll know that it's coming when your horse starts to get spooked. The train looks exactly the same as the one found in Final Fantasy VI, and it is spooky as heck. While seeing it is not essential in 100 percenting the game, it is still well worth your time.
13 Finding Bonnie McFarlane's Husband
Do you remember Bonnie McFarlane from Red Dead Redemption? The kindly rancher who nursed John back to health? Red Dead Redemption 2 gives you the opportunity to find out what happened to Mr. McFarlane. He can be found on the shore of Flat Iron Lake, due south of Flatneck Station. He appears to be in very poor condition, and if you interact with him, he'll give you a letter to deliver to Bonnie before expiring. The letter is exceptionally sad, and serves as a wonderful easter egg.
12 Aztec Writing In Blackwater
Never underestimate the tenacity of gamers when confronted with a mystery. People came across this sheet of paper in Blackwater, which is written using Aztec hieroglyphs, and for a long while, no one had any idea what it meant. Eventually, someone twigged that it could be converted into base5, and then ciphered. The resulting message mentions Ayauhteotl, who, you may remember, is the god from Undead Nightmare. Could this be a message for us to expect Undead Nightmare 2? Or is it an easter egg, and nothing more? Only time will tell.
11 Exploring Mexico
Using the same method that we mentioned earlier to gain access to Guarma, certain determined players have been able to access Mexico. In the course of doing this, certain fascinating things were discovered. There aren't a whole lot of buildings present, but one of the few that is is El Presidio, the fortress that we all remember fighting through in the original Red Dead Redemption. Why would this landmass and this fortress be included? Many have figured that it could be expanded in a DLC, or featured in Red Dead Online.
10 A Talkative Monster Near Calumet Ravine
Well, Bigfoot featured in GTA V, I suppose we should have been expecting him to show up in Red Dead Redemption 2. The difference here is that you can have a chat with him. If, indeed, he is Bigfoot. You can find some massive skeletal remains on the southeast face of Mount Shann that would seem to suggest he could just be a giant. He lurks in a cave in the north of Grizzlies East. Head up there, and the conversation will initiate if you've studied 30 species of animals, and followed a flock of birds near Calumet Ravine.
9 The Witch's House
Remember stumbling across the river at the start of Skyrim and coming across the witch's cabin? I would not have expected the same event to occur in Red Dead Redemption 2, but here we are. Located a hair above the N in Ambarino, you can find this shack, full of skulls, tonics, and a MacBeth-esque cauldron. If you want, you can drink the mysterious liquid, and honestly, why wouldn't you? You're in for a surprise if you do, I tell you that.
8 The Occult Cabin Near Van Horn
This is one of the least clear-cut mysteries that the game has to offer. Just North-West of Van Horn, you can find a cabin. Between 4-5 am, a glowing pentagram appears beneath the hut. Camp near it and a woman will appear and tell you that a demon has been consuming villagers. Rumors abound that bringing the vampire to the cabin and using his knife on him will result in something special, but the mystery is far, far from being solved.
7 The Hermit With A Rare Shotgun
Not only is this disturbed chap a cool person to find and interact with, but he also has a rare shotgun. You know what that means. He'll threaten you as soon as you appear at his cottage near Manito Glade, north of Annesburg. He really likes his solitude. The Rare Shotgun is a double-barrel shotgun that is one of the best in the game and can deal damage like nobody's business. If you want to get a fantastic weapon relatively early in the game, go see him.
6 The Deliverance Cabin
How about taking a break from your regular dueling to duel some banjos? This somewhat reference to Deliverance can be found in Butcher Creek, that den of iniquity and madness. He plays banjo pretty well, but if you hang around with him too long, he'll eventually turn hostile without any provocation from you. Sadly you can't steal his banjo once you've dealt with him, but it's a cool easter egg, nonetheless, and a wonderful Rockstar homage to this classic bit of backwoods horror.
5 The Mutant's Laboratory Near Van Horn
You can find this guy in Roanoake Ridge, New Hanover, due west of Van Horn, just across the railroad tracks. Here, you'll find a massive house that appears to have been abandoned, but all is not what it seems. Climb on the cart, and head through the second-floor window, and you'll find this creepy Frankenstein. Made up of different animal parts, topped off with a half boar, half goat head, it's a truly grim sight, and something we want to learn more about.
4 The Hobbit Home
That's right, apparently, this fantasy race has made a home for themselves in America. The home is built into a grassy hill, as you'd expect, complete with a front door and a circular window on top. To make it even stranger, there's a small bear there too, that won't attack you. Is it their home? Sadly, you can't go in, which makes it even stranger. You can find this place as soon as you're on Chapter 2. It's located north-east of Bacchus Bridge, at the end of a short, isolated path.
3 A Face Carved In The Grizzly Mountains
Seems like someone in the Grizzlies is quite taken with Mount Rushmore, and are looking to carve their very own effigy into a mountainside. Located due north of Moonstone, south-east of O'Creagh's Run, the Face in the cliff is one of the points of interest, and a very cool little secret to boot. Along with the kudos of finding a point of interest, there's also a lockbox at the top of the scaffolding, containing jewelry, a pamphlet, and other items.
2 A Pagan Ritual North-West Of Owanjila Dam
The area around Owanjila is odd. Extremely isolated, there are many secrets to be found here, including some of an unsavory nature. About halfway off the road, towards the edge of the map, you can find these gross remnants of a ritual. In the middle of an occult symbol that's been etched onto the ground, you can find the mutilated remains of a victim, who's wearing a mask. It's a point of interest, and you can also take the mask off the victim and wear it yourself.
1 Faces In The Trees Near Owanjila
Another Pagan-esque discovery that you can find in the isolated backwoods of Owanjila, these offer some Blair Witch-esque scares. Located in Big Valley, west of the dam, you'll find several trees that are in a circle. Each one of the trees has had a face carved into their trunks, which all now appear to be staring at Arthur. Whoever's up in Owanjila doing all this stuff, I hope I never meet them on a dark night, unless I've got my trusty pump-action.