Rockstar sure has been hard at work building the online for their infinitely huge RPG, Red Dead Redemption 2. The game had a massively successful launch, to no one's surprise. The standard pattern for them is to then use that profit and popularity to build their games even larger so people will stick with it for years to come. I mean just look at GTA5. That game released originally in 2013, and yet it still has a bustling online ecosystem.
This is all to say that Rockstar has genuinely crafted something special with RDR2. A game that is truly and totally immersive.
Say what you want about the pace or how long everything takes but the game has an absolutely asinine amount of things to do. Between all the story missions, camp activities, stranger quests, fishing, hunting, collectibles, robbing, and even dog petting, you could play RDR2 until you're old and grey! And while you're on your 34th year of playing, you might notice how different the side content feels. That's because Rockstar likes to save the more odd, yet engaging writing for the players who explore. Which is where the stranger Missions come in. These side quests are ones our protagonist Arthur can encounter anywhere, at any time. And most of the time they lead to interactions with some amazingly charming characters who give great rewards. Rarely though, there is a mission that'll just be a slog. Either way, there are a lot of them, and it's hard to know which are worth it, and which aren't without doing them yourself. So, to clear things up, here are The 15 Best Hidden Missions In Red Dead Redemption 2 (And 10 Not Worth Doing)
25 Best: He's British Of Course - The Margaret Who Cried Lion
So first in our quest to find all the wacky lads in the old west is Margaret. He's found next to his crashed cart in Lemoyne. As it happens, his circus animals escaped and he needs us to find them. He lost 2 lions, a zebra, and a tiger. Well, sort of. Turns out they're all dressed up everyday animals like a Mule, Dog, and Cougar.
After bringing (most) of them back Margaret has you hunt down the last lion, which turns out to be real!
Deadeye makes quick work of the beast and we get a neat lions paw that makes for a handy-dandy trinket from your fence. Honestly even knowing the lion twist ahead of time, the dialogue and writing in this quest is hilariously charming.
24 Best: The Saint-Denis Vampire - Bloodsucker With A Fan For Poetry
Next on our list is one of the only "non-stranger" missions on here. The bloodcurdling questline is actually just a random encounter and isn't officially designated as a "stranger mission". To stumble across the Nosferatu fanboy, you do have to have Saint-Denis as an available location.
While wandering the bustling city, you've got to scour for five pieces of graffiti in various areas.
They're actually poetry, and all have the same central theme of blood. Once you find them all, a black "X" will appear on your map. Wait to visit it until around midnight. You'll then stumble across the so-called "vampire". I won't spoil the encounter, but you can expect nab a neat little melee weapon from as well.
23 Not Worth It: A Test Of Faith - More Like Jurassic Snore
Man dinosaurs are cool. Well, at least they were before all those feathers got thrown onto them. Jurassic Park knows it, Godzilla knows it, and Red Dead Redemption 2 knows it as well. That's why there's a stranger mission relatively early on where you are able to hunt down the bones of the prehistoric "birds". The quest is north-east of Flatiron station where a nice old lady professor Deborah asks us to help her out. Find the bone locations and mail the coordinates to here, easy enough right?
Yeah, but unfortunately it's boring and it takes forever.
There are 30 bone locations to find and you can't entirely complete the quest until Chapter 8! That's like at least 40 hours of playtime. Plus the reward is just a knife made from dinosaur bone, neat sure, but worth all that effort? Absolutely not.
22 Best: The Smell Of Grease Paint - Magnifico's Quest Is Magnificent
This mission has some of the most unique characters in RDR2. It's found around the Van Horn Trading Post where you'll stop a man named Bertram from choke-slamming a bartender. Turns out he's a sweetheart that works with a woman named Marjorie who's looking for her other employee, Magnifico.
So our boy Arthur has to track the height-impaired man down, and apparently, he doesn't want to go back. He eludes us a couple of times with some amazingly colorful smoke bombs, but eventually, we get the better of him.
After the whole mess is finished, you can actually attend their performance at the Théâtre Râleur in Saint-Denis. If you speak to the vendor afterward, you'll actually get $40 and a letter from Marjorie.
21 Best: Arcadia For Amateurs - World's Worst Nature Photographer
The Arcadia for Amateurs questline is one you'll be encountering quite a few times throughout Arthurs journey. Albert Mason is actually an exceptionally likable character, which is rare in a Rockstar game, where everyone is essentially sociopaths. He's actually a nature photographer which some awful luck and steadfast determination. Throughout your many encounters, you save him from wolves, crocodiles, horses and more.
For someone who lives for animal photography, he's not too great at it.
It's worth your time just for the writing alone, but the animal interactions are fun as well. It's a well thought out way for Rockstar to introduce you to all their wildlife without boring you.
20 Not Worth It: Geology For Beginners - Even With Time Travel, I'm Bored
Much for the same reason, the dinosaur-based side mission is lame, so is this one. This time around, instead of hunting fossils, you're searching for rock carvings. Riveting I know.
A man named Francis Sinclair asks this of you, in a manner suspiciously not at all befitting the Old West.
But at least, instead of 30, there's only 10 of these. Plus, after finding them all you get a neat cutscene about Francis that can't quite be explained. So it's much better than the other collection-based missions. Still, it's another side-quest completely dedicated to a boring collectible, so into the trash pile it goes.
19 Best: The Noblest Of Men And Women - Give Me All Those Unique Revolvers
I'd recommend this questline as early as you can. It has four different unique revolvers you can acquire, tons of items to sell, and has some genuinely interesting characters.
In the Noblest of Men and Women questline, you're searching for the pals of one Jim Calloway, who's passed out on the bar when you meet him.
Apparently, Calloway is the best shot in the West and a hopeful author would like the point-of-view of his old crew. Apparently, they weren't the most sociable bunch, as 3 of the 4 try to duel you. But, once you take them out and nab a snapshot, their signature revolvers are yours. Just remember to loot them before you head out, once you leave they despawn and are gone forever.
18 Best: A Bright Bouncing Boy - The World's First Terminator
Other than the vampire encounter, this is by far the most fantastical mission in the game. It features one Marko Dragic as he works to finish his masterpiece, to his own detriment. This is another one that takes place in Saint-Denis, so wait till after chapter 4. Your first encounter with Marko is to help him win over some investors with his "toy" submarine.
After this, you'll spend time with Dragic as his lackey, helping him harness lightning and flips some switches while he works on the creation of a fully-fledged robot.
A bit early in history for robots, don't you think? Either way, The entirety of this mission is riveting and leads to one of the most mysterious easter eggs in the game, so check it out.
17 Not Worth It: Smoking And Other Hobbies - Yu-Gi-Oh In The Old West
The Cigarette Cards. Oh, man the Cigarette cards. These are absolutely impossible to collect in any sort of organized fashion. You'll just happen upon them now and again on your travels as you loot houses. But, if you want to collect them all for 100% completion or something, this absolutely stinks.
Thankfully, Rockstar made it so you can buy packs of the cards in the general stores.
That way, people who are aiming for 100% can just buy these packs over and over. But at the end of the day, if you have to make a workaround for your sidequest because it's so disorganized, doesn't that speak volumes about its quality? I think so.
16 Best: Oh Brother - Extreme Familial Bonding
The Oh Brother questline is one about bravery, romance, and change. It's truly a quest about the things people do for love. Alright fine, it's about two twins who are crushing on the same girl.
In order to prove which is more worthy of this fine lady, Helen, the twins rope Arthur into their "macho" display.
First is shooting bottles off their heads. Then they want punches straight to the face. Finally, they prove their commitment through going over a waterfall in two separate barrels and miraculously survive. Honestly, it's some of the funniest stuff in the game, the only downside is that it's split into three separate interactions, and they don't pop up on the map, you have to either follow a guide or happen upon them.
15 Best: The Ties That Bind Us - Criminals Have To Stick Together
alright so this storyline can go a couple of different ways but it starts the same. Arthur finds two freshly escaped prisoners just outside of Rhodes, that need help. They need to go into town but can't because of the wanted posters, so hunt all of them down.
It's a bit boring but afterward, burn the posters with the prisoners and you can see them again later.
Now later you can either help them again or take them in for their bounty, if you want a truly heartwarming and frankly hilarious ending though, help them along their journey, trust me.
14 Not Worth It: A Fisher Of Fish - Don't Make Me Fish, Let Me Fish
Here's the thing, this complaint is about hunting and fishing. And I just want to say, the hunting and fishing in Red Dead Redemption 2 is awesome. They're incredibly complex, fully fleshed out side activities. But the side quests associated with them are lame.
Hunting and fishing in RDR2 are intended to be there for whenever you feel like slowing down and immersing yourself in the setting.
Don't feel like doing the main story or side content? Go hunt a legendary animal or fish the biggest fish. But when you make it part of a sidequest, it takes the fun away from it, at least in my opinion.
13 Best: The Veteran
Now, this next questline isn't absurd, or wacky, or even all that exciting, it's really just about your protagonist making a new friend. Hamish is a war veteran we find just after he was knocked off his horse while his prosthetic leg was still attached. He's stranded with one leg, so of course, we give him a ride home.
After you return his horse to him, you can make quite a few return visits just to you know, hang out with Hamish.
The line of missions equates to some good old-fashioned friendly bonding, fishing, hunting, you name it. Which might seem boring, but is actually a welcome change from the usually over-the-top missions we're used to by this point.
12 Not Worth It: Duchesses And Other Animals - Collect All The Things
Algernon Wasp is a nerd. There I said it. He wants Arthur to collect a frankly staggering amount of feathers and orchids, among other exotic items. This sidequest takes everything I was complaining about in the dinosaur bones and rock carving entries and amplifies it.
Instead of one boring collectible, there are multiple, and instead of simply 10-30 to grab, there are tons.
It's just a bunch of boringness for the sake of collecting. And at the end of it you get Algernon's Revolver, which is neat, I guess. But it's not all that great of a revolver, and it sure as heck wasn't worth 10+ hours of this snoozefest.
11 Best: The Artist's Way - You've Got To Rescue The Womanizer
Now don't be fooled, this quest has very little to do with art. It's a series of quests all about Charles Châtenay and his escapades to tick off just about every male in town. Turns out Charles is a bit of a womanizer, you know because he's French.
A bit stereotypical sure but Rockstar isn't known for their subtlety, and this is the Old West.
In any case, Charles has been messing around with just about every married couple in town, and we, as Arthur, have to save his cheeky behind more than a few times. This quest isn't worth much in terms of rewards, but it is by far one of the most enjoyable in the game.
10 Not Worth It: Fundraiser - It Really Shouldn't Count
And finally, and this might get me a bit of flack, but I'm including the stranger mission called "Fundraiser" on the negative section of this list. Why do you ask?
Well, that's because even though the entirety of the "mission" is one interaction. It apparently still qualifies as a stranger mission by Rockstar's definition.
The mission about the vampire in Saint-Denis, where you hunt for graffiti in order to stop a bloodsucker? Nah that's not a stranger mission. But a lady asking you for a donation? Oh, that's a fully developed and deep series of quests right there. I stole the money from her just out of spite when I found out.
9 Best: The Iniquities Of History - Careful Who You Pity
So not all quests in RDR2 are upbeat or comical in tone. In fact, much of the plot is a bit more solemn. And while the stranger missions are usually great because they're so fun, this next one is amazing for another reason. We can find our next stranger, Jeremiah Compson, completely hungover on a bench in Rhodes.
After listening to his complaints about how he's lost his house, valuables, and career, we decide to help.
After sneaking into his previously owned home and snooping around, apparently, things aren't as they seem. I won't spoil any more than that, but the mission for sure encourages those who read all the documents and pickups.
8 Not Worth It: The Mercies Of Knowledge - Grimdark And That Is It
This next questline is a darker one that doesn't really match Arthur's personality. It involves you running a couple of errands for a frankly deranged professor who wants to build an electric chair.
To do this, Arthur needs to rob a moonshine caravan and nab a "willing" participant.
Both of these missions are frankly way too easy and feel like they're just filler until the climax of the mission. Once you get it all set up and get the horrifying show started, it's poorly made. The chair doesn't work right and the prisoner just suffers in front of you. The professor also doesn't quite end up happy and altogether it's just a grimdark questline with not much else to it other than it's morbidity. Definitely low on my list.
7 Best: The Widow Of Willard's Rest - Some Satisfying Character Development
Personally, I think the most rewarding parts of Red Dead Redemption 2 are the little moments we get to see just what kind of man Arthur Morgan is. And no stranger mission does this better than The Widow of Willards Rest.
Throughout a series of encounters, we help an able, but ignorant widow named Charlotte learn to survive on her own after her husbands passing.
Now, this isn't available until chapter 6 so it's a bit late in the game. And talking about it anymore will spoil both the quest and late game plot. But honestly, it's a quest line interesting enough to be worth your time.
6 Not Worth It: All That Glitters - A Somehow Mundane Treasure Hunt
So you might be thinking, why is the treasure hunt mission on this list?
Shouldn't a mission that rewards you with gold bars of all things, be a good one? Not really.
Frankly, you buy a cheap map off an NPC, and leapfrog from map location to map location until you locate the gold. There's no greater plot, no dialogue, and almost nothing to the quest other than just following hints on the found maps. When compared to all the fully fleshed out quests in the rest of the game, All That Glitters ironically doesn't stand out.
5 Best: American Dreams - Dark Mission Done Right
And hopping right off the warm and fuzzies The Widow mission is all about, let's talk about a hardcore criminal. The American Dream is essentially Arthur vs a serial assassin. Spread throughout the game world are three crime scenes. At these scenes, we can see the pattern of the criminal is well, decapitation. He also leaves parts of a map behind.
Put them together to find the location of this deranged individual at the "Lucky Cabin".
The last part of the quest is for you to experience on your own. But, it's safe to say it's not quite so quick and easy. At the end of the day, we end up with a measly profit of $20, which is chump change, but justice is the true reward.
4 Not Worth It: The Wisdom Of The Elders - Hey Look, More Needless Collectibles
So this next complaint is actually only about a section of a quest line. The Wisdom of the Elders is a pretty unique and interesting series of missions in Red Dead Redemption 2. It has all the right things, a curse, a shaman, and maybe even magic.
But, the second half of the mission involves hunting down a bunch of Dreamcatchers.
And as you know by this point, I hate lazy collect-a-thons. Sure I don't mind collectibles, but delegating the grunt work of a sidequest to an in-game collectible just stinks. Like you didn't want to have unique gameplay for your quest, so you just shoehorned a collectible in.
3 Best: The American Inferno, Burnt Out - Meeting Dutch's Idol
Alright, this upcoming stranger mission features a slight spoiler, so be wary. But if you pay attention to the dialogue, you'll notice that our fearless leader Dutch is always reading. He'll mention the author from time to time, one Evelyn Miller, and turns out we can meet him.
This series of encounters is relatively short, but incredibly interesting all the same.
It goes to show just how dedicated some creative types can be to their passion. And while the quest doesn't necessarily reward you with much (other than a watch to sell), the new info about Evelyn and Dutch is well worth exploring.
2 Not Worth It: Herbalist All Plants - Stuff Some Weeds In Your Pocket
So I know I just said that collectibles are fine, but again, that is when they're interesting. Yeah, I want to collect all the legendary animals, of course. I don't mind collecting the exotic hats you find throughout the game. Heck, I even love collecting all the different melee weapons!
But, collecting all the different species of plants? Yeah...no thank you.
In order to get both the Herbalist achievement and the 100% completion of RDR2, you need that chlorophyll. And not just a little bit either, there are 43 different plants to collect. I'm talking berries, herbs, and mushrooms. It's a testament to just how much minute detail Rockstar put into the game for sure. But was it worth it? No way. Burn it all down.
1 Best: Idealism And Pragmatism - Arthur Morgan The Mayor's Aide
Arthur Morgan is a complicated man. Throughout the game, we see that he can act like scum at times, and a true gentleman at others. And this stranger mission is one of the few that lets the player decide which is more fitting. To start this quest, you'll have to again, unlock Saint-Denis, as well as meet with its mayor.
Once you do, keep an eye on your mail, because a letter from the said mayor is what starts the quest.
The series of missions is where you'll serve as the Mayor's hulking lackey, but the gameplay in each encounter is enjoyable. Plus, the final decision is divisive and bolsters either a substantial reward or a smidge of honor. Either way, it's a unique batch of missions.