If you’ve played Red Dead Redemption 2, there are two things you’re sure to have noticed about the game. Firstly, life is not easy for a cowboy and his outlaw gang. Secondly, it’s a ridiculously vast game, with a myriad of customisation options and possible upgrades to bestow on our hero Arthur Morgan.
What does this mean for the player? It means that they’d better get to grips with the crafting system darn soon, if they want the best chances of surviving the tough challenges that lie ahead.
Let’s take a look at how, where and when you can craft, the kinds of items you want to shoot for and how to make them.
10 How Do You Get Started With Crafting?
The first thing to note is that you can’t craft anything on the fly. To start crafting, you’ll first need to rest (Arthur will crouch on the ground when you stop moving and hold the Triangle—or Y—button). Doing so gives you the options Set Up Camp, Craft and Leave. Depending on what you want to craft, you’ll either need to set up a camp first or hop straight into the basic crafting menu.
Let’s take a look at the difference between the two.
9 To Build A Camp First Or Not To Build A Camp First, That Is The Question
As Game Pressure explains, is you jump straight into the Crafting menu from a resting position, you can craft only those basic items that don’t require a bonfire for Arthur to create: weapons and ammunition.
If you opt to Set Up Camp instead, you’ll have a much wider variety of crafting options to choose from. Weapons, ammunition, horse-care, tonics, hunting and provisions options will all be available to you. Next, let’s take a look at each of these categories, and what you should be prioritising while crafting items.
That’s exactly what the provisions tab of the crafting menu is all about. Meal recipes. This isn’t a survival game as such, but there are definitely elements of that. Your primary method of healing damage and restoring your attributes is by cooking and eating meals.
What’s on the menu, then? Well, that depends what you’ve managed to bag. Plain Game Bird (sparrow, owl, raven and such) and Plain Herptile (iguana, frog) will restore only a small amount of your attributes, while rarer or stronger animals (Exotic Game Bird like parrot or Plain Big Game like bear or alligator) will restore a larger amount; filling them completely in the latter case.
Spicing the food first, where you’re able, will confer additional bonuses. It’s definitely worth experimenting with that.
Some of the tonics are available to craft right from the off, while others will need to be unlocked with progress. The Special Bitter recipe (costing just 2 sage and 1 burdock root to craft) will boost your Stamina level, while the Potent Miracle Cure (for the cost of 1 Indian tobacco) will increase your Health, Stamina and Dead Eye levels.
After the story mission American Distillation (chapter 3), you gain access to the powerful Special Health Cure (1 slander, 1 yarrow) which regenerates health, and the Special Snake Oil (2 Indian Tobacco), which fully replenishes your Dead Eye gauge.
Naturally, then, you’re going to want to be sure that you’re equipped for the task. In the Hunting tab of the crafting menu, you can make yourself Potent Predator Bait (1 Gritty Fish Meat and 1 Blackberry) and Potent Herbivore Bait (1 Vanilla Flower, 1 Snowdrop and 1 Parasol Mushroom) from the start of chapter two.
With both of these, and the Cover Scent Lotion (1 Scent Gland) to prevent animals from detecting you, you can tailor your hunts to the specific animals you need.
As such, the next important crafting tab is weapons. Here, you can make yourself some crucial tools like Volatile Dynamite (1 Dynamite, 1 Animal Fat), after completing the American Distillation mission. Before that, on starting Chapter 2, you gain access to priceless weapons like the Fire Bottle (1 Animal Fat, 1 Moonshine), Improved Throwing Knife (1 Throwing Knife, 1 Eagle Feather) and Improved Tomahawk (1 Tomahawk, 1 Eagle Feather).
Over in the Ammo tab, there are some fantastic things to craft that you do not want to sleep on. From the beginning of the second chapter, you have access to the likes of Fire Arrows (1 Arrow, 1 Animal Fat and 1 Flight Feather) and Poison Arrows (1 Arrow, 1 Oleander Sage and 1 Flight Feather). After Chapter 3’s A Short Walk In A Pretty Town, Dynamite Arrows (1 Arrow, 1 Animal Fat and 1 Dynamite) become available.
On top of that, you’ve also got Explosive Cartridges (1 Animal Fat, 1 weapon) from the start of Chapter 2. That’s just for starters. Seriously, experiment with the Ammo tab, the results are far too much fun.
3 Horse Care
Just as with Arthur himself, your horse has Health and Stamina stats that you need to keep track of. Fortunately, there are medicines for these, too, and after completing the Pouring Forth Oil mission in the second chapter, you gain access to stronger versions. The Special Horse Stimulant (2 Sage, 2 Common Bullrushes and 2 Wild Carrots) and Special Horse Medicine (2 Ginseng, 2 Common Bullrush and Wild Carrots) are excellent for this.
Most powerful is the Special Horse Reviver, which you can craft for 2 Ginseng, 2 Mushrooms and 2 Wild Carrots after completing the American Distillation mission of Chapter 3. This reinforces and refills your horse’s health.
To fix this issue, here’s another crucial tip: make sure you buy that $225 set of leather working tools for camp cook Pearson (from the ledger) as soon as feasible.
Once you’ve done so, you can start collecting perfect hides and skins (from efficient hunts) to bring to him. There are seven satchel upgrades in all, with one each of the game’s six different types of item (Ingredients, Tonics, Materials, Valuables and Kit). Each increases your storage for that type of item, and there’s also the coveted Legend of the East satchel on top of that.
Start off with a Perfect Deer Hide, a Perfewct Buck Hide and a Perfect Elk Hide for the Tonics satchel, and you’ll eventually get your hands on the Legend of the East (which extends your carrying capacity for all categories to 99, from the original 5).
Polygon has a complete guide to going about this, and while it’s a slog, it’s 100% worth the effort.
That’s not always the way, though. Practicality is one thing, but style? That’s priceless. Character customisation is a huge draw in these open-world games, and you can make alternative use of those Perfect Pelts you’ve been accumulating.
If you feel the need for a quick fashion fix, take them to the Trapper instead. Here, you can craft new clothes for Arthur, in six different categories: Hats, Vests, Coats, Gloves, Chaps and Boots. You can also craft Saddles, such as the swanky Rattlesnake Vaquero Saddle (10 Perfect Snake Skin).
Some items are rather easy to craft, such as the Homestead hat (1 Chicken Feather, 2 Goose Feather, $10.00), while others have quite hefty requirements, like the Legendary Panther Range gloves (1 Legendary Panther Pelt, 1 Perfect Gila Monster Skin, $30.00).
Take a look through the store and see what takes your fancy, and what you want to part with.
The astonishing thing is, there’s still more to craft in the game. You can also make trinkets and talismans for Arthur to wear on his person, which give the player a variety of passive bonuses, and various improvements around the camp. In the end, it all comes down to making sure you talk to everybody and open up all of your options, which is what you should be doing in Red Dead Redemption 2 anyway. Happy crafting!