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Red Dead Redemption 2 guide: Complete Gold Medal checklists and guides for everything in the West

Both console and PC players have had a while to work through Red Dead Redemption 2 since launch, but it's arrival on Xbox Game Pass opens it up to a whole new group of cowpokes to mosey on in to Rockstar's Old West epic. Even if you've spent the last year with the game, it's likely that you won't have seen everything the world has to offer as it's so rich and vast. Indeed, even seeing through the main story and epilogue to conclusion doesn't guarantee meeting the full cast of Strangers, and unless you've gone out of your way then there will still be many collectibles to discover.

For newer arrivals, all the hunting, fishing, and crafting systems may be proving somewhat overwhelming, and that's before you start investigating all of the other systems in place to give you the full experience of survival on the Great Plains. This all means there's a lot of ground to cover, and that's where this guide comes in. As well as checklists of all the requirements you need to meet to earn the Gold Medal in every story mission – if you're wondering how many chapters are in Red Dead Redemption 2, the answer is six plus two epilogues – we also have an extensive collection of in-depth guides covering every area of the game that benefits from further analysis. If you want to become the best in the West, then read on.

Looking for help with Rockstar's online Wild West? We also have a complete Red Dead Online (opens in new tab) guide with everything you need to know to succeed.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Missions Gold Medal Checklists

At the end of most Red Dead Redemption 2 story missions, you'll receive a medal based on how many of the optional objectives you complete. The rank of this medal is determined as follows:

  • Bronze - complete fewer than half of the optional objectives
  • Silver - complete half or more of the optional objectives
  • Gold - complete all of the optional objectives

If you're looking to unlock the Gold Rush Trophy or Achievement, then you'll need to earn 70 gold medals in total across the story missions. When you finish a mission, you'll receive your medal award and be given the option to immediately replay it for another chance to tick off all the requirements. You can also replay previous story missions at any point by pausing and selecting Progress > Story then choosing a chapter and mission. We've got all of the Gold Medal checklists laid out for you, so select a chapter below to begin:

Red Dead Redemption 2 Guides

Red Dead Redemption 2 is huge, and you could easily sink many hours into exploring the world and taking part in the various activities available, in addition to all the actual story missions. If you want to get the most out of your game and see everything Red Dead Redemption 2 has to offer, then take a look through our extensive suite of guides for all the help and advice you could need.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Tips

If you want to know how to get the most from your horse, how to survive a gunfight, where you can improve your bullets, and much more, we have a set of essential Red Dead Redemption 2 tips (opens in new tab) to know before you play, as well as recommendations for the best Red Dead Redemption 2 settings (opens in new tab) to make sure you've fine-tuned your game to perfection.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Cheats

You may not have even realised that cheats are available in Red Dead Redemption 2, as they're hidden away in the settings menu. To unlock them you have to type in particular phrases, either found scrawled around the world or at the bottom of newspaper pages, and our Red Dead Redemption 2 cheats (opens in new tab) codes list has every cheat available to enhance your Western experience.

Red Dead Redemption 2 100% Completion

If you want to tick off all the boxes on the way to 100% completion then you need to be ready for a long haul, as this will take a serious investment of time. To help you through it, our Red Dead Redemption 2 100% completion guide (opens in new tab) will show you all the requirements you need to meet.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Story

Art of John Marston from Red Dead Redemption.

If you didn't play the previous instalment in the series, then we can help you catch up on the Red Dead Redemption story (opens in new tab) so far and who the main characters are. Once you get up and running, we've got advice on where to meet the best Red Dead Redemption 2 strangers (opens in new tab), as well as where to find the Red Dead Redemption 2 Gunslingers locations (opens in new tab), the Red Dead Redemption 2 Killer Clue locations (opens in new tab), how to summon a Red Dead Redemption 2 Vampire (opens in new tab), and thoughts on what's happening with the Red Dead Redemption 2 Mount Shann Mystery (opens in new tab).

Red Dead Redemption 2 Map and Travel

If you've not already seen the size of the full Red Dead Redemption 2 map (opens in new tab), then you can check it out - but be wary of spoilers for later locations in the game. With such a large map you'll want to be able to get around quickly, so this is how to unlock Red Dead Redemption 2 fast travel (opens in new tab).

Red Dead Redemption 2 Money

You'll want to have plenty of cash available, be it for purchasing new weapons and horses, paying off those pesky bounties, or upgrading the facilities at your camp, so we've got lots of advice on how to make money fast in Red Dead Redemption 2 (opens in new tab). If you're starting to pile up those ill-gotten items and need somewhere a little less legitimate to offload them, then visit one of the Red Dead Redemption 2 Fence locations (opens in new tab) - where you can also pick up the Lock Breaker to help steal from secure boxes.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Weapons

There's a huge selection of guns available, and it can be a little overwhelming trying to decide which ones you should be carrying around with you, so we've put together a guide to the best Red Dead Redemption 2 weapons (opens in new tab). If you're down on your luck and short of cash, we'll also show you how to get a free gun in Red Dead Redemption 2 (opens in new tab).

Red Dead Redemption 2 Horses

There are many different breeds of horse available, ranging from the strongest working Shires to the leanest and fastest racehorses. However, if you know where to look then it's possible to get the Red Dead Redemption 2 best horse (opens in new tab) for free, so we'll show you its location and tell you how to tame it.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Bounty and Wanted Level

If you want to avoid falling foul of the law, you'll need to understand how Witnesses react to your criminal acts, as well as how to escape from a crime scene. We've got a full explanation of how the Red Dead Redemption 2 Bounty and Wanted Level (opens in new tab) system works, as well as tips for how to stay under the radar and evade capture once you've done a bad thing.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Hunting

Hunting plays a massive part in Red Dead Redemption 2, whether you're stocking up on meat to feed your camp or finding a particular pelt for a crafting recipe, so we've got some general Red Dead Redemption 2 hunting tips (opens in new tab) to get you started, as well as advice on how to get Red Dead Redemption 2 perfect pelts (opens in new tab). If you're looking for some special quarry to take down, then we can show you where to find Red Dead Redemption 2 Legendary Animals (opens in new tab) and Red Dead Redemption 2 Legendary Fish (opens in new tab), plus we also have Red Dead Redemption 2 animal locations (opens in new tab) for every other species you could want to hunt. Once you've got some legendary animal parts, head to one of the Red Dead Redemption 2 Trapper locations (opens in new tab) and craft a unique outfit with them.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Upgrades

There are a number of upgrades you can craft and purchase in the game, and we have a complete Red Dead Redemption 2 Perks, Trinkets, and Talismans list (opens in new tab) of all the items you can obtain from a Fence to boost your personal stats. Over at your base of operations, we have a full Red Dead Redemption 2 Camp upgrades list (opens in new tab) and details of what improvements they'll make if you invest in them, as well as information on all the Red Dead Redemption 2 Satchel upgrades (opens in new tab) Pearson can provide to increase your various carrying capacities. If you want to grab yourself some new headwear without having to do any crafting, then you can always track down the Red Dead Redemption 2 Viking helmet (opens in new tab) and pretend to be a Norse raider.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Graves

Life in the Wild West is particularly harsh, and it's a sad fact that not all of your companions are going to survive until the conclusion of the game. In order to earn the Paying Respects Trophy or Achievement, you need to visit all of their final resting places pay tribute to their memory. By the end of the story there will be nine in total, and this is where to find all the Red Dead Redemption 2 graves (opens in new tab).

Red Dead Redemption 2 Collectibles

There are a number of different collectible items you can find in Red Dead Redemption 2, from a whopping 144 cigarette cards to mysterious piles of dinosaur bones, and if you're a completionist then you'll want to grab them all. Choose one of our complete locations guides below, and get searching:

Red Dead Redemption 2 Treasure Maps

There are a number of Red Dead Redemption 2 treasure maps (opens in new tab) you can find, and solving them will lead you to a nice little valuable cache. However, unless you know the expansive landscape like the back of your hand, identifying where the treasure lies once you've obtained the map can still be tricky. Fret not though as we've got you covered, so select a map below for a full solution:

Red Dead Redemption 2 Challenges

Challenges are back in Red Dead Redemption 2, and if you want to prove your mettle as a top cowboy then you'll need to complete many feats, which will also unlock reinforced equipment and attribute bonuses when you beat a full set of them. There are 9 sets of challenges in total, we've not covered the Explorer Challenges as they just involve finding treasures, but we have complete guides for requirements in the other 8 sets below:

Iain Wilson
Guides Editor

Iain originally joined Future in 2012 to write guides for CVG, PSM3, and Xbox World, before moving on to join GamesRadar in 2013 as Guides Editor. His words have also appeared in OPM, OXM, PC Gamer, GamesMaster, and SFX. He is better known to many as ‘Mr Trophy’, due to his slightly unhealthy obsession with amassing intangible PlayStation silverware, and he now has over 475 Platinum pots weighing down the shelves of his virtual award cabinet. He does not care for Xbox Achievements.