'Red Dead 2' Easy Honor Guide: How to Cheat the Honor System and Keep Murdering

Honor may be an intangible concept in real life, but it’s far more concrete in Red Dead Redemption 2. Many in-game decisions either increase or decrease your honor. Become dishonorable and your friends in camp might start giving you guff. (Like dang Susan Grimshaw, who keeps yelling at me for bushwhacking travelers.) Fortunately for my poor, benighted soul, there’s always a way to get back in the world’s good graces.

The honor system is divided into 17 ranks, ranging from negative to positive eight and determined by gaining or losing points. Have a point value of negative 320 and you become the most low-down scum the game’s moral universe can imagine. Conversely, accrue 320 points and you’ll be a paragon of virtue.

Unfortunately for all the would-be scoundrels out there, the benefits to accruing honor or dishonor are really lopsided. If you want to be an awful person, don’t expect to reap any rewards, except your ill-gotten gains and the exclusive ebony grip for the double-action revolver available only to the extremely dishonorable. The only bonuses given to players with negative honor are more Dead Eye tonics, alcohol and tobacco from looted bodies, plus more money and jewelry from killing lawmen (this bonus is granted once you reach -40 points). So if you’re going to be bad, it pays to fisk every corpse you come across and make sure your bile is directed against the police as much as possible.

The benefits to gaining honor, on the other hand, are substantial:

Rank 1 (40 points) - More and better healing and stamina tonics, plus more food and jewelry from looted bodies.

Rank 2 (80 points) - 10 percent discount at all stores.

Rank 3 (120 points) - New outfits.

Rank 5 (200 points) - 25 percent discount at all stores.

Rank 6 (240 points) - More new outfits.

Rank 7 (280 points) - 50 percent (!) discount at all stores.

Rank 8 (320 points) - Nothing! Joke’s on you for being so good. What are you, an outlaw or a Webelo?

There are multiple points in the campaign where honor can shift by 5, 10, or even 20 points, depending on your decisions. You can probably guess how to choose if you want increased honor: don’t chase money, agree to help people, don’t kill unnecessarily (particularly people who have already surrendered).

But what about building up honor outside of the campaign?

Easy Honor in ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’

There’s a bunch of small ways to pick up honor points here and there, but the easiest, by far, is simply being friendly. Murder and pillage as you like, just so long as you walk into town with a big, dumb grin on your face and greet everyone you see. With approximately every third person you greet, you’ll get a minor bump to your honor.

Easy honor can also be gained by surrendering to the law, rather than fighting back. Serve your time in jail for a five-point bump (hardly seems worth it). Paying off your bounties also results in a five-point bump to honor.

A bigger, 10-point bonus can be had in duels. Disarm an opponent by shooting the gun out of their hand instead of killing them.

But one of the easiest places for easy honor is right at home, in your camp. Doing camp chores—like carrying around bales of hay or chopping wood—will give you honor points, while donating money or items to the gang will grant you a massive 10-point bump (just keep adding items to the box until the game pushes you out of the donation menu, indicating you’ve given enough for the one-time bonus).

rdr2-red-dead-redemption-honor-easy-system-chores Doing your chores is very honorable. Rockstar Games

Chance Encounters and Honor

You’ve probably already bumped into a chance encounter if you’ve done any exploring in Red Dead Redemption 2. Chance encounters typically involve something happening to someone on the road. Maybe they’re being attacked by animals, or have their leg stuck in a trap, or they’ve been kidnapped.

There are dozens of these scenarios, which can all add or decrease your honor, depending on how you react. Typically, helping will give you a five or 10 point bonus to honor, while doing nothing will subtract five points. Even worse is trying to have it both ways by, for example, shooting a person after you’ve helped them. This can result in up to a 20-point loss in honor.

How to Protect Your Honor

Protecting whatever honor you’ve already built up is just as important as accumulating it. Sure, it’s obvious that stealing, killing, attacking, trampling and beating can hurt your honor, but there are some other, more surprising, ways to lose honor worth bearing in mind.

  • Don’t mess with corpses by shooting or dynamiting them.
  • Don’t hunt an animal without skinning it after. Also, make sure to always mercy-kill a wounded animal (including your own horse), instead of watching them bleed out or suffer.
  • Don’t commit a crime without wearing your mask.

rdr2-red-dead-redemption-mask-honor-system Don't forget your mask when doing crimes, dummy. Rockstar Games

So no, you don’t have to stop randomly murdering passers-by, at least not entirely, but you do have to be a little careful about how much cruelty you spread in the process.

Join the Discussion