Camps are temporary resting points established in the wilderness. In Red Dead Redemption, camps also provide the player with the ability to save the game, change outfits, and fast travel. In Red Dead Redemption 2, camps are further expanded wherein players can avail to a small camp or the main camp - the Van der Linde camp where the player can modify their character, interact with fellow gang members, sleep, do chores or fast travel.
Camps are an essential component in the American West at the time of Red Dead Revolver, Red Dead Redemption and Red Dead Redemption 2, due to the distance and travel time between settlements. Camps provide an opportunity for individuals and their horses to eat and rest; campfires are integral to provide light and keep predatory animals away. Rudimentary tents provide shelter from the elements and mild comfort.
Red Dead Redemption
In Red Dead Redemption, two types of camps exist - those established by the player and fixed or random campsites that are often populated with NPCs.
The player can establish a camp anywhere in the wilderness, with the exception of areas close to towns, settlements or gang hideouts, and areas near roads or bodies of water. After establishing a camp, the player can save game progress, change outfits, or fast travel to another destination.
The Basic Campsite that the player begins the game which can be upgraded to the Improved Campsite, which also refills ammunition. This can be purchased at most general stores. Each type is found in the Kit section of the player's inventory.
Campsites exist in some fixed locations and also spawn randomly across the wilderness. Often NPCs will be present at these campsites and the player can choose to rest for a while and hear their tales by the campfire. Sometimes these tales relate to the player's own adventures in Red Dead Redemption. NPCs may also tell stories related to the narrative of Red Dead Revolver.
In a random encounter, one may find a campsite filled with TNT and several people working. If Marston is close enough, he will hear a short conversation between the men, in which one warns the other to be careful with the explosives. A short while later a massive explosion wipes out the camp along with the men, Marston (if he is close enough), and any wildlife unlucky enough to be near the site.
Player campsites are not available in Undead Nightmare.
Non-player camps in Undead Nightmare can be of several different kinds:
- A group of two or more survivors surrounded by a wall of boxes that are holding off a crowd of undead.
- A scientist with a gatling gun and several undead corpses who is trying to find what is making the undead work and how to cure them, but requires a live test subject which can be any type of zombie.
- A person sitting at the campfire with their lover or friend who's turned undead and is tied to a stake in the ground, who can be released and will attack John or the other person.
- A lone person that is eating the flesh of either undead or humans.
The last two are the only types that will have conversations with John about their experiences in the apocalypse. They will even offer John a limb or bone to eat from, which will make him vomit.
Red Dead Redemption 2
In Red Dead Redemption 2, there are three types of camps in the game - those established by the player, the main camp where the Van der Linde gang resides and fixed or random campsites that are often populated with NPCs.
As they hide from the law, the members of the Van der Linde gang spend their time on various camps around the Country. The members perform various small tasks to keep the camp in shape and their overall morale high. Arthur Morgan can interact with and accept passive missions (such as bringing some coffee to Pearson) from his fellow gang members. While the player isn't punished for ignoring the rest of the gang, the other members will voice their disappointment if left alone for long periods of time.
Arthur can increase his honor by carrying out various chores in camp by himself. The tasks include carrying hay bales to horses, carrying maize sacks to Pearson's wagon and chopping firewood. All of these tasks increase Arthur's honor. Arthur can also bring various hunting goods to Pearson. He can donate animal pelts, feathers to Pearson for funds, or for crafting accessories. Pearson can also use certain pelts to craft Arthur's satchel, which helps increase its capacity. Various pelts and animal carcasses can also be donated to make accessories for the camp.
Arthur is required to visit the camp to finish item requests, and fellow gang members will not always be available to accept the items. Most item requests are triggered in camp by either talking with fellow gang members, or taking part in a camp activity (e.g. playing dominoes) with them. Finishing item requests increase Arthur's honor.
Arthur can donate uncooked meat or animal carcasses to Pearson to make the camp stew, which also increases his Honor. High quality meat, such as prime beef joint, gristly mutton and succulent fish are much preferred over low quality meat such as gritty meat and gamey bird meat. Depending on the quality of the donated meat, Pearson and Arthur will both react differently. Camp members will also react differently when eating the camp stew. Members will praise a stew made of high-quality meat, and complain if the stew is made of low-quality meat.
Players can also check on the status of the medical, munitions' and provisions' wagons. These wagons can be restocked to provide Arthur supplies. The supplies' statuses are indicated in colors - red, white and gold indicate low, medium and high amount of supplies respectively. When Pearson's provisions run low, camp morale will also be low. In this case, Dutch may comment that camp members are on the brink of "rebellion".
Starting from chapter 5, Arthur can no longer carry out chores in camp, as he becomes sick. He cannot make donations either, as the camp ledger is lost.
Camp membership is fluid, and players may find that members leave or arrive while they are away. Quests can reveal their whereabouts. Time of day also influences whom players may interact with at the camp. While keeping morale high is optional, it provides various benefits, such as additional supplies and bonuses.
Players should note that being absent from camp for a long period of time (more than three days) will result in honor loss for Arthur when he goes back to camp. Javier, Charles or Bill may be sent to retrieve Arthur, but regardless of the player's decision to ride with him or stay, the honor loss will still apply.
Gang Camp Upgrades
The gang camp can be further upgraded to unlock additional features through the ledger. The upgrade list are as follows.
- Strauss's wagon (3) - include more types of tonics.
- Pearson's wagon (3) - include more types of provisions.
- Arthur's wagon (3) - include more types of ammunition and throwable weapons.
- Lodging (3) - upgrade Dutch's tent, then Arthur's lodging, and ultimately everyone's tents.
- Upgrading Dutch's tent encourages others to donate to camp.
- Upgrading Arthur's lodging creates a fast travel point.
- Upgrading everyone's tents increases camp morale.
- Horse station - allow players to recover their stabled horses.
- Chicken coop - eating Pearson's stew increases Arthur's dead eye core.
- Leather working tools - give Pearson tools for crafting special satchels.
- Camp boat (only available when the gang relocate to Clemens Point and Shady Belle).
In an attempt to cut down on lengthy travel times, Arthur's tent can be upgraded as a Fast Travel point.
Other upgrades can be found at Pearson's wagon.
- Near Blackwater (pre-chapter one)
- Colter (until "Eastward Bound")
- Horseshoe Overlook (until "A Strange Kindness")
- Clemens Point (until "The Battle of Shady Belle")
- Shady Belle (until "Banking, The Old American Art")
- Lakay (until "That's Murfree Country")
- Beaver Hollow (until "Red Dead Redemption")
After the mission "Red Dead Redemption", the camp is replaced by Safehouses.
Player-founded camps are further expanded, the player can establish a camp anywhere in the wilderness, with the exception of areas close to towns, settlements or gang hideouts, and areas near roads or bodies of water.
After establishing a camp, the player can save game progress, sleep and rest between days (up to 24 hours), or cook and craft food and materials. Setting up camp in Roanoke Ridge may lead to special encounters with the Murfree Broods, who warn the player to stay out of their territory.
NPC camps can be found at fixed locations. They can be easily located as their campfires produce black smoke in the sky. Larger camps are found at the outskirts of towns, such as the camps in Valentine and Blackwater. The player is free to use the campfire in these "public" camps without consequences. Supplies such as provisions also spawn in these camps, and the player can take them without honor loss. Dogs also occasionally wander around these camps.
Smaller camps occupied by one or two travelers can be found in the wilderness. However, these "private" camps are not welcoming towards the player. Should the player go in these camps or wander around them for too long, the occupants will warn the player to leave and turn hostile if the player refuses. These camps will always have one or two horses hitched nearby. The player may also witness camps being looted by Murfree Broods in Roanoke Ridge.
Rival gangs also set up camps at fixed locations. These camps are occupied by four to six gang members, who will immediately turn hostile when they spot the player approaching them. On some occasions, two additional members will arrive on horses after the camp occupants are killed. The campfire will always go out after the player clears out the occupants in these camps, disallowing the player from using it to craft items. Ammo boxes and medical boxes are available in some camps. Among the many rival camps, there is a special encounter in Roanoke Ridge where a Murfree Brood tries to lure and rob the player by faking cries in a tent.
Some items can only be created at the camp's fire. The below details tonics and similar items. Note that cooking recipes have their own page.
Red Dead Online
The player can set up and customize camps. Various themes, such as "survivor" are available for the player to use. The camp can be set up in various areas around the map.
During the online tutorial your camp will stay in a fixed location but later on it changes location automatically every in-game day.
Below are all possible online camp upgrades. Start by looking at Cripps inside your camp to start buying the upgrades.
- Standard - no effect
- Travelling Opulence - no effect
- The Hobo Life - no effect
- Military Surplus - no effect
- Survivor - no effect
- Bedrolls – Refills your Cores to 15% when entering Free Roam. Your Cores refill 25% faster when entering a camp.
- Lean-To – Refills your Cores to 25% when entering Free Roam. Your Cores refill 50% faster when entering a camp.
- A-Frame – Refills your Cores to 35% when entering Free Roam. Your Cores refill 75% faster when entering a camp.
- Tall Lean-To – Refills your Cores to 45% when entering Free Roam. Your Cores refill 100% faster when entering a camp.
- Open-Air Lean-To – Refills your Cores to 55% when entering Free Roam. Your Cores refill 125% faster when entering a camp.
- Covered Lean-To – Refills your Cores to 65% when entering Free Roam. Your Cores refill 150% faster when entering a camp.
- Covered – Refills your Cores to 75% when entering Free Roam. Your Cores refill 175% faster when entering a camp.
- There are 8 flag colors for your camp but they are only cosmetic and have no gameplay benefits.
- Fast Travel Post – allows you to fast travel from Camp.
- While it is faster in real time to 'fast travel', using this option advances the game time significantly. The amount of time advanced is dependent on the distance between the camp and the player's destination.
- Players should note that 'fast travelling' back to the gang camp from a faraway location may lead to honor loss when the player arrives at camp. This is because 'fast travelling' can advance game time by more than three days and the player is absent from gang camp during 'fast travel'.
- Having a companion to ride along will negate the honor loss caused by absence from gang camp. However, this can only be done through glitches.
- Arthur can use Eagle Eye to track his fellow gang members in camp. The mechanics are exactly the same as he does when tracking animals.
- If the player sits down at random NPC camp while carrying a hogtied victim, Marston's head will be inside the hogtied person as if the person wasn't there. When getting up, Marston will be carrying the victim as before.
- If the player establishes a camp while near or riding a horse (saddle or not), the campfire will appear with the tent, bed, etc. When dismounted and away from horse, only the campfire will spawn with John Marston.