They are a common venomous snake renowned for the rattles on their tails, which alert nearby animals of their presence and agitation. They are found throughout the American West. Their natural habitat ranges from hot arid plains to cool mountain outcrops. Per Rockstar's poster (see image gallery, below), they can range from 3' 5" to 8' in length, and weigh up to 20 pounds.
Rattlesnakes can be hunted and skinned for snake skin that can later be sold to merchants for cash. In-game, they are very deadly. One bite will temporarily stagger the player, a second bite will bring their health dangerously low and can sometimes be fatal, and a third bite is generally fatal.
Rattlesnakes often blend in with their surroundings, and can be difficult to spot. If the player is on horseback near a rattlesnake, the horse will quickly pull up and whinny, giving the player some warning.
When approached on foot, rattlesnakes will start making hissing or rattling noises until the threat backs away. This can be used to effectively track one down and kill it.
- Sidewinder Gulch - West of Tesoro Azul, and southeast of Escalera.
- They are often found in the bushes, hidden from sight, in both Nuevo Paraíso and New Austin.
- Solomon's Folly has a disproportionate amount of rattlesnakes for its small size, especially at night. At least one spawns in the barn. Others spawn by buildings and on the road.
- Found in the Great Plains region, just to the west of Blackwater, and northwest of Broken Tree during the day.
- In Hennigan's Stead, west of MacFarlane's Ranch in the fields, just above the Coyote symbol on the map.
- They are often found in cemeteries; Sepulcro has many of them, and the Blackwater cemetery has a few.
- Some can be found in Torquemada, usually around the cliffsides. This can be very dangerous, as the player might ragdoll over the cliff due to their bite.
- El Matadero.
- They can be found all around Warthington Ranch. There is a group of six rocks north-east of the building to the east in the ranch. Around this group, there are a few snakes spawning all the time during the day.
- Rarely found in The Hanging Rock.
- A lot of snakes can be found around Wreck of the Serendipity.
- A few can be found around Thieves' Landing.
- Rattlesnakes can often be found within the abandoned encampment at Riley's Charge.
- A lot of them can be found around Odd Fellow's Rest. Look under the M of Ridgewood Farm in the day for best results.
- They are also found actively spawning in Mexico by the road right above the Diez Coronas logo on the map.
- Several can be found in and around Casa Madrugada.
- Snakes spawn frequently during all hours on the clifftop just south of Escalera.
- The black and yellow variants can be found hiding in bushes near Ojo Del Diablo. If you can't spot any, fire a few shotgun rounds into the bushes; the wide spread will guarantee kills if there are any snakes there.
- Multiple snakes spawn in small numbers in the bushes east of Coot's Chapel.
- Spawning at random, small numbers of snakes can be found between the far southern border, along the cliff wall of Sidewinder Gulch and Plata Grande.
- Some have also been found in Twin Rocks.
- Snakes also spawn in Barranca.
- A rattlesnake spawns near the center of the abandoned wagon circle at Hamlin's Passing. Once it is killed, the player can run about two seconds in any direction away from the circle and return to cause a respawn. The player should heed caution, as there is also a cougar respawn point there.
- Just west of Manzanita Post near the chest.
- The game's soundtrack includes an atmospheric rattlesnake sound, which does not indicate the presence of a rattlesnake. It is important to learn the difference between this and the actual rattlesnake sound while travelling; a real snake's sound will increase and decrease in volume as the player moves around relative to the snake's location, while the atmospheric sound simply happens at a fixed volume and then stops.
- Due to their small size compared to the rest of the animals and world, as well as their ability to blend in, rattlesnakes don't need detailed animations and modeling. Therefore, rattlesnakes in the game appear slightly boxy when zoomed in on, and their animations are very simple.
- Though the game states the snakes are venomous, there is no mechanic to simulate poison or continuing damage; snakes simply deal normal damage. Rattlesnakes deal poison damage over time in Red Dead Redemption 2, however.
- While rattlesnakes are more common during the day, they will still be found in some areas at night, especially inside Pike's Basin.
- The player can push a snake into a town, and it will kill NPCs as they walk by; however, the snakes can be killed by lawmen.
- While rattlesnakes die in a single hit from most any weapon, they are treated as large animals for purposes of being obliterated; nothing short of the Explosive Rifle will destroy a snake (even the Rolling Block Rifle, Carcano Rifle and Buffalo Rifle will leave a skinnable carcass).
- Wolves will attack any snakes in the area.
- Rattlesnakes still attack the player when they have the beastmaster cheat active.
- If the player are riding their horse and hear a crunch with no squeak or chirp, they have most likely killed a rattlesnake.