The Wanted System in Red Dead Redemption 2 is very complex and as a result the understanding of all its dependencies can be problematic. In this chapter of the RDR2 guide we explain how to avoid legal conflicts and death from the hands of legal guards and how to deal with your wanted level.
- The most important types of crime
- How a crime can be connected with Arthur?
- Effects of recording a crime
- Getting rid of the bounty and wanted level
The most important types of crime
In Red Dead Redemption 2 Arthur may have a conflict with the law in many different ways, as there are many different types of crime in the game. The most important of these are:
- Assault on innocent person or law officer (melee attack or use of firearms).
- Murder of innocent person or law officer - as you can suspect it's one of the most serious crimes (and it raises the wanted level a lot).
- Hitting someone while travelling on horseback - this is very problematic in cities, because it is easy to get involved in an accident. Try to move slowly on horseback after reaching the city in order to avoid potential problems with causing harm to someone.
- Stealing from somebody - The robbery of a deceased person or a person who has lost consciousness is also considered a crime.
- Theft in a public place - This also applies to farms whose owners or residents are on the spot. It is only safe to steal from abandoned locations.
- Theft of a horse - This does not apply to wild horses found in the world of the game.
- Robbery, includes places like - shop, bank, stagecoach or train. All these types of crime are classified as very serious.
- Trespassing and entering forbidden locations - This can be a minor offence if you enter a private household, or a very serious offence if you reach Blackwater or the "forbidden" state of New Austin in general.
- Killing domesticated animals, e.g. dogs or cows - This should be avoided if other characters are in the vicinity.
How a crime can be connected with Arthur?
There are two main mechanics related with the detection of crimes. The first one is the presence of witnesses in the place where the law was broken. They will be automatically alerted if a crime has occurred in their field of vision. However, they can also reach the crime scene late, e.g. when they have heard the sounds of fighting.
If Arthur is identified as having committed a crime, the witness will start fleeing to alert the guardians of the law. You can set out to chase such people to stop them. You can stop a witness by, for example, killing him, making a warning shot or using a lasso. Unfortunately, this method will not work as expected in locations where many people are staying (e.g. in cities). The crime can then be seen by several witnesses at the same time, or the detention of the first witness can cause a "chain reaction" and lead to more people being alerted. In such situations it is better to start an escape immediately. You will have more time to move away from the crime scene before the law enforcement officers set out to look for Arthur.
You can also move away from the place where you committed the crime before a more distant witness arrives or before the crime scene is discovered, for example, by a person passing by. The crime should not be linked to Arthur and even if you receive a message from the guardians of the law, they will complete the investigation upon arrival.
The second important mechanics is the ability to use the bandana to cover the hero's face. This significantly reduces the risk of Arthur being identified as the perpetrator of a crime, although he cannot be fully secured. Nevertheless, you should wear a bandana each time you plan to kill someone in a public place, or rob a shop, bank, stagecoach or train.
Later in the game you can also buy alternative headgear from the fence, which allows you to hide your hero's identity.
Effects of recording a crime
After the crime has been recorded and reported, the law officers appear. It is never a good idea to start fighting with them, because their corpses will be found by other guardians of the law, or armed citizens will join in the fight and bounty after you.
The first possible solution to the problem with law officers is to start escaping. You have to get out of the red circle around the scene of the crime and, in addition, you have to lose those law enforcement officers who are directly chasing Arthur. If you have problems with this second step, shoot while still escaping on horseback. You can also use your Dead Eye to make more accurate shots.
After going beyond the red circle, you must wait until the Wanted System bar in the top right corner of the screen runs out. The law enforcement officers will finish the search, but the committed crimes will not be forgotten. The Bounty for catching your hero will increase and this means potential trouble if the law officers or bounty hunters are encountered later in the game.
The second possible solution to the problem is to surrender and go to prison. This is only possible if you have not committed a serious crime and only in the initial phase of law enforcement intervention, i.e. before they attack Arthur. After encountering a law officer, you have to hide your weapon and hold down the surrender button (L2/left trigger and then the Triangle/Y). Arthur will be arrested and released after serving his sentence. A visit in prison means losing some of the cash that was in the hero's inventory when he was arrested.
Getting rid of the bounty and wanted level
Even if you managed to escape from law officers, you cannot "feel" victorious, because there is still a bounty you have to pay for all crimes you have committed. The bounty is valid in the state in which the crime was committed. It means potential problems in case of encountering guards or bounty hunters, but it also blocks some additional activities. You cannot, for example, receive orders to search for escapees or use a fast stagecoach journey. In the case of a series of serious crimes, it may even happen that all shops and businesses in a given city are closed for a certain period of time.
The solution to the bounty is to pay up a fine and you must visit the post office to do so - they are located at each railway station. You can only pay a fine for one state of your choice or for all those in which you have committed crimes on your account.