There’s no doubt about it. Red Dead Redemption 2 is a blockbuster commercial success. Its early wins are impressive. According to Take Two Interactive, it’s earned the record for having the “biggest opening weekend in retail sell-through across all entertainment releases” at more than $725 million. This statistic is not just comparing itself to other video games, but music and movie releases as well. It’s also the most pre-ordered full game ever on the PlayStation Network, as well as the biggest one-day and three-day sales on the PlayStation Network. There’s so much of it for fans to love. It’s a completely immersive experience in a massive open world that could take players months to finish completely. Characters and storylines have depth and are fleshed out, and actions taken early in the game affect gameplay as time goes on. As a western, it’s an incredible simulation. As a game, there’s a huge variety of activities and adventures to keep players busy.
But don’t take on too much at once. As one reviewer for CNET says, “Don’t attempt to marathon your way through Red Dead 2, because this game will break you.” Such a giant world is bound to be packed with details that might be easily missed. We’ve poured through dozens of fan guides and YouTube videos to find some of the more coveted and rare hidden items in the game. For players with enough patience and curiosity to find them, ancient weapons, powerful pistols, items from crime scenes, and some downright weird experiences await. Here are 20 hidden items in Red Dead Redemption 2, and how exactly to find them.
20 Viking Helmet
So what are Viking artifacts doing in a cowboy game? Well, this actually does make some historical sense. History buffs know that Vikings did make it to the New World long before Colombus ever did, and some Viking artifacts have popped up in North America.
There is an actual Viking ruin you can visit in the game, northeast of Beaver Hollow. Near what looks like some kind of burial ground, you can find a tunnel close by. Go into the tunnel and you’ll see an alcove on the wall with several skulls placed therein. Next to the skulls is an ancient Viking Helmet. Not only can you take it, but you can wear it! It will appear in on your character as it does above.
We know what people might think. “UFOs. Really?” Yes, really. Any nerdy conspiracy theorist will tell you that if you study the history of UFOs, you will find that people have been reporting them since long before the modern age. But we’ll save all that speculation for Ancient Aliens.
If you want to catch a glimpse of a UFO in Red Dead Redemption 2, you’ll have two chances. If you go to a dilapidated house on the northern shore of Emerald Lake, you’ll find a sermon the table mentioning a “Voyager of Time and Galaxies.” If you happen to be in the shack at 2am, you’ll see a UFO above you. Another UFO of the more traditional “saucer” variety can be seen on the peak of Mount Shann at midnight. The truth is out there, we reckon.
18 Granger’s Revolver
Granger’s revolver is partially modeled after the historically real Cattleman Revolver, which was the Army standard issue side-arm beginning in 1873. It’s a single-action six-shooter with gorgeous engravings and a dark metal finish. It can fire a large variety of different kinds of ammo. You can earn Granger’s Revolver by getting in a duel with Emmet Granger over a hilarious and unfortunate pig manure incident. Let’s just say we bet Granger wish he had a parasol.
Be prepared: Granger is a little jumpy and also a quick shot. Granger’s little pig manure farm is just east of Flatneck Station. You can unlock the mission by examining a photo after accepting a gunslinging mission in Valentine.
17 Bigfoot Skeleton
Does Bigfoot really exist? Like UFOs, this is a question that generally separates people into two camps. One side believes in a mysterious harry hominid that roams the American West and others believe it’s just a rural boogeyman that’s big on legend and low on evidence.
But in Red Dead Redemption 2, you can actually encounter such evidence. You don’t see a living Bigfoot, but you can find an enormous humanoid skeleton that definitely fits the description of this mythic beast. As protagonist Arthur Morgan writes, “Found a massive skeleton. Wonder how big the man was, or if he was a man at all.” You can find Bigfoot’s remains at Horseshoe Overlook, in Big Valley near Mount Shann.
16 Midnight’s Pistol
Midnight’s Pistol is a rare gold-plated Mauser pistol with custom engravings and a wooden handle. It has a 10 round capacity and can fire most kinds of pistol ammo. “Mauser” is the name of a real-life weapons manufacturer from Germany and this particular pistol was modeled after the ones used by their military starting in the 1890s. Midnight’s Pistol most closely resembles the Mauser C96, which was manufactured up until the late 1930s.
You can swipe Midnight’s Pistol off Mr. Midnight after a duel on top of a train. In Valentine, when you accept the Gunslinger mission, you can unlock this mission by examining Midnight’s photo. From there, go to the post office in Rhoades and talk to the clerk. You’ll end up boarding a train, and finding Midnight drinking on board. Despite Morgan just wanting to talk, the situation escalates quickly.
15 A Meteorite
Rocks from outer space have bombarded the earth in every time period, so it shouldn’t be that surprising to run into a meteorite in Red Dead Redemption 2. What is surprising is that you can actually collect a piece of it and sell it for money, which is really the only practical use for space rocks for a criminal in the Old West.
In Roanoke Valley, West of Brandywine drop, you can find a house with some gross things on a table. From the hole in the roof and the still smoking rock from below the floorboards, you can pretty much put together that these unfortunate folks were struck by a meteorite. It’s a rough scene, but luckily you can still turn a small profit by hocking a piece of that rock.
14 Rare Shotgun
The Rare Shotgun is a powerful shotgun that you can actually find in two different spots in the game. It has a gorgeously custom-carved wooden stock. It’s powerful in its own right, which is great because you won’t be able to customize it if you take it to the gunsmith.
The most popular way to get the shotgun is by dueling with an angry recluse who has an isolated cabin in Manito Glade, just north of Annesburg. Merely approaching his house will cause him to throw fits and start shooting at you. Naturally, as Arthur Morgan, you will feel obliged to shoot back. When you win the duel, make sure to look closely at the aftermath and collect the shotgun right away. You won’t be able to find it if you leave and double-back.
13 Ancient Tomahawk
There’s no shortage of melee weapons in Red Dead Redemption 2, and hatchets, in particular, are fun to toss around. Be forewarned about your aim, though. If you aim too high you might find your hatchet stuck on a roof or in a tree and you won’t be able to climb up and get it back.
Of one of the most stylish hatchet-style weapons is the Ancient Tomahawk. It’s an old, but still sturdy and usable weapon that you can find stuck in a wooden target overlooking Calumet Ravine. You can find this area slightly northeast of the Wapiti Reservation, near the northeastern point of the river. Simply remove the Ancient Tomahawk from the old target and it’s yours.
12 Antler Knife
Arthur Morgan sure does encounter a lot of strange things throughout the course of Red Dead Redemption 2 and when he runs across the aftermath of an unfortunate skirmish, it often implies a tragic story. It is from such a tragic circumstance that you can find the antler knife, taken from a hunter who met his demise in a fight with a bear. The bear didn’t make it out, either. You can loot the antler knife from his body.
The antler knife has a handle carved from a deer antler and a partially damaged blade. You can find this scene near Little Creek River just northwest of Hanging Dog Ranch.
11 Broken Pirate Sword
Vikings. Bears. Pirates. There’s certainly no end of interesting characters you might run into out here in Red Dead Redemption 2, though sometimes you run into them long after they have shuffled off their mortal coil.
While it might seem like an unlikely thing to run into a pirate skeleton out here in the Old West, there’s no telling how long this skeleton has been here. His remains are still in a boat and for all we know this pirate may have met his demise a hundred years ago or longer. From the looks of it, he may have been done in by his own sword. But his loss is your gain, as you can collect the old cutlass and add it to your arsenal. You can find the pirate skeleton and sword on some tiny islands southwest of St. Denis.
10 Civil War Knife
In the world of Red Dead Redemption 2, it’s 1899, which is a little over a generation after the Civil War in the United States. It’s only logical that you might run into a few weapons from that time period. The blade in question is a bowie knife with a handguard for protection. This style of knife was used by both sides in the Civil War but it was most often used by the Confederacy. It was both long and sharp enough to be used for multiple purposes but fell out of fashion in the war when bayonets became more commonly used.
You can find the knife in the basement of Fort Brennan, which is accessible by a ladder in the building to the right of the entrance of the fort.
9 Rusted Double Bit Hatchet
What exactly is a double bit hatchet, you might ask? Well, it’s a hatchet with two edges. One edge is duller and for splitting wood, and the other is razor sharp and for splitting…targets. Your targets are your own business, we’re not going to judge your actions in Red Dead Redemption 2.
It’s sort of two hatchets for the price of one, so to speak. The hatchet in question is the one embedded in the tree stump. Like other hatchets, it can be used as a melee weapon, or you can throw it. To find the Rusted Double Bit Hatchet, check out a shack between O’Creagh’s Run and Elysium Pool. You won’t have to harm anyone to get it, just yank it out of the stump.
8 A Hobbit Hole
Well, the developers look to be having a little fun with us and obviously just wanted to throw this in. You won’t find any Hobbits or wizards or dwarves running around in Red Dead Redemption 2, but if you explore enough you will run into what sure looks like a Hobbit Hole. It’s not a quite a dead ringer for Bilbo’s place—there’s no round door or vegetable garden out front. But it’s enough of a homage for us to know what it is.
From a practical point of view, this style of house doesn’t look like a bad option in the Old West. Great insulation, natural camouflage, and only one way in or out. If you’re curious to see for yourself, check out the most northeastern corner of the map and go east of the Bacchus Bridge. If you don’t see any Hobbits…maybe it’s because they’re wearing that crazy ring.
7 Calloway’s Revolver
Calloway’s Revolver is a pistol you can pick up as part of the mission “The Noblest of Men, and a Woman.” In this mission, you duel with a series of infamous gunmen. If you win the confrontation, you get to take their weapon. This weapon belongs to Slim Grant, the final dude in this mission. It’s a gorgeous revolver with ornate metal engraving. Along the length of the barrel is a message that reads Canis Canem Edit, which is Latin for “Dog Eat Dog.”
This refers to the 2006 Rockstar video game Bully, which was quite controversial for both its name and subject matter. To sell the game in Europe, Rockstar renamed Bully to Canis Canem Edit. If you’re going to have a slogan engraved on the side of your gun, this one’s awesome.
6 Wide Blade Knife and Miner’s Light Helmet
To find the Wide Blade Knife and Miner’s Helmet takes a bit of exploring and problem-solving. First, you’ll need to find the abandoned mine. It’s just north of Strawberry, one of the trails through Big Valley. Take the trail above the words “Beryl’s Dream” – which is the name of the mine. When you explore the mine, you’ll see it is obstructed by a cave-in. But there’s a wire running from the obstruction back to a detonator near the entrance. Hit the detonator and the obstruction will explode, revealing more of the mine.
There, you will find a body with the Wide Blade Knife stuck in his back. You’ll also find a Miner’s Helmet with a light in the brim, which is super handy for exploring dark places. It’s brighter than the lantern and keeps your hands free.
5 Tricorn Hat
If you’ve already found the broken pirate sword, why not complete the costume with The Tricorn Hat? Admittedly looking a little out of place in the Red Dead Redemption 2 environment, it’s still kind of fun to be walking around like a pirate in the Old West. Same thing goes for the Viking helmet. Sometimes you just want to be different.
The Tricorn Hat is waiting for you on an island in Flat Iron Lake, just to the west of Rhodes. Be careful though – if you try to swim over with not enough stamina, you could easily not make it. Find the shortest distance to cross, or if available, find a boat. Once on the island, you’ll see a wrecked pirate ship. Go inside, and claim your hat! Yarg!
4 Cat Skull Mask
There is an area in Red Dead Redemption 2 that is an obvious homage to the wilds of Louisiana. This geographic area is known as Lemoyne. You might run into some weird things in Lemoyne, like murky swamps, dangerous Alligators or this Cat Skull Mask that just seems to be lying around.
On the southern end of Lagras in Lemoyne, where Lagras meets Lakay, you’ll find a creepy swamp with an equally creepy swamp shack. The shack has a lantern out front, even though it looks to have been abandoned for some time. The floor is partially submerged. On the far wall of the shack, you’ll find the Cat Mask. There’s no explanation. Could be pagans, could be voodoo practitioners, could just be a lonely guy with a hobby. In any event, it’s yours for the taking.
3 Double Action Revolver
This weapon must be won by messy means, but chances are that if you’re playing Red Dead Redemption 2, you’re more than ready for a few gunfights. To find the Double Action Revolver, go to Lemoyne between Lonnie’s Shack and Pleasance. There you will find a gang’s hideout.
The strategy you’re going to need is the old “bust open the door and start shooting.” It’s a simple plan, but very effective. The targets in question are members of a rival gang and they are by no means expecting you. You’ve caught them playing cards. After you dispatch with the gang and end the card game early, search the back room under the bed to pick up the Double Action Revolver. You can shoot faster with this weapon, but it is slightly less accurate.
2 Viking Hatchet
As far as the hatchets go, there’s nothing particularly special about the Viking hatchet, other than it being a historical artifact from hundreds of years ago. Its range and damage are both equivalent to the stats of other hatchets you might use in the game. But it’s still a pretty cool find and it goes great with your Viking Helmet.
You can pick up the Viking Hatchet close to where you find the Viking Helmet. In the Viking ruins, northeast of Beaver Hollow, look for the stone table outside the entrance of the tomb. Resting on the table is the Viking Hatchet. Even after you grab all your loot, it’s worth taking a look around. It’s not every day you discover a Viking burial ground.
1 Pig Mask
If acting out your criminal fantasies isn’t enough for you, how about donning a pig mask and freaking out the locals? This is the immersive experience of Red Dead Redemption 2, so why not?
If you encounter the Pig Mask, it’s most likely after you are ambushed by a wild bunch of ruffians who attack you in West Hanover right inside their camp. After you survive the encounter, take a look around and find a particular house. There, hanging on a post is a perfectly serviceable Pig Mask. It’s got jowls and everything. You can even wear the Pig Mask and the Viking Helmet at the same time, as in the image above. Don’t be surprised if you get unusual reactions from ordinary folk while wearing the mask. It is a bit unsettling.
Which of these items do you want most? Let us know in the comments!