While the genre itself remains relatively niche, RPG elements have begun finding their way into major releases within the past two generations. It’s not unusual for titles that would otherwise be straightforward action games to feature leveling or character progress tied to more than just the player’s core skills. For as much as it grounds itself in reality, Red Dead Redemption 2 doesn’t shy away from leveling or stats.
Granted, Arthur Morgan only has three stats to raise in RDR2. Arthur’s attributes define what he can do and for how long – encompassing his Health, Stamina, and Dead Eye. While each attribute will raise themselves throughout Red Dead Redemption 2, there are ways to level Arthur Morgan’s core stats on your own accord.
Understanding Bars & Cores
It’s important to understand that Arthur’s attributes make use of two in-game progression meters: the Attribute Bar and the Attribute Core. Bars and Cores share an intimate gameplay role, with Arthur’s actions exhausting Cores once he’s used up his entire Bar. For all intents and purposes, Bars are a rechargeable energy meter while Cores represent Arthur’s base/reserve stat.
Once a Bar has been used up, Arthur’s actions will begin draining his Core. That said, Cores actually drain naturally throughout gameplay. Along with functioning as base stats, Cores play off Red Dead Redemption 2’s realism. Not eating enough, eating too much, staying awake too long, and dressing for the wrong temperature all gradually lower Arthur’s Core.
Bar & Core Maintenance
With this in mind, it’s important to actually understand how to maintain Bar and Cores to their fullest. Since Cores influence how quickly Bars refill, it’s critical not to let them drain entirely. Once a Core has been fully exhausted, Arthur’s Bars will no longer regenerate. To restore Cores and Bars, players need to look to their items.
While sleeping will also replenish Cores, Arthur won’t always have easy access to his camp or a bed. Drinking Tonics can recharge Arthur’s Bars (although some have negative side effects like temporarily lowering another) while eating food can fill Cores back up.
Unlike the original Red Dead Redemption which featured regenerating health and a bloody screen to convey how close to death John Marston was, Red Dead Redemption 2 actually features a proper Health Bar for Arthur Morgan. The Health Attribute is easily identified by the Heart icon inside of its Core. Naturally, Arthur’s health lowers when he takes damage. While Arthur can survive having his Health Bar depleted, losing all of his Health Core does result in a Game Over.
As Health is arguably Arthur’s most important stat, it makes sense to want to raise it ASAP. Thankfully, Health is one of Arthur’s easiest stats to level up. The Health Bar levels up by:
- Catching fish.
- Winning fist fights.
- Killing enemies with the Bow.
- Killing enemies with Throwing Knives.
- Drinking Ginseng Elixir.
- Rowing a Boat.
The Health Bar can also be raised by completing Herbalist, Master Hunter, and Weapons Expert Challenges. Funny enough, the fastest and more reliable way to actually raise Health is by rowing. Take a boat on the water and just row until Arthur’s Health Bar is fully maxed out.
Stamina is really only tied to sprinting and other minor physical actions, but Arthur’s active enough where players will find their Stamina Core draining fast and often if they don’t take proper care of it. Arthur’s Stamina can be identified by a Lightning Bolt logo inside of its core. While not as important as Health in the grand scheme of things, Stamina is likely the stat players will be draining & running out of most often during gameplay.
Since Stamina progression is actually tied to sprinting, players will be raising Stamina while wasting Stamina. Virtually any physical activity subtly raises Arthur’s Stamina in some capacity, but there are other means of leveling the stat.
- Sprinting on foot.
- Swimming for long periods of time.
- Winning a fight when Arthur has less than 25 HP.
- Drinking Aged Pirate Rum.
Like with Heath, Stamina can also be raised by completing assorted Challenges. In this case, Arthur can earn extra Stamina by finishing Explorer, Horseman, and Survivalist Challenges.
Unlike other Attribute Bars, Dead Eye doesn’t actually regenerate automatically. Since Dead Eye slows down gameplay to allow players to line up more precise shots, it stands to reason that the mechanic would be designed to prevent non-stop spamming.
If the Attribute recharged naturally, Dead Eye would be abused in every enemy encounter. Although there are ways to level up Dead Eye yourself, it’s important to keep in mind that the Attribute is actually tied to where Arthur is in the story.
Raising Dead Eye
Dead Eye can be identified by the Core with an eyeball inside it and is broken down into 5 separate tiers that unlock upon completing the following Story Missions:
- Chapter 1 – Old Friends
- Chapter 2 – Pouring Forth Oil IV
- Chapter 4 – Urban Pleasures
- Chapter 5 – Fleeting Joy
- Chapter 6 – Goodbye, Dear Friend
The further Dead Eye upgrades, the more advanced it becomes. By ‘Goodbye, Dear Friend,’ players can manually pick where & who to shoot while also pinpointing where enemy vitals are. This doesn’t account for the Dead Eye Bar, however. The Attribute Bar levels up by:
- Skinning animals.
- Landing headshots from over 50 meters away.
- Crafting Items.
- Cooking meals.
- Completing Bandit, Gambler, and Sharpshooter Challenges.
Do keep in mind that the Dead Eye Bar does lock at certain points in the story and it isn’t advised to grind the stat until after Chapter 6 is complete.
Next: Red Dead Redemption 2: Every Van Der Linde Gang Member’s Age, Height, And Birthday
- Red Dead Redemption 2
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