Should Your Next Playthrough Be Good Or Bad Honor?

When looking to do a second playthrough of Rockstar’s cowboy classic Red Dead Redemption 2, the honor system should be on players’ minds as they determine whether Arthur Morgan will be good or bad. Do players want a morally upstanding outlaw who does bad for good reasons, or a heartless killer who revels in the crimes he commits? Each has its benefits (though one side vastly outweighs the other), and must be considered as players start up the game and journey into Colter for the second time around.


The honor system is one of two original Red Dead Redemption systems that made the game stand out. The other, the Fame system, was sadly left on the cutting room floor when the sequel was being made (though its loss wasn’t felt too much). Performing certain actions in the game, such as saving a stage coach from bandits, shows why you should always be nice to people in RDR2 and will raise Arthur Morgan’s honor level. By contrast, robbing that same stage coach will lower it. Each end of the honor spectrum comes with its own benefits and drawbacks.

Related: Every Pistol & Revolver In RDR2, Ranked Worst To Best

High Honor & Low Honor Rewards In RDR2

RDR2 robbery, Arthur points a handgun at a store owner inside.

When determining whether to do a second run with high or low honor in Red Dead Redemption 2, weighing the pros and cons of each will help make the decision leagues easier. High Honor leads to reduced prices in shops, more outfits to buy, and better loot from enemies. Low honor leads to more loot from enemies, this time loot geared toward causing mayhem (such as deadeye tonics and the like). To see a quick overview of all RDR2’s honor rewards, check out the video from Exeonite below:

When starting up the second playthrough, leaning to one side or the other will drastically alter how the world treats the game’s cowboy protagonist.

RDR2’s High Honor Yields High Rewards

Arthur Morgan is looking at some people sitting on a porch while on top of a horse in Annesburg in Red Dead Redemption 2

Playing through Red Dead Redemption 2 as an honorable gentleman yields many enticing rewards (even if Red Dead Redemption 2’s NPCs are always angry). The lower ranks give minor improvements to quality of life, such as looting better tonics off of dead bodies and an 10% discount in shops, which is useful for those early-game arsenal upgrades.

Ranking up honor in RDR2 even further boosts the quality of looted tonics and gives access to new outfits to purchase from general stores or clothiers, outfits befitting a man of honorable stature. Eventually, the discount in shops is increased to 25%, and even more outfits are unlocked. Reaching +7 Honor will unlock a whopping 50% discount in stores, and reaching the maximum honor unlocks a trophy/achievement (though this can also be unlocked by going as low honor in RDR2 as possible).

The pros here are easy to see. An honorable Arthur gets bonuses to looted supplies, more realistic RDR2 clothes Arthur would actually wear, and a gradually building discount at every shop in the game, reflecting his heroism and good nature. Given what happens to Arthur over the course of Red Dead Redemption 2‘s story, a high honor Arthur does tend to make the most sense.

Being Good In RDR2 Is Harder Than Being Bad

Arthur Morgan holding a pistol and a rifle in Red Dead Redemption 2

Being good in Red Dead Redemption 2 isn’t meant to be easy, or else everyone would do it. Often the acts that build honor, such as assisting settlers and stage-coachers as they fend off robberies and giving money to the poor, put Arthur at an inconvenience. Be it his pocketbook or his life, something is always in danger or being lessened by giving to others.

Related: GTA 6 Leaks Reveal A Story More Like RDR2 Than GTA 5

In order to achieve maximum honor in RDR2, and therefore the maximum rewards, Arthur will have to give an inordinate amount of time, money, and blood, whether it is by donating money to the Van Der Linde camp or helping strangers in need. While this may come naturally to more heroic players, some may balk at having their gameplay detracted by these acts of daring do and prefer to let the settlers fend off the wolves or bandits themselves, saving their precious hides and ammunition for their own pursuits.

RDR2: Low Honor Gives Worse Rewards

Arthur Morgan is dressed like a bank robber while robbing a bank in Red Dead Redemption 2

Breaking bad in Red Dead Redemption 2 isn’t all it’s cracked up to be when it comes to the rewards. At the basic level of dishonor, the drop rate of Dead Eye tonics is increased, as are alcohol, tobacco, and throwing weapons. Dead Lawmen also seem to be more flush with jewelry to take. Delving further down into dishonor yields no further rewards, although one RDR2 mission changes depending on Arthur’s honor level.

Red Dead Redemption 2 seems to be sending a message about crime not paying, even when some of the biggest payouts in the game come from criminal activity. In terms of in-game impact, a low-honor playthrough sees Arthur’s story mostly unchanged, save for some minor boosts to drop rates. Thus, if players are looking for more of a challenging run, or don’t want the assistance that high honor gives, it may be worth keeping low honor in RDR2 (if they can stomach what it takes to do so).

Low Honor Can Save Arthur’s Skin In Red Dead Redemption 2

A Red Dead Redemption 2 promo image of Arthur Morgan firing a revolver

That being said, any RDR2 replay, sad though it may be, will be made much easier by not having to risk life and limb for every random passerby that spawns – and the wild west of Red Dead Redemption 2 is surprisingly full of residents in distress. Players will be able to focus on the main missions and any strangers they encounter (provided those strangers don’t up their honor with their missions), without having to give more than a passing glance at some random person whose horse died or a group of settlers being attacked by wolves.

Related: Everything RDR3 Should Learn From RDR2’s Open-World Mistakes

On a low honor playthrough of RDR2, ammo can be saved for, as Dutch puts it, “those that need killing,” instead of every bandit in the land. Bounty hunting missions in Red Dead Redemption 2 can prove to be some of the most repetitive, boring slogs in the game – with a few notable exceptions – and can be safely skipped without a care knowing that Arthur’s honor will remain untainted by the spot of good they would have brought.

Ultimately, when going through a second playthrough of Red Dead Redemption 2 where spoilers don’t matter, the choice of high honor or low honor remains in the hands of the players, though each has its pros and cons. Higher honor runs will give players easier times when scrounging money for weapon modifications and new clothes, but will have to be paid for through being a vigilante half the game.

Having low honor in RDR2 removes that pesky vigilantism in favor of a more streamlined approach, though the nice bonuses from high honor will remain forever out of reach. Ultimately, if Red Dead Redemption 2 players want an easier second playthrough so that they can explore more of the game and feel less stressed about managing money and supplies, high honor is the way to go. But for those looking for a challenge, or to indulge their baser outlaw fantasies, low honor certainly provides.

More: Can Arthur Morgan Be Cured In Red Dead Redemption 2?

  • Red Dead Redemption 2

    red dead

    Xbox One, PlayStation 4


    Rockstar Studios

    Rockstar Games

    Action, Open-World, Western, Adventure


    Xbox One, PS4, PC


    Legendary Edition Available:

    Release Date :

    Single-player, Multiplayer

#Playthrough #Good #Bad #Honor

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