There are 90 challenges in total, broken down into nine general categories with 10 challenges in each group. These will often be unlocked until a certain point in the game, and you need to complete the challenges within a single group sequentially. So completing the first challenge in a group will unlock the second, completing the second will unlock the third, and so on. Many of these are fairly straight forward, though some tips will be provided for each challenge.
The bandit challenges are all the bad things you've wanted to do anyway. Stealing, killing, drawing mustaches on pictures that didn't have mustaches before, drinking all the milk and putting the carton back in the fridge. Truly only the most evil of men will take on these challenges. Of course, you can make yourself moral again by saying hello to enough people afterwards. It balances out that way.
|Bandit 1: Hold up 5 townsfolk|
|Walk up to any one in a town and aim a gun at them and you'll be given the option to rob them. Some people need more convincing, either by threatening or beating them a bit, while others will just hand their money over right away. It won't count as a hold up unless they hand over their money, so keep that in mind. You can do this in any town in the game, but the easiest to do it in is in Van Horn. There aren't any lawmen there, and the worst that will happen will some townsfolk will see you and try to shoot you. It won't hurt your moral standing to kill them, and you won't have to worry about bounties, so this is the town to do all your bad deeds in.|
|Bandit 2: Rob any 2 coaches or return any 2 stolen coaches to the fence|
|There are a bunch of coach robbery missions you can unlock after the Friends In Very Low Places mission in Chapter 3. If you want to wait, you can just perform any one of these missions as all of them involve robbing coaches. Another easy way to accomplish this is to steal a coach anywhere near Emerald Ranch after the mission The Spines of America in Chapter 2. This will unlock the Emerald Ranch fence shop, which happens to be the place you can sell stolen coaches. There will be a lot of coaches you can't rob directly, but all of them you can sell to the fence. Almost any big wagon or cart drawn by to horses will count as a coach, so kill the driver and the ride it back to Emerald Ranch. Note that only the Emerald Ranch fence will buy coaches, so it is easiest to steal a coach close to the area. You'll run into coaches coming into and out of town quite a bit, and there is decent traffic through Emerald Ranch itself.|
Starting in Chapter 2, you will begin finding treasure maps and following these maps will allow you to find some really good loot if you are so interested. All the challenges here are for either finding maps or finding treasure both of which are fairly easy (if you know the answers to the maps).
|Explorer 1: Find a treasure map|
|This one is fairly straightforward and you'll likely stumble upon a treasure map at some point without even really trying. One you can get quite early in the game is at the hideout of Flaco Hernandez. Follow the instructions in The Noblest of Men, and a Woman stranger mission in the Missions and Events section of the guide. After you kill Flaco, you can enter inside the building he just burst out of. Search the lockbox underneath the bed closest to the door. You'll find a treasure map inside. Alternatively, another early treasure map can be found as part of the Jack Hill Gang treasure hunt. Please refer to the Collectables section of the guide under Total Completion and you will find a list of all treasure hunts in the game. The Jack Hill Gang Map 1 location will be detailed there, and it is just west of Flatneck Station.|
|Explorer 2: Find a treasure|
|This requires you to find any treasure in the game. This does not mean completing an entire treasure hunt chain, but rather a single step that usually results in another treasure map. You'll complete this challenge as soon as you grab your next map. A full list of the treasure hunts is included in the Collectables section of the guide under Total Completion, so just do whichever of those sounds easiest. There are three different treasure map quests in the game, each of which contains three maps for nine in total. These maps are The Jack Hill Gang Treasure, The High Stakes Treasure, and The Poisonous Trail Treasure. The Jack Hall Gang Map 1 is the easiest to decode and the treasure is located near your starting area in Chapter 2, so that is the recommended choice. You are free to do whichever you want first, however.|
|Explorer 3: Find a treasure|
|This, and all subsequent challenges on this branch, are the same as the level 2 challenge. From here on out you'll just be solving more treasure maps and each time you solve one, you'll complete a new level of the challenge. A full list of the treasure hunts is included in the Collectables section of the guide under Total Completion. The Jack Hall Gang Map 2 is probably the best way to go as it is relatively close and not too challenging, but any of the options under treasure maps will do.|
|Explorer 4: Find a treasure|
|This, and all subsequent challenges on this branch, are the same as the level 2 challenge. A full list of the treasure hunts is included in the Collectables section of the guide under Total Completion. The High Stakes Treasure Map 1 was the next I completed in this branch, but you can solve any available map to get credit for this challenge.|
|Explorer 5: Find a treasure|
|This, and all subsequent challenges on this branch, are the same as the level 2 challenge. A full list of the treasure hunts is included in the Collectables section of the guide under Total Completion. The High Stakes Treasure Map 2 was the next I completed in this branch, but you can solve any available map to get credit for this challenge.|
|Explorer 6: Find a treasure|
|This, and all subsequent challenges on this branch, are the same as the level 2 challenge. A full list of the treasure hunts is included in the Collectables section of the guide under Total Completion. The High Stakes Treasure Map 3 was the next I completed in this branch, but you can solve any available map to get credit for this challenge.|
|Explorer 7: Find a treasure|
|This, and all subsequent challenges on this branch, are the same as the level 2 challenge. A full list of the treasure hunts is included in the Collectables section of the guide under Total Completion. The Jack Hall Gang Treasure Map 3 was the next I completed in this branch, but you can solve any available map to get credit for this challenge.|
|Explorer 8: Find a treasure|
|This, and all subsequent challenges on this branch, are the same as the level 2 challenge. A full list of the treasure hunts is included in the Collectables section of the guide under Total Completion. The Poisonous Trail Map 1 was the next I completed in this branch, but you can solve any available map to get credit for this challenge.|
|Explorer 9: Find a treasure|
|This, and all subsequent challenges on this branch, are the same as the level 2 challenge. A full list of the treasure hunts is included in the Collectables section of the guide under Total Completion. The Poisonous Trail Map 2 was the next I completed in this branch, but you can solve any available map to get credit for this challenge.|
|Explorer 10: Find a treasure|
|This final challenge is the same as all the levels before it since the level 2 challenge. A full list of the treasure hunts is included in the Collectables section of the guide under Total Completion. The Poisonous Trail Map 3 was the final map I completed in this branch, but your final map might be different depending on what you've done so far.|
The gambler challengers all involve performing well at one of the four table games available in towns and saloons. Most of these involve a little bit of luck, although there is some skill involved as well. If you're having trouble with any of the table games, please refer to the Miscellaneous subsection of the guide under Total Completion.
|Gambler 1: Win 5 hands of Poker|
|It should not be all that difficult to win five hands of poker, as the AI in the game isn't particularly great at the game. The earliest you can play poker is during the Who Is Not Without Sin story mission, as you can sit down and play poker with a couple of guys at the train station. You're playing with free money here, so this is a perfect time to play a bit conservatively and win five hands if you want.|
|Gambler 2: In Blackjack, double down and win the hand 5 times|
Blackjack is likely to be the last table game you play, but you can find a table over in Rhodes if you're desperate to start playing early. Blackjack itself is fairly simple, although you can find a full description of the game over in the Miscellaneous section of Total Completion if you need help. For this challenge, you need to double down and win five times. Doubling down is something you can do right after you get your cards. It means that you double the amount of money you bet, and you will receive one and only one more card. It is risky because there are a limited number of scenarios you would want to do this in, and you aren't able to draw a second card if the first card is extremely small.
If you're going for this challenge, just bet the minimum every hand (two cents) because that amount is so insignificant that you can afford to be reckless. Take the double down every single hand (unless you already have something super high like 19 or 20 or maybe even then because two cents is like nothing). You just need to win five, so there is no point in being cagey about this and you should just go for it no matter how bad the odds are. Once you win five you can go back and play the normal way.
|Gambler 3: Win 3 games of Five Finger Fillet|
Five Finger Fillet is probably the easiest of all the table games, and you simply need to push the buttons in the indicated order as quickly as you can. More details on this can be found in the Miscellaneous section of the guide, but so long as you push the right buttons there isn't too much strategy. For this challenge, you need to win 3 games of Five Finger Fillet, meaning you cannot play the version where you play by yourself and just go for speed. The earliest competitive Five Finger Fillet location is found in camp, and a table will be available at nights where you can play against one other person for some small amounts of money.
Your opponent will always go first, and this is gives you the opportunity for the only strategy you need in the game. All you need to do is push down on the right trigger to watch your opponent as they take their turn. It will show you what buttons you need to press for each finger, and the buttons will be exactly the same as the ones you are about to us. There will be no change, so you can memorize the pattern you need to do which will make your turn significantly easier. Just memorize the buttons and press them as quickly as you can. If you feel like you are going to slow, feel free to intentionally miss because your time is only counted for a single complete run, and any missed you have aren't factored into that. You need to win three games here, and you can sit down and play one game right after another three times to accomplish this. Be warned that each subsequent time you play in one sitting, though, the more difficult it will be. The third time is still not that hard, but if you are having trouble feel free to walk away and start again at the easiest difficulty the next time you sit down to play.
|Gambler 4: Bust one Poker opponent out in each location|
|There are three target locations for this challenge: Flatneck Station, Saint Denis, and Valentine. The poker game in Flatneck Station is in the back of the train station, the poker game in Saint Denis is in the saloon in the middle of town, and the poker game in Valentine is in the saloon at the north of town. Busting an opponent out refers to knocking them out of the game by taking all of their available money. Typically, this means forcing them to go all in and winning the hand. There is definite luck involved here, but it is a good idea to save your game before attempting this challenge. You can go all in against an opponent more frequently this way, because you can always reload your previous checkpoint. The AI is unpredictable here, and I've seen them go all in with absolutely nothing before. Wait until you have a halfway decent hand (maybe top pair after the flop) and if you get an opponent to bet you, you can frequently re-raise them all in and they might bite. Sometimes they'll just fold, but other times they'll call so you need to just get lucky here. Play until you bust one opponent out, and then move on to the next destination.|
|Gambler 5: Win 3 rounds of Dominos without drawing any tiles against 2 or fewer opponents|
The good news is you don't have to win the entire game, and as long as you finish a round without drawing a tile, it will count towards this challenge. One of the best places to do this is in camp, as there will always be a Domino table open during the day and it is almost a guarantee you will only play against one other person. There are other Domino tables in the game, like Saint Denis for example, but these games tend to have three other opponents and finding a game with only one or two is pure luck.
Speaking of luck, this is a very luck based challenge. Whether or not you do not need to draw tiles is almost entirely luck based, and there are only a couple of things you can do to swing things in your favor. First, if you can play a tile in multiple locations, play a tile that doesn't remove a spot on your next turn. Say, for example, you can play a tile on the right or left end, but the tile you need to play on the left end does not have a tile you can play off of it on your next turn (if it will show a six and you don't have any other sixes). In that situation, you'd want to play on the right end so you have two moves open. Your opponent could play a tile that would theoretically block you from playing on one end, but you would have a guaranteed move on the other. Also, if you have a lot of one number, try to play those more often (as long as you aren't hampering future moves) so you aren't so dependent on that one number coming up in the future. Even if you play as well as you can, though, there is no accounting for luck and sometimes you will just need to draw tiles. Just keep playing Dominos, and eventually you will hit three rounds without drawing.
|Gambler 6: Beat the Blackjack dealer in every location|
|This is a shockingly easy challenge considering how far along in the challenge pathway it is. You only need to beat the Blackjack dealers in Rhodes and Van Horn a single time each. Simply win one hand in each location and you'll finish this challenge. The dealer in Van Horn is in the back of the saloon, while the one in Rhodes is in the saloon on the second floor. Just keep playing until you win a hand.|
|Gambler 7: Beat the Five Finger Fillet player in every location|
|This is another really easy challenge, and you only need to beat one player at each Five Finger Fillet locations outside of your camp. This will include Strawberry, Valentine, and Van Horn. You'll wind up playing all three variants here - classic in Valentine, Guts in Strawberry, and Burnout in Van Horn. Since you are going only against the easiest player in each location, this will not be a problem. Check on their hand when it is your opponent's turn and you will see the buttons you need to press. For the first round, it is always alternating between two buttons so just keep mashing these in opposite order. You should probably be going twice as fast as your opponent so it won't be much of a challenge. In case you're having trouble finding any of these locations, Valentine is just north of your camp in Chapter 2, Strawberry is near the center of West Elizabeth, and Van Horn is along the eastern border of New Hanover. right along the middle.|
|Gambler 8: Win 3 hands of Blackjack with 3 hits or more|
|This is one of the harder challenges to complete, because it is entirely random and there is no real way to speed things up. Ride to Rhodes and keep playing 2 cent blackjack over and over. You need to hit three or more times (for a total of 5 cards at least), and you need to beat the dealer. This has to be done only three times, but it is going to take forever. Your best bet is to draw an ace in one of your first two cards, but this again is pure luck. Just keep hitting if there is some theoretic way you can be below 21 in five cards. If you have 20 at four cards, hit. It doesn't matter if you're unlikely to get an ace, if there is a chance do it. If you're betting only two cents at a time, you can do this all day even playing dangerously like this. Just keep playing until you hit your third win.|
|Gambler 9: Win 3 games of Dominoes in a row|
|This will take some time and some luck, so hopefully you enjoy Dominoes because you'll likely be playing it for a little while. This is not "rounds" but full games, so this can be fairly time consuming. You can be playing well, win two games in a row, and then just get unlucky and have to start over from the beginning. Some tips for Dominoes are given in the Miscellaneous section of the guide, so if you're having trouble with the basics of the game you may want to read that first. The best place to do this is in camp during Chapter 3, because there will be a Domino table there from noon until night or so where only one other person will play you, making things a bit easier. There are other table options, but a lot of times this will be against multiple players. Chapter 3 camp is also good because it will be the All Fives variant of the game, where you get points every time the edges add up to a multiple of fives. This makes things go a bit quicker, which is good for this challenge. It also adds a bit more strategy to the game, and always look at your moves. If you every have a chance to place a domino and have the sum of the ends add up to a multiple of five, do it, even if it may seem disadvantageous for future moves. You can get a lot of points doing it this way, and can frequently get a bigger chunk of points doing this than actually winning rounds. If you get to place a tile first, always put down something that adds to a multiple of five because this will be free points. Beyond this, you just need some good luck, so keep playing and eventually you should get in a lucky streak.|
|Gambler 10: Win 3 hands of Poker in a row|
|Closing out the Gambler challenge path is another heavily luck based challenge, but fortunately this one is significantly easier than the challenge before it. You only need to win three hands here instead of three entire games, and it is much easier to win with an unlucky hand in poker than it is with an unlucky set of dominos. There are some tips in the Miscellaneous section of the guide if you need help, but your best bet here is bluffing often and repeatedly. The AI in this game is inconsistent at best - sometimes all the other players will fold immediately and other times they'll call you with a 3 4 offsuit. It is easiest to do this with only a player or two at the table, so it might be best to try this out at the Flatneck Station game as that frequently has fewer players than the other tables. You can play normally until you win a hand, and after that you want to play the other hands very aggressively. Raise no matter what you have before the flop, after the flop, and throughout the hand. There is a good chance everyone else will fold, even if you have garbage for cards. It is somewhat unlikely you'll actually have the best hand three hands in a row, but you can very frequently bluff your way to victory so take advantage of this. You may wind up busting out a time or two, but if it happens too much you can just reload your last save and recoup your losses. Unless you're very unlucky, you should be able to win three in a row without too much trouble.|
Almost all of these challenges are related to foraging for food or crafting something out of various plant material. This challenge will be unlocked the first time you pick a Yarrow.
|Herbalist 1: Pick 6 Yarrow|
|Unlocks the Herbalist Off-Hand Holster at the Trapper. Yarrow can be found all over the game, and are very common throughout grassy areas starting in Chapter 2. Look for any taller red flowery plant amidst grass.|
These challenges will require you to master horse riding in this game. You'll need to hunt from horseback, race between various markers, and tame pretty much every breed of horse. You'll be ready to open up your own ranch after this.
|Horseman 1: Kill 5 Rabbits from horseback|
|The hardest part about this is finding five rabbits while you're on horseback. This is something you'll likely come upon randomly while riding between destinations. Whenever you're riding on your horse and flush a rabbit out somewhere, immediately pull out your revolver and activate your Dead Eye. Move your cursor over the rabbit and shoot him. This is tricky to do normally, so make sure you use Dead Eye here to simplify things a lot. Completing this challenge unlocks the Horseman Gun Belt at the Trapper.|
|Horseman 2: Jump over 3 obstacles in 15 seconds|
|This is another fairly easy challenge, and all you need to do is find three obstacles to jump over in quick succession. A really easy place to do this is at the auction yard at the south end of Valentine. There are a bunch of animal pens here, and you can ride your horse in and just keep jumping fences in a straight line until you hit three. Of course, you can do this elsewhere as well and anywhere with a bunch of fencing is typically fairly easy. Valentine just presents an early game area that has a really good setup for this challenge.|
|Horseman 3: Ride from Valentine to Rhodes in less than five minutes|
Valentine should hopefully be easy enough for you to find since it is the very first town you'll be visiting this game. Rhodes you won't go to until much later, but you can travel there as soon as you get control of your character in Chapter 2. It is a decent distance to the southeast of Valentine, and if you follow the train track from Valentine south you will eventually come to the city. This challenge gives you five minutes to go from Valentine to Rhodes (note that the other way doesn't work) which should be plenty of time as long as you have a decent horse. Ride directly southeast out of Valentine and pay attention to changes in elevation. There are a lot of sudden cliffs if you get too close towards the middle of The Heartlands, so always try to run along the perimeter of any hilly area if at all possible. Once in Lemoyne, you can follow the train tracks as they provide a really safe way to Rhodes without having to deal with weird hills or rocks.
If you are having trouble, you can upgrade your horse to make it faster. Go to any stable and select "tack and services" to go deeper into the menu. Select tack and then when you finally get to the options screen, go to stirrups. There are a lot of options here, but something like the Hooded Stirrup is fantastic because it provides both a boost to speed and acceleration. This isn't absolutely necessary for the challenge, and you should be able to get between the two towns fairly easily without even worrying about upgrades. However, it does provide a noticeable speed boost so if you feel like you're really close but aren't quite making it in time, this is a good way to make you just a bit faster. The challenge should pop up as completed as soon as you enter the perimeter of Rhodes.
Completing this challenge unlocks the Horseman Holster at the Trapper.
|Horseman 4: While mounted, drag a victim for 3300 feet using your Lasso|
This one is fairly straightforward, although you'll want to try this on someone who is isolated. If someone catches you dragging someone, they'll go and alert the sheriff for assault or try and pull you off your horse. The easiest way to do this is to find someone by themselves somewhere out in the country and then aim your lasso at them while you're on horseback. After this you just need to move for a while. Find a nice isolated spot in the map and just go in circles until you complete the challenge.
|Horseman 5: Trample 5 animals while on horseback|
Trampling an animal can actually be harder than it sounds. You need to run them over with your horse, which can be kind of a pain because a lot of animals can turn tighter than you can. If you're running full speed, you can kill a small animal with a single trample but at lower speeds it usually takes two. If you see a small animal dart out, you can chase them down and start zigzagging if you get in front of them to maximize your chance of hitting them. There is a good chance they turn though, so this can be hard.
The easiest way to pull this off is to find a chicken coop near a ranch or a farm. Emerald Ranch has one, as do a lot of other ranches in the game. This will give you a lot of chickens in a closed off area, and it makes this challenge significantly easier. Just slowly trot in circles and you should kill enough animals in no time. You can try to do this the normal way, but it'll take a lot longer and can be a pain to find a small critter you can trample in the first place.
|Horseman 6: Ride from Strawberry to Saint Denis in under 9 minutes without touching any water|
This is another race from one city to another, and this one actually takes you across a decent chunk of the map. Strawberry is in the West Elizabeth region while Saint Denis is in the southeast corner, in the Lemoyne region. You need to start in Strawberry and make your way to Saint Denis without taking your horse through any rivers, streams, or lakes. There is actually a fairly easy path that can accomplish this. Starting in the north end of Strawberry, take the road out of town to the east. Follow this road around until you reach Riggs Station. From here, you can just run along the train tracks all the way to Saint Denis. This path allows you to avoid running in the water entirely, and it also provides a safe, level path that doesn't require you dealing with changes in elevation or trees. Just follow the train tracks around until you cross the bridge into Saint Denis. The game will give you credit for this challenge at this point.
Since this is a longer trek, there is some things you will want to do in preparation first. First off, you want to make sure you and your horse are bonded all the way to level 4. This will help increase your horse's stamina meter, which is great because the longer that is the fewer healing items you'll need to give them. Make sure you are fully stocked up on horse stimulants, because you will need to take at least three to refill their stamina all the way during this trip. Finally, in the previous race (Horseman Challenge 3) I recommended going to a stable and picking up improved stirrups to boost your top speed. This is an absolute necessity for this race, so if you haven't done this already make sure you purchase one of the speed boosting stirrups. If you follow the path and have at least this level of preparation, you should make it to Saint Denis well within the time limit.
|Horseman 7: Kill 7 enemies from horseback without dismounting|
|This one is exactly what it says on the description, and you need to kill seven enemies without getting off your horse in between. The easiest way to do this is to find a gang camp as there tends to be at least four or so enemies there. Just do not get off your horse, and ride around finding people to kill. It is best if you get the jump on them. Pull out your gun, wait for them to become confrontational, and then quickly enter Dead Eye and get a headshot. An easy time to pull this off is during the Lindsey Wofford bounty mission, as there are eight enemies in this camp and you can hide outside the outer wall and wait for them to come to you one at a time. If you're having trouble getting this normally, wait until this bounty mission and collect it then.|
|Horseman 8: Kill 9 predators from horseback|
|This can be somewhat difficult, because as soon as your horse senses a predator nearby it gets ready to buck you and run. SOME FRIEND. There are a variety of different predators in this game, but the easiest to do for this challenge are probably the alligators. They populate Bluewater Marsh and Bayou Nwa, and they're good for a couple of reasons. First, they're really slow so as long as you don't run into one you can stand a little bit away and use a sniper rifle to kill them with a single headshot. They also are all over the place, and while other predators can be kind of rare, you'll find two or three alligators right next to each other sometimes. Use your sniper rifle to kill them while on horseback, and then keep moving around the region to find some more. You don't have to do this one all at once, but it is easy enough to so you might as well.|
As the name implies, these skills are related to hunting certain animals or obtaining certain items while you're hunting. This challenge is unlocked as part of the main quest The Aftermath of Genesis as that will require you to kill and skin your first deer.
|Master Hunter 1: Skin 3 Deer|
|Unlocks the Master Hunter Off-Hand Holster at the Trapper. Deer are one of the most common animals in the game so you should have no trouble finding them. Use your bow and arrow if you can to get a higher quality pelt, although that isn't necessary for this challenge. You only need to skin them, and it doesn't matter what quality the pelt is.|
|Master Hunter 2: Collect 3 perfect quality Rabbit pelts|
This can be kind of a pain, because perfect rabbit pelts are some of the hardest perfect pelts to get in the game. First, you'll need to purchase a Varmint Rifle. This is the only gun you can use to get perfect pelts from rabbits, and you can buy it from any gunsmith. Then, go hunting. It was easiest for me to ride around on my horse through open, grassy areas. Keep an eye out for rabbits that are darting around while you're doing this. Rabbit can be found almost anywhere (other than swamps or snowy areas), but grasslands are the best because it is easier to steer your horse and aim if you don't also have to dodge trees.
Aim at a rabbit when you find one to check its quality. You only want to kill three star rabbits while going for this, because if they are only one or two stars, you cannot get perfect pelts out of them. When you find one with three stars, immediately enter Dead Eye. You need to kill the rabbit in one shot to get the perfect pelt, which can be kind of a pain because of how fast rabbits are and how small their critical areas are. Once in Dead Eye, you need to aim for one of the red areas, which will either be its head or its upper body. Mark where you want to shoot using Dead Eye, and then fire. You need to be careful where you're aiming, because if you are going for the head it is very easy to aim at an ear and only wound the animal, damaging its pelt along the way. Score a clean kill and you can skin the rabbit for a perfect pelt. Do this three times to complete the challenge.
|Master Hunter 3: Track 10 different animal species using your Binoculars|
|After the last Master Hunter challenge, this one is significantly easier. You don't need to track these animals and kill them, you only need to track them. Equip your binoculars in a forested area and just start looking around until you find one. Binoculars actually make tracking easier, as it'll allow you to track from further away. Do this to ten different animal species and you'll complete the challenge. You cannot do the same species multiple times, so try to find areas with higher variety while you're doing this. Ride your horse for a little while, take out your binoculars and quickly scan the area to see if anything is nearby, and then ride forward a bit and repeat.|
|Master Hunter 4: Call an animal and get a clean kill 5 times|
|The description here is a bit misleading because you don't really need a "clean" kill in the sense that you get a perfect pelt out of the deal. You just need to kill your target in a single hit, so you can use a rifle to demolish a squirrel if you really want. Deer are probably the best animals to do this on, just because they are so big and so abundant. And also they stick their head straight up when you call them, giving you a great shot. I was able to get this quickly by walking around a forested area nearby Rhodes where there are a lot of deer and squirrels and rabbits, but feel free to use whatever your favorite hunting spot is. Walk slowly with your gun out, scanning the ground ahead. When you find a target, get close enough to call to them (again, with your gun drawn) and shortly after you do, use Dead Eye and take a shot at a critical region to kill them. If you are targeting a squirrel or something small where position of the shot doesn't really matter, you can call and then just shoot a second or so later. If you are targeting a deer or a larger animal, go for a headshot with a powerful enough weapon to take them out. You can check your counter to make sure you got a clean kill, but this challenge isn't all that difficult so just keep calling and shooting and you'll have it eventually.|
|Master Hunter 5: Skin 3 Black of Grizzly Bears|
|Finding black or grizzly bears isn't that difficult. Of the two, I'd recommend going for black bears because they are smaller and easier to kill. Most of the time they'll actually just run from you if you're on horseback, so ride around until you find one and shoot it. There are a couple good spots to find each of these bears, and black bears are most abundant in the wooded areas of Roanoke, Big Valley, or Tall Trees. It is somewhat luck based, but I always find the most in the western/northwestern portion of Big Valley in West Elizabeth. Grizzly Bears are most abundant in the Grizzly East region in Ambarino. Make sure you have a powerful rifle with plenty of ammo while hunting for these guys, as grizzlies in particular can be nasty if you don't kill them quickly.|
This challenge is all about showing off your shooting skills by pulling off impressive feats. A lot of these will either require you to use Dead Eye or will be made much easier if you do so. Keep some tonics on hand while you're out exploring in case you need to fill your Dead Eye up quickly - there's not telling when an opportunity to work on this challenge will present itself.
|Sharpshooter 1: Kill 3 flying birds|
|While you're riding your horse, it is very easy to frighten some birds into taking flight. As soon as you get close, they will take off. Once you see them start flying, activate your Dead Eye and target whichever one is easiest to get. You can do this without Dead Eye, but it is significantly harder. There are birds all over the place, so you should have no trouble finding three to kill relatively quickly.|
|Sharpshooter 2: Kill 2 different species of animal in the same Dead Eye use|
|The only real challenge here is finding two different species to shoot at in the same area. You can't really move too much while using the Dead Eye, so it'll be easier if you can get both of your targets in front of you. The easiest way to do this is to "herd" one until it happens to run into an area with a different animal. Something like a turkey is great for this because of how slow it is, so you can just find one and chase it around for a while until it wanders into a second target. As long as the animals are two different species, it doesn't matter which two you kill.|
|Sharpshooter 3: Kill 5 flying birds while on a moving train|
This challenge itself isn't necessarily hard, but it is more complicated than you may think. You only need to shoot five flying birds while on a train that is currently moving, and the best way to do this is with Dead Eye. Fortunately, you usually find birds in groups of at least two or three when they're flying, so keep an eye on the sky for a group of birds. Use Dead Eye to lock on and the shoot for a sure kill. That's the easy part. The hard part is that doing this will immediately get you wanted by every guard on the car (and soon every law officer in the state). That's why you actually want to wear your mask while you're doing this, because even firing a gun on the train will instantly get you wanted no matter what you're aiming at.
Sneaking on to the train can be a bit of a pain too. Either wait for the train to leave, ride up to the caboose, and kill the guard on the back. Now just ride alongside and hop over when you're close. You have a good view of the entire area behind the train from here, which is good for picking out birds. Alternatively, you can sneak on to one of the cargo cars when the train is stationary and just crouch and hide. There usually aren't any guards on these flatbeds, so you're good until you start shooting.
As soon as you've been heard (and run out of birds), jump of the car over towards your horse, who will likely be running right alongside. Book it out of there because the law is coming almost immediately. If you get caught, try to lose them so you aren't compounding your bounty. Alternatively, just shoot your way through until you're safe if you don't care about morality or bounties. You likely will have to repeat this process a couple of times because it is somewhat rare to get five birds all at once before people show up and try to kill you.
|Sharpshooter 4: Kill an enemy at least 80 feet away with a thrown tomahawk|
|This one sounds more difficult than it actually is. The best place to pull this off is when you come across an enemy camp. Select the tomahawks and then slowly walk towards camp while aiming with the tomahawk. As soon as the reticule turns red, you'll know you are within throwing distance and maximum throwing distance is longer than 80 feet. Activate your Dead Eye and target the head. Throw it at this point, and as soon as it connects you will get credit for this challenge. You don't have to do it in an enemy camp, but it is much easier if they are unaware and not moving.|
|Sharpshooter 5: Kill 6 animals without switching or reloading your weapon|
|As the name suggest, you just need to kill 6 animals with a single clip. The best weapon to do this with is the repeater as they have 14 shots before you have to reload which gives you a big margin for error. Be careful when you're doing this that you aren't picking up or skinning your kills, because this will holster your weapon and it'll be reloaded when you draw it out. Just go around an area with a lot of animals, and pretty much any forest will have plenty of hunting. The game doesn't keep count for you, so just keep count in your head.|
|Sharpshooter 6: Kill someone at least 660 feat away with a long scoped rifle|
|This is one of the tougher challenges in the game, because it is very luck based to come across someone that you have a clear shot at 660 feet away. You need a sniper rifle for this, which you'll unlock during Chapter 2 if you do not have it already. The best place I found for good distance without obstacles was on the north side of the Dakota River. Occasionally, an enemy group will camp on the south side of the Dakota River and if you are up on the mountains on the north side, you will have a great, unobstructed view of where they're at. Move as far away as you can while still being able to see them, and then fire. The river itself provides a ton of distance and it is completely clear which is why this is an ideal spot. You can do this anywhere so long as you can find an enemy camp. Once you locate one, go as far away as you can with a clear shot and then shoot. If you want to know how close you were, check this challenge on the challenge tab and it will tell you what your furthest shot is up to that point. Finding a good distance is tough, so keep looking (and hope you get lucky with someone camping on the southside of the Dakota River).|
|Sharpshooter 7: Get 7 headshots in a row|
|The challenge itself is easy enough. Simply use Dead Eye to score headshots easily. Make sure you have some tonics or other Dead Eye restoring items on hand, as taking one will not reset the counter. The only hard part is finding a time where you have more than seven enemies to kill at once. A lot of things will reset the counter here, like using a lasso or punching or basically anything that isn't shooting someone in the head. This is easiest to pull off during any one of the big combat missions during the main storyline. Once you know it is going to be a big fight, prioritize getting seven headshots right away and you should be fine.|
The Survivalist challenges are all about doing the sort of things that are going to keep you alive out in the wilderness. This includes crafting, hunting, fishing, and using some twine and a couple of loose buttons to make a weapon capable of destroying a tank. Ok, that last one was probably MacGyver. The other ones you're going to have to do though.
|Survivalist 1: Catch 3 Bluegill fish|
|Bluegills are pretty much the easiest and most common fish to find in the game. Go to any body of water, and you'll be able to catch a bluegill. Use cheese for your lure as that happens to be their favorite, and just keep fishing until you catch three. In most places, with a cheese lure you're going to catch more bluegill than you will all other fish combined, so it shouldn't take long.|
|Survivalist 2: Hand 5 animals into Camp or Trapper|
|This should be another easy one, and you can actually do this while you're working on the first Survivalist challenge. Fish count towards this, so while you're fishing for bluegills, just keep every fish you catch. You'll likely have five in no time that you can hand over. Any animal works for this, so if you prefer to go bag some deer or birds, feel free. Just go to camp once you have an animal you want to turn in, and go to Mr. Pearson's wagon to donate an animal for provisions.|
|Survivalist 3: Kill 5 animals using a Varmint Rifle|
|You will need to purchase the Varmint Rifle for this challenge, and it can be found in any gunsmith. After that, you can kill any animals you want for this to count, and whenever you come across a small mammal you can pull this out for a quick kill. If you run across a chicken coop, you can get all five kills within seconds.|
|Survivalist 4: Craft a Dynamite, Fire, Improved, Poison, and Small Game Arrow|
Crafting these is easy enough, and you just need to go to any campfire with the right ingredients. Most of the ingredients are easy enough to gather, as well. The hard part is finding some of the pamphlets that unlock each of these arrow variants. You cannot craft these arrows from the start of the game, and each arrow has a pamphlet you need to find or purchase. Open up the pamphlet after you have it in your inventory, and you'll now be able to craft it at any campfire. Three of these pamphlets are obtained automatically, but the other two either need to be found in specific locations or bought from fences. The location for each of these pamphlets, and the ingredients you need for each arrow, are detailed in the table below
|Arrow Type||Ingredients||Pamphlet Location|
|Dynamite||Flight Feather (x1), Arrow (x1), Dynamite (x1)||Can be bought at any fence for $85.00 after the A Short Walk in a Pretty Town mission in Chapter 2.|
|Fire||Flight Feather (x1), Arrow (x1), Animal Fat (x1)||Obtained automatically at the start of Chapter 2.|
|Improved||Flight Feather (x1), Arrow (x1)||Obtained automatically at the start of Chapter 2.|
|Poison||Flight Feather (x1), Arrow (x1), Oleander Sage (x1)||Can be bought at any fence for $58.00 starting at the beginning of Chapter 2.|
|Small Game||Flight Feather (x1), Arrow (x1), Shotgun Shells - Regular (x1)||Obtained automatically at the start of Chapter 2.|
Most of these materials are extremely common and you shouldn't have trouble finding them. Flight feathers can be plucked from any bird you kill. Dynamite can either be found occasionally while rummaging or bought from fences. The hardest ingredient to find on that list is oleander sage. These will have to be found, and they are almost entirely localized near river banks around Bayou Nwa. Scavenger around that area for a while if you're having trouble finding some.
|Survivalist 5: Catch a fish while boating in the Bayou and while standing on railroad tracks|
You only need to catch one fish at each location, and your exact positioning doesn't matter as long as it meets the qualifications. For the railroad tracks, there is a good spot on either of the two railroad tracks leading out from Saint Denis on the southwest end of the city, as it is very rare for trains to pass by. For the boat in the swamp, the easiest way to do this is to steal a boat from the Hagen Orchards, which is located just tot he southwest of Lagras (right above the "Y" in Bayou Nwa on your map). Lagras doesn't have any boats on the water typically, so this is the best place to find one that doesn't require a lot of sailing. Just ride it slightly north , hugging the bank closer to the swamps and cast the line towards the middle of the river. Again, there are plenty of other places that qualify for either of these requirements, but these are just some of the easier locations you can pull this off at.
|Survivalist 6: Kill an animal scavenging a corpse 5 times|
This is a fairly easy challenge, although it can be a bit boring. The corpse here can be human or animal, and you basically just need to kill something and wait around nearby while the corpse starts to rot. Do this somewhere animals tend to be nearby. Stay a little bit away and just wait for an animal to come down and start scavenging. This most frequently happens with birds of prey, and you can usually get two or three at a time as long as you don't wait too close. If you do have multiple targets feasting on the same corpse, go into Dead Eye and mark all of them at once to score multiple kills towards this challenge.
The final group of challenges is about all the ways you can hurt people in this game. From knives to arrows to guns to dynamite, you have a lot of toys at your disposal in Red Dead Redemption 2. And this set of challenges makes sure you use all of them.
|Weapons Expert 1: Kill 3 enemies with a knife|
|Unlocks the Weapons Expert Holster at the Trapper. This one is fairly straight forward, and you just need to kill three enemies with a knife any way you can. Throwing knife kills are excluded. This is easiest to do when you're only facing off against one enemy, and running knife first into a group of enemies is a good way to get yourself killed. Wait until you have someone one-on-one, then rush and start swinging with your knife. This is not a particularly difficult challenge, but it will take some setting up since a knife isn't always useful in some combat situations you find yourself in.|
|Weapons Expert 2: Kill 3 enemies in 10 seconds using only throwing knives|
|This is not tremendously difficult, but you will need to find a fairly decent sized group to pull this off on. There are plenty of gang camps throughout the game that have four or so enemies in them, and this is a good place to try to complete this challenge. You can only target one enemy at a time using Dead Eye if you have throwing knives equipped, so you'll need to be quick. Select your first target, quickly use Dead Eye to target their head, release, and then enter Dead Eye again as soon as you can. Repeat this same process two more times, and you should get credit for the challenge as soon as the third one goes down. It helps if all of your enemies are grouped together, as you can spend less time aiming this way and can quickly move from one target to the next.|
|Weapons Expert 3: Kill 3 birds of prey using only a tomahawk|
|An easy way to do this is to kill an enemy or an animal in an open field and then move back a bit and wait. Eventually, crows will land and they could as birds of prey. Select your tomahawk and enter Dead Eye to lock in a shot. Throw one and as long as it isn't flying away you will be guaranteed to hit it. The rest will fly away, but that is fine. Go back to the bird and pick up both your tomahawk and its carcass and move back a little bit again. The crows will shortly come back and you can repeat this process to farm all three kills within a couple of minutes. If you run low on tomahawks, you can buy more from fences.|
|Weapons Expert 4: Kill 10 enemies with a shotgun using crafted ammo|
The "killing" part here is easy because as long as you're close to your target, a shotgun blast will kill everyone in this game in a single hint. But you actually have to craft some special shotgun ammo first and that can be a bit of a pain. There are two types of shotgun ammunition you can craft in this game, but you will need to find the corresponding pamphlet first and read it in order to unlock it. You can find them in the table below, with information about the necessary materials and where to find the pamphlet.
|Ammo Type||Ingredients||Pamphlet Location|
|Incendiary Buckshot||Shotgun Shell - Regular (x1), Moonshine (x1)||Can be bought at any fence for $80.00 after Pouring Forth Oil - IV in Chapter 2.|
|Explosive Slug||Shotgun Shell - Slug (x1), Animal Fat (x1)||Can be bought at any fence for $90.00 after A Short Walk in a Pretty Town in Chapter 3.|
The incendiary buckshot can be purchased a bit earlier, so if you are eager to finish this off you can use this ammo. The moonshine you need to craft it can be found at any fence for a low price, or you can just keep rummaging for it as needed.
|Weapons Expert 5: Kill 5 mounted enemies, using one throwing knife per kill|
|Throwing knives can be bought at fences for $2.50 each after completing the Paying a Social Call mission in Chapter 2. Always keep a full supply on hand because you won't know when you come across a mounted enemy. They are fairly frequent in story missions involving combat, but less so just randomly out in the world. So kill every mounted enemy you come across with a throwing knife because it might take a little while to find five. Kill them in a single hit is very easy. Just use Dead Eye and lock in on a head shot. As long as they are within your throwing distance, a single throw will kill them this way.|
|Weapons Expert 6: Kill 4 enemies at the same time with a single stick of dynamite|
This particular challenge is a tremendous pain, and one of the harder ones to pull off in the entire game. It is hard to get four enemies grouped together for long enough for this to be successful. You want to make sure you always have a fully supply of dynamite on you at any time, because it will be hard to tell when an opportunity may fall into your lap. A stick of dynamite can be purchased from any fence in the game after Chapter 1 for $1.
Whenever you see a group of enemies, take a chance and toss a stick of dynamite right in the center of them. It'll be hard to tell if they will move correctly after the toss, so be prepared for a lot of failure. There are several missions where you may pull this off, but the easiest for me was in Chapter 5 during That's Murfree Country. There is a point in that mission where you can either sneak in a cave or use dynamite to lure them out. Select the dynamite option, and then use your first stick to blow out the sentry at the entryway. The rest of the cave will come sprinting out now, and this will be a huge group. Instead of swapping to guns, keep your dynamite out and toss another into the mouth of the cave, and maybe just a bit further than where you threw the first one. If you time this right, you can hit four at once, easily. If you fail, toss again. If your first two attempts don't hit, restart the checkpoint and try again (blow yourself up if you must). There are other missions, or you may get lucky in a random encounter. But this was the easiest spot for me, so if you're having trouble, try it out here.