About Red Dead Redemption 2's Horse Care & Bonding Systems

Video Contains Heavy SPOILERS!

In Red Dead Redemption 2 Rockstar has put in painstaking effort to enhance the sense of realism to the game. The benefits to this are quite obvious as the more real a world feels the easier it is to become immersed in it. Rockstar worked at realism in a variety of ways such as the hunger and life bar system and several evolving interactions with NPC's throughout the game. In my opinion one of these systems built to enhance realism shines out above all the rest. The horse care system and relationship bond.

Imagine that you are really in the old west living life as an outlaw on the run from the law and moving from camp to camp. Hunting wild animals or fishing wild streams and lakes for the very sustenance that will ensure your continued survival. How would you be getting around and accomplishing all these things? A horse of course. Now this horse would be more than simply a form of transportation at this point. It would become like a best friend as even while on the run you may be separated from your friends and gang for weeks at a time, your horse would still always be there. It would therefore be beyond essential that you had a bond of trust and love with the animal since your very survival depends upon it and vice versa. You would need to clean your horse and keep it well fed and happy. The horse care system in Red Dead Redemption 2 nails this symbiotic relationship perfectly.

When first you train or buy a horse your bond with them will be very low, I mean after all you two did just meet. Bond can then be gained in a variety of ways, with none being better than the other and all needing attending in order to gain maximum bonding with the horse. You can brush your horse to get the dust and muck from the trail removed from them, this will slow the rate at which the horse's health core degrades as well as the added benefit of having a sleek clean animal that shimmers in the sunlight. You can also gain bonding from feeding your animal when it is hungry, which you can tell by looking at the health core of the horse, which much like the player character's must be attended to ensure good health. You have an option to pat your horse while riding or while standing next to them, it never hurts to tell the being responsible for saving your life that you appreciate it with some good old fashioned physical compassion and doing so will increase the bond with them. There are treats such as sugar cubes that really won't restore the core health of the horse but instead act as a bond reinforcer, as who doesn't like a treat every now and then regardless of it's benefits to our overall health? Finally there is the act of simply riding your horse and much like real life the more trails you share with someone and the longer the distance traveled with them as your only company the stronger the bond with them will be.

Hope you all enjoy the video and until next time keep being awesome everybody. Love, Jax

Jim Sterling Video Mentioned