Red Dead Redemption (RDR2)

Handling RDO Griefers – A guide to new and established players to understand these creatures’ behaviours and how to deal with them.

Content of the article: "Handling RDO Griefers – A guide to new and established players to understand these creatures’ behaviours and how to deal with them."

In view on the recent number of posts popping up on this sub about this subject I would like to offer some tips and suggestions that worked for me on how to increase your chances of identifying griefers in RDO; how to best deal with them in a way that doesn’t hurt your ego; and ways in which you may decrease the chances of them targeting you. Ultimately, these tips are meant to increase your enjoyment of the game.

I have almost 1500 hours poured into RDR2 and RDO, currently level 200 in RDO (PC) and I have encountered my fair share of griefers during my time playing. I dislike the whole proposition of “play defensively, parley and move on to another session” because it totally ignores your feelings towards the experience you had to endure. Additionally, it offers little in the way of preventing it from happening again.

So if you feel you are a victim of abuse by these socially challenged douchbags why should they get a free pass whilst you passively adapt to accommodate their asshat behaviour? Whilst these popular suggestions above do mitigate the problem, it is also akin to suggesting a victim of rape enter the witness protection programme and move to another state – and hope it doesn’t happen again. And it will.

And whilst some might be outraged by this comparison it is important to keep in mind the feelings involved: “Why me?”; “I was just minding my own business!”; “It’s not fair!”; etc. – are similar to the feelings experienced by those who have been subject to any form of abuse. And this is precisely the sort of sentiment the griefers feed on when disrupting your gameplay: they want to make you miserable so that they can have their enjoyment at your expense.

So if you don’t want to put your head down and run to another session with your tail between your legs read on.

Now the first thing to consider is that there are many different types of griefers and you can learn a bit more about their kind and how to identify them on this excellent video by JohnSlyRecon:



The first thing you need to cultivate, especially if you play solo, is your alertness whilst playing in free roam. This doesn’t equate to being paranoid but be aware of your surroundings at all times. Everyone is guilty until proven innocent.

· Set your minimap to cover a wider area permanently.

· Always keep an eye on any and all blue dots that appear on your minimap – and what this dot does. Most players in RDO are decent, friendly people going about their business, but you will learn how to spot that “erratic” blue dot that has found you as their source of enjoyment.

· Always keep your ammo at full levels.

· Keep a healthy supply of level 3 tonics handy (you shouldn’t need to scroll for this – set them to appear on your wheel menu as soon as you start the game so you can fully focus on the douchbag at all times, without needing to lose valuable time scrolling through your supplies when shit hits the fan.

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· Always keep your anti-griefer weapons on you (sniper rifle and shotgun (or repeater if you have the appropriate cards for this weapon to be effective in short range). If on horseback, get your bow and dynamite arrows ready if the situation calls for it.

· Choose the appropriate ammo for each (generally HV ammo for sniper rifles for long range damage; express for handguns; split point for repeaters and regular cartages for shotguns).

· Set your default weapon to whatever it is you are more comfortable in terms of effectiveness AT SHORT RANGE. With one click you should be able to pull out your handguns or shotgun in a millisecond and shoot. If your handgun setup is ineffective at swiftly killing a target in short range, consider the shotgun instead.

· Level up your cards asap and select an effective combo that works for you. There are many useful youtube videos on this but I personally suggest PVPCat channel for this information. There are also many useless cards that you want to avoid (eg horseback), whilst some are enhanced by pairing them with others. Do your research and use what fits your playstyle.

· Keep your weapons clean.

· Join PVP sessions and get acquainted with your (new) card setup and weapons. Practice does make perfect.

· If they do kill you first, quickly switch to defensive mode BEFORE putting them in their place when you respawn. This will give you an advantage over them.

The idea behind all this is to help you change your mentality from being a helpless bystander into being the hunted who becomes the hunter – and the first and most important factor into increasing your confidence is to know you are prepared and alert to minimise the chances of being caught off guard.

. DO NOT engage with them on voice chat. Remember, you are no longer the hunted you are the hunter. The hunter of griefers. So don't feel sorry for yourself and certainly don't give them the pleasure of listening to your displeasure.


In my experience, there are distinct behaviours which will alert you when you are in the presence of a griefer. Take this with a grain of salt because I am generalising, and there isn’t a “one fits all” pattern here, but you should treat these actions as a clear red flag:

· They will cause havoc around them, killing or lassoing npcs indiscriminately in towns, goofing around and running around like headless chicken all over the place. They are bored and you are their solution. Be extra alert. If they approach you, shoot to kill. Don’t double guess them. Don’t hesitate. You will regret it later.

· They will be riding in one direction only to suddenly change direction and charge towards you. They spotted you. Blow their horse up first and foremost. Yes I know killing horses is despicable but so are these people and they won’t hesitate to kill yours. A single shot with the sniper rifle or a dynamite arrow will do the trick. If you chose the former, the asshat will be stunned from the fall for a second or two and you will have the opportunity to kill them at this point. At this point you can go about your business whilst he calls for their scrawny nag.

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· They shadow / stalk you. If you are riding and suddenly find a blue spot following you, be extra alert. Look behind you for any signs of aggression such as the player pulling out his lasso. Change direction or pick up speed and see if he follows. If he does, blow his horse up and follow the directions above.

· They will run towards you in towns. So you are minding your own business and a player who was standing still or running around like a headless chicken sprints to your location. Shoot first and ask questions later. Friendly players will not usually go out of their way to “tip their hat” or “wave” to you. They will only do this if they happen to pass you buy.

· They are in a posse which is not taking part in any apparent content (ie, they are all just goofing around). Proceed with caution or move away. Use common sense on this because it is not uncommon to find posses close to a source of content such as bounty posters and what not – in which case you can assume you will not be their primary source of enjoyment.

· They harass your horse or attempt to ride it whilst you are in a shop or otherwise busy. Shoot them. They will otherwise shoot you at their first opportunity.

· They are dressed up like cavemen and/or wear silly masks or similar and appear to have little regard for the appearance of their character. Be extra alert. These are not exactly role players and if in doubt, shoot.

· If you have time, quickly study their profile and equipped cards. Profiles which show the player has many friends tend not to be aggressive. Likewise, players from minority nationalities tend not to be aggressive (eg: from South American countries). If they are in a posse though, this might not be the case. As far as cards are concerned, if they equip a “sensible” fully upgraded set they tend not to be griefers. If on the other hand you get the impression they don’t know what they are doing be alert.


· Move away if you identify any of the previously described patterns of behaviour before they get a chance to spot you.

· Equip less fancy clothes: some griefers resent the fact that you can wear fancy outfits and will combat this resentment by harassing you in order to feel superior to you. If you want to be a less desirable target, you can chose to “fit in” with more rugged clothing.

· Posse up with friends, or create your own posse so that they see a “star” instead of a dot on their minimap. Most won’t bother to dig into the posse information to determine if you are alone or not.


· Do not stand still or move slowly on the map. If you do, pay extra attention to your minimap and be ready to shoot. Same applies if you are on your wagon.

· Your camp, shops, shack are the best locations to take a breather and browse through your dailies and other screens that will pull you away from your minimap.

One a final note, take all these suggestions with a grain of salt. These are my own observations and they DO NOT apply to everyone. They have helped me greatly and I VERY seldom now get caught unawares in free roam. Again, most people playing the game are really nice and just want to get on with the grind and the missions. These points, however, are intended for you to realise that feeling sorry for yourself or being kind won’t help you with these primitive beings. They are first and foremost resentful cowards and if you learn to get the upper hand, you’ll start enjoying the game much more.


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