Red Dead Redemption 2

Everyone knows that GTA Online is Rockstar’s bread and butter. According to, Rockstar was raking in a whopping $700 mil annually in 2021. Even if that number has dipped in the subsequent year or so since that GamingSection article was posted, Rockstar has definitely still got a money stew brewing. This is to say nothing of the amount of money the company has made off of game purchases alone, which is reportedly a lot of money.

If you’ve been following any news on Rockstar’s other incredibly successful IP, Red Dead Redemption 2, you are probably at least marginally aware that the support for that game’s online mode has been just shy of criminally negligent. And, I get it, you can’t just add hovering DeLoreans or Alien Laser Rifles to this Wild West simulator. I mean, you could, but I don’t think that’s what the devoted fanbase is necessarily clambering for (although, truth be told, those poor, poor cowpokes are probably so starved for content they would perk up at the sight of any new content drop, no matter how ridiculous or anachronistic).

Red Dead Online fans would love more meaningful Roles, or actual heists, or the option to own property, or any number of other laundry items that I’ve waxed poetically on in the past. Unfortunately, it seems that RDO is, for better or worse, effectively dead. And maybe as a result, also red, but the jury is still out on that.

Red Dead Online - Tumbleweed

However, thanks to the modding community, Red Dead Redemption 2’s single-player mode is actually getting quite a bit of support. And that means that on PC, Red Dead Redemption 2‘s Story Mode lives on in ways that Red Dead Online fans can only dream of.

There are so many incredible mods — catering to all kinds of playstyles and desires — that it’s hard to even know where to begin. So I’ve created a curated list of six mods that you can try if you want to squeeze a little more life out of this tired old dog.

It is, of course, worth noting that most of these mods require Red Dead Script Hook and/or Lenny’s Mod Loader in addition to the mods themselves. I should also mention that, while it’s perfectly fine to mod the single-player game experience, attempting to mod RDO could get you permanently banned — so you should approach any game-modding project with caution.

Basic Needs Final Cut

Red Dead Redemption 2 - Basic Needs Final Cut

I am a huge fan of survival games, so adding more survival mechanics to Red Dead Redemption 2 is right up my alley. I always thought the character weight mechanic was pretty half-baked — so much so, in fact, that a lot of people don’t even know you can actively work to gain or lose weight in RDR2, and that it can have (admittedly middling) effects on Arthur’s performance. 

This mod takes things much further in the direction of survival needs, requiring eating, drinking, sleeping, and peeing, as well as balancing carry weight penalties and a whole host of other features.

You can check out Basic Needs Final Cut (by Bolmin) here.

AMJM Transport (crossed99)

Red Dead Redemption 2 - AMJM Transport

This mod effectively takes the Cripps Trading Co. aspect of Red Dead Online and brings it into Story Mode — though it ramps it up significantly. With this mod, players can buy a wagon, stagecoach, or boat and engage in transport missions, whether that means hauling goods or ferrying people from place to place.

You can basically start your own shipping and transport company by picking up missions from general stores. You can even hire guns to help ensure a safe journey — which will come in handy, since bandits can randomly attack your convoy.

There are a ton of other features that are definitely worth checking out, but this is a lucrative, more fleshed-out profession in single-player that seems far less tedious than working for Cripps. Count me in.

You can check out AMJM Transport (by crossed99) here.

Gunsmith Business

Red Dead Redemption 2 - Gunsmith Business

Much like AMJM Transport, this mod is all about earning a living wage off of honest-to-goodness hard work. You simply purchase one of the already existing-gunsmiths and do your best to run it and turn a profit. This will require doing supply runs while fighting off bandits, as you might expect from Red Dead Redemption 2. You can also either decide how much each item costs to purchase, and how much to pay your staff, or you can simply let the chips fall as they may and just collect a decent sum of steady income.

You can check out Gunsmith Business (by Bolmin) here.

Jobs Mod

Red Dead Redemption 2 - Jobs Mod

If the previous two mods aren’t quite your manual-labor speed, maybe you prefer to pick up odd jobs as a day laborer instead of setting up your own shop and being tied to one place. Well, the Jobs Mod might be just the ticket.

You can pick up a 9-to-5 and collect a paycheck working in all manner of professions. You can be a miner, bartender, hunter, shepherd, dockworker, or delivery guy. I mean, who doesn’t love going to an actual job all day, only to come home and relax by performing menial tasks in a video game?

You can check out the Jobs Mod (by Bolmin) here.

Ambient NPCs

Red Dead Redemption 2 - Ambient NPCs

This mod is pretty simple, but it could really go a long way toward fleshing out the already-detailed-but-at-times-rather-barren world of Red Dead Redemption 2. It adds more NPCs to some areas of the game, specifically areas where there is already a great deal of detail but no inhabitants, like lounges or random buildings.

In my opinion, more hustle and bustle is always a good thing when it comes to game-world immersion.

You can check out Ambient NPCs (by AltLamasticot) here.

Crime & Law Rebalance and Enhancement

RDR2 - Crime and Law Rebalance and Enhancement

Have you ever inadvertently killed an NPC in the middle of nowhere, without a soul in sight, any you still incur a wanted level because the crime was witnessed and reported somehow? Well, this is the mod for you.

The wanted system in RDR2 has always left something to be desired, and it never really seemed like there was all that much thought put into it — unless the thought was: “Some players want to get in trouble, so they should be able to get in trouble even if it doesn’t really make sense and penalizes everyone else.”

Well, with Crime & Law Rebalance and Enhancement, those days will hopefully be a thing of the past. This mod aims to better balance the wanted system in a way that feels more realistic for the time and setting. If there isn’t a soul to bear witness to your recent one-off murder, then that murder will be between you and God. This mod also lessens the response of the law for more petty crimes, which feels more reasonable and immersive.

You can check out Crime & Law Rebalance and Enhancement (by Blackjack Colver Voltaire, Natsu, SgtJoe, Modifiver, and Gameroll) here.


Red Dead Online

Believe me when I say that I could go on and on, because there really are a ton of cool mods for Red Dead Redemption 2. Many of these mods can alter the game in ways that, if you’re like me, will reignite your excitement for an already incredible game (albeit one that seems to have been mostly forgotten by its developer).

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2 years ago

Make it to wear he lives

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