Red Dead Redemption 2: Which Edition to Buy?

If you pre-order a copy of Red Dead Redemption 2 you’ll receive bonus in-game content and some unique items to add to your collection. Rockstar and its retail partners are offering several different Red Dead Redemption 2 editions so you’ll want to make sure you spend your money on the right one for you.

With the Red Dead Redemption 2 release date getting closer, Rockstar is finally releasing important details to those looking to buy the game before its October street date.

The company is providing some enticing pre-order bonuses for both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 including bonus GTA Online cash for those still hooked on Grand Theft Auto 5’s expansive online mode.

Retailers are currently offering three Red Dead Redemption 2 editions including the standard edition, a Special Edition, and an Ultimate Edition. Rockstar’s also announced a Red Dead Redemption 2 Collector’s Box that’s full of unique items including playing cards and a bandana.

In this guide we’ll take you through each edition of the game and help you choose the right one for your budget.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Standard Edition

The most basic version of Red Dead Redemption 2 is the standard edition. The standard edition will run you the normal $60, but you can get it for less if you’re a Best Buy Gamers Club Unlocked (GCU) member. We could also see retailers like NewEgg offer sporadic deals ahead of the game’s launch.

The standard edition offers the least amount of content, but if you pre-order a copy you’ll get a few nifty pre-order bonuses for use in the game’s Story Mode. These include:

  • War Horse: This handsome iron-grey-colored Ardennes War Horse can always be relied on in the heat of the battle. With greater courage and stamina than the average steed, this is a horse that knows how to keep its head under fire.
  • The Outlaw Survival Kit: The Outlaw Survival Kit contains a collection of key supplies for enduring the rigors of life on the frontier, including items to replenish Health, Dead Eye and more.

So who should buy this edition of Red Dead Redemption 2?

  • Newcomers to the series.
  • Those that don’t have a ton of time to play games and aren’t sure how much time they can or want to invest in Red Dead Redemption 2.

The standard edition is the safest, and cheapest, version of the game.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Special Edition

If you’re excited about the game’s single player mode and want more than just the War Horse and the Outlaw Survival Kit, you might opt for the $80 Special Edition.

In addition to those pre-order bonuses, the Red Dead Redemption 2 Special Edition comes with exclusive content for the game’s Story Mode. These bonuses include:

  • Bank Robbery Mission and Gang Hideout in Story Mode: Get exclusive access to a Bank Robbery Mission, in which Arthur and a couple of his fellow gang members come up with a daring plan to break in and rob the bank in the southern town of Rhodes. Elsewhere, the Del Lobos Gang has taken over a hacienda – clear this gang’s hideout and rob their stash for a lucrative take.
  • Dappled Black Thoroughbred: This thoroughbred racehorse sporting a beautiful reverse-dappled black coat will keep you at the front of the pack with its exceptional speed and acceleration. You will also get the exclusive Nuevo Paraiso Saddle, handmade in dark chocolate leather with silver medallion detailing. This horse and saddle are available in Red Dead Redemption 2 Story Mode.
  • Talisman and Medallion Gameplay Bonuses: These special Story Mode items will give Arthur a helping hand whenever they are equipped. Attaching the Eagle Talon Talisman to his boot, Arthur’s environmental awareness skill will last longer. By carrying the Iguana Scale in his personal Satchel, Arthur will take less damage while riding on horseback.
  • Gameplay Boosts, Cash Bonuses & Discounts: This collection of exclusive Story Mode boosts, bonuses and discounts will help Arthur to survive out in the harsh wilderness and better provide for his gang members and their camp. The Core Stat boost benefits Arthur’s Stamina, Health and Dead Eye Cores. Earn more cash during robbery missions with the Van der Linde gang, and when hunting and selling animal carcasses. Receive discounts on all upgrades to the Van der Linde gang’s camp.
  • The Nuevo Paraiso Gunslinger Outfit: This exclusive Story Mode outfit for Arthur is inspired by the clothing worn by vaqueros and banditos south of the border. The outfit features a wide brimmed black cowboy hat, deep indigo coat, worn denim chaps, leather gloves and boots.
  • Free Access to Additional Weapons: A good range of weapons is essential for survival in the Old West. Get free access to three weapons at the in-game Gunsmiths in Story Mode: the robust Volcanic Pistol, devastating Pump Action Shotgun and versatile Lancaster Varmint Rifle.

The Special Edition also comes with an exclusive Special Edition Printed Map.

So who should spend the extra $20 for the Special Edition?

  • People who know they are going to invest a ton of time in Red Dead Redemption 2’s world.
  • Those who want more than just the base game’s Story Mode.
  • Those who want instant access to an extremely fast horse to help navigate the game’s map.
  • Those who like to customize their character.
  • Those who want instant access to a larger arsenal of weapons and (discounted) items.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Ultimate Edition

If you’re willing to spend a little more cash you might go with the game’s Ultimate Edition which includes everything from the Special Edition plus some additional items for the game’s online mode.

The Ultimate Edition isn’t cheap, it’s $100, or $20 more than the Special Edition and $40 more than the standard version of the game. Spending the extra cash nets you these bonuses:

  • Bonus Outfits: Get two exclusive outfits for your online character. The Blackrose Bounty Hunter Outfit features a long oxblood-colored coat, a vest with gold pocket watch chain, and dark pants tucked into chocolate leather boots. The Copperhead Enforcer Outfit features a fur-lined saddle-brown leather waistcoat, two-tone gloves, and pinstripe black pants tucked into black leather boots.
  • Black Chestnut Thoroughbred: Outrun the competition with this thoroughbred racehorse in a striking black chestnut coat and also receive the exclusive High Plains Cutting Saddle beautifully crafted in jet-black leather with gold metal accents. This horse and saddle are available in online.
  • Free Access to the Survivor Camp Theme: Customize your own personal Camp in online with free access to the Survivor theme.
  • Free Access to Additional Weapons: Get access to the Volcanic Pistol, Pump Action Shotgun and Lancaster Varmint Rifle, free of charge from Gunsmiths in online.
  • Rank Bonuses: As a great start for all Ultimate Edition players, you can rank up faster in online, up to rank 25.

Who should buy the Red Dead Redemption 2 Ultimate Edition?

  • Anyone who plans to invest a ton of time in the game’s online mode.
  • People that enjoy having more than just the base items/skins unlocked at the start.
  • People who love customizing their characters.
  • Those who want a head start ranking up their online character.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Collector’s Box

Rockstar is also offering a Collector’s Box aimed at those who love the series and want some collectors items. The set is available at GameStop and the Rockstar Warehouse for $100 with a limit of one per customer. It’s unclear if other retailers like Best Buy or Amazon will sell it.

It’s important to note that the Collector’s Box doesn’t come with a copy of Red Dead Redemption 2. The game is sold separately which means you’ll need to spend $160 or more if you want the Collector’s items and the game.

The Red Dead Redemption 2 Collector’s Box is aimed at the most hardcore fans of the series.

The Collector’s Box is chock full of unique items and includes:

  • Metal Tithing Box with Lock & Key: Inspired by the lockbox used by the Van der Linde gang to stash contributions to the camp’s upkeep, this thick gauged metal box includes a lock & key, and features black metal band detailing and an engraved Cornwall Freight & Commodities plaque.
  • Collectable Challenge Coin: Featuring the majestic American Buffalo on one side and a scenic landscape on the other side, this engraved, gold-colored collectable coin comes in a magnetic presentation holder with a black, engraved plaque describing the history of this endangered species.
  • Double Sided Puzzle: This double-sided, 100-piece wooden jigsaw puzzle features an illustrated view of the bustling port of Saint Denis on one side, and a classically inspired Rockstar Games logo on the reverse.
  • Six Shooter Bandana: A staple for any frontier outlaw, this bandana features a traditional paisley-inspired pattern with hidden weapon iconography throughout.
  • Treasure Map: Printed on durable, unrippable paper, this exclusive treasure map reveals the location of some buried treasure that may start Arthur on a search for more riches hidden throughout the world of Red Dead Redemption 2.
  • Pin Set: This set of six individual pins includes representations of key weapons from Red Dead Redemption 2 including a shotgun, revolver and Dead Eye “X” marker. The set comes in a canvas carrying bag.
  • Playing Cards: Commemorate the outlaws of the Van der Linde gang with this fully illustrated deck of playing cards featuring key members of the gang including Arthur Morgan, John Marston, Javier Escuella, Bill Williamson and Dutch van der Linde.
  • Wheeler, Rawson and Co. Catalogue: The one-stop shop for everything from weapons to clothing, the Wheeler, Rawson and Co. Catalogue is an essential shopping tool for turn of the century life.  This complete 150-page book is a replica of the edition found in stores throughout Red Dead Redemption 2.
  • 12 Cigarette Cards: These beautifully-illustrated collectable cards can be found throughout the world of Red Dead Redemption 2. This physical collection includes one select card from each set like Famous Gunslingers and Outlaws, Stars of the Stage and Marvels of Travel and Locomotion.

Who should buy the Red Dead Redemption 2 Collector’s Box?

The box, in our opinion, is for one person in particular: The diehard Red Dead Redemption fan/collector given the fact that it doesn’t come with a copy of the game.

Digital vs. Physical

Red Dead Redemption 2 is sold in both digital and physical formats and there are some key differences between the two, particularly when it comes with pre-orders. Let’s start with digital pre-orders and why you might want to buy the game without a disc.

If you’re sick and tired of having discs clutter up your entertainment center or your shelves, you might want to go with the digital version to keep down on the clutter.

If you live in a house where discs sometimes get lost or damaged, either by your hard or someone else’s, you might want to go with the digital copy to avoid these issues.

There’s also the convenience factor. If you buy the game digitally, you can just fire up your console and select play. You don’t need to go into your sleeve of cases or boxes to find the disc each time you want to play.

Rockstar’s also offering a digital pre-order bonus that might sway you. If you pre-order a digital copy via the PlayStation Store or Xbox Store you get an additional reward:

  • Cash Bonus for Red Dead Redemption 2 Story Mode: The Van der Linde gang is always looking for ways to make more money and bring in new supplies. This in-game cash bonus will give Arthur Morgan enough to buy a weapon, some food, a handful of useful items and ammunition.

All digital pre-orders also come with an added bonus for GTA Online. If you’re still playing GTA Online, you’ll want to pre-order the digital version of the game.

Once you pre-order a digital copy you’ll get a bunch of case in your Maze Bank accounts in GTA Online:

  • Red Dead Redemption 2: Standard Edition Digital Pre-Order: $500,000
  • Red Dead Redemption 2: Special Edition Digital Pre-Order: $1,000,000
  • Red Dead Redemption 2: Ultimate Edition Digital Pre-Order: $2,000,000

If you buy a digital copy you’ll also be able to pre-load the game on your system ahead of time. This will allow you to start playing the game the second it goes live in November.

Rockstar is obviously pushing people to the digital version, but there are some reasons to consider buying a physical copy of the game.

If you go with a physical copy of Red Dead Redemption 2 you’ll be able to sell it to a store like GameStop for credit toward another game if you get tired of it. You’ll also be able to sell it for cash on a site like eBay or Craigslist.

On top of that, you’ll be able to easily lend your copy of Red Dead Redemption 2 out to friends or family members when you decide to move onto another game or if they want to try it before they buy.

Xbox vs. PS4

A long time ago, Rockstar mentioned some sort of “exclusive” for the PlayStation 4. Sony and Rockstar haven’t revealed the nature of the exclusive, but Sony says PS4 players will be able to play “select content first on PlayStation 4.” Details are coming soon.

5 Reasons to Pre-Order Red Dead Redemption 2 & 4 Reasons to Wait

Pre-Order If You Want to Play ASAP

Pre-Order If You Want to Play ASAP

If you loved the first Red Dead Redemption and you know you'll want to jump into new one as soon as humanly possible, you might want to just get it over with and put in a pre-order right now. 

Many of you have been waiting seven plus years for a new Red Dead Redemption to arrive. While Red Dead Redemption 2 won't feature the exact same locations and characters as the first game, it will be set in the same world with tons of missions to complete, places to see, animals to hunt, and so on. It'll also include some familiar faces. 

Rockstar's long development cycles are hard to sit through, but the payoff is almost always worth it and there's a very good chance Red Dead Redemption 2 will be worth the long wait. 

The game will feature an extensive single-player campaign and it'll also feature a massive online component that will likely mirror Grand Theft Auto 5 Online. 

The developer says the game's "vast and atmospheric world" will provide "the foundation for a brand new online multiplayer experience." 

If you think you might want to start ranking up your character and banking cash the second Red Dead Redemption 2 Online goes live, think about putting in a pre-order. 

If you pre-order a digital copy you should be able to pre-load the game and start playing right at Midnight Eastern on release day.

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