A big chunk of the experience of Red Dead Redemption 2 is crossing the wide-open spaces of the Wild West on horseback. The world is huge, and while there are a lot of things to do along the way no matter where you’re headed, getting anywhere is going to take time. That’s not always a bad thing; the world of RDR2 is beautiful, and it’s kind of nice to just sit on your horse and take it all in.
You can further lessen the tedium of travel in Red Dead Redemption 2 by letting your horse take the lead when you ride. The game includes a feature that lets you set your horse to automatically take you to a destination by sticking to trails and roadways. Your horse is pretty smart, and once you’ve given it the right instructions, it can be trusted to do the traveling–you just need to pay attention to any events happening on the side of the road that you might want to check out, and to watch for any bandits who might try to get the drop on you.
In order to set your horse to autopilot, you first need to define where you want the horse to go. Do that by pulling open your map and setting a waypoint marker at your destination. The game then lays out the route to your location by way of trails, like a GPS would. That’s the path your horse will follow to your destination.
When you mount up, start riding your horse like normal, and press the button to spur it (X on PlayStation, A on Xbox One) until you get up to the speed at which you want to travel. Once you’re going fast enough, hold down the spur button to maintain your horse’s speed, same as when you’re matching speed with a companion during a mission.
While you’re holding the spur button, press and hold the button to switch camera perspectives (the trackpad on PS4, View on Xbox). You’ll see a small meter filling in the corner of the screen marked Cinematic Camera. Once that activates, your horse will follow the trails to your final destination with no further input from you. In fact, you can lay the camera down and watch as the camera swings around to give you different perspectives on Arthur’s ride and the world around him.
Once you’re going, you can tap the spur button again in time with your horse’s gallop to speed it up, and touch the slow button (R1 on PS4, RB on Xbox) to reduce your horse’s speed without canceling its autopilot. Pressing in the right Analog Stick switches the camera to a new angle, should you not like the one the game picks for you. You can take back control just by touching the control sticks, and you can switch the camera back to normal by tapping the camera button again.
The Cinematic Camera trick is nice when you’ve got a long trip and you don’t want to bother steering your horse around every tiny curve in the trail, but it has some drawbacks. For one thing, you won’t be able to quickly see things on the side of the road until you turn off the Cinematic Camera, should you happen to ride past an optional activity. You’ll also be a bit vulnerable if you’re letting the horse do the driving, should bandits, outlaws, or lawmen attack you while you ride.
Generally, though, letting your horse take the reigns is a nice way to relax as you get around Red Dead Redemption 2 and enjoy the scenery. Just be sure to keep your revolver handy–just in case.