Jump to content

Horse Racing Tips and Suggestions


Recommended Posts

I have raced in RDR2 since the beta first offered it, and over the past year, I have had the opportunity to make many elite racing friends. I wanted to share some horse racing tips I have learned.  They are all relevant to RDR2; however, the buttons are PS4 specific. Please translate to your platform as appropriate.

  • When a race starts, get a boost by timing pressing forward and tapping X when the countdown ends. Continue to tap X often throughout the race and lean forward by pushing up on the stick in the direction of travel. 
  • Refresh your horse stamina often throughout the race by pressing in L3. It is the equivalent of patting your horse (or giving praise) and costs nothing. I do this and can avoid using stamina barrels for the entire race.
  • In target races, shoot the targets from as far back as possible. If you die, you will spawn beyond that target. I have actually got some of my fastest races times after dying due to this feature.
  • Always take turns sharply and as close to the flag as possible to minimize the distance to the next checkpoint. With that said, be wary of taking turns in a large group of riders to avoid getting trampled or tripping over a major pileup.  
  • Just as in GTA, you go faster if you follow in a leader's "wake". Use this technique to pass the leader and win a race near the finish line. If you have a friend, alternate being in each other's wake, continually passing each other to achieve a faster speed than possible racing solo. 
  • Look for shortcuts wherever possible, ride straight to the next target or checkpoint, leaving the road, if needed, to trim off a few seconds. I know several timesavers that I would like to share, but they are difficult to textually describe. I have learned the hard way that I cannot share my YouTube tutorial videos on this forum, and I appreciate the clarification by @Kean_1 
  • There are optimal patterns for all the Open and Target races. Get into a lobby that has experienced players that are winning and follow them to learn the patterns. All are welcome to join me to learn my patterns. PM for an invite. 
  • Pick up all guns, even if you do not plan on using them. If you skip them, chances are someone else will pick them up and may use them on you. I have heard others proclaim they race slower when brandishing a weapon. Consider holstering your gun if you do not need it right away. 
  • Dynamite can be especially useful to dissuade racers who are attacking you. If close behind, throw it ahead of you and run around it. If they are a bit further back, throw the stick to your feet.
  • In my opinion, the best racing horse is the Norfolk Roadster (Moonshiner horse) with a fully upgraded Nacogdoches saddle. While horses are supposedly made equal in racing, I have proven, with over a thousand 1st place wins, that the Roadster and Trotter are clearly better for racing. The caveat is that a few races like Spider Gorge may be better suited for a tough horse like the Arabian.
  • Clothes do not make you race faster, but a snazzy outfit is never a bad thing. 
  • Ability cards for horse racing are somewhat subjective; however, I have two setups I would like to share:
  1. Offensive: Paint it Black, Horseman, Never without One, Live for the Fight (or Eye for an Eye)
  2. Defensive: Slippery Bastard, The Unblinking Eye, Never without One, Friends for Life

Interested in seeing how your race time compares to others? While there is no leaderboard yet for RDR2, these are currently my best times for completed races:

Lap Race - Saint Denis Plantation 2:40:58

Lap Race - Saint Denis Streets 2:45:51

Open Race - Blackwater 1:18:12

Open Race - Rhodes 2:18:21

Open Race - Saint Denis 2:00:92

Open Race - Tumbleweed 2:01:15

Open Race - Valentine 1:29:07

Point to Point - Bards Crossing 3:19:29

Point to Point - Fort Wallace 3:09:88

Point to Point - Pikes Basin 2:54:74

Target Race - Blackwater 2:42:82

Target Race - Caliban's Seat 1:51:08

Target Race - Cholla Springs Farm 2:19:37

Target Race - Emerald Ranch 2:16:39

Target Race - Lake Isabella 2:06:45

Target Race - Little Creek River 3:10:34

Target Race - Saint Denis Bridges 2:55:07

Target Race - Sisiska 1:28:61

Target Race - Spider Gorge 2:46:08

Target Race - Tumbleweed 3:47:45

I recently discovered this great forum, and I am looking forward to contributing so much more. I truly love playing this game and highly encourage others to try the racing mode.  

Thanks for reading my post. 


P.S. I have a long wish list for Rockstar concerning horse racing updates. At the top of said list is to have a Race Creator similar to GTA. What racing ideas would you like to see Rockstar implement?

Edited by Phadez
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...