Hunting in Red Dead Redemption 2 and Red Dead Online is one of the side activities you can do more during the course of the game and it allows you to obtain items that can be used for cooking and crafting. These items can also be sold for a decent price, so hunting is also a very good activity to get involved with if you're looking to make money, even more so in the online mode where money is more scarce.
While killing animals is the basis of hunting, the way you do it influences the quality of the pelts and skins that can be obtained from their carcasses. Getting Perfect Pelts and Skins can be tricky if you don't know what you are doing.
In this guide, we will cover all there is to know about Perfect Pelts and how to increase the chances of getting them in both story mode and online mode.
Perfect Pelts and Skins Overview
Pelts in Red Dead Redemption 2 and Red Dead Online are divided into three different types, depending on their quality: Poor, Good and Perfect. Perfect Pelts require animals to be killed with what is known a Perfect Kill, which can be only performed with the appropriate weapon and with shots to the animal's weak points, like the head, heart and so on. Not all animals encountered on the field can yield Perfect Pelts and Skins, so you need to know how to pick the right target.
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All animals in Red Dead Redemption 2 and Red Dead Online can be studied by pressing the L2 button on PlayStation 4,the Left Trigger on Xbox One and by holding RMB, pressing down and holding Q on PC. While studying animals, you will see the animal's name in the left corner of the screen, together with its rating. Only three-star animals can yield perfect pelts or skins, if a perfect kill is performed.
If an animal is too far to be studied, you can also do so with your binoculars, which can be accessed easily from the Item Wheel.
In case you cannot get close enough to animals because they are running away your scent is likely getting carried to them. You can either activate Eagle Eye to see the direction of the wind and change your position appropriately or you can just use a "Cover Scent" lotion.
How To Get A Perfect Kill
Performing perfect kills on three-star animals will allow you to harvest perfect pelts and skins, and in order to make one, you need to use the correct weapon, as the pelt and skin quality will degrade if you kill the animal with multiple shots.
As a general rule, you need to use the bow on small animals, rifles on medium and big animals, and the Varmint Rifle for all varmints like rabbits, raccoons, beavers and so on. The Compendium provides information on the correct weapon to use to get a perfect pelt or skin, so you can always check which weapon to use before starting your actual hunting.
Even if you use the correct weapon, you need to be as accurate and deadly as possible. For this, use of Dead Eye is recommended to get headshots. After a certain point in the story, Dead Eye will be upgraded and weak spots will be highlighted when aiming. As some of the biggest animals in the game have thick skulls and single headshots are not enough to kill them, you will need to aim at other weak points such as the heart.
Positioning is also extremely important to get perfect kills. Make sure to always stay on high ground so you have a better view at the animal you're hunting. Also, face to the animal's side as it makes it easier to get headshots. Never stay behind, as your view will be extremely limited, nor in the front, as the animal may see you and get away, or even try to attack you if it's a predator.
If you're looking to make things a bit more challenging, you can also use the lasso to get perfect kills. Just use it as you would on a human to wrangle the animal and then get close to kill it with your hunting knife. The lasso doesn't work on small animals, and the danger is greater than regular hunting, but if you're having trouble hunting the traditional way, using the lasso may be helpful.
Increase Your Chances
In Red Dead Redemption 2 story mode there is a way to increase your chances of getting perfect pelts and skins even with less-than-optimal kills. All you need to do is get the Buck Antler Trinket, which can be purchased from any fence after obtaining the Legendary Buck Antler. The item can be obtained by hunting the Legendary Buck, which is found in an area to the south of the "B" in Big Valley on the map.