RDR2 Weapon Upgrade & Customization Guide (Story & Online)

Both Red Dead Redemption 2 and Red Dead Online feature a vast selection of weapons. These weapons are divided into different types, and each can be useful in select situations, depending on their stats.

Weapon Customization

Not counting melee weapons, players have the ability to customize all of their firearms, increasing some of their stats and altering their appearance. Thanks to this robust customization system, no player will have the same weapon, if they choose to take advantage of the various options.

In this guide, we will take a good look at the weapon customization system in RDR2, detailing everything there is to know about it.

Weapon Customization Overview

Weapon customization in Red Dead Redemption 2 story mode and Red Dead Online allows players to improve their firearms and change their appearance.

Weapon Customization

All of the game's guns come with 6 different stats, which can be checked while accessing the Weapon Wheel or the Compendium - Damage, Range - Fire Rate, Reload, Accuracy, and Familiarity. There a seventh stat, called Condition, whose bar must always be full in order for the weapon to be at its peak performance.

While there's no way to improve the Condition stat, there's a specific upgrade which slows down degradation, allowing players to use the weapon more without having to clean it often (see "Wraps" below).

How to Customize Weapons

Weapon customization in the story mode and in Red Dead Online can only be initiated by Gunsmiths. Only clean weapons in the best possible condition can be customized, but thankfully the gunsmiths themselves can take care of maintenance, so you don't have to do it yourself with Gun Oil. Cleaning is also very cheap, so just let the shopkeepers do their thing.

Once the weapon is clean, you can select Customize when interacting with any gunsmith and you will have the option of either improving its stats by changing specific parts, or altering the weapon's appearance with some cosmetic upgrades. It doesn't matter if you have the weapon you want to customize with you, as even those stored on your horse will be available for customization.

Customization costs money, obviously, and the price of an upgrade will depend on the upgrade itself: the more it enhances the weapon, the more it will cost.

Not all weapons in Red Dead Redemption 2 and Red Dead Online can be customized. Unique weapons, as the ones obtained during  "The Noblest of Men, and a Woman" stranger mission cannot be customized in any way.

Barrels, Sights, and Scopes

Once inside the Customization menu, you can choose to change some of the weapon's components.

The available components change depending on the weapon type: revolvers and pistols can have their grip, barrel and rifling changed, while shotguns, carbines, and rifles can have their barrel, iron sights, scope, stock and wrap changed. Despite being a sidearm, the Sawed-Off Shotgun differs from the other weapons of the same category, as it's possible to change only its iron sights, stock and wrap.

The different components can only improve each weapon's range and accuracy. Barrels and iron sights improve accuracy, while scopes and new riflings improve range. Scopes also allow for precision aiming for weapons that don't have the feature in their non-upgraded form.

Weapon Customization

Wraps are rather unique, as far as components go, as they bring no tangible performance improvement. They are extremely helpful, however, as they slow down weapon degradation once equipped. Only rifles, carbines and shotguns can be wrapped.

Before purchasing any upgrade, it's possible to see how much it enhances the weapon's performance in the menu.

Parts that have been purchased will also not be lost, as it will be possible to switch back to them in the Customization menu without having to spend more money.

Cosmetic Upgrades

Plenty of cosmetic upgrades are also available. These upgrades are divided into metals, engravings, carvings, leather, and varnish, and each category features many different options that allow players to make each gun's appearance unique.

You can add engravings to several parts of the weapon and even decide on the inlay metal for the engravings itself. Metal allows players to change the look and color of the metal parts of the weapon, affecting trigger, barrel, and magazine. Leather, which is only available for weapons that have the wrap component installed, allows players to choose the color of the wrap itself.

Unlike the previous upgrades, however, purchased cosmetic upgrades are not yours to keep once purchased, so think carefully about how you want to alter your gun to avoid spending too much money.

Logan Smith

Logan is probably the most knowledgable Red Dead Redemption 2 and Red Dead Online writer we have onboard, having authored the vast majority of all the guides you'll find here at RDR2.org. Having written those hundreds of thousands of words Logan still drops in and makes the odd tweak or update, but is otherwise eagerly awaiting the next massive gameplay updates from Rockstar. Connect with Logan on Twitter.