If you've pre-ordered Red Dead Redemption 2 or one of its special editions and your legendary horses are disappearing, you're not alone.
A now widely-reported issue can sometimes cause the pre-order and special edition horses to be lost permanently if they die once. While the disappearances are haphazard and sometimes caused by the game mechanics, it is clear that something is wrong.
Red Dead Redemption 2's religious adherence to realism above all else (well, except cheats) seems like it sometimes gets in the way of convenience or even logic. If you think about it, just about everything in real life is an absolute chore, and when players sit down to play, they want to do something fun. Realism for the sake of immersion can be impressive, but with the horse system, Rockstar may have pushed things a bit too far.
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The way horse revival and stables work are fairly convoluted and not well explained in-game. Due to the resulting confusion among players, it is hard to accurately identify a bug since it's possible the player reporting a missing horse just doesn't know how the game works.
As a thread on our forums began to get longer and longer however, it became clear that there is indeed a bug affecting the Thoroughbred and the Ardennes War Horse.
See, when a horse dies, the breed itself isn't stricken off your list. If you "buy a horse" or tame one, it's more like buying a permanent subscription to that horse breed.
If you have saddled a White Arabian, you now have an endless supply of White Arabians in the stables should the one you are riding die. When you replace a dead horse, the bonding starts again from scratch, but that's the only penalty - you don't need to re-purchase the horse.
However, your horse "library" isn't universal across stables. Each specific stable only has the starting horse and whatever horse you've stabled in that particular stable. If you stabled your White Arabian at Valentine, and your horse dies, going to a stable in Rhodes won't get you your replacement White Arabian.
Thing is that a bug appears to have swept through Red Dead Redemption 2 on both platforms, according to player accounts, whereby the Thoroughbred and War Horse can't be replaced anywhere after they die. They're not listed at any stable, even those where they may have been stored. If the horse is replaced by a scripted mission segment, the same thing happens - it's gone for good.
Now, a few of these disappearing horse reports do indeed come from players who don't know to look in the specific stable where they stored their horse. But, these are joined by a number of reports from players who do understand the mechanics, so it being caused by a bug would appear to have some credibility.
Players have reported the issue to Rockstar Support, but there has yet to be a clear statement or acknowledgment of the issue.
This bug joins the rather high-profile blurring issue on PS4 Pro.