The Honor System is a gameplay mechanic designed to make the game world respond to player actions, rewarding or punishing certain types of behavior.
Red Dead Redemption
In Red Dead Redemption the honor system is dichotomous, and the player can either become "Honorable" or "Outlaw" by performing certain types of actions. In return, the player is rewarded with discounts and bonuses with the types of NPCs associated with the current Honor status. As such, an Honorable stance will provide better pay with bounty hunts and jobs and better discounts with merchants. However, the Outlaw stance will offer discounts on Thieves Landing, a crime-ridden town, and common NPCs will fear and ignore crimes lesser than murder.
Red Dead Redemption 2
The Honor system in Red Dead Redemption 2 is much more complicated than its predecessor. Although Arthur Morgan, right for the start, is skewed to the dishonorable side, as he is a member of the Van der Linde Gang, there are specific actions he can perform to boost his honor. This system is represented by a slider that is divided between a white and red side, representing honorable and dishonorable status respectively.
Similarly to the first game, certain honor status will provide different gameplay experiences. Being honorable will make NPCs behave in a much more friendlier and more lenient manner towards you, helping you in different ways, such as giving you discounts or looking the other way for minor crimes.
Alternatively, being an absolute outlaw will make NPCs act much more aggressively towards you as they will report your crimes faster, law enforcement will be more oppressive, and the "Wanted" level will be more severe, which can even disable mission for a certain period.
However, the more remarkable improvement over Red Dead's honor system is the fluidity and subtleness in which Arthur's honor will affect gameplay. The honor will reflect in seemingly minor things such as the soundtrack, the journal entries or the kill cams, increasing player immersion.
There are several ways in which you can increase Arthur's Honor, such as:
- Greeting People/Petting Dogs
- Throwing Fish Back in the Water
- Donating At Tithing Box of the base camp
- Paying off your Bounties
- Surrendering To Lawmen
- Completing Bounty Hunts
- Helping people on random Encounters
- Completing Camp Activities
- Killing Rats
- Not Killing or Harming NPCs
- Showing Mercy
- Completing Daily Missions
- Completing Main Missions
Increasing your honor will give certain perks based on your rank. These are:
- Rank 1 – Better loot from corpses. Increase drop rate for jewelry, food, and tonics.
- Rank 2 – 10% discounts in all stores.
- Rank 3 – New outfits.
- Rank 4 – Access to the optional mission “Do not Seek Absolution” in chapter 6.
- Rank 5 – 25% discounts in all stores.
- Rank 6 – New outfits.
- Rank 7 – 50% discounts in all stores.
- Rank 8 – Most Honorable outlaw.