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Red Dead Redemption mission order

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So now that we've got a Red Dead section, I figured I'd give my mission order for RDR its own thread, especially since I've seen people looking for one. This may not be perfect (I've only played through in this order once, so I may have missed some stuff), but it's probably the closest thing there is to a "Possible Trinity" for this game, as I couldn't find one online so just decided to do my own.


Here's the whole post copy/pasted. Also, for any newcomers, please note that there are spoilers, so check the spoilered sections at your own risk.


So last year (2015) I played through GTA IV and V in the Possible Trinity orders, and it worked out amazingly well, and is pretty much the only order I'll play the missions in now. But I always wanted one for Red Dead Redemption. I did find one elsewhere, but when I started on it, I found some problems with it and some stuff didn't make sense. So I just decided to make my own during my third playthrough of the game. It worked out great for me, and I figured I'd share it. Now there may be some stuff I missed that someone else may pick up on, so I'm open to any suggestions. I'll go ahead and post the mission listing, along with my reasoning for the order.


I also have to give some serious credit to the guys behind the IV and V Possible Trinities, not only for being the main influence for my RDR order, but because doing one of these things really drove home how much care and attention to detail it can take. Though oddly, in RDR's case, it actually got progressively easier as the game went on. The New Austin portion is the most complex in terms of mission lines going on, but by the time you get to West Elizabeth, it's become pretty simple, with fewer mission givers per chapter. Still fun though.

Enough of my rambling, here it is:


The map marker initials for each mission-giver are:

B – Bonnie MacFarlane

M – Marshal Leigh Johnson

W – Nigel West Dickens

S – Seth

I – Irish

D – Vicente De Santa

LR – Landon Ricketts

L – Luisa Fortuna

R – Abraham Reyes

G – Agent Edgar Ross (as in, G-man)

Mc – Professor Harold MacDougal

A – Abigail Marston

J – Jack Marston

U - Uncle


Chapter 1: Born Unto Trouble
1. Exodus in America
2. (B) New Friends, Old Problems
3. (B) Obstacles in Our Path
4. (B) This is Armadillo, USA
5. (M) Political Realities in Armadillo
6. (M) Justice in Pike’s basin
7. (W) Old Swindler blues
8. (B) Women and Cattle
9. (B) Wild Horses, Tamed Passions
10. (B) A Tempest Looms
11. (W) You Shall Not Give False Testimony, Except for Profit
12. (S) Exhuming and Other Fine Hobbies
13. (M) Spare the Rod, Spoil the Bandit
14. (B) The Burning
15. (W) Liars, Cheats, and Other Proud Americans
16. (I) A Frenchman, a Welshman, and an Irishman
17. (I) A Man Is Born Unto Trouble
18. (M) The Hanging of Bonnie MacFarlane
19. (W) Can a Swindler Change His Spots?
20. (S) A Gentle Drive With Friends
21. (I) On Shaky’s Ground
22. (S) Let the Dead Bury Their Dead
23. (W) The Sport of Kings, and Liars
24. (M) The Assault on Fort Mercer
25. (I) We Shall Be Together in Paradise


* Despite the game encouraging you to go see the Marshal in Armadillo, I put “This is Armadillo, USA” before “Political Realities in Armadillo”, since IMO John telling Bonnie that hasn’t risked his life since they last spoke makes more sense if he hasn’t accompanied Marshal Johnson in a shootout with the Walton gang. Plus “This is Armadillo, USA” serves as John’s proper introduction to the town, it makes sense that he’d get to know the place a bit and purchase some supplies before starting his mission proper and going to see the Marshal.

* At least “Political Realities in Armadillo” should done before “Women and Cattle”, since Bonnie will mention that she talked with Marshal Johnson and he told her about John, which makes no sense if John and Johnson haven’t met yet. I do “Political Realities in Armadillo” and “Justice in Pike’s Basin” more or less back-to-back. My reason for this is just below.

* At the end of “Political Realities in Armadillo” Johnson asks John to come see him again next time he’s in town, and it makes sense that John would want to get close to Bill Williamson as soon as possible, so I went hunting a bit to earn money for the Armadillo safehouse and then rested before doing “Justice in Pike’s Basin” bright and early the next morning.

* “Old Swindler Blues” comes up next since John has Johnson’s and Eli’s comments about the missing West Dickens fresh in his mind and goes looking for him.

* While he’s waiting for West Dickens to heal up at the doctor’s office, John has very little to do so he goes back to MacFarlane Ranch and spends a couple days there, helping Bonnie and her father out (“Women and Cattle”, “Wild Horses, Tamed Passions” and “A Tempest Looms”)

* At the end of “Wild Horses, Tamed Passions”, John is close to Armadillo and the next Nigel West Dickens mission is available, so he COULD go check with West Dickens. But I prefer to go ahead and do “A Tempest Looms” and finish up the current chain of Bonnie missions. Plus, in my playthrough, after dropping off West Dickens I went and rested until the next day and did “Women and Cattle” and “Wild Horses, Tamed Passions” both in that day, so IMO it seems odd that West Dickens would be up on his feet and in tip-top shape after he was at death’s door just the previous day and could barely walk.

* One more thing about “A Tempest Looms”, it takes place during a dark and stormy night, so it makes more sense to do it later in the day and (if you’re really anal) at least cloudy.

* With Bonnie taken care of for the time being, John heads back to Armadillo to check on West Dickens. The West Dickens mission “You Shall Not Give False Testimony, Except For Profit” is done next as Marshal Johnson will mention in “Spare the Rod, Spoil the Bandit” that he heard John had caught up with West Dickens, which doesn’t make much sense if John only took him to the doctor’s office.

* “Exhuming and Other Fine Hobbies” is done next, per West Dickens’ suggestion.

* Now that he’s made contact with both West Dickens and Seth, John checks in on Marshal Johnson (“Spare the Rod, Spoil the Bandit”). (I was going to put this mission and the following Bonnie and Marshal Johnson missions off (which IMO should be done with some urgency, which I’ll explain later) until after West Dickens, Irish and Seth had been taken care of, but John’s dialogue in “Hanging Bonnie MacFarlane” suggests that he’s never been to Tumbleweed before, which doesn’t fit if he’s already been there with Seth in “A Gentle Drive with Friends” and “Let the Dead Bury Their Dead”.)

* With that out of the way, John returns to MacFarlane Ranch to check on Bonnie and Drew (“The Burning”), finishing up the Bonnie missions.

* On the way back from MacFarlane Ranch, John sees the Mysterious Stranger on the cliff, so he goes and speaks to him. The first “I Know You” mission is done next.

* With all that out of the way, John returns to West Dickens to further discuss their plan (“Liars, Cheats, and Other Proud Americans”).

* At the end of “Liars, Cheats, and Other Proud Americans” West Dickens gives John another lead in Irish, so John goes to Armadillo to find him (“A Frenchman, a Welshman, and an Irishman”).

* Irish’s next mission “A Man is Born Unto Trouble” is done next since John found out at the end of “A Frenchman, a Welshman and an Irishman” that the gun wasn’t in the cabin like Irish told him, so he immediately goes to confront him.

* Next, John goes to Armadillo and checks with Marshal Johnson (“Hanging Bonnie MacFarlane”). The reason I’m doing this mission now is because in the mission, Williamson’s men kidnap Bonnie in exchange for Norman Deeks, who was captured at the end of “Spare the Rod, Spoil the Bandit”. I feel this is a good placement for this mission; not too late because Williamson would obviously be in a hurry to bust Deeks out of jail, and not too soon because they’d need at least a little time to come up with a plan, kidnap Bonnie (and probably have to wait for an opportune moment to do so), etc. Also, doing it too soon after “The Burning” doesn’t fit because Drew says that he hasn’t seen Bonnie “since yesterday afternoon”, which makes no sense if at least an in-game day hasn’t passed between these two missions.

* “Can A Swindler Change His Spots?” comes next.

* “A Gentle Drive With Friends” is done next. Seth mentions that he spoke to West Dickens and WD told him that the machine gun doesn’t have any ammo, and John says that he needs to go speak with Irish again.

* It’s tempting to just do “Let The Dead Bury Their Dead” next, but in the cutscene, the way John and Seth act towards each other doesn’t really make sense if they’ve just ridden into Tumbleweed together. And as mentioned, John said that he needed to go see Irish, so “On Shaky’s Ground” comes next.

* With the Irish missions taken care of for now, John goes back to Tumbleweed and checks on Seth (“Let The Dead Bury Their Dead”).

* The rest is really straightforward. You go speak to West Dickens to take care of his last mission (“The Sport of Kings, and Liars”), then you finally do “The Assault on Fort Mercer”, followed by “We Shall Be Together In Paradise” as nothing else is available.


Chapter 2: Mexican Revolution
26. (LR) The Gunslinger’s Tragedy
27. (D) Civilization, At Any Price
28. (D) The Demon Drink
29. (LR) Landon Ricketts Rides Again
30. (D) Empty Promises
31. (LR) Lucky in Love
32. (L) My Sister’s Keeper
33. (D) Mexican Caesar
34. (LR) The Mexican wagon train
35. (L) Must a Savior Die?
36. (D) Cowards Die Many Times
37. ( R ) The Great Mexican Train Robbery
38. (L) Father Abraham
39. (L) Captain De Santa’s Downfall
40. ( R ) The Gates of El Presidio
41. ( R ) An Appointed Time


* This chapter’s a little more flexible, though it still has some missions that were clearly meant to be done after others. The one Stranger mission you need to worry about here is the next iteration of “I Know You”, which can be done at any time.

* I put “The Gunslinger’s Tragedy” first because not only does it serve as the perfect proper introduction to Mexico for John, but you unlock Dead Eye 3 and the Schofield Revolver as early as possible. It also happens to be the closest to where you arrive in Mexico.

* After meeting Ricketts, John goes to see the other lead Irish brought up (“Civilization at Any Price”).

* I do “The Demon Drink” before “Landon Ricketts Rides Again”, because in the latter mission Landon brings up Allende’s “recruitment” of women, and John says “So I heard”. IMO this line carries a bit more weight if he’s met Allende in the flesh.

* I do “Empty Promises” after “Landon Ricketts Rides Again”. I switch between the Mexican Army and the Rebel missions to further sell John playing both sides.

* I do “Lucky In Love” next, but that mission can really be done whenever you like as it has no bearing on the Mexican Army/Rebel plotlines.

* Now John goes to see the Luisa girl he and Landon saved a few missions ago (“My Sister’s Keeper”). This can be put off till later, but it’s best to do a rebel mission before “The Mexican Wagon Train” because of Landon’s comment about John “playing both sides”.

* “Mexican Caesar” comes next, followed by “The Mexican Wagon Train”, finishing off the Landon missions.

* “Must a Savior Die?” comes next, as Landon suggested that John go see Luisa at the end of the last mission.

* Now the final De Santa mission, “Cowards Die Many Times” is unlocked, so that comes next.

* “The Great Mexican Train Robbery” comes next as John would want to go see this rebel leader who saved his bacon, and would likely have the info he needs.

* I do the final two Luisa missions, “Father Abraham” and “Captain De Santa’s Downfall”, back to back. It makes the most sense to do “Captain De Santa’s Downfall” immediately before “The Gates of El Presidio”, because in that mission Reyes mentions De Santa’s demise, which is odd if you’ve done “The Great Mexican Train Robbery” between “Captain De Santa’s Downfall” and “The Gates of El Presidio”.

* The rest is very straightforward, just do “The Gates of El Presidio” and “An Appointed Time” back to back as nothing else is available.



Chapter 3: The Outlaw's Return
42. (G) Bear One Another’s Burdens
43. (MC) At Home With Dutch
44. (G) Great Men Are Not Always Wise
45. (MC) For Purely Scientific Purposes
46. (MC) The Prodigal Son Returns (to Yale)
47. (G) And You Will Know The Truth
48. (G) And The Truth Will Set You Free


* This chapter’s really straightforward. Despite its significance storywise, there’s not a whole lot going on in terms of plot threads, with only seven missions and two mission givers (Edgar Ross and Prof. MacDougal) that both work towards the same goal.

* There is a Stranger mission here that makes the most sense if done before “The Last Enemy That Shall Be Destroyed” – “American Lobbyist”. It has nothing to do with the main plot, but it does heavily feature Governor Nate Johns. If you do this after “The Last Enemy That Shall Be Destroyed”, where the game takes a time skip to 1914, you can buy a newspaper with an article revealing that Johns was booted from his position for shady practices (such as blackmail, which you participate in with “American Lobbyist”) and is vacationing far from West Elizabeth. But again, this has no bearing on the main story, so do it whenever you like before “The Last Enemy That Shall Be Destroyed”. (The final “I Know You” mission also opens up, but I prefer to do that in the homestead chapter.)

* “Bear One Another’s Burdens” is done immediately since there’s nothing else available, and Ross and Fordham told John to meet them in Blackwater ASAP after dealing with Williamson.

* “At Home With Dutch” is done next as at the end of the previous mission, Ross told John to help MacDougal with the local native problem. However, doing this immediately after the previous mission doesn’t make sense as it feels odd for Nastas to be well and on his feet right after having to be carried from the Serendipity, so I’d go start the “American Lobbyist” Stranger mission line, get acquainted with West Elizabeth, buy some new equipment, and/or just explore to pass at least a day.

* “Great Men Are Not Always Wise” comes next as John would likely go to Ross and Fordham and tell them what he saw. Furthermore, Ross mentions that their informant told them Dutch was planning to stick up the bank. We can only assume that informant is Nastas, so this makes little sense if done after “For Purely Scientific Purposes” where Nastas dies.

* Really straight-forward from here. With the Ross missions taken care of for now, just do the next two MacDougal missions (“For Purely Scientific Purposes” and “The Prodigal Son Returns (to Yale)”) as there’s nothing else available. Then do the newly unlocked Ross mission “You Will Know The Truth”, which leads right into “And The Truth Shall Set You Free”.



Chapter 4: Unforgiven
49. (A) The Outlaw’s Return
50. (A) Pestilence
51. (J) John Marston and Son
52. (U) By Sweat and Toil
53. (U) A Continual Feast
54. (J) Wolves, Dogs, and Sons
55. (J) Spare the Love, Spoil the Child
56. (A) Old Friends, New Problems
57. (J) The Last Enemy That Shall Be Destroyed
58. (J) Remember My Family




* The final chapter is pretty straight-forward, as well as flexible. John returns home after “And The Truth Shall Set You Free”, triggering “The Outlaw’s Return”.

* Now you can largely play through the rest of the Homestead missions in any order you like; the order I posted is just the way I did them. That said, I think at least one other mission should be done between “Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child” and “The Last Enemy That Shall Be Destroyed”. At the end of the former mission, Jack gets messed up pretty badly by a grizzly, and at the start of the latter mission, he’s healed up, which needless to say is pretty nonsensical if they’re done back-to-back, especially on the same day. So I do “New Friends, Old Problems” between those two missions. Furthermore, “New Friends, Old Problems” is even more bittersweet if it’s done right before “The Last Enemy that Shall Be Destroyed”.

* When you’re ready, do “The Last Enemy That Shall Be Destroyed”. Then all that’s left storywise is to do the stranger mission line “Remember My Family” and send Ross straight to Hell.




I didn’t bother trying to place most of the Stranger Missions. None of them have any connection whatsoever to the story, with two exceptions:

* The “I Know You” missions, since they reference John’s past and must be done before “The Last Enemy That Shall Be Destroyed”

* “American Lobbyist”, which I went over in the West Elizabeth portion.


Therefore, the other Stranger missions can be done at your leisure. I personally prefer to save a bunch of them for after “The Last Enemy That Shall Be Destroyed” so


Jack has more to do than just find and kill Ross.



Hope this helps. :) Again, I've only played through this way once, so it may not be perfect, so I'm open for suggestions and corrections by anybody.

Edited by BenMitchell90

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Cool list. I wanna play RDR so bad right now... It was so satisfying to do all the strangers' missions, the hunting/outfit challenges and so on.



Edited by Noclue_42

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Hey thanks, that's awesome! Hope it works out well for you :)

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Just doing the last few missions now, and I think it worked really well! Good effort man, thanks heaps :)

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I know this is a pretty old topic, but I suppose it's worth noting for those that still want to use this. It might be better to do the last W. Dickens mission before the last of Seth and Irish.

Reason for this is, Dickens actually says "when Seth and Irish have furnished their side of the bargain". I take it to mean that they still have missions to do, I guess. :p

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On 5/22/2018 at 5:38 PM, thc_404 said:

I know this is a pretty old topic, but I suppose it's worth noting for those that still want to use this. It might be better to do the last W. Dickens mission before the last of Seth and Irish.

Reason for this is, Dickens actually says "when Seth and Irish have furnished their side of the bargain". I take it to mean that they still have missions to do, I guess. :p

Aye, that could work too, thanks for the suggestion. It's been so long since I've made this that I don't really remember why I held off on doing that one until last, so I doubt there was a concrete reason.

With RDR II on the horizon, I'll undoubtedly be hankering to play through the first game again (likely right after II, since that's a prequel), so I'll give my mission order another spin whenever I do and see how well it holds up. I'll definitely drop back in and change some stuff if I find something that doesn't seem right, or if there could be an even better order for certain missions. :)

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Replayed it a few weeks ago with your list, well, up until the start of mexico at least. Caught it and thought I'd add it, for posterity's sake.

For the rest, I hope you do another one for RDR II, you got my vote! :]

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17 hours ago, thc_404 said:

Replayed it a few weeks ago with your list, well, up until the start of mexico at least. Caught it and thought I'd add it, for posterity's sake.

For the rest, I hope you do another one for RDR II, you got my vote! :]

Thanks! :) I might just do that! Thinking my first playthrough will just be taking the game in, and my second will be putting together a mission order. We'll see.

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6 hours ago, BenMitchell90 said:

Thanks! :) I might just do that! Thinking my first playthrough will just be taking the game in, and my second will be putting together a mission order. We'll see.

Of course, It would be crazy if you started obsessing over the little details at the start. Got the years after to worry about that... ;P

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Van Nelle

Doesn't completing "The hanging of Bonnie MacFarlane" before "The Sport of Kings, and Liars" make this annoying thing happen where you always get prompt to buy old newspaper at the newspaper stand, but you actually can't buy it?


Because second edition of the newspaper is unlocked after last West Dickens mission, and third after "The hanging of Bonnie MacFarlane". Which is why I always complete them in that order.

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Mysterious hero

I found problems with your list:

1: You put "Liars, Cheats, and other proud Americans" after "Spare The Rod, Spoil The Bandit" which really jumbles the entire timeline. In other words: Nigel West Dickens arrives to Ridgewood Farm- the farm gets massacred - Nigel West Dickens is packing up to leave the farm, with no mention or implication of a massacre.


2:Really the whole Bonnie and Marshal mission arcs should be done before the Nigel West Dickens mission arcs. You see, when they caught Norman Deek, that was their way of getting to Bill Williamson. But when they ask for Norman back, he gets killed and so John is back to square one. So Nigel West Dickens was Johns plan B. If John did the West Dickens arc while also doing the Marshals arc, that would ruin the pacing and make no sense. What if they did catch Bill Williamson with the help of Norman? what would John say to West Dickens? "Sorry old man but we just caught Bill, so I guess all the things I did, getting the mini gun and finding treasure, was pointless".


3: This is just personal preference but I prefer to do "I know You" right before "On Shakeys ground". It is just too coincidental that John found Irish in thieves landing at that exact moment. Whether or not you believe the strange man is God, Satan, Grim Reaper, or some other divine force, it would make perfect sense that he would help John indirectly find Irish.


4:During the mission "Father Abraham", John mentions that he has not used explosives in a long time, which would be weird since he did use dynamite to blow up the train in "The Great Train Robbery".


5:During the Abagail missions, they always mention how Jack doesn't want to talk and how he always hides himself away in books. This suggests that John hasn't spent much time with Jack yet.


6:There is nothing to suggest that Nate Johns was booted out of the governor seat. Sure it mentions he was indicted (charged with a crime) but it doesn't mean that he was booted out.

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I wonder if De santa is related to michael or R* just made michaels name a easter egg 

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On 6/25/2018 at 10:19 PM, NiggAndreasYT said:

I wonder if De santa is related to michael or R* just made michaels name a easter egg 

Just an easter egg. De Santa is just Michael's WPP name. His real name is Townley and I'm pretty sure that GTA and RDR are set in completely different universes. 

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So I haven't been in this topic for a while but thanks for the suggestions and corrections, guys. I plan on doing another play through after RDR II, and I'll definitely look into them, so expect a new mission order.. Whenever I get around to it 😛

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