Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC is out now: everything you need to know

Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC
(Image credit: Rockstar)

Red Dead Redemption 2 is finally out on PC. If you were waiting for the PC release to sample Rockstar's incredible open-world Western game, that wait is over.

Red Dead Redemption 2 landed on PC on November 5. The news was announced via a tweet from developers Rockstar, which also revealed some of the new features that will be coming when the PC version finally launches.

Red Dead Redemption 2 launched on console back in October 2018, and despite enjoying a huge amount of critical acclaim, as well as launching a Red Dead Online component to keep players coming back for more – not that the epic-sized single-player campaign wasn't enough – play has so far been confined to Xbox One and PS4 console releases.

Committed PC players have been left twiddling their thumbs in the vague hope of a Red Dead Redemption 2 PC port coming down the line, but those playing the waiting game may well be treated to the richest version of the game yet and all the finest Red Dead Redemption 2 cheats to go with it.

While players hungry for a high-spec or 4K experience can opt to play the game on the PS4 Pro or Xbox One X,  there's nothing quite like a souped-up PC rig to bring out the finer details and see what Rockstar's game engine can really do. Rockstar promises "a range of graphical and technical enhancements for increased immersion along with new Bounty Hunting Missions, Gang Hideouts, Weapons and more," for the PC release.

Red Dead Online, the game's online multiplayer component, is also making its way to PC, bang up to date with the latest content "including Frontier Pursuits and the specialist Roles of Bounty Hunter, Trader and Collector for players to progress through and earn unique rewards."

With a game as ambitious as Red Dead Redemption 2, pushing it to its limits with high quality graphics settings and high resolutions is sure to be difficult. It's a game that could punish even the most capable of systems, given the level of detail on display.

But, having said that, Rockstar's minimum and recommended specs for the game are surprisingly achievable. They may not show the game in its full glory, but a surprisingly wide swathe of gamers should be able to play the game on PC as a result. The one outlying requirement? 150GB of hard drive space – that's a giant chunk, no matter what the rest of your system looks like.

Minimum Requirements

  • OS: Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (6.1.7601)
  • CPU:  Intel Core i5-2500K / AMD FX-6300
  • RAM: 8GB
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 770 2GB / AMD Radeon R9 280 3GB

Recommended Requirements

  • OS: Windows 10 (April 2018 Update)
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K / AMD Ryzen 5 1500X 
  • RAM: 12GB
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB / AMD Radeon RX 480 4GB

Red Dead Redemption 2 PC release date, deals and launcher

Red Dead Redemption 2 PC edition launched on November 5, with pre-purchase for the game beginning at 11am  ET on October 9th, exclusively through the Rockstar Games Launcher. Pricing has yet to be revealed. Purchase it using Rockstar's PC games service, and you'll also get to download two of the following games for free:

  • Grand Theft Auto III
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andrea
  • Bully: Scholarship Edition
  • L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition
  • Max Payne 3: The Complete Edition

The game will also be at the Epic Games store, Greenman Gaming, the Humble Store, GameStop and additional digital retailers starting October 23rd with a pre-order bonus of 25 Gold Bars for Red Dead Online.

However, Rockstar are looking to sweeten the deal on their own platform by knocking $20 off the Special Edition and Ultimate Editions, as well as throwing in pre-purchase bonuses such as the Outlaw Survival Kit, a War House, a Treasure Map, a Cash bonus for the Story Mode and 50 Gold Bars for Red Dead Online.

Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC: the story so far

Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC

(Image credit: Rockstar)

Rumors kicked off in mid-October 2018 about a possible Red Dead Redemption 2 PC release, after the online retailer MediaMarkt listed a PC version of the game on its website, with a placeholder date of December 31, 2019. The listing was promptly pulled and that date came and went without any news of a PC release.

Things heated up again after a LinkedIn profile for a Rockstar employee appeared to list credits as a programmer on the PC version of the game – though this, again, was amended after the media attention that it attracted.

Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC

(Image credit: LinkedIn)

The firmest clues began to appear when Rockstar released a mobile / tablet companion app alongside the new Red Dead game, mainly as a hub for viewing in-game stats, journal entries, and map locations.

Some savvy data-mining, though, contained references to PC-quality graphics settings – shadow quality, grass rendering, and the like – as well as lines explicitly naming PC, such as 'PARAM_companionAutoConnectIpPC' or 'CommandIsPcVersion(void)'. You can see the full list on Rockstar Intel.

There was also a reference to 'Oculus', which can only really refer to VR capability for the game. Given the option to play the entire game in an immersive first-person perspective, virtual reality would be a natural fit – and Red Dead 2 VR would be most at home on a dedicated Oculus or PC-bound headset.

However, things quietened down after that and there had been little news on Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC - until more recently. Twitter user JakoMako51 (via PCGamer),  spotted a line in the Rockstar Social Club's source code that mentions "RDR2_PC_Accomplishments". 

Check out the tweet below:

Red Dead Redemption 2's PC version became even more likely with the emergence of news that Rockstar had (again) successfully secured classification for the game over in Australia.

RDR2 has already been rated for console release, naturally, by the Australian Classification Board, which approves and determines ratings for movies and video games.

Gerald Lynch

Gerald is Editor-in-Chief of Previously he was the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site's home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves gaming, but don't expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Before TechRadar, Gerald was Editor of Gizmodo UK. He is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press.