In Red Dead Redemption 2 you can increase your honor level to unlock new clothing and get access to the missable honor mission ‘Do Not Seek Absolution’ in chapter 6 (requires honor level 4 of 8), which is needed for the Lending a Hand trophy and achievement. Maintaining a high level of honor also awards you with other perks as detailed at the end of this guide. The maximum is honor level 8.
To keep track of your honor press and check the bar the bottom of the screen. If the bar is on the left (red) it means dishonorable. To the right (white is honorable).
Best Ways to Increase Honor:
- Throwing Fish Back in the Water: Fishing is a great way to increase honor and can be repeated infinitely. Catch a fish and instead of keeping it, throw it back in the water. Make sure it shows the honor icon in the top right corner afterward. Also see How to Get Fishing Bait and Lures.
- Completing Bounty Hunts: Delivering bounty targets to the sheriff’s office gives you honor. See the Bounty Locations. Aside from fishing, Bounties are the best and most reliable way to bump up your honor level, especially in preparation for the missable chapter 6 honor mission that requires honor level 4 of 8.
- Chance Encounters: You will randomly see white dots pop up on the minimap from time to time, these indicate chance encounters. They don’t happen often. Sometimes, these let you help people and can gain you honor. E.g. helping someone whose horse ran away, helping a wounded person, giving someone a ride back home, giving medicine to a sick person, someone asking for directions, even on train rides you may come across disabled people who need a hand. These events can happen anywhere, any time and there are lots of possible events.
- Tithing Box (Camp): Donate $20.01 money to the camp’s tithing box. It only counts when you see the white honor icon in the top right corner after donating. Repeatedly donate $20.01 and it should give you honor. You can also make a manual save beforehand and test with donating other sums.
- Pay off your Bounties: Got in trouble with the law? No big deal, pay the debts you owe to society at the post office and all will be forgiven. This can also gain you honor. During the story you automatically build up bounties from story missions. Pay these off.
- Surrender to Lawmen: Committed a crime and got caught? When the police come, stay unarmed and surrender. Spend a few nights in jail. This has a chance to grant you honor for surrendering without bloodshed.
- Do camp activities and camp errands: From time to time, members of your gang will walk up to you in camp and give you little requests of items they want. Doing these will gain you honor. You will also get the chance to partake in camp activities. These are minigames and special side activities like robbing homesteads or stagecoaches. Always do camp events when they become available. A full list of them can be found in the trophy guide under the trophies “Friends with Benefits” & “Errand Boy”.
- Killing Rats in Towns: This is really random, but you can kill rats in towns. This is just a lucky side thing and not a feasible way to earn honor quickly.
- After Story: Do daily missions to get honor quickly. You can advance time and then grind them again and again. This is by far the fastest way to get honor but only works after having finished the story.
- Main Missions: Some story missions have sure ways to increase honor if you make certain decisions. This is the most reliable and fastest way to increase honor but there are very limited opportunities for it.
Mission-Specific Honor Decisions
- Chapter 2 – Polite Society, Valentine Style: Calm the escaped horse & bring back the horse to its owner.
- Chapter 2 – Polite Society, Valentine Style: Save the witness who is hanging from the cliff.
- Chapter 2 – Polite Society, Valentine Style: During the witness chase, Arthur steals a horse automatically. Bring it back to the owner afterward.
- Chapter 2 – We Loved Once and True – III: Accept Mary’s request to save Jamie
- Chapter 3 – Sodom? Back to Gomorrah: Crack the safes, don’t blow them up.
- Chapter 4 – Fatherhood and Other Dreams: Mary will ask Arthur to get back a broach for her. Agree to her request and buy it back without violence.
- Chapter 4 – Brothers and Sisters, One and All: In this mission you must find a boy. He will drop a crucifix, bring it back to the nun.
- Chapter 6 – A Rage Unleashed: Agree to help Rain Falls.
- Chapter 6 – Archeology for Beginners: Agree to help Monroe when he asks you during a dialogue.
- Chapter 6 – Mrs. Sadie Adler, Widow: Help Sadie (accept her mission).
- Chapter 6 – Do Not Seek Absolution (requires Honor Level 4 to trigger): Help Archie & Edith in this questline.
- Chapter 6 – The Course of True Love IV/V: Bring the woman to her boyfriend on the train. After the train ride, refuse to take her jewelry for payment.
- Chapter 6 – Red Dead Redemption: Do not go back for the money.
Last but not least, obviously don’t do things that reduce your honor. This is common sense, but don’t go around killing and looting random people. Whenever you have a choice between sparing or killing someone on a mission, choose to value life and just be nice to people and lead by good example.
Benefits from increased Honor
You can see your honor benefits in the Pause Menu under Player, General, Honor.
Rank 1: Better look from corpses.
Rank 2: 10% off in all stores.
Rank 3: New Outfits become available.
Rank 4: Get access to optional chapter 6 honor mission ‘Do Not Seek Absolution’.
Rank 5: 25% off in all stores.
Rank 6: New Outfits become available.
Rank 7: 50% off in all stores.
Rank 8: Nothing, just peace of mind that you’re the most honorable gunslinger in the wild west.
While you’re at it, you are highly advised to go for the missable honor missions during the story to snatch the trophy or achievement Lending a Hand. That’s all there is to know about honor in RDR2.
For more guides check out our full Red Dead Redemption 2 Wiki & Strategy Guide.