It hasn’t been a secret that Red Dead Redemption 2 is a prequel to 2010’s critically-acclaimed Red Dead Redemption, but even so, some fans may still not know exactly when the open world western is set. Now that players have had a chance to play through the game in its entirety, it turns out that the answer to that is a little bit more complicated than previously believed.
The non-spoiler answer is that Red Dead Redemption 2 is set in 1899, right before the turn of the century. This means that it takes place 12 years before the events of the original Red Dead Redemption, which was primarily set in 1911. Before we can provide a more in-depth explanation as to when Red Dead Redemption 2 is set, though, we must warn of potential spoilers.
The bulk of Red Dead Redemption 2 takes place in 1899, with players taking control of new protagonist Arthur Morgan. However, there is a time jump in the game that sets it forward eight years, meaning that the end-game takes place in 1907. While this may be a surprise to some players, others likely saw it coming, especially since the game gives the option to purchase specific camp upgrades for only Arthur and another gang member who becomes playable later on. Not only that, but the first game had a similar time jump.
As some may recall, the first Red Dead Redemption featured a time jump of three years, with the end-game taking place in 1914. In the first Red Dead Redemption‘s end-game, players took control of John Marston’s son Jack, who appears in Red Dead Redemption 2 as a young child.
So to answer the question of when Red Dead Redemption 2 takes place, the full answer is that it’s set in both 1899 and 1907. Red Dead Redemption, meanwhile, takes place in 1911 and 1914, so the series has an established history of spanning quite a few years.
One thing that will be interesting to see is when the Red Dead Redemption 2 online multiplayer mode will be set. It will presumably take place in 1899 since that is the year when most of the single player story is set, but we haven’t had any clarification from Rockstar on that front. More information should become available when Red Dead Online launches at the end of the month.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is out now for PS4 and Xbox One.