Red Dead Redemption 2: 10 Worthless Weapons Everyone Uses (And 11 That Are Way Better)

John Marston, Red Dead Redemption promotional art

The weapons in Red Dead Redemption 2 fall into broad classes. The first are the standard weapons that players receive in the course of the game or can buy from a gunsmith or at a fence. There are also rare and unique versions of these standard weapons that can be found only at special locations through treasure hunts, by shooting down gunslingers, or by completing special side missions. Lastly, there are special weapons, such as the double-action revolver and the stone hatchet, which can be unlocked by pre-ordering Red Dead Redemption 2 (RDR2) or by playing Rockstar's GTA V.

This list of worthless weapons that everyone uses consists only of standard weapons that players can obtain either by receiving them during the course of the game or by purchasing them. We list these worthless weapons alongside others that are way better alternatives. Our list of worthless weapons also includes standard weapons that we found disappointing and that should be replaced as soon as possible.

However, no weapon in RDR2 is really absolutely worthless. Some weapons are listed as worthless because they are of very limited or restricted utility, which means that they are effectively useless in most situations. Other standard weapons are listed as worthless because they are much weaker than others. We also included weapons that are weak in stats that are relevant for assessing how lethal they are as weapons, because, in most cases, you want to dispatch adversaries as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

With that said, here are the 10 Worthless Weapons Everyone Uses In Red Dead Redemption 2 (And 11 That Are Way Better).

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21 Worthless: Hunting Knife

Though you start the game with only your fists, you also acquire a hunting knife. In Red Dead Redemption 2, you can use your hunting knife for melee combat and for hunting and skinning animals. You can also use your hunting knife for stealth attack, and to free hogtied NPCs for a reward. Unlike your fists, you can equip your hunting knife on horseback.

While the hunting knife is more effective than using your fists, as it adds a slight advantage in close-quarters melee, it is hardly enough to see you through the perils of the game. Although you can use the hunting knife to fend off attackers, its power and range are so limited that it is best to use your hunting knife exclusively for skinning and cutting animals for fur and meat.

20 Way Better: Machete

The machete is the obvious the best melee weapon replacement for your unreliable hunting knife in Red Dead Redemption 2. When next you find yourself in a close-quarters fight where brutal and savage hacking power is what you need, don’t hesitate to put aside you hunting knife and unsheathe your machete.

It is more dangerous and reliable than the hunting knife in combat. Its longer, sturdier, stronger, and sharper blade does greater damage and has better reach. One swing is enough to silently bring down any enemy no matter how sturdy or determined they may be. It also has the added advantage of stealth. You can obtain this trusty, no-nonsense weapon from all fences for only $10 after you complete the mission "Dear Uncle Tacitus".

19 Worthless: Throwing Knife

Throwing knives are small blades with handles designed to be balanced in the hand and thrown at enemies. Throwing knives work best in one-on-one situations and it is best to aim for the head because they are less effective when aimed at the chest.

Like the hunting knife, throwing knives are best-suited for stealth attacks and infiltration, as they're most effective at taking down enemies at close-to-medium range. However, their lack of accuracy makes them ineffective weapons. You can retrieve the throwing knife after using it, but you can also carry more than one throwing knife. Players can unlock throwing knives during Chapter 2's "Paying a Social Call" mission, or buy them from fences.

18 Way Better: Tomahawk

Red Dead Redemption 2

The tomahawk is a way better melee weapon than fists, hunting knives, or throwing knives in Red Dead Redemption 2. If you ever get into a fight, the tomahawk is a reliable weapon to use. The tomahawk inflicts considerable damage for a melee weapon. It is brutally effective compared to fists and other knives.

You can use it to take down enemies by hacking at them at close range or by throwing it. One single hurl is usually enough to end an adversary. You can also use the Deadeye system to improve your targeting. However, you must pick it up again if you want to keep it. The tomahawk can be purchased from all fences and the trapper after you have complete the mission "Americans at Rest".

17 Worthless: Poison Throwing Knives

Many players have struggled to justify the inclusion of poison throwing knives in Red Dead Redemption 2 because, in many cases, they don't appear to add to the lethality of standard throwing knives. However, they can be useful for hunting bigger animals and fending off wild beasts, such as bears, which often retreat after they are hit and pass away soon afterwards.

Players can craft poison throwing knives by applying Oleander Sage to the standard throwing knife, or by buying a poison throwing knife pamphlet, which gives instructions on how to craft one. However, given the limited range and power of Poison Throwing Knives, players might as well invest the effort put into finding eagle feathers or Oleander Sage into crafting more effective weapons.

16 Way Better: Bow

Red Dead Redemption 2 Hunting Bow and Arrow

The bow is a way better alternative to throwing knives and poison throwing knives in Red Dead Redemption 2. Players are provided with the bow in the game's prologue, during "The Aftermath of Genesis" mission. The bow is a very useful weapon for hunting and it is suitable for stealth attacks, as it gives you the ability to shoot arrows with reasonable accuracy at medium range. It is especially useful in situations during missions when guns would be too noisy.

However, the major disadvantage of the bow is the slow fire rate. To make the bow even more effective, you may craft more dangerous versions of the standard arrow, including improved arrow, fire arrow, poison arrow, and dynamite arrow, after buying a guide at the fence.

15 Worthless: Molotov Cocktail or Fire Bottle

Molotov cocktails (or fire bottles) are improvised incendiary weapons that can be thrown at targets so that they can be engulfed and burned by bursts of flames. Fire bottles can be crafted or purchased at all fences after you complete Chapter 3's "The Fine Joys of Tobacco" mission. They can be crafted using animal fat and moonshine.

Many players have expressed disappointment about Red Dead Redemption 2's Molotov cocktails or fire bottles due to their low damage, limited range, and unreliable accuracy. It is a very difficult and frustrating exercise to use Molotov cocktails to take out enemies, especially when they are dispersed.

14 Way Better: Dynamite

You won't need to carry a weapon as worthless as the Molotov cocktail (or fire bottle) after you have obtained dynamite, which sits at the top of the list of damaging weapons in Red Dead Redemption 2. Unlike the Molotov cocktail, dynamite is very effective for liquidating groups of adversaries at once.

Designed for blasting rocks and clearing major obstructions, dynamite can also be used for blasting open safes and bank vaults. Also, if you just can't get enough of things that go boom, you can craft an even more devastating version of regular dynamite using animal fat, regular dynamite, and high-velocity cartridge. You can purchase dynamite from gunsmiths and from all fences after you have completed the RDR2 mission "Who the Hell is Leviticus Cornwall?"

13 Worthless: Cattleman Revolver

The Cattleman Revolver is available to players from the start of Red Dead Redemption 2. You can also buy it at any gunsmith. It is more powerful than most of the other weapons available at the start of the game.

However, it doesn't provide very much damage and has an unsatisfactory range. If you are unable to get a head shot, you will often need multiple shots to take down an enemy. The only positive aspect of the six-shooter is its reasonable fire rate. However, its poor accuracy works against your ability to use the fire rate effectively in combat. You can also dual-wield the gun to improve its effectiveness.

12 Way Better: Schofield Revolver

There is a good reason why the Schofield Revolver is the most popular of the three available to players. It is the best sidearm you can get in Red Dead Redemption 2 that offers an optimal combination of high damage and accuracy. However, it has an unimpressive fire rate and mediocre reload speed. Thankfully, though, you can overcome these disadvantages by dual-wielding the weapon.

You can get rid of your Cattlemen Revolver as soon as you obtain the Schofield Revolver. The Schofield Revolver can be purchased at all gunsmiths after you have completed mission "Blessed are the Meek?"

You can also obtain one by robbing the doctor’s shop in Valentine. Peep through the back window before you go inside and then force the doctor to take you to the room where he keeps the gun. You can get a second one at $84 for dual-wielding.

11 Worthless: Varmint Rifle

As the name suggests, the Varmint Rifle is designed for hunting small animals. Although it has a fast fire rate, good accuracy, as well as reasonable range and reload speed, it lacks the damage power to take down an animal or human adversaries quickly. If you can’t get a head shot, you will need three to four shots from the rifle to finish off an enemy.

The low caliber ammunition ensures that minimal damage  is done to the pelt and meat of small animals and large birds. Needless to say, the Varmint Rifle is not a combat weapon. You can obtain the Varmint Rifle from all gunsmiths after you have completed mission "Eastward Bound". You can also obtain the weapon for free by buying the special or ultimate editions of Red Dead Redemption 2.

10 Way Better: Lancaster Repeater

The Lancaster Repeater is one of three repeaters available in Read Dead Redemption 2. The weapon, which employs a fast-action lever system, is one of the best rifles you can carry into a gunfight when rapid fire is the crucial factor. The Lancaster Rifle holds its own when it comes to damage and range compared to other repeaters, such as the Carbine Repeater and the Litchfield Repeater. However, it is surpassed by the Carbine in terms of reload speed.

Overall, repeaters have lower damage ratings than standard rifles, such as the Springfield Rifle and the Bolt Action Rifle. They also have lower damage power than long-range weapons, such as the Carcano Rifle and the Rolling Block Rifle. You can purchase the Lancaster Repeater from all gunsmiths in RDR2. The high-utility rifle is also provided to players during mission "An American Pastoral Scene".

9 Worthless: Double-Barreled Shotgun

Players receive the double-barreled shotgun early on in RDR2. The double-barreled shotgun is potentially able to inflict great damage at close range, but the accuracy is so poor that you would be lucky to hit a barn door from one meter away. What's the use of all of that damage power when the enemy has to walk right up to you before you get a fair chance to hit them?

The low accuracy coupled with the limited shell capacity (two shells) makes the gun even less effective. You don't stand much chance when multiple enemies are closing in on you with only two shells. The poor accuracy and poor reload speed makes the double-barreled shotgun a poor choice of weapon for most combat situations in Red Dead Redemption 2.

8 Way Better: Carbine Repeater

The Carbine Repeater has the best accuracy and reload speed among the three repeaters available to players in Red Dead Redemption 2. It offers reasonably balanced stats (damage and firing rate, reload speed, and accuracy), suggesting that it is a much better weapon than the Lancaster Repeater to carry into the thick of combat when rapid and accurate fire combined with damaging power is crucial.

The gun's major downside is its limited range, however, which is comparable to the Litchfield but inferior to the Lancaster Repeater. The Carbine Repeater can be purchased from all gunsmiths. You may also receive one for free during the "Old Friends" mission. You may want to add a Carbine Repeater to your inventory even after obtaining the popular Lancaster Repeater. For some players, it's a toss up between the Carbine and the Lancaster Repeater.

7 Worthless: Rolling Block Rifle

The Rolling Block Rifle is supposed to be a sniper rifle, the only one besides the Carcano Rifle. However, the weapon is remarkably inaccurate for a sniper rifle. The Rolling Block Rifle falls short of expectations in key areas of performance -- besides damage and range -- which are crucial for assessing the effectiveness of a long range weapon, such as accuracy, firing rate, and reload speed. The scope is worthless.

The rifle is easily outperformed in accuracy, firing rate, and reload speed by its main competitor, the Carcano Rifle. Based on its high damage rating, the RDR2 Rolling Block Rifle is not designed for combat but for big game hunting at medium range.

6 Way Better: Springfield Rifle

The Springfield Rifle is one of the most powerful rifles in Red Dead Redemption 2, with a damage capacity that is surpassed only by the Rolling Block Rifle. However, the high accuracy and range of this breech-loading military weapon means than with a scope attached, it can outperform the Rolling Block Rifle as a long-range weapon.

The major downsides of this versatile single-shot weapon are its relatively poor fire rate and slow reload speed, which explains why players often favor repeaters, despite the fact that they generally lack damage power. You will be glad that you have the Springfield when you get into fights in which stopping power, rather than rapid fire, is crucial. It is also useful during encounters with large, dangerous animals, such as bears. You can obtain the Springfield Rifle early in the game from any gunsmiths after completing the mission "Eastward Bound".

5 Worthless: John's Cattleman Revolver

Although John's Cattleman Revolver -- which is available to players during the game's epilogue – offers an improvement in accuracy over the standard revolver, you will find the revolver's power and range is less than satisfactory. You still need to take multiple shots to take down an enemy.

John's Cattleman Revolver and the standard version are among the poorest sidearms available in Red Dead Redemption 2. There are much better revolvers to look forward to, including the Schofield Revolver, which is better balanced in terms of power and accuracy, and the Volcanic Pistol, which packs a dangerous punch at the expense of accuracy and firing rate.

4 Way Better: Volcanic Pistol

Red Dead Redemption 2 Volcanic Pistol

The Volcanic pistol is the best sidearm in Red Dead Redemption 2 for inflicting maximum damage at close range. The raw, brutal, and devastatingly explosive power of the Volcanic Pistol, comparable to the power of the best repeating rifles, makes it a perfect sidearm to compliment your Schofield Revolver. A dual-wielded Volcanic Pistol gives you an edge in close range gunfight, as it lets you blast your way through like no other pistol can. It also has an aesthetically pleasing design.

Its major downsides are its low fire rate and poor accuracy and range. You can obtain the Volcanic Pistol from all gunsmiths after you complete the mission "Eastward Bound". It is also available for free to players who bought the special or ultimate editions of RDR2.

3 Worthless: Fists

In Red Dead Redemption 2, fists are classified as weapons and can be used for close-quarters combat. The fist as a weapon of last resort, as it is the weakest melee weapon and is thus outclassed by all other melee weapons, including the hunting knife.

You can select fists from the weapon wheel and equip them when you are on foot and not mounted on a horse. When fists are equipped, you are able to throw punches, perform kicks, blocks, ground tackles, and grapple briefly with the enemy. You cannot usually win against an enemy with a few quick punches, however. The main reason why fists will often prove worthless to the player is that they are essentially non-lethal, which means you can't down an enemy. You can only knock them down or knock them out.

2 Way Better: Dual-Wielded Sawed-Off Shotgun

Unlike its unwieldy cousin, the double-barreled shotgun, the Sawed-Off Shotgun is portable and can be dual-wielded like a pistol or revolver. With an ammo capacity of two rounds, this weapon's firepower is already devastating to enemies who stray within range. Dual-wielded, the Sawed-Off Shotgun is a beast that rips apart enemies who are unfortunate enough to stand in your way.

The Sawed-Off Shotgun's sub-par range and accuracy is compensated for by its brutal close-range blasting power. Ammo types include regular buckshots, slogs, explosive slugs, and incendiary buckshots. You can obtain the Sawed-Off Shotgun and get a chance to experience its raw power by buying it from any gunsmith. You also receive it during the RDR2 mission "Enter, Pursued by a Memory".

1 Way Better: Bolt Action Rifle

The Bolt Action Rifle is a player's dream rifle, as it is a versatile firearm that combines long range shooting capability with stopping power and accuracy. The Bolt Action Rifle is as good as you can realistically expect an all-round weapon to be.

The secret of this versatile weapon lies in its bolt-action mechanism, which allows it to combine rapid fire with quick reloading. It is a better choice than the Rolling Block Rifle when you need a sniper gun with accuracy and a decent reload rate. The optimal combination of fire rate and reload speed with an ammo capacity of five rounds makes it ideal for long range engagements involving multiple targets. Make sure you get it in Chapter 3 during Red Dead Redemption 2's  "Preaching Forgiveness as He Went" mission. You may also purchase it from all gunsmiths after completing the mission.


Are there any other worthless weapons in Red Dead Redemption 2 that everyone uses? Do you know of any others that are way better? Let us know in the comments!

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