Red Dead Redemption Horseshoes: Ultimate Guide

Red Dead Redemption 2

PlayStation 4 Xbox One

Red Dead Redemption Horseshoes: Ultimate Guide

Red Dead Redemption Horseshoes: Ultimate Guide

There happen to be games, then there are games within games, and at times, those inner games can feel tougher than the main game. 

The solution? You do your homework! Especially when it comes to the Horseshoes game in Red Dead Redemption 2. 

Exactly what makes it so hard, and how can you beat it without spending a great deal of time and effort?

Let’s learn that, and more in the complete guide below!

What Is The Horseshoes Game?

via Wiki


The Horeshoes is one of the few gambling games present in Red Dead Redemption 2. While its rules are nothing scary, the chance factor can really feast on one’s bad luck. 

That said, the horeshoes game is only available in single player. Therefore, you can only enjoy it with lifeless NPCs. 

Upon winning, the player will be rewarded with a scrap of Bollard Twins Outfit, and as you can guess, winning again and again, can yield you a whole lot more. 

Rules of The Game

via Fandom

Horseshoes is quite simple at its core. You’re looking at an aiming game where your job is to toss stakes in the ground. 

The game is generally played between two people, and includes the use of four horseshoes along with four throwing knives. 

Both player A and B need to take turns tossing horseshoes at the stakes (throwing targets) situated in the ground. Each turn, the players are required to toss two horseshoes. 

With the tosses placed at least 40 feet away from each other, you’d have plenty of chances to miss. That said, this is an 11-point game, and one only wins if there is a 2 point difference. 

Here is how you can earn points:

  1. Allocation of a Singular Point: In the event that an individual’s horseshoe achieves closer proximity to the stake as compared to both horseshoes of the adversary, the player shall be rewarded with one point.
  2. Allocation of Dual Points: Should both horseshoes belonging to a player secure a position closer to the stake than any of the opponent’s respective horseshoes, the player will be accredited with two points.
  3. Allocation of Triple Points: A rare, yet notable scenario where the player’s horseshoe is thrown such that it encircles the stake, termed as a “ringer”, shall result in the awarding of three points to the individual.

Where To Play Horseshoes?

via IGN

Knowing the ins and outs don’t mean anything unless you’re able to play the game. However, it’s only available at 3 locations, and there are only so many people you can play it with. 

In short, you can find an opportunity to play Horseshoes at the following locations:

  1. Las Hermanas: A solemn Spanish mission town surrounded by desert and filled with religious history.
  2. MacFarlane’s Ranch: A bustling frontier ranch brimming with livestock, farmlands, and hardworking folk.
  3. Rathskeller Fork: A rustic, isolated outpost teetering on the edge of lawlessness, presenting the harshest side of frontier life.

Scouting Your Opponents

You cannot play Horseshoes against any run-of-the mill NPCs. There are a selective few of them that’ll agree to duel you, and even fewer that’ll let you win. 

That said, expect to have a bout against the following NPCs:

From Las Hermanas:

via Fandom

You can play Horseshoes with the following NPCs from Las Hermanas:

  1. Merche Coronado: A resilient local found assisting in the defence of Chuparosa, often targeted in missing persons’ cases.
  2. Gregorio Rascon: A daring gambler, frequenter of Las Hermanas, known for his mastery of Five Finger Fillet and quick reflexes in danger.
  3. Damacio Guzman: A serene minister offering spiritual guidance at Casa Madrugada, occasionally seen at Las Hermanas participating in friendly games of horseshoes.
  4. Juventino Sambra: A versatile blacksmith and horseshoe player, standing his ground atop the church tower in Las Hermanas during the Undead Nightmare.

From MacFarlane’s Ranch:

via Fandom

You can play Horseshoes with the following NPCs from MacFarlane’s Ranch:

  1. Gus McCloud: A skilled rancher and a known metal craftsman, challenging travelers to games of horseshoes and ready to defend himself when required.
  2. Gertie Chilcote: A resident horseshoe player at MacFarlane’s Ranch, offering friendly competition to locals and visitors alike.
  3. Rufus Byrd: A regular at MacFarlane’s Ranch, often found enjoying a game of horseshoes or serving as a vigilant night watchman with his dog, Charlie.

From Rathskeller Fork:

via Fandom

You can play Horseshoes with the following NPCs from Rathskeller Fork:

  1. Clarence Brewer: A seemingly relaxed railway worker, often found competing in Horseshoes at Rathskeller Fork or resting at Benedict Point, never hesitating to protect himself if threatened.
  2. Eldin Grubb: A diligent undertaker providing vital services during Armadillo’s cholera epidemic, often found at work or seeking solace at the back of his business.
  3. Edgar Critchley: A devout, yet hypocritical ranch owner, frequenting various locations for work and leisure, ever ready to defend his honor and property.
  4. Gladys Feaney: A simple farmer with a mysterious past, silently carrying the burden of her family’s tragedy.
  5. Perry Rose: A notorious member of Walton’s gang, known for his aggressive demeanor and occasional appearances at Rathskeller Fork.
  6. Lonnie Veers: A man of mystery in a sharp suit and bowler hat, often found leading a quiet life in Thieves’ Landing, occasionally serving as a stagecoach driver.

Getting Better at Horseshoes: Tips & Tricks

The community has collected a fair bit of intel on this topic. Apparently, there are mountain-loads of tiny changes you can make to perfect your winning streak. 

Here’s how it works:

Perfecting Your Aim

By zeroing in on your target (use LT on Xbox or L2 on PlayStation), ensure the stake lies within the two sides of your horseshoe.

The optimum spot for alignment is generally where your player’s finger is pointing. The effectiveness of your throws in the horseshoes game is directly related to your aiming precision.

To aid this, you can consider the position of the player’s finger as a guide for lining up your shot.

With practice, you’ll become more adept at this critical aspect of the game and notice a significant improvement in your performance.

Mastering the Swing and Release

via Fandom

The strength of your horseshoe toss is dictated by the speed at which you swing the right stick and the timing of your release.

To refine this, it’s advisable to practice varying speeds and release points, eventually finding a balance that works best for you.

Over time, this practice will help you gain a better understanding of the relationship between swing speed, release timing, and throw strength, enhancing your overall horseshoes proficiency.

Understanding the Release Point

In the horseshoes game, the point at which you release the horseshoe profoundly influences the trajectory of the throw.

If the swing doesn’t reach its full potential, you’ll need to delay your release, allowing the horseshoe to land near the stake.

This is why practicing a back-and-forth swinging motion before letting go of the horseshoe can be so beneficial.

By adjusting and experimenting with your release points during these practice swings, you’ll gain a better understanding of how they affect the final landing spot of the horseshoe.

Watching Your Opponent

While it may be tempting to skip your turn and hope for the best, it’s worthwhile to watch your opponent play.

The artificial intelligence in Red Dead Redemption 2 seems to falter when players are actively observing their moves.

If you choose to skip your turn, it’s more likely that the AI will have a successful turn, often landing both horseshoes in the sandbox.

Choosing the Right Outfit

Your choice of outfit can play a surprisingly significant role in your horseshoes performance.

For instance, if you’re wearing the Bandito Outfit, the game can become more challenging because the large sombrero could block your view of the stake.

If you’re serious about winning at horseshoes, it might be best to choose an outfit that provides a clear line of sight to your target.

Switching Hands for Better Control

via IGN

It might seem counterintuitive, but manipulating the right stick with your left hand and pressing the right trigger with your right hand could make a big difference to your game.

This change in hand position can offer you a greater level of control and finesse, allowing you to fine-tune your aiming and throwing techniques.

Maintaining Trigger Pressure

via Amazon

It’s critical to maintain pressure on the right trigger until your horseshoe has been thrown.

If you release the trigger too soon, the horseshoe won’t be thrown until later, making it difficult to land near the stake.

This ensures that the horseshoe is released at the precise moment, increasing your chances of a successful throw.


In essence, you need to be making minor changes in order to increase your chances in Horseshoes. The game is pretty difficult since it makes you fare off with AI. 

However, it’s about the little things that accumulate to make a difference. That said, good luck with your winnings. Happy gaming!

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Muhib is a huge MOBA fan that loves to get crafty in the Summoner's Rift. As a tech geek, you will often hear him talk about the latest and greatest gear in the current market! Oh, and good luck winning a Genshin Impact bout against him.

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