When And Where Does RDR2 Take Place?

Red Dead Redemption 2
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Red Dead Redemption 2 is a game rich with player choice and incredibly interactive environments. Players are tasked with determining their own path through the game, and it is rare to see another player on the same journey as you. 


For instance, if you’re in the middle of a mission and decide to abandon it, you aren’t just abandoning that mission but also the environment itself. Just like in real life, people can be inconvenienced and damaged by their surroundings. 

The vast terrain in Red Dead Redemption 2 has many similarities with North American landscapes, including cities, towns, and farms. In this article, we’ll take a deep look at when and where RDR2 exactly takes place.

Locations and Settings of Red Dead Redemption 2 

Red Dead Redemption 2 occurs across five different areas: Ambarino, New Hanover, Lemoyne, West Elizabeth, and New Austin. While all five locations are fictional, many familiar areas from Red Dead Redemption 1 are present in Red Dead Redemption 2. 

When And Where Does RDR2 Take Place?

The southern border of the game’s map ends at the San Luis river but continues south into an area known as Nuevo Paraiso. Red Dead Redemption’s map included Nuevo Paraiso to the south and both New Austin and West Elizabeth to the north. 

In Red Dead Redemption 2, however, there is only one landmass: Lemoyne, which is located between Ambarino and New Hanover. These locations form a foundation for an Old West plot set during the history of the United States.


RDR2 Real World Locations, Settings, and Inspiration 

Although the game Red Dead Redemption 2 is a work of fiction, its depiction of the United States is not accurate to real life. However, there are some similarities between the game’s map and a map of the real-world United States.

Lemoyne may be named after Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville, who notably traveled down the Mississippi River from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico and eventually helped settle the area around New Orleans, Louisiana. 

Since Lemoyne is located in an area filled with bayous and river inlets, it would make sense for Lemoyne to represent the southeastern part of the United States. Lemoyne, a region in the southeastern United States, may represent the Gulf of Mexico.

From there, we can see that Nuevo Paraiso is located south of New Austin and includes a land mass that swings back east. This means that New Austin represents areas north of the Rio Grande while Nuevo Paraiso represents northeastern parts of Mexico.

The northeastern extremes of the Red Dead Redemption 2 map contain an area known as Roanoke Ridge, which is an obvious nod to Roanoke Island, itself located off the northeastern shore of North Carolina. 


It’s easy to assume that when compared to the real-world United States, the Red Dead Redemption 2 map extends from North Carolina to the northeast, around the Gulf Coast southward into Texas, and out into Arizona and possibly Montana or Canada.

The Map of the United States Compared with RDR2’s Map 

The elements of the Red Dead Redemption 2 map may bear only a passing resemblance to real-world maps. The game was set in 1881, and given the general lack of technology at the time, it is possible that those who created the fictional maps didn’t understand relative distances or have any polar-oriented perspective of the world around them. 

This would explain why the San Luis River is canted to the west while the Rio Grande is canted to the east. As a curious Reddit user posted on the Red Dead Redemption 2 subreddit, an unknown poster created an image of a map that purportedly shows locations of Red Dead Redemption 2 across the United States. 

The map extends from southeastern states to southwestern Canada, and many of the comparison examples offered above fit in with this custom-created map, though the map also leaves gaps in states like Arizona and Utah and doesn’t necessarily account for bodies of water like rivers or lakes.

When And Where Does RDR2 Take Place?

How Much is RDR2 Map Based On Real Life? 

The game is set in the second half of the American frontier/Wild West era in United States history, roughly between 1880 and 1920. This time period inspired many works of fiction, including Western movies, TV shows, novels, comic books, and costumes.


In order to recreate the feeling of being in the Old West, Rockstar Games has included a number of activities and resources that directly correlate with their real-world counterparts.

These include saloons, carriages, weapons, law enforcement officers, train robberies, train heists, horses, trains, and stagecoaches. 

Perhaps most importantly, players can form a gang of outlaws inspired by actual gangs that existed in America during the turn of the nineteenth century.

What Year Does RDR2 Take Place In?

In Red Dead Redemption 2, players join Arthur Morgan, a Van der Linde gang member, as he travels west in search of his friend John Marston. The setting is 1899, leading up to 1911, when the game takes place. 

The time period is important because it taps into the beginning of the end of the Wild West era. Red Dead Redemption 2 is an improvement from its predecessor, Rockstar’s 2010 title, with a richer and more detailed world to explore. 


However, it is also a prequel to that game, taking place prior to the events of Red Dead Redemption.

Final Words 

If you want to better understand the world of Red Dead Redemption 2, then you need first to accept that it was never meant to imitate real life. Comparisons with our timeline can be drawn up, but these are ultimately superficial. 

Take what we have here as a new take on a familiar setting and a fun way to break down its elements. Now, go enjoy yourself in the Wild West.  By the end of this article, you will have a very good idea of when RDR2 is set and where. 

If you have any further questions about the setting, then do comment in the below comment section. Thank you for Reading!

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