How to tell time in Red Dead Redemption 2

Rockstar Games
Rockstar Games /

Red Dead Redemption 2, like most other Rockstar open world games, features a complete day and night cycle. But how do you actually tell time in the game?

Similar to the first Red Dead Redemption game, the prequel operates on a complete day and night cycle. Only certain events happen at night, while others only happen during the day. Good luck buying from the local General Store at three in the morning! But how do you actually know what time of day it is in the game?

Obviously, you can look at the sky and get a general idea based on the position of the sun or moon. When you enter a new town or province, a popup showing your new location does include the time of day. But how do you tell exactly what time it is whenever you want, wherever you want?

Despite Red Dead Redemption 2 featuring copious amounts of pocket watches, none of them are actually usable items in the game. They exist solely to loot and pawn off to the fence. There is only one watch that the player can utilize, and it’s in the most unexpecting location. The pause menu.

Red Dead Redemption 2
Credit: Rockstar Games /

Yes, when you pause the game, there is a decorate pocket watch in the top left of the menu. This quality of life feature is very, very easy to miss. This watch might look like a purely aesthetic addition to the pause menu, but it does actually work and move as time passes in-game. Why Rockstar opted to hide this feature instead of allowing for usable watches in-game is beyond me, but the ability to tell time in Red Dead Redemption 2 does exist.

If you want to advance time without manually waiting, all you need to do is sleep. This can be done by renting a hotel room, by setting up camp anywhere in the wilderness or just going back to your own tent at the gang’s camp. This effectively enables you to toggle between night and day whenever you need.

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Do you have any Red Dead Redemption 2 hints or tricks? Let us know in the comments! Be sure to check out our other news, info, and guides on Red Dead Redemption 2.