Red Dead Redemption 2 introduces a number of new mechanics that make it one of the most dynamic and expansive open world games to date. Amongst the roster of features are degradation systems that’ll gradually impact various aspects of the game.

In the same way that your horse gets dirty and requires a regular brush to avoid negative stamina effects, your weapon has to be maintained to get the best performance possible. Your weapon will get dirty as you use it, and it’ll rust if it’s exposed to water.

Here, we explain how to keep your weapons in tip-top condition and how to upgrade your favourite weapons in Red Dead Redemption 2.

Clean your weapons for best performance

Over time, your weapon will become dirty and rusted. As your weapon’s quality degrades, it’ll have an effect on how weapons fire, the recoil and reload speed – essentially making it difficult to be one of the best gunslingers in the west. The good news is it’s easy to clean your weapon, you just need to get your hands on Gun Oil.

Gun Oil can be purchased from Gunsmiths, located under the Accessories tab, and can also be found looting bodies and looting homesteads.

Once you’ve got the Gun Oil in your inventory, simply pull up the Weapon Wheel, highlight the weapon you’d like to clean and press R3/RS to inspect it.

If your weapon stats have red bars, that means that performance has been affected and it needs cleaning. Press the Clean button to clean the weapon using the Gun Oil, and voila! Your gun is good as new.

Customise and improve your weapons

You can go further than simply cleaning your weapon to improve performance; as well as selling weapons, Gunsmiths can customise your weapon.

The customisation varies depending on the weapon you’re looking to upgrade, but generally, you’ll be given the option to customise the barrel, iron sights, scope, stock and wrap.

Upgrading any of the available options – aside from wraps – will boost the effectiveness of the weapon, and thankfully, most upgrades aren’t that expensive.

Feel free to change the wrap, engrave the stock or swap out the material of the weapon to give it a unique look if you want, but you should know that it’ll have no impact on the gun’s performance in battle.

We’d recommend focusing on meaningful upgrades first, like adding a scope to a Carbine Rifle or improving the sights on your trusty Revolver, and dealing with the aesthetics later.

For more help, take a look at how to fast travel in Red Dead Redemption 2, and how to pay bounties too.

Oh, and if you're interested in the online segment of the game, take a look at the latest Red Dead Online news