Red Dead Redemption is a Western-themed action-adventure game played from a third-person perspective. The player controls John Marston and completes missions, linear scenarios with set objectives, to progress through the story. Outside of missions, players may freely roam the open world. The player can interact with the environment and engage in combat with enemies, using various firearms. Different breeds of horses are the main forms of transportation, each with different attributes. These horses must be tamed in order to use them. The player can utilize trains for quick travelling, but they can also stop the train by threatening or killing the passengers or driver. The game's undeveloped land makes up the largest portion of the game world, featuring various rugged and vast landscapes with occasional travelers, bandits, and wildlife. Urban settlements range from isolated farmhouses to crowded towns. Besides the American West, the player can also traverse a fictional Mexican state bordering the United States.