The player can actively raise their Fame rating in several ways:
- Killing enemies or innocents
- Completing jobs
- Completing challenges
- Finishing tasks
- Helping strangers
- Winning duels
- Winning games
Unlike Honor, Fame can not go down. Instead it can only go up. There is no effective way to lose fame other than using Cheats.
Fame affects how NPCs interact with the player and brings other rewards as detailed in the "Perks" section, below.
The effect of Fame is relative to Marston's Honor rating. As such, the player can either be a famous hero or an infamous outlaw.
If the player has the Golden Guns pack, using the guns will make fame rise at a higher rate for each kill.
These are the lists of perks and their names if the player earns a specific fame title.
|LEGEND||Bounty values for all of the players' committed crimes are halved.|
You will never go wanted for stealing or hijacking a horse, and you get free drinks at every saloon.
Increases time between law or bounty hunter pursuits from 24 hours to 48 hours, (1 day to 2 days game time).
|BUCKAROO||The cost to bribe lawmen is lowered by 25%.|
|GREENHORN||More people plead for the players' assistance (more ambient challenges become available).|
|NOBODY||No perks, people don't know who John Marston/Jack Marston is.|
- An easy way to attain fame is by having the Elegant Suit, getting caught cheating at poker then disarming the opponent in a duel. Generally, anything that gives the player the option to kill an enemy or spare their life will give him double the amount of fame if they spare them. Activities such as bounty hunting are a prime example. Disarming the person awards +100 Fame, while killing them only nets +50. So go for the disarm for more fame. The player should start at Armadillo, take out the two to four poker players, then move on to MacFarlane's Ranch, repeat, then move on to Thieves' Landing, and repeat. By the time the player has defeated the players at Thieves' Landing, the players at Armadillo will have respawned. If they have not, save your game and go back and they should be there. Players can continue this circle until they have the desired amount of fame. It is best not to do this in Blackwater if the player doesn't have money to spare, as it costs $100 dollars per game, whereas elsewhere it costs $10–25. Players don't get their money back even if they win the duel.
- A fast way to gain fame is to rob people, prostitutes and civilians without guns. Stand in front of them and lock onto them with your gun (or knife) and then press Triangle (PS3) or Y (360) to rob, and the player will get 50+ Fame. Players can keep doing this. But be warned, your bounty may increase, and they will lose Honor every time they do it (though Honor loss can be avoided by wearing the bandana).
- An easy way to make money and fame without raising your bounty is to go to Casa Madrugada in Mexico and rob the men in suits around the train station and the prostitutes. There are no lawmen and all players have to do is run around and let them respawn. They respawn fairly quickly and they can quickly make a couple hundred bucks and fame. However be warned as any locals with guns will draw them on the player immediately, but as long as players stop aiming their gun and holster it (John does this automatically after a few seconds of not aiming) they will leave the player alone. This will lower honor.
- Head to the Saloon in Armadillo. Rob a prostitute on the ground floor in the bar, don't bother if others pull their gun at the player. Now head upstairs, through your bedroom and out onto the balcony, and then run right along the balcony to the double doors with the saloon logo above. Another prostitute should be standing there, so rob her, then go through the double doors, down stairs, and rob a girl on the ground floor, then run back upstairs and then go through the bedroom and around the balcony to the double doors and rob the prostitute near the saloon double doors, then head through the double doors and back down stairs and rob another prostitute. Keep doing this, over and over. Players can roughly get around 24 robberies within six to seven minutes. (24x50=1200 fame) If they get busted and the lawmen come, just head outside, get on your horse and run into the hills, when your wanted level expires, head back into the saloon and repeat the process.
- Fame, and systems similar to it, is a recurring theme in Rockstar games. In Grand Theft Auto 2, there was a factions honor system, in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, there was the Respect system.
- A pardon letter and a bandana are helpful in certain situations. However the player must be careful, as the bandana will stop the addition of fame, as well as the addition/substraction of honor.
- If you're fast enough, you can rob two civilians at the same time; position yourself middle of them both, and then rob the one looking at you and then turn to rob the other one, and you will get 100+ fame, you can even get three robs in the same moment if you're fast enough for 150 fame.
- Depending on the players' honor, how John greets or is greeted to is altered.
- Playing through the storyline in its entirety will grant a load of fame, to the point of near-completion.
- Even if your fame is on Legend. People will not call Jack Marston by his proper name.
- In Hardcore Mode, Marston will not reach the highest fame when only playing through the storyline since fame rewards are greatly reduced.
- After Marston becomes significantly famous, NPCs will often introduce themselves to him and ask him if his rumored exploits are true. As Marston's fame increases, the facts of what Marston has done turn into greatly exaggerated tall-tales. A well known example of this is "I heard you killed 17 men once" becoming "I heard that John Marston depopulated an entire town". The best known gossip, which of course is not true, is said by Herbert Moon; "That John Marston used to be a hired killer for the jews" and can be heard from Herbert from the beginning of the game regardless of Marston's level of fame.
Fame is associated with this gameplay Trophies/Achievements|trophy and achievement:
Attain highest Fame rank and either highest or lowest Honor rank.