4 Easy (Unethical) Steps to Beating ‘The Oregon Trail’

If you were born in the 80’s chances are that eventually you had a computer class. In this class, sitting behind what were slow and ancient machines that required things called ‘floppy disks’. At some point in your young adult life you probably came across what is perhaps the best game of all time: The Oregon Trail.

Now, ‘The Oregon Trail’ was created as a ‘learning tool’ to help kids learn about early settlers and how to manage life and family, and hopefully find success in your journey when you finally set digital foot on Oregon. However- the game usually devolved rather quickly into irony.

The first issue was allowing children to select their own family names. Kids will most likely choose their own name as the leader of the trail, but their family will not be so lucky. Some names may include: Farts Magee, Poop, Hershey Squirts, Boobs, and many other juvenile obsessions. Other than the names, the game really was more of a social observation on how cruel and unfiltered children are. Sure, some nerd somewhere probably played it correctly, but what was the fun in that?

With that said: Here is my quick and simple guide to beating The Oregon Trail (may God have mercy on your soul)



"Clothes? We're going to Oregon naked!"

4. Buying Supplies

Buying supplies is the first step of the game and the most important. It really dictates how your journey will begin. Most people might think that the most important thing is food or extra wagon parts. Put that right out of your head now. That stuff means NOTHING. The key is one thing and one thing alone.


You buy as many Oxen as you possibly can. Someone in your party may say something like this

Poop Head: But Kloipy, we need food to live!

Kloipy: You shut your face, Poop Head, I know what I’m doing!


Once you have gotten those tiny voices out of your head, you slam that 400 dollars down on the Shopkeep’s desk and you purchase those Oxen and don’t look back. Once done making your wise purchase you just watch how fast those Oxen book it. Sure half of them will die within minutes, and screw them if they can’t learn to survive, but you will be hitting check points in seconds.




3. Meal Rations

You have three choices of meal rations for you and your family (more on them soon). There is Filling, Meager, and Bare Bones. Meager seems like the rational choice as you know that sacrifice must be made to get to the glorious land of Oregon. This is not a Four Seasons Trail. You are the head of this expedition and your choices now determine the outcome of this dangerous but rewarding journey. So this is what you should do.

Put yourself on ‘Filling’: You need all your energy if you are going to lead a wagon train to Oregon. People may scoff at you for shoveling delicious Buffalo meat into your face, but hey, you deserve it.

Your Family: Bare Bones. Not only is ‘Bare Bones’ funny sounding, it is also economical and leaves more meat and food for you while they lay around in the wagon complaining about the amount of Oxen you bought, those ungrateful bastards




The majestic Buffalo. Watch them die with ease

2. Hunting

Hunting was a huge part of pioneer life and The Oregon Trail is no different. You didn’t buy food at the beginning (and you were smart not to) because out in the plains there is food everywhere. We all know that for some idiotic reason, you are only able to carry a specific weight of meat back to your wagon. We also know that the trail itself gets boring at times so this is pretty much your chance to cut loose and enjoy your life without the distraction of worrying about dysentery.

This really isn’t as much a way to get to Oregon as it is to pass the time: Remember that moral is everything on a journey such as this.

So you shoot every single creature that makes its way into your line of site. From Rabbits to Deer to the bountiful Buffalo. If your screen isn’t covered in at least 40 dead Buffalo carcasses then you are doing it wrong. You just acquired 200,000 pounds of meat, sure you can only take back 25 pounds, but it’s not like you will hunt the Buffalo into extinction or anything.




Rebecca was weak

1. If You Want to Make and Omelet, You Gotta Break a Few Eggs

A question you need to ask yourself at the start of this trail is this: Do you really want to make it Oregon?

If you answered yes then here’s what you need to remember: Forget your family! They have done nothing but hold you down this entire trip. Whether it’s getting explosive diarrhea or getting bit by rattlesnakes, they are constantly asking you to ‘Rest’. And you need to tell them NO. I don’t care if it’s something as small as a cold, to a broken ankle, they need to suck it up and keep Trailin’.

*note* If it is you that gets hurt, you rest as much as you need. 1 week rest for a stubbed toe? Sounds good to me.

Sure, by the time you get to Snake River, most of your family will either be in terrible condition, starving, or dead, but you will be rested, relaxed, and well fed and on your way to an exciting new life in Oregon.

The death of your party may cause some pause to the more sensitive gamer, but you must remember that death is just another part of life. And a new family awaits you in Oregon!



So there you have it, the most unethical way to beat The Oregon Trail. Follow these tests and you will make it there in record time and the lowest amount of final points available.

Happy Trails!




38 thoughts on “4 Easy (Unethical) Steps to Beating ‘The Oregon Trail’

  1. Major nostalgia here. Getting to play Oregon Trail in computer lab was the best. I miss it. Then they had Amazon Trail which was a questionable version set on the river. Pfft. OT was way better. DYSENTARY FOR EVERYONE!

  2. I hated that game. It kept asking me to choice route and I never actually made it to the end. I used to have a copy. Got it sometime in the early 2000’s. Wonder whatever happened to it?

  3. Hilarious! It’s so true though.. .before you could take out your sadism on the Sims, there was Oregon Trail. This so makes me want to play this game again, lol.

  4. Hehehe! Not being from the USA, I have only played this dumbed down version on facebook. I was most impressed by the game’s ability to bring my brother’s character back to life after he died of malnutrition… Good times. I love nostalgia stuff! 🙂

    • in the real version, once they died, they stayed dead, but The Zombie Oregon Trail sounds cool too 🙂

      • Zombies are just plain weird! I had a nightmare recently and then kept imagining that first suit wearing zombie from the original Night of the Living Dead chasing me… *shudders*

      • he is one of my favorite Zombies. Fun Fact: My grandparents live minutes away from that cemetary

  5. Great post. Never played the game (being from the UK), but it sounds like amusing nostalgic fun. Is this the same game now on iPhone?

  6. I’m not sure you’ve played this game. You cannot put yourself on a different food ration than the rest of your crew. You say “Put yourself on ‘Filling’”, and “Your Family: Bare Bones”. Funny but impossible.

  7. Man, this is a blast from the past! I endlessly played this game in second grade.

    I am trying to find another one from the same timeframe. It was a painting game and I remember when you clicked the paintbrush it made a bubble popping sound – so addictive!

    Anyone know the name of it?

  8. Funny enough, I followed these rules as best I could (some of it isn’t possible), and I won with no deaths at all with 7707 points.

  9. This advice is mostly right. Many people figured out independently that blazing through the trial in as little time as possible is the best way to make it to Oregon.

    I would state though that hunting should be avoided. It is often a waste of time. Buy as much food as you can at the beginning. Also, if provisions allow – you should rest and get everyone healthy right before you get to Oregon.

    Born in 77 and played OT during the 80’s. It ain’t Oregon Trail if it ain’t in green screen 🙂

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