Dysentery never looked so good: The Oregon Trail has gotten free DLC on PC

The Oregon Trail pioneers on trail.
The Oregon Trail pioneers on trail. (Image credit: Gameloft)

What you need to know

  • A complete remake of The Oregon Trail launched in 2022 bringing with it updated 3D visuals and polished mechanics. 
  • Now, The Oregon Trail has received free DLC on PC and Switch to keep gameplay fresh and interesting. 
  • This content was originally exclusive to the Apple Arcade version of the game but now provides more historical storylines for players to engage with on PC and Switch. 

The Oregon Trail remake developed and published by Gameloft released just a few month ago in November 2022 and has received positive reviews in that time. It manages to keep the core survival concept of the original game while enhancing the playing experience with a improved visuals, effects, and polished mechanics. 

As of today, Gameloft has released a brand new Cowboys and Critters DLC for PC and Switch, which brings several real-life adventurer's stories into the game as well as early cryptid tales. This extra content had previously only been available on the Apple Arcade version of The Oregon Trail, but now it's been added to the PC and Switch versions for absolutely free. You just need to buy the base game.   

Here is what Gameloft says is included in the free Cowboys and Critters DLC:

  • Thirteen new stories exploring more fearsome critters and animals on the trail that were both unusual and amusing. These stories became an oral tradition popular amongst loggers and mountain men in the 19th and early 20th centuries often considered the precursors to modern day cryptids.
  • A select Native American story told by Sarah Winnemucca about the legend of “The People Eaters,” a cannibalistic, fearsome  red-headed tribe who fought against the Numa people.
  • A new story focused on the Horse Creek Treaty, where players help the Lenape family travel to Fort Laramie to help act as interpreters between the Crow and the United States. This new story also adds to the game two new characters - Thomas Fitzpatrick and Mato Oyuhu.
  • A new story exploring the Chisholm Trail Journey. Established in 1867 by Jesse Chisholm and Black Beaver, players will draft and direct a chuck wagon party and travel alongside several cowboys as they work to herd a large group of cattle from San Antonio to Abilene. This story takes place over a two-leg journey and includes ten new locations.

Windows Central's take

The Oregon Trail video game has always been one of those titles that manages to border on the line between actually being a fun, educational game and one that everyone lovingly mocks because of how difficult it is as a survival game. Regardless, it holds a lot of nostalgia for anyone who grew up playing it and it's fun to revisit today in this remake. 

It's interesting to note that the original Oregon Trail game released in 1971 on an HP 2100 microcomputer and was intended as an educational tool. A student teacher named Don Rawitsch and two of his fellow students created the program as a way to teach an 8th-grade history class about the difficulties on the trail. Somewhat ahead of its time, it soon became an instant classic that would go on to find its way on several generations of computers after that as it became one of the best PC games of all time

The free Cowboys and Critters DLC continues in the same spirit as the original game by providing real stories from history for players to engage with. It continues to be one of the most successful educational tools that manages to also entertain.  

The Oregon Trail | See at Steam

The Oregon Trail | See at Steam

Embark across the prairie with your party on your way west. There are many dangers and you'll have to see if you can keep everyone alive by providing enough food, medicine, and other necessities. 

Rebecca Spear
Editor and Reviewer

Self-professed gaming geek, Rebecca Spear, is one of Windows Central's editors and reviewers with a focus on gaming handhelds, PC gaming, and laptops. When she isn't checking out the latest games on Xbox Game Pass, PC, ROG Ally, or Steam Deck; she can be found digital drawing with a Wacom tablet. She's written thousands of articles with everything from editorials, reviews, previews, features, previews, and hardware reviews over the last few years. If you need information about anything gaming-related, her articles can help you out. She also loves testing game accessories and any new tech on the market. You can follow her @rrspear on X (formerly Twitter).