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Put simply, duelling in Red Dead Redemption is a timed event. The gunslinger with the larger bar (more filled meter) at the end of the time limit wins the duel. But duelling may not be as easy as it seems. You might win your first duel by button mashing, but as you progress through Red Dead Redemption you'll find duel challenges harder and harder. Here's some tips on duels to make sure you win everytime!



Duelling is all about the timing. Use LT/L2 to draw your gun. The earlier your gun is drawn in a duel, the more zoomed out you are, thus making placement of shots more difficult and less accurate. However, that does not affect the rate at which your meter fills up with the exception of being harder to place good shots. The more skilled you are, the earlier you can draw in a duel. Though it is often not necessary to draw early to ensure a win.

I would recommend drawing the gun later in a duel, when the game suggests, i.e. when "DRAW" appears on screen. This allows you to move the cursor around more freely, making it more easy and visible after each shot is placed.

Painting The Enemy

After your gun is drawn, you will be in Dead-Eye mode and see the cursor. The cursor repeatedly zooms in turning from red to white. The more zoomed in and white the cursor is when you press the fire (RT/R2) button, the more accurate your shot is and the greater the meter fills up. Therefore, do not hastily press the fire button during a duel, be calm and patient.

Placement of shots

Headshots and torsos shots will fill you meter more quickly than a shot to the legs or arms. Also if you are trying to disarm the duelling opponent, aim for the gun or the hand holding it. By disarming the enemy, your meter will fill up fast and you will recieve honor for not killing your opponent in the duel. That choice is up to you. Every duel will gain you fame as long as you don't get killed.

You will notice, with experience, that placing shots in the same place makes it difficult to judge the level of zoom of the cursor. This will require you to move the cursor around a little or to other parts of the body to place shots. This is why I recommend drawing the gun late, making the opponent more zoomed in and the area of the target larger.


  • Draw the gun as soon as the game says, not earlier. (Experience will allow you to draw it earlier)
  • Pull the cursor up to the target area.
  • Be patient and pull the shoot (RT/R2) button when the cursor is zoomed in the most.
  • Move the cursor around so that it is more visible.
  • Keep repeating the process until the time runs out or your meter is filled.
  • You will fire all your shots and win the duel if your meter is more filled than theirs.

Good luck, and happy duelling!