How To Use Dead Eye In RDR2?

How To Use Dead Eye In RDR2

Read Dead Redemption 2 has been locked and loaded with core mechanics that define the overall “feel” of the game. While some of these mechanics are purely customary, important interactions like using Dead Eye serve to tell a story instead. 

It is not only the core mechanic of the game but also allows you to shoot better by aiming more precisely. However, needless to say, it’s quite useless if you don’t know how to trigger it. Besides, CD Projekt Red hasn’t necessarily done a good job of showing the how-to. 

Having said that, this article will be focusing on all the As, Bs, and Cs you need to know about how to use dead eye in RDR2 in order to ensure you never lose a gun bout ever again! With that out of the way, let’s jump right in!

Using Dead Eye – The How To

Dead Eye is a shooting mechanic in Red Dead Redemption 2 that allows you to slow down time and get a better aim on your targets. Here’s how to use it:

  • Fill up your Dead Eye meter: Dead Eye meter can be filled up by killing enemies, taking damage, or consuming certain items.
  • Activate Dead Eye: To activate Dead Eye, press and hold the right stick on your controller. If you’re playing on PC, you can activate it by pressing the “Caps Lock” key or the Mouse Scroll.
  • Target your enemies: Once you activate Dead Eye, you can use the right stick or your mouse to target your enemies.
  • Paint your targets: To get an accurate shot, you need to “paint” your targets by pressing the RT/R2 button on your controller or the left mouse button on your PC. You can paint multiple targets to take them all out at once.
  • Release and shoot: Once you’ve painted your targets, release the right stick or the key to exit Dead Eye mode and shoot your enemies.

What Are The Best Scenarios For Using Dead Eye?

Red Dead Redemption 2 is a game that presents a vast world full of opportunities to explore and engage with various activities. One of the most valuable tools in the game is the Dead Eye system, which can be used in many scenarios to enhance your gameplay.

In combat situations, Dead Eye can be a lifesaver, as it allows you to quickly and accurately target multiple enemies simultaneously. This is particularly useful when dealing with a large group of opponents or taking on a tough boss. Using Dead Eye can help you take down enemies more efficiently and avoid taking damage.

In the hunting aspect of the game, Dead Eye can also come in handy. By targeting specific body parts, such as the head or heart, you can achieve a cleaner kill and preserve the quality of the pelt. This is crucial if you want to sell the pelt for a higher price or use it to craft items.

Moreover, while you are horseback riding in the game, Dead Eye can be used to take out enemies who are pursuing you or shoot at animals on the move. This is an excellent way to protect yourself from lawmen or track down elusive prey.

Lastly, dueling is a unique gameplay element in Red Dead Redemption 2, and Dead Eye can give you an edge. By targeting your opponent’s weak spot with precision, you can ensure a perfect shot and gain an advantage in the fight. This is a game-changer in a game where dueling is a high-stakes encounter.

Here’s How To Unlock It!

This system allows players to slow down time and line up their shots with precision, making it a vital tool for taking down enemies and completing missions.

However, what many players may not know is that Dead Eye has five tiers, each offering unique benefits that can drastically improve their gameplay.

The first tier, called the Automatic Targeting Tier, can be unlocked by completing Chapter 1’s Old Friends mission. This tier allows players to utilize Dead Eye in order to aim and destroy enemies automatically. However, players can’t do anything about the x markers since the game doesn’t allow them this liberty, making it less than ideal.

Unlocking the second tier, called the Manual Targeting Tier, requires players to complete Chapter 2’s Pouring Forth Oil IV mission. This tier allows players to target enemies manually while in Dead Eye, significantly improving their gameplay and allowing for clear headshots.

To unlock the third tier, called the Post-Shot Marking Tier, players must complete Chapter 4’s Urban Pleasures mission. This tier allows players to stay in the mode, even after firing at a target, without marking them properly, which can be a lot of slack off your shoulders, considering you now have a lot more liberty with the mechanic. However, if players do mark a target, they will have to switch out of the mode automatically once the avatar has finished shooting. 

The fourth tier, called the Critical Area Targeting Tier, can be unlocked by completing Chapter 5’s Fleeting Joy mission. This tier marks the head alongside the hearts of your enemies in sight, allowing for more precise targeting.

Finally, the fifth and ultimate Dead Eye tier, called the Ultimate Dead Eye Tier, can be unlocked by completing Chapter 6’s Goodbye Dear Friend mission.

At this tier, players unlock everything from the first four tiers and can see the enemy’s lungs and stomachs highlighted in the red, allowing for one-shot kills.

But the fun doesn’t stop there. Players can still upgrade their Dead Eye levels further by earning experience points (XP) through combat. Every shot landed on an enemy earns XP towards their Dead Eye level, unlocking new abilities and bonuses that enhance their Dead Eye experience.

Customizing Your Dead Eye Usage

There are a couple of different modes available when it comes to using Dead Eye in the game. These include Passive and Active modes, which can be entered using different key combinations.

When you enter Passive Dead Eye mode, you won’t be spending any of your Dead Eye resource, and this can be really helpful when you’re in pursuit of someone in order to either chase, or hunt them. This mode has the added benefit of slowing down everything around you, which can give you an advantage in certain situations.

On the other hand, entering Active Dead Eye mode is a bit more involved. You’ll need to have your weapon out and then press the right mouse button before hitting the mouse scroll or caps lock key to activate it.

This mode will consume some of your Dead Eye resource, and the longer you stay in it, the more it will drain. However, this mode has its advantages too. For example, when you’re targeting an enemy, your cursor will turn red, indicating that you’re locked onto your foe.

If you want to mark a specific target area on your enemy while in Active Dead Eye mode, you can do so by pressing the X button.

You can press this button repeatedly to create multiple markers in the same area, which can be incredibly useful when facing Legendary Animals or in other tough situations. With enough markers in place, you can even one-shot kill your target!

When it comes to actually shooting while in Dead Eye mode, you’ll need to press the left mouse button. The number of shots you fire will depend on the number of markers you’ve placed on your targets. If you haven’t placed any markers, your character will simply fire a single round.

It’s also worth noting that if the tier of your Dead Eye skill has peaked enough, you’ll be able to stay in Dead Eye mode and keep shooting, but if your Tier is too low, you’ll automatically exit the mode.

All in all, Dead Eye can be an incredibly powerful tool in the game, and mastering it can give you a real advantage in combat.


In conclusion, mastering the Dead Eye ability in Red Dead Redemption 2 can greatly enhance your combat skills and give you an edge in difficult situations. By understanding the different levels of Dead Eye and practicing your timing and aim, you can become a deadly shot and take on even the toughest opponents with ease.

Remember to keep an eye on your Dead Eye meter and use it strategically to make the most of this powerful ability. With time and practice, you’ll be able to make the most of Dead Eye and become a true gunslinger in the Wild West.

Hopefully, now you know how to use dead eye in RDR2. Stay tuned for more interesting articles.

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Muhib is a huge MOBA fan that loves to get crafty in the Summoner's Rift. As a tech geek, you will often hear him talk about the latest and greatest gear in the current market! Oh, and good luck winning a Genshin Impact bout against him.

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