There are many forms of combat. While gunplay is a central component of each game, combat can also be performed with melee attacks, Thrown Weapons, and mounted weapons. The player can fight on foot, behind cover, on horseback, or from moving vehicles such as Trains and Stagecoaches.
Taking cover is a very important part of combat. The player is exposed on horseback and on foot, while walls and other objects can provide protection. Marston can 'hug' walls, crates, rocks, he can open (or close) doors while in cover, he can lean out and shoot or fire blindly at enemies. While in cover, press the button again while holding the stick towards a second piece of cover (e.g. opposite side of a door, nearby crate/rock) and Marston will dash into the new cover. The cover system has changed a little from another Rockstar series, Grand Theft Auto. In the GTA series, the player still had a crosshair while blind-firing. Now Marston, as well as the player, has no clue what he'll hit. It's not an effective way of fighting, but it can give the player some breathing time and suppress the enemies for a while.
- Note: Taking cover in Undead Nightmare is not recommended as the undead will pursue you wherever you may be. Using melee, they will go around whatever you are hiding behind, making cover a futile system in the DLC pack. If you attack a survivor in Undead Nightmare, then they will attack you as if they would in the original game. This situation makes cover a valuable system, although dead eye could simply be used as it is rare to fight more than one human at a time.
Marston has a variety of other skills, like Dead-Eye Targeting or rolling. He can roll in any direction he chooses, which is a great opportunity to evade an incoming bullet/stagecoach/angry bull and such. Marston can replenish Dead Eye and health during battle, using Chewing Tobacco, Moonshine, Snake Oil and Tonic.
Euphoria is a character behavior system from NaturalMotion, used by Rockstar Games, in conjunction with the RAGE engine, in many games, like Red Dead Redemption or GTA IV. It simulates human behavior. For example, when the player shoots a humanoid enemy in a leg, he'll still walk, but with a noticeable limp on the injured leg. If the player shoots the enemy in both his legs, he will lie on his knees and shoot the player, and then perish shortly after. If an enemy is shot at the end of the spinal cord (the lower back), it will put the enemy into a crawling state, leaving them to moan and sputter death-related comments, then die a few moments later. Another example has the player killing an enemy when they are firing at you with a pistol/revolver. When the player fires the fatal shot, as the enemy falls to the ground, they will fire one last shot, as a last ditch effort.