Dueling is a staple of Western stories, used as a way for two individuals to settle a score or to prove their prowess with a weapon. In a duel, opponents face each other over a short distance and attempt to draw their weapon and shoot their opponent before their opponent can do the same to them.
In Red Dead Revolver, dueling is a major gameplay element. In Red Dead Redemption, dueling occurs in several story missions and Stranger side missions as well as in random encounters or when caught cheating at Poker.
Red Dead Revolver
The Battle Royale is a large and bloody dueling competition that occurs towards the end of the campaign in Red Dead Revolver.
Red Dead Redemption
Marston may be randomly challenged to duels by either outlaws or vigilantes, depending on the player's current honor, while passing through a settlement. Marston will also be challenged to a duel if caught cheating while playing Poker. Occasionally, the player may also be challenged to a duel if they knock over an NPC while on horseback.
After accepting a dueling challenge, press the Left Trigger (Xbox 360) or the L2 button (PS3) to draw Marston's sidearm when the "draw" prompt appears on screen. A player may choose to draw anytime either before or after the "draw" prompt. If the player draws early, the camera will be zoomed out farther from the target, making it harder to aim correctly. If the player waits and draws after the "draw" prompt, the camera will be closer to your opponent, making it easier to mark them in vital zones.
Success in a duel means filling your "duel meter" faster than your opponent does his. Once Marston draws his weapon, the player must "paint" the target with a Dead-Eye type expanding crosshair reticle. The reticle will repeatedly grow and turn red, then shrink and turn white. Pressing the Right Trigger (Xbox 360) or R2 button (PS3) when the reticle is red will fill a miniscule portion of the meter, while marking a shot when the cross-hair is white will fill a larger portion of the meter. Shots to the chest and head will fill the meter quickly, while shots to the stomach or legs will fill less of the meter. Keep in mind that the player's meter doesn't need to be completely filled to win the duel, it only has to be larger than your opponents. Once your meter is filled, the R2 button (PS3) fires the shots.
You may also win a duel by disarming your opponent. To disarm an opponent, the player must mark the NPC's arm or gun, and can still mark others spot on the body after. After the mark is placed correctly, the player's meter will fill by a large amount, likely winning the duel with only one shot.
Killing an opponent generates Fame, while disarming an opponent will generate both Honor and Fame. Most opponents encountered throughout the course of the main storyline and Stranger side-missions cannot be disarmed and must be killed. However, while it is possible to achieve this feat, usually enemies will often produce another weapon such as a backup sidearm and continue to try and kill the player. On some occasions, if a weapon is successfully shot out of an opponent's hand, they will hold their hand in pain. They can still be killed or hogtied with the lasso (the player will receive no bonus for doing this) after the duel, but if not dealt with on the spot, the loser will often flee the scene.
Marston can choose to refuse a duel. If the player chooses to walk away instead of walking to the marker after accepting the duel or shoots the challenger before the duel, honor may be lost. Killing the challenger at this time could also result in a Bounty. However, if the player battles out the challenger with their fists, the duel will be prevented and the player can walk away with no honor penalty.
As with other Stranger tasks, there is no penalty to honor if a player chooses to ignore a random challenge entirely.
- Marston will still fan the hammer of semi-automatic guns, such as the High Power Pistol, Semi-automatic pistol or the Mauser Pistol, which is a technique unnecessary on semi-automatic firearms because the action of the slide re-cocks the hammer each time the weapon is fired; in fact, trying to do so would result in the weapon's slide smashing the user's hand. Fanning the hammer is only useful on single action weapons because the hammer must be cocked every time, so slapping the hand against the hammer quickly is much faster than using the thumb. It could theoretically be done with a double-action revolver as long as it is not double-action-only, but would provide little advantage.
- If the player has a wide enough camera view by drawing earlier, they can actually mark onlookers in the crowd and wound or kill them. After the duel, no bounty will be incurred for wounding or killing civilians in the crowd. However, when marking people in the crowd, it will not fill up Marston's meter, essentially making them wasted shots.
- Even if you kill an NPC in a Duel, the NPC will continue to respawn for future duels and minigames. (Confirmed on PS3 and Xbox 360).
- Killing a shopkeeper (such as Herbert Moon) in a duel caused by cheating at poker will not cause their shop to be unavailable for five days.
- It is recommended to not quick-draw in the later duels, as the shots will be highly inaccurate and will usually result in the opponent winning.
- It is also recommended to disarm the opponent, as the player gains double the honor and fame.
- After killing a person in a duel, sometimes the same exact person can still be found alive; in some cases, they may even stare at their own corpse. This happens with characters like Herbert Moon (as explained on his page, there are normally two Herbert Moons at any given time).
- Trying to disarm the opponent in any storyline duels the duel bar will not fill up, resulting in the opponent winning.