I missed the instructions during my first duel, but I didn't really worry about it since I just shot a lot at the guy's head, and he died. Many duels went the same way...I could shoot the opponent easily. But during tougher duels, that doesn't work. It seems like you have to have your meter on the right end up higher than your opponents meter...but it's not clear to me exactly how the meter works. And the one bit of advice I remember the game giving me, to "not draw too quickly, because my shots would be inaccurate" or something, doesn't seem to make any sense, since I can manually control where the shots go.

What is the secret to a successful duel?

  • 2
    yeah i have the same doubt to me it just looks like its completely random
    – bangoker
    Jul 9, 2010 at 21:37

4 Answers 4


I had trouble with dueling too. Perhaps try shooting where your crosshair lights up red. Also wait until dead-eye automatically engages and it tells you to draw. (?)

You can also try disarming the guy by shooting him in the hand. Some people, usually story related, cannot be disarmed, as such aiming for the hand will only get you killed instead, which can be frustrating.

Rockstar discussed it a little here, hopefully this is helpful: http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/5991/rockstar_game_tips_dueling_like_a_pro_in_red_dead_redemption.article

  • That link was actually quite useful! I knew you had to fill the bar.. but I had no idea how it worked.. I never noticed the aim changing color!!!
    – bangoker
    Jul 9, 2010 at 21:47

As an addendum to Teebery's 4 points:

5.. Every trigger pull increases your duel meter, which needs to be higher than the other guy's to win.

6.. You get more duel meter off some parts of the body than others -- like head or gun hand. You also get more from a white crosshair than red.

7.. Shooting the opponent's gun hand will often instantly end the fight. The opponent will remain alive, be disarmed, and you'll get significantly more Fame points.

  1. Don't pull your gun until the "draw" command.
  2. Put the cross hair on a fatal part of the body (chest is easiest).
  3. Wait until the cross hair turns white and then fire.
  4. Repeat until he dies.

You have to do a couple of things to correctly duel. First, when it says draw, you need to pull down on the stick until John grabs his gun. Then, line up the crosshairs until they turn white, the enemies gun hand or head arethe easiest, and fire. I recommend NOT using a pistol but a revolver for a duel. Most duels you have to go to the starting point to initiate the duel. Switch to a revolver. In the little that I dueled with the semi-auto or the mauser, since they can hold quite a few bullets, they take a bit longer to fire.

  • Red means DEAD.
    – Brok3n
    Jun 13, 2014 at 4:38

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