I accepted a duel from a random NPC and the game told me to slowly press R2, and while I was doing that the other guy shot me in the face and I died and lost 7 dollars. I didn't have time to learn anything before I was dead, and it's not in the Help menu so I'm hoping somebody else can explain the dueling mechanics to me before I get shot in the face again. Thanks!

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    Simply holding R2 (not slowly) and then pressing it quickly multiple times to shoot worked for me, but I still didn't manage to understand the actual mechanics of duels despite winning one. Oct 27, 2018 at 14:42

4 Answers 4


Duels works by holding down R2 slightly to fill the 'dead eye' meter, while this is happening you need to watch your opponent to see what they are doing as they may not draw straight away, dive out the way, pull out a knife or do any number of unexpected things.

The longer you slightly hold R2 down, the more your 'dead eye' bar will fill and the longer your will have to aim. To draw your weapon and begin aiming you need to push R2 all the way down then release the button. When exactly is the best time to do this will vary wildly in every duel. You just need to watch your opponent and draw when you have enough 'dead eye' time to hit the target you want.

Apart from the actions of your opponent, you also need to consider what you want to aim at once you have drawn. If you don't want to shoot to kill you may require a longer time to aim.

Once you have lined up your shot press R2 again to fire.

If you have waited too long to draw and you don't have time to aim before the opponent shots you, then you can press R2 rapidly again after you have drawn. This usually results in a body shot to your opponent, provided they haven't moved out the way, and will usually kill them.


I have an elite (xbox) controller and was experiencing the same thing for one of the story missions. It dodnt matter how fast I pressed the button, there was no opportunity to also press it completely.

To get around this, I had to map an extra button also to RT. So i used RT to slow press, then pressed my newly mapped "RT" to draw.


When competing in a dual (or at any point in the game) you can slowly press RT/R2 and you will see a circle slowly wrap around the icon at the bottom right. When you press RT/R2 all the way down you will draw your gun and enter dead eye.

The longer you pull the trigger the longer you will have in dead eye once you draw.


I finally see the problem and you’re not gonna like it. Old controllers for some reason can not detect the second the command after you hold the right trigger. I switched out the button assignments to see if I had to tap the right trigger in order to for my draw my handgun and I was right. My controller that I bought 1 year ago works fine with duels but my black controller that came in with my PS4 in 2015 is not working too well with duels. I’m sorry bro, but if you only got one controller and that one doesn’t work. You are gonna have to buy another one if you want to duel properly.

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