How Dead Eye Works in Red Dead Online

Jumping into Red Dead Online can feel like a more massive feature of Red Dead Redemption 2, but there are notable differences, such as how dead eye works

Screengrab via Rockstar

Dead eye varies in Red Dead Online compared to Red Dead Redemption 2. It’s tweaked to work differently compared to the main game because of the real-time combat and how you might use it against other players. Every player also has access to four ability card slots, with the first slot being the dead eye ability card. The other three are passive abilities that offer unique benefits. You unlock the first at rank 10, the second at rank 20, and the third at rank 40. They are not connected to how the dead eye ability works, but are extremely useful to personalize how you play the game.

How Dead Eye Works In Red Dead Online

Red Dead Online’s dead eye works differently, and an ability attached to it, and the three additional slots to the side of it. These slots are passives, but the main slot for dead eye determines what benefit you receive while using it. To activate dead eye, you need to have enough by pressing the L2 button and then click the R3 button. The most significant change to the ability is how it doesn’t slow downtime. Your screen does turn yellow and mark enemies, but you have to be faster than you used to be. Additionally, you rely heavily on the ability cards to determine what it does. 

Dead Eye Ability Cards & Their Effects/Power

To view ability cards, launch the weapon wheel and press the triangle button to launch Ability Loadout. Here’s the list of all the dead eye abilities you can fit into the first option.

Dead Eye Abilities:

  • A Moment To Recuperate: While the dead eye is active you slowly regenerate health. Taking any damage will cancel dead eye. Price – Free.
  • Focus Fire: While the dead eye is active, you and your team members deal a little more damage. If more than one member of your team has this ability active, the effects do not stack. Price – Free.
  • Paint It Black I: While the dead eye is active you can paint targets onto enemies. Fire your weapon to shoot all marked targets. Each shot drains dead eye. Price – Free.
  • Slow and Steady I: While the dead eye is active, you take a little less damage and headshots don’t kill you instantly. You cannot run or sprint. Price – Rank 24.
  • Quite an Inspiration I: While the dead eye is active you and your allies slowly regenerate health. The effects do not stack. Price – Rank 44.
  • Slippery Bastard I: While the dead eye is active enemy players cannot lock onto you, and you cannot lock onto them. Other enemies are a little less accurate when shooting you. The rate at which your dead eye drains is dramatically increased. Price – Rank 50.

We suggest going with A Moment To Recuperate because it offers you slight health regeneration. You have to take care you don’t get shot or else it will cancel the effect. The second one you can try out is Paint it Black that allows you to paint a target on enemies so you can take more. These are excellent early ones, but when you start to level up, you may want to try Quite an Inspiration if you’re in a posse, or Slow and Steady if you’re playing by yourself.

Don’t forget to read our Red Dead Redemption 2 Wiki guide, which is a massive index of lots of guides and tips on the game.