Dead Eye in RDR2 is a core mechanic in the game. Leveling up, or upgrading RDR2 Dead Eye is really important, and there’s a number of ways to do it. Then, there’s also the matter of replenishing Dead Eye in Red Dead Redemption 2. Also, you might be wondering when Dead Eye special abilities in RDR 2 unlock and how to do it. Our Red Dead Redemption 2 Dead Eye Upgrade guide will show you how to level up RDR2 Dead Eye, how to replenish it, and when the special abilities unlock.
RDR2 Dead Eye – How to Upgrade Core Meter?
To upgrade your Dead Eye Core Meter in Red Dead Redemption 2, or level it up, there are certain actions you have to perform. Basically, there’s certain things you can do to gain more Dead Eye XP. There’s a whole bunch of them; some of them are more complicated, others are a breeze to pull off. Of course, the amount of XP you get depends on how difficult the action is. Let’s go over them.
Cooking a meal, crafting an item, and scoring a free-aim kill grants you one Dead Eye XP. It can be any meal or item. Completing camp chores earns you five Dead Eye XP for each, as does finding special collectibles. Skinning an animal earns you anywhere between one and ten XP, depending on the animal. Landing headshots from over 50 meters distance can earn you from one to five, depending on the distance you’ve landed the shot from. All of the above actions can be repeated to grind out the XP.
Another thing you can do is drink Valerian Root. This will grant you 25% of XP that is necessary to get to the next level of Dead Eye. Good stuff. This action is technically something you can repeat, but there’s a limited amount of Valerian Root in the game, so use it sparingly. All of the above lets you get your RDR2 Dead Eye level to 8, but there is a way to go above it. Let’s dive in.
How to Level Up Red Dead Redemption 2 Dead Eye – Challenges
The challenges that let you upgrade your RDR2 Dead Eye are in the Bandit and Gambler group of challenges. There’s a whole bunch of them, so we’re going to name them below in nice little lists, along with how much Dead Eye XP they give you. All of these challenges can only be done once, so no repeating; it’s a one-time thing.
RDR2 Dead Eye XP Gambler Challenges
- Double down and win a hand of blackjack five times – 25 XP
- In each poker location (Valentine, Flatneck, Saint Denis), make one opponent go bust – 50 XP
- In dominoes, win three rounds against two or fewer opponents, without drawing any tiles – 50 XP
- While playing blackjack, beat the dealer in both Van Horn and Rhodes – 100 XP
- Using three hits or more, win three hands of blackjack – 100 XP
- You have to win three games of dominoes one after the other – 150 XP
RDR2 Dead Eye XP Bandit Challenges
- Complete two coach robbery missions (any), or rob two coaches on the road – 25 XP
- Get your bounty up to $250 in any one state – 50 XP
- Rob three coaches in a single day – 50 XP
- Sell seven wagons that you have stolen to the Emerald Ranch fence – 100 XP
- Steal and sell five horses to the Clemens Cove horse fence – 100 XP
- Capture and hogtie somebody and leave them on the railroad tracks three times – 150 XP
How to Unlock Red Dead Redemption 2 Dead Eye Special Abilities?
To unlock Dead Eye special abilities in Red Dead Redemption 2, you simply have to play the game and push the main story missions. The first ability will unlock during Chapter 1 and the mission “Old Friends.” This gives you the slow-mo effect where you can tag enemies by moving the reticle.
The second ability becomes available in the second chapter; specifically, in the “Pouring Forth Oil” mission. The second Dead Eye ability allows you to tag enemies and targets manually, by pressin either R1 or RB, depending on your platform. You can take care of several multiple targets this way.
The Chapter 4 mission “Banking, the Old American Art” will unlock the third RDR2 Dead Eye special ability. With this, you can stay in Dead Eye while firing, as long as you don’t tag any targets.
Red Dead Redemption Dead Eye special ability number five highlights weak spots (or fatal spots, if you will) for you, while you use Dead Eye. You’ll get this ability in the mission “Fleeting Joy” in Chapter 5.
The fifth and final Dead Eye special ability in RDR2 will unlock in Chapter 6, in the mission “Goodbye, Dear Friend.” This is arguably the most powerful of them all, as is appropriate for the final level. This ability highlights critical areas of your targets, for that truly extra lair of screw-you to the enemy.
RDR2 Dead Eye – How to Replenish Core Meter?
To replenish the Dead Eye Core Meter in Red Dead Redemption 2, there are several things you can do. For one, the meter will refill when you kill people. The amount you get back depends on how full your Dead Eye is overall. You can also get a small amount of Dead Eye back by sleeping. These methods, however, are not exactly the most efficient. Fortunately, there’s more things you can do to get back more RDR2 Dead Eye meter. And all of them involve consumables.
The first method to get more Dead Eye in Red Dead Redemption 2 is consuming certain tonics. Arguably the best of the bunch is Potent Snake Oil or Special Snake Oil, pictured above. It fully restores your Dead Eye meter. There’s also food, such as Canned Corn Beef. Then, you can indulge some vices. Certain spirits can return your Dead Eye, including Gin and Fine Brandy. Just scroll through your inventory and look at the descriptions.
Lastly, you can smoke cigarettes to get back a small amount of the Dead Eye. The only problem is that smoking takes off some of your Stamina Core, so it’s a bit of a trade-off. Fortunately, Stamina does replenish more easily than Dead Eye, so that’s not too big of a problem.
If you end up getting stuck at another point, you might want to check out some of the other guides we have. We've written about mysteries like the missing person Gavin, the Rhodes Gunsmith prisoner, the locked door at Valentine doctor. We also have instructional guides that show how to rob stores without getting bounty or where to sell jewelry and gold bars. If it's collectibles or key items you're after, we've found all the Penny Dreadful comic books, Chick's treasure map location, or that famous pipe for Dutch. Finally, if you don't care to explore the map yourself, you could take a look at our Watson's Cabin and Catfish Jackson's Homestead locations guides. In the latest Red Dead Online Moonshiners Update you'll have a chance to find Navy Revolver and Best Shack Locations.