Red Dead Online lets you live out the fantasy of being a rootin’ tootin’ gunslinger. It’s a great game with a large array of weaponry to choose from. The slow and deliberate gunplay isn’t for everyone, but those who enjoy it, love it.
The hefty auto aim puts in a lot of work to make you feel like a real crack shot, but sometimes you may long for the thrill of pulling off those shots unassisted. It can be pretty hard to ween yourself off of auto aim’s teet, so we made this guide to help you improve your aim.
How To Turn Off Auto Aim
Turning off auto aim is very simple. You just go into the ‘options’ menu and into the ‘controls’ section. Then you’ll be met with a list of options in the ‘Targeting’ section.
You’ve probably already noticed this, but as long as you press aim when you’re facing enemies, you’ll ‘snap’ to them and lock on. That’s the auto aim.
Disable auto aim by changing ‘Lock-On Mode’ to ‘Free Aim’. Next, turn both ‘Aim Assist Strength’ bars off. Now you’ll be aiming like a real bandit, with nothing but your own grit and determination to see you through. Don’t miss.
Why You Should Turn Off Auto Aim
There are a few reasons to turn off auto aim. The first is that landing sick headshots on your own feels incredible. Sure, you won’t get them quite as often as if you had assistance, but when you do, you’ll feel like a true gunslinger.
The second is that there are some ability cards that prevent players from locking on. This would throw you off if you always relied on the auto aim, so getting used to not having it will make these ability cards useless.
The third and final reason is also the most important: turning off auto aim grants a big XP boost. This will make leveling up and clearing the ranks of the Outlaw Pass much faster, so it’s worth your while.
Practice On Trees
This may sound weird, but practicing on trees is a good way to get used to the way you have to move while free aiming. Instead of snapping on and off targets, you’re going to have to get used to either dragging the crosshair between targets while you aim, or get used to having it on target whenever you aim in.
Trying to shoot three trees that are next to each other as fast as you can will help you get used to moving the crosshair in free aim. This will help you improve your accuracy, meaning you’re actually shooting at the correct thing.
Take Your Time When Aiming
You’ve probably already noticed this, but the aiming reticle has a circle around it that gets smaller the longer you hold your shot. This is meant to mimic a slow outward breath, something real shooters do to make sure their breathing isn’t messing up their aim.
While intuitively you may think shooting as fast as possible and putting bullets down range will give you your best chance of hitting your target, you’d be mistaken. Carefully line up every shot and wait until the reticle is as small as possible before you pull the trigger.
It may be hard to get out of the habit of spraying bullets in a direction until everything is dead, but it will be worth it as each shot will be far more accurate and valuable.
Use Dead Eye To Aim More Precisely
Accurate and precise may seem synonymous, but they actually have two very different meanings. Accuracy refers to how close your shots are to hitting the target, a rival bandit’s head, for example. Precision refers to how close your shots are to each other. If you land three shots on an enemy’s chest, you’re precise but inaccurate; one shot to the neck, one to the hat, and one to the head means you’re accurate but imprecise.
Accuracy is something you’ll have to build up over time, but Dead Eye can help with precision. Dead Eye instantly closes the circle around your crosshair. This may seem like a small change, but it will make your shots far more precise. If you’re aiming at someone’s head and you quickly go into Dead Eye, your crosshair will become a single dot and your bullet will land there.
Take Care Of Your Weapons
Cleaning your weapons may seem like a chore, and it kind of is, but those little bonuses to stats will go a lot further when you’re free aiming. Doing slightly more damage or shots going further and being more accurate.
A little bit of care will go a long way, and when you don’t have auto aim guiding your hand, you’ll need all the help you can get. In real life, a dirty gun can jam and get you killed. In Red Dead Online, missing a shot or not getting a kill in one can do the same.
Adjust Your Sensitivity And Dead Zone
All of the tips contained in this guide so far won’t help much if your reticle is moving too slowly or your mouse/sticks aren’t responding to your movements properly. Preference on these settings will differ from person to person, but generally, upping the sensitivity and lowering the size of the ‘Dead Zone’ will make aiming feel more responsive.
The ‘Dead Zone’ refers to the distance you can move your controller before your character takes notice and follows suit. Having this too low might make the aiming feel twitchy, but having it too high will make it feel sluggish. Set it to zero and go from there until you find the sweet spot.
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