Red Dead Online Showdown Series tips: How to get ahead and claim victory in the competitive modes

If you've got yourself up to speed with some Red Dead Online Showdown Series tips then you'll be ready to jump into the various types of competitive game modes available in Rockstar's Wild West, which is handy as there's now plenty of them to select from. Admittedly it's not difficult to travel around creating your own chaos in the open world of Red Dead Online, but for a more structured approach to your battles the Red Dead Online Showdown Series cycles through a complete set of competitive game modes. Not only does this put you in contact with other players also looking for a fight, but you'll teleport straight to the right location without the need to travel or search for a waypoint.

We've taken the four original competitive modes – Make It Count, Name Your Weapon, Most Wanted, and Hostile Territory – and put together this set of Red Dead Online Showdown Series tips to help you understand the unique set up in each game type. If you're an Xbox One player, you can now also try out the Make It Count: Ancient Tomahawk mode, which was previously a PS4 exclusive. Follow our guidance, and you'll have a fighting chance to rise to the top and claim victory against those lesser-prepared opponents winging their way through.

Red Dead Online tips | Red Dead Online roles | Red Dead Online patch notes | Make money fast in Red Dead Online | Earn XP fast in Red Dead Online | Red Dead Online rank unlocks | Best Red Dead Online weapons | Red Dead Online best horses | Red Dead Online gang hideouts | Red Dead Online posse | Easiest Red Dead Online gold buckles | Switch your morality in Red Dead Online | Red Dead Online gold bars | Red Dead Online cameos | Red Dead Online Prime Gaming benefits

Make It Count tips

Red Dead Online Make It Count tips

1. Keep on moving

Something that you’ll quickly find out the hard way is that when you stay in one position during Make It Count matches, you will be instantaneously revealed to all of your competitors on the mini-map. The same will happen when you kill someone. As you can imagine, this isn’t very conducive to your survival, so keep moving at all times, even if it’s just a slow amble through the treeline. Alternatively, use this to your advantage and keep an eye on the mini-map for blips to follow.

2. Use the environment

Stay low to the ground whenever you’re skulking around in the early game, but also be sure to use your surroundings. In the more swampy maps there will be tall grass you can stand in and be completely invisible to players. Buildings can be worthwhile when used properly too. Also, when you see an enemy approaching who doesn’t know you’re there, be inventive and let them come to you, pouncing with your bow and arrow or throwing knife when the time is right.

3. FOV for the win

Players can switch between third and first-person on the fly in Red Dead Online, but it’s easy to get locked to a camera view that might not give you the best angle on your enemies. When you start a game of Make It Count, ensure that you’re zoomed out as far as possible so that you can see enemies in your periphery or behind you. Being able to spot someone in the corner of your eye can be the difference between victory and defeat.

Most Wanted tips

Red Dead Online Most Wanted tips

1. Loot chests aren’t really worth it

The allure of the loot chest would be palpable in a game mode where better weapons mean more points, but in Most Wanted it’s not a very viable use of your time. Pick up health kits and extra weapons if you need to solve a distance problem, but this should be mostly taken care of by your personal loadout. Ensure you have a rifle and a shotgun and spend the time taken up by looting wiping out enemies and climbing the leaderboard instead.

2. Aim for the head

In both a literal and metaphorical sense, aiming for the head in Most Wanted is the quickest route to success. Players that have had more kills and are leading the pack will appear on your minimap with a number adorning their icon. The higher that is the more points you will receive if you wipe them out, so put them out of the running ASAP. Gameplay-wise, you want to headshot your foes as much as possible – as well as a small XP boost, it’s a one hit kill and is totally worth the extra seconds of movement.

3. Don’t forget Dead Eye

A lot of people seem to forget about Dead Eye in the chaos of Most Wanted, but truthfully it’s one of the best tools, and could secure the win if used carefully. Especially when you’re far away from enemies, you can tag and shoot them in the distance by merely glazing over them with your reticule. Positioning is also important in this regard – most players will mindlessly hunt the top dog, but don’t be a sheep. If you see players swarming on a location, find a flank and approach from behind to get the jump on them. Equally, sometimes it can be useful to reject your spawn point and turn around to flip the switch on opponents who aren't expecting you.

Name Your Weapon tips

Red Dead Online Name Your Weapon tips

1. Risky business

Name Your Weapon is all about risk vs reward, and in our experience, the winners are the risk takers. Never ever settle for your own loadout even if you spawn into a life or death situation. Even something middling like a shotgun will triple your points output in this game mode, so it’s totally worth getting comfortable with any weapon. Bows and Thrown Weapons constitute the most points per kill. Sure, it’s a little bit more tricky but one Tomahawk to the head is worth seven kills with your rifle, so what better way to level the playing field.

2. Fists to a gunfight

Melee is underrated in Name Your Weapon. In fact, melee is underrated in most game modes in Red Dead Online, even free roam. When you run up to somebody and tap Circle/B, you will tackle them to the ground and have the ability to subdue or dismiss them. Simply hold the tackle button until they’re choked out or executed. Most players don’t know how to deal with this, especially if they’re expecting you to fire at them from afar. Use this to your advantage in Name Your Weapon by equipping a Tomahawk, but make sure you do it in a secluded spot so that another player can’t shoot you off. Executions will also grant a nice bump in XP.

3. Maxim mishaps

Sure, they look incredibly dangerous and powerful, and they are! Yet the ultimate foil of the Maxim Gun is that you have to stay in one spot to use it properly. You can rack up numerous kills, but if you’re up against a league of sharpshooters you won’t last very long at all. If you’re in an open field and enemies are heading your way, hop on then rip and tear through the competition for a quick and easy bump in points – just know when to fold!

Hostile Territory tips

Red Dead Online Hostile Territory tips

1. Start strong

Unequip your weapons and hop on a nearby horse at the start of every match if you can, then head to the territory that is furthest away. Capture this to confuse the enemy teams and split them up, so they can be easy pickings when you establish dominion on the map. Simple wins are had when you control a spot on either side of the map, leaving your opponents to run around like headless chickens in the middle.

2. Hold the fort

One of the worst mistakes people make whilst playing Hostile Territory is running directly at a new capture point from spawn. Support your teammates! Once your team owns a point, stay on it like it’s the Overwatch payload and defend it from invaders with a close-range weapon. Set up cover in a solid position, keep away from the windows and make sure there’s at least one person guarding a territory whilst the rest of your team invades another.

3. Use your environment

Hostile Territory has a diverse map pool that will take you all over the Old West, favouring towns and complexes over open fields. Use what you know about these famous locations to find vantage points and cripple your enemies. As mentioned previously, the spawn system is not so smooth just yet and elevation is everything. Most of the time enemies will spawn on hillsides and be forced to run in the open to the capture points. Keep a few rifles trained on the known spawn point and put your opponents down before they can even see you.

Red Dead Redemption 2 cheats | Make money fast in Red Dead Redemption 2 | Best Red Dead Redemption 2 weapons | Red Dead Redemption 2 best horse | Red Dead Redemption 2 Legendary Animals | Red Dead Redemption 2 Legendary Fish | Red Dead Redemption 2 treasure maps | Red Dead Redemption 2 100% completion

Looking for more help? Then check out our essential Red Dead Redemption 2 tips in the video below:

Freelance writer

Jordan Oloman has hundreds of bylines across outlets like GamesRadar+, PC Gamer, USA Today, The Guardian, The Verge, The Washington Post, and more. Jordan is an experienced freelance writer who can not only dive deep into the biggest video games out there but explore the way they intersect with culture too. Jordan can also be found working behind-the-scenes here at Future Plc, contributing to the organization and execution of the Future Games Show.