If you’re playing Red Dead Online, recently released as a standalone game, then you know how hard it is to find people to do PvE events with and how easy it is to find people to PvP against. The community has decided that their favorite part of the game is PvP, but if it’s going to be your favorite, you’ll need to know how to prepare.
And the most critical preparation starts with equipping in the right weapon. Too many amateurs are bringing the proverbial knife to the gunfights. In a shootout, one of the best guns in the game can make up for skill deficiency and bad luck. It’ll keep you level with the experts who have perfected their craft and give you an edge over everyone else using inferior tools.
10 Amazing: Bolt-Action Rifle
- $216 from the gunsmith or the catalog.
- Unlocked at level 7.
Snipers have historically dominated the PvP events; the statistics on the Bolt-Action Rifle essentially ensure that this won’t change anytime soon. With a few upgrades, the damage, range, and accuracy are all close to maxed out. For a sniper rifle, there’s not much more to want.
9 Do Not Use: LeMat Revolver
- $317 from the gunsmith or the catalog.
- Unlocked at level 1.
The LeMat Revolver is a good gun in general in Red Dead Online as it acts as a revolver and a shotgun combined. The problem is that, in PvP, it’s not the best revolver or the best shotgun, and this “jack of all trades” weapon just gets shredded against specialists that are using revolvers at midrange or shotguns up close.
8 Amazing: Repeating Shotgun
- $434 from the gunsmith or the catalog.
- Unlocked at level 11.
A few patches ago, almost every single top-ranked player primarily used sniper rifles. The support team took a careful look at this tendency and gave several weapons a boost to catch up, including the Repeating Shotgun, which now can effectively take down enemies at both close and mid-range. They might have boosted it a bit too much, but it’s about time shotguns got some relevancy in these modes.
7 Do Not Use: Evans Repeater
- $700 from the gunsmith or the catalog.
- Unlocked at level 1.
It’s hard to blast such an iconic weapon, but, bullet-for-bullet, it’s the worst DPS of any repeater. The range and fire rate aren’t bad, but the damage itself is too low to be recommended. You’ll have to get off too many shots with each deadeye while your opponents will only need half of that time to knock you down.
6 Amazing: Semi-Automatic Pistol
- $537 from the gunsmith or the catalog.
- Unlocked at level 22.
In PvP, good players know to never expose themselves to an enemy dead eye for more than a second. With a couple of Semi-Automatic Pistols, one second is all the time you’ll need. Ideally, you’d dual-wield them, but they are rather expensive. Though if you plan on playing PvP, the investment will be wisely spent.
5 Do Not Use: Elephant Rifle
- $580 from the gunsmith or the catalog.
- Unlocked at level 1.
It’s got the best damage in the game and yet still has among the worst DPS. The reason being is because, aside from the damage, every other category is close to the bottom. It takes forever to reload and the maximum ammunition you can even hold on you for it is quite low as well. It’s a one-shot kill with a headshot, but so is every other sniper rifle, so there’s really no place for the gun in the game, especially in PvP.
Even if you’re great with it, after one kill, players will be able to see you and shoot you down before you can recover, so the killstreak capability is very much capped.
4 Amazing: Litchfield Repeater
- $348 from the gunsmith or the catalog.
- Unlocked at level 18.
While sniper rifles might be the best for a one-on-one at long range, anything numbering greater than one calls for the Litchfield Repeater. With a large clip, great fire rate, big damage, and distant range, it’s not uncommon to get a few double and triple kills with this at your side. The Lancaster Repeater used to be the go-to, but after some rebalancing, the Litchfield has taken its place as king of the category.
3 Do Not Use: Sawed-Off Shotgun
- $111 from the gunsmith or the catalog.
- Unlocked at level 19.
There is an undeniable desire to force dual-wielding double-barrel shotguns to work. It sounds awesome and, in very particular PvE moments, they will feel great. But they have the lowest DPS of any shotgun and, when used as a pistol or revolver, also have the lowest DPS among those guns as well. You won’t miss a lot, but you’ll just have to fire too many times to rack up a single kill.
2 Amazing: Ancient Tomahawk
- $5.50 from the fence.
- Unlocked at level 36.
It’s not going to replace your sniper rifle at range, but this is an instant kill to anyone it hits at any place on their body. So if you’re in close-quarters or using cover, this is the go-to weapon. Only a handful of players use them regularly, but those players are constantly at the top of the charts, so it’s worth practicing your aim if you plan on joining the elites.
1 Do Not Use: Bow
- $124 from the gunsmith or the catalog.
- Unlocked at level 14.
The bow is an important weapon that will make you money and keep you stealthy against the wildlife in Red Dead Online, but if you’re trying to repurpose the weapon for PvP, the bad news is that many have tried and all have failed.
The damage is high, but compared to a gun that fires instantly, you’ll be dead before you can pull the string back.
NEXT: Red Dead Online: 10 Items You Should Always Carry
- Red Dead Online
Hodey Johns is a writer for Game Rant based out of the Rocky Mountains in North Ogden, Utah. He’s had a passion for video games and literature since he was a child growing up along the beach in San Diego, California. As a graduate of Theology from Liberty University, he puts his experience with religion, philosophy, and debate into his work. His other interests include sports, bike riding, and good old-fashioned barbecue.
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