Red Dead Redemption 2 – Quick Hardcore PVP Guide

Some tips and advice on playing the new Hardcore Playlist.


Note: Credit goes to maxonymous

Hardcore PVP is the newest RDO playlist to be added and is a great way to make gold. According to PVPCat and verified by me, you make 0.48 gold for each 7-minute game you play in Hardcore (not all gamemodes have 7 minute games). You can easily make bank with these games plus your dailies. This guide has some quick information that will help you have a good time playing Hardcore PVP. My tips are based off my own experience.

The Basics

  • Understand what Hardcore PVP is

In Hardcore PVP, everyone is on the same playing field at the start. There are no ability cards, tonics, or special ammo. Everyone starts with the same guns and your inventory does not transfer over. Aim assist is turned off and everyone has the same health and stamina. You cannot use Dead Eye. Eagle Vision is still available but it’s pretty much useless in these games.

  • Dive/Dodge

A crucial game mechanic that many who do not play PVP miss/forget is the ability to dodge or dive to the side. You do this by aiming, holding down A or D and press space. This will make your character dive towards the ground. It is extremely useful in this game mode as well as in any PVP game mode because it allows you to throw off your enemy’s aim or literally dodge shots. It is especially useful in hardcore because aim assist is off.

  • Hip-firing

You can hip-fire weapons by using Mouse 1 without aiming with Mouse 2. This allows you to quickly shoot your weapon at the cost of accuracy. This can be especially useful in Hardcore because most engagements are at the short or medium range. With a shotgun, you can rain lead towards whoever is in front of you and secure easy kills.


There is slowly a meta developing on the weapons you should use in Hardcore. Below are some tips/info on weapons.

The Basic Kit

  • Everyone spawns with a Schofield Revovler, Pump-Action Shotgun, Litchfield Repeater, 1 Stick of Dynamite, a Lasso, and 5 throwing knifes.
  • Your main weapon of choice should be the Pump-Action. It is extremely deadly and can kill opponents very fast. You do not need to go for head shots with this weapon. I believe it is worth it to close the distance on your enemy just so you can use the shotgun. Hip-firing with this absolutely mows down anyone in front of you.
  • The Litchfield should be your choice when engaging people at range. It’s pretty weak and takes more than 2-3 shots to kill. You should aim for head shots.
  • I do not recommend ever using the Schofield. It is a waste of time and you have much better weapon options.
  • The Dynamite stick is incredibly powerful if you use it well. Try to toss it unaware enemies for an easy kill. Don’t forget that you have this item! Many players do and they never use it.
  • Another important thing to note, for some reason Rockstar has removed melee combat from this mode, so that means no beating or tackling people. Don’t be mistaken and run at someone with the intention of executing them on the ground. It’s not gonna happen. I also think the Lasso does not work however I’ve never seen anyone use it before and I’ve never tried it.

Weapon Pickups

There is a plethora of weapons you can pickup from the map but I will only mention the ones worth using.

  • Carcano Rifle

This is the absolute best weapon for long range engagements. The scope actually makes it quick easy to line up shots and get kills. It does a lot of damage even to the body. If you pick this up I recommend prolonging your life as much as possible in order to prevent losing it.

  • Double Barrel Shotgun

Does more damage than the pump so if you are accurate with your shots you can actually take down people faster than using the pump. You can also one shot people at close range if they are not at full health.

  • Fire Bomb

Fire bombs can easily net kills and their non-explosive power means they can used at closer range than dynamite. Anyone who is doused in flames will soon die afterwards.

Helena Stamatina
About Helena Stamatina 3203 Articles
I love two things in life, games and sports. Although sports were my earliest interest, it was video games that got me completely addicted (in a good way). My first game was Crash Bandicoot (PS1) from the legendary studio Naughty Dog back in 1996. I turned my passion for gaming into a job back in 2019 when I transformed my geek blog (Re-actor) into the gaming website it is today.

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