In Red Dead Redemption 2 Online, you can equip a set of Abilities for your Online Character, using Ability Cards. Ability Cards provide you with attributes that affect the damage you deal, and how you deal it.

There are 4 Slots available for abilities: 1 slot for Dead Eye, granting you an ability activated during Dead Eye (by holding L2 and pressing R3), and 3 slots for Passive Abilities, which affect you persistently.

Your Abilities can be found in the Abilities section of the Pause menu, or accessed via the Ability Loadout from the Weapon Wheel. To equip an ability, select the slot you wish to fill and view the available Ability Cards.

As your rank increases, Ability Cards will unlock and become available for you to buy with cash. Similarly, upgrade the cards you already own by unlocking upgrades as you gain XP or by buying them with Gold Bars. Each card has three different tiers for you to unlock, greatly enhancing the abilities on offer.

Dead Eye Ability Cards (Active)

Your Active Ability Card is activated while in Dead Eye (by holding L2 and pressing R3).

1) A Moment to Recuperate

While Dead Eye is active you regenerate health. Taking any damage will cancel Dead Eye.
(TIER I: Free)

2) Focus Fire

While Dead Eye is active you and your team members deal more damage. If more than one member of your team has this ability active, the effects do not stack.
(TIER I: $50)

3) Paint it Black

While Dead Eye is active you can paint targets onto enemies. Fire your weapon to shoot all marked targets. Each shot drains Dead Eye.
(TIER I: $50)

4) Slow and Steady

While Dead Eye is active you take less damage and headshots do not kill you outright. You cannot run or sprint.
(Unlocks at RANK 24)

5) Quite an Inspiration

While Dead Eye is active you and your allies regenerate health. If more than one member of your team has this ability active, the effects do not stack.
(Unlocks at RANK 44)

6) Slippery Bastard

While Dead Eye is active enemy players cannot lock onto you, and you cannot lock onto them. Other enemies are less accurate when shooting at you. The rate at which your Dead Eye drains is dramatically increased.
(Unlocks at RANK 50)

Passive Ability Cards

There are three different types of Passive Ability Cards: Combat Abilities, Recover Abilities, and Defense Abilities. Passive Card effects are always working while in your loadout. You can hold up to 3 Passive Cards at one time.

  • The 1st Passive Ability Card slot unlocks at RANK 10
  • The 2nd Passive Ability Card slot unlocks at RANK 20
  • The 3rd Passive Ability Card slot unlocks at RANK 40

Utilize the different Ability Card categories to help you survive the frontier. You can adjust them at any time to suit any scenario: use combat cards for attacking missions where you'll rely on your weapons, or switch to defensive cards when escorting a wagon.

Combat Ability Cards

1) Horseman

You deal a little more damage while on horseback. (Unlocks at RANK 10)

2) Necessity Breeds

As you get closer to death, you start to do a little more damage. (Unlocks at RANK 16)

3) Landon’s Patience

Waiting for up to 15 seconds between shots slightly increases your damage (Unlocks at RANK 18)

4) The Short Game

You deal more damage to targets closer to you, but less to far away targets. (Unlocks at RANK 38)

5) Hangman

Lasso chokes enemies dealing damage for every second they are lassoed. (Unlocks at RANK 42)

6) Winning Streak

Each consecutive shot on the same target does a little more damage. (Unlocks at RANK 48)

7) Gunslinger’s Choice

While dual-wielding, you deal more damage and are more accurate

8) Sharpshooter

While using a scope, you deal more damage and take less damage

Recovery Ability Cards

1) Come Back Stronger

Health begins regenerating a little sooner after you take damage. (Unlocks at RANK 10)

2) Peak Condition

You inflict a little more damage if your Stamina is at least 75% full. (Unlocks at RANK 14)

3) Eye for an Eye

Headshots restore a little Dead Eye. (Unlocks at RANK 28)

4) The Gift of Focus

Items and Abilities which restore Dead Eye have their effects slightly improved. You deal a little less damage. (Unlocks at RANK 30)

5) Strange Medicine

You regain a little health whenever you inflict damage. Your health will otherwise regenerate at half the normal rate. (Unlocks at RANK 32)

6) Cold Blooded

After killing an enemy you will get back a little health over the next five seconds. (Unlocks at RANK 36)

7) Kick in the Butt

Whenever you take damage, a proportion of it is added to your Dead Eye

8) Live for the Fight

You regenerate Dead Eye slowly over time

9) Iron Lung

Your Stamina regenerates faster, and you take less damage depending on your current Stamina level

10) Ride Like the Wind

Whenever you take or deal damage while mounted, a proportion of it is added to your horse's Health and Stamina

Defense Ability Cards

1) Hunker Down

Take less damage while in cover. (Unlocks at RANK 20)

2) To Fight Another Day

Take less damage from bullets while sprinting. (Unlocks at RANK 22)

3) The Unblinking Eye

Dead Eye and Eagle Eye drain slower. (Unlocks at RANK 26)

4) Take the Pain Away

Reviving someone gives you and that person less damage taken for 8 seconds. (Unlocks at RANK 34)

5) Of Single Purpose

Take less damage from bullets while unarmed or using a melee weapon. (Unlocks at RANK 40)

6) Never without One

Your hat will block one headshot and then fall off. If you are not wearing a hat you take more damage. (Unlocks at RANK 46)

7) Strength in Numbers

You take less damage for every nearby ally, up to a maximum of three allies

8) Fool Me Once

You take less damage each consecutive time you are shot. This effect ends if you are not shot for 10 seconds

9) Friends for Life

While mounted, you and your horse take less damage

For more useful Guides check out the complete Red Dead Online Guides & Features, as well as the Horses Database, Weapons Database, and everything else on Red Dead Redemption 2!

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