An image of the best Red Dead Online Ability Cards.

Best Red Dead Online Ability Cards

How many of the best Red Dead Online Ability Cards do you have?

One of Red Dead Online‘s most unique and underrated features is the introduction of Ability Cards. This was not available in the original game, Red Dead Redemption 2, or in either of its previous installments. By equipping Ability Cards to your character, you can unlock special perks, abilities, and bonuses for yourself.

There is a wide variety of bonuses available, so choosing the right ones for your playstyle is key. Some Ability Cards make sure you survive longer in combat, others give you better chances of winning it, and a few Cards enhance your most important stats and abilities.

If you want to have the best experience in the game, check out our guide on the best Red Dead Online Ability Cards.

Ability Cards

An image of the best Red Dead Online Ability Cards.

Ability Cards are a special feature that was only made available for Red Dead Online. There are a total of 33 Ability Cards you can obtain, which are all divided into different slots for your character. The first slot is for your Dead Eye. Dead Eye Ability Cards enhance this ability in different ways.

The Dead Eye slot is the only active Ability Card slot, while the other three are passive slots. You will unlock the Dead Eye slot at Rank 2, while the next three come at Ranks 10, 20, and 40. Each card also has a specific Rank that you can unlock them at. Once unlocked, you will be able to purchase each card for $50. After that, it costs $350 to upgrade them to Level 2 and $500 to Level 3.

Best Ability Cards

Dead Eye Slot

Slippery Bastard

An image of the Slippery Bastard, one of the best Red Dead Online Ability Cards.

The Slippery Bastard Ability Card is one of the best Dead Eye cards in Red Dead Online. It prevents enemy players from locking onto you while aiming with Dead Eye, but you cannot lock them. This essentially removes the Dead Eye factor from gunfights, which is perfect if you are confident in free aim shooting.

Additionally, NPCs are also much more inaccurate when aiming at you. This lets you escape from random characters easily. Your Dead Eye drain rate increases if you have this Ability Card equipped.

You can unlock this Ability Card at Rank 50.

Slow and Steady

An image of Slow and Steady, one of the best Red Dead Online Ability Cards.

If you want to be a tank in gunfights, Slow and Steady is the way to go. This Ability Card lets you take more minor damage, which means you can survive several headshots from most weapons. You can equip this card and bait enemies into shooting at you while your friends kill them.

The disadvantage to this Ability Card is that you can no longer sprint while Dead Eye is active. This makes you much slower in gunfights on foot but also makes you a more attractive target to most enemies.

You can unlock this Ability Card at Rank 24.

Paint it Black

An image of Paint it Black, one of the best Red Dead Online Ability Cards.

This is arguably the best Ability Card for aggressive gunslingers. Paint it Black increases your accuracy by a mile and makes you deadly in any gunfight. If you are a solo player or prefer to carry your team in shootouts, this is the Ability Card for you.

Paint it Black lets you paint targets on your enemies while you are in Dead Eye. Red Dead Redemption 2 players will remember this as the best ability unlocked for Dead Eye. After you leave Dead Eye, every single painted target will be hit by your bullets unless they hide undercover.

You already have this Ability Card unlocked at Rank 1.

Passive Ability Slots


An image of the Sharpshooter card.

Sharpshooter is a great Ability Card for long-range shooters. You will deal more damage while using your scope on any rifle or repeater. At the same time, you will take more minor damage, which should give you more confidence to keep scoping in during big gunfights.

You can unlock this Ability Card at Rank 10.

The Short Game

An image of The Short Game card.

The opposite of Sharpshooter, this card is excellent for shotgun and pistol users. You will deal more damage the closer your target is to you. There will be a lot less damage dealt if your target is far away.

You can unlock this Ability Card at Rank 38.

Winning Streak

An image of the Winning Streak card.

Winning Streak is a great Ability Card if you use automatic pistols and repeaters. There is more damage dealt for each consecutive shot than hitting the same target. The Semi-Automatic Pistol and Lancaster Repeater are some of the best weapons to use with this card.

You can unlock this Ability Card at Rank 48.

Kick in the Butt

An image of the Kick in the Butt card.

This is the best Ability Card to pair with the Slow and Steady Ability Card. Each time you take some damage, some of that amount replenishes your Dead Eye. If you use both cards, you will survive so much longer as the tank or bait in shootouts.

You can unlock this Ability Card at Rank 10.

Live for the Fight

An image of the Live for the Fight card.

One of the best passive Ability Cards if you want to save resources and sustain yourself. This card regenerates your Dead Eye slowly over time, making it easier to get back into shootouts after a quick rest. It is also unlocked at an early level to get an advantage over other players early on in the game.

You can unlock this Ability Card at Rank 10.

Ride Like the Wind

An image of the Ride Like the Wind card.

If you have an expensive horse that you value more than anything else, get the Ride Like the Wind card. This Ability Card heals your horse’s health and stamina every time you take damage while riding it. This lets your horse survive so much longer in battle, which is perfect for escaping from bounty hunters and robbers.

You can unlock this Ability Card at Rank 10.

Friends for Life

Another great Ability Card to keep your horse alive is Friends for Life. Simply put, both your character and your horse take significantly less damage while you are mounted. If you are a good shooter from horseback, you should consider equipping this Ability Card.

You can unlock this Ability Card at Rank 10.

Finding the Right Ability Cards

Choosing the right Ability Cards for your playstyle is just as important as using the right weapons. The perfect set of perks and bonuses will improve your game experience a lot. Knowing which Ability Cards you want to unlock also makes the grinding aspect of Red Dead Online more exciting.

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