Standoff is a gameplay mechanic in the Red Dead Redemption multiplayer mode.


It is used to start most competitive Free For All (FFA) and Gang game modes (Land Grab being the exception). It is also used within the co-op mission "The Escape."

In the competitive game modes, the "Standoff" gives the last standing player or team a leg up by allowing them to grab weapons, run to good locations, or grab bags while the defeated players wait for a respawn. The concept is based on the Western movie cliché of the Mexican Standoff.

As with Dueling in single player, a standoff begins with the player facing off against enemies and awaiting the "Draw" signal to being firing with a revolver. The similarities end there, however, for in a standoff there is no Dead Eye Targeting and the player may be confronted by up to 15 other players. A cutscene precedes each standoff, wherein the opposing teams are named (for Gang Matches) and the player's character is highlighted.

Free For All

The standoff in a Free For All match starts with 2 - 16 players in a circle. The game HUD instructs the player to "Kill as many others as you can and die as little as possible," indicating one opposing player to focus on with "take (player name) down with you." Weapons can be drawn and aimed, but not fired, in advance of the "Draw" command.

Once the signal is given, players open fire, dodge, take cover, etc. until either only one player is left or the standoff expires. It is also possible for all players to be killed by simultaneous fire, though one player will still be declared the winner. The winning player receives an XP bonus and is free to move about the map while the other players are respawning.

Gang Matches

In Gang Matches, the standoff begins with each gang in a line, facing the other gang. Unlike in the Free For All games, weapons cannot be drawn and aimed in advance. Once the signal is given, players open fire, dodge, take cover, etc. until either one gang is completely eliminated or the standoff expires. If the winning gang does not suffer any casualties, a "Flawless Victory" 75 XP bonus is received by all gang members.

Since gangs may be mismatched due to an odd number of players or players leaving the session at the last minute, it is possible for one side to be significantly outnumbered, sometimes with one player facing down many. New players joining the session at the last minute will observe the standoff from above, but will not participate.

The Escape

The standoff in the middle of The Escape mission is similar to that described for Gang Matches, above. In this case, however, the enemies are "American Army" NPCs on foot and horseback who outnumber the co-op team.


A number of Multiplayer Challenges can be obtained or contributed to during a standoff:

  • Weapons challenges for kills/headshots with specific weapons.
  • PVP challenges
    • Kills contribute to the Kill to Death Ratio, Kill Streak, and other challenges based on kills.
    • Surviving the standoff is a requirement for the Unstoppable challenges that require a player to survive an entire Shootout or Gang Shootout without dying (with the exception that a player who joined the session late could complete the challenge without being part of the standoff at all).


  • In FFA games, observe which players are aiming at each other. Some players may be double teamed while others are left uncovered. Aim at the uncovered players.
  • Some game locations have obstacles in the player's line of sight or opportunities for cover nearby. It may be advantageous to duck, roll, or grab cover rather than firing as the first action.
  • If the opportunity arises (e.g. while taking cover), the active weapon can be changed to one that may be better for the situation than the default revolver.
  • In Gang matches, plan a path of movement following the Draw command, based on position in the line-up, to avoid friendly fire.


The player can acquire or contribute towards the following Trophies/Achievements during a standoff:

Who needs Deadeye.jpg
10 gamerscoregamerscore
Kill 3 or more players in a standoff or showdown.

10 gamerscoregamerscore
Bronze bronzebronze
Kill a Rockstar or someone with this achievement in a public multiplayer match.

10 gamerscoregamerscore
Kill 5 players via headshot in a single Shootout or Gang Shootout.

Related Content

Red Dead Redemption Multiplayer
Game modes Free RoamShootoutGang ShootoutGrab the BagHold Your OwnGold RushGrand PrixStrongholdLand GrabUndead OverrunCo-opPokerLiar's Dice
Unlockables CharactersWeaponsMountsTitles
Challenges Free RoamWeaponPVPCo-opGamblingRacingStrongholdUndead OverrunStat
Concepts Gang HideoutsGolden GunsOutfitterPosseXP
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