Combat in Red Dead Redemption 2 (RDR2) discusses the various ways players can engage/be engaged in hostile situations.
Combat in RDR2
There are many forms of combat in RDR2, and any form of violence falls under this category. The main two forms are: Armed, and Unarmed combat. One is lethal, while the other can be done just for sport or to settle petty disputes. However, most of the conflicts you encounter will resort to some sort of gun warfare which makes understanding how to use firearms a core component in your Red Dead Adventure.
Using your firearms is a fairly easy thing to do in RDR2. By drawing your weapon and pulling down L2/LT, your crosshairs snap on to the enemy you're aiming at. Strategies will vary depending on the weapon in hand, but a great way to preserve bullets and take down enemies quicker is to aim for their heads and vital areas, which you can uncover using a leveled-up Dead-Eye. Ensuring you have the right weapon for the occasion is also very important. If you have to eliminate the opposition from range, you would have better luck using a rifle rather than a handgun, or if you find yourself rushing a room with multiple enemies, you may want to be armed with a shotgun to do the job.
Quick Draw is a feature that puts the player in a 1-on-1 duel with an opponent. Arthur can choose to kill his opponent, or disarm him with a well-placed shot. To perform Quick Draw, first hold the R2/RT trigger down partially and allow the meter to fill up. When it's full, pull the trigger the rest of the way down and then immediately release it. Now in Dead-Eye mode, use the stick to guide the aimpoint to your target and then press R2/RT again to fire. The Quick Draw feature can be performed in free roam mode when your weapon is holstered, so it's a good idea to become familiar with the system before it counts.