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When you need a break from the daunting task of rescuing John Marston’s family in Red Dead Redemption, you can take some time to work on the game’s various ambient challenges.
The Sharpshooter challenges, for example, task you with taking down various species of wild animals and performing several unique shooting feats.
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Complete the level 1 Sharpshooter Challenge when you kill a total of five flying birds.
This one is pretty easy, just shoot any flying birds you see using auto targeting. You don’t have to take them all down at one time, the challenge is cumulative.
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The level 2 Sharpshooter Challenge requires you to kill a total of five rabbits.
Like level 1, this challenge isn’t very tough. Just kill any rabbits you see running around (you’ll find a lot around the MacFarlane Ranch) until you get to five total.
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This one is pretty easy, as well. Coyotes tend to run in packs, and if you use a high-capacity weapon and Dead Eye you should be able to target a pack and take them all out immediately after you hear the distinctive high-pitched cry.
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Use your mini map to find the train’s location, then either head to the next station on its route or run alongside and jump aboard. Once on board, use a ladder to climb to the roof of the train car and crouch to avoid falling off.
Keep scanning the skies for nearby birds and take them out with Dead Eye or just auto aim. This challenge is cumulative, so once you’ve killed five you’re all done
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The level 5 Sharpshooter Challenge asks you to kill any two different types of wild animals in one Dead Eye burst.
This is the first of the challenges to present any real difficulty, but it’s still fairly simple. Just head out to any location where two different types of animals spawn (practically anywhere) and wait. An easy tactic is to wait for a bird to fly over a land-based animal, pop into Dead Eye, and take them all out.
Complete level 5 and you’ll be rewarded with an increase in your Dead Eye regeneration.
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For level 6, you’ll move on from shooting wild animals and begin taking on two-legged prey. For this challenge, you need to shoot the hats off two people’s heads without harming them.
This challenge is easier if you attempt it in Mexico, where more people wear sombreros (though practically any hat will work, they’re just more difficult). Use Dead Eye to target the top of a person’s hat then shoot it off their head. They’ll probably be none too pleased, so be prepared to defend yourself afterward.
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Probably the best place for this challenge is Bearclaw Camp, where the grizzlies tend to spawn with regularity. Use a high-powered rifle (a sniper rifle or the Buffalo Rifle, for example) and target the bear’s head. With any luck he’ll go down, but be prepared to answer to his grieving friends who will most likely spawn nearby.
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For Sharpshooter level 8, you’ll have to shoot the hats off two people’s heads and disarm two people.
Same as level 6, just shoot the hats off of two people’s heads. Then, use dead eye to target the weapon arm of two people and shoot the guns out of their hands. This one appears to be cumulative, as well, so you don’t have to perform both feats on the same two people.
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This is best accomplished with a high-capacity weapon like the Henry Repeater or Mauser Pistol. Just find a place where a lot of animals spawn, and shoot them while avoiding the temptation to reload your weapon. A single pack of wolves or coyotes can help you complete this challenge with ease.
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The 10th and final level of the Sharpshooter challenges requires you to disarm 6 different enemies without reloading.
You’ll once again want to make use of a high-capacity weapon. One of the best ways to complete this challenge is to anger local law enforcement, then find a place in town where they can only come at you one or two at a time. Then, as they appear, shoot the weapons out of their hands, then shoot them in the head.
Or, just head out to a gang hideout and disarm the first six guys who attack you. This one can take awhile, but it’s simple enough to finish.
For more Red Dead Redemption guides and mission walkthroughs, check out our Ultimate Guide to Red Dead Redemption.