Red Dead Online features several different challenges called Awards, which require players to complete various challenges.
Awards are split into several categories in Red Dead Online with the second category being the Combat category. These awards are just as involving as those seen in the Sharpshooter category, but they require slightly less time to complete.
Some require the help of Posse members, so having a permanent one is definitely useful in speeding up the completion process.
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It can be accessed from the Wardrobe in the camp. The buckle doesn't bring any performance improvement for your character, so equip it only if you want to brag.
The Combat Awards are generally less straightforward than the Sharpshooter Awards, as they require players to engage in combat in less common ways. All the awards in this category come with multiple tiers, so if you're looking to get a quick Gold Buckle for the related trophy and achievement, you better look elsewhere, as these will take a long time, possibly even longer than some of the most time-consuming Sharpshooter Awards.
Kill Enemies... With Twists
The first Combat award in Red Dead Online simply requires players to kill enemies in any way they want. You need to kill 10 enemies for the first tier, 50 for the second, 100 for the third, 500 for the fourth, 1,000 for the fifth. If you have cleared any of the Sharpshooter awards requiring you to kill enemies or get headshots with specific weapon types, this will have been cleared as well.
For the second award, things start getting trickier, as you need to kill enemies by firing from the hip. This is done by pressing the R2 button or right trigger while not aiming your weapons. This award comes in multiple tiers: you need to kill 10 enemies for the first, 50 for the second, 100 for the third, 500 for the fourth and 1,000 for the fifth and final. As you can use any sidearm to perform hip shots, we suggest you use pistols, as they are generally more powerful than revolvers. Dead Eye also helps in speeding things up a bit.
The remaining awards involving killing enemies get trickier and trickier to complete. The first one requires players to kill enemies with fire. This is a multi-tiered award which requires 5 kills for the first tier, 25 kills for the second, 50 for the third, 75 for the fourth and 100 for the final tier.
The best way to complete this challenge is by using Fire Bottles, which are unlocked at rank 24, as they can set multiple enemies on fire at once if you can get them close enough together.
To make sure they truly die due to the fire, you can damage them a little with any weak weapon like the Varmint Rifle or any revolver before finishing them with a Fire Bottle. Fire Arrows are also a good choice, but they are unlocked much later than Fire Bottles, at rank 60.
Once you are done with the fire kills, you may want to spend some time killing enemies with mounted weaponry. This award comes with multiple tiers as well, requiring players to kill 10 enemies for the first tier, 50 for the second, 100 for the third, 500 for the fourth and 1,000 for the final tier.
The best way to get this done is to replay one of the currently available final story missions, the Kerosene, Tar, and Greed mission, as there is a Maxim Gun on a train you have to ride to complete the mission. The Maxim Gun is also available in the Showdown Series multiplayer modes, but trying to complete the challenge this way isn't particularly recommended, as there is no way to decide which mode to play at the moment.
The next Combat Award is particularly interesting, as it requires players to kill enemies while drunk. Getting drunk in Red Dead Online is incredibly easy: either head to a Saloon and purchase a few drinks or access whiskey bottles in the Weapon Wheel. Your visibility will be much worse than usual, however, so bring plenty of health items while attempting to complete this award, as you will get damaged.
To unlock the five tiers of this award, you need to kill 5 enemies for the first one, 25 for the second, 50 for the third, 75 for the fourth and 100 for the fifth and final tier. Gang hideouts are perfect to complete this challenge, thanks to the number of enemies available.
Revenge Is Best Served Hot
Red Dead Online is all about experiencing the world together with other players, so it's not surprising to see awards that require the presence of members of your Posse. There is a Combat award which requires players to kill enemies who incapacitated or killed one of your Posse members. You need to kill 5, 25, 50, 75 and 100 enemies to unlock all tiers.
While straightforward, this may be a little hard to accomplish while playing the game regularly, especially in situations where there are a lot of enemies and it's difficult to keep track of who killed a Posse member. The best way to complete this challenge is to have a friend join your Posse and play through any Story Mission together. Your friend has to get incapacitated repeatedly so to allow you to take down the killer. Having multiple Posse members who coordinate their efforts will speed up the process considerably.
While seeking vengeance for your fallen friends is good and honorable, there will be times when you will have to avenge yourself after coming back from the dead. Or just kill some other random enemy in retaliation, as there is another straightforward Combat award for killing enemies after you died. The tiers are unlocked at 5, 25, 50, 75 and 100 kills, respectively.
Street Fighting in 1899
Red Dead Redemption 2 and Red Dead Online feature a robust melee fighting system that lets player deal with enemies by using the most reliable weapon ever granted to man: their fists. A Combat challenge rewards players for having mastered counter-attacking, as a Gold Buckle will be given to you for countering enemy attacks while brawling 10, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000 times.
To counter, simply press the guard button just before an enemy is attacking you. The best way to get into fights with minimal consequences is in saloons: simply attack the first NPCs you encounter and see things scale into a good, old-fashioned brawl.
Horses Are Innocent
The final Combat awards involve killing enemies through the use of horses. The first one requires players to trample enemies to death with a horse, which is quite easy to do in any Story Mission or when clearing gang hideouts. The five tiers are unlocked at 5, 25, 50, 75 and 100 enemies killed.
Before attempting to clear this challenge, make sure to have a good stock of healing items for your horse, as it will get damaged while doing this. A good horse with high health also helps in not having to resort to horse insurance too often.
The final two Combat awards involve coaches, as you will have to run down enemies with a coach and kill enemies while being the passenger of a coach. Both awards have the same tier requirements: 5 kills for the first tier, 25 for the second, 50 for the third, 75 for the fourth and 100 for the final tier.
Running down enemies with a coach is not too difficult, but it's a little luck based, as you need to get yourself a coach. As Story Missions are all played together with other players, attempting to clear this challenge during one is not recommended, as you don't really have the freedom to go out of your way, off the mission path, to find a coach. Clearing gang hideouts, on the other hand, can be done solo, so steal the first coach you can find on the road, head over to any available hideout and start riding hard.
Killing enemies as a coach passenger is very straightforward. but it's definitely more time consuming as you have no control over the direction you are heading. As such, this may be one of the last Combat awards you unlock.