The long awaited sequel to The Last of Us by Naughty Dog is finally here: The Last of Us Part II on PS4. In the game, 5 years have passed since the events of the first game. While The Last of Us was more focused on loss and finding hope, Part II is a gruesome tale fueled by revenge. Instead of Joel, Ellie is the lead protagonist as she tries to deal with the cards she has been dealt in an apocalyptic world. From Jackson to Seattle, you will meet old friends, new friends, and many new foes.
Learn some tips, advice, and how to play better in The Last of Us Part II below.
Important Gameplay Tips
Whether you're just starting up The Last of Us Part II or you are just looking for help while playing, here are some valuable tips to improve your gameplay experience.
Explore, explore, explore. Seriously - take your time going through every area to find valuable loot - from ammo to crafting supplies to weapon upgrades. Don’t be afraid to backtrack a little. Check everywhere. If you’re a collector, you’ll also find tons of collectibles and easter eggs - some of which might earn you achievements. Keep in mind, you can replay chapters of the game if you want to go back and find every collectible.
Conserve ammo and special weapons. Unfortunately supplies to be found is limited, as well as the amount of supplies you can carry. Try your best to sneak up and take out enemies or use your melee options before resorting to guns and explosives.
Heal up. Keep an eye on your health gauge in the bottom right corner. You don’t regenerate health, so be sure to heal up after a tough fight to be ready for the next. You don’t want to end insta-dying from being low on health starting a fight. Also, keep an eye out on snacks and candy bars to give yourself a little health back.
Remember to Dodge. Especially if you are planning on melee first, guns second - dodging will help you survive. You do need to pay attention to your enemy’s motions to time your dodge properly otherwise it may not be executed properly. If you pull off a well time dodge, you usually can go in for an opening on the enemy as well.
Listening Mode is your best friend. Holding down R1 while sneaking around will highlight enemies nearby - crucial if you want to gain the advantage on the enemy or if you want to get by quietly.
Use your environment to your advantage. Crouching in tall grass, proning in grass, hiding under things and hiding behind things will help navigate a hostile area. Be mindful, people can still find you if they get close in the grass or start looking under things but it is still useful to frequently use these tactics.
Use your flashlight around infected, but put it away around people. Infected cannot see your flashlight, so it is okay to use it - especially in areas that are super dark. WLF and Seraphites can see your flashlight though, so it is good to turn it off (if you can) around people to avoid being detected.
Throw items to distract enemies. Glass bottles and bricks can be thrown to distract enemies - infected and non-infected alike (even dogs!). You can kite enemies a certain way to avoid them or to strategize how to ambush them. Explosives are also an option, but best saved if you’re trying to take out enemies unless you’re out of options.
Silent Weapons will become available as you play. Eventually you will unlock the ability to craft a silencer for your pistol (be mindful, it only allows for 3 shots before you have to make a new one), so you can strategically plan to take out enemies. A bow will also eventually become available so you can take enemies out with arrows.
Beware of traps. Eventually in the game, traps will become a bigger deal. Keep an eye out for things like tripwires that explode and do massive damage if not lethal damage.
Keep an ear out. When you’re trying to sneak around enemies, listen closely for almost like a windtunnel like noise, this means an enemy is about to spot you.
You can melee glass windows. When exploring or trying to advance through an area, if you don’t have any throwable items like glass bottles and bricks (or if you want to conserve them), you can just go up to a glass window and smash it. This also goes for glass vending machines that may have snacks or supplies.
Craft to make more room for resources. If you find your inventory is full, take a second and craft items so you can pick up more (to then make more items later).
Having a good foundation of how combat works will help you when you get to tougher areas.
As stated in the tips above, holding down R1 will show you an outline of the nearby enemies. You can track infected, humans, even dogs this way (it will also show your scent trail if a dog has picked up on it). It will make your life so much easier to be able to tell where enemies are. Be sure to look around while using it to catch anyone on the move. You can also get upgrades to improve listening mode later on.
Trust us when we say stealth will go a long way to conserving your ammo and your health. Just quietly crouch until you reach the enemy, press Triangle to grab the enemy, and Square to stealth kill. Keep an eye on any nearby enemies while making any stealth moves to not be spotted. As the game continues, sneaking around will get tougher to do - but if you can it is the best option to increase your survival.
Melee Weapons are the most viable option in the game. You can stealth kill, but if you want to conserve ammo it is a great way to take out most enemies. Be smart, watch your enemies movement, dodge incoming attacks, and go for the hit. Sometimes a full on hit with an upgraded melee weapon is enough to be lethal. Keep an eye out on your weapon’s durability; we recommend waiting to upgrade any weapons until their durability is low to replenish them entirely.
Like every zombie-esque apocalypse, aim for the head. It is the best chance to take out an enemy and will use far less ammo than body shots.
Throwables can be used to distract enemies, but also to hit them dead on. Molotovs and pipe bombs are great at doing a lot of direct damage at a distance. Sometimes you can even use them to damage your opponents without being spotted. Even glass bottles and bricks will do some damage if you’re in a pinch.
Sometimes, you will find yourself overwhelmed. It’s okay to run away to either get past the area, or to find a safe spot to regroup. Heal up, think of a new strategy to get past the enemies ahead.
Infected Enemy Types
There are several types of enemies you will face in The Last of Us Part II. Some you'll recognize from the first game, but there are a few new ones you will encounter along the way.
Runners are the most common enemy you will encounter throughout the story of The Last of Us Part II. While not as cunning as some of the other enemies, they are fast and can overwhelm you if there are a lot of them. They can see and hear you - so it’s best to try and sneak up and try to take them out one at a time.
Clickers may be blind, but they are extremely sensitive to sound - and they are one of the most lethal enemies to encounter. Solo, they aren’t so bad as you can sneak up on them (walk extra slow, seriously, if they hear a sound they’ll know you’re there), but the real issue arises when they’re around runners. Runners will make loud noises when they’ve spotted you thus alerting nearby clickers. It’s best to take them out first and then go for the Clickers. Don’t let a Clicker get too close to you if it is on the offense; it could mean instant death.
Shamblers are a new enemy type introduced in The Last of Us Part II. They are reminiscent of Bloaters from the first game, but they emit a toxic acid cloud if they get in close range. It’s better to try and keep a Shambler at a distance and use Molotovs or explosives to stun them and then try and land some headshots. When killed, it will let off a large gas explosion. You cannot stealth kill these guys.
Stalkers are extremely intelligent and are in a later stage of infection. They hide out and track you down, are a bit more strategic and cautious, and will work with their fellow Stalkers to try and take you out. You can use melee weapons against them, but it is best to try and take them out with a powerful weapon especially if they decide to group up. Keep in mind, Stalkers are hard to track in listen mode. Setting up traps can be very effective, since they often run away after taking damage.
You may have thought there were no Bloaters since the introduction of Shamblers, unfortunately there are. Bloaters are like tanks - they take a lot of damage and hit very hard, but they are slow. Molotovs or other explosives are key in trying to take out a Bloater. Avoid close quarters and keep moving when you have to fight one, and like all infected, aim for the head. Keep in mind that even at a distance, Bloaters will throw pustules that are basically acid grenades at you.
Non-Infected Enemy Types
The WLF, aka the Washington Liberation Front, is a faction of hostile humans you will come across in The Last of Us Part II. They are at war with the Seraphites for control of Seattle.
Heavily armed, organized, and zero tolerance for trespassers. Abby is a part of this faction. The WLF also have Dogs they use to track down and attack people. You can distract a dog that has your scent by throwing something like a glass bottle or brick to get them off your scent. You cannot stealth-kill dogs.
The Seraphites are the other hostile faction you will find in Seattle who are fighting the WLF. They are cult fanatics and referred to as Scars since they have self-inflicted scars on their faces.
Scars avoid using “Old World Technology” unless they can use it against enemies - so their weapon of choice tends to be bow and arrows. They whistle to communicate with each other.
You can upgrade your weapons at workbenches after finding enough parts. There are 35 weapon upgrades you can unlock across 12 weapons - but keep in mind, you cannot upgrade them all by the end of the game, so pick wisely for how you like to play.
- We recommend not upgrading the capacity - it doesn’t increase your ability to hold more ammo overall and you generally don’t have enough ammo to fill up the additional space.
- Stability is a great idea for all weapons to help increase your accuracy which is key for headshots.
- Increasing damage on any weapons is also a great idea - especially for the bolt-action rifle (it is pricey, but worth it!)
Just like the weapons tree, you won’t be able to unlock every skill available by the end of the story, so choose wisely. Starting out, you just have one tree so it’s pretty easy to pick, but eventually you should unlock 4 more by finding training manuals. It’s best to pick things that suit your playstyle, but if you’re looking for recommendations:
- Pick the first upgrade in the crafting tree to be able to modify melee weapons, repair them, and double your attack power.
- Following that, go for the Survival, Stealth, and Explosive trees.
- Survival is probably the most important out of the three trees. You can increase your health, increase movement speed while in listening mode, increase speed of applying first aid, and a perk to avoid an otherwise lethal blow (except from Clickers and Bloaters).
- The Stealth tree will let you unlock silencers for pistols, the ability to listen through walls, and increase your crouch speed.
- The Explosive tree will let you craft explosive arrows and increase the blast radius of other explosives like molotovs and trip mines.
- We suggest avoiding the Precision tree. It does have a hold your breath option to stabilize your aim, but the lower upgrades aren’t worth getting to it. Rather, focus on upgrading your weapons’ stability instead.
Play Better with SCUF
For those of you who want to improve your gameplay experience in The Last of Us Part II, we have some recommendations for how to use your SCUF.
There is a lot you can do in this game, and there are double functions on tons of buttons. You may feel frustrated or confused with some of the options that force you to move your hand around the controller during gameplay.
If you want to go into your bag and upgrade your melee weapon or craft a med kit in the middle of a fight, just place the touchpad on one of the paddles on your SCUF.
Maybe you want to keep your thumbs on the sticks in case an enemy surprises you. Just place crouch/prone on one of the paddles, and with a quick tap or hold you’ll go down without sacrificing your aim.
Alternatively, you want to quickly swap to your shotgun from your bolt-action rifle, but you don’t want to move to the D-Pad to do so. Map D-Pad Left and D-Pad Right to your paddles to switch between them.
Just like you can pick skills and weapon upgrades for how you like to play, you can change out your thumbsticks to suit your style.
Tall domed thumbsticks are great for precise and accurate aim, while short concave sticks are great for quick controller movement.
If you have large hands, tall thumbsticks will be more comfortable to play with. Otherwise, short sticks may be more comfortable.
Try different combinations to find the best ones for how you like to play.
High Performance Grip
While you’re engrossed in the story playing for hours on end, high-performance grip will reduce slippage and increase comfort during long hours of play. It’ll be more comfortable, but also won’t mess up your shots with sweaty palms.