It’s been a long, long wait, but The Last of Us Part 2 is finally here. Millions of players over the coming days and weeks – perhaps even months – will be accompanying Ellie on her quest for vengeance, and as you do so, you’ll need all the help you can get to survive the brutal post-apocalyptic world she travels. To that end, here in this feature, we’ll be giving you some handy tips and tricks to keep in mind while you play the game. So without further ado, let’s begin.
The Last of Us Part 2 is a much larger game than its predecessor, both in terms of length and scope. That means that every once in a while, it opens up, putting players in larger areas with plenty of room for exploration. Our advice? Explore! Explore everything that can be explore, even if it means having to go through an intimidating group of enemies- because trust us, the rewards are almost always worth it. Weapon parts, pills, resources, collectibles, notes, training manuals, weapons, and more can be entirely missed in many, many areas, and you’ll want as many of those things as possible for the challenges ahead.
Oh, and did we mention training manuals?
Other than new weapons – some of which can be missed if you don’t explore properly – training manuals are perhaps the single most important thing you can find in The Last of Us Part 2, seeing as they unlock new upgrade branches for character progression. These can be tucked away in locked rooms, or found in completely optional areas- either way, always be on the lookout for them. While they aren’t necessarily required to make progress, the upgrade options they bring do come in incredibly handy on quite consistently.
Now, let’s talk about a couple of upgrade options that you should ideally prioritize investing in.
QUICK STEALTH KILLS
Stealth kills will be your bread and butter in The Last of Us Part 2, as they were in the first game, so it goes without saying that you’re going to want to improve those as quickly as possible. When you start out, stealth kills are a little slower, and Ellie takes a few seconds to quietly dispatch enemies- during these few seconds, she’s completely exposed and visible, and this can allow you to be easily spotted by others. So set a goal for yourself to unlock thee quick stealth kills upgrade as quickly as possible- you’ll need it.
IMPROVE LISTEN MODE
Listen Mode can often be a crutch in The Last of Us Part 2, but thankfully, it’s balanced much better in the sequel than it was in the first game. In the beginning, it’s not as OP, and its upgrades are much more meaningful. Get those upgrades. These will allow you to sense enemies through walls, improve your movements speed while in Listen Mode, and increase Listen Mode’s range. All in all, it’ll be quite a bit of an investment, but it will definitely pay off.
A new tool at Ellie’s disposal in The Last of Us Part 2 is pistol silencers- perhaps one of the most important tools she has. Silenced headshots are very valuable- but they don’t come for free, of course. You need to unlock the ability to be able to craft silencers for your pistol, and that’s one of the first things you should do. If you’ve played The Last of Us, you can probably imagine how useful silencers will be.
Much like shivs in the first game, silencers in Part 2 have durability. To start off, they only give you three uses per, which isn’t a lot. Thankfully, they can be upgraded- and while this upgrade isn’t an absolute necessity (skilled players can certainly make do with 3 shots per silencer), it can be a very big safety net. Upgrade your silencer, and you’ll get 5 shots per.
Something else to keep in mind is to always enter stealth encounters with a silencer that has enough uses left. Crafting can take a couple of seconds, which you might not always have, while you can also only have one silencer on you at a time- so if you’re about to enter a fight with a silencer that has just one use left, it’s best to waste a bullet and craft a brand new silencer (if you have the resources for it, of course).
Ellie is a much more nimble protagonist than Joel was. Vaulting over ledges, climbing, jumping across gaps, crawling, and much more- there’s quite a bit she can do to always stay on the move. And you’re going to want to make sure you make use of all these abilities during both stealth and combat, because they really do give you an upper hand (or at least the tools to make yourself get the upper hand). Thankfully, areas where stealth and combat encounters are smartly designed with all of Ellie’s new abilities in mind, so you will have plenty of opportunities to do just that.
USE THE ENVIRONMENTS
There are other ways you can use the environments during combat and stealth to your advantage than using Ellie’s expanded moveset. Though many combat and stealth arenas are smaller, tight spaces, quite a few of them can be pretty big. Here, you can use their size to your advantage. Killing an enemy and quickly moving away from your position before other foes can converge on you, and then repeating that as much as you possibly can is always a good plan- if you execute it properly and don’t get spotted, that is.
Anyone who’s played The Last of Us (or any horror game with a focus on resource management, for that matter) will know this already, but it still bears mentioning- you don’t need to kill every enemy. In fact, you should actively look for ways to sneak past as many as possible without having to waste resources on killing them. Thanks to Ellie’s switchblade being a permanent weapon as opposed to Joel’s shiv, quick stealth kills (or stealth kills on Clickers) are thankfully not nearly as costly as they used to be, but if you find yourself coming up against a large number of foes, rather than taking them all out, wait and look for an opening to sneak past them without having to use up any weapons or bombs.
BEWARE OF DOGS
Dogs are a new enemy type in The Last of Us Part 2. These furry foes are always sniffing around for things that are off, and can very quickly catch Ellie’s stench, at which point they quickly lead their human allies right to you. So if you’re in stealth and see a dog around you, put as much distance between it and yourself as possible. Also remember to keep an ear out for audio cues for when a dog has your scent. It won’t always happen on-screen- any time a dog has caught your scent, even in the distance, you’ll hear a low “ding”. When you do, immediately enter Listen Mode to see how far that dog is from you, and how quickly it’s headed in your direction.
Molotovs have never failed to be an awesome weapon in video games. That much was true in The Last of Us as well, and it’s still true in its sequel. particularly against Clickers, Shamblers, or large groups of foes that are bunched together, they can be incredibly useful, since they deal damage over time as well. Always make sure to have molotovs on you, and use them against stronger enemies for a quick (or quicker, at least) win.
Weapon upgrades, of course, make a return in The Last of Us Part 2 as well, and while which weapons you want to focus on improving will depend on your playstyle, we’d suggest prioritizing the pistol and shotgun before the others. The pistol can deal an incredible amount of damage (especially with headshots), so improving its reload speed and decreasing its sway can turn it into an almost OP weapon, while the shotgun… well, it’s a shotgun. It blows enemies into chunks at close range, and improving it makes it even better.
Another piece of advice that fans of the first game will already know all about- look for the right moments to heal. Ideally, do so before you enter combat or stealth if you have to, because healing can take a while. If you have to heal during stealth or combat though, make sure you’re behind cover and out of enemies’ line of sight, and can afford the few seconds of vulnerability that healing brings along with it.
Melee weapons can be pretty useful in a pinch, especially against Runners, or against any enemy that’s been stunned. That said, try and avoid crafting deadlier versions of melee weapons. Not only do they have pretty low durability, they also require precious resources that are better spent elsewhere. Melee weapons – even deadlier ones – are not that hard to come by in the game’s environments themselves anyway, so it’s best to save your resources and not waste them on crafting better melee weapons.