The Last of Us Part II can be brutal and unforgiving, not only in its revenge-fuelled story but also in its visceral stealth and combat sequences. In true survival horror fashion, Part II ramps up the challenge by making resources and ammunition scarce, embedding tense skirmish with a feeling of desperation.
Naughty Dog’s sequel has refined and expanded the gameplay of the original in many inventive ways. For more on what we think about this essential PlayStation masterpiece head on over to our The Last of Us Part II review.
In the meantime, we’ve put together a spoiler-free list of The Last of Us Part 2 tips and tricks to help you better understand the game and overcome its more challenging encounters.
Customise your difficulty settings
The Last of Us Part II offers five difficulty tiers, accommodating for those who want to simply experience the story, those who want a genuine challenge, and everyone in between. There’s also the option to create your own custom difficulty setting, adjusting the dial on gameplay elements such as player health, enemy alertness, and the scarcity of resources. For fans we’d recommend sticking the game on Survivor then dropping the difficulty if things get too tough. With no difficulty related trophies you can fiddle with the settings all you like!
Don’t stockpile health kits
You should always keep a reserve of at least one health kit. However, while it’s tempting to craft additional first aid supplies you might want to hold onto those spare rags and bottles of alcohol. Even on the tougher difficulty settings you can find plenty of food items to restore small chunks of health if you look hard enough – you should really only use kits when actually in combat. Also, those same crafting materials are used for molotovs which can often be more effective than a health kit in the right hands.
The trusty one-two combo
It doesn’t matter whether you’re #TeamBrick or #TeamBottle, both projectiles can be used to perform a brilliant crunching combo. A quick toss will stun both human and Infected enemies long enough for you to close in for a powerful melee finisher. This can be used to dispatch bulkier foes or those carrying more dangerous weapons. However, its use is limited by the fact you can only carry one brick or bottle at a time.
Facing off against The Last of Us Part II’s Clickers can be intimidating, especially when they’re flanked by Runners, Stalkers, and other Infected enemies. Multiple headshots can down them as can the brick/bottle combo mentioned above (with the powerful melee weapon equipped for the follow-up attack) though stealth is always your best option. They’re completely blind so you can approach them head-on but make sure you move very slowly. Most of the time they are completely avoidable so use items to distract them from their patrol route.
This is one of the most essential The Last of Us Part 2 tips. Seriously, take your time to scavenge as much as you can. Search every room and open environment for those triangle button prompts, opening doors, drawers, and smashing just about every pane of glass you come across. You’ll not only find crafting supplies and ammunition but scrap and supplements too which are used for upgrading weapons and survival skills. Make sure you keep an eye out for objects to climb or crawl under using Part II’s new traversal mechanics.
Don’t ignore collectibles, even if you aren’t too bothered about unlocking PlayStation trophies. These do a great job of illustrating the game’s world with intriguing lore entries, character conversations, and lost mementos. Some have more practical uses too, such as Field Manuals which unlock new survival skills to help improve your abilities and playstyle. There are also weapon holsters too, adding more slots to your inventory. All upgrades and collectibles will carry over if you decide to play Part II again via New Game+.
Hunt down safe codes
This may not be an Uncharted game but there’s plenty of plunder to be had from raiding the safes scattered throughout The Last of Us Part II. These are usually crammed with high quality resources, scrap, supplements, and upgrades though you’ll need a code to open each one. They’re effectively mini puzzles with the clues hidden in either the surrounding environment or in notes left in the nearby area.
Juggle your weapons
As you progress through Ellie’s story you’ll begin to unlock a wider range of weapons. Naturally, you’ll warm towards a handful of favourites though we’d strongly recommend juggling your entire arsenal in order to better conserve ammo. One of our top picks by far is Ellie’s trusty bow (especially when fitted with a range finder) as it can quietly nail enemies from afar with craft-able ammunition. When it comes to upgrading weapons try and focus on improving accuracy and damage. Always keep at least one short range weapon slotted in your quick inventory, too – having a shotgun available at the tap of a button can be a lifesaver, honestly.
No, this isn’t Ghost of Tsushima though The Last of Us Part II does encourage players to use stealth and deception to run rings around their foes. You can now crouch or go prone while using foliage to obscure yourself from an enemy’s line of sight, slower movements making you harder to detect. Suppressed weapons, as well as Ellie’s bow, can silently take down targets while projectiles can be thrown to cause disruption. For a little added oomph don’t be scared to use smoke bombs, molotovs, and explosive traps – they won’t give away your location and create the ideal setup for an ambush.
Rerun combat encounters
The Last of our The Last of Us Part 2 tips and tricks is about combat. Combat in The Last of Us Part II is so rewardingly brutal that we found ourselves killing off all but one enemy, diving into the menu, and replaying the same encounters from the start over and over. Exploring alternate routes, cycling out various weapons, and mixing up your battle strategies adds a fun layer to the game and one in which you’ll try and clear an area using as little ammo and resources as possible. In doing so, you can carry the surplus supplies you’ve saved into the next encounter.
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