The Last of Us Part 2 Tips for Combat and Survival

The Last of Us Part II has a number of different difficulties to lessen the challenge or add to [...]

The Last of Us Part II has a number of different difficulties to lessen the challenge or add to it, but no matter which one you settle on, the game's still a pretty unforgiving one. Enemies hit just as hard as you do – sometimes harder – and they appear in much greater numbers. Combat remains largely similar to the way it worked in the first game, but you've got some new tricks and tactics to master in The Last of Us Part II that may take some getting used to. To help with that, we've put together a list of tips to get you started.

These tricks shouldn't contain any spoilers for The Last of Us Part II, so whether you've already been watching people play or are waiting for the full release so start a pure, untainted run of the game, you won't have to worry about any story moments being ruined here. Consult the list of tips below to make sure you're as prepared as possible for the game, and be sure to check out our review of The Last of Us Part II to get an idea of what you can expect from a full playthrough.

Always Start with Stealth

You can adopt whatever playstyle you want in The Last of Us Part II within reason, but going into encounters with a stealthy approach is your best bet every time. Whether you're fighting humans or infected enemies, they're going to outnumber and overpower you, so it's important to use stealth when possible. Silenced weapons, stealth takedowns, and making enemies lose sight of you while you dip into the grass or under something are the best ways to make sure you do as much damage as you can before everyone's aware of your presence.

Run Away

As handy as it is, stealth doesn't always work. A misplaced headshot or getting spotted by an enemy means people will immediately start converging on your location or looking for you at the least. If that happens, don't be afraid to retreat to get a better handle on the situation. It's much easier to run away from humans than it is to flee the infected, but it's also much harder to run at another person. They'll have significantly improved aim when you're running at them for a melee strike, so your best bet is to back up and try again.

Keep a Throwable In-Hand

Bricks and bottles are back in The Last of Us Part II, and they also so happen to be your best friend. There's always at least one or two nearby in any level players find themselves in when combat seems inevitable, so be sure to always have one on your person. They're particularly useful for disrupting infected enemies when they rush you or causing distractions, and they may end up saving you as often as your normal weapons do.

Use Quick Turns

One thing the game doesn't really explain too well is that you can use quick turns to move around faster. To do so, simply pull backwards on the left control stick and press the "X" button to immediately spin yourself around. It's not a complicated tactic by any means, but the time it takes to rotate around compared to immediately snapping yourself backwards could be the difference between a counterattack and a game over screen.

Prioritize One Weapon's Upgrades

Weapons have different upgrades like ammo capacities, damage outputs, and other modifications players can opt for, and as you find more weapons and crafting resources, it's tempting to go crazy modding weapons whenever you can. However, it's much smarter to invest your resources into one weapon for upgrades at first. We'd suggest either your base handgun or the revolver for their versatility, but one or two upgrades on a stronger weapon shouldn't hurt if you want to be prepared for tougher foes.

Use People as Shields

As grim as this tactic is, it's one that'll help you live longer in many situations. Grabbing an enemy through stealth or after stunning them can lead to a quick execution, but you can also hang onto them for a while to use them as a shield. Human enemies will hesitate when you do this which will buy you time to aim your next shot or look for your way out of the situation.

Don't Count on the AI

This tip goes for the AI on your team as well as the one you're against. Enemies will hop on top of and check under things to find you when you least expect it, so while it's easy enough to track enemies before you've been spotted, they can get unpredictable once they're onto you. Similarly, it's best if you don't count on your partners to handle situations for you. Sure, they'll occasionally pull off a cool trick like saving you from a grapple or doing a double-takedown, but it's best if you stick to your own devices.

The Last of Us Part II is scheduled to fully release for the PlayStation 4 on June 19th.