The Last of Us Part I Beginner’s Guide: 9 Tips and Tricks

The Last of Us Part I is a remake of Naughty Dog’s PlayStation 3 classic that brings a variety of visual and accessibility upgrades that can only be achieved on PlayStation 5. It comes with multiple difficulties for any skill level, which means you should be able to find something that suits the way you play this beloved experience. However, even at lower settings things can get quite hairy at times. So whether you’re an avid fan revisiting a favorite on Sony’s newest hardware, or facing this post-apocalyptic story for the first time, we’ve got a few tips to help you get started.

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Explore everywhere, examine everything

Joel and Ellie look at a bridge in The Last of Us Part I.

Survival in the apocalyptic world of The Last of Us requires searching for materials everywhere you can get them. Much of your success in battles will be decided by how much you’ve collected, be it ammo for your weapons, materials to make health kits, or even items to distract enemies. Because of this, you’ll want to spend as much time as possible examining every nook and cranny of every area you come across to make sure you’ve found all the useful things to be had there. Since you rarely visit anywhere again, you’ll usually get a chance for a drink, so make it count.

Do crafts often and don’t leave anything behind

Once you’ve gotten enough materials to craft a utility item like a health kit or molotov cocktail, you can open your crafting menu to do so. It’s a good rule of thumb to always keep those types of items to the max when possible because you can only carry a limited amount of materials. If you run into excess materials like alcohol or rags, use what you have in your inventory to craft anything you haven’t maxed out to ensure you can pick up the new stuff. In other words, never leave anything behind unnecessarily.

Use supplements wisely

You’ll likely find plenty of supplements in the form of plants and pills scattered throughout the post-apocalyptic world, and using them can improve a variety of Joel’s abilities, such as listen mode range, weapon sway, healing speed, and more. You won’t find enough supplements in a single playthrough to upgrade each skill, so make sure you don’t waste them on something that won’t really make a significant difference. Most players will likely get the most benefit from dumping their supplements into Maximum Health and Weapon Sway. If you manage to have enough supplements to continue upgrading your abilities later in the game as the difficulty increases, try tossing a point or two into Healing Speed ​​to ensure you can escape and top up your health quicker.

Make case updates a priority

Ellie taking aim with a rifle.

As you progress through The Last of Us, you will find many tools and parts that can be used for upgrades at workbenches. As soon as possible, you’d do well to upgrade your two holsters, one for pistols and one for long guns, as this will allow you to switch between up to four weapons on the fly. Assign your favorite weapons to those slots and make sure they are always recharged before encounters. If you run out of ammo in one, you can still head to your backpack, scroll to that weapon, and then switch to another, but having four holsters ensures you don’t have to do this as often while surrounded by enemies.

Prepare before you commit

Unless you’re playing on the easiest setting, you’ll find it difficult to approach most fights in The Last of Us with a run-and-gun mentality. Most encounters in the game will require a fine balance of stealth, melee, and conservative use of firepower. To make sure you don’t have to call on that firepower too much or end up unexpectedly surrounded, be sure to do a bit of reconnaissance before engaging enemies. Using Joel’s listening ability can give you valuable information on where enemies are and what kind of baddie he is, so use it as much as you can to get a sense of the flow of a room before rushing into a fight. Still, you’ll find the odds are usually not in your favor, so he sets up some traps and quietly picks off lesser threat enemies with sneak attacks before going all out.

have an escape plan

Ellie walks on a plank that spans two roofs.

As mentioned above, the odds will not be in your favor during most fights, and no amount of preparation can account for all scenarios. Both human and infected enemies pose a significant threat due to their ability to track you down and run you over once they’ve spotted you. Because of this, always try to identify areas in each location that can put distance between you and any monstrosities if things go wrong. You don’t want to get stuck in a corner though, so actions like jumping through windows to the other side of a wall can often give you the brief moment needed to heal or craft an item before the infected enemy finds a I’m walking towards you. .

Always keep knives around

Shivs are one of your most precious resources in The Last of Us. If you are overrun by enemies and find yourself trapped by an ever-terrifying Clicker, a knife acts as a defensive item that can be used to instantly kill the enemy and allow you to escape a guaranteed kill. Additionally, the blades can be used to open a variety of locked doors that stand between you and rooms packed with useful resources. Sometimes you’ll even find the materials needed to craft more knives inside, so it’s worth using one to access the room. All that said, don’t bother wasting those same materials to upgrade melee weapons, as crafting more knives will almost always be more beneficial.

Collect your fired arrows

Ellie bows in a screenshot from The Last of Us Part 1.

Earned fairly early in the game, the bow is among the most deadly and efficient parts of Joel’s kit. Its ability to kill enemies with a single arrow from a distance while keeping you safe in stealth is extremely useful in large-scale encounters, and with some buffs to its draw speed, it can even be an impressive weapon during intense firefights. Best of all, though, each arrow has a chance not to break when hitting an enemy, meaning you’ll sometimes have a chance to retrieve them from corpses. After you’ve taken down an enemy, keep an eye out for glowing arrows protruding from their corpses and make sure you don’t leave any behind.

save often

The Last of Us has a liberal autosave feature, so you usually won’t have to worry about replaying massive segments of the game after you die. However, it’s worth noting that you can also perform manual saves to ensure that you can revert some of your decisions. If you’ve just survived an intense engagement by the skin of your teeth, you may be disappointed in the amount of ammo or resources required to achieve success. There’s nothing wrong with accepting the outcome of that hard-fought win and moving on, but there’s also no shame in re-saving just before battle to try again in hopes of coming out in better shape, especially on higher difficulties where each bullet and material is beautiful. Do what is best for you.

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