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The Last of Us Part 2 combat tips and tricks

The Last of Us Part 2 combat tips and tricks

You’d need to have found a pretty big rock to hide under to have avoided hearing anything about The Last of Us Part 2. One of the most anticipated sequels in the last decade of gaming, Ellie’s adventure will likely be played by both fans of the original and plenty of newcomers to the series as well.

If you’re only just joining, or feel like your infected-slaying skills have grown rusty in the last seven years, then this guide is for you. The infected and people you’ll face are almost as deadly as Ellie herself, so we’ve put together some key combat tips for The Last of Us Part 2 that’ll have you outsmarting them at every turn.

Check the accessibility options

While the story may hit hard, The Last of Us 2 isn’t intended to be a gruelling experience difficulty-wise, so it’s worth taking a good look at the accessibility options available. These aren’t just for those after an easier or more challenging experience, either. There are a huge number of settings available to make Ellie’s story as accessible as possible to all gamers.


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Listen mode is your greatest ally

Anyone familiar with the first game will be well acquainted with Listen mode (R1), the special, see-through-walls ability Joel and Ellie both seem to share. Well it’s been quite a few years since the original game, so it’s worth dropping a quick reminder that Listen mode is your best friend in stealth and combat. It’s not just for helping you track enemies, it’ll also show Ellie’s scent which can be traced by dogs.

Aim for the head

In real life, a single shot is enough to down most people. The Last of Us Part 2 may opt for gritty realism in many senses, but you’ll find most people take a good three or four shots to the body to down. Considering Ellie is almost always outnumbered and needs to keep her enemies from converging on her location, it pays to place your shots carefully. Even if it makes noise, taking enemies down with a single shot will allow you more time to reposition, leaving their companions less sure of your location.

Running away isn’t cowardly, it’s smart

Ellie clearly isn’t one to shy from a challenge, but she’s also not foolish as to think fighting five or so people at once is a good idea. You can’t be expected to land a perfect shot every time, so use the environment to your advantage by running away often during combat. Repositioning not only stops enemies from surrounding you, it also gives you the chance to lose them entirely. Ellie is very agile, sofFlee in one direction, hide, then throw a bottle or brick to send enemies elsewhere. Often, you don’t even need to take on all the enemies in your path. Keeping your distance will keep you alive.

Facing tougher infected? Climb

There’s been a lot of talk about how much more freely Ellie can move around her environment in The Last of Us Part 2. While standing on top of a box or car might not be a smart move against people with guns, the infected are far less capable of popping shots in your direction. Standing on top of boxes can save you from many types of infected, but it’s especially useful against the new shamblers as it can keep you above their toxic clouds and out of their reach.

Always loot the bodies

Unless you’re just trying to make a quick exit without raising too much ruckus, you should always try to loot the bodies of enemies you take down. Resources can prove very scarce in the world, making your foes one of the best sources of ammo and upgrades available. Take out a group of foes stealthily and you’ll find their bodies the perfect supply stashes to stock up from and prepare for less-so-subtle engagements in future.

Those were six combat tips and tricks to help you keep Ellie alive in The Last of Us Part 2. If you discover any other sneaky survival strategies then please share them in the comments below!


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Henry Stenhouse was formerly a PhD physicist before being born anew in the fires of game journalism. An unashamed Super Smash Bros. fanatic, he’s still waiting for the rest of the editorial team to accept his daily challenges for an Ultimate showdown. Other genres of interest include FPS, RTS and western RPGs. You can follow him on Twitter at @Fernoface