'The Last of Us Part 2' Beginner's Guide - Best Combat and Stealth Tips

The Last of Us Part 2 is finally making its way to PlayStation 4, but, especially if you're not familiar with the first game, its sequel has a bit of a learning curve. Below, we've outlined nine tips that you should know at the start of your adventure.

1) Check Bathrooms: Especially once you get into the more open segments of the campaign, checking bathrooms for loot becomes a must-do task. Not only do they often offer crafting supplies for Medkits and weapons, but they're also the most common place to find Supplements. Supplements are used to upgrade Ellie's skill tree, so you'll want as many of them as possible. Bathrooms are often seen as meaningless window dressing in games, but they're essential for progress in The Last of Us Part 2.

2) Read Notes in the Environment: It can be tempting to run from encounter to encounter to advance the plot as quickly as possible, but, if you want your Ellie to survive, you absolutely should stop and look around environments for notes and other clues. Sometimes you'll find lore details that enhance your understanding of the in-game universe, but there are also some notes that offer the combination to a nearby safe. If you see a safe and can't open it, look for a clue in the area. We saw about a dozen of these over the course of our playthrough, and they're full to the brim with supplies.

3) Don't Forget Training Manuals: Over the course of your journey, you'll come across eight different Training Manuals that open up tiers of your Skill Tree. These are found as objects in the environment, which means they can be missed. Manuals generally have a golden glow, so look for that signal as you loot. There are additional spawn points later in the game where you may find a missing manual, but you'll have to wait a while to get there. It should also be noted that your skill tree cannot be maxed out in a single playthrough, so don't feel bad if you fall short.

last of us 2 skill tree
'The Last of Us Part 2' is a complex game. Miss any Training Manuals, and your skill tree may be incomplete. 'The Last of Us Part 2' is available now on PS4. Sony Interactive Entertainment/Naughty Dog

4) Use Bricks and Bottles: Especially as you get to the latter half of the game, bricks and bottles become a very important resource that's often overlooked. If a dog is on your scent, bricks and bottles are the only way to confuse them. Otherwise, these pets are fiercely overpowered and will find you even when you're well concealed on lower difficulties. While you may not use distractions much once you get used to dealing with Infected or human threats, they're still really important.

last of us 2 bottle
Bottles or bricks may be more helpful than they appear. Sony Interactive Entertainment/Naughty Dog

5) Explosives Are Important, Too: Without spoiling more than we need to, there are times when explosives are the best way to take down larger foes. This is primarily the best way to handle the new Infected type called the Shambler. Use projectile weapons to hurt a Shambler while avoiding the damage-inducing dust it spews. Explosives may seem counterproductive in a stealth game, but, for the rare instances you need them, they're super-helpful.

6) Play the Infected Off Humans: There aren't too many encounters in The Last of Us Part 2 that feature both humans and Infected, but there are opportunities for thrilling gameplay when that's the setup. These situations often look overwhelming but can be quickly remedied by pitting the two groups against each other. Throw an explosive or a bottle to intentionally alert a Clicker, and watch as the gross threat munches down on a soldier. While the soldiers fight off a horde, you can slink away to safety.

7) Use the Tall Grass: Stealth is probably the most challenging part of The Last of Us Part 2, but one thing we noticed is that going prone in tall grass is probably the most effective way to keep out of sight of enemies. In fact, at times it may be too effective. Whenever you have the chance to use brush cover, abuse it as much as possible. This tip applies to basically every game with stealth mechanics, but it's particularly valuable here.

last of us 2 tall grass
Using tall grass may be your most effective stealth measure. Sony Interactive Entertainment/Naughty Dog

8) Sometimes Just Run: While the habits of a gamer suggest that every possible bad guy must be dispatched before moving on to the next area, that's absolutely not the case in The Last Of Us Part 2. There may be times when you've saved at a checkpoint with not enough ammo to make it through the current situation. If that happens, your best option may be to run for safety. It's a little cowardly, but you can still advance the story and do some hardcore looting in the next quiet segment if you must.

9) Take Advantage of Accessibility: If all these tips fail you, it may help to look at the exhaustive list of in-game accessibility options. Having trouble with gunplay? Turn on auto-aim. Is stealth too difficult? There are sliders that turn down enemy AI while keeping everything else as is. In fact, there's even an option for a button press to reveal the direction of the next major plot beat. As much as we love readers using our online guides, almost every part of this game can be tweaked to alleviate any issue you may have if you're truly stuck.

The Last of Us Part 2 is available June 19 on PS4.

What do you think of The Last of Us Part 2 so far? Are there any good tips we missed? Tell us in the comments section!