The Last Of Us 2 Best Difficulty - Which To Choose

The Last Of Us 2 Best Difficulty
Ellie's a few years older -- and definitely tired of this.

While it used to be a staple of action games, difficulty settings aren't always made available nowadays. No need to fear though, Naughty Dog games has set up plenty of options for the player in The Last Of Us Part II.

7. Very Light

When you Google, “Story Heavy Video Games” The Last of Us is one of the first results to pop up. The original installment drew widespread attention for its likeable characters and story; so much so that even people who weren’t typically interested in video games were trying it out. The ‘Very Light’ setting is a perfect fit for anyone getting into the game just to see this story continue.

How It Works

  • Combat encounters are minimalized
  • Enemy AI is low
  • Enemies deal less damage
  • The player deals more damage
  • Resources are abundant and easy to come by

Choose This Difficulty If…

  • You just want to experience the story of The Last of Us 2
  • You don’t typically play combat or stealth oriented games


6. Light

While I’ve personally always been more on the Sony side of the console wars, Microsoft certainly has a loud and devoted group of admirers. Even so, Playstation has plenty of noteworthy exclusive titles, and if you want to experience the full gamut of gameplay each season, you’ll need to jump between platforms. Whether you’re simply learning a different controller, or starting fresh where you’d normally use a mouse and keyboard, if you’re not familiar with the PS4 and all its quirks I’d recommend going easy on yourself with the ‘Light’ mode. This difficulty level also mostly eliminates the need to ration supplies and ammo, a divisive mechanic in any game.

How It Works

  • Supplies are plentiful
  • Enemies are weak
  • Stealth portions are very forgiving

Choose This Difficulty If...

  • You aren’t familiar with the PS4 controller
  • You don’t typically play this type of game
  • You want to experience the story with mild combat experiences


5. Moderate

Look, I went to school for game design (and I’ll continue to bring it up until my student loans are paid off), and if it wasn’t obvious already, let me tell you this: developers start from the moderate and work outward. This means that for most linear games, the ‘normal’ or ‘moderate’ setting is the closest experience to what the developers intended for the player. So, if you aren’t sure what to go with, just pick this one. You’ll get the story and challenge in the most polished way possible.

How It Works

  • Resources and enemies are about as you’d expect
  • Nothing presents a seemingly insurmountable challenge
  • You experience the game in a way the developers expected whilst designing it

Choose This Difficulty If…

  • You want to experience the baseline experience set by the developers
  • You are an experienced gamer, but unfamiliar with the first game
  • You aren’t looking for an intense challenge


4. Hard

Maybe these games are your bread and butter; you already know what to expect and how to handle it. Maybe you like planning out how to use your supplies and ammo with the fear of running out looming overhead. Go with hard mode, you’ll enjoy the challenge.

How It Works

  • Enemies are smarter and more aggressive
  • Weapons are harder to come by
  • Supplies are limited

Choose This Difficulty If…

  • You don’t mind dying from time to time
  • You enjoy resource management
  • You’re experienced in stealth and combat based games


3. Survivor

This is a Zombie Apocalypse with survivor in-fighting, not your nephew’s birthday party. You’re scrounging for materials, sneaking past enemies who really might detect you, and carefully picking your battles because your enemies are tough, and your ammo is limited. This will be difficult, the experience is rewarding.

How It Works

  • Game hints are removed
  • Enemies are twice as strong
  • Listen Mode (The ability to sense nearby enemies within a certain range, even through walls) is disabled
  • Supplies and weapons are also limited

Choose This Difficulty If…

  • You’re truly dedicated to the roleplaying aspect of story-driven games
  • You want to feel that your every decision matters
  • You’re very experienced in this type of game, on this platform, and want an action driven challenge


2. Grounded

Released in an upgrade two months after The Last of Us 2 came out, Grounded mode is a return to form from the first game. An absolute must if you’re a streamer intent on showing off your skills to viewers. A challenge meant to shake up even the most desensitized veterans of the genre. You (the player, not Ellie) should stay hydrated, well fed, and rested if you want the energy and focus to take this on.

How It Works

  • Enemies hit three times as hard
  • Resources are incredibly scarce
  • Listen Mode is disabled
  • The Heads-Up Display (which points out interactables and items that can be collected) is turned off

Choose This Difficulty If…

  • You hate yourself
  • You aren’t prone to rage quits
  • You have an emotional attachment to the black screen after a death occurs
  • You’re just really good at video games and want to flex (mad respect, honestly)


1. Custom

A very commendable addition to the standard difficulty choices of action games -- this mode lets you adjust how challenging you want different aspects of the game to be. If you like difficult enemies, but hate running out of ammo, you can adjust that. If you aren’t good in stealth sections but want to keep the rest of the game challenging, you can set that up. This mode guarantees that you can get through the game with the levels of challenge that you want.

How It Works

  • Players have the option to individually adjust 5 different aspects of the game
  • Those aspects are: Player, Enemies, Allies, Stealth, and Resources
  • Each slider can be adjusted from Very Light to Grounded
  • These sliders affect your damage output, enemy strength, ally abilities, enemy AI, and resource availability

Choose This Difficulty If…

  • You want to tweak the mechanics to create a unique experience
  • There are certain challenges you enjoy, and others you do not


Bonus: Permadeath

While not a difficulty setting in and of itself, Permadeath is a mode that can be added on to any of the aforementioned difficulty modes. It is exactly what it sounds like: if the player has this on for a run of the game, all deaths are permanent. It can be adjusted to make critical failures less severe (putting you back at the start of a chapter, rather than the start of the game, for example) but this mode makes it so that all deaths within the game guarantee a noteworthy loss of progress.

How It Works

  • An additional mode that can be turned on for any difficulty in the game, as long as it is on for the whole game
  • The player can choose how much progress will be lost whenever a death occurs; the options are to send the player back to the start of the chapter, the start of the act, or the start of the whole game.

Choose This Difficulty If…

  • You want your endgame to be the result of a perfect run
  • You want a heightened intensity to all encounters
  • You’re playing this game on stream - it’s extra entertaining for viewers

You May Also Be Interested In:

More on this topic:

A legendary nymph from the mythical land of Las Vegas, Audie is weak to sunlight, and has a heightened sneak ability when posing as a male in MMORPGs.
Gamer Since: 2003
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Genshin Impact
Top 3 Favorite Games:Undertale, Portal, SOMA

More Top Stories