Last of Us 2 Difficulty Settings & Levels Comparison

There are five difficulty levels in The Last of Us 2. They affect things like the amount of damage you do, enemy accuracy and perceptive powers, aggressiveness of allies and the amount of ammo you’ll find while scavenging. Choosing the right one when you first start playing can be a daunting task – how are you supposed to know how skilled you are at a game you’ve never played? That’s why we’ve written this guide, to help you out by offering a difficulty levels comparison in The Last of Us 2.

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tlou2 difficulty levels comparison
difficulty levels comparison in The Last of Us 2

Which difficulty should I start on?

Here’s how the game describes the available options:

  • Very Light – Explore and experience the story with a lighter combat challenge. Camera and aim assistance settings are enabled by default.
  • Light – Less challenging than Moderate. Resources are more common and enemies are less dangerous.
  • Moderate – Provides a balanced experience. Resources are limited.
  • Hard – For those looking for a greater challenge. Resources are very limited and enemies are more dangerous.
  • Survivor – An intense, demanding challenge. Resources are extremely scarce and enemies are deadly.

It’s a pretty broad description, and it doesn’t show how much harder is moderate than light, for instance. The good news is that you can change the difficulty settings even after you’ve begun playing. So if you find it too easy or to hard, just pause the game and change the setting.

After you’ve completed the game, you unlock a custom difficulty level, which allows you to tweak certain parameters independently of others. That’s of no help when you’re starting out, but it does give a glimpse into what exactly changes between difficulty levels. The list includes:

  • The amount of damage you take
  • Frequency of checkpoints during encounters
  • Enemies’ rate of fire, accuracy, aggression, movement speed, and complexity of melee combos
  • Allies’ aggressivenes and how often they score kills
  • Enemies’ perception, the amount of time they wait before alerting others and the conditions for grabbing them from stealth
  • Quantity of ammo and supplies, durability of weapons and the yield of crafting recipes

Last of Us 2 New Game Plus

Another thing that unlocks after you complete your first playthrough is the New Game Plus mode. The difference between levels is the same – moderate is more difficult than light, hard is more difficult than moderate, etc. But you get to keep all your upgrades, equipment and crafting recipes from the first playthrough, and all your weapons become available as soon as your reach Seattle.

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Ketchua has been writing about games for far too long. As Señor Editor, he produces words (and stuff) for Gosunoob. There are a lot of words (and stuff) there, so he's terribly busy. Especially if you need something.


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