Best Upgrades: Which Skills Should You Upgrade First? | Last of Us 2

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Skill Upgrade - Banner 1.jpg

This is a guide to which skills (Player Upgrades) you should prioritize to unlocking first in the Last of Use Part 2. Read on to learn what skills can help you the most early on in the game.

Which Skills Should You Upgrade First?

For Beginners

Skill Upgrade - Survival Skills.jpg

If you are just starting the game, it is recommended that you invest your supplements on the Survival branch first. This is especially useful if you are a beginner, as this skill branch unlocks the Increased Health and Endure upgrades, which can give you more survivability in combat. Also, this skill branch is unlocked by default and it does not require any Training Manual.

For Veterans

Stealth.jpg
However, if you want to play with a more stealthy approach and mostly avoid combat, it is also a good idea to save your supplements until you unlock the Stealth branch, since the Stealth Training Manual can be obtained early on in the game.

Stealth Training Manual Location

Skill upgrade - Silencer.jpg

Investing in the Stealth branch unlocks the Craft Silencers skill, which allows you to fire your pistol without making too much sound to pick off unsuspecting enemies, and the Listen Mode Clarity skill which can give you a better sense of the enemies behind walls.

List of Skill Upgrades

Note: You can also unlock a trophy from upgrading a life skill for the first time.

bronze trophy.png Apprentice
Learn a player upgrade

Trophy List and Guide

Best Skills (Player Upgrade Tier List)

The following tier list ranks all skills in the game on a scale of S being the highest, and C being the lowest. It is worth noting that you will have to unlock the upgrades in a branch prior to a skill you want before you can get the upgrade, so you cannot actually pick and choose only skills you want from a branch because the order is set.

However, this tier list will rank each skill inidividually, not factoring in the fact that you will need to upgrade all skills in a branch beforehand.

S Tier - Most Useful (Ellie)

Name / Branch Supplements Effect
Craft Silencers
Stealth Branch
20 Craft pistol silencer that makes shots silent until it breaks.
Press △ while aiming to toggle the silencer on and off.
Durability: 3
Recipe requires rag and canister.
Craft Explosive Arrows
Explosives Branch
20 Craft arrows with explosive tips that deal massive damage in a blast radius.
Press △ while aiming to change arrow types.
Recipe requires explosive and binding.
Aim Stability Increase
Precision Branch
30 Improve aiming stability and accuracy while moving.
+100% Stability
+100% Accuracy
Increased Health
Survival Branch
60 Increase maximum health.
+25% Health
Craft Smoke Bombs
Crafting Branch
30 Stun bombs become smoke bombs, adding a smokescreen which blocks enemy line of sight.
Craft Improved Health Kits
Crafting Branch
40 Craft more effective health kits.
+50% Healing

A Tier - Very Useful (Ellie)

Name / Branch Supplements Effect
Craft Melee Upgrades
Crafting Branch
20 Craft an upgrade for your melee weapon, restoring it to full durability and greatly increasing its damage.
Recipe requires binding, blade, and melee weapon.
Faster Health Kits
Survival Branch
30 Increase the speed of using a health kit.
+100% Speed
Faster Crafting
Crafting Branch
40 Craft all items twice as quickly.
+100% Crafting Speed
Improved Silencers
Stealth Branch
40 Increase the durability of crafted silencers.
Durability: 3 ▶︎ 5
Craft More Trap Mines
Explosives Branch
50 Increase your efficiency at crafting trap mines, producing more from the same resources.
Craft amount: 1 ▶︎ 2
Inventory capacity: 3 ▶︎ 4
Hold Breath
Precision Branch
40 Press L3 while aiming to hold your breath, steadying your aim.
Endure
Survival Branch
60 Otherwise lethal damage will instead leave you at low health, giving you an opportunity to escape.
Craft More Smoke Bombs
Crafting Branch
40 Increase your efficiency at crafting smoke bombs, producing more from the same resources.
Craft amount: 1 ▶︎ 2
Inventory capacity: 3 ▶︎ 4
Faster Stealth Kills
Stealth Branch
60 Stealth kills are faster and keep a lower profile.
+100% Speed
Craft More Explosive Arrows
Explosives Branch
40 Increase your efficiency at crafting explosive arrows, producing more from the same resources.
Press △ while aiming to change what type of arrow is being used.
Craft amount: 1 ▶︎ 2
Inventory capacity: 3 ▶︎ 4
Craft More Arrows
Precision Branch
40 Increase your efficiency at crafting arrows, producing more from the same resources.
Craft Amount: 2 ▶︎ 3

B Tier - Pretty Useful (Ellie)

Name / Branch Supplements Effect
Listen Mode Movement Speed I
Survival Branch
30 Move faster in listen mode. Hold R1 to sense nearby enemies through walls.
+50% Movement Speed
Listen Mode Clarity
Stealth Branch
40 Enemies seen in listen mode show up in sharper clarity. Hold R1 to sense nearby enemies through walls.
Listen Mode Range
Precision Branch
40 Detect enemies at a greater range in listen mode. Hold R1 to sense nearby enemies through walls.
+50% Range
Listen Mode Movement Speed II
Survival Branch
40 Move much faster in listen mode. Hold R1 to sense nearby enemies through walls.
+100% Movement Speed

C Tier - Slightly Useful (Ellie)

Name / Branch Supplements Effect
Improved Trap Mines
Explosives Branch
20 Craft more effective trap mines that are deadly at greater range.
+50% Blast Radius
Faster Aim Movement
Precision Branch
30 Move faster while aiming.
+50% Movement Speed
Faster Prone Movement
Stealth Branch
50 Move faster while prone. Hold ◯ to go prone.
+50% Movement Speed
Improved Molotovs
Explosives Branch
40 Increase the effectiveness of your molotovs, spreading fire in a wider radius.
+50% Flame Radius

S Tier - Most Useful (Abby)

Name / Branch Supplements Effect
Increased Health
Field Tactics Branch
30 Increase maximum health.
+25% Health
Craft Shivs
Covert Ops Branch
20 Craft 2 shivs which allow for instant stealth kills against most enemies. They can also be used to break free when grabbed by a clicker.
Recipe requires binding and blade.
Momentum
Close Quarters Branch
40 After killing an enemy with a STRIKE, for a short time your next melee attack will also be a STRIKE.
STRIKES are high-damaging melee moves against stunned or surprised enemies.
Craft Incendiary Shells
Firearms Branch
20 Craft 2 incendiary shells which fire in a wide cone, dealing heavy damage and lighting enemies on fire.
Press △ while aiming to change what ammo is loaded.
Recipe requires alcohol and explosive.
Aim Stability Increase
Close Quarters Branch
20 Improve aiming stability and accuracy while moving.
+100% Stability
+100% Accuracy
Increased Health
Field Tactics Branch
50 Increase maximum health.
+25% Health

A Tier - Very Useful (Abby)

Name / Branch Supplements Effect
Craft Improved Health Kits
Close Quarters Branch
50 Craft more effective health kits.
+50% Healing.
Craft Hunting Pistol Ammo
Firearms Branch
20 Craft 2 standard bullets for your Hunting Pistol which deal heavy damage with high accuracy.
Recipe requires explosive and blade.
Hold Breath
Field Tactics Branch
30 Press L3 while aiming to hold your breath, steadying your aim.
Craft More Hunting Pistol Ammo
Firearms Branch
50 Increase your efficiency at crafting hunting pistol ammo, producing more from the same resources.
Craft Amount: 2 ▶︎ 3
Improved Silencers
Ordinance Branch
40 Increase the durability of crafted silencers.
Craft Amount: 3 ▶︎ 5
Craft More Shivs
Covert Ops Branch
50 Increase your efficiency at crafting shivs, producing more from the same resources.
Craft amount: 2 ▶︎ 3
Inventory capacity: 4 ▶︎ 6
Momentum Duration
Close Quarters Branch
50 Momentum lasts longer.
+70% Duration
Craft More Incendiary Shells
Firearms Branch
50 Increase your efficiency at crafting incendiary shells, producing more from the same resources.
Press △ while aiming to change what ammo is loaded.
Craft amount: 2 ▶︎ 3
Inventory capacity: 4 ▶︎ 6
Craft More Pipe Bombs
Ordinance Branch
40 Increase your efficiency at crafting pipe bombs, producing more from the same resources.
Craft amount: 2 ▶︎ 3
Inventory capacity: 4 ▶︎ 6

B Tier - Pretty Useful (Abby)

Name / Branch Supplements Effect
Faster Crafting
Ordinance Branch
20 Craft all items twice as quickly.
+100% Crafting Speed
Faster Aim Movement
Firearms Branch
40 Move faster while aiming.
+50% Movement Speed
Improved Pipe Bombs
Ordinance Branch
30 Craft more effective pipe bombs that are deadly in a larger area.
+50% Blast Radius
Faster Health Kits
Close Quarters Branch
50 Increase the speed of using a health kit.
+100% Speed

C Tier - Slightly Useful (Abby)

Name / Branch Supplements Effect
Listen Mode Clarity
Field Tactics Branch
40 Enemies seen in listen mode show up in sharper clarity. Hold R1 to sense nearby enemies through walls.
Listen Mode Movement Speed I
Covert Ops Branch
30 Move faster in listen mode. Hold R1 to sense nearby enemies through walls.
+50% Movement Speed
Improved Melee Weapon Upgrades
Ordinance Branch
40 Craft more durable upgraded melee weapons.
+1 Durability
Grabbed Enemy Movement Speed
Covert Ops Branch
50 Move faster while holding a hostage, allowing you to quickly reposition while shielding yourself or attempting a stealth kill.
+50% Hostage Movement Speed
Listen Mode Range
Field Tactics Branch
40 Detect enemies at a greater range in listen mode. Hold R1 to sense nearby enemies through walls.
+50% Range
Faster Prone Movement
Covert Ops Branch
40 Move faster while prone. Hold ◯ to go prone.
+50% Movement Speed

Last of Us 2 Tips and Tricks

Tips & Tricks

Game Mechanics and Features
Combat Guide and Tips List of Skill Upgrades
How to Use Listen Mode How to Stealth Kill | Stealth Tips
How to Upgrade Weapons -
Controls and Techniques
Game Controls & Settings
How to Ride the Horse How to Heal
How to Use Quick Turn How to Run (Sprint)
How to Turn on Aim Assist How to Ride the Boat
Resources and Tools
What are Scavenged Parts? What are Ingredients?
Recipe List List of Training Manuals and Locations
List of All Workbench Locations How to Get Infinite Ammo
Exploration and Secrets
Safe Combinations and Locations How to Find the Downtown Seattle Map
Trophy Guide | List of Trophies How to Open the Bank Vault
Soda Can Code How to Earn the High Score in the Archery Game
How to Win the Marksmanship Competition How to Put a Hat on your Companion
How to Find the Engraved Ring How to Find the Strange Artifact
How to Unlock the Hidden Trophies Easter Eggs
Miscellaneous Guides
Which Skills Should You Upgrade First? Which Weapon Upgrades Should You Get First?
How to Play Guitar What Carries Over Into New Game Plus?
How to Use Photo Mode Difficulty Settings and Best Difficulty
How to Use Generators Scent Trails Explained

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    • I’m more of a stealth player so I didn’t enjoy the boss fight in the hospital. One touch and you’re dead, that’s not enjoyable or realistic. Might as well run outside and kick a bear. I’d get the same thing happen, dead. Too much story in this game as well, I feel like it’s hours of videos that takes away from the game play. Just give me the details and move it along. I don’t need to know who’s screwing who.

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