The world of The Last of Us Part 1 is brutal and unforgiving. The only way to combat its hostile inhabitants is with the arsenal of weapons that Joel and Ellie find on their journey across the country. While each weapon has its place in combat, it’s important to use the right one in the proper situation or risk wasting ammo and health or even death. On tougher difficulties like “Grounded” or “Permadeath,” you’ll need to be as effective and efficient as possible if you want to make it out alive.
Workbenches are key for getting more powerful as they allow you to upgrade your weapons. Not all upgrades are created equally, however, as some are extremely useful during encounters while others technically make your guns better, but don’t have much of an effect in the long run. Here are the best upgrades to purchase first in your playthrough of The Last of Us Part 1.
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Early on in the game, you’ll be able to craft weapon holsters, one for long guns and bows and the other for short guns and other sidearms. They are, by far, the most essential thing you can upgrade at a workbench. By default, Joel is able to hold one of each type of weapon on his backpack. If you want to switch to something else, he’ll need to kneel down and pull it out, a risky move in tense combat situations. With the two weapon holster upgrades, you can hold two of each. While that’s still not enough to have your entire arsenal just a quick button press away, it makes you much more versatile in combat.
Revolver: Reload Speed
Increasing the reload speed of every weapon can be helpful, but doing it for the revolver is especially important as it’s one of the first weapons you get in the game and you’ll be using it so frequently. It’s much more powerful than the starting handgun so you’ll want to favor it whenever you can. Unfortunately, the main drawback against it is that its reload animation is slow if you’re empty. Increasing this trait early can do a lot of good in the long run.
Hunting Rifle: Reload Speed
Similarly, increasing the hunting rifle’s reload speed is crucial for getting out of The Last of Us Part 1‘s many combat encounters alive. You get the rifle early on in the game, but it only holds one round at a time when you first get your hands on it. It deals devastating damage, but the lengthy amount of time between shots can prove to be deadly for you if you get caught in a sticky situation. Increasing the reload speed means you’re back to taking out enemies at a much quicker rate.
Hunting Rifle: Scope
The hunting rifle is a versatile weapon, but you’ll eventually have enough guns to take care of threats in close and medium range, making the rifle almost a little redundant. That’s where the scope comes in. Purchasing the scope means that you can comfortably take out threats across combat arenas with incredible accuracy. It can be upgraded again for an even greater zoom, but given the size of the arenas, just the first upgrade will do for most situations.
Pump Shotgun: Range
The pump shotgun deals massive damage when taking out enemies that are within range, but in order to deal the most amount of damage, you’ll need to get in close, putting yourself at risk. Increasing the range of the shotgun will do a lot to keep you safe while dishing out the most amount of damage possible. This becomes especially true anytime you face off against tankier enemies like the bloaters.
Pump Shotgun: Fire Rate
The weapon that will most consistently get you out of trouble against infected is the pump shotgun. Because they mainly deal melee attacks, they have to get in close to hurt you. Luckily, the closer they get the more damage you’ll deal with the shotgun. Because they come in packs, however, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and take some hits. By upgrading the fire rate of the shotgun, you’ll be able to shoot your way out of just about any situation, as long as you have the ammo to do it.
Bow: Draw Speed
The bow is one of the best weapons in the game as it allows you to take out threats without alerting the rest of the enemies in the arena. The main drawback for the bow, however, is the amount of time it takes for you to ready an arrow. Reducing that time by upgrading the bow’s draw speed will make you incredibly lethal in stealth sections, greatly increasing your chances of survival.
It’s a good idea to upgrade the capacity for all weapons with small clip sizes such as the hunting rifle, but the shorty benefits from dishing out large bursts of damage in a short amount of time. The clip is only two rounds when you first get it so increasing the number of shots you can get off before needing to take the time to reload is crucial. Like the shotgun, it can get you out of a pinch when dealing with infected, but because of its increased spread, it’s even more effective at taking out enemies in close quarters. If you find yourself running out of ammo before you can deal with the entire group of enemies, however, you’re likely to go down pretty quickly.