The Last of Us 2: What Difficulty Should You Select? Guide

What difficulty should you select in The Last of Us 2? Picking the right level of challenge for you is important to ensure you get the most out of Naughty Dog's anticipated sequel. Fortunately, you can alter the difficulty once you get started, so if you're finding the game too hard or too easy, you can adjust it and forge ahead. Furthermore, the title has an unprecedented number of options when it comes to difficulty, and we're going to explain everything as part of our The Last of Us 2 guide.

The Last of Us 2: What Difficulty Should You Select?

In total, The Last of Us 2 has five default difficulty settings for you to select. They are as follows:

Very Light
Explore and experience the story with a lighter combat challenge.
Less challenging than moderate.
Provides a balanced experience. Resources are limited.
For those looking for a greater challenge. Resources are very limited and enemies are more dangerous.
An intense, demanding challenge. Resources are extremely scarce and enemies are deadly.
The most challenging and realistic experience. Listen mode, HUD, and other gameplay elements are altered in this game mode. (Added with v1.05 patch.)

For the vast majority of players, we'd recommend Moderate, as this encourages exploration and amplifies tension in combat, without causing frustration. Those of you who consider yourselves particularly good at games may prefer the added challenge of Hard, although we'd only really recommend Survivor to those who are looking for a particularly punishing experience. Grounded is the hardest difficulty setting in the game, added as part of v1.05, and it dramatically decreases the number of HUD components while disabling Listen mode entirely. You can toggle Permadeath in this mode for increased challenge, but you can choose whether you want to restart the entire game, act, or chapter each time you die.

It's worth mentioning that New Game + rebalances all five of these difficulty levels, increasing the challenge to account for the fact that you'll have upgraded weapons. We should also mention that you can create your own Custom difficulty by adjusting sliders. This means that you can, for example, restrict the number of resources available for consistency with the narrative but still keep combat relatively light. The options available when designing a Custom difficulty are as follows:

Adjust how Resilient or Vulnerable you are.
Adjust how Passive or Aggressive they are.
Adjust how Passive or Aggressive they are.
Adjust how Unsuspecting or Vigilant enemies are.
Adjust how Common or Uncommon they are.

It doesn't matter which difficulty you select, as there are no challenge related Trophies in the game. You can find out more on that through the following link: The Last of Us 2: Are There Any Missable Trophies? We'd recommend tinkering with the settings until you find a solution that feels comfortable to you. It's worth mentioning that other assists, should as aim assist, can be enabled separately in the Accessibility menu should you require it.

What difficulty will you be playing The Last of Us 2 on? Let us know, and whichever setting you pick, be sure to check out our The Last of Us 2 guide for much more help with the game.