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6 definitive tips for not dying in Last of Us 2's Permadeath, Grounded modes

Oh no. Death is upon you. Don't do that.

Last of Us Part II just received an update that gives players the option to significantly increase game difficulty. It adds both permadeath and the fan-favorite grounded mode that was originally introduced in the first game. There are also a ton of new camera filters, smaller gameplay modifiers, and improved accessibility options.

It's a lot to take in, and these new Last of Us 2 modes are no joke. So here are six tips to allow you to succeed in both permadeath and grounded modes with a bit more ease.

What are Grounded and Permadeath in Last of Us 2?

Grounded is a difficulty setting that was first made available in Last of Us. According to the developer, it increases the game difficulty by "making enemies deadlier and ammo, upgrade, and crafting materials incredibly scarce." The setting also removes listen mode and some elements of the UI.

Unlike Grounded, permadeath is a gameplay modifier that can be enjoyed on any difficulty setting. With the modifier active, if you die, you'll face more rigorous checkpoints, requiring you to restart an entire selection of gameplay if you perish. Permadeath can be set to three distinct checkpoints per death: whole game, whole act, or whole chapter.

All Permadeath settings

Naughty Dog

The first option will certainly have you shaking in your boots. Who wants to lose 30 hours of gameplay?

Completing the game on either Grounded or Permadeath will grant you a brand new sparkly trophy. Here's how you can have a less hair pulling time succeeding at both.

6. Let your partner defeat the dregs — For much of Last of Us Part 2, you'll travel the world with an ally who can kill enemies on their own. Let this ally take on and defeat the last remaining foes in each section. This will save you a little droplet of resources and health, granting you an easier time in a later section.

5. Let other humans fight the zombies — Sometimes you'll simultaneously encounter both humans and infected. While this seems like a match made in hell, it might just save your life. Using a noise-making object or your own body, you can lure infected into facing down the humans on your behalf. This will thin the opposition out, allowing you to have safe passage throughout the level.

4. Bricks and bottles are your allies — When resources are lacking, bricks and bottles get a-cracking. The two items can be used to distract foes when thrown in an empty space. You can also throw them directly at an enemy to stun them, allowing the foe to be taken out immediately after. This allows clickers to be taken out with fewer resources, saving your good stuff for later battles.

A raw clicker.

Naughty Dog

3. Stealth is the safest way to brawl — Don't make yourself known. If you're playing through Grounded mode or Permadeath, the best course of action is to stick to the shadows, defeating enemies only when necessary. Many conflicts in Last of Us 2 are outright skippable, making it easy to reach the conclusion if you can stay quiet.

2. Don't use materials to make health packs — In Grounded mode, you'll be given far fewer resources. Don't waste these on making health packs. You'll die in a hit or two anyways, those materials can be better used on crafting more weaponry. Instead, save your upgrade pills to improve your health. Bolster your health when it's low to completely refill your bar. This won't waste primary resources and you'll return stronger. A win-win!

1. Save your molotovs for high-level foes — Everyone knows the human form can be swiftly bested with an overwhelming flame, which molotovs can provide. Don't waste this unstoppable force on an average joe! Save your molotovs for Stalkers, Shamblers, and Bloaters. You can defeat those horrid foes without much horror by using a well-placed molotov.

Honorable Mention: Scream and take breaks — While it's not a necessary step to success, screaming can be helpful for releasing your anxiety. Grounded is a frustrating mode. If you're having trouble with a section, take a break. You'll likely return with a clear head and steamroll through it.

Also read: Last of Us 3 might star a certain baby from Last of Us 2

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