Five settings to change before starting

Bearded Joel looks out on a sunny day in The Last of Us Part 1.

Screenshot: playful puppy

At this rate, we’ll never see the last of Last of us. Ahead of the high-profile HBO adaptation, Naughty Dog has released a full remake titled The Last of Us Part Ifor PlayStation 5.

Make no mistake: The Last of Us Part I it is essentially the same game as its 2013 original (and subsequent 2014 remaster for PlayStation 4). In my testing, the guides that already exist for the original are applied here, right down to combinations for safes and other locked doors. If you need specific advice, you’d better check Kirk’s first advice from [website crumbles into dust].

Still, Part I this is the most technically advanced version of the game, there is no doubt about it, and there have been some changes with the improvements. Like its immediate predecessor, 2020s The Last of Us Part 2 on PlayStation 4, Naughty Dog included an impressive array of customization and accessibility options. You will find over 60 sliders and settings you can customize. Most of these are preference-based, things you’ll want to tweak while playing, but there are a few that are worth turning on right after the jump.

vibrating speech

Speech to vibrationsfound under Double meaning menu, is one of the few parts The Last of Us Part I this makes it look like a real PS5 game (rather than a very pretty PS4 game). This setting causes the PS5 controller to vibrate when the character speaks, and does so at the same rate as the character speaks. This is very cool! It’s also a bit intense by default. For myself I found speech to the intensity of the vibrations sweet spot at 5 – just enough to “hear” the characters talking, but not so much that it’s distracting.

Ellie walks the plank as Joel and Tess watch the action in The Last of Us Part 1.

Screenshot: Naughty Dog / Kotaku

Custom Difficulty

The Last of Us Part I You can play on six difficulty levels: very light, light, moderate, hard, survivorand once you complete the game, grounded. But the task is not so linear. You can adjust the difficulty for five different aspects of the game:

  • Player: Determines how much damage you take from attacks and how often or rarely you count down checkpoints in the middle of a fight.
  • Enemies: Basically determines how smart (or not smart) your opponents are.
  • Allies: Determines how often your allies help you in combat.
  • Stealth: Controls a number of variables related to sneaking, including how long it takes for enemies to alert their comrades once you’ve been spotted.
  • Resources: Adjusts the spawn rate of resources such as food, ammo, and crafting materials.

So if you’re great at staying out of sight but having trouble with the all-out action segments, you can reflect that in your custom difficulty setting. There is also a privilege for masochists here. While you can’t start a new game on the highest possible difficulty level – even if you’ve played it a thousand times during previous iterations – you can manually set all five of them to ground for the de facto hardest possible playthrough.

Photo mode shortcut

The Last of Us Part I perhaps one of the most beautiful games on consoles right now. In other words: you will want to take a lot of screenshots. Typically, going into photo mode requires opening a menu, which slows down the pace of the game, unless you enable photo mode shortcutin controls menu. When activated, you can immediately enter photo mode by pressing both joysticks at the same time. Just make sure you pick the right time or you’ll turn on Joel’s flashlight and ruin your shot!


Hintsat the very bottom of the HUD menu, set to sometimes default. But they are far more burdensome than useful. First, they only give advice about the critical path. Sometimes you know exactly what to do to continue the story, but since this is a Naughty Dog game (thick levels worth exploring), you want to dig a little, see if you can find any collectibles or key resources. And that brings me to the most annoying part. Part IHints: Once a hint appears, it won’t disappear until you complete the task it tells you to. Here I remind you that all the already written guides for this game are as effective now as they were ten years ago.

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Screenshot: playful puppy

Bow Mesh Style

For the most part, yes The Last of Us Part I the same game as Last of us. One subtle change: there’s a new aiming system for the bow. And it kind of sucks. By default it comes with a standard dot as a reticle – not very handy for measuring distances when aiming with a bow. But if you change bow mesh style setting found under HUD menu to classical, you should be able to see the trajectory of the arrow as intended: with a clear trajectory showing where it will land. This autofocus is not only useful, but also a reminder that some things are better left untouched.

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