5 Settings To Change Earlier than You Start

Joel stares at all with a beard on a sunny day in Last of Us Part 1.

Screenshot: Naughty Dog

At this rate, we will never see the latter The last of us. Ahead of the high-profile HBO adaptation, Naughty Dog is releasing a top-to-bottom remake, called The Last of Us Part Ifor PlayStation 5.

Make no mistake: The Last of Us Part I it’s basically the exact same game as the 2013 original (and the subsequent 2014 remaster, for the PlayStation 4). In my testing, the existing guidelines for the original apply here — right down to the combinations for safes and other locked doors. If you are looking for very specific advice, you better check it out Kirk’s initial tips from [website crumbles into dust].

Permanent, Part I is the most mechanically superior version of the game, no doubt about it, and with the upgrade, there have been some changes. Like its predecessor, 2020 The Last of Us Part II on PlayStation 4, Naughty Dog includes an impressive array of settings and accessibility options. You will find more than 60 sliders and settings You can tweak it. Much of it depends on preference, the kind of things you want to customize as you play, but there are a few that are worth turning on from the jump.

Vibrating speech

Speech for vibrationfound below DualSense menu, is one of the few parts of The Last of Us Part I which makes it feel like a legit PS5 game (not a very pretty PS4 game). The setting makes the PS5 controller vibrate when the character speaks, and does so at the same rhythm as their speech. This is very cool! It’s also a bit intense by default. For me, I have found speech for vibration intensity sweet spot at 5—enough to “hear” the characters talking but not too distracting.

Ellie walks across a plank while Joel and Tess look on in The Last of Us Part 1.

Screenshot: Naughty Dog / Kotaku

Custom difficulty

The Last of Us Part I is playable on six difficulty settings, ranging: very light, light, moderate, hard, survivor, and, once you beat the game, grounded. But the challenge isn’t so linear. You can adjust the difficulty for five different aspects of the game:

  • Player: Dictates how much damage you take from attacks, and how frequently or infrequently you clock checkpoints in the middle of a fight.
  • Enemies: Basically dictates how savvy (or not-savvy) your foes are.
  • Allies: Determines how often your allies assist you in combat.
  • Stealth: Controls a number of variables related to sneaking, including how long it takes for enemies to alert their comrades after spotting you.
  • Resources: Regulates how often resources, like food, ammo, and crafting supplies, appear.

So if you’re great at staying out of sight but struggle with the all-out action segments, you can reflect that in a custom difficulty setting. There’s also a perk here for masochists. Though you can’t start a new game from the highest possible difficulty level—even if you’ve played it a thousand times during its prior iterations—you can manually set all five of those to grounded for a de facto hardest-possible run.

Photo Mode Shortcut

The Last of Us Part I is debatably one of the prettiest games on console right now. In other words: You’re gonna wanna take a lot of screenshots. Typically, popping into photo mode requires opening the menu, which slows down the pace of the game—unless you turn on photo mode shortcut, in the controls menu. When activated, you can hop right into photo mode by pressing both thumbsticks in at the same time. Just make sure to get the timing right, else you’ll turn on Joel’s flashlight and ruin your shot!


Hints, at the very bottom of the HUD menu, are set to sometimes by default. But they’re far more cumbersome than they are helpful. For one thing, they only offer advice as to the critical path. Sometimes you know exactly what to do to proceed in the story but, because it’s a Naughty Dog game (dense levels worth exploring), you want to poke around for a bit, see if you can turn up any collectibles or key resources. And that brings me to the most annoying part of Part I’s hints: Once a tip pops up, it doesn’t go away until you finish the task it tells you to do. Here’s where I remind you that all of the already-written guides for this game are just as effective now as they were a decade ago.

Image for article titled Before You Start: Five Settings To Change In The Last Of Us Part I

Screenshot: Naughty Dog

Bow Reticle Style

For the most part, yes, The Last of Us Part I is the same game as The Last of Us. One subtle change: There’s a new aiming system for the bow. And it kinda sucks. By default, it comes with just a standard dot as a reticle—not great for gauging distances when aiming with a bow. But if you change the bow reticle style setting, found under the HUD menu, to classic, you’ll be able to see the arrow’s path as intended: with a clear trajectory showing where it’ll land. Not only is this helpful AF, it’s also a reminder that, yeah, some things are better left untouched.


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