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Last of Us 2: Best Character Upgrades to Get First

last of us 2, best character upgrades

Last of Us 2: Best Character Upgrades to Get First

Developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony, The Last of Us 2 is finally out in the wild and it continues the story of main protagonists Joel and Ellie. Just like in the first game, it’s possible to pick up supplementary pills while you’re out exploring and use them to unlock permanent character upgrades. Here are the best character upgrades you should get first in The Last of Us 2.

Best Character Upgrades to Get First in The Last of Us 2

Unlike in the first game, The Last of Us 2 features a few different skill trees you can check out, and these are unlocked as you pick up training manuals in the world. We’ve broken down the best character upgrades to get first for both Ellie and Abby, so feel free to check out whichever section you’re more interested in.


  • Survival: Listen Mode Movement Speed I, Faster Health Kits, Increase Health, Listen Mode Movement Speed II
  • Crafting: Craft Smoke Bombs, Craft Improved Health Kits
  • Stealth: Craft Silencers, Listen Mode Clarity, Faster Prone Movement, Improved Silencers, Faster Stealth Kills

For Ellie, she’s best played as a stealthy character and we’ve chosen to focus on her stealth-heavy character upgrades with that in mind. The first skills to get should definitely be increased max health and better health kits, as those will improve your survivability in general, and you’ll also be getting faster Listen mode movement speeds at the same time.

However, once you get the Stealth tree, you’ll definitely want to max that out by getting every available upgrade there. Faster stealth kills will increase your stealth kill speed, and also make your kills more low profile to allow you to sneak around better.

The Explosives skill tree is also pretty decent, as it allows you to craft explosive arrows and improve your mines and molotovs, but we generally found more success by relying on Ellie’s stealthy skills instead in The Last of Us 2.


  • Field Tactics: Increased Health
  • Covert Ops: Craft Shivs, Craft More Shivs
  • Firearms: Craft Incendiary Shells, Craft Hunting Pistol Ammo, Faster Aim Movement
  • Close Quarters: Momentum
  • Ordnance: Improved Pipe Bombs, Craft More Pipe Bombs

While it is possible to play Abby as a stealthy character as well, the skill trees you get for her are much more suited to a gung ho style of play. The first upgrade you’ll want to get for Abby is definitely the ability to craft shivs. Unlike Ellie, Abby doesn’t have a switchblade to instant kill Clickers with, so you’ll definitely want some shivs for your stealth encounters.

After that, focus on the different types of ammo you can craft. The incendiary shotgun shells are ridiculously powerful and effective against infected enemies, while the improved hunting pistol ammo will let you pierce armored foes as well. Momentum is another great upgrade to get as it improves your melee ability; killing enemies with an equipped melee weapon one after another will be easier, as you can one-shot all of them with Momentum.

Finally, the pipe bombs are also worth investing in as they’re the only throwable weapon that Abby has access to. Two regular pipe bombs are usually enough to take out a Shambler, and if you upgrade them even further, they can be used as good crowd control tools.

That’s all you need to know about what the best character upgrades are in The Last of Us 2. Be sure to check our guide wiki for more tips and information on the game.

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