Everything is scarce in The last of us part 1. You’ll constantly run out of supplies, ammo, health, and maybe even hope. This game functions much like survival horror games where managing your inventory is just as important as being able to land that critical headshot. Your arsenal, in terms of firearms, isn’t terribly large, but you have the ability to upgrade each weapon in a number of ways to help you get the most out of every precious bullet you find.

Weapon upgrades, like skill upgrades, are not freeā€”both cost a limited resource. However, weapon upgrades also have an extra layer of limitations, as you can’t just stop and upgrade a weapon whenever you want. When you are in a position to upgrade, you should also consider which gun you want to invest in, how you want to invest in it or if you want to save for a future weapon or a more expensive upgrade later. It’s a delicate balance, but we’ve picked the best weapon upgrades to help you survive your journey in The last of us part 1.

How to upgrade weapons

To upgrade weapons in The last of us part 1, you’ll need four things: a weapon (spirit), parts, a workbench, and tools. Weapons will be obtained through story progression, although technically you can skip one, while parts must be picked up from the ground, in drawers and cupboards, and often in large quantities behind cupboard doors. Tools are rarer but unlock new weapon upgrades. The maximum instrument level you can reach is five. Finally, workbenches are designated places where you can stop, take a breather, and spend your parts to upgrade your weapons in various categories.

The best weapon upgrades you can get

Gun holsters

This is one of the first upgrades you should get. Holsters increase the carrying capacity of your pistol or long gun to allow you to quickly switch between two of each type on the fly. While you can switch to any weapon you have unless it’s in your quick menu, it’s a cumbersome process, especially while you’re in the middle of a firefight or when a swarm of clickers are rushing you.

You’ll almost never be completely comfortable with the amount of ammo you have for one or maybe even two weapons, so the more weapons you can easily swap out, the better.

El Diablo: armor piercing

El Diablo is without a doubt the best sidearm overall The last of us part 1. This powerhouse is powerful enough to kill enemies with just one or two shots and even comes with a scope, making it essentially a handgun. It can even take down a bloated person with two, sometimes three injections. The downside is that you don’t meet him until a little late in the game, and his ammo is pretty rare.

To make the most of every shot you have, upgrade your armor piercing stat to make sure any enemy you decide is worth a bullet doesn’t come back. You can upgrade this twice, both costing 75 scrap and requiring level four and five tools respectively.

Shotgun: sight and armor piercing

The shotgun is your easy, reliable long weapon. Unless the enemies are in your face, this is a strong draw choice in most situations. This weapon comes with very high base damage, but a low rate of fire and reload speed to compensate. Without upgrades, it’s pretty much on par with El Diablo, except headshots are a guaranteed kill.

Range and armor penetration are essential for this gun. The scope should be obvious. This weapon is only meant to land those critical headshots, and lining them up is much easier when you have a better view of the target. It will cost you 25 scrap for first level and 35 for second which is very cheap. While you might be tempted to go for the raw damage upgrade, and you certainly could, get the armor piercing upgrade first so you can blast Clicker heads with a single bullet and rip through armored people. This is another cheap investment, with level one costing only 15 scrap and level two increasing it to 40. If you have everything unlocked, even a body shot will kill an armored enemy in one go.

Pump Shotgun: Recoil and Range

What would a zombie game be without a good shotgun? The pump shotgun is your classic, reliable medium and close range problem solver The last of us part 1. If you’re close enough, you don’t even need to upgrade this weapon to take out humans and clickers in one shot. However, the further away you are, the faster the damage drops, so choose your draw and shoot moments carefully.

Chances are, a shotgun comes out when things have gone wrong and enemies are right in your face. When this happens, the last thing you need is for your shots to miss due to the powerful impact of the gun. You can reduce recoil at two levels, costing 15 and 40 scrap respectively. Range is your next best option here. You obviously won’t be shooting this gun, but adding some range will make the damage reduction feel less like you have to actually press the muzzle of the gun into an enemy for it to be effective. These two levels will cost 30 and 50 scrap.

Bow: range

The bow is the unsung hero of The last of us part 1. It’s the only long-range stealth weapon in the game, and even has a chance to let you collect your arrows from your target. You don’t want to pull this out when things start and you already have bullets flying at you, but if you use it wisely, the bow can allow you to kill entire battles without alerting the party at all.

The bow has the least upgrades of the lot and only the range is really needed if you use it correctly. After all, reload speed and draw speed won’t matter if you’re in stealth when using it. However, the scope can make sniping those isolated targets from a safe place much easier. You can triple this stat and it won’t even break your scrap bank, costing 20, 30 and 50 scrap per level.

All: clip size

Finally, whether you use any of these guns or not, upgrade the one you like with a larger clip size if possible. This is extremely important for two reasons. First, you obviously don’t want to run out of photos at a critical moment and need to reload. Second, it has the added benefit of simply being able to keep more ammo in stock. Again, you’ll rarely find yourself loaded with ammo, but even then, you can’t really keep a lot of ammo for each gun in reserve. The bigger your clips are, however, the more ammo you can hold in the gun, and thus more ammo for your character overall.

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