The Last of Us Part II update adds Grounded difficulty, Permadeath mode, and more

The Last Of Us Part II

Hello everyone! We hope you’ve been well, staying safe, and enjoying The Last of Us Part II. We’ve loved seeing all of you share your experience playing the game, whether it’s by posting your thoughts and impressions on social media, sending us your fan art, or capturing your favorite moments in masterfully choreographed gameplay videos. However, that’s not all that’s been keeping us busy. We’ve been preparing a new update* for The Last of Us Part II, which introduces new features, gameplay modes, Trophies, and more — including the much-requested return of Grounded difficulty. Best of all, it arrives August 13, so let’s get straight into what the Grounded update includes.

Grounded difficulty returns, plus new Permadeath mode

For veteran The Last of Us fans, Grounded difficulty represents the ultimate test of skill. This difficulty raises the stakes by not only making enemies deadlier and ammo, upgrade, and crafting materials incredibly scarce, but also removing invaluable tools for survival, such as disabling Listen mode, deactivating elements of the HUD, and more**. Beginning with the update, Grounded will become one of the base difficulty options available when starting the story, so you won’t need to have beaten the game once already to access it. 

As an additional layer of challenge, we’re also introducing a brand new Permadeath mode***. With this custom mode enabled, there are no second chances — you must complete the entire game without dying or start over from the beginning. However, if taking on the whole game is too daunting, you can choose to enable Permadeath mode with checkpoints on a per-chapter or per-act basis. In other words, if you die at the end of Day One, you’ll have to play the entire day over again.

You’ll also be rewarded for your efforts. The Grounded update introduces two new Trophies: one for completing the game with any Permadeath mode enabled and another for beating it on Grounded difficulty. Don’t worry, though, neither of these Trophies will be required in order to earn the Platinum. 

New graphics, audio, and gameplay modifiers

Have you ever wondered what The Last of Us Part II would look like as a cel-shaded adventure or if it was made in the retro 8-bit era? How about if it was a black and white noir thriller or sepia-toned classic? With this week’s update, we’re adding nearly 30 new graphics rendering modes, as well as several new audio modifiers that allow you to change the look and feel of the game.

The Last of Us Part II

We’re also debuting new unlockable gameplay modifiers, like One Shot or Touch of Death that enable one-hit kills or Infinite Ammo, Infinite Crafting, or Infinite Listen Mode Range to add a new twist to gameplay:

  • Mirror World
  • Mirror on Death
  • Slow Motion
  • Bullet Speed mode
  • Infinite Ammo
  • Infinite Crafting
  • Infinite Melee Durability
  • Infinite Listen mode Range
  • One Shot
  • Touch of Death
  • 8-bit Audio
  • 4-bit Audio
  • Helium Audio
  • Xenon Audio

All of these modifiers can be accessed via the Extras menu and unlocked after completing the game.

New options and improvements

Alongside these new modes, we’re excited to introduce a number of frequently requested improvements to the game, including the option to disable Listen Mode, adjust Film Grain levels, additional display options, improvements to accessibility features, and more. For our friends in the speedrunning community, we’re also adding the ability to see playtime up to the second in the saves menu, making it easier to track and verify your runs. Here’s a quick overview of the new features that will be added with the Grounded update:

  • Saves now display playtime up to the second
  • Film Grain Adjustment option
  • Disable Listen Mode option
  • Motion Sensor Function Aiming option
  • Arc Throw HUD Display option
  • Aiming Acceleration Scale option
  • Aiming Ramp Power Scale option
  • Accessibility improvements to Ground Zero encounter, collectible tracking, Enhanced Listen Mode for collectibles, and rope gameplay

We hope you enjoy everything coming to The Last of Us Part II with the Grounded update and we can’t wait for all of your awesome gameplay videos and live streams as you take on Grounded difficulty and Permadeath mode. Be sure to keep sharing them with us by following and tagging Naughty Dog on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.


*Available via patch 1.05. Internet connection and an account for PlayStation Network required.
**In-game pre-order bonuses and some options and gameplay modifiers are disabled during Grounded difficulty gameplay.
***Some options and gameplay modifiers are disabled during Permadeath mode.

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