The Last of Us Part 2 Remastered‘s campaign mostly just features visual upgrades over the PlayStation 4 original, but its new No Return mode provides players with a roguelike experience within the same world. This tense and challenging experience requires equal parts patience, strategy, and quick reflexes if you want to survive till the very end. In this guide, we’ll share some things you’ll want to keep in mind while tackling No Return.
Pick the right character for you
No Return features various characters from The Last of Us Part 2, each sporting unique initial loadouts, upgrade paths, and traits that can make a massive difference in your run. Picking one that suits the way you like to approach combat is extremely important, as certain characters will excel at some encounter types more than others.
For instance, Abby gets instant access to the Melee Upgrade Recipe and heals after killing an enemy with a melee attack, whereas Ellie gains extra supplements and gets immediate access to the Molotov Recipe for burning foes alive. Later, you can even unlock Yara, who will always bring along Lev as a sidekick to help you kill enemies in every encounter, though she sacrifices any other particularly unique extras as a result. As you can see, there’s a character for every player, and a bit of trial and error should reveal which one works best for you.
Plan out your runs ahead of time
Each run of No Return provides multiple branching paths to the final boss, so you’ll always want to be sure you’re planning your journey ahead of time. Read over each picture on the board and be sure you chart out a path that matches up with your preferred playstyle while also granting you the most resources possible. Also, keep an eye out for any upcoming encounters that feature mods that could mess up your run so that you can either plan for them or avoid them by taking another fork in the path. The last thing you want to do is get stuck in an encounter with limited resources and find that you’re going to have to endure the dreaded Invisible Enemies mode.
Perform Dead Drops whenever possible
Dead Drops are scattered across multiple encounters in every run, and they’re almost always worth engaging with. Each one requests you to submit a specific item or two, which you can deposit to receive a special gift back at your base after the encounter is over. If you have these items and can spare them, you’ll often be rewarded with something far superior, such as a fully kitted gun or a helpful recipe that lets you craft explosives. In other words, you can increase your chances of survival significantly with a simple trade.
Save your currency for important items
Heading to the Trading Post between encounters is tempting, as you’re able to score plenty of excellent loot to help in upcoming showdowns. However, if you’re not in serious need of what it has to offer, don’t spend your currency just for the sake of it. As you continue through your run, the Trading Post will reroll what’s inside, and you’ll want to be sure you have plenty of currency saved up for important purchases like new weapons and extra holsters.
Turn off your flashlight
If you’re the stealthy type — which is almost required in many encounters in No Return — you’ll want to switch off your flashlight at the beginning of any dark levels. Human enemies can see the light you’re putting out and will rush you as soon as you’re spotted. Luckily, even most of the dark areas within the mode don’t necessarily require the flashlight to make out your surroundings, so you lose very little by turning it off.
Prioritize upgrades for Stability and Capacity
Especially when it comes to your starting pistol, make sure you prioritize Stability and Capacity upgrades early on, as these are game-changers. Having less sway in your aim can make a world of difference in ensuring that you land headshots, while increased ammo capacity means you’re reloading less often. After these are upgraded, move on to things like Reload Time and Fire Rate, which will become increasingly important as encounters ramp up in difficulty near the end of your run.
Avoid Holdout Mode when possible
Unless you specifically want to play Holdout Mode, avoiding these encounters is likely to be in your best interest. This mode pits you against an onslaught of enemies that will overwhelm you and your companion, often creating scenarios where you’re forced to use up a lot of your already limited resources to survive. Overcoming one of these encounters can be a rewarding experience in itself, but it could leave you much less prepared for upcoming battles.
Save melee upgrades for when you really need them
If you come across the recipe that lets you upgrade your melee weapons, it can be tempting to do so any chance you get. However, due to how scarce the resources for this can be, it’s best that you save them and only upgrade a really good melee weapon when faced with an encounter that will truly benefit from you having that extra oomph, as you don’t want to use your best melee weapon against enemies that would have gone down just as easily with your fists or a plank of wood.
Always unchain Clickers
Sometimes, you’ll enter an encounter that has chained Clickers scattered around the area. Sneaking up and unchaining these aggressive infected will unleash them upon any human foes that get too close or make too much noise, giving you time to sneak around and take out stragglers. This can save you a lot of ammo and resources when handled with care. Who knew working together with the infected could be so rewarding?
Use downtime wisely
Before encounters begin and during the time between Assault waves, you’ll be given an opportunity to move about the level with no enemies bothering you. Make use of this time to sprint around gathering resources for crafting and picking up any ammo dropped by foes you killed in the previous wave. Make sure you find a safe spot to hunker down right before the next part of the encounter begins. You can then craft anything you need and get ready to show your enemies what’s what.