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A guide to crafting in The Last of Us

Half-empty bottles of liquor, discarded towels, broken razor blades, and even sugar can all be transformed into deadly tools for Joel to use on his journey.

The Last of Us takes place in an apocalyptic world, one where resources are tight and scavenging is a way of life. In the game, you'll explore the environment, foraging for materials you can use to craft new items and equipment. Half-empty bottles of liquor, discarded towels, broken razor blades, and even sugar can all be transformed into deadly tools for Joel to use on his journey. There are six kinds of items you can pick up in the environment: blades, binding, rags, alcohol, explosives, and sugar. Usually, these items can be found by entering buildings and searching through cabinets and drawers. And even then, you won't find a lot--most of the time, you'll only pick up scraps, not enough to use in a crafting recipe.

Explosives can help

However, should you gather enough supplies, you'll be able to craft six different items:
  • Melee Upgrade = Blade + Binding
  • Shiv = Blade + Binding
  • Health Kit = Rag + Alcohol
  • Molotov Cocktail = Rag + Alcohol
  • Proximity Mine = Explosive + Blade
  • Smoke Bomb = Explosive + Sugar
As you can see, some of these items have the same recipes--notably, the molotov cocktail and the health kit. From my experience, always having a shiv on hand is essential to be able to quietly take out a clicker, for example. The melee upgrade is also nice, as it allows you to kill enemies in one hit--although you won't get many uses out of it. The last recipe you unlock is the smoke bomb, which I haven't had a chance to use yet. However, this is how the game describes it:
Oxidized sugar creates a smokescreen that will hide you from your enemies. They ignite with a concussive burst, stunning any enemy caught in the explosion radius. Enemies can't see through the smoke, and won't shoot at a target they can't see. use this to escape when overwhelmed or rush in while enemies are stunned.
There are other objects you can collect in the environment as well. Pills can be used to upgrade Joel's abilities. You can upgrade his maximum health, distance of his "listen mode," crafting speed, healing speed, weapon sway, and the ability to use the "shiv master" technique, which allows you to save yourself when grabbed by a clicker. (It's pretty helpful!)

'Listen Mode' lets Joel slow down and hear enemies

You'll also be able to collect tools and parts, which will let you upgrade your weapons whenever you find a workbench. You can create addition holsters, for example, to carry a second pistol or a long gun. You'll also be able to enhance your individual weapons, like reload speed, fire rate, clip capacity, recoil, and range. The hunting rifle is probably one of the most complicated weapons to upgrade in the game, as it requires higher-level tools. At level one, you'll be able to increase its reload speed and clip capacity. At level two, you can add a scope, and at level three, you'll be able to create armor-piercing rounds. Given the ruthlessness of Naughty Dog's new world, it's crucial that you find and craft as much equipment as you can--it's the only way to give yourself a real fighting chance to survive.

Andrew Yoon was previously a games journalist creating content at Shacknews.

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