The Last Of Us 2 accessibility options explained: what are they, who do they help, and how do you activate them?

Here’s everything you need to know about accessibility in Naughty Dog’s latest game.

by Oliver Barsby
TLOU2Access

With The Last of Us 2 taking the world by storm and smashing sales records for 2020, more and more people are taking interest in the game.

Of course, not all these people will be veteran gamers, nor will they all be able-bodied. In a game like The Last of Us 2 where audio, dark paths, and quick-time events are vital components of the gameplay, many who want to simply experience the story would be unable to do so without accessibility settings.

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Fortunately, Naughty Dog have emphasised the accessibility options that the sequel has to offer. We’ve compiled a list of all the different accessibility settings, and how to use them.

How Do I Change The Last of Us 2’s Accessibility Settings?

From when you first open up The Last of Us 2, you can change all the settings directly from the Options menu. This can be accessed from the pause menu, too.

The Last of Us 2 Difficulty Settings

While most games will have a simple ‘Easy’, ‘Medium’ and ‘Hard’ difficulty system, The Last of Us 2 lets players have full control over which sections of a game should be challenging or not.

The difficulty setting has 5 different tiers, ranging from Very Light to Survivor.

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Players can change individual gameplay aspects to reflect the level of challenge they want to experience in different sections of gameplay. Here is what each adjustment relates to:

Player (Resillient to Vulnerable)


  • Amount of damage the player takes from enemies
  • Frequency of mid-encounter dynamic checkpoints

Enemies (Passive to Aggressive)

  • Accuracy of enemy gunfire and frequency of projectiles
  • Aggression of enemies advancing and flanking
  • Complexity of enemy melee combos
  • Movement speed of certain high-threat enemies
  • Custom tuning to specific combat encounters

Allies (Aggressive to Passive)

  • Aggressiveness of allies in combat
  • Frequency at which allies kill enemies

Stealth (Unsuspecting to Vigilant)

  • Enemy’s perception through vision, hearing and smell
  • Length of grace period before enemies will alert others
  • Conditions for grabbing enemies from stealth

Resources (Common to Scare)

  • Quantity of ammunition and supplies found in the world
  • Durability of melee weapons dropped by enemies
  • Yield of certain crafting recipes

Not only do these difficulty options make players be able to tailor the gameplay to their level of experience, but it also lets players choose how they experience The Last of Us 2.

If you’ve already completed The Last of Us 2 and want to replay the game in a different way, experimenting the settings is a great way to do so. We suggest increasing the abundance of Resources and Aggressiveness of enemies if you want to play The Last of Us 2 as a more traditional action/shooter.

READ MORE: Which consoles can play The Last of Us 2?

The Last of Us 2 Visual Options

The HUD options contain all the standard options for what you want displayed on the screen, such as your health bar, ammo, and pick-up prompts when walking past nearby objects. If you want the most immersive and realistic The Last of Us 2 experience possible, turning off most of the HUD options would be a good start.

One extra visual option handy for hardcore completionists is the Collectible Tracking option. This displays a special icon on a collectible if a player has already picked up the item in a previous playthrough.

Aside from the HUD, players have full control over the subtitles. You can change the background, size, colour and direction of the subtitles, as well as whether the names of characters are displayed.

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The Last of Us 2 Control Options

Aside from the standard sensitivity, aim assist and inversion options, The Last of Us 2 has a bunch of extra assistances to help players new to gaming.

The Camera Assist will automatically reorientate the camera in the direction of a player’s movement. This is a tool designed for players who have difficulty using the Left and Right Stick simultaneously.

Lock-On Aim is a new tool that will automatically lock onto enemies when you aim with a weapon. Once locked on, you can use the Right Stick to change which body part to shoot.

The Last of Us 2 Accessibility Options

The accessibility options are where The Last of Us 2 really excels.

Alternate Controls

The alternate controls tab gives you the option to change input methods between Hold and Toggle/Tap for actions such as aiming, crafting, and sprinting. You can also turn on Auto Pick-Up, which will pick up any nearby ammo and ingredients.

Magnification and Visual Aids

Here, you can change further aspects of the HUD, including altering its brightness and colour (including for colourblindness).

The High Contrast Display option is perhaps the accessibility option you may have seen shown off the most in trailers/gameplay demonstrations. This option will mute environment colours, adding a distinct contrast colouring to enemies, items, and allies.

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Motion Sickness

If you suffer from motion sickness, you can adjust the Camera Shake, Motion Blur, Camera Distance, and Field of View to prevent these post-processing effects from affecting your experience. A Persistent Centre Dot is can also help to keep your eyes focused when looking around the world.

Navigation and Traversal

The Navigation and Traversal tab allows you to turn on assistance for moving throughout the world. The Navigational Assistance toggle will allow you to press L3 to face the camera in the direction of story progression, and the Traversal Assistance will take over movement for certain sections of the game.

Enhanced Listen Mode lets you scan for items and enemies while in the listen mode, sending out audio cues to direct you to these locations.

For players with low vision, the Skip Puzzle option allows you to advance past puzzles that may not be accessible to them.


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Text-to-Speech and Audio Cues

Turning on Text-to-Speech enables the narration of on-screen text, allowing players with low vision to engage with letters and drawings found scattered across Seattle.

Audio Cues help to assist players with traversal and combat, playing sound cues to alert players to any interactable element of The Last of Us 2, including:

  • Jumpable gaps
  • Areas that require going prone/crouching
  • Nearby pick-ups
  • Nearby breakable glass
  • Enemy grab and strike prompts
  • Incoming enemy melee attacks
  • Aiming at an enemy
  • Landing a shot on an enemy

Combat Vibration Cues will assist with combat by playing a vibration cue for:

  • Incoming enemy melee attacks
  • Aiming at an enemy
  • Landing a shot on an enemy

Combat Accessibility

These settings are designed to make combat accessible for all players, and include being able to activate the following settings:

  • Hostages Don’t Escape
  • Allies Don’t Get Grabbed
  • Enemies Don’t Flank
  • Reduced Enemy Perception
  • Reduced Enemy Accuracy
  • Enhanced Dodge
  • Invisible While Prone
  • Slow Motion

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Oliver Barsby