The best weapons in The Last Of Us Part 1
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The Last Of Us Part 1 BEST Weapons

This Last Of Us Part 1 Best Weapons guide includes the armaments that you should have in your backpack at all times, if you want to survive that is! Some weapons can be crafted, some you’ll have to pick up and scavenge.

As we’re coming up to the 10 year anniversary of The Last of Us Part I’s original PS3 release (back in 2013), I thought it’d be a good idea to revisit some of the best weapons it had to offer. It’s an appropriate time to re-visit the guns of the game due to it being re-released on the PS5 on 2nd September 2022.

To jog your memory, The Last Of Us Part 1 is a brilliant zombie, third person action and adventure game. It’s not just another zombie game though, what makes it stand out from the crowd is the emotional story telling, the brutality of the violence caused by Joel (isn’t he meant to be a good guy!) and the plethora of available weapons that you can use against the zombies and NPC (non playable characters) humans.

Top 14 Best Weapons TLOU

To help keep you alive and fight of those hoardes of vile zombies and determined human enemies, we’ve decided to list The Last Of Us Part 1’s best weapons.

  1. Smoke Bomb
  2. Assault Rifle
  3. Flamethrower
  4. Shorty
  5. Revolver
  6. Nail Bomb
  7. Molotov Cocktail
  8. Hatchet
  9. Shiv
  10. Pump Shotgun
  11. El Diablo
  12. Hunting Rifle
  13. 9MM Pistol
  14. Bow

Smoke Bomb

The smoke bomb is one of the best weapons TLOU
The smoke bomb is one of the best weapons TLOU

The smoke bomb is such a simple weapon. But, don’t let that simplicity fool you, it’s an extremely useful one and worthy of being included on the list. Smoke bombs are useful against humans or the infected and they have slightly different effects.

Against the infected you can utilise the smoke bombs properties to prevent the use of echolocation by the clickers. Zombies are attracted to the smoke created by your bomb. If you manage to land a smoke bomb directly onto the infected they’ll stand still, this is perfect if you need to flee.

Against Humans you can use it when attempting to escape from enemies by visually impairing them and hindering their line of sight. It’ll buy you some time to make your get away. If a human enemy can’t see you, they can’t attack you.

If you didn’t want to escape but wanted to punish the enemy, use the smoke bomb as a means of causing confusion and disorientation to launch an assault and defeat them. A word of caution though, don’t stand to close to the blast radius as you’ll get stunned by it too, which will hinder you’re escape or attack plans.

There are some other use cases that’ll really help you in specific missions which I’ll not spoil here.

To craft a smoke bomb you’ll need to grab a hold of the raw materials needed to create it. You’ll need to combine sugar and an explosive. You can also upgrade how powerful your smoke bombs are by getting a hold of the chemistry training manual.

Assault Rifle

Accuracy is key with the rifle, don't waste ammo.
Accuracy is key with the rifle, don’t waste ammo.

The Assault Rifle is easily one of the best weapons in the game but it can be a bit counter productive due to lack of available ammunition and it’s high rate of fire can make you miss the target, unless you’re careful. It is the only fully auto gun in the game but I still prefer 3 round burst mode due to improved accuracy.

You’ll only really be able to get one toward the end of the game when storming the hospital to rescue Ellie. In the early stages the only ones that have assault rifles are some of the military personnel and most of the Fireflies. The military are definitley ones to avoid.

The Assault Rifle is so powerful that it can easily demolish even the most dangerous foes in the game. In light of the foregoing, it is not hard to comprehend why a lot of people like using this weapon, in spite of the fact that it devours ammunition at an alarming rate.

Ammunition availability will depend on the difficulty level you’re playing on. Playing on a high level will result in ammo becoming more scarce, you’ll only pick up between 9 and 15 round a time. Have it on an easier setting and you’ll probably get 30 rounds each and every time.

Another downside to the assault rifle is that it’s very loud, so you may want to opt for something capable of being silenced. It’s a balancing act between stealth and lethality.

Because it is only used in one chapter, it’s not possible to upgrade the assault rifle.


The Flamethrower is one bad a** weapon!
The Flamethrower is one bad a** weapon!

The flamethrower is such a bad a** weapon. What makes it even more bad a** is that it’s crafted from spare parts, the trigger mechanism is made from an old bicycle brake lever! It’s been thrown together in such a way that I’m surprised it works at all.

It’s one of two homemade weapons you can use in the game. It suffers from a limited range but that can be upgraded at various work benches. I found that increasing the range also increases it’s effectiveness.

You can grab the Flamethrower from the university, it’s understood that it was made by a student at the Uni, hence the rag-tag nature of it’s design.

Don’t fret, if you can’t find it at the university, keep an eye out as there is one that’s located in a nearby building. It’s a good weapon to pick up, so do make the effort to try and find it.

It deals a lot of damage to humans, in just one ‘hit’ it’ll get rid of them for you. It’s less powerful against the infected as it only deals damage when it gets a direct hit, it won’t deal any splash damage.

I tend to not use it as my main weapon, I keep it in reserve to use as an area defense weapon. For example, if you’ve got a hoard of infected after you, you can blast them all to push them back and make your escape.


The Last Of Us Part 1 Best Weapons
The Last Of Us Part 1 Best Weapons

Basically a sawn-off shotgun but sawn off so much it’s pretty much a hand gun. It’s super powerful. When it was released a lot of players thought this weapon was a bit too OP.

Long range, accurate fire isn’t it’s primary use. What it is useful for is extremely powerful close quarters battle. It’ll blast away any one dumb enough to venture in front of where ever you are pointing it.

It only holds two cartridges at a time but it’s power definitley makes up for limited quantity of ammunition.

It can be upgraded at certain workbenches in the game. Upgrades include; increased range, decreased recoil, bigger clip size, greater buckshot spread and a much quicker reload time.

If ammo is your main concern, spend the time upgrading the ammo capacity as the top upgrade will allow it to have a max capacity of six shells. These upgrades, in my opinion make it one of the best weapons in The Last Of Us Part 1.

You’ll find the Shorty down in the sewers during your play through of “The Suburbs”. It’s located on a bench just to the left of the entrance. Once Joell get’s cut off from the rest of the team, make sure you search any infected you come across as you’ll find another one.


Joel’s personal weapon, so I’m sure it has some sort of sentimental value as he’s had it so long. Joel picks up the gun twenty years ago during his escape from Boston, he found it on a dead soldier.

It’s also used quite a lot once you reach the Outskirts. It can’t be used before then, so get those opening bits done and you’ll get access to it.

You can improve the rate of fire and reload speed at a specific workbench. And, once those upgrades are done it becomes a formidable weapon to have in your arsenal. The ammo capacity can’t be increased via upgrades in single player mode, it’s a six shot shooter.

If you play The Last Of Us Part 1 on Grounded difficulty, it should one shot one kill the humans, as long as they aren’t wearing any body armour. So, it is a really powerful weapon but not quite as accurate as the pistol.

It might not be the most powerful or accurate in the game but it’s one of my personal faves.

Nail Bomb

Another craftable weapon. The Nail Bomb is a potent and dangerous addition to your repertoire. The bomb is made using a collection of blades and explosives and is one of, if not the best weapon in the game.

The nail bomb is dual purpose, it can be thrown or placed. Which means it can act as a grenade or a landmine, detonating on impact with an enemy or when an enemy is near enough to trigger the proximity fuse.

Nail bombs cause significant damage to 99% of enemies in the game, it’ll finish them all off with one shot apart from a bloater.

If you keep an eye out for the nail bomb manual you can upgrade it’s killing range which makes an already deadly weapon, even more efficient.

Nail bombs can be a lot more powerful than a Molotov. An enemy that is wearing amour will sometimes survive if stuck directly with a Molotov. A Nailbomb will rip right through the armour and deal critical damage.

You can set up two nail bombs in close proximity to each other and when an unsuspecting enemy walks close enough, the two bombs will guarantee an instant kill, which is a great trick to use in game if facing multiple enemies.

Throwing a nail bomb or placing it does make a noise so if stealth is the aim of the game, keep in mind who is nearby when making use of this explosive.

What I like about the nail bomb is the raw materials needed to craft them are widely available throughout the game. The main components, blades and explosives are scattered throughout.

Molotov Cocktail

Molotov’s are nasty weapons and for that reason, they’re a great one to use in the game.

It’s another craftable explosive and it’s another one that you don’t need much in the way of raw materials to make it. It’s basically the same as a medical kit, a rag and high volume alcohol.

The Molotov Cocktail is probably the most effective explosive in the game. The cocktail can instantly kill all enemies apart from a bloater.

Saying that though, they do help to take down a bloater by removing their thick armour. Because it’s also quiet when throwing it, it won’t give away your position when using stealth to sneak around the area.

Just like the flamethrower it’s a great area denial weapon due to the fire it causes, any other enemies that wonder into the flame with catch fire and die instantly.

As it’s such a simple weapon to craft there aren’t any available upgrades for it, which is fine because an upgrade would make it too over powered.


A super durable melee weapon that’ll help you set up camp and slay humans or the infected. It’s lightweight which makes swinging it really easy. But, it is super rare so you’ll only be able to pick one up toward the end of the story missions.

Because of it’s rarity you may want to keep it as a last resort weapon, use the machete works and then if your machete breaks, reach for the hatchet.

It’s a one hit one kill weapon, so it’ll deal with every enemy in the game apart from a bloater. As I mentioned it’s super durable which means you can hit something with it 8 times before it breaks.

The best way to find the hatchet is to pick one up just after leaving an abandoned settlement near the sewers.


The Shiv is a weapon with a multitude of different uses. It allows you to sneak up on the infected and to deal with them promptly. The shiv is particularly powerful against the Clickers. It’s not the most durable weapon in the game and it will break after a number of uses.

Crafting a shiv is super simple because the parts to make one are easily accessible. The Shiv isn’t a primary assault weapon but you should use it for sneak attacks and assassinations. It’s also perfect as a defense against the Clickers.

It’s one of the first weapons that players have the opportunity to acquire and use in the game. There are three different shivs that you can create or pick up whilst exploring.

Playing as Joel you won’t be able to use a shiv during normal combat, you can use it if it’s the last weapon you have available in your arsenal.

A shiv made out of scavenged scissors is really only good for one attack before it breaks. To increase the number of uses your shiv has, keep an eye out for instruction manuals, if you come across one pick it up.

Shivs can be used to dispose of foes in a stealthy manner or you can can be use it to open doors. You’ll see them referred to as “shiv doors” throughout the game.

I mentioned up above that the Shiv is particuarly useful when fighting Clickers. These Clickers cannot be strangled when you grab a hold of them. You’ll need a shiv to dispatch them.

Because bloaters have a thick fungal plate armor you won’t be able to take them out with a standard Shiv. Keep an eye out for the “Shiv Master” improvement for some great Shiv improvements.

Pump Shotgun

Possibly the best weapon in the game. The shotgun is a really powerful short range pump-action shotgun. It’ll easily kill humans and the infected with a single shot at close range.

The further you’re away from the enemy the less damage you’ll deal to them, due to the spread dynamics of the shotgun.

Because it’s a aim and shoot gun it doesn’t really need much aiming, if you point it at the general area you want to shoot the buckshot will hit the target. The shotgun is capable of killing multiple enemies with one shot.

You’ll also be able to blow limbs off of enemies, which in a sick way, is quite fun!

There are two different skins available for the shotgun; sculpted oak and rubber tactical. My preference is the rubber tactical but both of them look great.

It’s all positives so far, any negatives? Well yes, one. The one negative is that it’s really slow to re-load. Because it’s a 12-gauge, you have to re-load all of the shells manually at once which is a laborious task.

You can’t do anything to improve recoil but you can make a few different upgrades to speed up the rate of fire, accuracy and reload rate, keep an eye on the work benches for the shotgun specific upgrades.

The 12 gauge shells can be found on bodies of your enemies or by looting the local area. You can use your shiv to open some shiv doors to find more shells.

El Diablo

The Devil. A one or two shot killer, this pistol is easily the best weapon in The Last Of Us Part 1.

The first time you pick up the El Diablo you’ll only be able to fire it once before you need to reload the gun. You can first find this weapon on a corpse near a car just before reaching the power station.

If you don’t manage to get a hold of one from the abandoned car, there’s a second chance to get a hold of one. You can get one from just inside the old shack right outside the entrance to the power station it’s self.

The El Diablo is one of the most powerful weapons in the game, only taking two shots to kill a Bloater. As with most things it’s a balance of power vs available ammo.

The El Diablo ammo is difficult to come by, so keep some in reserve for when you’re in a bit of a pinch and need that firepower to escape with your life.

Upgrades via work benches are available. Pick up those upgrades and you’ll get the added benefit of improved reload speed, improved fire rate aswell as acquiring the ability to have armour piercing rounds.

Now don’t get too excited because getting all available upgrades is almost impossible to acquire on your first play through. You’ll need a total of 370 parts to fully upgrade your El Diablo but keep plugging away as the upgrades make this a formidable weapon.

Hunting Rifle

Perhaps the best weapon in the game?
Perhaps the best weapon in the game?

A bolt action rifle that is extremely powerful, equip it with a scope and you can snipe to your hearts content.

This rifle is particularly suited to for use against those nasty bloaters with their fungus armour. It’s useful because of its armor piercing abilities.

If you spend the time working away at acquiring parts and work benches to upgrade it, it will one shot one kill humans every single time, it’ll also one shot one kill a Clicker as long as it’s a head shot. It’ll take a couple of shots to kill an armored human.

Upgrades include, improved reload speed, improved ammo capacity and the scope that I mentioned above. The armour piercing ability and power upgrades are probably the most difficult to get because they need around 75 parts each.

The hunting rifle is first available by taking it off a dead Firefly on the second level of the Capitol building mission. A lot of people consider the hunting rifle as the best weapon in TLOU part 1 but I don’t have the same opinion. Pre-upgrade it takes a hell of a long time to reload it and you may get swamped by enemies before you’ve had chance to fire off another round.

9MM Pistol

The most common firearm in the game, the pistol is a good weapon but scarce ammunition makes it one to use with caution. You’ll first pick the weapon up in the Boston Quarantine Zone.

The 9mm is the most common weapon of human enemies, don’t think because it’s got a small caliber that it’ll be easy if you run into a enemy carrying this weapon. Whilst it is less powerful than a rifle, it can still put you down, so proceed with caution.

As with most weapons in this list, keep an eye out for spare parts and work benches as there are several upgrades available for this gun.

You’ll be able to upgrade the reload speed, rate of fire and magazine capacity. Unfortunately there isn’t an upgrade to the power metric. If it’s power you want, go with the El Diablo.

In terms of power, the 9mm Pistol is a lot weaker than the revolver. It deals about 20 damage per shot which means you’ll need to get all 5 shots on target to down your opponent.

If you want to slay an enemy quicker, go for head shots. It’ll deal 60 damage with head shots, meaning that two head shots should down most adversaries.

It’s default ammo capacity is 5 shots, so use it sparingly or you’ll end up having to resort to melee weapons.


The bow is easily one of the best weapons in the game.
The bow is easily one of the best weapons in the game.

Stealth is the aim of the game with the Bow. It’s such a fine looking weapon and one that has really good real world mechanics. The flight of the arrows follows an arching trajectory, so you can shoot the arrows quite far pointing them up above the target to it archs down onto it.

In this post apocalyptic world ammo is scarce. A weapon with reusable ammo such as arrows make the bow the perfect survival weapon. Arrows aren’t the most durable so are at risk of breaking and they could also get lost if you fire them at greater distances.

A brilliant feature of the arrow ammo is that they’ll deal alot more damage if your enemies aren’t aware that you’re in the vicinity. In this scenario, it usually only takes one shot to kill your enemy.

Clickers will require headshots to be killed in one hit. However due to their anatomy this does on more occasions than not, break the arrow.

Bloaters thick plate armour can take damage from arrows, but usually that’s only if the slightly more brittle fungal plates on their heads are destroyed first. Hit it with 4 head shots and it’ll be put down for good.

The Last of Us Part 1 Best Weapons Summary

So, there you have it. These are The Last of Us Part 1’s Best Weapons. Let us know in the comments below what you think the order should be?

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