The Last of Us Part 1 Best Weapon upgrades

The Last of Us Part 1 Remake weapon upgrades
(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

The Last of Us Part 1 best weapon upgrades increase guns in ways that enhance certain characteristics - range or damage say. So if you have favorite for whatever reason, upgrading it will improve that reason.

The good news is that you can upgrade most of the weapons part of the way and get a feel for them before you have to think about committing to anything specific. Ammo can be scarce though, so a good piece of advice in The Last of Us Part 1 is to spread the love around so you have some options - there's no point putting all your resources into maxing out one gun and then having no bullets for it. 

Below we'll explain the The Last of Us Part 1 weapon upgrade system in full and what you can do with it to help you decide what to do. We'll also cover how to get the Parts you need, and how many upgrades you can get in a single playthrough.

Best weapon upgrades in The Last of Us Part 1

The Last of Us Part 1 Remake weapon upgrades

(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

Below we've listed the best upgrades you should get for each weapon, though let's be clear: the first upgrades you should get are the secondary holsters for both short and long guns, at least when they're available. Having the chance to switch between two different firearms of each type is an invaluable skill in a firefight, especially when one runs out of ammo and you need to get a new one ready fast. Beyond that, here's the priorities for each of The Last of Us weapons.

Best short gun weapon upgrades in The Last of Us

  • 9MM Pistol - Capacity and Fire Rate: There's not much of a marked hierarchy in pistol upgrades, but considering its strengths lie in dealing with hordes of weak enemies, these two focuses will probably help with that most.
  • Revolver - Reload Speed: There's only two types of upgrade available for this six-shooter, but quickly stuffing bullets back into an empty gun is more important than gradual fire rate increases.
  • El Diablo - Capacity and Armor Piercing: The Diablo's slow reloads mean that getting more out of a single clip is invaluable, and Piercing means your shots always kill like they should, rather than bouncing off helmets.
  • Shorty - Spread and Capacity: Push this sawed-off into a short-range powerhouse by upping its ability to take down numerous targets in quick succession.

Best long gun weapon upgrades in The Last of Us

  • Hunting Rifle - Scope, Armor Piercing and Power: And in that order, too. The scope is what makes the Hunting Rifle a viable weapon for range, then it's all about boosting killing ability. A capacity boost wouldn't hurt after all that, especially in tight situations like The Last of Us Keycard hunt in the Pittsburgh hotel.
  • Pump Shotgun - Range and Recoil: The shotgun is deadly to start with, so bring its shots under control by focusing on accuracy and placement.
  • Bow - Range: The bow should always be a stealth weapon, so focus on landing accurate headshots and making up for drop-off with all the range upgrades.
  • Flamethrower - Power and Range: The Flamethrower's damage over time means that you really need to kill enemies before they reach you. Upping damage and distance will help keep you safe.

Can you get all weapon upgrades in The Last of Us Part 1?

The Last of Us Part 1 Remake weapon upgrades

(Image credit: Naughty Dog)
The Last of Us Training Manual locations

The Last of Us Part 1 Remake Training Manuals

(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

Check here for where to find all The Last of Us Training Manuals!

You can't fully upgrade every weapon in The Last of Us Part 1 in a single playthrough as there's not nearly enough parts scattered in the game. However, if you start a New Game + after completing the game, and acquire new Parts, you will be able to fully upgrade every weapon then. Until that point, think about prioritizing the most important upgrades; and sometimes you might not want to use up all the Parts you've found on upgrades when you could always save them for better ones later. 

You'll also need The Last of Us Tools to unlock new tiers of upgrades to really pull your firearms into the late game. 

Finding parts for upgrades

The Last of Us Part 1 Remake weapon upgrades parts

(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

Parts for weapon upgrades in The Last of Us Part 1 Remake are distributed as they were in the original game - fairly randomly, usually in small piles. Use context clues to help; areas like garages, workshops and construction zones are likely to have them scattered about in greater numbers, though you can find them anywhere. Remember to check any of the following for Parts:

  • Shelves and cabinets
  • Openable drawers
  • Safes (you'll need all The Last of Us safe codes to open them)
  • Broken machinery or vehicles
  • Areas around existing workbenches for weapon upgrades

It's important to remember that enemies don't drop parts, so gunning down foes in the hope of farming them isn't going to be successful. Focus on the environment and look for the telltale white sheen of light that marks out objects.

Joel Franey
Guides Writer

Joel Franey is a writer, journalist, podcaster and raconteur with a Masters from Sussex University, none of which has actually equipped him for anything in real life. As a result he chooses to spend most of his time playing video games, reading old books and ingesting chemically-risky levels of caffeine. He is a firm believer that the vast majority of games would be improved by adding a grappling hook, and if they already have one, they should probably add another just to be safe. You can find old work of his at USgamer, Gfinity, Eurogamer and more besides.

With contributions from