The Last of Us 2 is a near-perfect piece of video game storytelling, but dismiss its outstanding mix of anxious stealth and fraught action at your peril. To deal with the roaming, deadly infected and callous human enemies, you need to use your scarce ammunition wisely with the best weapons for the job - but you’ll need to find them first.
Here’s where to find every weapon in The Last of Us 2, as well as the holster upgrades that let you switch between guns more effectively.
However, most of the weapons you find are flawed in some way, be it recoil that bucks like a stallion or a glacial reload time which has you fumbling helplessly while two angry clickers (or worse) windmill towards you.
These foibles can be reduced or even removed by upgrading your firearms with scrap at workbenches - and we have a page on where to find every workbench in the game, here.
We’ve played through the game enough to try all of these upgrades, so with each weapon location, we’ll provide a bit of commentary on the best weapon upgrades for each arm in your arsenal.
With that said, we’ll only be going over the primary weapons you can unlock. There are loads of different bombs and mines you can craft with the help of skill tree training manuals - these are all great and you should use them liberally.
The Last of Us 2 Weapons Locations - Best Upgrades
To keep spoilers to a minimum, we’ve listed the weapons in chronological unlock order. But we’ll add the holsters first so you don’t miss them.
The Last of Us 2 Holster Locations
Day 1 - Long Gun Holster
To find Ellie’s Long Gun Holster, you need to search Barko’s pet store - which we have a full page on this area, here - in the Seattle hub where you’re looking for Gas with Dina.
To get inside, you need to search the coffee shop in the top-left corner of the map on the intersection of 5th Ave and Spring Street and find the door key in the bathroom.
Then head over to Barko’s near the middle of the map and enter through the delivery entrance in the back alleyway.
Your Holster is inside.
Seattle Day 2 - Small Gun Holster
You have to wait until Seattle Day 2 for the Small Gun Holster.
At the start of the day, you’ll make your way through some shopping streets and see a WLF truck speed off up the road. Soon after Dogs will be introduced as an enemy, and after you fight your way through a couple of combat areas with this new challenge, you’ll end up in another shopping street with your way blocked by a deep ravine in the road.
You’ll know you’re in the right place when you see an auto shop behind a tattoo parlour with a pet shop and toy store across the street. Move the dumpster from in front of the auto shop door and hold onto your butt.
Inside you’ll find a safe - we have a full page on every safe combination and code in The Last of Us 2, here. You can search the rest of this area for a note, or you can just enter 30-82-65 and grab the Small Gun Holster.
Ellie starts with a Pistol and a Hunting Rifle.
The pistol has powerful utility once you unlock the ability to craft silencers, and as such is a good weapon to invest scrap into. On normal difficulty, it’s also one of the weapons you find the most ammunition for.
Every upgrade for the pistol is good, so it’s a great weapon to spec out completely for the silver trophy - but can depend on how you want to use it. If you’re more into lining up silenced headshots, go for stability first. But if you want to use it as your main run-and-gun, then look at addressing the recoil to make up for the fact you’ll likely need multiple shots to down enemies.
The capacity upgrade is better than it looks, because you’re at your most vulnerable during a reload. It’s when human enemies push up and the infected try their hardest to gank you from all sides. It’s probably the last pick, but definitely not a waste.
In its base form, Ellie’s Hunting Rifle can be a little unwieldy. It’s slow, and requires quick and accurate aiming to take out enemies in one shot. This means the damage upgrade is particularly powerful, because it can make the difference between a clean kill and placing yourself at a big disadvantage.
I’m not a huge fan of the scope, but the stability and recoil upgrades are both very solid. You later unlock the ability to hold your breath and keep steady - this turns the hunting rifle into enough of a sniper for me.
You get Joel’s Revolver from a box in his house during the beginning of the story so it can’t be missed.
It serves as a good foil to your other pistol, and is another great candidate to fully upgrade thanks to its plentiful ammo and strong utility.
The speed reloader is an absolute must, otherwise you have to manually slot in every single bullet - which as you can imagine is a killer under pressure. Stability and Damage also help to keep it competitive as you reach the later game and reduce the need to upgrade the fire rate, since hopefully you’ll be able to land shots more easily with more power.
Seattle Day 1 Weapons
The pump-action shotgun is found in the main area in Seattle Day 1, along the bottom edge of the Seattle hub area.
It’s in the vault of the bank at the intersection of 6th Ave and Cherry Street on your map.
Head inside and deal with the infected, then search the area. You’ll find a note with the safe combination 60-23-06. This opens the safe deposit area which houses the pump-action shotgun.
In my opinion, the pump-action is one of the strongest weapons even without upgrades, so you can look to improve weaker equipment first. Its damage is competitive throughout the whole game, while its spread and power mean you’re never left wanting more stability or cursing the recoil.
The capacity upgrade however turns the Pump-action into an all-purpose in-case-of-emergency boomstick for when shit hits the fan. Surprised by a Stalker? Shotgun. Spotted by an onrushing brute enemy? Shotgun. Need something to break through armour? Definitely shotgun.
Seattle Day 2 Weapons
Towards the middle of Seattle Day 2, you make your way through a residential area and shopping street with a tattoo parlour, pet store, and auto shop.
As you explore and piece together the story of the former inhabitants, you eventually make your way through the destroyed wall of a pet store, through a bar’s kitchen, and through some houses.
Without spoiling too much, you’re not going to miss the bow as you press forward through this section.
The bow is low-key the best weapon in the game - especially when upgraded. Once you improve the draw speed its one-shot-kill potential means it copes well under pressure, while the rangefinder is worth the investment, making it almost too easy to line up silent, deadly, headshots.
Combined with the ability to craft more ammo at will and retrieve the odd arrow from the ground, the bow is a consistently strong choice.
Seattle Day 3 Weapons
No new weapons in Seattle Day 3
Be warned, past this point in the page contains spine-chilling, bone-shattering spoilers that will rock you to the very core.
Seriously, if you’re not past Seattle Day 3 in the story - go, play, you’ll know when to come back and you’re not going to miss anything here in the meantime.
Abby Holster locations
Like with Ellie’s, we’ll detail where to find the holsters first - then list the weapons in chronological unlock order.
Seattle Day 1 - Small Gun Holster
About half way through Abby’s Seattle Day 1, when Manny helps you leave the FOB. You make your way through backstreets before reaching a row of businesses that seem to form part of Seattle’s Chinatown-International district.
Search these businesses, then at the end of the road you reach a spot known as Martyr’s Gate. Look to the right of the truck in Martyr’s Gate and there’s an open window you can climb through.
Inside you’ll find a note on the counter, but the real prize is the Small Gun Holster in the back room.
Seattle Day 1 - Long Gun Holster
The Long Gun Holster comes a little later in the absolute ordeal that is Abby’s Seattle Day 1. When you part ways with Lev and Yara, you pass through a shipping yard and into a building with a workbench.
In the next storage room, there’s a cubicle on your left. Go through the door and inside you’ll find Abby’s Long Gun Holster.
Abby Seattle Day 1 Weapons
Like Ellie’s Pistol, Abby’s semi-automatic is a good all-round weapon that’s usable in both quiet and loud situations. Everything that we’ve said before also applies here, and you won’t be wasting effort if you fully upgrade this weapon.
Abby’s other starting weapon is a little different to Ellie’s though. The AR is much faster firing, but less powerful at distance.
You can mitigate this with the scope, or focus on run-and-gun by picking up the stability and capacity upgrade - both of which are worth picking up regardless. This weapon’s burst fire is unique, but chews through ammo, and I usually default to something with more stopping power in these situations.
Abby’s Hunting Pistol is found in a safe towards the mid-point of her Seattle Day 1. As you make your way through the various warehouses, you’ll eventually come to a point where the characters say to cut through a railyard.
Before you do, you’ll see a mobile home and shuttered warehouse in the area around you.
Search the home to find a note detailing a gun cache safe, with the combination being “the big win”. Look on the note board in the trailer to find a circled lotto ticket with the numbers: 17-38-07.
Now head around the corner from the trailer and look down to your right. There’s a hole here you can crawl through to find the safe containing the Hunting Pistol.
If you can get the hang on it, the Hunting Pistol is a brilliant weapon. Buffing its stability and damage but keeping it unscoped rewards precision by dropping even some of the toughest enemies quickly without reducing your visibility.
Double Barrel Shotgun
Nearer the end of Abby’s Seattle Day 1, you find the Double Barrel Shotgun behind the counter of a china shop.
Once you start your mission to find Owen at the Aquarium and part ways with Manny, you’ll eventually come to an alleyway lined with asian-themed businesses. The first on the left is called the Jasmine Bakery, but you’re looking for the last one on the left: The Ruby Dragon.
Go inside and head upstairs. Deal with the infected, then use the balcony outside to jump to the shop on the other side of the street. Check the roof for items, then take the left-hand path which leads to a hole in the floor - make sure you pick up the note on the boxes on the right.
Do what you have to when you drop down, then look behind the cash counter in the top corner of the room to find your weapon.
Like Ellie’s shotgun this is what you grab when things go wrong, so it’s worth upgrading the Double Barrel’s reload speed and damage. However, what really sets it apart is Abby’s ability to craft incendiary rounds. These really put the cat amongst the pigeons when you need to take something out as fast as possible.
Soon after the shotgun, as you make your way through the ferry, you lay your hands on the Crossbow.
Like Ellie’s Bow, you can reclaim fired ammo for this weapon, but much more regularly. This makes it a solid, silent choice for sweeping stealthily through areas.
Upgrading its reload speed is a must, and greatly improves the Crossbow’s usability. Depending on how you like to line up shots the scope is optional, but the stability upgrade is also strong.
Abby Seattle Day 2 Weapons
This is the easiest to miss of all the optional weapons in the game. You find it towards the end of Abby’s Seattle Day 2 after you fall through the roof of the skyscraper and into the swimming pool.
As you make your way down the building - after you’ve grabbed Lev a gasmask - you’ll eventually make it to a destroyed, but more open area that’s filled with infected.
From your starting position, you’ll cross to the other side of the building and deal with a clicker.
Instead of dropping down again around the corner, there’s a brown door to your right.
Go in and you’ll be able to walk along a beam to another bathroom.
Here you’ll find the Flamethrower on a soldier’s corpse.
It’s a powerful tool for dealing with tough enemies and large groups - but is limited in its use due to a lack of ammo. With this said, you still definitely want to make a beeline to pick it up.
Abby Seattle Day 3 Weapons
No new weapons in Seattle Day 3
Silenced Submachine Gun
This weapon is very inaccurate, but a lot of fun. It unlocks naturally in the story, so you can’t miss it. If you’re grabbed everything else up to now, then you should hear the coveted trophy pop as soon as you regain control.