The Last of Us Part II | Motor Accessibility Options

The Last of Us Part II’s Motor Accessibility Options include Alternate Controls, Navigation and Traversal options, Combat Accessibility Options and a Preset.

By Joe and Bill

The Last of Us Part II (PEGI 18) is a third-person action-adventure game set in a post-apocalyptic world following a fungal infection outbreak. A sequel to 2013’s The Last of Us, you ‘experience the devastating physical and emotional consequences of Ellie’s vengeance as you embark on a relentless pursuit of those who’ve wronged her.’ Gameplay includes a mixture of stealth and face-to-face combat against both humans and ‘infected’ using both melee weapons and ranged weapons.

The game includes a wide range of accessibility features and options for Motor, Visual and Hearing accessibility which can be turned on at any point during the game, allowing players to experiment to find the right combination for them. 

In this post, we are going to look at the options related to motor accessibility such as those that affect combat accessibility, challenge difficulty and navigation/traversal. We will also look at the controls used for play, along with the alternate options available for these.

Information on Motor, Vision and Hearing accessibility can be found on the Last of Us Part II’s Accessibility page on the PlayStation website and an overview of the game can also be found on The Last of Us Part II section of the site.

Screenshot showing Ellie in a boat with the onscren prompt letting the player know that alternate boat controls are available in the accessibility options.
Alternate controls and accessibility options are promoted throughout the game.

Contents

We have grouped the range of available settings into the following sections across different pages on this post (click the titles to jump straight to a section). These are based on the different menus found within the game and in each section we will go through the options found within these menus which affect motor accessibility:

Motor Accessibility Preset (Page 2) With the wide range of individual options available, using the preset can be an approachable way for some to improve their access to the game, or act as a starting point for trying out some of the settings before customising them further in the individual settings available across the different menus. In this section we will go through the features that are changed by activating this preset such as Lock-On Aim, Auto Pick Up and Infinite Breath. We will also go into these more detail in the following sections where the different options are also available from.

Controls Menu (Page 3) Stick options, such as sensitivity and inversion/mirroring, can be adjusted to aid looking and/or aiming in-game. The Customise Controls screen can also be accessed from this menu, which allows you to remap controls, but we will look at this in the Alternate Controls menu section.

Controls List (Page 4) Whilst many controls in the game can be remapped to different inputs, here we will take a look at the default controls and go through the different actions used in different gameplay contexts.

Alternate Controls Menu (Page 5 & 6) In this section we look at the options offered for alternative controls, such as remapping options, control schemes (such as One Hand Only schemes), options for some interactions (such as holds, taps and presses) and some controls assistance options (such as aim and camera assists).

Challenge and Difficulty Menus (Page 7) In addition to choosing the overall challenge level of the game, you are able to alter individual settings for elements, such as resources (e.g. quantity and durability), enemies (e.g. speed and aggressiveness) and allies (e.g. aggressiveness and kill count). We will also go through some of the relevant Gameplay Modifiers, added in the ‘Grounded Update’ here.

Combat Accessibility Menu (Page 8) From this menu Player, Enemy and Ally settings can be altered, as well as other combat-related assists, including a slow-motion mode and an enhanced dodge option.

Navigation and Traversal Menu (Page 9) In this menu you can access optional assists that affect how you control the game, such as automatic inputs in certain sprint, jump or vaulting scenarios, can reduce or remove the controls required to complete certain actions or puzzles.

*Update Nov 2020* We have created a video to help give an overview and illustrate the settings available:

Show Transcript

The Last of Us Part II on PS4 is the

sequel to Naughty Dog’s 2013 game,

The Last of Us.

It is a third-person game set in a

post-apocalyptic world

featuring a mixture of stealth, looting, crafting,

some puzzles and violent combat against

a range of human and infected enemies.

You can tackle enemies using stealth

Takedowns, shooting

melee combat or throwable weapons.

Gameplay is varied and the controls by

default require the use of inputs across

the entire controller.

Whilst the gameplay and controls may by

default be challenging to many players,

the game includes a wide range of

accessibility features and options for

motor, visual and hearing accessibility, which

can be turned on at any point during the game.

This allows players to experiment to try

and find the right combination for them

to create a more customized challenge

and control scheme.

This video will focus on the settings

which will be described as motor related

within the game

and which affect the controls and how

they are used in-game,

as well as settings that affect gameplay

and the speed and accuracy required to play.

With a wide range of individual options

available using the preset can be an

approachable way for some to improve

their access to the game

or act as a starting point for trying

out some of the settings before

customizing them further in the

individual settings available across the

different menus.

This is offered on starting a new game

and available throughout.

Turning on the Motor Preset will enable

a range of features such as Lock-On Aim,

Auto Pickup and Infinite Breath.

We will also go into these in a bit more

detail in the following sections on the

different settings within the menus,

where individual options are also available

to be switched On or Off.

Although by default the game is

challenging, it features a range of

settings to help with this

as part of the Difficulty options.

Like choosing an Accessibility Preset,

you choose a Difficulty on starting a

new game but this can be altered during

the story.

The game frequently saves and there is

the option to restart to your most recent

checkpoint or to restart a current

encounter at any time.

There are also multiple preset

Difficulty options and options to create

a custom Difficulty.

By changing several settings. For example,

allies can help in certain combat

situations but if you would like them to

be more or less helpful,

there is the option to change their behaviour.

Another example would be to change Enemy Behaviour

which can make them more or less

accurate when shooting.

Although the game does require the

entire controller by default,

there are ways to potentially help, such

as controller remapping.

It is possible to swap some functions

around, so if reaching certain buttons is tricky

it can be a good idea to swap the

buttons that you need more immediately

to the buttons that are easier to reach.

There are several controller presets

including a right and left hand only layout,

or you can create your own.

You can also swap the stick functions around.

And change controller orientation.

In addition to altering the joystick and

controller orientation,

you can also remap actions to face

buttons, triggers,

joystick clicks, the touchpad button, the

DualShock 4’s controller touchpad swipes,

and the Dualshock 4 controller’s motion sensor.

It is worth noting that you cannot map

button presses over to stick directions

or vice versa.

And you cannot remap the D-pad actions.

Use of the D-pad is required for this game.

As some actions are grouped together and

are both activated using the same input

(such as dodge and sprint) these cannot be

remapped to two separate inputs. As such, they will

both need to be remapped as a group to

one other input.

You’re also able to adjust some camera

Settings, such as Camera Sensitivity,

choosing a setting between 1 to 10 for

both looking and aiming.

Each axis can also be altered separately

for these.

There are several options for changing

some of the in-game control mechanics.

At points in the game the player needs

to drive a boat and as standard this is

set to using the left stick to

accelerate and steer.

Alternatively, you can change it over and

use R2 to accelerate in L2 to brake or reverse.

At some points you play a guitar in game.

As standard, to strum

you swipe up or down on the PS4 touchpad.

You can swap this to left or right

swipes to the touchpad if that’s more

comfortable,

or not use touchpad swipes at all by

swapping it over to the Cross button.

By default, the game features a range of

situations where you might need to

either hold a button down

or tap a button multiple times quickly.

In some situations, such as if you are

grabbed by an enemy

or to open a door, you need to tap the

button multiple times.

If this is difficult you can swap this

to a button hold instead.

The same option is available for

repeated melee combos.

In instances where a hold is needed, such

as listening, sprinting

aiming, holding your breath, crafting,

swapping a weapon,

or firing a bow, there are options to

change this to a press,

or a brief press, as an alternative.

If using both joysticks at the same time

is difficult, then there is the Camera

Assist option

which means that the camera will

reorientate in the direction of your movement.

This means that you don’t have to move

the Right Stick to aim the camera whilst

also moving in-game with the Left Stick.

This can also be used if playing using a

single stick with the Flipped Whilst

Aiming option.

This allows you to use left stick for

movement with the camera following the

player

and then also using the left stick for

aiming when holding down the aim down

sights input.

Aiming in-game requires accuracy and so

the game also provides some Aim Assist options.

Aim Assist will pull the aiming reticle

towards the target when you use the aim action.

And it also adds some resistance when

pulling the aim reticle off of the enemy

whilst aiming.

You can adjust the strength of the

assist from 1 to 10.

There’s also the option to switch on

Lock-On Aim which will automatically

target the enemy when aiming

and will aim at the body by default.

In order to aim for the head you would

need to use the analog stick to adjust

where on the particular enemy that you

want to shoot.

You can adjust the strength of the

Lock-On from 1 to 10.

You can also apply a Lock-On setting for

throwables using the Arc Throw Lock-On option.

By default, when the weapon you are using

runs out of ammo you need to manually

swap to another weapon,

but there is the option to switch on

Auto Weapon Swap.

This means if the weapon you are using

runs out of ammo then you will

automatically swap to another holstered weapon.

If all of your holstered weapons run out

of ammo, you will need to go into your

backpack to select another weapon if you

have one.

By default to manually pick up items you

need to press Triangle.

There are often things to pick up, so if

reaching this button regularly or

tapping it multiple times is difficult,

you can set Auto Pick Up On.

You will now automatically pick up

nearby ammo and ingredients.

You will still need to manually pick up

items such as notes

and to open any cupboards or drawers

before automatically picking up items

within them.

There are multiple settings that can

help with making combat more accessible.

There are points in the game where you

can grab hold of human enemies and take

them hostage.

You can choose to stealth kill them or

use them as human shields.

By default, if you hold on to an enemy

for long enough they will start to struggle

and eventually fight their way free.

To help with this, you can switch on the

option Hostages Don’t Escape.

They will continue to struggle which

affects your aiming at other enemies,

but they will not be able to break free.

If their struggling makes aiming too

difficult, then there is the option to

turn off Weapon Swaying,

which we will look at later on.

At times, your allies will get grabbed by

enemies and they need you to help fight

the enemies off.

It is possible to switch on the option

Allies Don’t Get Grabbed,

meaning that they can automatically

escape when an enemy manages to get hold

of them.

There are certain situations in game

where this option does not apply, however.

By default, human enemies are intelligent

and will try to flank you to attack from

multiple sides.

If this is making certain aspects of the

game difficult, you can set it so that

Enemies Don’t Flank,

which means that they don’t work to

intentionally get behind your position.

Enemies by default can discover you by

spotting you visually or by the sounds

you make,

meaning that you have to be careful to

not get discovered or you will be forced

into combat.

If you find they are finding you too

Easily, you can change the setting to

Reduce Enemy Perception.

Enemies can be very accurate when

shooting at you, making combat situations

Challenging.

If you find they are hitting you too

Often, you can reduce their shooting accuracy.

Note that this does not affect how

accurate they are when throwing items at

you, such as explosives.

You can dodge enemy melee attacks and by

default, this would be by pressing L1 at

the correct time.

It is possible to select Enhanced Dodge,

which means that timing is less

important and your character will take

wider steps away from enemies to help

dodge more easily.

Throughout the game you have to duck

behind cover or in long grass

and can go prone to crawl or lie still

in short grass,

but enemies will often find you if they approach.

There is the option to use the Invisible

Whilst Prone feature,

meaning that you can lie still or crawl

and enemies won’t be able to see you,

even when you’re not in cover.

You can set this to a Time Limit or Unlimited.

If you aim at enemies you become visible

but if you let go of aim before shooting

they will lose sight of you again.

This option effectively means that you can

create your own cover anywhere without

needing to find somewhere to hide.

This can be particularly helpful if the

speed of the game and having to move

from cover to cover is proving to be difficult.

Just be aware that if an enemy bumps

into you, you will become visible again

and they will attack.

When aiming you will notice the reticle

sways from side to side, which can make

more precise shots challenging

especially when under attack.

It is possible to turn Weapon Sway Off.

This setting may be especially helpful

when holding enemies hostage, as when

they struggle it does make it harder to aim.

The Last of Us Part II gives you the

option to slow the gameplay down by 50 percent.

You can do this using the Slow Motion settings.

The first option allows you to set it so

that when aiming down sights, the game

goes into Slow Motion.

The second option allows you to have

Slow Motion set to Toggle.

So, when used, all gameplay elements slow down.

Throughout the game there are situations

where you need to press a button whilst

pushing forwards on the left stick:

To squeeze through small gaps, climb or

vault ledges and obstacles,

jump from a rope whilst using it to

swing to hard to reach areas,

or jump over large gaps. This can be

difficult if using the Stick and

reaching or pressing the button at the

same time is difficult.

Traversal Assistance makes some of these

situations less difficult, by reducing

the controls in each instance.

Walking into an obstacle or ledge will

make you automatically climb or

vault it.

Walking into a tight gap will make you

automatically squeeze through it

and you will also be able to jump from the

rope to the area you are trying to access,

by moving the stick and holding R1.

This option also helps with jumping over

obstacles whilst riding a horse

as it reduces the need to press a button

and move the stick at the same time.

You can also press the Cross button by

default to jump over large gaps,

without the need to use the sprint

button or the stick for a run up first.

There are some specific situations in

the game where you have to sprint

and this option will also make you

automatically Sprint when appropriate.

It will only do this in these exact

situations however, and for the majority

of the game you will need to manually Sprint.

When switched On, the Ledge Guard option

will guard against falling off ledges by

providing additional audio and vibration feedback.

It would also prevent the character from

falling from a height that would kill them.

You would not be able to move the

character off of the ledge if it’s at a

height that could kill them.

For ledges at a lower height, this

setting means that warning vibrations

through the controller and in-game

sounds will alert you if you are going

to walk off a ledge.

If you continue to move in this

direction you will fall or drop from the ledge,

if it is from a height that will not

kill them.

By default, holding down R1 puts you into

Listen Mode, where nearby enemies and allies

are highlighted.

Enhanced Listen Mode means that by

holding down R1 and then tapping Circle,

you will now scan for nearby items.

You can also increase the range of the

scan and for how long items and enemies

will remain highlighted.

This may make items easier to find and

so could reduce the amount of controls

needed for exploration to find them.

When swimming underwater in-game, your

character will eventually run out of breath.

Infinite Breath gives you the ability to

swim underwater indefinitely.

At times you will reach a puzzle that

needs to be solved to move on to the

next area.

If you are finding the puzzles difficult

to solve or that the controls for that

particular section are difficult,

then there is the Skip Puzzle option.

Once you’ve switched this option on, you

can pause the game when in the puzzle

and select skip puzzle from the menu.

As part of Navigation Assistance you can

also use an input

(L3 by default) to face the direction of

story progression.

This can reduce the amount of control

required as less exploring is needed to

find the path you need to follow.

The Last of Us Part II features a wide variety

of options, many of which may help make

the game more accessible.

It is possible to have multiple options

on at once, such as in this clip

which shows Camera Assist options, Sticks

Swapped When Aiming,

Slow Motion and Auto Lock-On all

switched on at the same time,

and left trigger is also set to Toggle

rather than Hold.

We hope this video has been helpful.

A post on the individual settings found

within the different menus can be found

on the gameaccess.info website.

Information on this and the other areas

of accessibility, such as visual and Hearing,

can be found on the PlayStation website.

If you have any questions about video

game accessibility, then please contact SpecialEffect.

Introduction (0:00), Motor Accessibility Preset (1:16), Challenge & Difficulty (2:01) Controls Options (2:53), Alternate Controls (4:30), Combat Accessibility (8:20), Navigation & Traversal (12:10).

Click the page numbers below to navigate or use the contents section titles above to visit a particular section.