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The Last of Us 2 training manuals: all skill branch locations

The Last of Us 2 training manuals give Ellie the skills she needs on her violent quest

the last of us 2 training manuals
(Image: © Naughty Dog)
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Where are all The Last of Us 2 training manuals? As you find yourself cowering in the long grass as vicious dogs, hardened military groups, and disturbing cults try to sniff you out, you're going to need all the tools you can get your hands on to survive in post-apocalyptic Seattle.

Thankfully, that's where training manuals come in. Once you pick up one these informative magazines you get an entirely new skill line to get the edge on your many enemies. Each skill tree is traditional and linear in the sense that you need to upgrade the first ability in each line before you can unlock the next, and they tend to get more expensive as you progress through them. In other words, you can make your supplements go a long way by trying multiple skill trees, rather than sticking to just a few.

Supplements, then, are the special currency with which new skills can be upgraded at any time, so keep an eye out for these small tablets - we found plenty in bathrooms, for example, but you'll need to start a New Game + save to fully upgrade all your skills. Nevertheless, fresh skill branches also give you important new The Last of Us 2 recipes for crafting.

The problem is, some of The Last of Us 2 training manuals are quite nefariously hidden, so below we've listed the locations of all eight in chronological order and by chapter, along with the upgrades they unlock, so you don't miss out on any of the skills you need to complete your revenge mission unscathed. Note, however, that recipes and training manuals appear to crop up in multiple different spots, but you might as well stick to our guide, just to make sure you get them all. Spoilers for The Last of Us 2 ahead.

Seattle Day 1

The Last of Us 2 training manuals - Crafting

tlou2 recipes crafting

(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

When you're looking for oil with Dina in Seattle, look to your right to see a ruined overpass. Cross the stream straight ahead to get onto the high road and climb onto the lorry. Jump towards the fire truck on the other side and use the hose to rappel down into the gap in the road. This lets you swing to an upturned truck - inside is the training manual and an especially fun collectible trading card.

  • Craft melee upgrades
  • Faster crafting
  • Craft smoke bombs
  • Craft improved health kits
  • Craft more smoke bombs

The Last of Us 2 training manuals - Stealth

tlou2 supplements stealth

(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

The next manual is in the Capitol Hill area, inside a bookshop, which is opposite a petrol station. It's in one of the smaller attached rooms in the store next to a typewriter - just make sure you're ready to fight some Infected, and some WLF forces if you haven't cleared them out already.

  • Craft silencers
  • Listen mode clarity
  • Faster prone movement
  • Improved silencers
  • Faster stealth kills

Seattle Day 2

The Last of Us 2 training manuals - Precision

tlou2 training manuals precision

(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

After your first fight against dogs in Hillcrest, you'll find yourself in a street with a pet shop, and tattoo parlor. However, what you're actually looking for is a liquor store - climb into it near the green lorry face down in a ditch. Make your way to the back of the shop and drop down into the basement. Hopefully your supplies are well-stocked at this point: you've got two shamblers to deal with. Make liberal use of trap mines and molotov cocktails if you've got them. 

Once you've dealt with them, bear left from the point you entered the basement until you find a crawlspace in a brick wall. Then climb up the broken stairs and follow them into the next room - the manual is on the floor next to a final-stage Infected.

  • Aim stability increase
  • Faster aim movement
  • Listen mode range
  • Hold breath while aiming
  • Craft more arrows

The Last of Us 2 training manuals - Explosives

tlou 2 training manuals explosives

(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

After you're ambushed by the Scar brute, continue on the main path until you find an overgrown office area. Climb onto the generator and in the main IT area, and you should see the training manual on the computer desk right in front of you.

  • Craft explosive arrows
  • Improved trap mines
  • Improved molotovs
  • Craft more trap mines
  • Craft more explosive arrows

Seattle Day 1 (continued)

The Last of Us 2 training manuals - Covert Ops

tlou2 training manuals covert ops

(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

After you're separated from your friends and you've accessed a large boat by place a ladder on it, check out the inside of the boat itself before continuing. The training manual is on a table inside.

  • Craft shivs
  • Listen mode movement speed
  • Grabbed enemy movement speed
  • Faster prone movement
  • Craft more shivs

The Last of Us 2 training manuals - Close Quarters

tlou2 training manuals close quarters

(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

After you've left Manny, but before you continue through some large yellow doors, turn around and jump through a broken window. Once you've done that, your next new skill branch should be on a side cabinet in front of a microwave. 

  • Momentum (chain one-hit melee kills)
  • Craft improved health kits
  • Aim stability increase
  • Faster health kits
  • Momentum duration increased

The Last of Us 2 training manuals - Firearms

tlou2 training manuals firearms

(Image credit: Naught Dog)

Once you've fought the one-eared Scar woman - trust us, you'll know the one when you've fought her - explore the garage you head into after until you find a kitchen area. The manual you're looking for is on a chest of drawers just in front of a smashed window.

  • Craft incendiary shells
  • Craft hunting pistol ammo
  • Faster aim movement
  • Craft more hunting pistol ammo
  • Craft more incendiary shells

The Last of Us 2 training manuals - Ordnance

the last of 2 training manuals ordnance

(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

On the boat full of Infected where you pick up the crossbow, fight the Infected all the way to the top deck. This next manual is a handy reward for opening the safe at the end of the boat at which you first emerge. Tap in the code 907701 for the Ordnance skill line, plus some useful weapon parts and ammo.

  • Faster crafting
  • Improved melee weapon upgrades
  • Improved pipe bombs
  • Improved silencers
  • Craft more pipe bombs