On this page of our game guide to The Last of Us 2 you can find out how to unlock permanent passive skills and what are the benefits of using them in the game. Additionally, we have included a list of training manuals that unlock new passive skill trees. You should definitely try to find all manuals and handbooks, as the new skills can make the gameplay much easier.
- Buying passive skills - general assumptions
- How to get new manuals?
- Ellie's skill trees
- Abby's skill trees
Buying passive skills - general assumptions
Passive skills that can be purchased can be found in the second inventory tab. Initially, only one skill tree is available - in Ellie's case, it is the Survival tree. In order to unlock subsequent skill trees, you need to find the training manuals. Their exemplary locations have been described in the following section of our guide.
The abilities from each skill tree must be bought one by one. Unfortunately, you can't purchase the best skills and abilities right away, that are usually at the bottom of the skill tree. You have to decide whether you want to buy various abilities from different skill trees or focus on unlocking 100% of a single skill tree.
The purchased skills do not require any activation. The bonuses they guarantee are permanent and work all the time.
Abby, who you will take over for a longer period of time during the rest of the campaign, has completely different training manuals and passive skills. However, the overall mechanic is identical - you have one starting skill tree and you add more with the found manuals. Abby also has to unlock her skills in a linear way.
Supplements are required to purchase each passive skill. Supplements are items that can be found during the game. Most supplements can be found in different types of bathrooms and toilets, but generally try to search all the locations you visit as thoroughly as possible, including those that are not required for advancement in the main story.
We recommend you to check the separate page of our guide - Best Passive Skills. In this section we have listed the most useful skills that, in our opinion, should be unlocked as first at the beginning of the game.
How to get new manuals?
In the later part of this chapter, we provide examples of where to find training manuals for Ellie and Abby. Visit each of these places to find a new textbook, but these are not the only places where these manuals appear. The game can "help" you find a particular manual if you miss its initial location. It may appear in another location. Thanks to this mechanic you avoid a situation where you lose the chance of unlocking a skill tree by missing a given manual for the first time.
Ellie's skill trees
The following manuals and passive skill trees are exclusive to Ellie, the game's first major playable character. They are not available to Abby, who finds different manuals and learns other passive skills.
Survival skill tree
This tree contains skills that improve listen mode and increase chances to survive, among others, due to the extended health bar.
You don't have to find any manual in case of this skill tree. The Survival tree is available from the beginning of the game and you will be able to check it for the first time during the Patrol stage (Jackson chapter).
Training Manual - Crafting
This tree contains skills that make it easier to produce more items and allows you to repair melee weapons.
You can get the manual during your first day in Seattle - Seattle Day 1. You need to advance to Downtown stage, that is, the one that has the most open space and allows you to travel in a partially open environment. Head to the United States Court House shown in the picture above and enter the building.
Inside the courthouse, you must defeat a group of infected and then locate the stairs leading to the lower floor.
On the lower floor, find a room which can be accessed by smashing a window. The manual lies on one of the shelves.
Training Manual - Stealth
This skill tree contains skills that allow you to use silencers and make it easier to remain hidden.
You can get the manual during your first day in Seattle - Seattle Day 1. You have to advance to the Capitol Hill stage. As you play this level, follow the main streets, pass by the gas station which is combined with a car mechanic workshop (beware of enemies that may appear there!).
Stop only when you get to the bookstore shown in the picture, which you will recognize by the LGBT flag hanging next to it.
Inside the bookstore, you'll find a passage to the Coffee House cafe.
Once you enter the cafe, you'll find the book on one of the long tables.
Training Manual - Precision
This skill tree includes abilities that make it easier to fire precise shots with firearms and bow, as well as enhance the listen mode and allow you to produce more arrows.
You can acquire the manual during your second day in Seattle - Seattle Day 2. You need to advance to the Hillcrest stage. While playing this level, you must reach the area shown in the picture above. Ellie will notice the stairs in the distance, but don't bother with them for a while.
You need to investigate and explore the interior of the Goldstar Liquor building. Find the hole in the floor shown in the picture that will allow you to jump into the basement.
There are 2 Shamblers in the basement - kill these monsters or sneak past them. Ultimately, you have to reach the stairs to exit the basement.
You'll get to a new room on the top floor of the building. The manual is lying on the ground.
Training Manual - Explosives
This skill tree will allow you to produce explosive arrows, craft more mines, and increase the range of Molotov cocktails and bombs.
You can acquire the manual during your second day in Seattle - Seattle Day 2. You must advance to the stage called In The Search of Nora - The Seraphites. In the initial part of this level you can optionally explore the residential building shown in the picture.
The main entrance to the building is closed, but there is a hole next to it that can be used to access the basement.
Use the stairs to reach the first floor. Check out the only apartment available for the time being. Ellie will be attacked by a group of people after you try to interact with the workbench table. You have to kill them.
The enemies were hiding in the bedroom. Investigate this room.
The manual lies on the bed in the bedroom.
Abby's skill trees
The following manuals and passive skill trees are exclusive to Abby, the game's second major playable character. They are not available to Ellie, who finds different manuals and learns other passive skills.
Covert Ops tree - Field Tactics
This tree contains skills that increase Abby's health, make the listen mode more useful and allow you to hold your breath while aiming.
You don't have to find any manual in case of this skill tree. The Covert Ops tree will become available automatically after you start playing as Abby in The Stadium stage.
Training Manual - Covert Ops
This tree contains the ability to craft shivs and to move faster while sneaking
You can get the manual during your first day in Seattle - Seattle Day 1. You need to reach the On Foot stage. During this level, the characters reach the hangar shown in the picture with a suspended boat.
Follow the plot to reach the upper level of the hangar, raise the ladder and lay it down so that you can walk on it to the hanging boat.
Look inside the hanging boat. You will find the manual.
Training Manual - Close Quarters
This tree includes the ability to deliver stronger punches to stunned and surprised opponents, to fire more accurately, and to produce health kits that restore more health points.
You can get the manual during your first day in Seattle - Seattle Day 1. You must specifically advance to the Hostile Territory stage. The opportunity to get the manual comes soon after Manny and Abby split up. Choose the street shown in the picture.
Soon after you jump over a small brick wall, turn left and explore the left building. You need to locate the broken window shown in the picture and enter the building through it.
The manual will be on the kitchen counter.
Training Manual - Firearms
This tree contains the ability to craft ammunition for the hunting pistol and incendiary shells for the shotgun. You can also get a skill that allows you to move faster when aiming a gun.
You can get the manual during your first day in Seattle - Seattle Day 1. You have to reach The Forest stage. In the early part of this stage, the characters must complete an escape scene, and Abby must defeat a tall woman who has her equipment. Soon after that, you will reach La Rosa's Auto Shop.
The manual is in one of the first rooms of the workshop.
Training Manual - Ordnance
This tree includes the ability to craft better items - melee weapons and silencers with increased durability, or pipe bombs with a greater explosion radius.
You can get the manual during your first day in Seattle - Seattle Day 1. You need to advance to The Coast stage. You must reach the wreck of the ferry and locate the stairs leading to the top deck.
Upon reaching the upper deck, you must locate the captain's bridge. After dealing with the monster, you can open the safe - the code is 90-77-01.
The manual can be found inside the safe along with other loot.