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The hunting rifle, often simply referred to as the rifle, is a weapon in The Last of Us, Left Behind, and The Last of Us Part II. It is used by Joel, Ellie, and other survivors. It belongs to the long guns group.

The Last of Us

Singleplayer

The rifle is first found by Joel after Tess sacrifices herself to buy them time, taking it off a dead Firefly on the second level of the Capitol building.[1]

Ellie briefly uses another hunting rifle to cover Joel when they encounter a group of hunters and again during the Winter chapter when she takes a rifle from David to hold on him in lieu of her bow, and uses it for some time until her capture. The rifle has no scope, but is upgraded with a three shot capacity and power.[2]

The weapon is especially useful against armored foes like ballistic vest-wearing soldiers and fungus-plated Bloaters because of its armor piercing abilities. When fully upgraded, this weapon will always kill with 1 shot (human enemies) to the body, even on armored enemies, and 1 headshot on Clickers.[3] If it is not upgraded, this weapon will not immediately kill an armored human.[4]

Workbench upgrades

The following is a list of upgrades available for the hunting rifle at workbenches, and the parts and level of tools required to upgrade each.

Upgrade Description Level
Parts icon.png
Tool icon.png
Reload Speed Allows you to reload the weapon faster. 1
2
15
30
1
3
Clip Capacity Lets the weapon hold more rounds before having to reload. 1
2
20
40
1
4
Scope Adds a scope to the weapon. 1
2
25
35
1
4
Armor Piercing Rounds fired by the weapon can go through armor. 1
2
75
75
3
5
Power Rounds fired by the weapon deal more damage. 1 60 4

Left Behind

The hunting rifle appears in The Last of Us: Left Behind. Ellie can find the rifle on an enemy.[5]

Factions MP

In Factions MP, the hunting rifle is available by default. The default Hunting Rifle costs two loadout points, and comes with a scope equivalent to the fully-upgraded scope in singleplayer. The hunting rifle can be suppressed at the cost of two additional loadout points. The player starts out with 5 rounds (or 7 with the starting ammo multiplier booster) and it costs 240 Parts to purchase three more rounds. 

The hunting rifle is a one shot down to the head, or two to the body. It executes downed enemies in one shot (unless downed enemy has Fortitude 2 skill equipped, then it takes 2 shots to the body or 1 to the head).

When upgraded, the reload speed and starting ammo is increased, as well as decreasing the time it takes to zoom in.

  • Upgrade one costs 300 Parts.
  • Upgrade two costs 600 Parts. The second upgrade adds a second level of zoom

The upgraded hunting rifle can change its zoom magnification. When a player is aiming the Hunting Rifle, the light reflecting off the scope lens can be seen, which can give away the player's position. 

Tactics

While the hunting rifle can inflict great damage with a single shot, the reload time is slow; aiming at the body is usually not a good strategy, unless you shoot at the enemy at close range and drain the rest of the foe's health with punches or melee weapons. The Hunting Rifle is perhaps best paired with the revolver, as one body shot from the Hunting Rifle followed by a shot from the revolver always downs unarmored targets.

Hawk-eyed 2 or 3 can be helpful for a sniper, as marking enemies causes their silhouettes to glow red from behind walls, and aiding in shooting targets through thin cover. This also allows leading headshots from out of cover to be more manageable. Sharpshooter and its variants can be helpful, as the reduced damage wobble can prove crucial for a weapon demanding such precision.

Finally, fortitude is often useful with the Hunting Rifle, as the very long-range engagements that usually take place with such a weapon usually means that one can crawl away safely if downed. Second Chance also works well if the player is a sniper, since they will likely lack health kits due to being in a single position most of the time.

Like the burst rifle and burst pistol, if a headshot is made on an enemy with less than 50% health, it executes them instantly.

Damage

Damage Output


The Last of Us Part II

The hunting rifle appears in The Last of Us Part II, notably used by members of the Jackson community.[6] It can penetrate more than one enemy and possesses a scope once upgraded. There is a tutorial the player experiences while playing as Ellie, where Tommy teaches Ellie the best way to shoot with the scope at long range and how they can shoot obstacles to influence how the Infected patrol the area.[7]

Workbench upgrades

The following is a list of upgrades available for the Hunting Rifle at workbenches, and the parts required to upgrade each:

Upgrade Description Effect
Parts icon.png
Stability "Add weight to the stock to decrease weapon sway."
Decreases weapon sway, which increases accuracy indirectly.
+45% Stability
50
Capacity "Add a magazine to increase reload speed and hold more rounds"
Increases reload speed and magazine capacity.
+3 Magazine Capacity

+65% Reload Speed

50
6x Scope "Add a scope to aim at distant targets with great accuracy by pressing X."
Allows zooming in to aim at faraway targets easily.
80
Damage "Replace the barrel to fire more powerful shots"
Increases weapon damage per shot.
+25% Damage
100

Gallery

The Last of Us

The Last of Us Part II

Trivia

  • When upgrading the scope, Ellie will comment on the upgrade.
  • Oddly enough, after upgrading the magazine size to 2 or more bullets, the gun does not function like a real bolt-action rifle. Instead of pulling back the bolt in between shots, the game allows the player to instead fire off the entire magazine semi-auto before pulling back the bolt and reloading. 
    • This is rectified in Part II, as seen in the State of Play trailer.
  • Due to a glitch, the rifle's bolt switches sides when the player switches shoulders while aiming.
  • In some promotional artworks and in the cover of the game, Ellie is seen wielding a hunting rifle with a scope. However, in game, she is only given a scope-less rifle by Joel and David. Even in the Left Behind DLC, she only wields a scope-less rifle.

References

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