To activate listen mode, the player must hold down the R2 (or R1 if playing the Remastered release) button.
The Last of Us
Listen Mode allows Joel and Ellie to use their heightened sense of hearing and spatial awareness to more effectively locate enemies. It works by showing the player silhouettes of characters through walls and barriers, outlining them in white. Allies have a white diamond above them. While in listen mode, the character is limited to moving in a crouching position, and has slower movement speed than normal crouch walking. The duration for listen mode is unlimited. Joel can upgrade his listening radius with supplements in the skill upgrade menu.
In the Survivor and Grounded Difficulty mode, listen mode is inaccessible, meaning players have to use their own wits to locate enemies.
In Factions, listen mode can be used to detect and find enemies behind cover. It cannot be used to detect immobile enemies, or enemies crouch walking and using Covert Training 2 or 3.
Unlike single player, the duration for listen mode is limited, represented by a yellow bar next to the Health bar. It regenerates over time once used. Once it empties, the player cannot use it again until it recharges to halfway. Listen mode lasts longer and regenerates faster if the player has the Sharp Ears skill, and is able to crouch fast while using it if they use the skill at level 3.
As with the singleplayer mode, using Listen Mode slows down the user's movement speed dramatically. However, using Sharp Ears 3 removes this speed penalty.
The Last of Us Part II
Listen Mode returns in The Last of Us Part II and behaves similarly to its original iteration, a key difference is present within the accessibility options in-game which allows players to turn on an "Enhanced Listen Mode", with this turned on players are able to press a button to perform a scan which will display the target within a set range. Players must press square to scan for enemies and circle for items.
When a target is found, the game will perform an audio cue and a circle will appear over the target. If the High Contrast Mode is enabled, the enemy scan will show red while the item scan will be yellow.
It's possible to change the range of the scan (between 10m - 30m) and the time it takes to complete it (1s - 5s) in the options menu.
- In Listen Mode, enemies are outlined in blue, however, whenever Ellie calls out enemy locations to Joel they are outlined in white.
- Despite being an uninfected human, Joel's listening mode is far stronger than a Clickers, even before being upgraded.