A Shiv is a craftable weapon that appears in The Last of Us. It can be crafted by using a binding and a blade. It belongs to the blade group. Unlike other bladed weapons, it cannot be wielded in regular offensive combat; rather it is a stealth and defensive weapon used only in certain situations. A shiv can also be used to open certain doors .
A shiv made of scissors initially has one use before it breaks. The amount of uses a shiv has can be upgraded by collecting training manuals. Shivs can be used to stealthily dispose of enemies faster than strangling them or can be used to unlock "shiv doors". Clickers cannot be strangled when grabbed, therefore a shiv is needed to kill them. Due to their thick fungal plate armor and massive size, Bloaters cannot be killed this way. By obtaining the upgrade "Shiv Master" Joel can defend against a Clicker attack by stabbing it with the shiv. However, they cannot be stabbed if they grab him from behind. If on Easy Mode, Shiv Master is automatically fully paid for, so shiv defense is already available.
Scissors and other blades can be used to craft shivs. Then the bottom half of the blade is wrapped in a binding of some sort to protect the user's hand. Pre-crafted shivs are rare, but can be found. One is located in on top of a desk on the catwalk of the wharf after encountering Robert's henchmen; this also grants the crafting recipe for shivs. Another is located in the subway station terminal in a locker where Joel finds the lobby full of Clickers and Runners.
- Main article: Shiv Doors
Shiv doors are locked doors which can be opened with a shiv, breaking it in the process. The room behind these doors contains a large amount of ammunition, medicine, and/or crafting supplies making it always worth the cost of a shiv. This only works with a full Shiv, it cannot have been used for anything else.
Shivs can also be used in Factions. As with singleplayer mode, shivs can be crafted with a blade and a binding. Each shiv made in Factions can be used twice. A shiv can normally only be used when behind someone, and near-instantly kills the enemy. Enemies stunned by Smoke Bombs can also be shivved from the front.
Shivving an enemy grants as many parts as downing and then using a special execution, but is much faster and nearly impossible to interrupt. On the other hand, it is often much more difficult to do, especially when against a wary team.
In Interrogation mode, shivs may be used to execute faster interrogations than normal. While a second or two longer than shivving someone normally, it is much faster than conventional interrogations, and leaves opposing teams with little time to react because the target does not need to be downed first.
The Covert Training skill automatically grants one shiv when a player spawns but with only one use, The Executioner skill gives more than 1 two-use Shivs, making it useful. It is also a good idea to combine the shiv with Bomb Expert 3, as this renders the player impervious to smoke bombs, enabling them to shiv while up close without fear of being downed because of their own smoke bombs.
- The shiv is crafted with a scissor blade, but the blade on the weapon looks like a knife blade.
- The shiv obtained through Covert Training only has one use before it breaks; however, crafted shivs can be used twice before breaking.
- The shiv is the first item the player can craft when playing the main game. Joel can craft it upon finding a shiv as he starts with the recipe, a blade and binding. Three shivs can also be found before reaching the Capitol Building, regardless of difficulty.
- Even if someone has started the shivving animation in Factions MP, a teammate initiating the shiv on the would be shiver saves the player; however, this is extremely hard to and the teammate that is about to be shivved will mostly die due to connection or timing. However, if it is done early enough, the player will survive.
- Ellie cannot craft shivs.
- Although Joel cannot use shivs in regular combat, he can briefly hold one if it was the last item highlighted from the crafting menu.
- Non-player ally characters (such as Tess , Marlene, and Henry) use shivs on enemy survivors.
- The Hunter encountered in The Suburbs chapter is the only enemy character to use a shiv against the player.