The Last of Us Part 1 multiplayer: will Factions return?

The Last of Us Part 1 multiplayer - a clicker tries to make a snack out of Joel
(Image credit: Naught Dog)

Trying to figure out The Last of Us Part 1 multiplayer before deciding on the remake?

Ellie and Joel's journey winds the narrow path between harrowing and marvelous, and the single-player story is the beating heart of The Last of Us Part 1. With Naughty Dog's big remake showing off a big upgrade in graphics on PS5, and a story that stayed true to the original, Part 1 acts as a compelling argument for replaying The Last of Us. 

But once you've finished getting every one of The Last of Us Part 1 trophies there are to achieve and arranging them carefully on your digital mantlepiece – the next question becomes, is there anything more to do?

The original version of The Last of Us had an underrated multiplayer mode – referred to as 'Factions' – when it launched on PS3, and later PS4. Sidestepping the standard treatment, Factions saw you trying to keep a clan of survivors alive and fed over a series of matches in various game modes. The creative approach was a welcome change from forgettable deathmatch modes shoe-horned into narrative games at the time, and many hoped it would be returning for The Last of Us Part 1. So, what's the deal with the mode, and will we see it come to PS5? 

The Last of Us Part 1 multiplayer

The Last of Us Part 1 multiplayer: is there multiplayer?

The Last of Us Part 1 multiplayer - Ellie and Joel hold weapons and keep watch

(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

The unfortunate news is that multiplayer isn't a part of The Last of Us Part 1. Despite some huge overhauls in multiple areas of the core game, and the innovative way it uses the DualSense controller, multiplayer simply wasn't in the cards for the remake.

For now, you'll have to stick to enjoying the single player, but there is light on the horizon.

The Last of Us Part 1 multiplayer: what is replacing multiplayer?

The Last of Us 2 Multiplayer SGF 2022

(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

Thankfully for us, the team at Naughty Dog announced at Summer Games Fest 2022 that they are making the original multiplayer planned for The Last of Us 2 into a standalone game. 

In case you were worried the new multiplayer mode would be little more than a port of the original, creative director Neil Druckmann said about the standalone game's scope: "[it's] as big as any of our single-player games that we've done, and in some ways bigger."

Naughty Dog has been quiet about it since then, but there's at least something to look forward to if you're missing multiplayer. Though it's likely we won't hear anything further until sometime in 2023 – and all we have is the single piece of concept art shown above – there should be new story beats to enjoy. It's been confirmed it will take place in a new city, never before visited in the Last of Us series. If you look at it though, it sure does look a lot like San Francisco.

We know it features a new cast of characters as well, though I won't say any more on characters so I don't spoil things like the Last of Us trailer.

Philip Palmer
Senior Writer

Phil is a Senior Writer of TechRadar Gaming (TRG). With three previous years of experience writing freelance for PC Gamer, he's covered every genre imaginable. For 15 years he's done technical writing and IT documentation, and more recently traditional gaming content. He has a passion for the appeal of diversity, and the way different genres can be sandboxes for creativity and emergent storytelling. With thousands of hours in League of Legends, Overwatch, Minecraft, and countless survival, strategy, and RPG entries, he still finds time for offline hobbies in tabletop RPGs, wargaming, miniatures painting, and hockey.