How to make a The Last of Us Part 1 shiv

The Last of Us Part 1 shiv: Ellie looks worried, perhaps because she doesn't have a shiv
(Image credit: Sony)

In the Last of Us Part 1, shivs are a great way to protect yourself. The hordes of former people infected with fungal parasites aren't very forgiving, and there aren't many department stores still open during the apocalypse.

Thankfully, in The Last of Us Part 1, even the humblest of weapons have their time in the sun. Whether you're sneaking through ruined buildings and across crumbling bridges to avoid the spore-obsessed populace or kicking in every door in sight like a martial artist in a board factory – the right tools will help you survive. So whether you're hunting for the final few The Last of Us Part 1 trophies to complete your PS5 collection, or you're enjoying Ellie and Joel's story for the first time – the handy shiv can have your back.

Figuring out how and where to secure yourself the shiv – savior of explorers and inattentive gamers everywhere – can be a challenge. But don't be afraid: we've got your back.

The Last of Us Part 1 shiv

The Last of Us Part 1 shiv – how do you use a shiv?

The Last of Us Part 1 shiv - a clicker tries to make a snack out of Joel

(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

The Last of Us Part 1's shiv is a multipurpose weapon, but not the usual kind you can run around with. You can't wield the shiv like a normal weapon in your arsenal and instead will just want to keep them in your backpack for when you need them.

But when exactly do you need them? There are several situations you'll want to have the shiv handy:

  • When sneaking up behind enemies, you can get a much faster one-hit kill with a shiv.
  • Clicker enemies can be stealth killed with a shiv.
  • Certain locked doors can only be opened by using a shiv.
  • If you have the Shiv Master upgrade (or are playing on Easy mode) you can use a shiv to protect yourself from being grappled by a Clicker.

Using a shiv will break it, unless you've found the various shiv training manuals throughout the game. Each shiv training manual you find will give you one extra use of the shiv's you craft, to a maximum of three uses each. 

They aren't too difficult to find:

  • The first is in the Bill's Town chapter, on the bar of the safehouse after you've met Bill but before you follow him out.
  • The second and final one is in the Pittsburgh chapter, inside the hotel safe on the bottom floor, but you'll also need the Note to Staff with the combination, which you'll find in an open suitcase.

The Last of Us Part 1 shiv – how do you craft a shiv?

The Last of Us Part 1: how to make a shiv – Joel seems concerned, probably because he doesn't know how to craft shiv's

(Image credit: Sony)

In The Last of Us Part 1 crafting is a pretty simple affair for Joel and Ellie to take on, tasking you with grabbing crafting materials from the environment. As you collect resources, you'll find the materials are divided into different categories like Blade, Alcohol, etc. Each time you pick materials up, they'll start to fill up the category's symbol, kind of like a little 'clock'. Once you've gathered enough of that material, the clock will be full and and you'll have a single usable crafting material.

For each Shiv you want to make you'll need one Binding and one Blade for materials - make sure that the material has a full 'clock'. From your Backpack, you can open the Crafting menu, and then choose the Shiv to make one.

Just make sure you stay aware of your surroundings since you'll be vulnerable while crafting.

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.