The Last of Us 2 Remastered No Return Dead Drops Guide: How to Get Powerful Rewards

Don't ignore Dead Drops in The Last of Us 2 Remastered's No Return roguelike mode.

Ellie depositing items in a blue mailbox dead drop in TLoU2 No Return.
Screenshot by GameSkinny
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Dead Drops are an important part of No Return. But that importance isn’t immediately clear. If you’re like me, you may complete several encounters without fully understanding their purpose. Here’s how to use them and if they’re worth the trouble in The Last of Us 2 Remastered.

What are Dead Drops in No Return?

Dead Drops give you rewards for depositing items in them. These blue mailboxes are part of the Core Challenges list, and you unlock them after playing three runs of No Return.

Dead Drops don’t appear in every encounter, but they can appear in every encounter. Use listen mode (R1) to scan for them. They’re marked by a white box and arrow icon. If you enter an encounter and don’t see the symbol when using listening mode, the encounter doesn’t have a Dead Drop.

Why You Should Use Dead Drops in TLoU2 No Return

Ellie standing in front of a Dead Drop during a Hunted mission in No Return.
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Don’t be like me and ignore Dead Drops in No Return. They provide powerful and useful rewards that can make your run much easier, much like character upgrade paths. When approaching a Dead Drop, symbols appear above the mailbox indicating the items you must deposit to receive the reward.

The symbols and numbers are red if you don’t have the items. They are white if you do. Sometimes, a Dead Drop only requires one item, like a Molotov cocktail. Other times, it asks for two items, such as a shiv and a health kit. Craft items that you don’t have to deposit them.

My pro-tip is to scan start an encounter, scan for Dead Drops, investigate them, and deposit the necessary items if possible. If you have to craft items to deposit, you know what crafting resources to get during the encounter.

Where are My Dead Drop Rewards?

This is what I didn’t understand about Dead Drops early in No Return. Dead Drop rewards don’t appear within an encounter. Instead, they appear in the hub between encounters. They are on a cart near the lockbox with your other encounter rewards. The items are marked in yellow.

What Do You Get For Using Dead Drops in The Last of Us 2 Remastered?

Joel looking at a Dead Drop gun reward at base in TLoU2 No Return.
Screenshot by GameSkinny

You get all kinds of useful items after using a Dead Drop, and if you’re lucky, you won’t have to spend your coins on the shop to get a powerful weapon or item recipe. I’ve received trap mine, stun bomb, and incendiary ammo recipes early in my runs. I’ve also received fully upgraded crossbows, shotguns, and rifles.

Dead Drops also help you complete challenges, such as Ellie’s Savage Starlight skin set challenge, which requires you to collect every gun in one run as Ellie. That’s a tall task if you only buy weapons from the shop.

That covers it for Dead Drops in The Last of Us 2 Remastered‘s No Return roguelike mode. While RNG governs what the mailboxes give you, the rewards are almost always worth it in my experience. For more, check out my tips on getting S Rank in No Return.

About the author

Jonathan Moore

Jonathan Moore is the Editor-in-Chief of GameSkinny and has been writing about games since 2010. With over 1,200 published articles, he's written about almost every genre, from city builders and ARPGs to third-person shooters and sports titles. While patiently awaiting anything Dino Crisis, he consumes all things Star Wars. He has a BFA in Creative Writing and an MFA in Creative Writing focused on games writing and narrative design. He's previously been a newspaper copy editor, ad writer, and book editor. In his spare time, he enjoys playing music, watching football, and walking his three dogs. He lives on Earth and believes in aliens, thanks to Fox Mulder.