The Last of Us Factions standalone game: Multiplayer details, concept art, more

Naughty Dog

What began as a simpler evolution of Factions set to launch alongside The Last of Us Part 2 has since grown into Naughty Dog’s first standalone multiplayer experience. From early gameplay details to a possible release window, here’s everything we know.

While traditionally viewed as a powerhouse studio in the realm of story-driven, single-player titles, Naughty Dog has now confirmed its first standalone multiplayer title is in the works. 

Having grown in ambition over the past few years, The Last of Us Part 2’s online component has now blossomed into a full-fledged experience of its own.

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Although fans of The Last of Us still have quite some time to wait, and development has reportedly hit some major setbacks, there’s plenty we know about the upcoming Factions project. From a potential release window to early gameplay details, here’s a full rundown on the standalone multiplayer title.


The Last of Us Factions multiplayer gameplayNaughty Dog
It’s been a whole decade since the original Factions experience made waves on PS3.

Does The Last of Us multiplayer game have a release date?

The standalone Last of Us Factions multiplayer experience does not currently have a release date. Moreover, the ambitious project doesn’t have so much as a broad release window either.

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All we know for sure is that project has been in development since at least 2020, as Neil Druckmann explained during the Summer Game Fest 2022. 

Although Naughty Dog isn’t “quite ready to unveil it,” he assured that fans the wait for more details won’t be too long. “You’re gonna see a lot more of this game next year.”

Unfortunately, however, a new update followed in May 2023, revealing Factions won’t be shown anytime soon. “What is best for the game is to give it more time,” Naughty Dog’s official statement read. 

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On the very same day, Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier reported that the Factions team has been “scaled down” as the team “reassesses” the project. Thus, it could still be a good while before we hear anything new regarding the multiplayer title.

What Platforms will The Last of Us Factions Multiplayer game be on?

For the time being, no exact platforms have been locked in for the upcoming Last of Us multiplayer game. As you would expect from a first-party studio, however, it’s safe to assume the title will launch on PlayStation platforms first.

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The Last of Us Part 1 cover artNaughty Dog
The original Last of Us was recently remade for both PS5 and PC, and Part 2 is set to launch on PC this March, perhaps indicating an eventual PC launch of the multiplayer title too.

Currently, there’s no telling if the multiplayer project was built from the ground up for the new-gen PS5, or whether it will still support players on the last-gen PS4.

The Last of Us Factions multiplayer game: Multiplayer details

When The Last of Us first launched in 2013, it did so with an accompanying multiplayer mode known as Factions. The online experience kept the brutal realism intact, giving players limited health, equipment, and just a few rounds of ammo. It even incorporated a unique meta-game in the menus where wins, losses, and overall performance saw your own group of survivors either growing or dwindling.

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As The Last of Us Part 2 drew near, it was confirmed that “an evolution” of Factions would be arriving alongside the next chapter of the story. However, Naughty Dog pivoted in 2019, announcing that the multiplayer component had taken on a life of its own and required further development than originally planned.

“The vision of the team grew beyond an additional mode that could be included with our enormous single-player campaign,” the statement read.

Outside of a simple: “we’re working on it” update in 2021 blog post, the multiplayer experience was mostly off the radar until Neil Druckmann took to the Summer Game Fest stage in 2022.

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Providing some insight into the game’s development, the Naughty Dog Co-President confirmed that it would now be launching as a standalone title.

“What started out as a multiplayer mode, has evolved due to the team’s ambition,” he said. “They really wanted to do something beyond what we’ve ever done at Naughty Dog. This game is big. It’s as big as any of our single-player games that we’ve done and in some ways bigger.”

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Exactly what this looks like, still remains unclear. Though new details shared in Naughty Dog’s first blog post of 2023 provided some further insight. First up, we know to expect a deeper multiplayer experience than usual, as devs are still focusing on prioritizing new “stories [and] characters” through the Factions release. Exactly how these stories will be told is yet to be seen, but perhaps we’re in store for a seasonal approach with ongoing narratives unfolding over time, akin to the likes of Apex Legends and Fortnite.

Beyond the loose details, we also have two pieces of concept art for the ambitious project. The first piece of artwork showcases a wide-open space in San Francisco, seemingly being swept up in some form of catastrophic wave, perhaps one directly linked to the fungal outbreak. Zooming into the piece, we can see a form of infected making its way through the hazardous zone, potentially indicating what type of game we might see.

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The Last of Us standalone multiplayer title concept artNaughty Dog
Our first look at the new standalone Last of Us multiplayer title.

A third-person Battle Royale could be a likely guess based on this concept art, where survivors must avoid the encroaching wave of runners, clickers, and the like. Given existing gameplay systems, along with a reliance on scavenging and crafting, The Last of Us could be a natural fit for the genre, but there’s no telling for certain just yet. 

The second piece of concept art shows an enormous cruise ship succumbing to decay while two characters approach on foot through a street seemingly torn apart by military-grade explosions, the like of which we heard about in the first game.

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The Last of Us Factions concept artNaughty Dog
The scope of Factions appears to be quite staggering if this second piece of concept art is realized in full.

Of note in the latest piece of art, the two characters both carry specific equipment. Backpacks appear to be essential, as players likely loot their surroundings and scavenge materials throughout a match. Meanwhile, both are carrying weapons as you might expect and one is even wearing an armored helmet, potentially a rare upgrade.

The Last of Us Factions multiplayer game: Setting & Storyline

One thing we do know for certain is that this standalone Last of Us multiplayer title will feature an entirely new story.

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Fit with a “brand new cast of characters,” Druckmann confirmed the news during his Summer Game Fest appearance. Distanced from the single-player narrative both figuratively and literally, the new experience appears to take place in San Francisco. 

Exactly how this story will be told isn’t yet clear. As a potential live-service game, there’s a chance the narrative unfolds over the course of many seasonal updates post-launch. But we’ll have to wait and see how it all unfolds in due time.

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