Plants vs Zombies Strategy Guide

Posted by Conor Murphy on April 10, 2012 in Tips and Tricks -- Share:

Plants vs Zombies Strategy Guide
Creating a strategy guide for Plants vs Zombies isn’t as straight forward as our typical game walkthroughs. While the typical Hidden Object game or Adventure game features scene based game play with the occasional mini-game, Plants vs Zombies is an entirely different style of game play…kind of Tower Defense game meets Time Management game.

In order to successfully complete Plants vs Zombies, it takes a number of strategies working together. This strategy guide is meant to give you some insight into how to best make use of each plant in your army and a detailed look at the strengths and weaknesses of each Zombie type. We also have a post that details all the Plants vs Zombies cheat codes.

As there are two different ways of developing a solid plan to win Plants vs Zombies, we’ve included both Plant strategies and Zombie strategies. Use the links below to jump to either section:

Plant Strategies

You can learn plenty about the plants available for Zombie battle by reading the Suburban Almanac featured in the game, but we’ve included further strategic info below.

Peashooter

PeaShooter

Strategy: Your most basic level of defense. Use Peashooters early in the game, but move on to more powerful plants as soon as possible.

Cherry Bomb

Cherry Bomb

Strategy: Your most basic bomb. Use it for massive damage early in the game, but, like the Peashooter, move on to more powerful plants as soon as possible.

Chomper

Chomper

Strategy: Chompers can devour an entire Zombie in a single bite but they need time to digest them. They are not a great choice for levels with lots of Zombies. Plant them in pairs – one behind the other. This way, when the Chomper in front is digesting a Zombie, the Chomper in back can take over.

Puff-Shroom

Puff-Shroom

Strategy: You should only use a Puff-Shroom at night. While they are free, it will cost you a Coffee Bean (75 sun) to wake them up. They have a range of 3 patches, so they can kill just one Zombie before it starts getting eaten. Keep this in mind when placing your Puff-Shrooms!

Fume-Shroom

Fume-Shroom

Strategy: These are your best defense against Screen Door Zombies. They have an added bonus of damaging multiple Zombies simultaneously. Placing a Gloom-Shroom on top of a Fume-Shroom will give you 2 more patches of range in all directions except the front where you lose 2 patches. As such, placing these on the outskirts of the lawn is a bad idea.

Grave Buster

Grave Buster

Strategy: You might not think Grave Busters are all that valuable, but in the final wave, most Zombies rise up from their graves. Clear those graves throughout the level with your Grave Busters and the final wave will be much easier.

Hypno-Shroom

Hypno-Shroom

Strategy: Although Zombies don’t have brains (they eat them, after all), they can still be hypnotized. This is just what the Hypno-Shrooms can do! They turn Zombies around and send them back to attack their Zombie friends (do Zombies have friends?). Use them against bigger zombies…like Football zombies.

Scaredy-Shroom

Scaredy-Shroom

Strategy: There are an inexpensive plant that works well backing up your defensive lines. Beware, these wimps will hide as soon as a Zombie comes within 1 patch of them, leaving them defenseless.

Doom-Shroom

Doom-Shroom

Strategy: Need fire power? These are the nuclear weapons of the plant army world. When they detonate, they eliminate every Zombie within 3 patches in every direction. While they leave a crater that can’t be used for planting it will heal in time.

Squash

Squash

Strategy: These are a good final line of defense. They ’squash’ every Zombie they encounter, as well as any Zombie immediately to the left of right.

Threepeater

Threepeater

Strategy: These are pretty simple to understand. Rather than shooting one pea, they shoot three peas that cover three lanes. As such, just be sure now to place them on the lawn edges.

Torchwood

Torchwood

Strategy: Placing any pea shooting plant behind Torchwood doubles the strength of said peas shoot through it. Torchwood also drives off fog in 3 patches in all directions.

Plantern

Plantern

Strategy: Want to drive off fog? Reach for your Planterns! They will light up any area covered in fog and clear up to 3 lanes.

Split Pea

Split Pea

Strategy: Since Split Peas fire forward and backward, use them against Digging Zombies who will try to attack your plants from behind.

Pumpkin

Pumpkin

Strategy: Place these directly over other plants. They offer a layer of protection against Zombie attacks.

Kernel-Pult

Kernel-Pult

Strategy: Due to the random attack nature of Kernel-Pults, they are either great or terrible. A good strategy is to implement them in pairs. That way if one is firing duds, the other can back it up.

Garlic

Garlic

Strategy: Use Garlic to protect parts of the lawn as Zombies will avoid it to the point of switching lanes. Put one on the first, third and fifth lane, and you’re left with only 2 lanes to protect.

Marigold

Marigold

Strategy: In the earlier levels, Marigolds are a good idea as they give you coins over the course of the level. However, at higher levels, don’t opt to use these when you need as much firepower as you can muster.

Cattail

Cattail

Strategy: These are great for taking down Balloon Zombies. They must be planted on Lilypads.

Cobcannon

Cobcannon

Strategy: These guys are your missile launchers of the game. They do serious damage and, as a result, are also the most expensive plants available. Their impact effects 3 patches in every direction from the point of impact. Beware of the recharging time (25 seconds) as it is enough time for a Zombie to cover a lot of lawn.

Imitator

Imitator

Strategy: You can fill two patches with the same plant when using the Imitator. This reduces the wait time for recharging to complete.

Zombie Strategies

The game has a very nifty Suburban Almanac, which can be found in the main menu, that shows you a description of all the zombies you have encountered. In this section, I will give some additional hints on how to best take on some of those thougher zombies.

Zombie

Zombie

Strategy: The basic Zombie is pretty straightforward. Susceptible to every type of plant attack.

Flag Zombie

Flag Zombie

Strategy: The Flag Zombie is the same as a standard Zombie except slightly faster. It too is susceptible to all plant attacks.

Conehead Zombie

Flag Zombie

Strategy: Conehead Zombies are a regular Zombie with a traffic cone on its head for protection. This makes him twice as tough as a normal Zombie. They can be taken out with almost all strategies, so a basic setup (Peashooter, Snow Pea, or Repeater) should be sufficient.

Pole Vaulting Zombie

Imitator

Strategy: Pole Vaulting Zombies vault over the first plant the run into. If you have to deal with Pole Vaulting Zombies, make sure your plants are at least two deep.

Buckethead Zombie

Imitator

Strategy: Buckethead Zombies can absorb a lot of damage – up to five times what a standard Zombie can handle. Use one-hit plants (Squash, bombs) if your range plants don’t have enough power. You can negate the bucket with a Magnet-Shroom to make things easier.

Newspaper Zombie

Imitator

Strategy: Newspaper Zombies are protected by an old newspaper that can stop direct attacks from Peashooters. However, the newspaper is useless against lobbed shots, instants, the Fume-Shroom, and the Gloom-Shroom. Once the newspaper is detroyed, the Newspaper Zombie will charge forward very quickly so be ready to deal with him.

Screen Door Zombie

Imitator

Strategy: Screen Door Zombies present a serious challenge as their screen door acts as a shield against projectiles. However, the screen door can be removed via a Magnet-Shroom. Also, these Zombies are susceptible to the Fume-Shroom (highly recommended).

Football Zombie

Imitator

Strategy: Think of Football Zombies as fast Buckethead Zombies. Hit them hard and hit them quickly.

Dancing Zombie

Imitator

Strategy: The biggest concern with Dancing Zombies is their ability to summon Backup Dancer Zombies. Kill him with a Squash or a Cherry Bomb before he calls in his pals or hit him with a Hypno-Shroom and the Backup Dancers will dance for you!

Backup Dancer Zombie

Imitator

Strategy: Backup Dancer Zombies are no real threat. They can be killed by nearly any plant in your army. However, they can also be used to your advantage by applying the Hypno-Shroom to the Dancing Zombie. All newly summoned Backup Dancer Zombies will fall under your control.

Ducky Tube Zombie

Imitator

Strategy: The Ducky Tube Zombie is a water-able regular Zombie, Conehead Zombie, Buckethead Zombie, or Flag Zombie. Deal with them in the same manner in which you would deal with the others.

Snorkel Zombie

Imitator

Strategy:Snorkel Zombies swim underwater, but you can force them to the surface with Lily Pad. You can also keep them out by planting Tangle Kelp.

Zomboni

Imitator

Strategy: Zomboni is a Zombie driving a zamboni, and are very tough as a result. With such power, he will crush your plants and leave behind an ice trail for the Zombie Bob Sled Team and the Zombie Yeti. Use a Jalapeno or a Squash to take him down (Bonus! A Jalapeno will also melt the ice trail).

Zombie Bobsled Team

Imitator

Strategy: The Zombie Bobsled Team only appears after the passing of the Zomboni (to create an ice path for the bobsled). Place a Potato Mine at the end of the ice trail to destroy the bobsled and the entire Zombie Bobsled Team.

Dolphin Rider Zombie

Imitator

Strategy: The trick to dealing with Dolphin Rider Zombies is to plant a Lily Pad at the beginning of the pool. This forces the Dolphin Rider Zombie to jump over the Lily Pad and he then slows down to normal Zombie speed.

Jack-in-the-Box Zombie

Imitator

Strategy: Jack-in-the-box Zombies are fast, but other then that, pose no big threat. Use any of the strategies outlined above for regular Zombies to deal with these guys.

Balloon Zombie

Imitator

Strategy: Balloon zombies think they’re smart by floating over your attack plants, but are easily taken down by a cactus or a blover.

Digger Zombie

Imitator

Strategy: Digger zombies are tricky zombies that dig through your garden, come out at the other end and eat their ways through your plants from the back. Use split-peas to have a guard against them, or a magnet-shroom to stop them in their underground tracks.

Pogo Zombie

Imitator

Strategy: Pogo zombies jump over nearly every plant you put in front of him, but is stopped short by a magnet-shroom.

Zombie Yeti

Imitator

Strategy: While the Zombie Yeti poses no threat to your home, destroying it results in a nice diamond drop. Use the same tactics you use to destroy the Buckethead Zombie. If the Zombie Yeti starts to run away, you can place defensive plants in his path to stop him.

Bungee Zombie

Imitator

Strategy: Think of Bungee Zombies as ’death from above’. If you see a bulls-eye appear on the ground, brace yourself…a Bungee Zombie is on it’s way to make off with one of your plants. Defend against them with an Umbrella Leaf.

Ladder Zombie

Imitator

Strategy: It is possible to snatch the ladder away from the Ladder Zombie with the Magnet-Shroom. You can also destroy it with any explosive plant. Ladder Zombies are also weak to Fume-shrooms, Gloom-shrooms, Spikeweed/Spikerock, and lobbed-shots as they can impact the Zombie without dealing with the ladder.

Catapult Zombie

Imitator

Strategy: In order to stop the Catapult Zombie, use Spikeweeds and Spikerocks to pop the tires on his vehicle. If you don’t have these available, use Umbrella Leaves to shield your plants while your offensive plants deal out damage.

Gargantuar

Imitator

Strategy: Gargantuar is huge and crazy tough. You simply won’t be able to destroy him with standard projectile weapons. Resort to your power plants so as the Squash, Cherry Bomb, or Jalapeno.

Imp

Imitator

Strategy: Although the weakest Zombie, Imps are fast and when thrown from the back of a Gargantuar, they can land near the back of your defenses and wreak havoc. Be sure to have Pumpkins in the back row to protect against Imp damage.

Dr. Zomboss

Imitator

Strategy: Dr. Zomboss is the final Zombie boss, and only appears in the last level. When Dr. Zomboss lowers his head, unleash your lob attack. You can also freeze him with an Ice-Shroom to lengthen your attack time.

Written by

Conor is a Marketing Manager with Big Fish, working out of the Seattle office. In his spare time he enjoys watching science documentaries and playing old school adventure games. Get in touch with him on Twitter! or Google+