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6 Basic Strategies to Beat "Plants vs. Zombies 2"

Jeremy enjoys gaming when he isn't pursuing his forensics graduate degree.

Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time

This sequel to the hit strategy game, It's About Time, features several new plants to master and zombies to defeat. While I love this free-to-play game, its faster gameplay can challenge newcomers who are used to the more relaxed pace of the original.

But don't fret, today we'll cover six simple tactics to help conquer the undead. Of course, you'll have to adapt your strategies as you face different foes in different settings, but these general tips can get you through just about any level.

Various plant plushes

Various plant plushes

6. Bring a Diverse Bunch

Do: Maximize your effectiveness by choosing a varied team to handle any situation. With dozens of vegetation options available to pick from, you will have precious few slots to fill when selecting plants for each battle. Check out the table below to review several broad classes and a good example from each set to use.

Don't: Bring too many plants with the same basic function. Yes, Repeater and Fire Peashooter are both effective ranged units, but considering their similarities one should do just fine on any given level.

Broad categories in "Plants Vs. Zombies 2"






Ranged Attacker (Low-Cost)


Ranged Attacker (High-Cost)

Coconut Cannon

Melee Attacker

Bonk Choy


Winter Melon


Cherry Bomb

Snow Pea

Snow Pea

5. Slow Zombies by Chilling

Do: Utilize plants that delay the advance of zombies, often through chilling effects. Snow Pea works great as a low-cost option while Winter Melon serves well if you have extra Sun to burn.

Don't: Place more than one Delayer in each row. You want to chill the zombies, but other plants can deal damage faster, and multiple chill effects don't stack when applied to the same zombie. However, other slowing effects can compound with chill, like the Sap-fling's sticky projectiles.



4. Use Sun-shroom

Do: Use Sun-shroom to produce Sun once you obtain it. Why?

  • At 25, he costs half the price of Sunflower (and 1/5 the price of Twin Sunflower)
  • He eventually produces more Sun than Sunflower (75 compared to 50)
  • He has a better Plant Food effect

Sure, Sun-shroom only produces 25 Sun at first, but it soon grows to produce 50, and again to make 75. You're getting more Sun for less cost compared to Sunflower. Heck, since Sun-shroom is so cheap, in desperate times he can serve as a small shield without bankrupting you, slowing zombies as they devour him to buy you time. You can unlock Sun-shroom in the Dark Ages world.

Don't: Use Sunflower once you've unlocked Sun-shroom. Twin Sunflower does produces a bit more Sun (100) than a maxed-out shroom, but the larger price tag and lengthier recharge times for Twin make shroom the superior unit.

A Plant Food-boosted Repeater attacks

A Plant Food-boosted Repeater attacks

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3. Use Boosted Plants on Hard Levels

Do: Grow plants in your Zen Garden, but wait for harder encounters to use their level-lasting powers. Obtaining seeds is relatively easy (replay any level and you'll gradually collect them), but if you find yourself stuck on a tough area, grow several plants and use them to demolish foes. Honestly, some of the best boosted plants are Sun-producers, as their Plant Food effects provide huge amounts of Sun instantly, giving practically infinite resources for the level.

Don't: Ignore the Zen Garden or waste the bonuses on easier levels. Unless you have seeds to spare, no point spending the effects where you don't need them. Also, don't boost your plants with gems—save them for things you can't obtain otherwise, like new units.

Bonk Choy

Bonk Choy



2. Use Melee and Shield Plants Together

Do: Place melee plants like Bonk Choy behind defenders like Wall-nut. Melee plants do high damage at short range, but because they can't attack from afar, they normally don't have much time to strike as the zombies advance. Placing a shield in front of them greatly increases the time the zombies are vulnerable to their melee attacks.

Don't: Place melee plants in the back of your row (duh) or leave them undefended. Also, don't use Snapdragon if you're employing freezing plants—Snapdragon's close-range fire removes the chill effect. Use Bonk Choy or another melee combatant instead.

Zombies in pvz2

Zombies in pvz2

1. Wait Before You Attack

Do: Hold off on striking the first few zombies. The game doesn't tell you this, but the longer you wait before dealing damage to the first undead, the more time you receive to prepare your defenses and manufacture Sun. Delay the zombies with defenders like Wallnut as you mass-produce resources, and only attack once you've built up a better reservoir.

Don't: Immediately attack the first zombies. Those extra ten or twenty seconds go a long way towards preparing your Sun for the entire level. As mentioned before, you don't want to bring too many plants of the same type to a level, but doubling up on defenders can help you stall the initial zombies (most defenders have a lengthy recharge period before you can plant another).

The Future of Plants vs. Zombies 2

It's About Time continues to receive updates, adding new worlds, plants, and game modes. Try to complete the quests that have a time limit first to collect their rewards before they disappear, and save up gems to purchase new plants or more Zen Garden slots.

You're now armed with enough knowledge to remove the "un" from the undead. This game is a step up in difficulty from its predecessor, so don't become discouraged if you lose some levels—you can always try them again with boosted plants.

And don't forget to have fun! Trial and error plays a significant role in this game, and hopefully, the thrill of toppling bigger obstacles will entertain players for years to come.

Questions & Answers

Question: Which plants are Octopus Zombies' debilities?

Answer: Good plants to use against Octopus Zombies are ones that can hit behind in case one of your back rows gets covered with some unwanted calamari. Star Fruit, Bonk Choy, and Split Pea get the job done.

Question: Is Primal Sunflower better than Sun-shroom?

Answer: Tough one, they're both good, but I prefer Sun-Shroom in most cases, especially if you use plant food to insta-grow it to full height. Its low cost also makes it a better last-resort stall tactic.

Question: In Plants Vs. Zombies, should I always have at least one melee plant in my defense?

Answer: Often, yes, but it's not always necessary. If you see something you think will work better, by all means, try that instead!

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