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Possible Methods for Plants VS. Zombies "Survival: Endless" Mode

Updated on July 15, 2016

Plants vs. Zombies is a strategy game by PopCap; first it was available on iPad, then as its popularity grew, it was released on the gaming platform Steam. The idea is to complete the levels by destroying the oncoming waves of zombies and protect your house, and therefore protect your brains.

To complete the levels, you must plant various different kinds of flowers and plants to defeat the waves of zombies. All levels are completable except for 'Survival: Endless', where the waves of zombies are exactly as the titles suggest - endless. It's fun to attempt the endless mode, where the waves get steadily harder and more ridiculous the more flags you complete. Although it's impossible to finish, many players have impressive records - flag numbers in the hundreds or even thousands. This article takes a look at some of the different strategies to get as many flags as possible.

Backyard (survival mode)
Backyard (survival mode) | Source

The Level

Survival: Endless mode on Plants vs. Zombies is set in the back garden in the daytime, so this includes the pool (pictured). This means you can include water plants such as lily pads and tangle kelp.

The level is set in the daytime, but it's strongly recommended that you use the coffee bean to wake up night plants such as fume-shrooms, magnet-shrooms and doom-shrooms.

Gloom-Shrooms are must-haves in Survival Mode
Gloom-Shrooms are must-haves in Survival Mode | Source
Winter Melon
Winter Melon | Source
Twin Sunflower
Twin Sunflower | Source
Gloom-Shroom | Source
Cob Cannon
Cob Cannon | Source

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Must-Have Plants

It's important to know what plants work against which zombie. As long as you survive enough flags, every possible zombie will eventually appear at some point. The first to appear are the easiest, the regular garden-variety zombie, and building up to enemies that are much more difficult to defeat, such as Gargantuars and Zombonis.

Plants you can't live without:

  • Winter Melons. Ideally you'll have at least one on each row. Winter Melons are upgrades of Melon-Pults, and shoot powerful shots that slow down your enemies, and also hit several zombies at a time, and on a few rows, as opposed to Peashooters which only shoot the front zombie. A Winter Melon can also bypass barriers such as the screen doors, which can block Peashooters.
  • Twin Sunflowers. To do well on Survival: Endless you need at least four twin sunflowers. You can buy them at Crazy Dave's store to upgrade your regular Sunflowers to produce double sunlight. Ideally, planting 6 to 8 will get you far on the more expensive plants.
  • Gloom-shrooms. This is one of the plants you'll need to use the coffee bean on. A Gloom-Shroom is an upgrade of the Fume-Shroom, and can shoot nearby Zombies from all directions with quick, powerful shots. You need to have at least four on the right side of the pool (as shown in the picture above) to get rid of a large portion of the oncoming zombies. This is where the twin sunflowers come in, too - you need a lot of sunlight to plant and maintain the Gloom-Shrooms.
  • Pumpkins. Pumpkins protect your plants. When a Zombie eats a Pumpkin, it takes much longer to get through the shell, thus giving you more time to defeat the Zombie before it eats your plant. They also don't get more expensive the more you plant, unlike most of the plants here.
  • Cattails. Cattails attack any Zombie, anywhere on the map. Although they're not especially powerful, they're very useful for catching a Zombie that is otherwise out of reach, and are especially good for downing Balloon Zombies. Without Cattails, a sneaky Balloon Zombie can sneak in and eat your brains.
  • Cob Cannons. Although you can have a good game of Survival: Endless without Cob Cannons, they're extremely useful for quickly blowing up a group of Zombies. They're powerful and you can shoot them to anywhere on the map, but they have their downsides too. They can't be protected by Pumpkins, so if a Zombie chews on it, they're gone in seconds. They're expensive, and get more expensive the more of them you have planted.
  • Umbrella Leaves. An Umbrella Leaf protects all of the plants within one square from it from Zombies that either fire long-distance shots at your back plants to destroy them (Catapult Zombies) and Zombies that jump down and grab your plants from the air, never to be seen again (Bungee Zombies). It can be extremely annoying when a Bungee Zombie suddenly comes and steals a plant, especially if it was expensive. Place Umbrella Leaves to cover as much of your lawn as possible to avoid this happening. However, Umbrella Leaves cannot attack Zombies directly, which is why not everyone uses them. That one is up to you.

Picture 1
Picture 1 | Source
Digger Zombie
Digger Zombie | Source
Balloon Zombie
Balloon Zombie | Source

The Strategy

There are several different strategies that people use. This gives you the freedom to play around with it to find a strategy that suits you.

  • Place Gloom-Shrooms on the pool (Picture 1). This takes down a huge amount of oncoming Zombies; even the official Plants Vs. Zombies Wikia says "this plant is essential to surviving any large number of flags."
  • Find a way to block Digger Zombies. These Zombies dig below your entire lawn and attack from behind. Without something to block them, they'll eat their way through your plants. On this picture, the player has used Spikerocks, but you can also have a row of Gloom-Shrooms (the combination of two of these planted together destroys Digger Zombies pretty quickly).
  • Find a way to block Balloon Zombies. As discussed above, the best way to do this is by having at least one Cattail on your lawn or in the pool. You can also use a Cactus for this, but Cattails are much more effective as they can attack any Zombie on the map.
  • Freeze your enemies. Make sure that every row on your lawn is freezing the oncoming waves of Zombies, slowing them down significantly and giving you a lot more time to attack and less time for them to eat your plants. The best way of doing this is by having at least one Winter Melon on each row, but there are other ways of freezing the Zombies, too; for example, by planting Ice-Shrooms (which freeze all the enemies on the map for a few seconds before disappearing) or Snow Peas (but, as mentioned above, they're much weaker than Winter Melons).
  • Have a powerful backup plant. This may be Cob Cannons, which take a while to recharge, or plants in your inventory which you can use in an 'emergency' situation by quickly blowing up Zombies, such as the Jalapeno, Cherry Bomb or the Doom-Shroom.
  • Plant your most valuable/sensitive plants on the back rows of the pool. These four squares are the safest places to put your plants. If you decide to use Cob Cannons, which can't be protected by Pumpkins, plant them here. (Picture 2)

Picture 2
Picture 2 | Source

Survival: Endless mode is highly addictive, and with many different strategies to try, it can be time-consuming. Post your flag record in the comments below!


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    • Randall Guinn profile image

      Randall Guinn 2 years ago from Pinellas Park, Florida

      Whow, things sure have changed since Pong, I could play that game. Reading your book Poppy, but I'm a slow reader, so it make take a week.

    • poppyr profile image

      Poppy Reid 2 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      No problem Randall, it takes most people much longer than that! Thanks again ;)

    • profile image

      Thomas 2 years ago

      I Got 154 flags with 12 winter melons 16 gloom shrooms 4 umbrella leafs

      8 cattails everything pumpkind

    • poppyr profile image

      Poppy Reid 2 years ago from Tokyo, Japan


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