Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare guide

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PvZGW guide-Plants faction

Plants faction: Classes & Loadouts

First, some general notes on classes in Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare. All characters – Plants and Zombies alike – level up using a challenge-based system. Completing a challenge earns you a star; get enough stars, and that particular class will level up. You can view your open challenges at any time by hitting the start button during a match. They vary, but you’ll generally be tasked with using one of your skills a certain number of times or “vanquishing” (no one is “killed” in Garden Warfare) a certain number of a specific type of enemy.

Every class has three different abilities, mapped to the LB, RB, and Y buttons. You start with only one of those skills unlocked and then get the next two with your first two experience levels. Note that leveling up isn’t quite enough to get the ability; you’ll have to respawn after leveling up in order to use your new toy. Most abilities are limited in how often they can be used by a cooldown bar. When the ability icon is greyed out, it’s still recharging. Certain abilities, such as the Cactus’ Tallnut or the Scientist’s Sticky Explody Ball, can be used multiple times before they need a cooldown; a number inside the icon box lets you know how many uses you have left.

The primary weapons for all classes in Garden Warfare have infinite ammo, so fire freely. Also, while each class has different health totals, there’s a single rule that carries across all of them when it comes to healing. All injured Plants and Zombies automatically recover up to half their total health when injured; it takes a proper healer (Sunflower or Scientist) to get you the rest of the way there.

PvZGW-guide-peashooterPeashooter: The Peashooter is the standard infantry class for the Plants faction. It’s a fast-moving little peapod with a short stature that makes it easily overlooked by advancing zombies. The Peashooter’s primary attack is its pea-shooting nose, which fires large, slow-moving, high-damage projectiles, roughly one per second. The Hyper ability briefly boosts your speed and jump height, which is doubly useful for sneaking behind an advancing enemy force and scrambling back to safety. The high jump is especially handy for leaping over obstacles that effectively cut off your pursuers from firing.

The Peashooter’s Chili Bean Bomb is basically a grenade, though note that there’s no throwing arc in Garden Warfare. Using the ability simply sends the Chili Bean bouncing out in front of you in a straight line; it explodes 2-3 seconds after you drop it with enough force to take even a full-health enemy near the center of its blast radius. The Peashooter’s lineup of abilities is rounded out by the Pea Gatling, which locks your character in place and converts its primary weapon to a rapid-fire chaingun type of attack. You can stay that way until the Gatling’s ammo runs dry, as seen in a meter at the bottom of the screen.

The Peashooter is effective when working with a group, but it’s also perfectly capable of acting alone. The Hyper ability allows it to skirt behind enemy lines and get to out-of-reach locations, the perfect setup for Chili Bean Bomb and/or Pea Gatling ambushes. Having splash damage on your primary weapon makes this a good option for beginners too, since you’re able to dish out damage without being a crack shot.

PvZGW-guide-chomperChomper: The Plants’ Chomper is the only dedicated melee attacker in Garden Warfare. Your primary attack is a literal chomp of its Venus Flytrap-like jaws. If you manage to maneuver behind an enemy, you’ll see a circular red icon appear on their back. Hit the attack button when that pops up to perform an unblockable sneak attack that devours the enemy whole. Take note however that you’re completely defenseless to other forms of attack while devouring someone, which means you can easily be gunned down before your meal is finished. What’s more, the Chomper can’t use any abilities while its mouth is full, and it always take a few seconds to swallow an enemy you’ve eaten.

The Chomper’s abilities are all built around sneaky play. Burrow allows you to sneak around underground for a brief period of time. The red sneak attack icon mentioned above also appears beneath an enemy’s feet when you get close enough; use that for quick and easy kills. The Goop attack is the Chomper’s only projectile weapon, though it’s more of a support tool than a proper attack. Land a successful hit on an enemy and you’ll briefly slow it down and lock out its ability usage; this is a great way to set up a sneak attack kill. Lastly, the Chomper’s Spikeweed attack briefly immobilizes any enemy that steps on it, again making for easy pickings.

In Garden Warfare‘s objective-based games, you’ll generally want to keep the Chomper close to home, as it makes a great base defender when the enemy’s goal is to capture or destroy your home turf. For Team Vanquish matches, or for players that prefer more of an offensive role, stick to the front lines and use your Burrow sparingly. It’s very easy to get one kill with that ability, but it’s hard to survive after that if you pop up in the middle of a group of Zombies. Choose your targets carefully and work with your team. A Chomper that’s busy easy makes a very tempting target; if you time it right, you can use your Burrow to take out one Zombies and distract a bunch of others while your teammates mow them down.

PvZGW-guide-sunflowerSunflower: The healer class of the Plant faction is the Sunflower. This happy little fella is equipped with an SMG-like primary weapon. Rapid-fire shots, but most effective at close ranges. There’s nothing complicated about it, but an effective Sunflower relies less on its main weapon than it does on its healing abilities and its potent secondary attack. The Sunflower also revives downed friendlies twice as fast as any of the other Plant classes.

You’ve got two options for healing friendly Plants as the Sunflower. Your heal beam tethers you to one target by a string of bright, yellow sunlight. Tapping the ability’s button cycles through all nearby targets, allowing you to quickly choose which Plant you want to heal. You also get a Heal Flower, which is a miniature, potted version of yourself. During its brief lifespan it spews out healing stars that anyone can collect; this is the only way to heal yourself. The Sunbeam is your only offensive ability as the Sunflower; much like the Peashooter’s Pea Gatling, using it immobilizes you until you deactivate the ability or run out of ammo (at which point there’s a cooldown).

The Sunflower works best supporting the frontlines or serving as rearguard protection against flanking attacks. Its SMG primary is meant for close-range action, but the Sunflower isn’t quite as mobile as other classes in the game. Better to have it back up the Peashooters and Chompers on the front lines with carefully deployed Heal Flowers and Heal Beams. Just don’t shy away from using the Sunbeam. It has incredible range and does big damage if you can sustain your attack on a single enemy for a few seconds. Healing should be your top priority as the Sunflower, but be ready for any opportunity to take down an advancing horde with your Sunbeam.

PvZGW-guide-cactusCactus: The Cactus is the sniper class of the Plant faction, equipped with a long-zooming, semi-automatic fire primary weapon that deals big damage and fires as quickly as you can pull the trigger. Headshots mean something in Garden Warfare, so always aim high in the hopes of scoring criticals.

The most useful Cactus ability is its Garlic Drone, a deployable unit that takes to the skies (LB/RB adjust elevation) and rains fire on enemies below using its auto-fire cannon or its limited-use airstrike. The airstrike is greyed out at first, but it becomes available if your drone stays aloft for long enough. It’s got a cooldown once you use it, and you’ll typically have enough time in the life of an average drone – whether or not you’re shot down, a meter at the bottom of the screen dictates how much juice you’ve got left – to fire two airstrikes. The Cactus also has the ability to Potato Mines (proximity explosives) and Tallnuts (a wall that can be used as cover).

The ideal strategy for Cactus players is to maintain distance from the enemy. Its primary weapon zooms in from a greater distance than any other class, and it’s easy to pick off advancing Zombies from the rear of the pack as your teammates on the front lines keep them busy. Make judicious use of your Potato Mines, especially if you’re operating alone with no one to protect you. It’s easy to be flanked when you’re busy focusing on long-distance fire. Use your drone whenever the enemy makes a push. Your aerial support will slow them down, hopefully long enough for either teammates to clean them up or your airstrike to become available.

Plants faction


Learn all about the different soldier classes and play strategies for the Plants faction in Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare.

Zombies faction

PvZGW guide-ZombieLearn all about the different soldier classes and play strategies for the Zombies faction in Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare.

Boss Mode


A quick word on the strategic play in Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare‘s Boss Mode. Inspired by Battlefield’s Commander mode.

Team Vanquish


Team Vanquish is the Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare take on Team Deathmatch. Here are some tips for surviving.

Gardens & Graveyards

PvZGW-guide-GardensGraveyardsIn Gardens & Graveyards, Zombies fight to capture the Plants’ gardens, opening more of the map as they go. Inspired by Battlefield’s Rush mode.

Garden Ops


Garden Ops is a wave-based cooperative survival mode for four players. Plants protect their garden against an onslaught of Zombies.


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