Zombies 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.
Foot Soldier: The Foot Soldier is the basic infantry unit of the Zombies faction. Its primary weapon is a fast-firing, low-damage assault rifle with a healthy clip size. It’s physically larger and more cumbersome to control than the agile Peashooter, but that is balanced by its ability to spray-and-pray across the front lines. It’s also got a Rocket Jump as one of its abilities, allowing you to reach sniper roosts that are inaccessible to all other classes in the game.
The Foot Soldier is built for offense. Its Rocket Jump is useful for positioning, but the class’s other two abilities are about putting some hurt on the enemy. The ZPG – Zombie-Propelled Grenade – is the Plants Vs. Zombies take on a rocket launcher. Take care though; there’s a 2-3 second animation that plays out before you can fire the slow-moving rocket, which then travels in a straight line until it makes contact with something solid. Great for stationary enemies, like Gatling and Sunbeam-using Peashooters and Sunflowers. The Foot Soldier’s Zombie Stink Grenade is a smoke grenade that does low, persistent damage to any enemy standing inside the cloud.
Foot Soldiers operate best as part of a larger group. It’s almost always going to lose in a 1v1 showdown against a Peashooter, barring terrible marksmanship or a lucky ZPG shot. If you can get up onto a handy roof and lay down fire from there, great. Just don’t stay in one elevated position for too long, lest you become easy pickings for Cactus snipers. Keep moving and group up with friendlies before you push toward the enemy ranks.
Engineer: The Engineer is a powerful damage-dealer within the Zombie faction. Its primary weapon is the Concrete Launcher, which is essentially an explode-on-impact grenade launcher. Note that you can pair Concrete Launcher fire with the Engineer’s Jackhammer ability, which sees him get up on top of the roadwork tool and use it like it’s a hydraulics-powered pogo stick. Doing so ups your movement rate, though take note that everyone will hear you coming. Not exactly great for stealth.
The Zombot Drone is the Engineer’s most potent ability. It’s the Zombie faction’s aerial support unit, which you can deploy for a limited time (there’s a meter at the bottom of the screen) and use to rain down fire from your machine gun-like cannon or with airstrikes. You’ll need to stay aloft for a little bit before you can use an airstrike, and you can usually fit two airstrikes into the uninterrupted lifespan of one Zombot Drone. The Engineer’s other ability is a Sonic Grenade that temporarily stuns any enemies caught in its blast.
The Engineer is perhaps the most flexible of all the classes in Garden Warfare. The Jackhammer and Concrete Launcher make a deadly combination in front line support roles, especially when it comes to countering Chompers. You can only stay up on that jackhammer for 20 seconds, but a well-timed stun grenade makes it easy to mop up any remaining forces or give yourself the breathing room to pull back. Don’t forget to use your Zombot Drone though; it can really help to shift momentum in your team’s favor if you deploy it when the opposing team is facing a heavy push.
Scientist: The Scientist is the healer class of the Zombie faction. Its primary weapon is a “Goo Blaster” shotgun with a slow rate of fire but a devastating damage output at close ranges. It’s best to pair this with your Warp skill, which can be used twice before requiring a cooldown. Use Warp when you’re medium distance from a target to jump in close enough for your shotgun to finish them off in one or two blasts, then use Warp again to get yourself to safety. The Scientist also revives downed friendlies twice as fast as any other Zombie classes.
The Scientist’s only healing option is its Zombie Heal Station deployable. It spurts out purple goo in all directions when dropped, healing any friendlies that wander into its area of effect. The Scientist also has a Sticky Explody Ball, which is, for all intents and purposes, a proximity mine. You’ve got two that you can throw out to start with, but you can have up to four deployed on the map at any given time if you wait through two additional cooldowns.
Scientists are a great help on or near the front lines, since they can support Foot Soldiers, Engineers, and All-Stars with their healing stations while also dealing a fair amount of damage to rushing enemies. You’re not really a master in any one category as the Scientist, but you’re also the Zombie faction’s only healer, and thus, an essential cog on the battlefield. Prioritize keeping you team safe, but be mindful of opportunities to use Warp in an offensive role, to get the drop on the enemy front lines.
All-Star: The Zombies faction is all about rushing in to attack, and the All-Star should be at the forefront of any attacking force. It’s the tank of this bunch, with the highest health total of any class in the game and an automatic fire Football Cannon with a bottomless ammo clip; be mindful of it overheating, however. The Football Cannon is most effective when fired in short bursts, which keeps the accuracy up and the heat levels down.
As the beefy, healthful tank of the Zombies faction, the All-Star is the only class equipped with a melee attack: the Sprint Tackle. It’s a charge attack that does heavy damage when it connects, knocking back any Plants that manage to survive. The Imp Punt works like a grenade that you kick; much like the Foot Soldier’s ZPG, there’s a brief period of charge-up time before the kicked imp sails off toward its target. The All-Star’s ability set is rounded out by a deployable Dummy Shield (two available to start with; four can live on the map at any one time) that blocks enemy movement and incoming fire.
The All-Star should be the vanguard of any Zombie assault. It’s ability to soak up damage and rush forward quickly using the Sprint Tackle makes it positively deadly on the front lines, especially when Foot Soldiers and Engineers are on hand to provide support. In a faction that’s already built around heavy offensive play and in-your-face action, the All-Star still stands out as the cornerstone of any assault.
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