Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2

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Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 (abbreviated as PvZ: GW2, Plants vs. Zombies: GW2, or PvZ: Garden Warfare 2) is a third-person shooter video game developed by PopCap Games and was published by Electronic Arts (EA). It is the fourth game in the Plants vs. Zombies series and the sequel to Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare. The game was announced at the Xbox E3 briefing on June 15, 2015. Only a trailer was shown, but gameplay footage was later presented on EA Games' E3 press conference. The multiplayer beta was released on January 14, 2016 and was available up to January 18, 2016; the full game was released on February 23, 2016 (North American version) and February 25, 2016 (European version) for PC and current generation consoles[1]. On May 16, 2022, it was made available on Steam without prior announcements before. On May 31, 2024, it was also made available on Epic Games Store without prior announcements before.

On a GamesRadar article,[2] EA confirmed that players who unlocked playable characters in the first game will have their characters in the sequel already unlocked. However, the promotional characters (Berry Shooter, Citrus Cactus, Chester Chomper, and Dr. Chester) did not return to the sequel. In the same article, a single-player mode was confirmed, along with six new classes including Citron and Super Brainz, over 100 playable characters and 12 new maps. Also, a new ranking system has been introduced, however, this means that every player will start at Rank 1 when they begin the game for the first time. Nearly all customization items from the first Garden Warfare are not returning to Garden Warfare 2 (this does not apply to gestures, as they will return, thanks to the Mystery Portal events). Some of this information was later added to the official website. If players pre-order the game they receive Z7 Imp, which is also a spoof of the Mass Effect franchise. Loyalty rewards are given to players that made it to a certain rank in Garden Warfare, with the final loyalty reward obtained by reaching rank 313, awarding the player the Unicorn Chomper.


Long after the events of Garden Warfare during the long, crazy war between Plants and Zombies, the Zombies have finally conquered Suburbia and renamed it Zomburbia. Now, for the first time in the series, the Plants are on the attack, and it is the Zombies' turn to defend their newly claimed homeland. Six all-new heroes join the battle with brand new abilities, from the past, present, and future.

As a plant, your mission is to become an agent of L.E.A.F., by doing plant-based story missions. As a zombie, your mission is to become Top Zombie, by doing zombie-based story missions. This includes training with Agent Rose, Agent Citron, and Agent Corn or Steve, Super Duper Brainz and Ol' Deadbeard.


Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 is a third-person shooter, similar to Garden Warfare. Gameplay largely remained the same as its predecessor, with the addition of 8 (6 immediately accessible and 2 which must be unlocked through a series of tough trials) new plant and zombie classes, a zombie version of Garden Ops, titled Graveyard Ops, and a new mode called Herbal Assault, a swapped version of Gardens and Graveyards where the Zombies must defend the bases and prevent the Plants from capturing them, which supports a maximum 24 players per game. Different classes have different abilities. Most characters and modes (Team Vanquish, Garden Ops, etc.) from the original Garden Warfare will be returning. A new "remix" music from the original Garden Warfare for the Zombies. New abilities for returning characters will also be introduced in Garden Warfare 2.

Unlike the original Garden Warfare where players can play solo only on Garden Ops, via private mode, in Garden Warfare 2 every mode in the game can be played solo. Split-screen multiplayer, private servers, twelve maps and forty different characters will be supported at launch. Free additional content will also be released regularly upon the game's release. An internet connection will still be required as in the first game.

A new mode called Backyard Battleground is also introduced. It serves as a hub world that is free for players to explore. In Backyard Battleground, players can access portals that are connected to missions, view unlocked characters' bobbleheads, collect collectibles scattered in the world, and join King of the Hill-style matches known as Flag of power matches against artificial intelligence at will. When playing Flag of power, the game will send waves of enemy heroes, although the game will also send crates, containing either an AI ally or coins. There are also plant pots or places where the player can build either plant turrets or Zombie bots. A shooting gallery and moon-based missions are also featured.

Plant and zombie variants the player earned in the original game were available to be transferred to this game until February 28, 2017. The UI has been improved, with Crazy Dave and Dr. Zomboss shown talking in 3D model of themselves (rather than appearing as 2D designs from the original Plants vs. Zombies).

At the bases of both the Plants and the Zombies, there are several common features, including a Customization Room allowing the player to change and accessorize characters, a Quest Board with different objectives for Plants, Multiplayer, and Zombies, sticker Shops, a Multiplayer Portal, a Mailbox, and a special Garage, with quest missions for both sides.

The game also includes many exclusive rewards for players who have played the original Garden Warfare. The player can use their Mailbox in either side's base to import all of the unlocked characters and abilities that they have unlocked in Garden Warfare, depending on if they actually played the first game. They can also use their rank from GW1 to get loyalty rewards, which rank from sticker packs to an extremely exclusive character for those who reached the max rank 313, the Unicorn Chomper. Also, players who either pre-ordered or purchased the deluxe edition of Garden Warfare 2 will get lots of exclusive items, from emoji customizations to an exclusive Mass Effect-themed character, the Z7 Imp.


Most of the modes from Garden Warfare are returning to Garden Warfare 2 (the only mode not returning is Taco Bandits), while several new modes have been added, including a zombie version of Garden Ops, Graveyard Ops, and an alternative of Gardens and Graveyards, Herbal Assault, in which the plants attack and the zombies defend. Team Setup options are also available for solo and private battles.

  • Backyard Battleground: A hub world for the player, which is a large map divided in two, with the plants on one side of the Backyard and the zombies being on the other. In the middle, the plant and zombie forces fight each other constantly, and is also where the 'Flag of Power' game mode is located. The player can access the Garden Ops and Graveyard Ops modes through Crazy Dave's RV or Dr. Zomboss' blimp in each side's base, and can access every other mode through the Multiplayer Portal, where they can choose to play any mode solo, private with friends or go online in multiplayer. The player can pick up daily quests from the Quest Board to complete, can buy sticker packs from the Sticker Shop, customize their characters in the Customization Booth, promote leveled up characters in the Stats Room, complete quests around the Backyard and can also take part in solo story quests for either Crazy Dave or Dr. Zomboss from any NPC characters. There is also a sewer system where the player can find hidden areas and the new Crazy Targets shooting range.
  • Flag of Power: A King of the Hill-inspired mode in which the player must defend the 'Flag of Power' from the opposite faction, who will constantly send out waves of enemies, with each wave being harder than the last. After each wave the player will be rewarded with coins. In-between each wave, a crate will be dropped for the players to break open, and doing so will release an AI reinforcement that will help the player fight. The mode is endless so the player can't actually 'win', but rather see how long they can keep the flag raised. The game ends when the flag is dropped completely.
  • Garden Ops: A cooperative mode where up to four players take control of each of the plants defending a garden through ten zombie waves, with the fifth and tenth waves being boss waves represented by a slot machine, hosted by Dr. Zomboss, either spawning 1-3 bosses, a jackpot, a huge swarm of zombies or a Super Boss. After that, they must run and survive to the extraction point to be saved by Crazy Dave.
  • Graveyard Ops: The opposite of Garden Ops. Graveyard Ops is a cooperative mode where up to four players take control of each of the zombies defending a graveyard through ten plant waves, with the fifth and tenth waves being boss waves represented by a slot machine, hosted by Crazy Dave, either spawning 1-3 bosses, a jackpot, a huge swarm of plants or a Super Boss. After that, they must run to the extraction point and survive until they are saved by Dr. Zomboss.
  • Solo Ops: A Solo version of the Ops Modes, in which the player can choose up to 3 AI helpers and swap between them.
  • Team Vanquish: A team deathmatch variant, where two teams representing plants and zombies fight against each other to take down opponents.
  • Vanquish Confirmed!: A game mode where players must collect orbs from fallen opponents to receive credit. This mode shares the concept with the "Kill Confirmed" mode from the Call of Duty series
  • Gardens and Graveyards: A game mode where players either capture (as zombies) or defend (as plants) various objectives. It is a parody of the Conquest and Rush modes from the Battlefield series.
  • Herbal Assault: A game mode which is the opposite of Gardens and Graveyards, where players either capture (as plants) or defend (as zombies) various objectives.
  • Gnome Bomb: A game mode where players attempt to secure a bomb (strapped to the back of a helpless gnome) and detonate at various bases. It is similar to Obliteration mode from Battlefield 4.
  • Mixed Mode: A playlist where each game mode is used interchangeably. It will be one mode with either zombies or plants. Then the next mode played right after will be the same mode along with the same map. However, the player will be using the opposite character team from before. Using the opposite character team does not happen all the time. After two matches of the same mode are complete, the other mode mentioned will do the same action as described.
  • Suburbination: A domination variant, where the objective is to capture three areas, A, B, and C in the map. If all three areas are captured, 'Suburbination' occurs and the team who captured them all get bonuses until they lose an area.
  • Infinity Time: A cooperative endless mode where players either take control of a giant robotic triceratops or a giant robotic cat, and must vanquish waves of gnomes to earn Time Shards. Every five waves, the gnome king, Gnomus, will send out an imposter king for the players to fight. Once defeated, the player/s will be teleported to a different coloured realm, starting from blue, then going to green, then yellow, then red, then rainbow, in that order. The mode doesn't end until all players have been taken out. The rewards the player/s receive depends on the amount of Time Shards the player/s collected.
  • Boss Hunt: a cooperative gamemode that is (usually) held once a month from the last Thursday 3PM (GMT) until the last Monday 3PM (GMT) . This requires a team of 4 or less to defeat a boss that will have more or less health depending on difficulty. The difficulty is chosen by choosing the normal, enchanted or scrumptious version of the item on the platter.
  • Cats vs Dinos: This is a last team standing style game with no respawn. This is (usually) held once every month from the 2nd Thursday 3PM (GMT) to the 3rd Monday 3PM (GMT). This uses the same characters as 'Infinity Time'.
  • Capture the Taco: This gamemode takes place in a slightly modified Backyard Battleground. This is a capture-the-flag style mode where each team has a taco to defend against the other team. Each team must defends their own taco, as well as capture the other team's taco by picking it up and taking it to the base at the back of the team's corresponding side.
  • Soil Survivors: A search-and-destroy type mode that comes in the Mystery Portal, in Soil Survivor the players face of in 6 vs. 6 matches. The players play 5 consistent rounds on one of the smaller maps, and there is a "storm" like in Cats vs. Dinos. The players get to choose a character in-between rounds, but have a 20 second time limit. Once the players get the message "THE SPACE TIME CONTINUUM IS COLLAPSING!" the playing area shrinks, forcing conflict between the teams. Defeat the enemy team to win a round, and win 3 rounds to win the game.


A new Plants vs. Zombies video game was revealed in Electronic Arts' annual earning reports. A sequel to Garden Warfare was teased on June 8, 2015. A trailer for Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 was presented for the first time at E3 2015 as part of the presentation given by Microsoft and on August 22, 2015 during Xbox Live's webcast of the Miss Teen USA 2015 beauty pageant. A mashup with Mass Effect called Grass Effect was announced at Gamescom 2015. Players who pre-order the game would receive a Mass Effect-inspired mech-suit for the new class, The Imp. BioWare assisted PopCap with developing the Grass Effect mech-suit.

An open beta testing for the game was held from January 14, 2016 to January 18, 2016 for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. However, this was largely for multiplayer tuning, and many of the game modes and Backyard Battleground secrets were disabled. A trial version of the game was released by the end of April 2016. This version of the game allows players to play the game for up to ten hours.

They have released their first free content update called The Graveyard Variety Pack. It was released on March 8, 2016 and it contains some character balancing, a new map Aqua Center, and some Backyard Battleground changes and additions. Another pack, titled Trouble in Zombopolis, was released in June 2016. It adds a new map called Zombopolis, and several new characters. Trouble in Zombopolis: Part Two was released in June 2016, introducing new features such as community challenges, delivering challenges, platforming elements, and new spawn points. EA also partnered with Diamond Select Toys to release action figures featuring Garden Warfare 2 characters.


Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 received "generally favorable" reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic.

Kevin Dunsmore of Hardcore Gamer gave the game a 4 out of 5 saying, "PopCap Games paid close attention to the criticisms of the original game and ultimately crafted a worthy sequel." Jordan Devore from Destructoid rated the game a 9/10 saying, "The hub world is a far more realized slice of the wider Plants vs. Zombies universe, and it's so delightfully odd." IGN gave the game a score of 8.2/10, saying that the game "is all grown up into a premiere shooter".

The game's retail version was the second best-selling game in its week of release in the UK, debuting at No. 2 in the UK retail software sales chart, only behind Far Cry Primal.

Update history

Main article: Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2/Update history


Main article: Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2/Concepts


Main article: Plants (PvZ: GW2)

Returning plants

New plants


New characters:


Main article: Zombies (PvZ: GW2)

Returning zombies

New zombies

Infinity Time characters / Gnomes

Backyard Battleground

Welcome to your very own Plants vs. Zombies playground. In your Backyard Battleground you can edit your character’s abilities and customizations, choose quests, jump into co-op or multiplayer action modes, or invite up to 3 friends in to your backyard to start a party and take on AI – defeat a wave, and a more powerful wave will show up. You can also switch teams to challenge your friends!

Backyard Battleground is your own frontline base to plan your attack before you enter the battle for Zomburbia.

Game modes




Map Image Description
Time Park Level coop timepark.png What do you get when you connect four time periods with intergalactic portals reverse engineered from gnome technology? We're not sure, either.
Z-Tech Factory Level coop zombossfactory.png The Zomboss Z-Tech Factory is one of the many facilities from which Dr. Zomboss mass produces his Zombie army. It has an amazing break room.
Frosty Creek Level coop snow.png The only thing colder than a frosty creek is frozen frost itself! Also liquid nitrogen, ice cream, very cold rocks & frozen bread.
Lunar Landing Level coop space.png A secret staging area where Dr. Zomboss plans to dominate every planet in the solar system. It even has space golf!
Colizeum Level coop rome.png For Rent: One large Colizeum. Open space concept, lots of room for activities! Currently lacking electricity, plumbing, doors, windows and roof. Serious inquiries only.
Zen Peak Level coop asia.png Zen Peak was the birthplace of Zen from which all magic sparkle originated. Both Plants and Zombies vacation here during off peak travel times.
Boney Island Level coop dino.png Boney Island mysteriously attracts all that is lost. Ships, aircraft... even time itself. Chances are, if you are lost, you are here!
Sandy Sands Level coop egypt.png Sandy Sands is amazingly full of sand. Known worldwide for its sandcastles, sandals, sandbags, sanders, sandboxes, and sandwiches.
Aqua Center Level coop brainstreet.png Out with the stinky Garden Center, in with Aqua Center for Zombies! Your one-stop shop for dolphin blasters, sonar shots, shark lasers, and fancy fish!
Frontline Flats Level coop zomburbia.png An up-and-coming gated community that's quickly expanding. Laundry facilities near-by. Delivery available.
Seeds of Time (Gardens & Graveyards) Level rush themepark.png The time travel theme park was built in 1202 by a group of wizards that pooled their resources together in the hopes of making a fortune. Now the Zombies want it, because it's a fun place to be!
Great White North (Gardens & Graveyards) Level rush snow.png Emerging from the depths below, the Zombies are launching an out attack on the Great White North. Can they free the Yeti King and usher in a new ice age?
Wall-nut Hills (Gardens & Graveyards) Level rush suburbia gw2.png The zombies just found out about Crazy Dave's sweet mansion and want to take it over. If the Plants can't stop them, Dave will be living on the streets!
Moon Base Z (Herbal Assault) Level herb space.png Dr. Zomboss' latest plan involves changing the Earth's orbit so it stays within a constant solar eclipse, thus robbing the Plants from their much-needed photosynthesis. The Plants must stop him!
Zomburbia (Herbal Assault) Level herb zomburbia.png It's that time of the year again. The next batch of fresh Zombie recruits are about to graduate, but the Plants have other plans for them...Hint: It involves toilet paper!
Zombopolis (Herbal Assault) Level herb brainstreet.png There's big trouble in not so little Zombopolis. The Plants must stop the Zombies from launching Zombot into battle before it's too late!
Infinity Time (The Gnomiverse) Level endless timevoid.png Abandon hope all ye who enter here, for this be the land of Gnomes. Neither here nor there, nay not anywhere.
Backyard Battleground Level fe hub.png Plants on one side, Zombies on the other. Creating a stalemate of epic proportions, where neither side has been able to gain the advantage.


Returning abilities

Upon gameplay, almost all abilities from the original Garden Warfare will return to Garden Warfare 2, including the abilities from the Garden Variety pack as well. With the exception of Zombot Drone, Rocket Drone, and the Cheetos promotional characters, the Cheetos abilities will not return to Garden Warfare 2.

New abilities

Several gameplay videos have shown new abilities for returning characters:

New customizations

Main article: Customization


Downloadable Content

Graveyard Variety Pack DLC (March 8, 2016)

  • Fixed several bugs and glitches.
  • Balances Rose to be more of a support class than an assault class.
  • Adds a new map, Aqua Center.
  • Adds more things and fun to the Backyard Battleground.

Trouble in Zombopolis: Part One DLC (May 31, 2016)

Trouble in Zombopolis: Part Two DLC (June 30, 2016)

Trials of Gnomus DLC (September 8, 2016)

  • Added new Mystery Portal in the Town Hall as well as three new game modes; Super Mix Mode, Cats vs. Dinos and Boss Hunt.
  • Added the Trials of Gnomus in the secret Gnome Underworld Dimension behind the locked gnome door.
  • Added a new currency, Rainbow Stars, which are used to unlock Chests of Eternity and collect Trial Keys.
  • Added Rux's Bazaar, where a mysterious gnome called Rux will sell you random customization items you can buy for Coins.
  • Lots of character and map balancing.
  • Tons of other surprises await...

Frontline Fighters DLC (December 1, 2016)

  • Adds four new characters, Nec'Rose, Commando Corn, Captain Squawk and Scallywag Imp.
  • Adds a new map, called Frontline Flats.
  • Adds a new pack, the Frontline Fighters Pack.
  • Adds online split-screen.
  • Adds lots of new customization items.
  • Bug Fixes.

Capture the Taco DLC (December 6, 2018)

  • Adds 6 new Outfit customizations for Torchwood and Hover Goat-3000.
  • Adds a new Capture the Taco game mode.
  • Adds 4 new Crazy Settings to mix things up in Super Mix Mode.
  • Adds a new variation of the Backyard Battleground for Capture the Taco.
  • Bug fixes.

Soil Survivors DLC (February 14, 2019)

Tale of the Taco DLC (July 16, 2019)

  • Adds a series of weekly Community Challenges and variants of existing game modes in the Town Hall until September 2, 2019.
  • General improvements to the Soil Survivors game mode, including that now AIs fill empty slots in games to make them more fair.
  • Bug fixes.



Main article: Achievements (PvZ: GW2)

Private play AIs


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  • The Plants vs. Zombies Facebook page posted a "Letter from Zomboss" revealing how Zomboss managed to take over Suburbia, by summoning his future self:
Dear Citizens of Suburbia and Everywhere-

Thanks to the limitless reaches of my limitless genius, I am overjoyed to announce that I have taken over Suburbia. You may have noticed from the change in your surroundings, but I realize that as humans your powers of perception are not near to my elevated level. Which is a very elevated level indeed! Your brains, streets, houses, telephone poles, brains, toasters, and game-playing devices are mine. Mine!

I can sense before the brain-feasting begins that you would like to know how I took over. Because why wouldn’t you? I am Dr. Zomboss, after all. And this was my most evilly inspired idea yet! I finally decided that only one was brilliant enough to aid me, and once realizing this, I asked myself for help. My future self! The only creature perhaps as smart as I am. Supplied with Z-Tech from future me (who is quite charming and really rather clever), I invented the most horrific, most wonderful, most clever invention of all time! More clever even than the Sun-blot Machine! Than the Awesome Air Stinkifier! Even more than the PopSmarts™ Handy Slicer!

I speak of the Z-Mech, which transforms giggly Imps into giggly giant machines of shimmering destruction! Oh, I also created Super Brainz, but he broke every mirror and had to stand in the Time-Out corner. But he is still a brilliant invention! And I, only I, Dr. Edgar G. Zomboss, could have unleashed the Z-Mech and then also put Captain Deadbeard, and all the other zombies, into the fray. You remember them, I know you do! Remember them, and remember it was I who used them to capture Suburbia. It was I! Admit it – you couldn’t have done it. Only I. Wait, what’s that orange roll-y thing that dares to roll on my streets? I must go attend, because no-one rolls on my streets. No one!

Please desist from any thoughts of attacking me, as they would be futile.


Dr. Zomboss

  • Said message above foreshadows the events that took place in the comic under the same name.
    • The other inventions mentioned other than Z-Mechs also appear in other comics.
  • Various references to Plants vs. Zombies 2 are shown in this game:
    • Gargantuar Prime, Laser Bean, Lightning Reed, Dandelion, E.M.Peach, Hypno-shroom all use the same appearance as they did in the second game, only 3D re-animated.
      • In addition to the potted plant, a Laser Bean with its cape costume also appears as a boss.
    • One of Rose's abilities, Goatify, references the Wizard Zombie's ability to turn plants into sheep.
    • This game is based on time travel, just like how it would be to the former.
    • Captain Deadbeard and Parrot Pal are based on Pirate Captain Zombie and its parrot.
    • Knight Zombie did make a cameo in the beta trailer.
    • The blue flame that Giga Torchwood prominently features references Torchwood's Plant Food ability.
    • An unknown Zomboss balloon that appeared in the trailer might be the Zombot Aerostatic Gondola, but different in shape.
    • Many of the maps in this game are all likely based on worlds from Plants vs. Zombies 2:
    • Jams appear again, but this time they are just music and sound effects.
      • They appear during activation of Party Time.
        • All except for the 8-Bit Jam, that is, which appears during activation of the Computer Scientist's Crunch Mode.
  • On PopCap's Facebook page, a user on the Electro Brainz preview posted a leaked picture that stated the game was going to have a beta from January 14th to the 18th. This was confirmed true a day later.
  • This is the first game in the series where plants actively attack zombies while zombies defend against attacking plants.
  • The returning Plant classes no longer blink when KO'd, while the returning Zombies no longer move their mouths when KO'd.
  • Unlike its predecessor, bosses will now flinch for a short second, leaving them vulnerable to attacks.
  • On PC, this is currently the only Plants vs. Zombies title to be protected by Denuvo Anti-Tamper, which makes the game extremely hard to pirate.
    • This is because most of the PC games copyrighted by Electronic Arts are also protected.
      • The first Garden Warfare game wasn't protected by Denuvo Anti-Tamper due to the game released before FIFA 15, the first game protected by Denuvo Anti-Tamper which also copyrighted by EA.
    • As of March 7, 2024, this is the only Plants vs. Zombies title to be protected by EA Anti-Cheat, an anti-cheat software developed by EA which previously used in FIFA 23, EA Sports FC 24 and Battlefield 2042, making this game the oldest title to be protected by EA Anti-Cheat.[3]
      • Said update also renders the game unplayable on Steam Deck.
  • The characters now pop out of the ground instead of appearing out of thin air when they respawn.