Plants Vs. Zombies – Trophy Guide

February 27, 2011 Written by Max Murray

If ever there were a game designed to make you fall in love with your worst enemy, this is it.

Plants Vs. Zombies has received tremendous acclaim and success that has resulted in multiple releases on practically every platform available. Rightfully so as it contains a unique charm that can win over any nay-sayer. It’s simple to pick up and play for a few minutes, or get sucked into for an entire weekend with its countless play modes and additional content. If you haven’t experienced PvZ, you’re missing out on a mountain of replay-ability, not to mention a main story that will keep you busy hour after hour. With so much to do and so many Zombies to kill, only our guide can help you maximize your time spent planting so you can walk away with a 100% trophy haul.

On your path to collect all of the trophies in PvZ, your first goal is to complete the main adventure/story mode. This will unlock the majority of the plants in the game, some additional content, and finely craft you into the ultimate zombie killing machine. The remaining content comes by means of purchases made to Crazy Dave. Step inside his lucrative store front (car’s trunk), and you can get your hands on some brand new plants, a few new tools to use in your yard, additional Zen Gardens, and even tricked out homes for your friends to check out in multiplayer. All said and done, you’re going to need a hefty sum of money to buy everything else the game has to offer. Check Master of Morticulture below for some money farming techniques.

Home Lawn Security (Gold) – Complete adventure mode

– Adventure mode takes you through 5 surrounding areas of your house, all of which become overrun with zombies at one point or another. On your first playthrough, make sure you experiment with each of the plant types; you’re really going to need to develop your own style or a system you feel comfortable with in order to tackle some of the more time consuming/expensive trophies later on.  Here are some basic strategies for each of the level types.

Front Yard

Front yard offers the most room to experiment. Go nuts; try the most unlikely combination of plants and see what works. If all else fails, here’s a tried and true configuration:

-2 rows of Sunflowers

-2 rows of Repeaters

-a row of Torchwood/Chompers

-a row of Wall/Tall-Nuts

-some Cherry bombs, Squash, and Jalapenos on reserve if things get hairy.

Front yard – Night

One thing you’ll soon notice is your nocturnal plants are often much weaker, but they also cost less too. Given that yards have a limited amount of planting space, it pays to invest in stronger plants rather than cheaper, so it’s a good idea to start with the Puff-shrooms and Scaredy-Shroom as you build up your capital and then switch them all out for something more powerful as you see fit. Also, since Puff-Shrooms are free, they are the ideal plant to throw in front of a wave of zombies to slow them down. You risk nothing, and it gives you more time to develop a better long-term solution.

-2 rows of Sun-Shrooms

– a row or two of Scaredy-Shrooms at first. Swap out with something heavier later like Repeaters or Melon-Pults

-a row of Fume-Shrooms, if necessary

-some Hypno-Shrooms for Dancers, Grave Busters, and Ice-Shrooms on reserve


The pool brings a lot more variety into the mix, as you’ll need to balance land and water attacks simultaneously. Often I try to keep my pool area consistent with the two sections of land, but a great strategy (especially in the beginning of each level when you aren’t experiencing as many water zombies) is to fill the middle with Star Fruit. They pretty much crowd control all on their own.  Just make sure you put up something in front of them, like a wall nut, since they are unable to shoot straight forward.

-2 rows of Sunflowers/Twin Sunflowers if you’ve unlocked them

-2 rows of Repeaters or Snow Peas (or 1/1)

-Tall-Nuts and Tangle Kelp will help out in the water, especially for Dolphin Riders.

-a line of Spike weed at the entrance, and keep some Jalapenos on standby if any Zombonis get by

Backyard – Night

Now it all comes together- shrooms, water, and fog. You’ll have a good system down by now, so use what you feel comfortable with.  Remember the Puff-Shroom strategy used in the first night level, and use the Sea-Shrooms similarly. They’re free, so put one up every time they recharge. Do not fear the fog- it’s common to want to place all your plants where you can see them, and then expand slowly towards the right, but instead try to plant these free guys inside the 5 and 6th space right from the beginning. They still attack, and they prevent you from scrambling to defend yourself if you wait to see the zombies before attacking. As for clearing the fog, use the Plantern instead of the Clover: it’s cheaper and permanent. Plus, if you place them correctly, you can light the entire map with just 2.

-2 rows of Sun-Shrooms

-a liberal handful of Puff-Shrooms and Sea-Shrooms in every open space. Expect them to be eaten so put them closer to the right.

-a row of Cactus/Split Peas depending on what Zombie types are attacking.

-2-4 Cat-tails if you have them

-Wall-Nuts, of course


The roof levels basically remove one of the plants from your normal repertoire since you’ll be forced to “plant” pots first. You should also notice the slanted roof makes the pea plants almost useless, so say hello to the Pult family. A great way to defend successfully on the roof is to start your Cabbage-Pults from as far left as possible, and move one row up at a time (this is opposed to the fog level strategy). Don’t be afraid to sacrifice pots right in front of incoming Zombies just to buy some time. Start reintroducing yourself to some of the original plants you’ve neglected over the past few water levels- Chompers and Potato Mines specifically.

-2 rows of Sunflowers/Twin Sunflowers once you get enough sunshine

-a row of Cabbage-Pults

-another row of Cabbage-Pults, or some Kernel-Pults.

-I usually skip the next row, and fill it in later with Chompers to defend a….

-a row of Star-Fruit. By this row, you can use whichever projectile plant you wish. I love Star-Fruit.

-a row of Tall/Wall nuts.

Smarty Branches (Bronze) – Grow the Tree of Wisdom to at least 100 feet

– The Tree of Wisdom can be bought from Dave’s store for $10,000, once you’ve unlocked the Zen garden. The tree starts as a sprout, and as you plant it, it gives you tips on the games, secret codes, and tricks to overcoming the harder scenarios you’ll encounter. Dave will start you out with 5 bags of Tree food, and in order to get the tree to 100 feet, you’ll need 100 bags of food. Each additional bag costs $2,500 so you’re looking to dish out $237,500 on the tree alone. For money farming tricks, check Master of Morticulture.

Crash of the Titan (Bronze) – Defeat your first Gargantuar

– Can’t be missed- You’ll find the first Gargantuar on the roof in level 5-8. If you’re having trouble, grab a cherry bomb or some jalapenos.

ZFF’s 4 Evr (Bronze) – Bowl a winner with a friend in Co-Op Wall-Nut Bowling

– Grab another controller and bowl yourself an easy trophy!

Soil Your Plants (Bronze) – Plant your first 10 peashooters

Congrats on your first trophy!

Explodonator (Bronze) – Blast 10 zombies at once with a Cherry Bomb!

– Go into a level with this trophy as your goal, and you shouldn’t have any problems. Place a few Wallnuts or Tallnuts in neighboring rows, wait until the zombies collect in front of them, and then blow em to pieces.

Close Shave (Bronze) – Survive the zombie onslaught after all lawnmowers have been used

– All you need to do for this one is let at least one zombie through in each row in order to activate all 5 of your lawn mowers, and then complete the level. An activated lawnmower runs over all zombies in the row, effectively giving you a little breathing room to rebuild and  prepare for the next wave. This first becomes available on level 1-3 once you have all 5 rows of grass to plant on.

If you’re having trouble, shoot for this trophy on one of the mini games, like Heavy Weapon or Wall-Nut bowling.

Shopaholic (Bronze) – Go trunk diving and spend at least $25,000 on Crazy Dave’s Twiddydinkies

– If you’re planning on 100% this trophy list, this one will be inevitable. Crazy Dave sells all sorts of odds and ends out of his car after you complete part of the campaign. Anything you buy, from additional plants, to Zen garden equipment/food, and additional homes will count towards this amount. For money farming techniques, see Master of Morticulture.

Master of Morticulture (Silver) – Collect all 49 plants in the game

– 40 of the plants will unlock during campaign- the additional 9 can be unlocked by purchasing the seeds from Crazy Dave’s trunk. Here’s a run down:

– Gatling Pea – $5,000
– Twin Sunflower – $5,000
– Gloom-Shroom – $7,500
– Cattail – $10,000
– Winter Melon – $10,000
– Gold Magnet – $3,000
– Spikerock – $7,500
– Cob Cannon – $20,000
– Imitator – $30,000

Money Farming

In most games where you complete routine tasks to gather money, you often collect and sell items or weapons, but given the very nature of this horticulture title, the “farming” you will be conducting to raise money will actually consist of real farm produce. Farming will only really be necessary for the trophies Smarty Branches, and Master of Morticulture. Plants Vs. Zombies has a few methods to raise money, some which can be exploited to speed up the process considerably. Here are some ideas:

-Planting Marigolds in the extra level Last Stand.

-Playing the Endless Survival level and collecting coins/diamonds

-Completing each puzzle level and mini game to earn a diamond ($1,000)

-Raising and selling plants within the Zen Garden.

Of these three methods, the one I believe yields the greatest amount of money with the least effort is the Zen Garden technique. The Zen Garden opens after you beat the game and gives you an area to raise plants that are dropped by Zombies. When you enter the garden, you’ll see your collection of plants, all waiting to be raised like a foliage-style tamagotchi. Plants can be sold to Dave at any time, however the longer you grow them, the more they’re worth. Give them fertilizer and water them when they need it, and soon they’ll reach their full potential. You’ll know they have hit maturity when they drop two diamonds after their final request for fertilizer. Fully developed plants in the main garden will sell back to Dave for $8,000, while those plants you raise in the Aquarium Garden and the Mushroom Garden will sell for $10,000. You’re guaranteed at least $10,000 from each plant you raise, so with just 10 plants, you can purchase every one of the additional plants Dave sells.

Say you find yourself too emotionally attached to sell this new family you’ve raised from wee sprouts, then rest assured knowing that fully grown plants drop coins and diamonds once every 30/60 seconds, giving you another option to make money. You can even purchase Stinky the snail for $3,000 to collect any money dropped by the plants. Before you swear to never part with your produce, there is a large flaw in the design which dates back to the titles PC origins: the window must be left open for the plants to generate money. You can imagine how in the background of your desktop this would make sense, but it doesn’t translate as well to a console.

The trick to the garden is finding plants to put in it. You’ll find regular plants on day-time levels, and your chances at finding aquatic and mushroom plants greatly increases as you play pool and night levels respectively. I filled my garden after working my way through the mini-games, but consistently, I gained 2 or 3 plants each time I played Wall-Nut Bowling 2. Zen garden plants are supposedly a random drop from Zombies, so logic follows that a level with more Zombies will give you more plants, in which case you should head over to Endless Survival and start collecting your pots.

Versus vs Versus (Silver) – Go on a 5 game winning streak in VS. mode

– Grab a friend and boost yourself to a shiny silver Trophy. Important to realize- this must be done all at once. Do not exit after a match until you get 5 wins in a row.

Nom Nom Nom (Silver) – Stop the horde using only the Sunflower, Wall-Nut, and Chomper on any level

– This trophy becomes available after level 1-8 when the Chomper is unlocked. Try to do this on the very next level, since the zombie hordes are still manageable. Since it is impossible to start a level with only 3 plants in your line-up, fill the remaining gaps with whichever you please, but make sure you don’t place them on accident.

My strategy on this was to work my way up to three rows of sunflowers, and just as many chompers in front. Despite what you may think, the Wall-Nuts are almost a disadvantage in this level. The best method is to eat any zombie as fast as possible since chompers need a good amount of time to swallow them before eating another. If you place a Wall-Nut in front of your chomper, you’ll inevitably build zombies up in front of it, and you won’t possibly be able to tackle all of them once they break through. With the three rows of Sunflowers, you should have plenty of money towards the end of the level, so planting chompers and removing them as soon as they’ve eaten becomes a great support strategy.

Alive and Planting (Silver) – Survive 40 waves of pure zombie ferocity

– This is certainly the hardest trophy on the list. To unlock this trophy, you will need to play Endless Survival mode, which you can unlock once you complete Adventure mode and unlock Survival mode. Make it through 40 grueling levels of zombie hordes, and the silver trophy is yours. As for HOW to do this, there are a few great strategies. Try it once or twice with your favorite line up, and try to measure where your short comings are. To make it through all 40 rounds, it is absolutely essential that you have unlocked the Twin Sunflowers, Watermelon-Pult, and Gloom-Shroom. The video below is just one strategy (albeit a very sound one) to get to level 40, and well beyond as you’ll see. It doesn’t show the beginning steps, but work towards what is shown if you’re having trouble, and sit back and relax.