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How to get rich and destroy your enemies in Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2

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Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 is a deceptively simple shooter — but that doesn't mean it's simplistic. Instead, PopCap Games pits its flora against undead fauna in a game that, as we said in our review, mixes "casual, cartoon aesthetics with a hardcore, team-based multiplayer shooter."

This guide will teach you how to maximize your potential in two ways. First, you'll learn about three strategies for earning coins and buying the sticker packs worth your investment. Then we'll teach you about picking classes. That section details the strengths, weaknesses and best strategies for each of the titular Plants and Zombies.

Table of contents

EARNING COINS
AND BUYING STICKER PACKS

Don't stress about earning coins in Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2. You'll earn them as you play the sequel faster than you could have in the original.

You'll use coins to purchase sticker packs. Those provide players with all sorts of goodies like new characters, cosmetic items and consumables.

How should you spend your allowance, buying the best sticker packs and avoiding the rip-offs? We're glad you asked. There are three philosophies — casual, cosmetic, and hardcore — and your goals will determine which path you should take.

Finally, solo players looking to fill their wallets should check out our tip about about the sewers.

Casual

Who should use it

Micro is ideal for the casual player who usually spends their time roaming around in the core sandbox, doing occasional missions and perhaps a side of Garden Ops every so often.

Strategies

Your main objective is to acquire a modest amount of coins to use for the first pack, Minions Booster, which contains offensive and defensive consumables.

You can use Boosters in nearly every game mode, and they provide a small advantage to either team. When you're tasked with invading enemy encampments, use them to summon advancing attackers. On defense, use them to sprout turrets.

Completing missions tends to yield a small coin increase. Winning grants bigger bonuses, and failing before you reach the final wave is often directly tied to the amount of consumables you've used.

Keep a sharp eye on your potted plants or zombie robots. Expending too many and placing more onto the battlefield will cut into your bottom line.

Recommended characters

Use the Sunflower and Scientist because they can heal those valuable resources and help cut down your costs.

Cosmetic

Who should use it

The mid style is a tad less rewarding than your other options — unless you're really big into cosmetic rewards.

Strategies

Stick with mid-tier items like the Wondrous Pack of Greatness (pictured above) if you're looking for cosmetic rewards.

This isn't an efficient strategy for powerful upgrades, though. You'll end up with a lot of cosmetic choices and nothing substantial. For example, buying a mid-tier item like Wondrous, Fertilizer or Brainz pack equals out to roughly two-fifths of a Phenomenal pack, which isn't an ideal exchange rate.

Spending a lot on mid-tier items will also result in less cashflow to spend on consumables. That, in turn, will ensure that solo modes will be more difficult. Your rewards will decline, and you won't have enough to spend on consumables.

This is a budget-conscious path, and you need to be careful with your money. Never buy Helpful Fun packs. They only provide cosmetics, and they cost three times as much as a Minions pack for the same amount of consumables.

Recommended characters

Any class can wrack up enough points to earn mid-tier rewards.

Hardcore

Who should use it

The macro style is for players who want to work a little harder but unlock more content. It's all about maximum spending for maximum rewards.

Strategies

Macro is designed for for top tier purchases at the 75,000 Phenomenal level. Each purchase will ensure that you get another subclass. Instead of acquiring new character parts piecemeal, you'll get every single part you need and unlock it instantly.

Saving up for this level of purchases isn't as time-consuming as you might think. It's efficient to play online, catering your playstyle and class choices to the available quests and switching sides as applicable. You can complete these against bots, if you wish. Before you know it, your cup will runneth over with new characters to choose from, which can increase your efficiency even further.

Recommended characters

Heavy damage characters like the Imp and the Chomper will earn you more coins for your kills. It's important to help out your team when needed, but for bot matches, dealing more damage will end the game quicker.

Solo players should head to the sewers

Going to the sewers (located in the middle of the main Backyard Battleground hub) will also grant you a snow globe hunting quest, which pays 500 coins per globe. It's the easiest kickstart for solo players in the game.

If you played the original, go to the mailbox immediately in either base and import your prior account. This will not only grant you currency bonuses, but will also bring over any rankings you have acquired from the first game.

PICKING CLASSES

In this section, we'll teach you about each character in Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2Plants and Zombies — including their strengths and weaknesses, an overview of their weapons and strategies for success.

Plants

Cactus

Role

As a straightforward sniper, the Cactus follows a typical shooter archetype.

Weapons and strategies

Use a Cactus at the start of progression-based maps. Those areas tend to be more open and vast, allowing you to take advantage of its superior range. This goes double for the Potato Mine, which you can place on objectives right away, something most enemies won't expect.

The Cactus is great on defense, to, thanks to the Tallnut Battlement power. Similar to the All-Star's shield, it acts as an instant defense system in a pinch. In Garden Warfare 2 the Cactus is a tad less effective than it was in the original. Other classes now have scout potential, like Deadbeard's parrot.

When in doubt, place a mine. Placing a Potato Mine or a Potato Nugget Mine near objectives is an obvious choice, but using mines on chokepoints and tunnels where there's no other alternative route will net you more kills. A more active playstyle with the Cactus will yield good results.

Weaknesses

Like most snipers, the Cactus does not do well when confronted. Stick to high ground.

Citron

Role

Citron is one of the safer picks on either side because he has mobility and lots of health.

Weapons and strategies

His morph ball gives him tons of mobility. His health pool and his shield (which can block fire for teammates as well, if they rally behind him) make him great for defense, too. His primary role is to serve as a tank or distraction.

His actual firepower isn't all that impressive. Focus on lighter targets like Rose or Sunflower first. He does very well against the Imp's mech. Citron's EMPeach will shut it down. Use that tactic while communicating with your team, so everyone can focus fire on it.

Weaknesses

To counter Citron, enemies will want to find a way to get behind it or attack its sides, where the shield isn't deployed. It's a bit hard to do so, because his ability to instantly move around in ball form can make him rather slippery.

Kernel Corn

Role

Kernel Corn is an odd character who will only suit specific players that are willing to learn the nuances of his balanced loadout. He has an answer for nearly everything, but every ability needs to be aimed with surgical precision.

Weapons and strategies

Like the Soldier, he can also jump before using his leap power for additional height. Use that to escape melee classes like the Chomper, as they cannot possibly pursue you.

Aim his rocket carefully before it launches, or you'll miss the target. His Matrix-esque high jump can be a really great escape tool if your enemy isn't expecting it, but again, you need to line up your sights perfectly to really pull off the maximum amount of hits possible and ensure that your foe isn't just going to readjust their aim and take you out when you fall.

The same goes for Butter Barrage, Kernel Corn's air strike ability. If you throw it haphazardly, an opposing team will just walk out of the way and let the rest of its clock run down. Place it at chokepoints — or better yet, on top of objectives — to ensure peak efficiency.

When you're fighting in indoor arenas, keep an eye out for holes in the ceiling. The Butter Barrage air strike will still work in those zones.

Weaknesses

Kernel Corn has great power — but only if you can aim it well.

Chomper

Role

The team brute, ideal for players who want spend their time fighting.

Weapons and strategies

The Chomper thrives in close quarters combat, and any time spent not engaging as a Chomper is wasted.

His core power is to chomp up enemies instantly from behind, but he has a few tricks up his sleeve. Use the Spikeweed to ensnare enemies. Instead of using them in isolated areas, where it's reduced to a stalling tactic, place them in more open areas. As your enemies dangle, your teammates can take advantage.

Weaknesses

Maps with lots of vertical vantage points such as Lunar Landing and Moon Base Z are terrible for the Chomper, as it's nigh impossible to ascend and counter them. Since most characters now have some sort of added mobility, it's even easier to get out of harm's way and lay down some fire. Play carefully as a Chomper, surgically choosing your battles to cater to one-on-one affairs. If you're seen and there isn't cover nearby, it's basically lights out.

Peashooter

Role

The easiest character to use on the plant side.

Weapons and strategies

He sports steady, powerful shots that cause splash damage, so they don't have to be exact. The Chili Bean Bomb is killer for laying down concentrated fire on objectives. This is applicable on offense and defense. A strong barrage of covering fire will knock almost any class outside of an objective ring. Against multiple Peashooters, no class will be able to withstand the heat for long.

Peashooter is also one of the most mobile characters in the game, thanks to the Hyper power. The Peashooter can reach heights that nearly no other class can. Try using both the Bean Bomb and the extended Hyper leap in tandem to deliver an aerial payload, then use the rest of your Hyper cooldown to find a safe haven.

Mobility is the Peashooters biggest ally. Saving a Hyper power to react to a bad situation or a surprise attack can save your life.

Use the Pea Gatling gun when players have the high ground. It does a surprising amount of damage, so try using it to blow up crates and the like without fear of reprisal.

Weaknesses

If anyone catches wind of your gatling stance, it's probably the end for your Peashooter.

The Peashooter is a prime example of a jack of all trades, master of none. This class can't make great pushes like the Chompers can, and too many Peashooters can result in a lack of tactical diversity, which could cause problems when taking objectives or dealing with different enemy classes.

Rose

Role

Rose fits the fragile caster playstyle, as a character who packs a ton of support abilities but not much health.

Weapons and strategies

Stick to the outside of the battlefield. Learn to recognize what enemy players are earning the most kills in any given match, and take them out.

Her key strategy is to polymorph or shape-shift high priority targets into goats, rendering them useless while a larger firefight plays out and your team has the advantage. Characters like an aggressive Super Brainz, for example, or a heal-happy Scientist, are perfect targets — especially if the enemy is employing several of them.

Using her teleport ability as an offensive option is appealing, but it's also important to save it as a getaway. Float toward a teammate while teleporting. Enemies will often pursue a vulnerable Rose, leading them into a trap. For times when you absolutely need to run in to save an objective, using the area-of-effect Time Snare ability is ideal. Otherwise, focus on your other abilities to dole out actual damage.

Weaknesses

The term glass cannon suits her well, so don't charge into the fray or dawdle on the front line. Instead, adopt a more tactical viewpoint and approach to battles.

Sunflower

Role

Everyone needs at least one Sunflower — that's how essential they are. If you don't see one, try to help out your side and do your part to heal the group.

Weapons and strategies

Without at least one Sunflower, defensive teams will slowly be overcome as they guard objectives, or they'll run out of steam before they can take them on offense. Garden Warfare 2 allows for a small amount of natural health regeneration, but against an aggressive team, it won't amount to much as constant fire stalls it. Use the Sunflower to heal faster than the game will.

Unlike the Scientist, you actually want to be in the action constantly. Sunflowers can deploy a self-healing plant that perpetually doles out health pickups. It's easy to drop on a whim both in high traffic zones or just to heal yourself after taking a few sniper hits.

Like its Scientist counterpart, the Sunflower can also heal potted plant defenses or NPC plants. It gives the class a more active playstyle, so pay particular attention to NPCs. They have a health meter above them, which is only visible to healer classes. Use those to determine what needs your attention.

Weaknesses

Note that while the Heal Beam and Heal Flower are effective, the Sunbeam isn't a great ability. Use it sparingly. It doesn't do much damage, and it leaves players completely vulnerable. Also, while it's easy to drop a pot and save yourself, getting caught off guard without it during cooldown will likely spell instant doom.

Zombies

All-Star

Role

The All-Star is the perfect beginner pick.

Weapons and strategies

On offense, the All-Star's cooldown-based gun, the Football Cannon, has an unlimited clip and is effective at any range. He's a good counter for close-quarters plants, so use his rush moves — Sprint Tackle and Ultra Tackle — to engage or run away. Use his bomb-like Imp Punt bomb to scare away opponents.

On defense, use his Dummy Shield to save you and a teammate, particularly when you're inside of an objective. When you're far away fighting Cacti, use the shield to duck in and out of cover and get a more precise line of sight.

Weaknesses

The All-Star's downfall is his complete lack of maneuverability. If your enemy can get to high ground, you'll need to rely on your teammates, which hinders your efficiency. Try to look up often and immediately dash out of harm's way with Sprint Tackle or spring a Dummy Shield or Shield Decoy at the first sign of trouble.

Captain Deadbeard

Role

The good captain is the wild card of the game whose aggressive style can excel in low ranked games. That can be tough for new players to adjust to, though.

Weapons and strategies

Captain Deadbeard's primary job is to take down as many enemies as possible, so use his Barrel Blast for multi-kills. It's harder to pull off in a simple deathmatch, but if enemies congregate around an area, ignite the fuse early and run around from a corner to take down as many people as you can. It's a very high-risk, high-reward playstyle that isn't for everyone, but this approach will work on nearly every map.

He can push bases on offense like a general. Try to forge your way to higher ground with brute force jumping. Pace your Cannon Rodeo ability on high ground and target as many enemies as possible.

He's also a good character to use while on voice chat, when communicating with your teammates. Use his Parrot Pal ability to determine where enemies are coming from and tell your teammates. Just be sure to use it in a safe place. It leaves you vulnerable like killstreaks in Call of Duty.

Weaknesses

Captain Deadbeard is slow as molasses.

Engineer

Role

Engineers are a niche class, but they excel at countering specific plant types like the beefy Chomper, thanks to their default Concrete Launcher.

Weapons and strategies

Engineers are surprisingly resilient. They can take a beating, but they aren't as effective at most roles (for example, the Foot Soldier has more mobility, the All-Star is tougher). They're a great defense against enemy Chompers, perhaps more than any other class combination. If the enemy team has too many Chompers, deploy a few Engineers and use the Sonic Grenade to force them out of the ground.

Weaknesses

Outside of using the Jackhammer occasionally to gain a quick burst of speed, Engineers are woefully slow. Unless the opposing side is using a ton of Chompers, stick to one or two Engineers, mostly because their strengths are limited, and other classes do everything they do, but better.

Foot Soldier

Role

Like the Peashooter for the plants, the Foot Soldier is the most well-rounded class the zombies have. He's a safe choice, too, because he can adapt to nearly every situation. In other words, if you're completely unsure about who to pick, go with the Foot Soldier.

Weapons and strategies

He has mobility with the Rocket Jump (a jetpack boost that you can trigger after jumping), firepower with rockets and area control with poison grenades. The rocket takes time to prime, so it's best to use on stationary targets like Sunflowers or Peashooters that are grounded by their abilities. It's also great when enemies are trying to take or defend objectives inside of the target zone.

There's no need to go up close and personal if you're on defense. The range of your standard rifle and rockets are enough to stay out of harm's way.

Weaknesses

The Foot Soldier's only real weakness is that he needs other classes to make a balanced team. Too many Foot Soldiers will result in a lack of team synergy — the advantage you get for entering battles with different classes — and you'll have too much trouble with objectives because your overall health pool isn't as great as a more diverse team.

Imp

Role

The Imp seems scrawny at first, but the power to call in a mighty mech every so often makes him the most formidable Zombie in the game.

Weapons and strategies

Although players will likely want to use the Robo Call mech ability at the perfect time, saving it can be a burden. Use it in situations where you can engage multiple enemies. It's also great at any point where enemies will keep flowing in, like spawn points or objectives. Don't wait too long, though. If you do, you can potentially used, cooled down and used another Robo Call while you were waiting.

Though it's tempting, avoid using the mech during those few moments where you're about to capture a point on offense. Ideally, you can recover your cooldown on your way to the next objective.

Blowing all of your cooldowns before using the Robo Call is also a viable way to make the most of your weaker form.

Weaknesses

Outside of his mech, the Imp is the most fragile unit in the game. You're always a prime target because of your low health pool, so lean on teammates for defense. Stick to cover and use the element of surprise as often as possible.

Use your Impakata ability to engage ranged enemies like Cacti with 100 shots from your Imp Blaster. It's also usseful as a last resort, when you can do as much damage as possible before your untimely death.

Scientist

Role

The core healer of the Zombie army whose teleportation abilities favor aggressive play.

Weapons and strategies

Use his Warp and Energy Warp abilities to get into confrontations and heal your teammates. While it's important to stay alive, saving their cooldowns to heal multiple teammates that are attempting to grab an objective — and dying in the act — is a worthwhile tradeoff.

Like the Sunflower, you can also heal your stationary zombie bots and even non-playable characters in the Backyard Battleground. If you're playing co-op, having one Scientist in the mix is a good idea, especially for Garden Ops, where your resources and respawns are limited.

Weaknesses

Scientists have little in the way of offensive capabilities. This class' main close-range gun, the Goo Blaster, isn't ideal in most situations, and enemies can easily counter a Sticky Explody Ball.

Super Brainz

Role

The Superman-esque Super Brainz is another tough character to play, but he's perfect for getting into the thick of non-deathmatch gametypes like Gardens & Graveyards.

Weapons and strategies

Super Brainz can leap high into the air without using a cooldown or special ability. That makes him perfect for hunting down pesky Cactus snipers. He's also a good counter to teams with a heavy amount of Peashooters or Kernels, which can leap to high ground with ease.

If you find that your teammates aggressive on offense, consider Super Brainz, especially in close quarters maps like Great White North, which doesn't have a lot of open, outdoor arenas.

Weaknesses

Super Brainz is easy to catch in open areas, where his lack of range leaves him without counters. Weave in and out of cover at all times to prevent this from happening. If there's an awning or a corridor, use it to your advantage.