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 Plants Vs Zombies Gold Farming Guide

Plants Vs Zombies Gold Farming Guide
| .-------------------------------------------------------------------------. |
| |                                                                         | |
| |    Plants Vs Zombies Gold Farming Guide v1.10                           | |
| |    by Curby                                       | |
| |                                                                         | |
| |    Copyright (C) 2009 Michael Lee, licensed under CC BY-ND 3.0          | |
| |                                                                         | |
| `-------------------------------------------------------------------------' |

|  000: Table of Contents                                                     |

To jump to a section, search for its section number followed by a colon instead
of a period.

000. Table of Contents

100. About the Guide

200. Game and Guide Introduction

300. Zen Garden
  310. Growing and Selling Marigolds
  320. Collecting Gold from Happy Plants

400. Last Stand
  410. Threats
  420. Destroying Zombies
  430. Defenses
  440. Marigold Field
  450. How to Use the Setup
  460. Alternate Build Order
  470. Alternate Setups

500. Survival Endless

|  100: About this Guide                                                      |

--- Availability --------------------------------------------------------------

You may have found this guide on the Internet or through email, which is fine.
Please know that the latest versions are always available for free from my own
domain [1] and GameFAQs [2].


--- Copyright and License -----------------------------------------------------

This guide is Copyright (C) 2009 Michael Lee, and released under the terms of
the Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives License [3].

This license gives you (and everyone else) my explicit approval to copy, email,
repost, etc. this guide as long as it remains unchanged and in whole (including
this copyright and license statement).  You can even sell it, though you cannot
remove the notice above that the latest versions are always available for free.

All trademarks used herein that are listed at [4] are owned by PopCap Games,
Inc. or its licensors and may be registered in some countries. Other company
and product names used herein may be trademarks of their respective owners and
are used for the benefit of those owners.


--- Searching -----------------------------------------------------------------

To jump to a section, type its number as listed in the table of contents, fol-
lowed by the colon symbol.  If there were a section numbered 1064, you'd search
for "1064:" without the quotation marks.

--- Links ---------------------------------------------------------------------

URLs are often too long to place in-line with the main text, so they will be
placed at the end of each section as footnotes.  For example, see the links in
the Copyright section above.

|  200: Game and Guide Introduction                                           |

Plants Vs Zombies [5] is a tower defense [6] game in which you defend your
house from a horde of zombies by placing plants in areas around your house.

This guide describes gold farming strategies for easily earning money after
completing the main game modes.  Gold is then used to buy items from Crazy Dave
and earn a Golden Trophy.  For a more general walkthrough and game guide, see
my guide posted on GameFAQs [7].


|  300: Zen Garden                                                            |

The Zen Garden is unlocked in stage five of the Adventure Mode.  You can use
the garden to collect and grow plants, and also to earn money in two ways.

--- 310: Growing and Selling Marigolds ----------------------------------------

Every day, Crazy Dave stocks three potted Marigolds and sells them for $2,500
each.  Plants in the garden start as sprouts, but can be grown with water and
fertilizer.  They will go through the stages of sprout, young plant, medium
plant, and mature plant.  Mature Marigolds can be sold for $3,000 each.

While it takes fertilizer to grow plants, each stage of development grants you
a reward, culminating in a Diamond for reaching adulthood.  These bonuses along
with the profit of $500 per plant allows you to earn some cash without playing
the game's combat levels.

--- 320: Collecting Gold from Happy Plants ------------------------------------

If you're leaving the computer unattended for a while, you can also earn money
from happy plants.  Making happy plants is similar to growing them, but instead
of fertilizer they want music from a phonograph or a spritz of bug spray. Both
the phonograph and bug spray can be purchased from Crazy Dave.  When a plant is
satisfied, its base will be glowing and it will produce coins for about a day.

Once you make your plants happy, you still need to collect the coins.  Doing so
manually is rather dull, so we enlist the help of Stinky the Snail.  You can
purchase Stinky the Snail from Crazy Dave for $5,000.  Stinky helps out in the
garden by collecting the coins that drop from growing plants and happy mature
plants.  Unfortunately he falls asleep after a couple of minutes, so you need
to feed him chocolate to keep him awake and working.  Chocolate is a reward
item that occasionally drops from Zombies in the other game modes.  Once fed,
Stinky will work for about an hour, collecting coins from your happy plants.

|  400: Last Stand                                                            |

Last Stand is the 16th Mini-Game and is unlocked after completing Adventure
Mode and thirteen other Mini-Games.

In Last Stand, you are given 5000 sun to defend the back yard and pool against
5 waves of Zombies (5 flags).  After every wave you get 250 sun to repair and
bolster your defenses.  However, you don't get sun from the sky and you cannot
use sun-generating plants.

This Mini-Game is popular for gold farming because you only need to set it up
once and let it run almost completely unattended.  Because of the extra inter-
activity required, the rewards are greater as well.  A single game of Last
Stand can net upwards of $10,000.  The key to earning money in Last Stand is
creating efficient, compact defenses at the front lines so you can use the left
side for gold farming with Marigolds and Gold Magnets.

There is a balance between sturdier defenses and a larger Marigold field.  Both
require physical space on the field, so you will need to consider your priori-
ties.  In the beginning, when you have fewer slots in your seed tray, you may
wish to use a more conservative strategy.  The rest of this guide assumes you
are in the later stages of the game and have access to the full 10 slots.

--- 410: Threats --------------------------------------------------------------

There are four main classes of threats to consider.

Hordes of Zombies - Buckethead, Screen Door, Newspaper, Football, etc.
Vaulting Zombies - Pole Vaulting and Dolphing Rider
Jack-in-the-Box Zombies - the biggest threat to your compact defenses
Resurfacing Zombies - require defenses in the water in columns 6-9

--- 420: Destroying Zombies ---------------------------------------------------

In order to leave room for a large Marigold field, we need to kill as many
Zombies as possible with few spaces on the field.  First of all, we'll use the
Gloom-shroom exclusively for attacking.  Each Gloom-shroom can cover a 3x3
area, so you'll need fewer plants to defend a full six rows.  Also, the fast
attack speed and ability to hit every Zombie in a group all at once makes it by
far the most efficient attacker.  Though some people use three pairs of Gloom-
shrooms, appropriate defenses will allow you to scale down to two pairs and
leave more room to the left for Marigolds.

The most effective defense for Gloom-shrooms themselves is Garlic.  It forces
Zombies into the first and last rows of the field, where they walk along while
constantly taking damage.  However, Pole Vaulting Zombies can jump over one
Garlic, so some players use a second column of them:

         .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .                Symbol Legend
         .  .  .  .  .  G  G  g  g                  .  Open Land
         _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _                  _  Open Water
         _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _                  G  Gloom-shroom
         .  .  .  .  .  G  G  g  g                  g  Garlic
         .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

Unfortunately, this is a horrible waste of space.  We want every area of the
field to be used for either making money or killing Zombies.  An extra column
of Garlic pushes your defenses to the left, making your Marigold field smaller.
Additionally, the 3x3 range of the Gloom-shrooms cannot reach the very right of
the above diagram, meaning Zombies are free to wander.  Instead of using up an
entire column to defend against the reasonably small number of Pole Vaulters,
we'll use Pumpkins instead.  This has the additional benefit of providing some
buffer if your Garlic gets eaten up and a few Zombies make it to your first

  Step 1: Attack and Redirection

         .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .                Symbol Legend
         .  .  .  .  .  .  G [G] g                  .  Open Land
         _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _                  _  Open Water
         _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _                  G  Gloom-shroom
         .  .  .  .  .  .  G [G] g                  g  Garlic
         .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .                 [ ] Pumpkin

Now with just six slots filled, we've secured the entire field against most
Zombies, and rows 2 and 5 against Pole Vaulters.  We'll now tackle other rows,
other threats, and particularly tough Zombies that make it beyond column 7.

--- 430: Defenses -------------------------------------------------------------

There are two options to stall jumping Zombies.  The first is to use pairs of
Pumpkins, and the other is to use Tall-nuts.  Tall-nuts are very sturdy, but
Pumpkins allow you to use the slot for both defense and other uses, be it
Magnet-shrooms, Marigolds, etc.  Unfortunately, each dual purpose slot takes
more sun to set up, and we only have 6000 total sun to work with throughout the
5 waves.  For this reason, we set up a system of hybrid defenses.  Since our
defenses are so compact, we are particularly vulnerable to Jack-in-the-box
Zombies and heavily-armored Zombies such as Buckethead Zombies.  For this
reason, we'll also employ Magnet-shrooms to weaken these threats.

  Step 2: Defense

         .  .  .  .  . [.][u] .  .   Symbol Legend
         .  .  .  .  .  u  G [G] g     .  Open Land      T  Tall-nut
         _  _  _  _  _ [.] T  _  _     _  Open Water     u  Magnet-shroom
         _  _  _  _  _ [.] T  _  _     G  Gloom-shroom
         .  .  .  .  .  u  G [G] g     g  Garlic
         .  .  .  .  . [.][u] .  .    [ ] Pumpkin

We have just answered every threat on the field using little over 3 columns of
defenses (there are still 4 usable spaces in column 6).

Some inevitable questions:

1) What if the Magnet-shrooms are occupied when Jack-in-the-box Zombies appear?

   In the interest of keeping a wide open field for Marigolds, we must make
   some concessions.  In play-testing, Jack-in-the-box Zombies can sometimes
   ruin your day, but the 4 Magnet-shrooms take care of most situations.

2) Why do you have Tall-nuts in front of Pumpkins in the water?

   During the flag waves, Zombies will resurface in the last four columns, so
   they could appear behind the Tall-nuts in column 7.  The Pumpkins exist to
   stall such Zombies within the Gloom-shrooms' area of effect.

3) Why not move the Tall-nuts back to catch all of the resurfacing Zombies?

   That will certainly work, but this setup gives two more open slots in
   column 6 for Marigolds.  Additionally, by keeping Zombies in column 7, all
   Gloom-shrooms can damage Zombies that reach the Tall-nuts.

4) Ok then, why not replace the Tallnuts in column 7 with more Magnets or
   Marigolds inside Pumpkins?

   In my testing, defenses in rows 3 and 4 consistently received more damage
   than those in 1 or 6.  When I tried 4 Pumpkins in the water, I was having to
   constantly replace the Pumpkins there.  The Tall-nuts not only absorb more
   damage, but they also protect the column 6 Pumpkins from jumpers, so they
   should not need to be replaced.

   Plus, there's simply too little sun available in the level to regenerate the
   Garlics, replace so many Pumpkins, and plant 34 Marigolds.

5) Why don't you use Tall-nuts for your land defenses?

   Pumpkins are sufficient defense in both games, meaning they won't need to be
   replaced.  As long as we don't need anything stronger, we might as well use
   Pumpkins and use the space for another purpose.  I use Magnet-shrooms there
   as they provide an additional benefit.  Magnet-shrooms in the 7th column can
   grab some Jack-in-the-boxes before thy explode.  If the Magnet-shrooms were
   in column 6 behind Wall-nuts, the Zombies would be able to walk (and perhaps
   explode) before being within range of the Magnet-shrooms.

--- 440: Marigold Field -------------------------------------------------------

Now that we have defenses taken care of, we can plant Marigolds and Gold
Magnets in the remaining space.  Here's how it looks when we start the game:

  Step 3: Profit!

         M  M  M  M  M [M][u] .  .   Symbol Legend
         M  M  M  M  U  u  G [G] g     .  Open Land      T  Tall-nut
         _  _  _  M  M [M] T  _  _     _  Open Water     u  Magnet-shroom
         _  _  _  @  M [M] T  _  _     G  Gloom-shroom   U  Gold Magnet
         M  M  M  M  U  u  G [G] g     g  Garlic         @  Open Lily Pad
         M  M  M  M  M [M][u] .  .    [ ] Pumpkin        M  Marigold

Note that the Gold Magnets are placed in the center column so they can collect
coins from Zombies as well as from Marigolds.  They have a range of roughly 4.

--- 450: How to Use the Setup -------------------------------------------------

First you'll need to choose your 10 plants: Lily Pad, Marigold, Magnet-shroom,
Gold Magnet, Coffee Bean, Fume-shroom, Gloom-shroom, Tall-nut, Pumpkin, Garlic.

Then build the setup shown in the step 3 diagram above and start the game.

After the first flag, plant 4 more Lily Pads and 3 more Marigolds.  After the
second, you can plant 2 more Lily Pads, 2 more Marigolds, and replace your
Garlics.  After the third, you can plant your last 2 Marigolds and replace your
Garlics, leaving 50 sun floating.  For the last segment, you'll have 200 sun
left after replacing your Garlics, so you can replace a Tall-nut or Pumpkin if
it's compromised.  The final field after 5 flags is shown below:

  Last Stand Final Layout

         M  M  M  M  M [M][u] .  .   Symbol Legend
         M  M  M  M  U  u  G [G] g     .  Open Land      T  Tall-nut
         M  M  M  M  M [M] T  _  _     _  Open Water     u  Magnet-shroom
         M  M  M  M  M [M] T  _  _     G  Gloom-shroom   U  Gold Magnet
         M  M  M  M  U  u  G [G] g     g  Garlic         M  Marigold
         M  M  M  M  M [M][u] .  .    [ ] Pumpkin

--- 460: Alternate Build Order ------------------------------------------------

As I mentioned above, this Mini-Game makes you choose between higher income and
greater safety.  If you wanted to take this build in a riskier direction, you
can start with a full Marigold field and gradually build up your defenses.  The
inital setup is:

  Last Stand Alternate Initial

         M  M  M  M  M [M][z] .  .   Symbol Legend
         M  M  M  M  U     G [G] g     .  Open Land      T  Tall-nut
         M  M  M  M  M [M] T  _  _     _  Open Water     z  Sleeping
         M  M  M  M  M [M] T  _  _     G  Gloom-shroom      Magnet-shroom
         M  M  M  M  U     G [G] g     g  Garlic         U  Gold Magnet
         M  M  M  M  M [M][z] .  .    [ ] Pumpkin        M  Marigold

After the first flag, wake up the Magnet-shrooms, leaving 100 sun free.  After
the second, plant and wake a Magnet-shroom in row 2 or 4, depending on which
side has taken more damage.  Also, replace the Garlics.  After the third flag,
replace Garlics and plant the last Magnet-shroom.  If necessary, replace a
Pumpkin.  After the fourth flag, wake the last Magnet-shroom and replace the
Garlics again.  As a middle-ground between these extremes, you could start with
three fewer Marigolds and two awake Magnet-shrooms.

--- 470: Alternate Setups -----------------------------------------------------

It seems that two Gold Magnets can barely keep up with 32 Marigolds, and some
coins will disappear before they can be collected.  For a 30-Marigold build
that can almost be completed with the initial 5000 sun, try this:

  Last Stand 30-Marigold Layout

         M  M  M  M  M [M][u] .  .   Symbol Legend
         M  M  M  M  U  u  G [G] g     .  Open Land      T  Tall-nut
         M  M  M  M  M  T  _  _  _     _  Open Water     u  Magnet-shroom
         M  M  M  M  M  T  _  _  _     G  Gloom-shroom   U  Gold Magnet
         M  M  M  M  U  u  G [G] g     g  Garlic         M  Marigold
         M  M  M  M  M [M][u] .  .    [ ] Pumpkin

You start with everything but two Marigolds, which are planted after the first
flag.  You only need to replace Garlics three times, meaning you have 600 sun
to repair damaged Tall-nuts and Pumpkins.

|  500: Survival Endless                                                      |

Survival Endless is the eleventh level of the Survival mode, unlocked after
completing Adventure mode and the other Survival mode levels.

In Survival Endless, you try to survive as many increasingly-difficult waves of
Zombies as possible.  Since the types of enemies you'll face in this mode vary
wildly, it is less appealing for gold farming.  However, this mode can drop all
types of plants for your Zen Garden, and plants acquired from levels can be
sold to Crazy Dave for 8000 or more.

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