Plants vs. Zombies

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
Plants vs. Zombies
Plants vs. Zombies cover
PopCap Games
Electronic Arts
PopCap Games Framework
Release dates
Windows May 5, 2009
macOS (OS X) May 5, 2009
Plants vs. Zombies guide on StrategyWiki
Plants vs. Zombies on MobyGames
Plants vs. Zombies on Wikipedia
Plants vs. Zombies
Plants vs. Zombies 2009
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2014
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 2016
Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville 2019

Key points

For Windows 8 and later use the low frame rate fix.

General information

Official website (archived)
Plants vs. Zombies Wikia
Steam Community Discussions


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
Regular and Game of the Year Edition. Requires a disc check every once in a while.
macOS (OS X)
Icon overlay.png
macOS (OS X)
Icon overlay.png
Game of the Year Edition. Included with Origin Access Basic.
macOS (OS X)
Icon overlay.png
Game of the Year Edition.
macOS (OS X)

Game data[edit]

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
Windows HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\PopCap\PlantsVsZombies\
macOS (OS X)
Linux (Proton) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/3590/pfx/[Note 1]

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Origin %PROGRAMDATA%/Popcap Games/PlantsVsZombies/userdata/
Steam <Steam-folder>/userdata/<user-id>/3590/remote/
macOS (OS X) ~/Library/Application Support/PopCap/PlantsVsZombiesMac/userdata/
Linux (Proton) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/3590/pfx/[Note 1]

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
Steam Cloud
Saves are not compatible between Windows and OS X versions, causing saves to become corrupted if used on the other platform.

Video settings[edit]

In-game options menu.
In-game options menu.
Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
Pillarboxed 800x600 only.
4K Ultra HD
Field of view (FOV)
Can also be toggled with Alt+ Enter.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Glitches if attempting to force.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Vertical sync (Vsync)
Set HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\PopCap\PlantsVsZombies\WaitForVSync to 1
60 FPS
For Windows 8 and later use the low frame rate fix.
120+ FPS
Frame rate is capped at 100 FPS.

Original Dancing Zombie[edit]

The design for the Dancing Zombie was changed shortly after the game's release; this fan patch restores the original design for those who prefer it.

Input settings[edit]

Keyboard and mouse State Notes
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Mouse acceleration
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.

Audio settings[edit]

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
Stereo only.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Fan translation, download.
Fan translation, download.
Fan translation, download.
Fan translation, download.
Fan translation, download.
Fan translation, download.
Fan translation, download.

Issues unresolved[edit]

Error reading user file: Failed reading file[edit]

This is an error that occurs when the save game data is corrupted, likely as a result of syncing saves between Windows and OS X and launching the game.
Save data must be deleted in order to launch the game again. Steam user ego100000 claims to be able to repair the saves in this situation.[1]

Issues fixed[edit]

BASS_ChannelSetAttributes function not found in bass.dll[edit]

Rename bass.dll[2][3][4]
  1. Rename any bass.dll file(s) found in these locations: %WINDIR%\, %WINDIR%\System32\ and %WINDIR%\SysWow64\
  2. If this causes issues with the program that installed bass.dll there, rename the file(s) back to bass.dll
Run the game in compatibility mode for Windows XP[citation needed]

Unable to load Steam.dll[edit]

Run the game in compatibility mode for Windows XP SP2, and as an administrator[citation needed]
Delete/rename Steam.dll[citation needed]
  1. Exit the Steam client.
  2. Go to the Steam installation folder.
  3. Delete or rename Steam.dll
  4. Launch the Steam client and let it update.

Invalid Command Line Parameter: -changedir[edit]

Add -changedir parameter[citation needed]
  1. Right-click the game in the Steam client and choose Properties.
  2. Click Set Launch Options and add -changedir
  3. Click OK to save the changes.

Low frame rate in fullscreen mode[edit]

This game has frame rate issues in fullscreen mode on Windows 8 and later.
Apply the low-framerate fix
  1. Download the low frame rate fix.
  2. Extract the files from the .zip into the <path-to-game>.
  3. Run the Install.bat as administrator to apply the fix.

Other information[edit]


Technical specs Supported Notes
DirectDraw 7
OS X only.
Software renderer
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes
macOS (OS X)


Middleware Notes
Audio BASS

System requirements[edit]

Operating system (OS) XP
Processor (CPU) 1.2 GHz
System memory (RAM) 512 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 65 MB
Video card (GPU) 128 MB of VRAM
DirectX 8 compatible
macOS (OS X)
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 10.4.11
Processor (CPU) 1.66 GHz Dual Core
System memory (RAM) 1 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 50 MB
Video card (GPU) 64 MB of VRAM


  1. 1.0 1.1 File/folder structure within this directory reflects the path(s) listed for Windows and/or Steam game data (use Wine regedit to access Windows registry paths). Games with Steam Cloud support may store data in ~/.steam/steam/userdata/<user-id>/3590/ in addition to or instead of this directory. The app ID (3590) may differ in some cases. Treat backslashes as forward slashes. See the glossary page for details.