Plants vs. Zombies

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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
Metacritic 87
Microtransactions None
Modes Singleplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives Bird's-eye view
Controls Point and select
Genres Tower defense
Art styles Cartoon
Themes Fantasy, Zombies
Series Plants vs. Zombies
Plants vs. Zombies on HowLongToBeat
Plants vs. Zombies on IGDB
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


The macOS (OS X) version of this game does not work on macOS Catalina (version 10.15) or later due to the removal of support for 32-bit-only apps.

Key points

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

General information

Official website (archived)
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)
macOS (OS X)
Game of the Year Edition. Included with EA Play.
macOS (OS X)
Icon overlay.png
Game of the Year Edition. Included with EA Play (Steam).
macOS (OS X)

Game data[edit]

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

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

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Windows %PROGRAMDATA%/PopCap Games/PlantsVsZombies/userdata/[Note 2]
Origin %PROGRAMDATA%/PopCap Games/PlantsVsZombies/userdata/
Steam <Steam-folder>/userdata/<user-id>/3590/remote/
macOS (OS X) ~/Library/Application Support/PopCap/PlantsVsZombiesMac/userdata/
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/3590/pfx/[Note 1]
Use pvz converter to convert saves between Windows and OS X versions.

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
Steam Cloud


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
See Borderless fullscreen windowed.
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.

Borderless fullscreen windowed[edit]

The low frame rate fix isn't needed with dgVoodoo; if applicable, you should uninstall the low frame rate fix first.
Use borderless hack[1]
  1. Download dgVoodoo 2 (v2.73 or later).
  2. Copy dgVoodoo.conf, dgVoodooCpl.exe, \MS\x86\D3DImm.dll, and \MS\x86\DDraw.dll to <path-to-game>.
  3. Open dgVoodoo.conf with a text editor.
  4. Find FullscreenAttributes = under [GeneralExt].
  5. Append fake to it, so it looks like FullscreenAttributes = fake.
  6. Change DisableAltEnterToToggleScreenMode = true to DisableAltEnterToToggleScreenMode = false under [DirectX].
  7. Save changes. The game should run in borderless fullscreen now.
  8. If the game doesn't run in borderless fullscreen run it in Windows XP (Service Pack 2) compatibility mode.


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 feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
Stereo only.
All in-game dialogues are mumbling and always subtitled. The music video played at the end of the game has English voice acting and its lyrics is always displayed.
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.
Brazilian Portuguese
Fan translation, download.

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]

Verify integrity of game cache[citation needed]
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.
Install dgVoodoo 2[1]
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.

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.
Use pvz converter to convert saves[5]

Other information[edit]


Technical specs Supported Notes
DirectDraw 7
OS X only.
Software renderer
ExecutablePPC 32-bit 64-bit Notes
macOS (OS X)
This 32-bit-only macOS game does not work on macOS Catalina (10.15) or later.


Middleware Notes
Audio BASS

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.

Cosmetic-based tweaks[edit]

Type these during gameplay[6]
Cheat Description
pinata Showers candy when a zombie dies
trickedout Alternate lawn mower appearance
future Gives zombies futuristic shades
dance Makes the zombies dance
sukhbir Toggles the zombie's "call for brains" sound
daisies Zombies leave small daisies behind when killed
mustache Zombies now have mustaches

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.
  2. When running this game without elevated privileges (Run as administrator option), write operations against a location below %PROGRAMFILES%, %PROGRAMDATA%, or %WINDIR% might be redirected to %LOCALAPPDATA%\VirtualStore on Windows Vista and later (more details).