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Plants vs. Zombies

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
Plants vs. Zombies
Plants vs. Zombies cover
PopCap Games
PopCap Games
Electronic Arts
Russia Buka Entertainment
PopCap Games Framework
Release dates
Windows May 5, 2009
macOS (OS X) May 5, 2009
Metacritic 87
Monetization One-time game purchase, Subscription gaming service
Microtransactions None
Modes Singleplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives Bird's-eye view
Controls Point and select
Genres Tower defense, Farming
Art styles Cartoon
Themes Fantasy, Zombies, Contemporary
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 WineD3D to fix low frame rate issues.
Lacks improvements from home console and mobile versions,[1] including native widescreen, improved sprite resolutions, and controller support.

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)
Microsoft Store
Microsoft Store
Game of the Year Edition. Included exclusively with Xbox Game Pass for PC as part of its version of EA Play.
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)
Games for Windows Marketplace (unavailable)
Icon overlay.png

Essential improvements

Enable 3D acceleration with WineD3D

Most modern graphics cards won't be able to enable 3D acceleration in the game options.
Enabling 3D acceleration can fix low frame rate issues.
Use WineD3D[3]
  1. Download WineD3D for Windows version "4.5 staging" from this link (direct download). You can also go to Federico Dossena's website, access "Older versions archive" and download it from there.
  2. Open the ZIP archive and extract ddraw.dll, libwine.dll, and wined3d.dll to C:\ProgramData\PopCap Games\PlantsVsZombies.
  3. Open the game, and open the options menu. 3D acceleration should be enabled; if it is not, enable it.
If it is still not possible to enable 3D acceleration: try extracting the files to <path-to-game> as well.

Game data

Configuration file(s) location

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

Save game data location

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) $HOME/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

System Native Notes
Steam Cloud
Does not sync between Windows and Mac due to saves being incompatible across platforms.
Xbox Cloud


In-game options menu.
In-game options menu.

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
800x600 by default.
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)
See 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.
High dynamic range display (HDR)
See the glossary page for potential alternatives.

Borderless fullscreen windowed

The low frame rate fix isn't needed with dgVoodoo; if applicable, you should uninstall the low frame rate fix first.
Use borderless hack[4]
  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
Gameplay does not use a keyboard at all.
Mouse acceleration
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support


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
Royalty free audio


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Origin only.
Fan translation for Steam GOTY, download.
Origin only.
Fan translation for Steam GOTY, download.
Fan translation, download.
Fan translation for Steam GOTY, download.
Origin only.
Fan translation for Steam GOTY, download.
Fan translation, download.
Official localization by Buka Entertainment; local retail only.[5]
Fan translation for Steam GOTY, download.
Fan translation, download.
Brazilian Portuguese
Fan translation, download.
Origin only.
Latin American Spanish
Origin only.
Fan translation for Steam GOTY, download.

Issues fixed

BASS_ChannelSetAttributes function not found in bass.dll

Rename bass.dll[6][7][8]
  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

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

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

This game has frame rate issues in fullscreen mode on Windows 8 and later.
Install dgVoodoo 2[4]
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

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[9]

Completing the Ice Level

Ice Level is one of the 17 hidden mini-games in the Limbo Page.[10] With no zombies (or nearly anything for that matter), you need to hack the game in order to win this level.
Hacking the game manually[11]
  1. Close Plants vs. Zombies if it is open.
  2. Open user1.dat (located here) with a hex editor such as HxD.
  3. Go to offset 0B4, change the data from 00 to 01, and save. The next time when you open the Limbo Page, there should be a trophy mark on the Ice Level button.

Other information


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

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

Type these during gameplay[12]
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

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).