Levelling up in Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2 is very different from its predecessor. Back in Garden Warfare 1, we chose any variant from a class and completed quests to level up the whole class of variants. If any of the quests proved too difficult or didn’t take our fancy, we could use a Skip Challenge Star (found in sticker packs) to skip that quest and move on to the next.

Garden Warfare 2 is very different. We level up every variant in every class, and we do this by simply playing and earning XP as we go. Once we reach level 10 with a variant, we go to our backyard, and near our sticker book, we find bobbleheads of our variants. There will be an arrow hovering over our level 10 variant, and when we approach, we have the option to promote.

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We can promote each variant five times; starting at Beginner and promoting to Specialist then Advanced, then Elite, then Super Elite, and finally, Master. With each promotion, we earn 20,000 coins, and so mastering a variant will yield us 100,000 coins. Mastering all of our variants will not only give us Max Rank, but also a lot of coins in the bank for the ever-growing sticker packs, and Rux visits.

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So, what is the best or fastest way to level up in Garden Warfare 2? It is a question I am asked often. My answer to this? It depends on the type of player you are. Let’s look at the options, and you can choose which suits you best…

Levelling up is based on XP earned, therefore I would always suggest that you begin with increasing your XP multiplier. To do this, go to the Quest Board in your backyard. You’ll see many quests; some are for plants, some are for zombies, and some are for multiplayer. On completing a quest, lollipops are added to your multiplier track at the bottom of your Quest Board. Work your way up to 2x and you’re good to go.

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Now you have your 2x multiplier, it’s time to make use of it. Now this is where I say “It depends on what type of player you are.”

No matter what type of player you are, I would never recommend Flag of Power for working on levelling up your variants. It’s handy for completing quests though. If you have a ‘Vanquish 10 Sunflowers’ quest, or similar, it’s a quick and easy way to get your multiplier up.

Levelling Up

I like to play multiplayer online, and it’s easy for me to say “Just go and play multiplayer and you’ll level up nicely.”, but I realise that not all players like to play online, well not right away anyway. But don’t fear, there are more options available to you. There is Garden Ops (multiplayer and solo), Graveyard Ops (multiplayer and solo), Private Play, Solo Play, , and of course, Multiplayer. Let’s take at look at each of these…

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Garden Ops

Garden Ops is a cooperative wave defense mode. It can be played solo or cooperatively with up to three additional players, and you can play split-screen both offline and online.

Easy difficulty = 1x multiplier | Normal difficulty = 1.25x multiplier | Hard difficulty = 1.5x multiplier | CRRRRRAAAZY difficulty = 2x multiplier.

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Graveyard Ops

Graveyard Ops is a cooperative wave defense mode. It can be played solo or cooperatively with up to three additional players, and you can play split-screen both offline and online.

Easy difficulty = 1x multiplier | Normal difficulty = 1.25x multiplier | Hard difficulty = 1.5x multiplier | CRRRRRAAAZY difficulty = 2x multiplier.

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The Multiplayer Portal gives you a few options; Multiplayer, Private Play, and Solo Play.

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Private Play means you can add up to three of your friends and head in to a multiplayer match of your choice, and play against AI. You can set up the teams how you’d like, for example, Classic Plants, or Plant Heroes vs. Nature Zombies, or Engineer Overload. You can set the difficulty from easy to crazy (remember that you want the highest multiplier to level up faster), and you can set additional settings for low gravity, or speed boost for some extra fun. Solo Play is just like Private Play except you will have AI on your team too.

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I’m going to go more in depth with Multiplayer as I feel it is the best route to level up. Not only will you gain XP to level up your variants, but you will gain actual experience. There are many max rank players that cannot handle multiplayer mode, and it’s mainly because they haven’t played much of it. Setting up solo play so you can blast away at groups of AI may earn you XP, but in the long-run, it won’t do you any favours if you want to play multiplayer later. So let’s go through the multiplayer options…

In Multiplayer, there are seven game modes; Welcome Mat, Mixed Mode, Turf Takeover, Team Vanquish, Gnome Bomb, Suburbination, and Vanquish Confirmed. You gain XP for vanquishing but in each of the game modes, there is more opportunity for extra XP.

Welcome Mat is a great starting place for new players. Everyone will be forced to play as base characters, meaning they can play as the Citron, but not the Iron Citron, or they can play as the Sunflower, but not the Fire Flower, and the same applies to zombies. Why is this good for new players? because you’re not facing highly experienced players with mastered variants, with all of their upgrades applied. Beware that there are some experienced players that enjoy going into the welcome mat and look to rack up immense kill-counts against new players. We mice frown upon those type of players, and feel the Welcome Mat should be just that; welcoming. It is certainly a great mode to get your feet wet, and get a feel for your variants before jumping into a full-on match with the all of the glorious variants of the game.

Mixed Mode is one of my favourite modes. I love that the next game loading in is a surprise. In Mixed Mode, each new game that loads could be any of the other multiplayer modes, e.g. Turf Takeover, Gnome Bomb, etc. It’s a great mode to play when you are at max rank and can easily become bored with the same mode over and over.

Turf Takeover has a mixture of two modes; Herbal Assault and Gardens & Graveyards. Herbal Assault means the plants are on the offense, and Zombies are defending. It is the goal of the plants to take over the zombies’ graveyard. In Gardens & Graveyards, the roles are reversed. This time the zombies are attacking to take over the garden, and the plants must defend it. Playing a Rose in Herbal Assault is a great way to earn extra XP as she can build the teleporter and every time her teammates go through it, she gets XP. Equally, playing as Engineer on Gardens & Graveyards will get you the same rewards when he builds his teleporters. Build Crystal Guardians and Turrets, and plant pots, and raise summonables from the ground for extra XP too.

Team Vanquish has plants vs. zombies battle it out in a first-to-50 mode. You must vanquish as many plants or zombies, depending on which team you’re on, as you can. First to 50 wins! It’s also worth noting that reviving a teammate in this mode will subtract a vanquish from your opposition, so revive your teammates, and if you’re vanquished, wait a little before respawning to give your teammates a chance to revive you. Reviving and healing yield you XP. Playing as a sunflower or scientist, and constantly healing, and reviving, will help your levelling immensely.

Gnome Bomb has plants and zombies battling it out for control of the Gnome Bomb. Players must pick up the Gnome Bomb and there will be indicators on the screen of three locations to place it (A, B and C). Rush to one of the locations and place the bomb. Once placed, defend it. If the opposition defuse the bomb, you’ll need to place it again. If the other team pick up the bomb, stop them from placing it, and if they manage it, defuse the bomb. Once all three locations for a team are destroyed by a bomb, the other team wins! This mode is notorious for going into overtime, where both teams have destroyed equal amounts of gardens or graveyards, and it’s now sudden death. When this happens, the next bomb placed wins the game. Picking up the bomb, vanquishing a bomb carrier, and defusing a bomb all bring XP. Just play the objective and you’ll have fun, and earn extra XP. What else could you want?

Suburbination has teams competing to raise gardens and tombstones. There are three areas to suburbinate. If you manage to suburbinate all three at the same time, you will go into ‘suburbination’ and this means extra XP. It’s a great game mode full of frantic fun!

Vanquish Confirmed is just like Team Vanquish except that as a player is vanquished, they leave an orb behind. If the opposing team collects the orb, that confirms a vanquish and gives them a point, and likewise for your team. If a teammate is vanquished, and you collect their orb before the opposition, they won’t get a point for the vanquish as they weren’t able to confirm it with the orb. Denying orbs is just as important as collecting the other teams. You also get XP for the vanquish and for collecting orbs, so it’s a great mode for levelling up with your 2x multiplier.

So, in summary, my advice, when asked, is that multiplayer is the best route to take to level up your variants. If multiplayer is not the mode for you, play some solo/garden/graveyard ops on crazy difficulty to keep your multiplier high. Ignore Flag of Power for levelling. I hope this helps some of you on your journey to max rank, and big bank balances.

If you have any tips for levelling, leave them in the comments below.