Plants vs. Zombies 3 Soft Launch | August 31st


Hello everyone and welcome to the Plants vs. Zombies 3 Soft Launch August 31st update! This update mainly focuses on Arena, with a few balance changes and fixes here and there. Without further ado let us get straight into it!

Message from Matt, design leads on PVZ 3

“Greetings Friends! My name is Matt Pennebaker and I’m one of the design leads on Plants vs. Zombies 3. I’m very excited to introduce myself to all of you and share some of what we’ve been working on this release. For a long time Arena hadn’t been getting much love, and I’m thrilled to say that this is changing. Some of this has already rolled out in the previous update with the ability to climb through ranks faster and not resetting trophy counts. This current update is really all about giving the players more control over their Arena experience. 

We’ve already added a pre-battle screen so that you can see what assortment of zombies you’ll be facing off against and build your team accordingly. But soon, you’ll also be able to decide which other players you want to go up against. You can decide if you want to tackle a tougher opponent for greater rewards, or play it safer by taking on someone a bit weaker.

Additionally, all battles you encounter in the arena will have a unique name so that you can start recognizing specific battles and strategize even more. This was a really fun feature to figure out. In the process we created a tool to randomly generate collective nouns (example: Murder of Crows). Certain words are tied to the specific zombie pools, so you’ll soon be able to learn the unique matchups quite quickly. I can’t wait for you all to discover the challenge that the Posse of Donkeys present, and how the battle differs from the Conspiracy of Donkeys! Rest assured, we did a rigorous review to ensure that the random generator didn’t create any questionable names (there were some doozies).

We’ve also revamped training bots! In fact, gone is that one, simple, frustrating-to-encounter training bot that we know you all hate to fight. Now there are Arena Bots seeded throughout all of the leagues. Previously, we had the single bot, and it had a very low trophy count, which meant when you encountered it, while being easy to beat, you also didn’t get much for your efforts. Now, spread out in all of the leagues, there are bots that will have appropriate teams, scores and trophy counts. Even though battling against another player is always preferred, there will occasionally be times when we just can’t find you an appropriate fight to engage in. By having Arena Bots that can fill that slot, and still be a challenge to beat, they can also give fair trophy rewards.

Finally, we’re changing how rewards work in the Arena. You’ll still be earning stars for matches, and Gems at the end of tournaments. But now the plant seeds have been replaced with a new currency, Laurels. This will put more control in the players hands about what they are working towards. You’ll never end up in a league with plants you are not interested in, because you’ll be able to spend your Laurels on the plants (or Hot Sauce) that you care about most!

All of these new updates will be detailed more as you keep reading. I can’t wait to see how you all like them, and I’m thrilled to get to know you all.

Happy Planting!”


Choose your own Opponent in Arena

Now you will be able to choose who you face in the Arena!

  • When searching for a new match, you will be presented with 3 opponents to choose from which should be of varying difficulty (easy/medium/hard) based on the trophy delta between you and the opponent.
  • Not liking what you see for opponents? No problem, you can refresh your opponent selection. You can do this twice before it returns to the original 3, so you will see 9 different options in total.
  • You can preview the plant teams (used in Stage 1) of each player by tapping on their portrait. You can also see how many trophies you will gain or lose if you choose a given opponent.


On September 8, you will now be able to earn a new currency through Arena called Laurels. These allow you to buy Hot Sauce or specific plant seeds you want/need. Laurels replace plant seeds that you would normally earn when the Arena week is over.

  • Laurels can only be earned from playing in the Arena and awarded in the following ways:
    • 3 Laurels awarded for each victory.
    • 1 Laurel given per loss,
    • Laurels will also be granted at the end of Tournaments depending on your league and your placing on the leaderboard (see table below):
      • The first tournament that will award Laurels as part of the end-of-tournament rewards will start on September 9th.

Laurel end-of-tournament reward by league and rankings:

The following may be subject to change in future.

League 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place 4-12 13-20 21-25
Ultimate Birthday Cake 300 285 270 240 225 195
Celestial Enchilada 250 238 225 200 188 163
Lightning Lobster 200 190 180 160 150 130
Diamond Pizza 150 143 135 120 113 98
Gold Waffle 100 95 90 80 75 65
Silver Donut 50 48 45 40 38 33
Bronze Bacon 40 38 36 32 30 26
Iron Cupcake 30 29 27 24 23 20
Brick Tiramisu 20 19 18 16 15 13
Wood Pudding 10 10 9 8 8 7


  • Laurels can be spent in the Arena Daily Deals section of the Store to buy Hot Sauce or Plant Seeds
    • These deals will refresh daily and can be purchased at any time – not just when a Tournament ends.
    • The Arena Daily Deals Store section will appear in-game on September 8.

Laurel Store Values per listing/items:

The following may be subject to change in future.

Item Name Laurels Needed
10 Hot Sauce 40
20 Hot Sauce 75
50 Hot Sauce 180
1 Common Seed 1
1 Rare Seed 3
1 Epic Seed 10
1 Legendary Seed 30


Gems will still be available as end-of-tournament rewards however they have been rebalanced to accommodate Laurels. Gem rewards have been redistributed to increase payouts as players progress into higher leagues.

Gems distribution per league and placement will be the following:

League 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place 4-12 13-20 21-25
Ultimate Birthday Cake 1200 1140 1080 960 900 780
Celestial Enchilada 700 665 630 560 525 455
Lightning Lobster 400 380 360 320 300 260
Diamond Pizza 250 238 225 200 188 163
Gold Waffle 150 143 135 120 113 98
Silver Donut 90 86 81 72 68 59
Bronze Bacon 50 48 45 40 38 33
Iron Cupcake 30 29 27 24 23 20
Brick Tiramisu 15 15 14 12 12 10
Wood Pudding 10 10 9 8 8 7


Battles and their Names

For each League, there will be a limited number of battles you will play against. Each with their own individual names so you can easily identify them from the pre-battle screen (e.g. Cavalcade of Miscreants, etc). These battles will change with every new tournament.

Please note that if your trophy count is particularly low or particularly high, it will be possible to have a battle from a higher or lower league appear for you.

Arena Bots

Each league will have multiple varieties of Arena Bots (formerly known as Training Bots) spread across a range of difficulties appropriate to that particular league. You will be able to recognize them by their names such as SproutBot (least challenging), PlantBot (medium) and VineBot (most challenging).

If for whatever reason you find yourself face to face with a Bot, you will know that you will still be challenged and still be making progress with your Trophy count where possible.

Please note, similar to battles, if your trophy count is pretty high or too low, it is possible that you will be matched with Bots from higher or lower leagues respectively.

Balance Changes:



  • Barking range has been increased from 3 to 4 tiles.


  • Lemon-Aid has been extensively reworked and overhauled
  • Normal Ability: Increases the damage of all adjacent plants by a flat amount. This bonus is doubled if a target plant does not have the “Rapid Fire” attribute.
  • Tacobility: Adjacent plants now also have their speed increased. This starts as a 20% speed buff, and can reach 50% by leveling the Tacobility.
  • Plant Food: All adjacent plants gain a huge temporary speed increase, just as before. This starts as a 100% speed buff for 3 seconds, and can reach 200% for 6 seconds by leveling the Plant Food ability.

(PopCap Note: These changes were made because Lemon-Aid’s default speed buff did not scale well. Plants and zombies should maintain their relative power levels as they level up. (e.g. A Peashooter and Conehead interact in the same way whether they’re both at level 1 or at level 20.) Since Lemon-Aid’s default speed buff grew as she levelled up, she broke that standard. Now, her damage buff increases proportionally to plant damage and zombie health, and maintains her relationship with plants and zombies of equivalent level.)


  • A brand-new Tacobility: Casting Shadows
    • When Taco’d, whenever Nightcap defeats a zombie, she’ll spawn a temporary aura where that zombie was defeated. This aura slows all nearby zombies for a short period of time. By leveling up the Casting Shadows tacobility, the duration and speed reduction of the aura increases
  • As the new Tacobility no longer allows for Nightcap’s energy blasts pierce additional zombies, her blasts now hit up to 6 zombies, instead of 4.

(PopCap Note: Players were finding it difficult to understand how Night Cap’s old Tacobility worked, which is why this change was made. This also makes her ability work a bit more like her Casting Shadows ability from Battle for Neighborville. Spoiler: We’re working to make it look more like it too!)


  • Health decay increased from 6 to 9 health per second.

(PopCap Note: Puff-Shroom’s health was increased a while back, but this was not intended to extend the time that Puff-Shroom stayed on the board, so his decay rate is now accurate.)

Shuffle Truffle:

  • No longer bounces zombies that are one tile to the left of her. She now also gains the “Ground” attribute temporarily when she’s about to activate her ability, so zombies will not attack her while she’s preparing to bounce them.


Ketchup Carrier: 

  • Ketchup projectiles now arc higher and take 2 seconds to reach their target instead of 1 second.

Mega-Glitter Zombie:

  • No longer protects zombies in adjacent lanes. However she will now pull zombies from adjacent lanes into her own lane.

Fixes and Improvements:

They note that this is a small selection of all the fixes and improvements for the update!

  • Lemon-Aid’s Tacobility and Plant Food ability now correctly speed up plants that have long cooldowns on their abilities, like Bamboo Shoots, Chomper, and Sawgrass.
  • Art edits and adjustments made to various blocks, views and other visual elements in Shallot Graveyard and BBQ Beach.
  • Art improvements on various characters such as Crazy Dave, Walnut, Lightning Reed, Zombob, Superfan Imp, Popstar Glitter and Goalie Zombies.
  • Fixed an issue where the application would freeze or crash upon unlocking the Movie Theater building.
  • Shoveling plants now refunds the correct amount of Sun.
  • Fixed an where using the ‘Go’ button to head to the Arena while doing ‘Iron Gardener’ daily tasks would result in not being able to find or continue a match.
  • The application recovers more consistently from a no-network/Airplane mode state during boot
  • Unread inbox message notification no longer shows when all mail has been read
  • Addressed the issue of new messages being slow to update/appear in the in-game inbox despite the unread message alert.
  • Star Tree timer should no longer get stuck at 1 second.
  • Inappropriate or offensive Club names are now able to be reported even if you’re not in the club.
  • Resolved an issue where Disco Zombie’s ability wasn’t used if in the 1st or 5th lanes on the lawn.
  • Fixed a UI issue where a player’s trophy count would appear as 0 on the end of Tournament screen.
  • Fixed an issue where “Not enough Seeds!” was displayed instead of “Donation Limit Reached” when a player reaches the maximum seed donation.
  • Visual effects on plants persist during the end-of-fight cinematic.
  • Fixed an issue where if a player wins a battle in a Clash their team power on the next pre-battle screen would appear as 12345.
  • Fixed missing animations when claiming milestone rewards from your inbox
  • In-game sounds no longer play over the top of video ad audio.
  • When Ballpark Frank kicks plants, the player’s Plant Food no longer gets recharged.
  • Resolved a problem with demotions at 16th position in Gold Waffle, Diamond Pizza, Lightning Lobster, Celestial Enchilada and Ultimate Birthday leagues.
  • Zombie introduction animation should now show properly when players unlock a new zombie for the first time.
  • Team Power should now update appropriately in the battle preview screen when a player changes their plant team via the edit team button.
  • Club Daily Deals has it’s [i]info button back.
  • Fixed an issue with Fairy Ring Mushroom where it’s Level 5 Tacobility would be active at every level instead of just at Level 5 and above.
  • Closed an exploit related to Taco-ing Fairy Ring Mushroom that upgrades Puff-shrooms on the lawn not created by FRM.

Thoughts on the Update

Mostly an Arena update with balance changes and QOL, nothing much for now. I am interested to see what they will add, its seems like the next few updates will be big!

It’s Time to Go

That is it for today’s article! Hopefully, you enjoyed reading it and have a beautiful day, stay safe and stay healthy!

Dev Post Link:

Developer Notes here


All Pictures Shown above were taken from playing the game, and anything showed like artwork, etc. is not my own and are owned by their respective owners. Plants vs. Zombies 3 is developed by Popcap Studios and published by EA.

Where to find PVZ 3?

It will be difficult to download if you do not live in the Philippines or other select areas, so good luck to you finding a way to download it. They have been slowly adding more areas, but nothing crazy like U.S.A or Europe. (if you want to know how to join the MGNN discord and I will help you out there).

About the author: zekam11
Hello, I’m zekam11! I livestream on both YouTube and Twitch playing both mobile and console games!

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