For the veteran counterpart, see Torchlight Zombie.
For the Kongfu World variants, see Torch Kongfu Zombie or Torch Monk Zombie.
For the versions in Plants vs. Zombies: All Stars, see Explorer Zombie (PvZ: AS) or Torch Kung-Fu Zombie (PvZ: AS).

Explorer Zombie is a zombie in Plants vs. Zombies 2, and Plants vs. Zombies Online. He is the third zombie to be encountered in Ancient Egypt. He holds a torch that burns any plant upon contact, and moves slightly faster than regular zombies. Iceberg Lettuces, Snow Peas, Winter Melons, Hurrikales, Cold Snapdragons, Power Snow, and Cryo-shrooms (Chinese version only) can extinguish his torch, but fire plants can relight it.

If the player extinguishes the torch, they will get the No Smoking achievement.


Explorer Zombie wears a pith helmet and a pair of pince-nez eyeglasses (the left lens is visibly cracked.) He has a red mustache and sideburns that wrap around its head and he holds a torch that eliminates any plant that gets in his way unless it is extinguished. Explorer Zombie wears a camper's attire that is composed of a yellow handkerchief that is tied similarly to how a person is being signified as a Boy Scout. The sleeves are totally torn as the right sleeve appears to have been cut by scissors and the left one appears to have been soaked in sweat as the edge appears to be more brown. The back is also torn, exposing a portion of his skin. He wears a light red colored belt and dark green cargo shorts. Finally, he wears brown colored boots for his footwear.

Almanac entry

Explorer Zombie

SPEED: Hungry

Carries a torch that can instantly destroy your plants.

Damage: torch destroys a plant on contact
Weakness: cold attacks extinguish torch

His impressive friendly mutton chops has always kept food in them for weeks, making sure his explorations are filled with snacks.


Explorer Zombie absorbs exactly 250 damage per shot. His appearance changes upon absorbing 125 damage per shot, when he loses his arm, before dying after absorbing 250 damage per shot.

In the Chinese version, Explorer Zombie absorbs 350 damage per shot. His appearance changes at 175 damage per shot, before dying at 350 damage per shot.


Plants vs. Zombies 2

Player's House: Piñata Party

Ancient Egypt: Days 9, 17, 19, 20, 24, 25, 27, 28, 29, 30, 32, 33, 35, Pyramid of Doom, Freeze 'Em, "Beghouled Blitz" Epic Quest - Step 1, and Piñata Party

Dark Ages: Piñata Party

Lost City: "Aloe, Salut!" Epic Quest - Step 8 and Piñata Party

Modern Day: Days 2, 9, 31, 32, 40, and Highway to the Danger Room (through portals in Highway to the Danger Room)

Plants vs. Zombies 2 (Chinese version) (China only)

Ancient Egypt: Days 3, 13, 14, Daily Challenge, and Endless Challenge

Modern Day: Day 25, and World Cup


Alone, this zombie does not pose much of a threat, as he does not have much health. However, this zombie is very dangerous in huge waves, especially if they are protected by Buckethead Mummies, Pharaoh Zombies, Pyramid-head zombies or Mummified Gargantuars. If you are going to use chilling plants like Iceberg Lettuce, Winter Melon, Snow Pea, or Hurrikale, remember that fire plants like Snapdragons, peas ignited by Torchwood, Pepper-pults and Fire Peashooters can relight their torches. Most defensive and distraction plants are useless against them, as they simply burn them without having to stop moving, even if they have been upgraded by Plant Food. In the worst case scenario, using two Plant Foods on a Cabbage-pult will kill every Explorer Zombie on the screen and deal damage to other zombies. Iceberg Lettuce's Plant Food upgrade is a good method, especially on Ancient Egypt - Day 20, as it extinguishes all torches on the game screen. Explorer Zombies cannot burn underground plants, such as Spikeweeds, Spikerocks, Celery Stalker, etc. Use this to your advantage.

Using Snapdragons in the same lane (or in the upper or lower lane) against Explorer Zombies is a very bad idea, since the Snapdragon's attack is close-ranged, meaning it will not have enough time to damage the zombie before it is burned or out of the range. Additionally, Snapdragons can unfreeze him and relight his torch. In fact, it's best not use any fire plants against this zombie at all. Cold Snapdragon is a better choice, though this will require money, being a premium plant. Do not use Chard Guards, Chompers, Parsnips, or Guacodiles against Explorer Zombies, as they will simply burn them before they can even attack (unless Explorer Zombie is stalled by any means). Also, avoid using Explode-O-Nut, as he can burn it without making it explode.

In Highway to the Danger Room, Explorer Zombie is a very big threat, due to appearing as early as Level 11 in the Endless Zone, and the fact he can spawn from multiple portals early. At this point, it may be difficult to properly deal with these spawning very close and early. This is even worse if an Imp rush occurs. Pairing this with Octo Zombies, Wizard Zombies, and Boombox Zombies, Explorer Zombie can end up tearing down an entire defense in seconds. Pairing all the listed zombies above with All-Star Zombies and Super-Fan Imps, all defenses will be wiped out instantly. Iceberg Lettuce's Plant Food effect can effectively stop huge swarms of Explorer Zombies this early.

Balance changes

Update 6.3.1

  • Health decreased from 350 DPS to 250 DPS

Related achievement

No Smoking2.png
No Smoking
Extinguish an Explorer Zombie's torch


Plants vs. Zombies Wiki has a gallery for Explorer Zombie.
Explorer Zombie2.png
Visit this page to see it.
Explorer Zombie2.png


  • If Explorer Zombie meets an unarmed Potato Mine or Primal Potato Mine with his torch still alight, he will walk past them without burning or eating them. If they are armed, he will trigger their explosive effects, killing him.
    • This is not the case in the 7.5.1 update, as it will burn the Potato Mine or Primal Potato Mine, even when unarmed.
  • If timed correctly, Explorer Zombie will not burn the plant when relighting its torch but will eat the plant closest to it instead.
  • Explorer Zombie cannot burn Infi-nut's force field and will be forced to eat it instead.
  • Explorer Zombie can eat hypnotized zombies, and will not burn them with his torch.
  • He can burn Torchwood and many other fire plants, despite the fact that they do not burn themselves.
  • Besides the Zombot Sphinx-inator, Explorer Zombie and Torchlight Zombie are the only Ancient Egypt zombies who are not mummified.
  • After the 2.7 update, it cannot burn instant-kill plants.
  • Due to strange hitbox issues, he can eat a Chard Guard (only if his torch is extinguished) without being pushed back even if Chard Guard has leaves.
  • He can burn Guacodile in its idle position and Lava Guava before it explodes, even though technically, that would still have killed him since burning the Lava Guava will cause the lava to spill all over the place.
  • He and Torchlight Zombie are the only paradoxical zombies so far in the game, since they appeared in the 2500 BC, some years before the first explorer appears.
    • They eventually belong to Lost City due to their clothing, even though they never appear there.

See also

V · T · E
Zombies (Tower defense)
L · G
Plants vs. Zombies 2
Player's House Basic Zombie · Conehead Zombie · Buckethead Zombie · Flag Zombie
Ancient Egypt Mummy Zombie · Conehead Mummy · Buckethead Mummy · Pyramid-Head Zombie · Flag Mummy Zombie · Egypt Rally Zombie · Ra Zombie · Camel Zombies · Explorer Zombie · Torchlight Zombie · Tomb Raiser Zombie · Pharaoh Zombie · Mummified Gargantuar · Imp Mummy · Zombot Sphinx-inator
Pirate Seas Pirate Zombie · Conehead Pirate · Buckethead Pirate · Barrelhead Zombie · Flag Pirate Zombie · Jolly Roger Zombie · Swashbuckler Zombie · Seagull Zombie · Pelican Zombie · Barrel Roller Zombie · Imp Pirate Zombie · Imp Cannon · Pirate Captain Zombie · Zombie Parrot · Gargantuar Pirate · Zombot Plank Walker
Wild West Cowboy Zombie · Conehead Cowboy · Buckethead Cowboy · Cart-Head Zombie · Flag Cowboy Zombie · Cowboy Rally Zombie · Prospector Zombie · Pianist Zombie · Poncho Zombie · Chicken Wrangler Zombie · Zombie Chicken · Zombie Bull · Rodeo Legend Zombie · Zombie Bull Rider · Wild West Gargantuar · Zombot War Wagon
Frostbite Caves Cave Zombie · Cave Conehead Zombie · Cave Buckethead Zombie · Blockhead Zombie · Cave Flag Zombie · Hunter Zombie · Yeti Imp · Dodo Rider Zombie · Troglobite · Weasel Hoarder · Ice Weasel · Sloth Gargantuar · Zombot Tuskmaster 10,000 BC
Lost City Adventurer Zombie · Conehead Adventurer Zombie · Buckethead Adventurer Zombie · Flag Adventurer Zombie · Lost Pilot Zombie · Lost City Imp Zombie · Excavator Zombie · Parasol Zombie · Bug Zombie · Porter Gargantuar · Imp Porter · Relic Hunter Zombie · Turquoise Skull Zombie · Zombot Aerostatic Gondola
Far Future Future Zombie · Future Conehead Zombie · Future Buckethead Zombie · Holo Head Zombie · Future Flag Zombie · Robo-Rally Zombie · Jetpack Zombie · Blastronaut Zombie · Shield Zombie · Bug Bot Imp · Robo-Cone Zombie · Disco-tron 3000 · Disco Jetpack Zombie · Mecha-Football Zombie · Gargantuar Prime · Zombot Tomorrow-tron
Dark Ages Peasant Zombie · Conehead Peasant · Buckethead Peasant · Knight Zombie · Peasant Flag Zombie · Imp Monk Zombie · Jester Zombie · Dark Ages Gargantuar · Wizard Zombie · Zombie King · Announcer Imp · Imp Dragon Zombie · Zombot Dark Dragon
Neon Mixtape Tour Neon Zombie · Neon Conehead · Neon Buckethead · Neon Flag Zombie · Punk Zombie · Glitter Zombie · MC Zom-B · Impunk · Hair Metal Gargantuar · Breakdancer Zombie · Arcade Zombie · 8-Bit Zombie · Boombox Zombie · Zombot Multi-stage Masher
Jurassic Marsh Jurassic Zombie · Jurassic Conehead · Jurassic Buckethead · Jurassic Fossilhead · Amberhead Zombie · Jurassic Flag Zombie · Jurassic Rally Zombie · Jurassic Imp · Jurassic Gargantuar · Jurassic Bully · Jurassic Rockpuncher · Zombot Dinotronic Mechasaur
Big Wave Beach Pompadour Zombie · Pompadour Conehead · Pompadour Buckethead · Beach Flag Zombie · Bikini Zombie · Bikini Conehead · Bikini Buckethead · Snorkel Zombie · Imp Mermaid Zombie · Surfer Zombie · Deep Sea Gargantuar · Fisherman Zombie · Octo Zombie · Zombot Sharktronic Sub
Modern Day Brickhead Zombie · Rally Zombie · Gargantuar · Imp · Newspaper Zombie · Sunday Edition Zombie · Balloon Zombie · All-Star Zombie · Super-Fan Imp
Penny's Pursuit
Ancient Rome Roman Zombie · Roman Conehead · Roman Buckethead · Centurion Zombie · Bust Head Zombie · Roman Flag Zombie · Healer Zombie · Roman Shield Zombie · Gladiator Gargantuar · Roman Imp · Zcorpion Zombie · Zombie Medusa · Roman Caesar Zombie
ZCorp Incorporated Inc. Gargimp Legal · Head Office Impgantuar · ZCorp New Hire · ZCorp Contractor · ZCorp Conehead · ZCorp Buckethead · ZCorp Contractor Conehead · ZCorp Contractor Buckethead · ZCorp Flag Zombie · ZCorp Consultant · ZCorp HelpDesk
Vasebreaker Vase Gargantuar
Arena Cardio Zombie · Z-Mech · #caketank
Others Zombie Hamsterball · Treasure Yeti · Imp Pear Imp · Dr. Zomboss
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