- For the zombie version of Garden Ops, see Graveyard Ops.
In this game mode, one to four players plant and defend a garden for ten waves. If the garden is successfully defended, the players would then have to run to and stay in a landing zone for a limited amount of time in order to win.
Plant a garden and protect it from the Zombies until Crazy Dave returns.
Garden Ops consists of one to four players working as a team to defeat ten waves of zombies while defending their Garden. In the beginning of the mode, the team chooses their plants. After that, the team can choose one of three spots to plant their Garden. There will be a chance that a Bonus Garden can be planted, giving a Bonus when successfully defended. Once the Garden is planted and after the timer goes to 0:00, the game starts. Plant Pots can be found near the Garden, allowing players to plant Spawnable Plants for defensive support. After each wave, players have ten seconds for a break, to heal or to plant Plant Pots. Every so often, special waves will occur. On the fifth and tenth waves, boss waves occur. Super waves only occur on the tenth wave (excluding Tombstone waves).
After the garden is defended, players must get to the landing zone to escape.
Non-boss zombies exclusive to this mode (in Garden Warfare, only)
Special waves appear randomly between the ten waves, except Waves 5 and 10 and 11. Each wave has special zombies that appear in these waves. When special waves appear, a unique "Special Wave" plays until the wave ends.
Types of special waves
- Ambush (Ambush!!! in Garden Warfare 2): A surprise wave, skipping the break time. Consists of zombies that would regularly appear in the next wave.
- Brain Freeze: Consists of Arctic Troopers and Yeti Imps.
- Brainless Brigade: Consists of Flag Zombies and most variants of the Foot Soldier. On the lowest difficulties only Tank Commander can be found as a variant.
- Cone Company: Consists of only Conehead Zombies.
- Fan Frenzy: Consists of only Exploding Imp Fans (no regular Exploding Imps).
- Flame Retardant: Consists of only Welders.
- For Science: Consists of variants of the Scientist( in Garden Warfare 1 Dr. Chester and Paleontologist are excluded).
- Grumps: Consists of only Newspaper Zombies or Map Pirates.
- Goon Squad: Consists of Exploding Imp Fans and variants of the All-Star( Wrestling Star and Golf Star are excluded including the new variants in Garden Warfare 2).
- Close Quarters (Garden Warfare 2 only): Consists only of zombies with close range attacks, such as Screen Door Zombies and Coffin Zombies.
- Improvised Armor: Consists of multiple armored Zombies such as Buckethead Zombie, Newspaper Zombie, Screen Door Zombie, Coffin Zombie and Outhouse Zombie.
- Legion of Boom: Consists of only Wrestling Stars and Exploding Imps.
- Marathon(Garden Warfare 1 only): Consists only of Flag Zombies.
- Robo Assault: Consists of only Robo-Zombies (Garden Warfare 2 only)
- Titan Assault (Garden Warfare 2 only): Consists only of Imps, as well as a few Z-Mechs.
- Safety First(Garden Warfare 1 only): Consists of Conehead Zombies and most variants of the Engineer. Engineers have roadcones with STOP signs on them as their hats.
- Sci-fi Action Theatre(Garden Warfare 1 only): Consists of Browncoat Zombies and Foot Soldiers that have been customized with the Zomboss tech set and Astronauts with the science channel hat and Baseball Stars with the zombie mascot hat.
- Sky Guys: Consists of only Sky Troopers.
- Sneak Attack: Consists of Browncoat Zombies and Camo Rangers, but they are spawned in proximity of the garden.
- Tackle Dummies: Consists of only Blitzers (Berserkers in the first Garden Warfare).
- The Dino King(Garden Warfare 1 only): Consists of Cricket Stars and one Paleontologist with doubled health, called The Dino King.
- The Elder King(Garden Warfare 1 only): Consists of Scientists and Foot Soldiers that are customized to look like old men and one Golf Star with tripled health, called The Elder King.
- The Garbage King(Garden Warfare 1 only): Consists of Dr. Toxics and one Sanitation Expert with doubled health, called The Garbage King.
- The Pyre Prince(Garden Warfare 1 only): Consists of Foot Soldiers and one Centurion with tripled health, called The Pyre Prince.
- The Z Team: Consists of the classic Zombie Heroes like Foot Soldier, Engineer, Scientist and All-Star.
- They Hunger(Garden Warfare 1 only): Consists of Zombies with food-themed customizations.
- Toilet Troubles: Consists of Plumbers, Outhouse Zombies and Newspaper Zombies.
- Weed Whackers: Consists of only Landscapers (Camo Rangers and Archaeologists in Garden Warfare 2).
- Saucy Saucers (Garden Warfare 2 only): Consists of Imps and Future Imps.
- Champions (Garden Warfare 2 only): Various customized Zombie Champions will appear. On high difficulties there can also be Zombie Variants backing them up.
- High Voltage (Garden Warfare 2 only): Consists of various Browncoats backed up by Electricians and Physicists
On the third and eighth waves, there is an objective that must be completed. The players will earn 125 coins if they complete it. The higher the difficulty, the more coins they will earn when completing these objectives. Sometimes, these objectives will appear along with a special wave.
Types of bonus objectives
- Break the Vases: Players need to destroy all the vases in groups of three with around 21 health for each vase, in a limited amount of time. Dependent on the number of players.
- Destroy All Tombstones: Destroy all Tombstones in a limited amount of time.
- Hack the Triangulabobers (Garden Warfare 1 only): Players must hack the Triangulabobers, zombie transmission machines, in a limited amount of time or else an airstrike will be launched at the garden.
- Hunt the Chieftains (Garden Warfare 1 only): Vanquish all three Chieftains before time runs out.
- No Garden Damage: Get a perfect wave (the garden must not take any damage).
- No Knockouts: Don't get KO'd.
- No Player Damage: No players are allowed to receive any damage. During this wave there will be no zombies that can shoot far.
- Protect the Wee Gardens (Garden Warfare 1 only): Players need to protect one to five small gardens without letting the zombies destroy any of them. The number of gardens is dependent on the amount of players.
- Speed Run: Finish the wave within 1 minute 50 seconds.
- Stop the Zombomb: Stop the Zombomb before he reaches the garden and does heavy damage.
- Vanquish that Yeti: Players need to defeat a Treasure Yeti in a limited amount of time.
- Protect the Squash (Garden Warfare 2 only): A Squash must be defended until the wave is complete.
- Hunt the Champions (Garden Warfare 2 only): Three Captain Cannon Champions must be vanquished before time runs out.
- Retrieve the Chickens (Garden Warfare 2 only): Players must bring Crazy Dave's purple chickens back to the garden.
- Rescue the Champion (Garden Warfare 2 only): The Zombies have kidnapped a Plant Champion, so the players must find and hunt down a Sky Trooper, whom of which holds the map to then find the Champion, who is in a locker somewhere on the map.
- Checkpoint Race (Garden Warfare 2 only): The plants must pass through all the checkpoints which will appear around the perimeter of the map. All checkpoints need to be passed through to complete the objective.
- Stop the HUGE wave! (Garden Warfare 2 only): The plants must survive the huge wave of zombies that will appear, about twice the size of a regular wave.
On the fifth and tenth waves, Dr. Zomboss will deploy the Zomboss Slots. A slot machine will start rolling at the top center part of the screen to determine what the team must fight during that wave. Panels include:
Getting three of a kind in the slot machine will activate a super wave. In the case of boss superwaves, a special montage of that boss zombie is shown and a special theme is played for the entire wave. Getting three diamonds/money bags/golden coins slots can get a Jackpot with extra money and Dr. Zomboss will reroll the slot machine. Rolling three golden coins will reward you with 2500 coins, three money bags will reward you with 5000 coins and three diamonds will reward you with 10000 coins, after which the slot machine is re-rolled as well.
Revives, Retries, and Losing the Garden
If a plant is down and unable to revive in time, the plant can use a self-revive to revive the player with 50% of its health. Self-revives can only be obtained through Sticker Packs and each player can only use it up to three times in one game. If a player is down and has no more Self-Revives and no-one revives them, they are out of battle and have to spectate the other players until the wave ends. If the Garden is destroyed or all plants have been KO'd, one of the players can use a Team Retry to reset the wave. The team can only use this three times. Should three Team Retries get used and the Garden is destroyed once again, the game ends with the zombies taking over the Garden.
If the zombies successfully destroy the garden or all players have been KO'd, a message saying "YOUR GARDEN WAS DESTROYED" or "YOUR TEAM HAS BEEN KNOCKED OUT", respectively, appears, the garden explodes, and a graveyard (similar in appearance to a Tombstone) begins slowly rising out of the ground where the garden was, providing all player a window of time to use a Team Retry consumable, followed by "GAME OVER" appearing on the screen if no player uses a Team Retry of if too many Team Retries have been used.
Get to the Landing Zone
After the players survive for ten waves, they need to go to the Landing Zone. The zombies will constantly be spawning and attacking the players in this period. Tombstones will also rise. To win, players must be in the landing zone when the timer hits 0:00 and Crazy Dave's flying RV shows up. "THE PLANTS FAILED TO ESCAPE", "YOU MISSED YOUR FLIGHT", "YOU ESCAPED SUCCESSFULLY", or "ALL PLANTS ESCAPED" will be shown, depending on how many players managed to escape. Also, a random Zombie Boss will spawn late in the wave, while in Garden Warfare 2 if the match is set on crazy difficulty the Zombie Boss spawns immediately.
After the players complete Garden Ops, beat it by successfully completing the ten waves and getting to the landing zone or having the garden destroyed, each player will be given a sum of coins. In addition, stickers with numbers on them will appear on the rear of Crazy Dave's RV on the endgame results screen. If a player completes a Garden Ops match, but joined in the middle of the match, it will only show the waves that that player had a chance of participating in. If the players completed/failed the objectives on Waves 3 and 8, there will be check marks or cross marks on them, respectively. There is a bonus wave called Wave 11 (possibly the bonus wave after Crazy Dave arrives) and it will appear as a trophy sticker with a number 11 on it. Additional coins will be given if the round was completed solo or with just one other player.
- Super Boss Waves are now more likely to appear.
- This is the only mode in the game where the players cannot play as the zombies.
- Interestingly, if the player views the scoreboard, the zombie section of the scoreboard will also appear but it is obviously empty.
- Only one Bonus (or Enchanted, in Garden Warfare 2) garden out of three gardens can be planted.
- For every wave you complete with an Enchanted Garden, the garden produces coins. This is a good way to earn tons of coins (not counting completed objectives or boss waves).
- Ambush is the only special wave when it does not say "Special Wave - " next to the name of the wave.
- In Hard and CRAAAAAZY modes, the zombie heroes will be replaced with randomized variants in the later waves. The Zombies Heroes also appear earlier on CRAAAAAZY, with the Foot Soldiers spawning on Wave 1.
- The maximum number of players in Garden Ops is four, which is the least of all the game modes.
- This is one of the only game modes where the opposition (zombies) is completely AI controlled.
- When the players are about to escape to the RV, they sometimes see a boss zombie (mostly forms of a Gargantuar). Vanquishing these extra bosses are optional, but they can be a problem when they are with the players in the landing zone.
- Players can destroy up to four tombstones on the way while getting to the landing zone, but it is completely optional.
Specific to Garden Warfare
- This is the only game mode that can be played solo. (The player can enter multiplayer modes alone but is very rare and other players must join in order for you to play them with the other players.)
- If the player looks closely on Crazy Dave's RV on the result screen, there are two live-action plush toys of the Peashooter and the Sunflower.
- The boss waves are one of the few instances in the game in which Dr. Zomboss makes an announcement for the Plants team rather than the zombies team.
Specific to Garden Warfare 2
- In Garden Warfare 2, the garden has noticeably more health than before.
- In Garden Warfare 2, the higher the difficulty for Garden Ops the more common an Enchanted garden/tombstone will be.
- This applies to Graveyard Ops.
- The objective "Stop the HUGE wave" is a possible reference to PVZ/PVZ2, as before the wave starts, the screen says "A HUGE WAVE OF ZOMBIES IS APPROACHING!".
- The timer to get into the landing zone is shorter, at 1:15 seconds.
- The chances of getting a Super Boss Wave is extremely higher in Garden Warfare 2.