One of the features that is new to Plants vs Zombies 2 (or PvZ2 if you’re short on time) is the notion of “keys.” In this guide to Plants vs Zombies 2 keys, I’ll explain what keys are, how to get keys fast, and what you should do with your keys.
Plants vs Zombies 2 Keys: What are keys?
Keys are one of the “premium currencies” in Plants vs Zombies 2. Premium currencies in free-to-play games are simply things you don’t get much of through playing, but the game is more than happy to sell you for a small fee.
The only use for Plants vs Zombies 2 keys is unlocking certain locked gates on each map. Behind these locked gates are enhancements to your Plants vs Zombies 2 experience. Some contain rare and powerful plants, while others contain boosts that make the game somewhat easier.
In addition to these items, keys also unlock special levels that you can play to earn additional stars. These levels tend to only have one star each.
Watch out! Keys only unlock doors in one time period. That is to say, you can’t earn a bunch of keys in Ancient Egypt and then take them to the Pirate Seas. Your keys are locked to the map you earned them in.
Plants vs Zombies 2 Keys: How do I get more keys?
Generally speaking, there are only two ways to get keys:
- Zombies sometimes drop them when killed
- You can spend money to buy them if you tap a gate you don’t have the keys to unlock
Getting a zombie to drop a key is relatively rare, sadly. You’re going to have to fight a lot of zombies in order to get more. I’ve seen perhaps one every solid hour or two of play.
If you need to get more stars, you can use getting stars as a good opportunity to grind zombie kills for keys. Related Guide For more info about stars and how to earn them, visit our stars guide..
Plants vs Zombies 2 Keys: Fastest Keys
The “fastest” way to get keys depends somewhat on how much time you have to play. If you have a lot of time to play, grinding zombies is probably your best bet.
My suggestions for picking levels are:
- It should be a level you feel comfortable clearing. There’s no point in making this hard on yourself. Personally, I suck at the “memory” game with the zombie camels in Ancient Egypt – if you’re good at this minigame, you can kill a lot of zombies quickly, though.
- Try to find levels where there are lots of zombies quickly. For instance, levels that use the conveyor belt to give you plants instead of buying them for sun tend to ramp up quicker. Normal levels tend to take a couple of minutes before you’re killing zombies at any appreciable rate.
- Pick a level in the same era that you need keys in. As I said before, keys only work in the era you win them in, so don’t make the silly mistake of grinding in Ancient Egypt when you need keys in Pirate Seas.
Again, keys are relatively rare, so plan to spend a good amount of playtime earning each one.
Fastest Keys for Casual Players
However, if you don’t play a lot of Plants vs Zombies 2, there is another way to earn a bunch of keys at once. I’m speaking of the Treasure Yeti!
The Treasure Yeti is a rare zombie that spawns occasionally (roughly daily) and can be killed for his Lunch Box, which has a chance of dropping a bunch of keys at once.
Related Guide Since the Treasure Yeti is such a popular topic, I’ve expanded our coverage of him and given him his own article, click here to check it out!
Plants vs Zombies 2 Keys: Spending Keys
Once you’ve got a load of Plants vs Zombies 2 keys, now you’ve got to prioritize what doors to unlock. Here are the things I think are really helpful to use your keys on:
- Bloomerang – you’ll pretty much get this one by default, when the game first explains keys to you. The Bloomerang is quite powerful, and relatively cheap. It’s a must-have!
- Twin Sunflower – many of the stars require that you earn a lot of sun, and a lot of them also restrict the amount of plants you can plant. The Twin Sunflower is a win-win here. Or is it a twin-twin? Ba-dum-tish!
- Spikerock – The Spikerock is an upgrade to the Spikeweed, and the Spikeweed is one of my favorite plants. You can plant it in front of Wall-Nuts to continuously damage zombies that are attacking your defenses.
However, I’d suggest you hold off on:
- Sun Boost – 25 sun at the start of a round just isn’t that great. If you buy the Sun Bonus, perhaps, but here at Without The Sarcasm we’re all about not buying stuff.
- Plant Food Boost – 3 Plant Food is honestly kind of enough. There aren’t a lot of situations where things are going great, but then you need to quickly burn through 4 Plant Food at once.
- Shovel Boost – Generally speaking, you shouldn’t be shoveling plants much. Getting a quarter of your sun back isn’t that awesome.
- Cherry Bomb – It’s expensive, although damaging. Usually in these cases you can rely on your Plant Food stockpile.
- Grave Buster – Although it’s super handy to take down grave markers, the slow recharge rate and the fact that a significant portion of the levels don’t even have graves means this is kind of a waste.
Plants vs Zombies 2 Keys: Conclusion
Hopefully through this guide you’ve worked out what keys are, why you should want them, how to earn keys fast, and what you should spend your keys on.
Got a strategy or a tip that I’m missing out on? Drop a line in the comments! I love to hear from fellow PvZ2 enthusiasts.