I've completed many levels in Plants vs. Zombies 2. After completion, some levels are solid blue, while others are striped blue and white. What does this striping of levels indicate?

I have used both starter boosts from the garden as well as power upgrades (purchased with coins or from gift boxes) to defeat levels, but I did not need them for every level. I didn't keep track of which level was aided with these tools. Is their usage causing the stripes? Do I need to replay the levels without the boosts/upgrades for "true" completion?

Note that I have solved 99% of the levels (Besides one final level that is neither striped nor solid), so I am looking at a fully "completed" iteration of the game and have not compared it to an unresolved game.

I ask not only out of curiosity, but if I need to replay these in a more challenging fashion in order to unlock level 25 of Far Future.

  • There also seems to be a "skull and Cross-bones" style too: img3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20131206152859/plantsvszombies/…
    – Batophobia
    Commented Apr 11, 2014 at 14:40
  • That's a challenge / mid-boss level. The one you've pictured provides a key to unlock a different world. The skull and cross-bones at the end of the path is the boss level.
    – JoshDM
    Commented Apr 11, 2014 at 14:42
  • Judging by this picture it might just be like that for the level. In that picture, there is an unvisited level (6) with stripes.
    – Batophobia
    Commented Apr 11, 2014 at 14:44
  • It could be that something special on those levels makes it striped, similar to how skull and cross-bones denote boss/challenge level. I'll look more into it.
    – Batophobia
    Commented Apr 11, 2014 at 14:50

2 Answers 2


The striped pattern is not related to whether you completed a level. After completing level 1, a new player will see that 4 and 5 already have the stripe pattern. It appears that the striped levels may be non-standard levels (i.e. you do not gather suns and plant defenses to survive the waves).

Beginner Screen

Upon playing level 4, it was a special level where plants were given along a conveyor belt and did not cost any suns to plant. After this level, you get the jar of preserved powers.

Level 5 was special in that you only played using the new-found powers. There is not sun-gathering nor is there planting of defenses.

The next striped marker is level 7, which is non-standard in that the player must "Match symbols to destroy zombies". This is accomplished by tapping the panels the zombie is carrying and trying to find a matching panel, similar to the game Concentration. There is no planting nor sun gathering in this level either.

It looks like, prior to the 1.7 update, no levels had this striped pattern. This can be seen under the old map for Ancient Egypt

  • So... striped levels indicate levels with requirements for completion, and non-striped levels are just generic levels at that stage of the game?
    – JoshDM
    Commented Apr 11, 2014 at 15:36
  • @JoshDM Completion requirement always seems to be "keep the zombies out of your house". On the stripe levels, the method for achieving that is different than the standard gameplay.
    – Batophobia
    Commented Apr 11, 2014 at 15:38
  • 2
    So the striped levels indicate "non-standard" / "non-generic" levels, then?
    – JoshDM
    Commented Apr 11, 2014 at 16:01
  • 1
    @JoshDM There's actually a name for these levels; they're called Brain Busters. Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 16:43

If you played Plants vs. Zombies 2 prior to the "linearization" update, there was a main path that consisted solely of generic levels. Zombies rarely dropped keys, which after collecting enough, could unlock gates which branched off this main path.

enter image description here

The striped levels you see in the current game are the same levels that were in the branched paths that required keys to unlock. These striped levels are considered 'challenges', which require specific criteria in order to complete. Rules for each challenge are different, and are clearly stated before entering a level.

Basically if you see a non-striped level, it means you don't have to do anything special to beat it (aside from surviving).

  • Aww, that looks much more fun! I never knew the game used to have this kind of branching structure!
    – AlexC
    Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 13:18

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