Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare Is “Always Online” On Xbox, Won’t Work Offline At All

Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare is an upcoming Xbox and PC game, that is being released by EA. It will also feature microtransactions and it seems to focus on multiplayer. Unfortunately, for some strange reasons, the game completely lacks any sort of offline mode, requiring you to connect and sign in to Xbox Live in order to play any of the game modes.

A new video was uploaded recently, which showed the Xbox 360 version of the game. What we can see in this video is that there is almost no option to play this game offline. Even going into the options menu requires us to connect online and sign into Xbox Live. This is a rather strange decision even though it was always touted as a multiplayer shooter, it still has an offline splitscreen mode. The bad news is that this mode is exclusive to the Xbox One, and even if we want to play this mode, we won’t be able to do it offline as this video demonstrates.

Why is the game requiring us to sign into Xbox Live? The obvious answer could be because how the microtransactions might be stored on the service side instead of locally. This would require us to connect online in order to access them. (Update: There are no microtransactions available “at launch” but this doesn’t rule them out completely either.)

Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is set to launch on the Xbox 360 and Xbox One on 25th February in US and 27th February in EU. It will also release on PC at a later date. There is no news yet about a potential PS3 or PS4 version but PopCap haven’t left this option out of consideration.

Khurram Imtiaz

Editor-in-Chief at GearNuke. I am a hardcore Final Fantasy fan and lover of JRPGs. When I am not posting news, I can be seen sharing my thoughts over at Twitter.

You can follow me on Twitter and Google+

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  • johnny Snowman

    fuck you EA the look on my kids face when he couldn’t play your game…

    • Mike Keeling

      Yup. My little boy was in tears today. Got it to work after paying £39.99 for Gold membership.

      EA should fly a fucking skull and crossbones.

  • zombie_lol

    Absolutely enjoyed this game when I played it on my friend’s xbox lol I wanna try it on my android device tho. is it already available for android? do you guys also know other zombie games I can play? thanks guys

    • IshieFify

      Have you tried Tapslayer: Alice in Zombieland yet? You get really cool weapons and you could upgrade them as much as you want! 🙂

  • ธนินท์ กลิ่นสะแบง

    only join to xbox live 🙁

  • cheezit

    I for one don’t appreciate the fact that you need to be online to play this. Nearly all steam games give the option to play offline. Why can’t your account data be stored locally?
    I don’t always have internet and when I do its normally not robust enough to play anything online. I am in the US Navy and when we go underway there is no wireless internet and we are not allowed to plug personal computers into the ship’s network for security reasons. For that reason, I download my games to an external hard drive to have something to do on my extremely limited off-time. I guess sailors and marines who deploy won’t be playing this game anytime soon, EA.
    I suppose I will stick with the original PVZ.

  • asiancajun

    I’ve created an avatar in xbox live but when starting the game, it showed my online profile could not play the game. please help

    • Sigognac

      The question may be from some time ago, but the problem persists.
      It seems that this game “require xbox Live Gold”, the paying subscription.
      The “Silver” level, the free one, is excluded. Unfortunatly, the same goes for Titanfall, Destiny and all the multiplayer-only games that begin to come out.
      I agree that it should be clearly stated, to avoid déceptions.

  • Deegan76

    It’s just annoying that you need to pay for online membership,internet and also need to buy the game. Should at least have local multiplayer.

  • tophrk

    Not only is XBLgold req’d so is an EA account. Total bs no refund for On Demand purchase.

  • Deegan76


  • Deegan76


    • If you don’t want to play online, perhaps you should look for a game that isn’t meant to be played online?

  • Arrow2DaKnee

    Good luck playing any multiplayer online game offline 😀

  • Manoj Varughese

    EA continuing to step on their own toes and they’re helpless about it. The Legacy continues.

  • ImonadrugcalledCharlieSheen

    Microsoft still working hard to institute those DRM policies, this should come as no surprise to anyone.

  • kywildcat

    that’s usually how multiplayer games work

  • amdsucks

    “and it seems to focus on multiplayer. Unfortunately, for some strange reasons, the game completely lacks any sort of offline mode”

    Asks why it doesn’t run offline and answers himself. WOW AUTHOR, YOU CAN”T BE ANY MORE FUCKING OBVIOUS.


    • aeris bueller

      “This is a rather strange decision even though it was always touted as a
      multiplayer shooter, it still has an offline splitscreen mode. The bad
      news is that this mode is exclusive to the Xbox One, and even if we want
      to play this mode, we won’t be able to do it offline as this video

    • William Kinkaid

      Piss poor peasant … Really … Who talks like that. Here I’ll speak your language. “I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries.”

  • xp_kiler

    wow so mm only online huh tank gosh the game is less than 40$

  • Jason Mounce

    I hear the sound of money rustling in peoples wallets.

    The money that could’ve gone to EA, but decided to stay in bed because of bad practices.

  • Dennis Crosby

    This is a multiplayer game that offers online co-op what did you expect this isn’t a single player game with storyline hell the xb360 version doesn’t even have spilt screen how else would you play this game . People just make a big deal out of anything these days

    • Garden Ops can be played Solo. Why do we require online access for Solo mode?

      • Dennis Crosby

        Because of the currency presented in the game. This is the same as mass effect 3, NBA 2k they want to make sure your not cheating the currency system

        • So it is essentially “Online DRM”. Diablo 3 had the same bullshit Auciton mode excuse for the PC version online DRM. NBA2k 14 is the worst offender here. Mass Effect 3 was playable in SP mode and the MP was of course online, no surprise.

          • Dennis Crosby

            Yea but I never minded that because my consoles are all connected to the internet but it suck for people who don’t have that luxury.

          • aeris bueller

            I can understand not minding it because it doesn’t inconvenience you, but I think most of the people that get annoyed about this aren’t annoyed in defense of the people who don’t have reliable internet access. Since these comments are being made on the internet, they obviously have some internet access.

            The reason why people get upset is because DRM has punished paying customers/gamers, while rewarding the pirates who they’re supposedly trying to defend against.

            EA in particular has had huge very public failures, where people couldn’t access the game they paid for because of online DRM. SimCity (2013) published by EA was the poster boy for everything wrong with DRM like this. It was a disastrous launch with crashes, saved game losses, reviewers unable to review the game, and Amazon temporarily pulling it off their store from too many complaints.

            Another example is a game called BattleForge, also published by EA, and that just got shut down recently. Gamers who had spent hundreds of dollars on virtual cards for that game can’t even boot up to stare wistfully at their collections and reminisce.

            EA is not hurting for cash. This type of thing is inexcusable the first time, let alone the countless times they’ve done it. There are plenty of companies out there that of course try to make money, but do so by earning their customers/ loyalty, by providing value and fun. There was a time when that was almost all game companies were like that. This is why people call companies like EA, and MS, and Capcom evil, and this is what they mean by them hurting the game industry.

          • Dennis Crosby

            Idk if you can put Microsoft in the same category as EA and Capcom. Yea Microsoft try to implement DRM but that was a request from Developers and Sony also was going to do it until they seen the backlash from it.people hate Microsoft because they think there greedy and its honestly the thing to do but no one gives them credit for the good they have brought to consoles gaming XBL change alot and made a standard that no one was doing. Them buying Skype has taken quality of sound on a console to another level that we haven seen before. The new adapter for the headsets take it a little more further buy allowing people who don’t have high price headsets to get the same quality from a normal headset and what there doing with twitch will bring fans and twitch streamers together in away that I have never seen before you’ll be able to join a twitch streaming right from the app that’s crazy but they will never get credit for any of this because everyone is to busy hating them

          • aeris bueller

            XBL is part of the reason people don’t like MS. Yes it was a superior service to PSN, but only MS would have the balls to charge for online play. There were countless free services on PC that did the same thing. Only MS would put a toll road in front of a part of a game or service that you already paid for. This is on top of shoving ads in every corner of the XBL as well. Now Sony’s done it, too, proving that MS has started an anti-consumer trend that had a lasting impact.

            Having seen countless free services on PC that do what XBL does shows me this toll wasn’t necessary, and wasn’t used to improve the service, it was just an extra way to make extra money out of their loyal customers. I do see the positive contributions they’ve made as well, but I also see that other companies are able to make contributions to the game industry without all the bad stuff.

            Another example (I don’t have any sources, this happened a long time ago), but I remember more than one company (Epic Games is one example, around the Gears of War 1 days) that were against charging for map packs, etc. They thought part of the value included in the price of the game was providing post release maps, etc. They repeatedly said in interviews they didn’t understand why MS was interfering with letting them release their content, even using the word ‘greedy’ to describe them.

            Then one day they did a complete 180 after MS either threatened them legally, or bribed them enough. But Epic was permanently changed after that, for the worse, and again I believe MS was at least the catalyst if not the cause. Also, it isn’t just that MS was going to do DRM, it’s that they had to go super overboard in the most anti-consumer way possible with it.

          • Dennis Crosby

            One thing people don’t understand is all the apps, that everyone like to access are custom made by Microsoft and maintain by Microsoft. That not the same for other companies same goes for the online features. Why do you think everytime you have a hiccup and that service provider says contact Microsoft support. They have works who provided you with that service who also deserve a pay check to. This companies provide a service for the purpose of making money

          • aeris bueller

            Skype on anything but XBox, Steam, GameSpy, Youtube, Google, Disqus, Workflowy, Facebook, Gmail, Origin.

            What do all of these have in common? All services provided by various companies, who like MS, make money off of things like ads, or deals with other companies. None of them charge for their services. Alot of them provide one or more services that overlap the functionality MS locks behind the Live paywall. MS is almost as famous for how much money they make as for the software, services, and devices they create. How is it none of them need to charge, but MS does? Simple, because they want to make sure they’re getting money from every customer whether or not they’re actually using any of the services they provide. It’s an extra internet for XBox users, on top of the money they spent for the console, their internet connection, and whatever service, like Netflix.

            Netflix, basic web browsing, online gameplay hosted on other companies’ servers, pretty much everything on XBox Live that’s free everywhere else including tablets, other consoles, and PC’s. What is MS providing that they’re charging for? Even my phone let’s me access Netflix without a paywall. Actually, almost every internet connected device on the planet has a Netflix app that isn’t behind an extra paywall. Honestly, what service are they providing that they’re charging for exactly?

          • tvonthebrain

            People don’t get that this crap isn’t free.

          • Dennis Crosby

            People act as ad revenue can bring in profits and pay the hardworking employees that make the service work

          • Nick Lakshmana Maharatha Dasa

            I suspect people like Dennis who run around defending games or companies over and over again are paid internet shills. He probably works for them and they pay him to run around whining at you whenever you voice a valid complaint about a product you paid good money for. I’m not even joking; do some research. Many companies DO EMPLOY people to shill on Facebook, Youtube, etc…

          • P3rf3ct_Zer0

            No, they have made some strides but they also have a corrupt company. I bought xbox live and told them 2 3 months later to cancel it and they billed me even after canceling so I left the bank I was with burnt the card and I now hate Microsoft. I wish people would fire people who can’t do there damn job!

          • Nick Lakshmana Maharatha Dasa

            I suspect people like Dennis who run around defending games or companies over and over again are paid internet shills. He probably works for them and they pay him to run around whining at you whenever you voice a valid complaint about a product you paid good money for. I’m not even joking; do some research. Many companies DO EMPLOY people to shill on Facebook, Youtube, etc..

          • P3rf3ct_Zer0

            This is why no-one should partner with Microsoft (Microsuck) and EA (Evil Alliance) I really enjoy South Parks take on EA and Microsoft very real. Well another company suckered by the evil alliance. You failed your fans pop-cap games. I never buy anything first I torrent it and try it if I like it I buy it because I am not handing my tiny amount of cash to assholes who can’t even cater to players.

      • Hates bad writers.

        I know it’s bad, but really, what moron would buy this game for a (most likely) short as hell single player with minimal content. That’s such a profound waste of money I’m at a loss for words for anyone that wastes money on it.

        • P3rf3ct_Zer0

          If the game developer “popcap games” gave a crap about the millions of PvsZ fans they would have taken the time to add a story and single player! I mean even worms adds a story and single player and though its not as fun as the mp its still an effort by team 7. Honestly I really think the developers no longer care. Like “well the money is in my pocket why should I give a fuck?”

          • Hates bad writers.

            Add a story? To what? It isn’t made for single player, leave it be. Quit trolling around dead articles while you’re at it.

    • Jordan

      Sim City say hello

    • James

      People make a big deal out of it is because multiplayer can be offline, too! Forcing anyone to do anything in gaming should be banned. If you are going to pay for something, that particular merchandise should be deemed in your possessions. This method of forcing shouldn’t exist in gaming at all. If you are going to buy a physical copy of a game from a store, it shouldn’t have such ridiculous options as “must have internet and signed in to something.” If such options were to exist in a game, that game should NEVER come out in a store. It should exist ONLY as downloadable contents, so that people with Internet access can only purchase it and be able to play it. This is a form of extortion because what if people buy this copy of the game from a store and then later realize that they need Internet to play? What then? They can’t get a refund because they already opened the game and the store won’t give them credit and neither can they play, unless they have internet. Here goes the money in the shitter, isn’t it? Oh and don’t give me a crap about “who doesn’t have Internet access in this day and age?” You’d be surprise to find out how many people, even in America, there are without any internet access. Also, lot of people just don’t like Xbox Live and they don’t want to access it due to many reasons.

      • Dennis Crosby

        We live in a world were everything is connected by the internet your games on your cellphone is connected you PC games are connected you console games are definitely they want to have you connect to gather information for a better experience they want to know the bug the want to to know who the trolls and cheaters are to deal with. No one forces you to buy this game when you no its a online multiplayer game I wonder how many people will complain when titanfall comes out about the something

        • Gamegeek

          It just seemed they were trying to deceive people because you have to research to find out its online playable only, rather than having it printed IN LARGE LETTERS on the case.

        • Nick Lakshmana Maharatha Dasa

          I suspect people like Dennis who run around defending games or companies over and over again are paid internet shills. He probably works for them and they pay him to run around whining at you whenever you voice a valid complaint about a product you paid good money for. I’m not even joking; do some research. Many companies DO EMPLOY people to shill on Facebook, Youtube, etc.

      • P3rf3ct_Zer0

        I agree that as a gamer I feel strongly about forcing a player to do anything. We play games to escape reality and hang with friends and family not to go shopping in game and spend real cash.

      • Erin

        I totally agree with you….I paid 50 bucks for this game so that my daughter and I could play together. But now I have to have 2 xbox LIVE gold memberships for that to even be not only are we being charged for the game, we are also being charged 20 bucks a month so we can play together. To top it off, internet NOW DAYS HAS A DATA GAP. Meaning you only get so much gigs per month to use, therefore when I go over the usage I was given for the month, I get charged 10 bucks for extra 50 gigs and I still get charged 10 bucks if i only use 20 of that 50 gigs, then If i go over that 50 gigs I am given another 50 gigs and if I only use 10 gigs of that extra 50 I am still getting charged 20 bucks more on my cable/phone/internet bill! there was one time i was charged 10 bucks because I was given 50 gigs more and only used 1 gig of that 50! This really adds up, especially because of the games graphics that happen to use up ALOT of the data We used 30 gigs in one day do to the graphics on the games. To be clear, this is cable company not a cell phone company. This is out rages and really needs to have a way to play multiplayer offline with your family…to me this is a damn scam and from now one any game I buy I read and make sure I can play offline. I think this will be a good lesson for everyone to read the FINE PRINT before BUYING. I know it was a good lesson for me. Hopefully if enough of use bitch about it they will make it offline I bet if we all just stopped paying for Xbox live we might just get somewhere. but how many people will be willing to actually stand there ground and fight for what we know is right. People should not have to have to Xbox gold memberships to play a game online with their family member I almost regret buying the Xbox 360 but at least they have a lot of offline games. I just would like to see that you can have up to 2 people on one Xbox on the same live membership.

    • P3rf3ct_Zer0

      You know if I were a game dev (Which I am as a hobby) I would think of the God damn gamer and not my God damn wallet!

  • Kelp

    wow. just wow. Tweeting at EA

  • Kelp

    For the love of fing Christ. . . Isn’t EA suppose to be turning around their policy of “F the customer?”

  • bigshynepo

    EA is so stupid, timed exclusivity with this and exclusivity with Titanfall… How much money are they going to lose not catering to the more popular, more powerful console? I hope PvZ plays good, I think it has real potential. Titanfall I feel is an important title but a one hit wonder. Evolve looks crazier from an “innovative multiplayer” perspective.

    • xp_kiler

      money talk thats why i bought a xbox1 im not goin wait 2 to 3 years for the xbox games to reach on sony console. pvz 1,minecraft,… take very long to reach ps3 🙁

      • bigshynepo

        Better late than never though?
        I’d rather have lifetime exclusives on Playstation like Uncharted, The Order and Last of Us in my stable than timed exclusivity on the $10 dollar games you mentioned.
        This generation will be totally different for consoles and releases but both systems will have their blockbusters. Enjoy Titanfall, I’ll be playing it on PC when it goes on sale. The beta seemed a little repetitive, even when they add more maps. That, and FPS aren’t a day-one genre for me.

      • Manoj Varughese

        Yeah money talks, but in a language that only EA understands and speaks.

    • P3rf3ct_Zer0

      *cough cough “Evil Alliance” (EA) Challenge Everything”

  • TroliusMaximus

    See you at the Pirate Bay!

    • amdsucks


      • TroliusMaximus

        *whispers* (it’s not an X1 exclusive and multiplayer cracks are common for popular games)

        • Yes, yes! Where??

          • TroliusMaximus

            Patience, young padawan. Patience…

          • P3rf3ct_Zer0

            Sign me up fuck ea

        • Baka [D]

          Sorry, but it would still require a server application for cracked clients to connect to. And PvZ is NOT nearly as popular as you think it is…

          • The game is balls – tried it > refunded it – and server emulators can be made (e.g., Mercenaries 2)… but people with the necessary skills have to care enough to bother.

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