- For the similar game mode in Plants vs. Zombies, see Mini-games.
- For the Brain Busters in Plants vs. Zombies 2, see Brain Busters.
Brain Busters are types of levels in Plants vs. Zombies Online which are more challenging than usual, as they add different mechanics, conditions, or objectives to gameplay. They are usually unlocked using stars, though some are placed on the regular levels. Some Brain Busters are remakes of Plants vs. Zombies mini-games and some are returning from Plants vs. Zombies 2, but others are new. In this game, most Brain Busters are only available in one world.
List of Brain Busters
In this Brain Buster, the lawn is filled with plants and the player can swap them either horizontally or vertically to make a match of 3 or more plants to make them disappear. Unlike the mini-game in Plants vs. Zombies and Brain Buster in Plants vs. Zombies 2, the number of zombies is finite and the player can possibly finish the level without doing anything. Making certain number of matches in time limit, however, is required to earn a Star. Making matches produces Sun but this is only used for shuffling the board for 50 sun or filling the Crater for 75 sun; no plants can be upgraded.
- Ancient Egypt - Days 8-2, 8-3, and 8-4
- Pirate Seas - Days 10-2, 10-3, and 10-4
In this Brain Buster, the player has to stop the zombies from eating/destroying the endangered plants.
- Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum - Day 5-2
- Far Future - Days 5-2, 5-3 and 5-4
In the hard version, there is a wind mechanic that affects the trajectory of missiles.
- Easy version:
- Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum - Days 4-2, 4-3 and 4-4
- Hard version:
- Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum - Days 8-2, 8-3 and 8-4
- Pirate Seas - Days 14-2, 14-3, and 14-4
In this Brain Buster, the player must use plants given from a conveyor belt. In Far Future, Power Tiles are also given via the conveyor belt.
Played on Far Future - Days 12-1, 12-2, 12-3 and 12-4. Some Time Travel levels are also played in Special Delivery format.
Played on Ancient Egypt - Days 4-2 and 4-3.
In this Brain Buster, one or more Bonk Choys and Desert Death Zombie's quicksands are placed on the lawn. The player manually controls these Bonk Choys to punch the zombies coming through the quicksands. There is a scoring system and there are flower tiles next to each Bonk Choys. Punching zombies without getting damaged increases the combo count, and punching a zombie when it is on the center of a flower tile yields the highest points. If the player beats the target score, he or she earns a Star. Each level plays different music from Plants vs. Zombies.
Played on Ancient Egypt - Days 5-2, 5-3 and 5-4.
In this Brain Buster, the player has to match various symbols by flipping the Camel Zombies' boards to kill them.
Played on Ancient Egypt - Days 7-2, 7-3 and 7-4.
In this Brain Buster, sun-producing plants cannot be used and zombies drop sun when killed. Some zombies will drop bigger amounts of sun than other zombies.
Played on Ancient Egypt - Days 9-2, 9-3 and 9-4.
In this Brain Buster, sun-producing plants cannot be used and player must rely on Sunflowers already placed on the lawn. These Sunflowers are not considered endangered and there is no direct penalty for losing them. However, doing so will cut the player's sun supply.
Played on Ancient Egypt - Days 10-2, 10-3 and 10-4.
In this Brain Buster, there are many Terracotta Statues on the lawn and one or more zombies are encased. The game shuffles these statues randomly, then the player must guess the location of the zombies and break the correct statues using the Mallets. The statues will be all broken when the player is out of mallets and the zombies will go out if the player did not break them, and this makes the player fails on killing them. If the player fails, the player can either use the provided Squashes or Lawn Mowers to kill the zombies.
Played on Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum - Days 6-2, 6-3 and 6-4.
Played on Pirate Seas - Days 8-2, 8-3 and 8-4.
Played on Pirate Seas - Days 11-2, 11-3 and 11-4.
Here, all sun-producing plants cannot be used. Sun falling from the sky is purple before reaching the ground. They explode, taking out plants and zombies if the player clicks them before they reach the ground. After reaching the ground, the Sun Bomb becomes the normal Sun and it will be automatically collected. Sun falls from the sky twice as often compared to a normal level.
Played on Far Future - Days 7-1, 7-2, 7-3 and 7-4.
In this Brain Buster, sun producing plants cannot be used and the player is given a set amount of sun. This is similar to Last Stand, but there are several differences.
- The zombies do not wait for player's defense to complete. The level starts like in normal levels and the plants need to be recharged after planting.
- Additional sun falls from the sky.
- No Plant Foods are given at the start of the level, but some zombies carry Plant Foods like in normal levels.
- The player is allowed to use zero-cost plants.
Played on Far Future - Days 8-1, 8-2, 8-3, and 8-4.
- In Brain Busters where the player can control the plants manually (Carrot Missile Launch, Bonk Choy Boxing, and Cannons Away), the player can use A, S, D, J, and K keys on the keyboard to perform actions on the plants.
- Old versions of the game used Q, W, and E keys instead.
- Ancient Egypt contains the largest number of world exclusive Brain Busters, which is five.
- It is currently unknown if East Sea Dragon Palace contains any Brain Busters.