Frequently Asked Questions
Additions to the FAQ are welcome. Please follow the writing style of the FAQ, and feel free to credit yourself at the bottom of this page. Please use a format of FAQ-<Section>-<Keyword> to link new questions and answers.
Please do not split this article or create a new category for this FAQ, at this time. The answers might eventually be split off this page (depending on the length of this article) into several categoried FAQ articles, after the game is released, and the section headings and terminology have been revised to match the gameplay and types of new questions that arise on the forums.
This is a collection of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the Viva Piñata Xbox 360 game. Other information about Viva Piñata, such as merchandise, or the TV show, can be found elsewhere on the wiki.
- What is Viva Piñata?
- What's a wild piñata?
- What's a variant? (updated)
- What's an evolve? (new)
- An evolve isn't a variant? (new)
- What's a sour piñata? (updated)
- How do I tame a sour piñata?
- Can any species become a sour piñata?
- Why did my piñata turn green and yellow? (updated)
- How do I heal a sick piñata? (updated)
- How do I get two piñatas to romance? (updated)
- Who is Professor Pester? The Ruffians? (updated)
- In what ways can I customize my piñatas?
- Are there any tips for playing this game?
- Is breaking open a piñata a bad thing to do?
- What effect does day and night have on the game?
- Does my garden evolve, while I'm not playing the game?
- Is it better to fence in piñatas, or let them free roam?
- When will the game be released?
- Where can I find out more information about the game?
- Where can I find a list of Achievements?
- What's the difference between an Award and an Achievement?
- What's the advantage of leveling up my gardening skill? (new)
- How do I get a Rashberry and Swanana to romance? (new)
- How do I unlock the Master Romancer achievement? (new)
- How do I unlock the ... Secret Achievement? (new)
- Where do I learn more about my piñatas?
- How do I name a piñata?
- What's the purpose of labeling a piñata?
- What can I place in my garden?
- Are some fences better than others? (updated)
- How do I know when to water my garden? (updated)
- Why don't hearts appear? plants grow? My garden is full? (new)
- How many gardens can I create? on a memory card? (new)
- Can I delete a garden and start over? (new)
- What can I buy with my chocolate coins?
- How do I get more money? (updated)
- Where do I pick up the piñata that my friend sent me?
- Where do I go to hire helpers for my garden?
- How do I upgrade my tools? (updated)
- Where do I get more seeds?
- Where do I buy a bottle of medicine? a mushroom? (new)
- How do I get more accessories?
- What downloadables are available for the game?
- Are there cat and dog piñatas?
- How many different piñata species are there?
- My piñatas are fighting! What can I do? (updated)
- What species don't get along with each other?
- How can I attract a different piñata species?
- What's the best way to keep sours out of my garden?
- Which piñatas are rare?
- Are there any mythical piñatas?
- Can I create new piñata species?
- Will there be any new piñatas on the Marketplace?
- Do accessories benefit my pinatas? (updated)
- Is there a Co-op mode?
- Can I invite a friend to visit my garden?
- What different online modes are there?
- How do I ship a piñata to a friend?
- Do I need an Xbox Live account to trade with a friend? (new)
What is Viva Piñata?
"Viva Piñata" is a vibrant world of living piñata animals filled with spontaneity and fun. The colorful and unique animals live and thrive in a growing garden where they interact with each other bringing adventure to life. The piñata universe is exciting and humorous – a place where anything can happen.
What's a wild piñata?
A wild piñata will be black and white, and appear at the edge of your garden. Once it becomes a resident, its monochrome colors will change into their more vibrant colorful pattern.
Wild piñatas are attracted to your garden, by meeting the right conditions for each species to appear. For example, specific flowers and trees, or piñatas that already reside in your garden, can capture the interest of a wild piñata. Once a wild piñata has appeared, you can entice it to become a resident in your garden by providing it with what it needs to be happy there. Once a piñata has decided to stay, the game will alert you. After a short cutscene, the wild piñata will burst into color. At this point it is a good idea to build a house for your new piñata resident.
You can see which wild piñatas are visiting your garden, by opening your Journal's Encyclopedia. The Encyclopedia will show you the specific requirements that you need to meet, for your visitors to become residents.
What's a variant?
A variant is a differently-colored version of a species. For example, if you feed a Turnip to a Whirlm, it changes color to a purple Whirlm. Each species has three color variants which must be discovered through various means.
Every time you discover a new variant, you are awarded more experience.
What's an evolve?
An evolved species is one that is created from an existing species. For example, if you feed a Buttercup to a Sparrowmint, it turns into a Candary (a new and different species from the Sparrowmint). Evolved species must be discovered, since they don't visit your garden from the wild like most other species.
There are 8 evolved species to discover, and each of them has 3 color variants, like any other species.
An evolve isn't a variant?
What's a sour piñata?
A sour piñata is red and black, and a troublemaker! When one appears, it will start fights, smash garden objects, or scare off other residents. It also leaves sour candy around your garden, which you'll want to promptly destroy (with your shovel), since your other piñatas will rush over and eat the candy, which will make them ill. Taming a sour piñata will bring out its good habits, and it will become a helpful resident around the garden.
How do I tame a sour piñata?
You can tame a sour pinata by meeting its Resident requirements. See Taming sour piñatas for details.
Can any species become a sour piñata?
No. While eating sour candy will make a piñata ill, they will not become a sour piñata, themselves. There are eight different sour species. However all piñatas can fight and compete over land without actually being a sour.
Why did my piñata turn green and yellow?
A green and yellow piñata is sick. Piñatas can become ill for several reasons:
- Eating sour candy,
- Losing a fight with another resident pinata,
- Eating or being close to weeds, like the Toadstool,
- Getting whacked with the shovel,
- Not having enough room to roam, or
- Just general random illness.
Even sour piñatas can become ill, as the Macaraccoon image shows.
How do I heal a sick piñata?
Hire Dr. Patchingo, who will heal your sick piñata for you, or direct a Chewnicorn resident to heal it. There is also a Witch Doctor named Dastardos who probably isn't very helpful. If you ignore your sick pinata, he'll eventually show up and try to break open your sick piñata to put it out of its misery. Of course, this is not a good thing for several reasons, as you'll have to wait for that piñata species to return as a wild piñata and become a resident again.
How do I get two piñatas to romance?
First, you'll need to have met all the Romance requirements for two pinata of a species, which includes having built a house, so they'll have a place to be romantic. A pink heart will appear over each pinata, as its Romance requirements are met. Next, introduce the two to each other, by directing one of them to the other one.
You'll have to play a romance minigame for the romance to be successful. If you fail the minigame, the two will be broken-hearted for a short time, but will be ready for romance again in a minute or so. Once you successfully romance them, they'll disappear into their house, and you'll get to watch their romantic mating dance. (Each species has their own unique dance.)
Once you've romanced a species for the first time, you can use a 'romance sweet' (available from Costolot's General Store) to get that species' pinatas 'in the mood' without having to meet all of their romance requirements again.
Who is Professor Pester? The Ruffians?
Professor Pester is the leader of a gang of Ruffians. As you level up, Ruffians (and eventually Professor Pester himself) will come into the garden and cause trouble, such as by smashing garden items.
If you're quick, you can run over to them as they enter, and bribe them with chocolate coins to leave your garden. If you wait too long, however, there's not much you can do to get them to leave.
Interesting details about how Professor Pester came to be, can be discovered by reading the Story chapters in the Journal.
In what ways can I customize my piñatas?
- Name each piñata resident,
- Use the Label Designer to label their tag with unique information about them, and
- Outfit them with accessories that you can get from the Shops.
The tag actually is quite useful, as it contains a record of every garden that the piñata has visited over Xbox Live. It's possible that piñatas could be traded on a round-the-world trip!
Are there any tips for playing this game?
You can find some tips and advice at the Gameplay Tips article.
Is breaking open a piñata a bad thing to do?
Yes, yes, and yes. When your back is turned, piñatas will actually talk about you. Seriously.
If you break open too many, there are consequences. Other wild piñatas of that species will have heard that your garden isn't a friendly place for them, and they'll be less likely to visit or become residents.
Besides, how would you feel about being whacked with a shovel?
What effect does day and night have on the game?
Some piñatas are nocturnal (they like to sleep during the day). So, you might see different species roaming about the garden, depending on what time of day it is. See Day and night cycle for more information. Daytime (or nighttime) also affects when a species might appear in the wild. Other species only appear after a certain amount of days have passed.
Does my garden evolve, while I'm not playing the game?
No. Your garden will be in the same state you left it in (e.g. flowers won't have died from lack of water, sour piñatas won't have scared other piñatas away).
Is it better to fence in piñatas, or let them free roam?
Like any good issue, moderation is the key. You want to strike a balance between protecting your piñatas from other (wild) species or sours, and giving them plenty of room to roam. (If they don't have enough room to roam, they will become ill.) In addition to protecting your piñatas, fences also help protect your garden objects. There's nothing worse than a free-roaming Elephanilla trampling your garden, and eating your flowers! Also, some species don't get along with other species, and they'll start fighting each other. Fences are one way to help isolate species and prevent fights.
See Designing your garden for some layout suggestions.
When will the game be released?
The release date for the US and Canada is November 9th. The release date for Europe is December 1st. The release date for Australia and New Zealand is December 7th.
Where can I find out more information about the game?
The Community Portal has several links to official Viva Piñata websites. There's also a lot of information at this wiki, which the Site Map will help you to find. Another good source of information is the Viva Pinata Forum (where most wiki contributors are members).
Where can I find a list of Achievements?
See the Achievements article for a complete list of achievements.
What's the difference between an Award and an Achievement?
Good question! While Achievements are like any other game, Viva Piñata has added lots of awards for completing various tasks, or for winning competitions. These awards will help you compare your accomplishments with other players, such as to see who has raised the best breed of a species.
What's the advantage of leveling up my gardening skill?
As you level up (by earning awards), this unlocks new benefits and challenges:
- New Shops open in the village.
- New species can be attracted to your garden.
- New upgrades for your shovel, making it stronger and better.
- New helpers available for hire.
- Factory requests to fulfill from Piñata Central.
- Garden space upgrades.
- New sour pinatas to be dealt with and tamed.
- New trouble in the form of Professor Pester and the Ruffians.
See List of benefits gained at each gardener level for more details as to when each is unlocked.
How do I get a Rashberry and Swanana to romance?
Unlocking the Pigxie achievement is probably the most interesting one in the game, since it's the only cross-species romance possible. To mate a Rashberry and Swanana, first meet each species' separate Romance requirements. Next, build a Mystery House in the garden. Now, mate two of the Rashberries to get a baby Rashberry, and two of the Swananas to get a baby Swanana. Now that you've mated each species separately, feed them a piece of Romance Candy to get a Rashberry and Swanana in the mood again. Finally, direct one to the other, to introduce them. (If they aren't interested, try switching which species you're directing.)
After meeting both the Swananna and the Rashberry mating requirements and buying the mystery house, feed each one of Ivor Bargain's joy candy and they will now both mate with each other. You will get experience once for mating the Rashberry to the Swananna and then once again vice versa. This method is much easier and time saving in the long run.
How do I unlock the Master Romancer achievement?
Each species has a Master Romancer award. The first time you receive the award for any species, you will unlock the achievement. As for receiving a species' Master Romancer award, there are several ways to accomplish it.
The condition for receiving a Master Romancer award is having seven pinata of a species resident in the garden at the same time. This could be done by romancing 2 pinatas 5 times, but romancing is not a requirement. You could also receive more pinatas of that species from a friend, hire Shop#Gretchen Fetchem to hunt one or more for you, or even evolve more, if you're dealing with one of the evolved species. Any combination of the above will accomplish the objective, as long as you end up with seven at once -- so don't sell any off until you've unlocked the award.
How do I unlock the ... Secret Achievement?
While most of the secret Achievements are straight-forward -- outside of being secret in the first place! -- here are some tips for unlocking most of them:
- Helper achievements - Hire each of the 5 helpers.
- Fertilizer achievement - Direct a Taffly to any piece of fruit to produce fertilizer.
- Shovel achievements - Hit level 30; purchase the Shovel upgrades from Ivor Bargain.
- Watering can achievement - Hit level 27; purchase the "One Pour Wonder" Watering can upgrade from Ivor Bargain.
- Harvester achievement - Get a Buzzlegum to produce Honey, a Moozipan to produce Milk, or a Goobaa to produce Wool.
- Generosity achievement - Give the Begger 1000 chocolate coins.
- Cluckles hatches egg achievement - Build a mine and hire a diggerling. When a Dragonache egg is found, direct a Cluckles to sit on it.
- Macaracoon gift achievement - Select a tame Macaraccoon and press Error creating thumbnail: File missingto send it off to find a sweet.
- Distract Dastardos achievements - Direct a Crowla and a Sherbat to delay Dastardos, to unlock 2 achievements.
- Cocoadile tears achivement - Direct a tame Cocoadile to a plant that needs fertilizing.
- Mallowolf howl achievement - Direct a Mallowolf to scare off a Ruffian from the garden.
- Chewnicorn healing achievement - Direct a Chewnicorn to heal a sick pinata.
- Pigxie achievement - See How do I get a Rashberry and Swanana to romance? for details.
User Interface questions
Where do I learn more about my piñatas?
How do I name a piñata?
Select a piñata to rename, then use its Encyclopedia page to rename it.
What's the purpose of labeling a piñata?
Each piñata has a tag, like what you'd find on a plush animal. A piñata's tag contains useful information about that piñata, such as its name, which garden it came from, and your gamertag. When a piñata travels from garden to garden, as you ship one around to a friend, each place that it visits is recorded on the tag. You can use the Label Designer to customize all your pinatas' tags.
What can I place in my garden?
There are all sorts of garden objects that you can add to your garden. They range from flowers and vegetables, to bushes and trees, fences and paths, houses for each species, and even statues for your garden. Most items can be bought from Shops in the Village with chocolate coins, or downloaded from the Xbox Live Marketplace. Several items have upgrades that you can buy, such as sturdier fences.
See Designing your garden for some helpful tips about locating garden objects.
Are some fences better than others?
Yes. There are sturdier fences that you can obtain from Costolot's General Store or Ivor Bargain in the Village. For example, a stone fence is more likely to be sturdier than a wood fence. This is important, when you have larger piñatas that can trample your flowers, or sour Macaraccoons, who like to destroy things.
How do I know when to water my garden?
Your flowers will turn yellowish brown.
You can use the Water Meter to help determine how much water is needed, while watering your garden. If you buy the One Pour Wonder from Ivor Bargain once you reach level 27, you'll only need to water a plant once, and it will be set for life. (It also waters a plant just the ideal amount, so you no longer have to deal with over-watering.)
Why don't hearts appear? plants grow? My garden is full?
If you run into the following situations, these are indications that your garden is full:
- Hearts don't appear over a pinata even though the Romance requirements are met.
- Seeds refuse to be planted in the ground, or plants stop growing before maturity.
- No new wild pinatas visit your garden.
- A shopkeeper complains that your garden is full, when you try to buy/place an item.
- An alert appears or Leafos warns you that your garden is full.
In situations like this, you should sell off unneeded pinatas, produce, flowers, seeds, or other items on the ground, to free up more room in your garden.
As several developers from Rare have commented in public forums, as powerful as the Xbox 360 console is, it still only has a finite amount of memory to maintain information on every little detail of your garden. When you think about every little active detail that the game has to manage and render, such as fruit growing on a bush, and finally falling to the ground, or the appearance of a pinata's fur as it ripples, there's only so much memory to go around.
Here are a few rough guidelines that might guide you as you manage your garden. These numbers may vary from garden to garden, depending on what's in your garden already.
- 36 pinatas (an exact limit, and is the combined total of residents and visitors)
- about a dozen trees
- about a few dozen plants
- about 2-3 dozen fence pieces
- about 20 transmuted items
Again, outside of the pinata limit which is fixed at 36, you may be able to fit a little more (or less) of a particular item, before you bump into a limit.
How many gardens can I create? on a memory card?
On a premium system (i.e. console with attached hard disk), the only limit is the amount of free disk space, so you could create hundreds if you had several Gb free. (Once you created more than 8 gardens, the Load Garden screen would allow you to scroll through the gardens shown on the 8 petals.)
On a memory card, it's obviously limited by the remaining amount of free space on the memory card. There is a 4 Mb profile (which keeps track of common information for all gardens, such as total cash, or which totems are on your Tower of Sour). Each garden you create has its own 8 Mb save file. So, you could generally fit 4 or more gardens on a memory card.
As briefly mentioned, each new garden shares a common amount of money, so the coins you earned in one garden can be used to help start a new garden. Your gardener level and Tower of Sour are also shared between gardens, so you can start a new garden, yet attract (or have Gretchen Fetchem hunt) any advanced species you've previously dealt with in other gardens. You also don't have to worry about retaming sour pinatas. Of course, you could deactivate totem segments, if you did want to retame a sour.
Can I delete a garden and start over?
You're not limited by any total number of gardens, on your hard disk, but if you desire to delete a garden so it no longer shows up on the Load Garden petal menu, you can do so via the Dashboard System blade (Select Memory, then Games, then the desired garden save.)
Note: In addition to each separate garden save file, there is a common profile which tracks your cash, Tower of Sour, and other shared information. Do NOT delete this file, or it will invalidate all your gardens, and you'll be forced to start from scratch, with no money, at the very beginning of the tutorial.
Shops and currency questions
What can I buy with my chocolate coins?
The list is probably too long to mention everything, but here are a few items and services available at the Village shops:
- Hiring helpers for your garden,
- Upgrading your tools,
- More seeds, vegetables, and trees,
- Tinkering (transforming one item into another),
- Accessories for your piñatas,
- New (or upgraded) objects for your garden,
- Domestic pets, such as cats or dogs.
How do I get more money?
You can get more money by:
- Smashing a garden object,
- Selling a piñata,
- Selling items (e.g. milk or honey).
- Growing plants like the chili (at level 11) or orchid (at level 35) then selling them.
Where do I pick up the piñata that my friend sent me?
Where do I go to hire helpers for my garden?
You can also hire Gretchen Fetchem to track down lost strays.
How do I upgrade my tools?
New watering cans and shovel handles and shovel heads to upgrade your tools can be purchased from Costolot's General Store or Ivor Bargain. You will need enough chocolate coins to pay for each upgrade.
Where do I get more seeds?
Visit Costolot's General Store in the Village to buy more seeds and vegetables.
Where do I buy a bottle of medicine? a mushroom?
You can hire Bart, the tinkerer, from Bart's Exchange to transform items such as honey into a bottle of medicine, or a toadstool into a mushroom.
See List of items that can be transformed for a complete list of items that can be tinkered, as well as their tranformed uses.
How do I get more accessories?
What downloadables are available for the game?
There is also a possibility of seasonal changes for download, but nothing has been confirmed yet.
Naturally, these downloadables will be spread out over a period of time, and not all released at once.
Are there cat and dog piñatas?
Yes. Miss Petula's Paper Pets carries domestic animals, such as cats and dogs, that would not be available as wild piñatas.
How many different piñata species are there?
There are 60 different piñata species. Rare has mentioned that it's likely a player will only attract about 30 for their first garden.
Each species also has three differently-colored variants which must be discovered through various means.
As you progress through the game, you'll be asked to make choices. The decisions you make will affect which piñatas you can attract into your garden. All is not lost, however, if you need a species in a pinch. It's likely that a friend would be able to trade what you need, in return for helping them out!
My piñatas are fighting! What can I do?
You can sprinkle a pinata with water or lightly 'tap' a pinata with your shovel, which gets its attention, without breaking it open. However, this can make your pinata ill.
It's not known if there are other ways to actively discourage or break up fights, especially since some species naturally don't get along with other species. (See Food chain for a list.)
There are a couple of passive options that you can use:
- Isolate unfriendly species from each other, by distance and/or fences,
- Buy a Red Eye Rainbow (minimizes fights) from Ivor Bargain, or
- Tame a sour Bonboon, which will help you out by stopping fights.
What species don't get along with each other?
See Food chain for a list.
How can I attract a different piñata species?
In general, there are at least four different ways to obtain a new species:
- Meet the right requirements to entice a wild piñata to become a resident,
- Tame a sour piñata,
- Evolve a new species from an existing resident species,
- Get a friend to send you one ;)
See Attracting new species for a detailed list that covers the different ways.
Note: Certain decisions that you make while playing the game, may make it impossible for certain wild piñatas to appear, if you don't have the required piñata in your garden to attract them.
What's the best way to keep sours out of my garden?
After you tame a sour pinata, a totem pole segment is added to your Tower of Sour to scare away all sour pinatas of that species.
A tame Cocoadile will also help scare away sour species that you haven't tamed yet.
Which piñatas are rare?
The answer to that question should be split into two parts. There are uncommon piñatas that are harder to obtain, and then there are most likely rare piñatas.
The uncommon piñatas would be species that require certain items, or certain other pinata species before they can be attracted or created. For example, to get a Zumbug, you need blackberries, daisies, and a Horstachio (which requires other species being residents, before it will reside in your garden).
As for the truly rare piñatas, while there isn't a specific list at present, it's possible that such species, like the Chewnicorn, might be extremely difficult to attract (e.g. perhaps the Gem Tree is very expensive).
Are there any mythical piñatas?
One of the TV show episodes alluded to a legendary Dragonache. It's also reasonable to believe that the Chewnicorn is a mythical piñata. The Chewnicorn was recently featured on a new Xbox 360 Dashboard Theme.
As you've probably discovered by following the links, both species do exist, and can reside in your garden, if you're a skilled enough gardener :)
Can I create new piñata species?
Some new piñata speciess can be evolved by feeding an item to an existing resident species. For example, a Horstachio can change into a Zumbug after eating blackberries and daisies. See Attracting new species for a list.
Will there be any new piñatas on the Marketplace?
Do accessories benefit my pinata?
Yes, accessories can affect a pinata in a couple of different ways. Giving a pinata an accessory will increase its happiness for a period of time. Accessories also increase a pinata's value. Some accessories also have specific effects, when added to a pinata. For example, placing a bonnet accessory on a Goobaa will prompt it to regularly visit a shearing shed, to get shorn, once its wool has regrown.
Is there a Co-op mode?
Yes. Local players can play in Family Mode. (Family Mode allows multiple players to control a common (shared) cursor. This allows parents and older siblings to help out younger players.) In a later update to the game, you will be able to Co-op with a friend via Xbox Live. See Can I invite a friend to visit my garden? for more information.
Can I invite a friend to visit my garden?
Yes. Although the feature won't be available in the initial release of the game, a later update will allow you to invite a friend to join your garden as a spectator. Your friend will be able to walk around and explore your garden. If you give your friend permission, they will be able to help out in your garden.
Note: Giving a stranger permission to help in your garden could allow them to destroy items in your garden or break open your piñatas. There will probably be a way to remove their permission, or boot them from the garden, but any changes or damage that they made will remain.
What different online modes are there?
Viva Piñata will offer several types of online games, via Xbox Live:
- There will be a Co-operative mode (available in a later update to the game), where a friend can visit your garden as a spectator, or join in and help out in your garden.
- There will be online mini-games, where you and a friend can engage in competitions between your piñatas.
- There might be a contest-type mode, where you can judge each other's piñatas, and win Awards for the best breed.
- There will be online trading, where you can ship piñatas and/or accessories to a friend.
How do I ship a piñata to a friend?
Visit Fanny Franker's Post Office in the Village. It will cost one chocolate coin to buy a crate, which you can place in your garden. You can then pack up to five items, including piñatas, garden objects, and/or accessories in the crate, and send it to anyone on your Friends list.
Do I need an Xbox Live account to trade with a friend?
Yes. Although you only need a Silver (free) Xbox Live membership, it is necessary to have a membership on Xbox Live to be able to trade between friends. Trading is managed via the Friends list feature of Xbox Live, so you need to be signed in to Xbox Live while playing, to send or receive crates.
A (wired or wireless) internet connection for your Xbox is obviously required.
Note that you can ship crates to yourself (such as for moving pinatas between your different gardens) without requiring an Xbox Live account or internet connection, since the "shipment" is local.
|1.09||Nov-23-2006||Updated 12 answers, and added 11 new questions.|
|1.08||Nov-08-2006||Removed incorrect variant usage; added new Variant question. Updated day/night information.|
|1.07||Nov-03-2006||Added Tower of Sour and Accessory effects questions.|
|1.06||Nov-02-2006||Corrected Horstachio variant examples.|
|1.05||Nov-02-2006||Updated answers with latest game information.|
|1.04||Oct-03-2006||Added introductory question|
|1.03||Oct-02-2006||Updated info for shipping a crate to someone.|
|1.02||Sep-21-2006||Updated number of different species and sours.|
|1.01||Sep-12-2006||Corrected minor typos and capitalization.|
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