Frequently Asked Questions

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This is a collection of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the Viva Piñata games. Other information about Viva Piñata, such as merchandise, or the TV show, can be found elsewhere on the wiki.

Game icons indicate answers that mention specific (significant) differences between games. Lack of an icon doesn't mean that a question doesn't apply to a game. Rather, answers that generally apply to each game don't happen to mention any game-specific significant differences.

General questions
Achievement questions
User Interface questions
Shops and currency questions
Species questions
Multiplayer questions
Pocket Paradise questions
Trouble in Paradise questions

General questions

What is Viva Piñata? Classic Trouble in Paradise Pocket Paradise Party Animals TV show

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.

TV show The television series debuted in September 2006, and some episodes are now available on DVD.

Classic Viva Piñata: Classic for the Xbox 360 launched in November 2006, and a Windows version followed in November 2007.

Party Animals Party Animals launched in October 2007.

Trouble in Paradise Trouble in Paradise, the sequel to Classic for the Xbox 360, launched in September 2008.

Pocket Paradise Pocket Paradise, an enhanced version of Classic for the Nintendo DS, also launched in September 2008.


What's a wild piñata?

A wild piñata will be black and white, and appear at the edge of your garden. (When it becomes a resident, its monochrome colors 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 visit (cross over your garden boundary), and then 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.

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.

Once two or more of a species are resident, no more wild pinatas of that species will appear.


What's a variant? Trouble in Paradise

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 (one color variant for Pocket Paradise) which must be discovered through various means.

Every time you discover a new variant, you are awarded more experience.

Trouble in Paradise Some main garden species also have arctic or desert versions that are differently-colored than their main-garden counterparts. These arctic or desert versions can also be varianted, giving some species a total of eight possible differently-colored versions. Snapshots comparing main garden and sub-garden variants can be found in the Variant Experiments thread.


What's an evolve?

An evolved species is one that is created from an existing species. For example, if you feed a buttercup (dandelion for Trouble In Paradise) 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 eight evolved species to discover (fourteen for Trouble in Paradise), and each of them has three color variants (one color variant for Pocket Paradise), like any other species.


An evolve isn't a variant?

Nope. A variant is differently-colored, but the same species. For example, you can change a Whirlm's colors to shades of purple (by feeding it a turnip), but it's still a Whirlm.

An evolve turns a species into completely different species, with its own romance requirements and romance dance, own unique house that needs to be built, and its own set of 3 color variants.


What's a sour piñata? Trouble in Paradise

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.

Trouble in Paradise In Trouble in Paradise, sours can eat joy sweets to chill them out. During that time, they will have a halo above their heads and won't cause you any trouble.


How do I tame a sour piñata?

You can tame a sour piñata by meeting its Resident requirements. See Taming sour piñatas for details.

Gameplay Tip: Once you tame a sour piñata, another totem block is added to your Tower of Sour to scare away all sour piñatas of that species.


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 (twelve for Trouble in Paradise) different sour species. However, all piñatas can fight and compete over land without actually being a sour.

Gameplay Tip: The only way to initially obtain a Macaraccoon, Bonboon, Cocoadile, Crowla, Sherbat, Mallowolf, Profitamole, or Shellybean resident for your garden, is by taming a sour one.


Why did my piñata turn green and yellow?

A sick Sour Macaraccoon

A green and yellow piñata is sick. Piñatas can become ill for several reasons:

  • Eating sour candy,
  • losing a fight with another resident piñata,
  • eating or being close to weeds, like the Toadstool,
  • getting whacked with the shovel,
  • not having enough room to roam, or
  • being trapped or stuck by garden items or terrain.

Even sour piñatas can become ill, as the Macaraccoon image shows.

Pinatas that repeatedly fall sick, immediately after being healed, are stuck. Try selling off nearby houses or garden items, or filling in ponds, to free them.


How do I heal a sick piñata? Trouble in Paradise

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 piñata, he'll eventually show up and try to break open your sick piñata to put it out of its misery (because he's such a good guy.) 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.

Gameplay Tip: Your best bet, is to try to avoid sickness in the first place, by keeping your pinatas away from weeds or rival species, and giving them plenty of room to roam.

Trouble in Paradise In Trouble in Paradise, Couch Social players can use magic to heal a pinata, tinker items, or raise a pinata's candiosity.


How do I get two piñatas to romance?

First, you'll need to have met all the Romance requirements for two piñatas of a species, which includes having built their house, so they'll have a place to be romantic. A pink heart will appear over each piñata, when its Romance requirements are met. Next, introduce the two to each other, by directing one of them to the other one.

Highlight one romantic piñata and press Button a.png to select it. Your cursor will split into two. Highlight a second romantic piñata of the same species and press Button a.png to direct them together to be romantic.

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 romance dance. (Each species has their own unique dance.)

Gameplay Tip: The more of a particular species that reside in the garden, the less lives you get in the minigame. If you have trouble finishing the minigame with less lives, you can pack up and post to yourself all but two pinatas of that species that you are romancing. (You don't need to be on Xbox Live to send pinatas to yourself.) You will then find that your lives in the minigame have reset to maximum. When you have finished romancing them you can retrieve the others from the post office so as to achieve your Master Romancer Award.

Once you've romanced a species for the first time, you can use a 'romance sweet' (available from Costolot's General Store in Classic and Trouble in Paradise) to get that species' piñatas 'in the mood' without having to meet all of their romance requirements again.


Who is Professor Pester? The Ruffians? Classic Trouble in Paradise Pocket Paradise

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.

Classic Interesting details about how Professor Pester came to be, can be discovered by reading the Story chapters in the Journal.

Classic Trouble in Paradise 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. Ruffians can be bribed with 100 coins (200 coins for Trouble in Paradise), and Pester can be bribed for 500 coins.

Select a Ruffian and press
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to bribe it. Enter the amount of coins to give as a bribe and press Button a.png to complete the bribe.

Classic Pocket Paradise At level 30 (level 6 for Pocket Paradise), you can purchase a Captain's Cutlass garden decoration from Ivor Bargain which will keep Professor Pester and his Ruffians away for good.

A decoy piñata.
Trouble in Paradise In Trouble in Paradise, only the Ruffians will be kept out by the Captain's Cutlass. There are numerous ways to deal with Pester, though:

Pocket Paradise In Pocket Paradise, a Barkbark (with a collar) can chase Ruffians (and sours) out of your garden. Selecting the Barkbark will display a menu icon that allows you to control if your Barkbark is on guard duty.


In what ways can I customize my piñatas? Trouble in Paradise

You can:

  • Name each piñata resident,
  • use the Label Designer to give a unique tag to pinatas hatched in your garden,
  • outfit them with accessories that you can get from the shops, and
  • variant them to one of their colors.

Trouble in Paradise In Trouble in Paradise, you can also teach your piñatas tricks, help them gain fame and become superstars, and upload them onto Piñata Vision cards to share them with others.


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.

Besides, how would you feel about being whacked with a shovel?

If you break open too many, there may be consequences. Other wild piñatas of that species will have heard that your garden isn't a friendly place for them, and might be less likely to visit or become residents.

On the other hand, breaking pinatas open can be a quick way to meet tedious Resident requirements, such as helping a visiting Roario to eat its share of life essence candy.


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. Daytime (or nighttime) also affects when a wild pinata might appear. Other species only appear after a certain amount of days have passed.


How do I increase the size of my garden?

Your garden size will automatically increase once you reach level 11 (level ? for Pocket Paradise), and again when you reach level 21 (level 5 for Pocket Paradise).


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, sours, or rivals, 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 eating your flowers, and trampling your garden or smaller pinatas! 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.

Gameplay Tip: Since wildcard pinatas won't fight, it's possible to keep wildcards of rival species in the same garden, without them constantly fighting.


When will the game be released?

Viva Piñata: Classic for the Xbox 360 launched in November 2006, and a Windows version followed in November 2007. Party Animals launched in October 2007. Trouble in Paradise and Pocket Paradise both launched in September 2008.

Demos for all three Xbox 360 games are available on the Xbox Live Marketplace.


When will patches for the game be released?

No official announcements have been made about any patches for the Viva Pinata games.


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 forum (where wiki contributors are members).


Achievement questions

Where can I find a list of Achievements?

See the Achievements article for a complete list of achievements (certificates for Pocket Paradise).


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. Every award you receive will earn you experience, which helps level up your gardening skill. You can see all the Awards you have obtained, by opening your Journal.

Xbox Live gamers can compare their accomplishments with other players via the Leaderboards.


What's the advantage of leveling up my gardening skill?

As you level up (by earning awards), this unlocks new benefits and challenges:

See List of benefits gained at each gardener level for more details as to when each is unlocked.


What is the fastest way to level up my gardening skill? Classic Trouble in Paradise Pocket Paradise

Fast ways to earn experience include:

  • Fully fertilize each type of plant. You can earn up to three bonus growth awards for each type of plant.
  • Classic Pocket Paradise Purchase and romance domestic piñata from Miss Petula's Paper Pets (Gretchen in Pocket Paradise) in the village. You can earn the usual awards for each.
  • Create variant piñata for the species you already have. You can earn up to three variant awards for each piñata species.
  • Trouble in Paradise In Trouble in Paradise, send each species to a party to restore its Computer Record. Higher-level pinatas will earn you more experience.


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 romance a Rashberry and Swanana, first meet each species' separate Romance requirements. Next, build a Mystery House in the garden.

If both are overjoyed, you probably can romance them directly at this point. Direct one to the other, to introduce them. (If they aren't interested, try switching which species you're directing.)

If that's not working out, mate two Rashberries to get a baby Rashberry, and two Swananas to get a baby Swanana. Now that you've romanced each species separately, feed them a piece of Romance Candy to get a Rashberry and Swanana in the mood again, and try directing them to each other, again.


How do I unlock the Master Romancer achievement? Classic Trouble in Paradise Pocket Paradise

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.

Classic Trouble in Paradise The condition for receiving a Master Romancer award is having seven piñatas of a species resident in the garden at the same time. Don't sell any until you have unlocked the award! You can reach 7 in several ways:

  • Romance 2 piñatas (this is the only way to get the romance award for the species),
  • Receive piñatas of that species from a friend,
  • Hire Gretchen Fetchem to hunt some for you,
  • Evolve the pinatas, if you're dealing with one of the evolved species,
  • Purchase the pinatas, if available at Paper Pets in the village, or
  • Any combination of the options above

Pocket Paradise In Pocket Paradise, the condition for receiving a Master Romancer award is romancing a species three times.


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 Ivor Beggar 1,000 chocolate coins.
  • Cluckles hatches egg achievement - When an egg is delivered, direct a Cluckles to sit on it.
  • Macaracoon gift achievement - Select a tame Macaraccoon and press Button x.png for the menu, then choose the "Find Romance Sweet" option to 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 achievement - Direct a tame Cocoadile to a plant that needs fertilizing.
  • Mallowolf howl achievement - Direct a Mallowolf to scare off a Ruffian or Professor Pester from the garden.
  • Chewnicorn healing achievement - Direct a Chewnicorn to heal a sick piñata.
  • 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?

Your Journal's Encyclopedia is the best in-game source of information about your piñatas. You can also read up on each species right here at the wiki.


How do I name a piñata?

Select a piñata to rename, then use its Encyclopedia page to rename it.

Classic Trouble in Paradise Select a piñata with the cursor, then press Button y.png to open its Information page. Use the left stick to scroll down to "Basic Info" and press Button a.png to bring up a dialog, where you can enter a new name for that piñata.
Pocket Paradise Select a piñata with the stylus, then switch to its Information page. Tap its name with the stylus to bring up a dialog, where you can enter a new name for that piñata.


What's the purpose of labeling a piñata?

Each piñata has a tag, like what you'd find on a plush animal. You can use the Label Designer to customize a tag for your pinatas. Wild (or fetched) pinatas have a blank tag, but pinatas you hatch in your garden will have your custom tag.


What can I place in my garden? Trouble in Paradise

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 and other decorations. 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.

Trouble in Paradise Trouble in Paradise adds interactive toys and trains that your pinatas can play with or respond to.

See Designing your garden for some helpful tips about placing garden objects.


Are some fences better than others? Trouble in Paradise

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.

Trouble in Paradise In Trouble in Paradise, there is a bird-proof fence that is very handy for growing weeds or keeping a separate aviary.


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.)

Gameplay Tip: If you over-water your plants and flowers too much, they will turn blue (and possibly die). Leaving the plant alone for a while will allow the excess water will drain off over time.


Why don't hearts appear? plants grow? My garden is full? Classic Trouble in Paradise

If you run into the following situations, these are indications that your garden is full:

  • Hearts don't appear (hearts turn blue in Trouble in Paradise) over a piñata even though the Romance requirements are met.
  • Seeds refuse to be planted in the ground, or plants stop growing before maturity.
  • No new wild piñatas 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.

When you do receive a garden full message when placing an item, you probably have a lot of that type of item already. So, for example, if you're trying to buy seeds, try selling off some of the unplanted ones around the garden, to make room for more of that type of item. Selling off other types of things such as pinatas or trees might not be as helpful.

Produce is another overlooked type of item that often leads to garden full situations. Fully-fertilized bushes and trees produce a lot of fruit or nuts, and leaving a lot of it laying around the garden can lead to problems. Again, it's helpful to focus on specifics, to carefully look around at everything, to determine what item type limit you might be reaching.

If you don't appear to be bumping into a specific (pinata or item) limit, you could sell off unneeded piñatas, produce, flowers, seeds, or other items on the ground, to generally free up more room in your garden. Removing trees and pinatas are your best bet to resolve this as they take up the most system resources.

Other helpful tips to manage/free up garden space:

  • Hire a Gatherling to help collect and sell off produce for you.
  • Trouble in Paradise Use the bouncer board to keep wilds of master-romanced species from visiting, to make more room for other visitors or residents.
  • Trouble in Paradise Meet the unblock requirements for the species that Pester has trapped outside your garden, to make the pesky Ruffians and sleeping Chippo wander off.

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 piñata'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 (and outside) your garden already. Also, these numbers are an absolute maximum, if you have many things from many categories you may find the limits reduced in order to spread the load.

Classic Viva Piñata: Classic

  • 36 piñatas (combined total of residents and visitors, it's not possible to get 36 resident piñata)
  • about a dozen houses
  • about a dozen trees
  • about a few dozen plants
  • about 2-3 dozen fence pieces
  • about 20 transmuted items

Trouble in Paradise Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise

  • 40 piñatas (combined total of residents and visitors, it's not possible to get 36 resident piñata)
  • 8 helpers
  • 32 accessories
  • 64 plants
  • 16 trees
  • 12 eggs
  • 81 fences
  • 64 flowerheads
  • 48 fruit
  • 17 homes
  • 130 paving slabs
  • 64 props
  • 16 seeds
  • 32 sweets
  • 32 vegetables

Outside of the piñata limit which is fixed, you may be able to fit a little more (or less) of a particular item, depending on how many other things you already have in your garden, before you bump into a limit. To repeat, these numbers may vary from garden to garden. Depending on what's in (and outside) your garden already, you may find the limits reduced in order to spread the load.


How many gardens can I create? on a memory card?

For a console with attached hard drive, the only limit is the amount of hard drive 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 (5 MB for Trouble in Paradise) 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 (16 MB for Trouble in Paradise). 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 piñatas. 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.

Games for Windows users can find their garden save file in the following location:

  • Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Saved Games\Microsoft Games\Viva Pinata\Saves
  • Windows 7 or Vista: C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Saved Games\Microsoft Games\Viva Pinata\Saves

(Note that some directories may be hidden by default and won't be visible within Explorer until you enable "Show hidden files.")


How do I take pictures? Classic Trouble in Paradise

Classic Classic for the Xbox 360 does not provide any way to save images while playing the game. One frequently-used method to capture an image is simply to photograph your television screen using a digital camera, then download the photo to your PC.

Classic In Classic for Windows, you can use the Print Screen key (or third-party software) to capture screenshots.

Trouble in Paradise In Trouble in Paradise, you can use the camera tool. Photos can be uploaded to, where they will initially only be viewable by you. You can go to the My Page section of and submit specific photos to the public gallery, where others will be able to view them.


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.

Ivor Bargain is a begger/trader in the village who will also help you part with your coins.


How do I get more money?

You can get more money by:

  • Smashing garden junk,
  • (romancing/evolving and then) selling piñatas,
  • selling items (e.g., milk, wool, honey), and
  • growing plants like poison ivy (at level 8), chilies (at level 11) or orchids (at level 35) then selling them.

Additional strategies for making money can be found at Gameplay Tips: Making Money.


Where do I pick up the piñata that my friend sent me?

Visit Fanny Franker's Post Office (Gretchen Fetchem for Pocket Paradise) in the village to receive your package.

Press Button x.png to open the gameplay menu, select the Post Office option from the menu, and press Button a.png.


Where do I go to hire helpers for my garden?

Visit Arfur's Inn (Costolot's General Store for Pocket Paradise) in the village to hire helpers. Helpers are available for weeding, sprinkling, watching, gathering and digging.

You can also hire Gretchen Fetchem to fetch pinatas from the wild.

Press Button x.png to open the gameplay menu, select the village option from the menu, and press Button a.png, then select Arfur's Inn (or Gretchen Fetchem) from the menu, and press Button a.png.


How do I upgrade my tools?

New watering cans, 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.

Press Button x.png to open the gameplay menu, select the village option from the menu, and press Button a.png, then select Costolot's General Store or Ivor Bargain from the menu, and press Button a.png.


Where do I get more seeds?

Seeds can be acquired in the following ways:

  • Visit Costolot's General Store in the village to buy more seeds and vegetables. Additional seeds are available as you reach higher levels.
  • Ivor Bargain has one of the more exotic seeds for sale.
  • Seedos will give you a random seed for free if you talk to him.
  • Flowers will produce one seed per flowerhead when tapped with the shovel, or if they die of old age.
To visit Costolot's General Store or Ivor Bargain, press Button x.png to open the gameplay menu, select the village option from the menu, and press Button a.png. Then select the appropriate store from the menu, and press Button a.png.


Where do I buy a bottle of medicine? a mushroom? Pocket Paradise

You must 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.

Pocket Paradise In Pocket Paradise, the General Store will add transformed items to their inventory, as you discover each one.

See the transformation article for a complete list of items that can be tinkered, as well as their transformed uses.


How do I get more accessories? Classic Trouble in Paradise

Head to Miss Petula's Paper Pets (Gretchen Fetchem for Pocket Paradise) in the village for your domestic pinata, and accessory needs.

Classic In Classic, you can also download more accessories from the Xbox Live Marketplace.

Trouble in Paradise In Trouble in Paradise, more accessories are unlocked as you complete Langston's destination challenges.


What downloadables are available for the game?

Rare has released a series of accessory packs on the Xbox Live Marketplace.

No other downloads for the game have been announced.


How do I know how many chocolate coins my garden is worth?

Go to the Menu, select "Journal", "Player Awards" and "Player Status". You'll see a screen with your garden value, rank, and account balance.


Species questions

Are there cat and dog piñatas? Trouble in Paradise

Yes. Miss Petula's Paper Pets (Gretchen Fetchem for Pocket Paradise) carries domestic pinatas, such as Kittyflosses and Barkbarks, that would not be available as wild piñatas.

Trouble in Paradise In Trouble in Paradise, domestic pinatas have returned to the wild, and you will have to attract them like all other species.


How many different piñata species are there?

There are 60 different piñata species (67 for Pocket Paradise, 88 for Trouble in Paradise), not counting sours or each different Flutterscotch.

Each species also has three differently-colored variants (one for Pocket Paradise) which must be discovered through various means.


My piñatas are fighting! What can I do?

You can sprinkle a piñata with water or lightly 'tap' a piñata with your shovel, which gets its attention, without breaking it open. However, this can make your piñata ill.

Some species naturally don't get along with other species, so it helps not to keep rival species in the same garden.

There are a few other options that you can use:

  • Isolate unfriendly species from each other, by distance, fences, and/or ponds,
  • avoid any weeds which may anger or irritate pinatas,
  • buy a Red Eye Rainbow (minimizes fights) from Ivor Bargain, or
  • tame a sour Bonboon, which will help you out by stopping fights.
Gameplay Tip: Since wildcard pinatas won't fight, it's possible to keep wildcards of rival species in the same garden, without them constantly fighting.


What species don't get along with each other?

See Food chain for a list of (wild) predators that will eat other (resident) piñatas. See Conflict for a list of species that commonly fight.


How can I attract a different piñata species? Trouble in Paradise

In general, there are at least four different ways to obtain a new species:

  • Meet the right requirements to entice a wild piñata to appear, visit, and become a resident,
  • tame a sour piñata,
  • evolve a new species from an existing resident species, or
  • get a friend to send you one.

See Attracting new species for a detailed list that covers the different ways.

Trouble in Paradise In Trouble in Paradise, you can use Piñata Vision (with an Xbox Live Vision camera) to scan pinatas into your garden.


What's the best way to keep sours out of my garden?

After you tame a sour piñata, a totem pole segment is added to your Tower of Sour to scare away all sour piñatas of that species.

A Watchling, Night Watchling, guard Barkbark in Pocket Paradise, or Dragonache may help scare away sours.

Gameplay Tip: Your Tower of Sour is shared among all new gardens that you start. You can activate/deactivate specific totems, to control which sours can enter your new garden, should you wish to tame one.


Which piñatas are rare?

The answer to that question should be split into two parts. There are higher-level piñatas that are harder to obtain, and then there are unique or rare piñatas.

The higher-level piñatas would be species that have more challenging resident requirements (e.g., the Roario or Sarsgorilla), or require certain items or certain other piñata species before they can be attracted or created (e.g., the Zumbug).

As for the truly rare piñatas, there are the Dragonache (one found per garden), and Choclodocus (one found per gamertag).


Are there any mythical piñatas?

Some of the TV show episodes have alluded to (or featured) a legendary Dragonache. It's also reasonable to believe that the Chewnicorn, also shown in a TV episode and on a dashboard theme, is a mythical piñata.

As you've probably discovered by reading their articles, 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 species 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.

Gameplay Tip: When creating a new species from an existing resident, it's helpful not to change your only resident species into a different species. Wait for a second one to become a resident, then romance them first, so you will have some of both species.


Will there be any new piñatas on the Marketplace?

Rare has not made any annoucements regarding downloadable pinata species.

For new species beyond Viva Piñata: Classic, consider Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise or Viva Piñata: Pocket Paradise.


Do accessories benefit my pinata?

Yes, accessories can affect a piñata in a couple of different ways. Giving a piñata an accessory will increase its happiness for a period of time. Accessories also increase a piñata's value. Some accessories also have specific effects, when added to a piñata. 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.


Species X won't appear/visit, even though I have all Y requirements? Trouble in Paradise Pocket Paradise

There are several reasons why a pinata might not appear or visit. The short answer is to start a new garden, and meet its Appear and Visit requirements there.

As for the reasons, here are some possibilities:

  • Your garden already has many resident/wild pinatas, and there is no room for more wild pinatas to show up.
  • Your garden is too interesting to too many different species, and they can't all show up at the same time.
  • An Appear or Visit requirement isn't actually met. Double-check its species article (and make sure you're viewing the right game's requirements).
    • For wild pinatas which appear but won't visit (or reside), target the wild pinata with your cursor, press Button y.png to view its information, and check which requirements are still unmet.
  • Something in your garden is scaring away a pinata. A sour totem block? A Watchling or Night Watchling? A Dragonache? A rival species?
  • Trouble in Paradise The species is blocked from appearing by the bouncer board.


Multiplayer questions

Is there a Co-op mode? Classic Trouble in Paradise

Classic Yes. In Classic, 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.

Trouble in Paradise Yes. Trouble in Paradise extends offline play with Couch Social mode, where a second player has their own cursor. The game also adds full online, 4-player co-op mode via Xbox Live. (Gold Xbox Live membership required for multiplayer.)


Can I invite a friend to visit my garden? Classic Trouble in Paradise

Classic No. In Classic, there is no method to invite another player to visit your garden.

Trouble in Paradise Yes. In Trouble in Paradise, you can play online via Xbox Live. It's also possible to set private slots, to stop unwanted players entering your game.


What different online modes are there? Classic Trouble in Paradise

Classic Classic offers the following via Xbox Live:

  • Online trading, where you can ship piñatas and/or accessories to a friend.
  • Leaderboards showing the most valuable pinatas and gardens.

Trouble in Paradise Trouble in Paradise offers the following via Xbox Live:

  • Online trading, where you can ship piñatas and/or accessories to a friend.
  • Leaderboards showing the most valuable pinatas and gardens.
  • Online co-op, where 4 players can all garden together
  • Online P-Factor and Piñata Paperchase competitions
  • Photo uploads, sent to
  • Online stats, uploaded to


How do I ship a piñata to a friend? Classic Trouble in Paradise Pocket Paradise

Classic Trouble in Paradise 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.

Press Button x.png to open the gameplay menu, select the Post Office option from the menu, and press Button a.png.

Pocket Paradise In Pocket Paradise, Gretchen Fetchem can ship crates to nearby friends via local WiFi. (There is no support for the Wi-Fi Connection (WFC) service.)


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 piñatas between your different gardens) without requiring an Xbox Live account or internet connection, since the delivery is local.


Pocket Paradise questions

How do I reach level n?

Make sure you've earned all possible piñata awards, including ones for tamed sours, and for new (wild) pinatas that have been unlocked as you level up. Commonly overlooked tasks:

  • Variant your Flutterscotches and earn awards for each of the five different colors.
  • Buy any new domestic pinatas for sale from Gretchen Fetchem, and earn their awards.

Double-check your Journal to see if you've missed earning any Master Romancer or variant awards.


Why won't the sour Bonboon appear?

The sour Bonboon shows up very late in the game, after 85%. While some things in the game unlock as soon as you hit a new level, other things unlock after reaching a certain percentage completion (which tend to happen part-way through a level).

Keep working on earning awards, making sure you didn't overlook any species. The sour Bonboon will definitely make an appearance once you're far enough along in the game.


What level can I buy a mine? A gas mask? A ...?

  • The mine should unlock part-way through level 5. Check the Special Buildings section of Willy Builder's shop. Keep in mind that it's an expensive building, and if you're not prepared to deal with Professor Pester, you might find him destroying it.
  • Gretchen Fetchem should start selling the gas mask accessory at level 9 (after you've built a mine and have a Candary in your garden).
  • If you're looking for tinkered items such as bread, sandwiches, or mushrooms, hire Bart. The General Store will start to sell transformed items, as you discover each one.
  • If you're looking for produce such as milk, honey, or wool, you can get a Moozipan, Buzzlegum, or Goobaa to produce them. Again, the General Store will start to sell the produce, as you discover each item.
  • If you're looking for a specific seed, garden decoration, building, or accessory, and it's not yet sold in the shops, many shop items are progress-based and don't appear until you've reached a certain point in the game, or you've resided specific species. Try gaining more experience.

Part of the challenge of the game is that some needed items aren't available until slightly after you need them, so, for example, you may have to find another way to deal with a sour, until you can finally tinker, grow, or buy the item(s) you need to tame it. Check back with the shopkeepers as you gain more experience.


What do the Dragonache icons do?

The icon with the arrow sends it away until you want it back again. Gretchen Fetchem will help retrieve it for you. (Make sure you have space in your garden for it first.)

The icon with the egg turns it back into an egg.



How do I get a Jeli?!

First, there's no guarantee that a Jeli will appear in a particular garden save. If a wild Jeli does appear, it will be during the nighttime (usually around 2 AM), after you reach level 6. The game won't alert you that a Jeli has appeared, so you'll have to keep your eyes open. (It does show up on the overhead view, labeled as a Jeli, not an unknown.)

If you've gone past level 6, and never come across a Jeli in that garden, try starting a new garden in one of the other save slots and level it up to 6. (Copying a level 6+ game to a new slot probably won't work.) You can level up by sending crates of different species from your other garden.

Assuming you've (finally) discovered a Jeli in one of your three garden save slots, let's move on to the next important detail. There is only one Jeli in the wild, so you won't get a second one to visit. To obtain a second Jeli, save and quit your garden, then tap Options. Tap the Horstachio, then tap Copy Game. Copy your garden containing the Jeli to one of the other two slots. (Note that this will erase any existing garden in that slot.) Now, enter that copied garden, crate up its Jeli, and send it to the original garden. Return to your original garden, unpack the Jeli, and proceed to romance, to obtain more.

Congrats. You've obtained one of the most difficult species. Feel free to read more about or discuss this in the I want a jeli!!! thread.

For completionists, there's one more thing to do. If you use local WiFi to send a Jeli to a nearby friend, you'll earn the Jeli Donor certificate.


Trouble in Paradise questions

How do I get Willy Builder to appear? I can't romance my piñatas if I can't build houses!

This has been a cause of much frustration, especially among returning VP veterans who decided to skip the new "player guide" tutorial system. In order to get Willy Builder to come back from vacation, you will need to ensure that you either fully complete Langston's initial three lessons, or explicitly skip them entirely. Langston is the Lickatoad accessed from the village menu by pressing Button x.png -> Village -> Langston (he's at the bottom). His challenges include trapping a Sweetle, romancing Bispottis (ensure you feed them both daisies) and sending the overjoyed Sweetle to a party. Which leads me into the next question...


How do I send a piñata to a party? I sent the requested piñata to the party but didn't get credit!

In Trouble in Paradise, rather than dropping a new box in your garden whenever it's time to send a pinata to a party, there is a stationary box just outside the border of your garden. Before you can send a pinata to a party, you first need to overjoy it, which can be done in a number of ways: naming it, directing a Choclodocus to it, or feeding it candies or some of its favorite foods (they will usually be happy to eat the foods mentioned in their Visit, Resident, and Romance requirements). Then you click the box, press Button y.png to pack and select the pinata.

Keep in mind if you're trying to complete one of Langston's destination challenges that you must send exactly what's requested -- no more, no less -- or you will not receive credit for the challenge.

Examples of reasons why pinatas may not exactly match what Langston requested:

  • Sending pinatas with (extra) accessories, when no (or certain) accessories were required.
  • Sending wildcard (or varianted) pinatas, when regular pinatas were required.
  • Sending sub-garden versions (e.g., Arctic Bunnycombs) instead of main garden species.

Try sending a different one that Gretchen has fetched, or that you've hatched yourself.


Storkos keeps telling me that the "House [was] removed" and won't deliver my eggs! The house is there! What gives?

In Trouble in Paradise, Storkos seems to be a lot more careful about where she drops the eggs. In this regard, she won't drop an egg at a house if there is already an unhatched egg there. The "House removed" is simply a poor error message for this problem. Pick up and move the egg and Storkos will drop the next one. If she really wanted to be careful, she should place the eggs rather then dropping them, but alas...


I can't get these cards to scan! What am I doing wrong? Oh, and will they work when printed in black and white?

Make sure you have good lighting when you are trying to scan cards. There is a How to in the Journal that you should take a look at but basically here's how its done:

  • First, turn the focus all the way counter-clockwise (may need further adjustment later)
  • Prop the card up against something in landscape position with the barcode at the bottom (you can hold it, but unless you've got surgeon-steady hands, you'll have trouble)
  • Point the camera at the card ensuring that all four borders are visible to the camera
  • It should now start to draw a box around the borders, adjust the position as needed
  • It will either flash green for successful, yellow for a problem and red if the card is invalid or is a single-use card that has already been scanned

It should be noted that cards can be scanned directly off your computer monitor, iPod, smartphone, etc. Cards printed in black & white should work, but the camera does seem to use the red corner of cards as a visual clue. Consider buying some light card stock paper so that you can print the cards in high quality and they will be more durable (and easier to work with).

The Piñata Vision article has more scanning/troubleshooting tips and a helpful video.


I uploaded a piñata vision card to the web site but I can't find it anywhere! Where is it?

Microsoft has stopped moderating; no new cards have appeared there since September 2010. Although the game still allows you to upload cards, any item or piñata sent there since then appears to be lost for good.


How do I get the famous piñata achievement?

The famous piñata achievement is a viral achievement that you must get by receiving a famous pinata from a developer or someone who got it from a developer. You can also visit someone's garden via Xbox Live co-op and get the achievement, if they unpack a famous pinata while you're present. There are a number of people on the forums willing to help with this, or simply make a post asking about it.

The famous piñata article has more details and suggestions.


How do I stop the constant rain?

Non-stop rain, snow, or sunshine is usually due to a garden decoration (or scanned Pinata Vision card). The weather article has more details, including a list of garden decorations that affect your garden's weather.


There's a blue Chippo by the village. Is this a glitch?

No. It's part of Pester's plan to prevent certain species from visiting your garden. Meet the Goobaa Appear and Unblock requirements, and the Chippopotamus will wander off.

Read more about the resident Chippo lying on its side stuck in the hillside ...


Species X won't unblock? How do you get Bart to turn the railings to candy?

To trigger unblocking a pinata, you have to meet its Appear requirements as well as its Unblock requirements. For an example of what will happen, let's consider the trapped Eaglair:

Growing an oak tree in your garden (the Eaglair Appear requirement) will play the Eaglair's appear video, showing it trapped by a Ruffian. Now, once you have five (resident) Elephanillas to scare away the Ruffian (the Eaglair Unblock requirement), another scene will play, showing the Ruffian being scared away.

Just meeting Unblock requirements alone won't accomplish anything, until the trapped pinata scene plays out.

If you've already met the Appear requirements in a different garden, are meeting the Unblock requirements, but the pinata is not being freed, there are a few things you can try:

  • Open the Journal, and view the trapped species' Encyclopedia article. Select its Appear requirements and press Button a.png to replay its appear video.
  • Meet the Appear requirements in your current garden.
  • Save the garden, then reload it, to make any shopkeeper options appear (to tinker railings, destroy weeds, knock down walls).

The blocked species article has a list of species with Unblock requirements.


Do you know where the giant Goobaa resides? I'm level 196 but didn't get the pop-up?

The giant Goobaa article can point you in the right direction.

As for not getting the pop-up to contact the giant Goobaa, you need to earn all 841 awards first, so you might have missed one or more. Here are a few awards that often get overlooked:

Have a tame one already residing in your garden (by getting Gretchen to fetch one, or by taming a sour). Next, visit the sub-garden, trap (a non-sour) one there, then unpack it in the main garden.
Send all 10 Flutterscotch colors, the Dragonache, and Choclodocus to a party. If you don't have a Choclodocus, the computer record can be restored online. If you visit a friend's garden, and they send their Choclodocus to a party, you will get credit.

If those are done, and you're still not at 841, check through your Journal carefully. Look through computer records, and pinata, plant, and tool awards for any unchecked award boxes.

Once you've completed all 841 awards, be patient for it to register and notify you. It does take some time for the game to check (and for the leaderboards to update).



Revision history

Version Date Notes
2.03 Feb-15-2012 Can no longer upload cards to
2.02 Jun-04-2009 Added 5 new (4 Trouble in Paradise) questions.
2.01 Jun-01-2009 Added 5 new (Pocket Paradise) questions.
2.00 May-31-2009 Merged Xenocidic's TiP FAQ into this one.
1.30 May-31-2009 Updated answers to include details for all VP games. Added game-specific icons.
1.20 Jul-15-2007 Updates references to patches or future features.
1.14 May-23-2007 Added garden size question and fixed broken forum links.
1.13 Feb-18-2007 Added leveling fast question.
1.12 Feb-02-2007 Added patch release question.
1.11 Jan-06-2007 Corrected gaining Achievements section.
1.10 Dec-29-2006 Added housing limit detail.
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.
1.00 Sep-11-2006 Initial version.


Contact information

Comments, corrections, or questions about this guide can be discussed on the FAQ talk page, or at the forum.



The initial version of this guide was written by FeralKitty. The initial version of the Trouble in Paradise FAQ was written by Xenocidic. Additional information added by Spartan, jimmcq, and FeralKitty.


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