10 day run
A 10 day run is a challenge run in Pikmin 3 which involves collecting all 66 fruits and defeating the final boss in the practical minimum number of days, which is 10. This challenge is very difficult, and requires careful routing, extensive multitasking, precise management of Pikmin, and using several exploits to save time. Fortunately, Pikmin 3's forgiveness in restarting days makes the challenge not as hard as low-day runs in the other games. The 10 day run does not require collecting the 4 spacesuit upgrades, but collecting the Dodge Whistle is recommended. It is possible to combine this run with other challenge runs, such as the zero death challenge.
It is possible to complete the game in 9 days, but doing so is very difficult and has only been done once.
As Pikmin 3 is more linear than the previous Pikmin games, there is not much deviation the player can afford to make in this run. Some alterations are possible, but below is a rough outline of what the player needs to get done on each day. This guide works ideally with the Wii Remote, and is possible on any game version.
Note: At this point, the game does not allow growing Pikmin to become bud or flowers; do not waste your time trying to grow flower Pikmin on day 1, because it is impossible.
Warning: This day is often regarded as the hardest day of the run, as it requires defeating a boss, acquiring 12 fruits, and finding Louie all in a single day, most of which will consist of multitasking with all three leaders. You will also need at least 3 ultra-spicy sprays for this day. Everything must be followed as stated, and no time can be wasted.
Day 7, 8 and 9
10 days is the intended minimum number of days to beat Pikmin 3. This includes the 7 days necessary to complete all the story objectives, and an additional 3 days to revisit areas and collect fruits. These additional days are necessary because Blue Pikmin can only be unlocked after visiting the Distant Tundra, Tropical Wilds, and Twilight River, and there are underwater fruits in each of these areas, meaning a revisit is required to collect the underwater fruits. The game acknowledges this, by showing the "Days required to take home all fruit" global leaderboard with a scale from 10 days to 99 days.
However, the discovery of the invincible Pikmin glitch opened up the possibility of using non-Blue Pikmin to collect underwater fruits, as long as there was a way to make these Pikmin invincible and therefore able to go underwater. On May 22nd, 2022, it was confirmed by "Drought Ender" that the glitch could theoretically be used with Winged Pikmin to collect the 2 underwater fruits in the Twilight River on the same day as the rest of the fruits in the area, making a 9-day run possible. However, the trick to do this is frame-perfect, making it incredibly difficult to perform within the time limit of a day. On June 15th, 2022, "Ice cube" managed to collect all fruits in the Twilight River on day 5 for the first time, and completed the full run the next (real-world) day, proving that a 9-day run was doable. This was the first day reduction in the history of Pikmin 3 low-day runs, and likely the last, considering there is a fruit under a Flukeweed in the Tropical Wilds and a fruit behind a bamboo gate in the Distant Tundra.