Like in Pikmin 2, Pikmin 3 has a 2-player competitive mode called Bingo Battle. The overall rules have changed, but many of the same concepts return. Player 1 controls a cyan team of Koppaites on the left side of the screen, while player 2 controls a pink team of Hocotatians on the right side. The game mode gets its name because of the bingo card both players have, which they can fill up by bringing the items on the square back to the Onion. Scoring a bingo is one of the ways to win.
Players can take control of Pikmin of any type (up to two types), but only within their team. The only way to distinguish which Pikmin belong to which team is with the top of their stems: their leaf, bud or flower will be cyan when they belong to player 1's team, and pink for player 2's. Players start with a certain type of Pikmin – the same for both teams, but it is possible to find more Pikmin of their team buried in the wild. Plucking them increases the actual Pikmin count for the team, meaning that if the Pikmin are not plucked, they count as not belonging to the player in the first place.
Each player has an Onion, to which Pikmin can carry their spoils. Upon delivery, new Pikmin are created, and the Onion follows the same rules as it would in Story mode, except the maximum on-field limit for each player is 50 Pikmin instead. Seeing as leaders cannot access the Onion's management menu, the Onion is in charge of automatically spitting out Pikmin seeds whenever there is space for them in the field. Pikmin that die to opposing Pikmin attacks simply respawn at the Onion.
There are some special collectibles scattered around the stage, which have different effects when recovered. Leaders cannot damage each other or opposing Pikmin with punches, not even if enemies are around to enable punching. Enemy Pikmin can however attack opposing leaders and their army. If a leader has Pikmin latched on, the player can shake them off by repeatedly spinning / / . Like in Pikmin 2, leaders that are being attacked by Pikmin cannot do anything but move about and shake them off, but unlike in Pikmin 2, leaders can be downed from Pikmin attacks, although it does take a while.
The Wii U GamePad provides a map of the area, and Off-TV Play cannot be enabled. The map shows the location of fruits, enemies, Cupid's Grenades, leaders and Pikmin. The color of the Pikmin's dots represent the Pikmin type, not the team.
Ways to win
There are four ways to become victorious:
There are 12 stages to choose from in Bingo Battle. When the stage is selected, one of three different layouts is randomly picked. Players only have the first stage available at the start of the saved game, but each time a battle is finished, the next level in the list is unlocked.
Before starting, players must choose their control method. Players can choose any of the control schemes they could in Story mode, although only one player can use one controller. It is possible to re-establish the control types for each player by choosing the icon on the lower-right corner of the screen, but it is not possible to change controls mid-battle – the exception to this is toggling Stylus mode on the GamePad via the pause menu.
Before the battle starts, players can also set the following match options:
Each player starts with a 4 × 4 bingo card, that is randomly generated when the match starts. The card is filled with items that can be recovered in the current stage – fruits, enemies and marbles. Every time an item is recovered, that square becomes highlighted. By highlighting four squares in the same row, column, or diagonal line, the player wins. When a line is one item away from being cleared, a dotted line appears on the HUD. This can happen for more than one line at once.
Any item that is held inside an enemy appears as a question mark, and is only transformed into its correct drawing once the unknown enemy that held it is defeated. If an item has already been recovered by the opponent, a no symbol appears on top of it.
Certain special collectibles appear on the stage.
The Victory Macaroon is a macaron (a sweet that sometimes goes by the name "macaroon") with a team-colored flag on top. Each one starts near its team's Onion, and is available for capture by the enemy's Pikmin. If the opponent delivers the macaroon to their own Onion, they are declared the victor. A player's Pikmin can carry their own macaroon back to their base, but because it cannot be delivered to the Onion, the Pikmin carrying it behave oddly – they alternate between celebrating a successful delivery and re-grabbing it, until they eventually settle down and leave the macaroon alone. The Victory Macaroons will only appear if the corresponding option is enabled. The weight is 1, and the max carriers are 8.
Cupid's Grenades randomly spawn about the stage, and delivering one to an Onion grants the player with an item spin on their roulette wheel. More than one spin can be queued, and the number of spins available is presented on the HUD. Up to five spins may be in queue, and after an item is used, the next spin in the queue instantly takes place. Cupid's Grenades stop spawning after Lucky Marbles begin doing so. The weight is 1, and the max carriers is 2.
Golden Grenades resemble Cupid's Grenades, but are completely golden. When one is delivered to an Onion, the corresponding player's roulette wheel spin queue is filled. As such, it is more efficient to first use the spins in queue before recovering a Golden Grenade. The weight is 1, the max carriers are 2.
A Lucky Marble is a golden marble, that resembles The President of Hocotate Freight. Upon being delivered, it fills up a random unfilled space on the player's bingo card. If the player is one away before this powerup is activated, the screen will spread over to show that player's screen more, since there is a possibility that the Lucky Marble can fill the last slot needed. The weight is 1 and the max carriers is 8.
A player can get items by carrying cherries back to their Onion. If a Golden Grenade is obtained, the player gets five items in storage. To use the items, the player must press / / , or tap the item icon if on Stylus mode. Before an item becomes available to use, the roulette must first spin, which takes around three seconds. The spinning stops the player from being able to use items one right after the other. These are the possible items:
Just as always, there is a proper time and way to use each item.
These are defensive strategies if any items are used against you.
If you have Victory Macaroons activated, defending and retrieving your macaroon – as well as stealing your opponent's macaroon – can be a problem. The following are some helpful tips:
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