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To do: Finding the size of each update would be grand.
A software update refers to changes made to an existing piece of software, after its release. In the Pikmin series, only Pikmin 3 has update support and has received updates after its release. Outside of the Pikmin franchise, Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U, a title with Pikmin content, has also had updates.
Pikmin 3's updates are downloaded off the internet, and each one upgrades the game to a new version. With the release of most of these updates, downloadable content was added to the eShop, and the first stage in a bundle is added to the game for free upon updating. Some updates change gameplay or control elements, or fix glitches. When the player updates their game, all available updates are installed at once, and the game is set to the latest version right away.
Although it is possible to uninstall the updates from the console and return to the original 1.0.0 version, it is not possible to install a version between the first one and the latest one.
List of Pikmin 3 updates
Released on July 25th, 2013, and is around 70MB in size
This update adds SpotPass and Miiverse compatibility, as well as the ability to view world record scores for game completion.
Released on October 1st, 2013.
In this update, a new feature is added, allowing players to view the world record scores for each stage, Solo or Co-Op. With the update, five new Collect treasure! stages are added to the game as downloadable content. These stages are remixes of previous Mission Mode stages. The stage Tropical Forest Remix is given free of charge upon updating, while the others must be purchased in a bundle from the Nintendo eShop, for $1.99 / €1.99 / £1.79:
Released on November 6th, 2013.
This update adds no new features, but gives for free the first out of five new Battle enemies! stages, added to the game as downloadable content. These stages are based off of certain parts of areas from Story Mode. The stage Tropical Wilds Remix is given free of charge upon updating, while the others can be purchased as a bundle on the eShop for $1.99 / €1.99 / £1.79:
Released on December 2nd, 2013.
This update provides for free one of the new five Collect treasure! stages and one of the new five Battle enemies! stages. The stage Fortress of Festivity is given free of charge in both modes, upon updating. These stages are brand new, and are themed on human-based environments, such as an abandoned construction site or a living room decorated for Christmas. Other stages function differently, with one stage being partially two-dimensional. One stage, however, is a re-skin of The Forest Navel, probably due to the fact that it is the only area not "remade" in Pikmin 2 – its name, Forgotten Cove, further accentuates this.
Olimar and Louie are playable in certain stages. Olimar is available from the start, but Louie is usually trapped or being held by an enemy. By defeating the enemy and carrying Louie back to the SPERO, the player gains access to him. This update also changes the way leaders act when they fall into the abyss – they now receive damage, and respawn differently, rendering some glitches impossible.
The following stages have been added, besides Fortress of Festivity. The entire pack costs $4.99 / €4.99 / £4.79 on the eShop:
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Released on May 29th, 2014.
This update offers a new control mode involving the GamePad, using only the touchscreen and the left-side buttons and sticks. This mode works similar to Pikmin Adventure. When playing with the new Stylus mode, 3 buttons are added to the touchpad, used for deploying ultra-spicy spray, dismissing the squad or ordering them to charge, and accessing the KopPad's apps. To switch between leaders, the player must tap their icon. The whistle button is moved from to . Other controls remain the same.
When the player starts the game for the first time after this update is installed, a message appears saying "GamePad control style has been set to [Stylus]. You can switch back to the original controls via the menu." Other minor new additions include a new button on the pause menu, to switch between Classic GamePad mode to Stylus mode, even if the player is not playing with the Gamepad.
When locked-on, two new lines of text appear, saying " / = Cancel Lock On" and " / = Charge". When an explorer is under the Go Here function, if the player switches to them, a message will appear saying " / = Cancel Go Here". The background on the " / Skip Cutscene" label was now changed to black instead of transparent. Finally, the ability to skip portions of the End of Day report were added, a button to retry a mission at the Mission Mode results screen was added, and several major glitches were fixed.