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The shovel is the first and one of the most vital tools in the Viva Pinata series. The first level shovel is given by Leafos, it is beaten up and can only be used for the most basic functions. Upgrades to the shovel can be obtained to break open piñatas, dig holes to plant seeds, dig ponds, smash rocks, and chop down trees.

When an object is selected with the Cursor, up to five chocolate blocks are shown on screen near the object, indicating the object's remaining durability. Five chocolate blocks being covered in a metal case indicates that the object cannot be damaged using the shovel, meaning that a handle upgrade is required to damage the object. When the object is struck with the shovel, one of the chocolate blocks are removed showing the object has taken damage. Upgrades to the shovel's handle will increase the power of the shovel's strike, making it possible to destroy strong objects with less hits. The shovel can be held in position for whacking an object, though this does not increase the strength of the impact and the object does not take more damage from the strike.

The shovel can be used to clear the surface of the garden to regular Soil, which is required for some plants such as trees.

A shovel with the Pond Shovel Head upgrade or better has the ability to create pond, by digging a small hole in the ground. In Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise, the shovel can be used to dig a pond in a polygon shape of the player's choice, though there is a limit on the size of the shape used to dig a pond.

Attacking Leafos with the shovel will annoy her, and doing this repeatedly in a short amount of time will cause her to make a threat to give away the shovel, and attacking her again will make her take it away for a few seconds.

Shovel Upgrades

At certain levels Jardiniero will upgrade the shovel head or handle.

Upgrades gained at gardener level
Level Upgrade
1 Freebie Shovel Head and Handle.
5 Seed Shovel Head upgrade.
6 Iron Shovel Handle upgrade.
7 Pond Shovel Head upgrade.
13 Bronze Shovel Handle upgrade.
15 Treecutter Shovel Head upgrade.
23 Silver Shovel Handle upgrade.
28 Gold Shovel Handle upgrade.

Also more upgrades can be bought for the shovel from Ivor Bargain in Viva Piñata and Viva Piñata: Pocket Paradise, or from Costolot's Store in Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise.

Upgrade Price Available
at Level
Description
Chocolate Sniffer 540 12 Shovel head that detects buried coins in your garden.
Dastardos Head 2,520 20 Shovel head to daze Dastardos while he is in the garden.
Platinum Shovel Handle 1,250 30 Decreases the time it takes to dig a pond.

Shovel Achievements

Once the shovel head is upgraded to max the Super Shovel secret achievement is unlocked.

Once the shovel handle is upgraded to max the Super Strength secret achievement is unlocked.

Gameplay elements
Player Tower of Sour · Chocolate Coin · Alert · Award · Achievement · Gardener level · Journal · Camera · Concept art · Player Permissions · Training episode · Label · Label Designer · Crate
Garden Weather · Day and night cycle · Fertilizer · Transformation · Candy · Shop · Pinometer · Helper · Piñata Vision · Bouncer Board · Garden Store · Trap · Playground · Just for Fun · Cursor
Tools Watering can · Shovel · Surface Packet · Trick Stick · Seed Bag · Fertilizer Bag · Bait Bag
Piñatas Species · Variant · Wild · Resident · Egg · Cocoon · Sour · Evolution · Romance · Conflict · Fight · Sickness · Wild-card · Happiness Rating · Food chain · Accessory · Costume · Trick · Item level · Reluctance to return
Minigames Great Piñata Paperchase · P-Factor