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Moojoo Face and Antlers

A resident Moojoo piñata highlighted by the cursor.

After meeting certain requirements, a visiting wild piñata will become a resident of the garden, staying and living there. Its colors will change from shades of black and white to its more colorful resident colors. A Sour piñata can also be turned resident the same way a regular piñata turns resident, but when turning resident it first enters a cocoon to transform from a sour to a regular wild piñata, then turn from the black and white colors of the regular species into the resident colors of that species. The requirements for becoming resident varies for each species of piñata. The requirements for turning a sour piñata are also different from a regular wild piñata of that species.

The Encyclopedia of the Journal has details on the exact requirements to get a resident piñata. To access the requirements, simply move the cursor to a piñata then press the "y" button, and this shows the steps already complete, and in Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise, the progress of the incomplete steps. A second way is to go into the Journal manually by the menu then select the piñata section then select the actual piñata species in the pages, but this will not show which steps are completed for a specific piñata. Some requirements don't even appear on either list until the previous requirement on the list is complete, and the list can even report less steps than actually are required to take.

Piñatas must be resident to control using the cursor. Non-resident pinatas will try to eat any item required for it to meet the residency status that is nearby it. Only resident piñatas can be healed by Doc Patchingo, and a piñata must be a resident to have accessories applied, and also to be named. If a resident pinata is broken or loses residency status, it will lose its value, all accessories applied to it, and its name and label applied. In Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise, non resident piñatas quickly break by themselves upon becoming sick, without Dastardos coming to them.

Extremely unhappy piñatas will lose interest in staying in the garden and will lose resident status if the pinata stays unhappy for too long. In Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise, piñatas can also lose the resident status by eating the head of a Prickly Pear flower.

Gretchen Fetchem requires that a piñata be a resident before she'll track down another specimen of that species for you to raise.

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