Mission Mode is the Challenge Mode of Pikmin 3. In Mission Mode, the player can complete one of three possible challenges, each which are 5-15 minutes long and are meant to help improve the player's Pikmin skills: Gather the Fruit, Battle Enemies, and Defeat Bosses.
There are 5 stages in Mission Mode. For details on them, click the name of the area to go to its page:
All modes in Mission Mode support 2-player split-screen co-op.
The goal in Collect Treasure Mode is to use the provided Pikmin to collect as many fruit and enemy carcasses as possible on the map within a limited amount of time. When fruit is hauled back to the SPERO, their value will be converted to Pokos. The player's score will be based on how many total Pokos were earned and how long it took to complete the area. When enemies are defeated, additional Pokos will be added to the score and more fruit will drop onto the stage. Pikmin are found either buried, scattered across the map, hidden below plants in little groups, or inside certain enemies, like the Medusal Slurker.
When a level is complete, the player can watch a top-down playback of the entire level session, showing icons to indicate the captains, fruits, enemies, and Pikmin.
Depending on how many Pokos you obtain, you will receive a ranking. From worst to best, they are Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. To obtain a Platinum ranking, you must collect all fruit and enemy corpses on the map before time runs out. This ranking system works similarly in the Battle Enemies.
The objective of this mode is to defeat creatures to collect their spirits to score points. The enemies you defeat hold a certain amount of spirits. For example, the Swooping Snitchbug holds up to 30 spirit points. Once the timer is up, the spirits that you have collected are counted as your score.
This mode requires the player to defeat a certain boss with a given assortment of Pikmin. Below is a list of all of the fightable bosses in the mode:
- Armored Mawdad
- Vehemoth Phosbat
- Sandbelching Meerslug
- Scornet Maestro
- Quaggled Mireclops
- Plasm Wraith
The player's medal is determined by the time left over. Pikmin count has nothing to do with scoring.
On October 1st, 2013, during that month's Nintendo Direct, Iwata annouced downloadable content (DLC) for Pikmin 3's mission mode. Nintendo offered Stage 6 for free if you update your Pikmin 3 software.
On November 6th, 2013, a second DLC was available for purchase. This DLC consists of six remixed story mode maps for "Battle Enemies!". Nintendo offered Stage 6 for free if you update your Pikmin 3 software.
On December 2, 2013, a third DLC became avalable for purchase. This consists of 4 collect treasure and 4 battle enemies and takes place on entierly new maps. Olimar and Louie are playable in stages 13-15 but Louie must be rescued before he can be played. Nintendo offered both stages 11 for free for those who updated their software.
The following packs are available in the eShop:
- Round 1: "Collect Treaure" Pack (Stages 7-10) for $1.99 USD.
- Round 2: "Battle Enemies!" Pack (Stages 7-10) for $1.99 USD.
- Round 3: "Collect Treasure and Battle Enemies!" (stages 12-15) for 4.99 USD.
- Mission Mode and Bingo Battle are the only modes in which you can find Purple and White Pikmin in Pikmin 3.
- The song that plays during all the missions was used in all of the Pikmin 3 trailers.
- Mission Mode and Bingo Battle have an exclusive mini-boss, the Baldy Long Legs. He appears plentifully in both modes, although he is never found in story mode. Yet story mode does give players some Arachnorb action, with the Shaggy Long Legs