Nintendo did a great job keeping Pikmin 3’s GamePad features a mystery.  We knew the game displayed the current map, but the publisher focused more on the Wii remote and nunchuk controls in hands-on demos.  

With Pikmin 3 mere days from release, we finally know the GamePad’s secrets. Although the Wii remote and nunchuk do a fine job, the Wii U’s exclusive controller provides a more in-depth experience.  That said, we broke down the screen functionality to give you an inside look at this enchanting title.

It doesn’t take long for Nintendo to transform the GamePad into a gadget known as the KopPad, a virtual device the characters use to make sense of the environments, Pikmin and the different creatures they come across; the KopPad and GamePad are essentially one and the same.

With this in mind, you have five options along the bottom of the GamePad screen, four of which you’ll use quite a bit.

-The first, Radar, shows an image of the planet and objects of interest.

-Up next, we have Exploration Notes, based on the yellow files you track down in the game.  Here, you’ll be able to read up on Pikmin Behavior, the Indigenous Life and other topics, including a refresher on the controls.  This section continues to add more content the further you progress in the game.

-From there, we have Pikmin Info, which tells you how many of the critters are outside and inside the Onion.  You can also keep track of which Pikmin are idle and working.

-Next, there’s the Fruit File, and the title is self-explanatory.  You’ll see a list of collected fruit.  Press one to view a short description, the amount of juice made and the number of Pikmin required to carry a piece.

-Finally, we have the in game camera that lets you snap photos of just about anything and post directly to MiiVerse.  This lets you share personal experiences with others; you can even write a message to accompany the photo.

What else can you do with the GamePad?  Turns out, plenty.  Tapping the screen pauses the game, instantly providing an overhead view on the TV (flick either the right or left analog stick to un-pause).  

You can also view much of the current level map by dragging a finger across the screen.  If you’re lazy, you can even plot a course for the characters to follow.  If anything, it lets you take in the game’s pretty scenery.

In addition, make note of the compass in the top left corner of the screen.  Pressing it allows you to switch map position between rotating and fixed positions.

Last but not least, you can just use the GamePad as a map while playing via Wii remote and nunchuk.

Once the day ends, you’re free to access the game’s replay mode on the touchscreen.  Simply rewind and watch all the moves you made at five or 10 times the speed. You’ll even see the Pikmin, including ones that perished.

Pikmin 3 debuts on Wii U August 4th.

More Pikmin 3 Features

Pikmin Types

Writing the Pikmin 3 Strategy Guide