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Tri Force Heroes Placards Guide: How to Communicate using Emotes

The 11 Emotes for online communication in Tri Force Heroes aren't always enough, but some clever combos go a long way.

The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes is a multiplayer co-op adventure tailored for three heroes, and the first in the series to offer Online Play. In order to overcome the challenges laid before you, it is essential to communicate and cooperate with your fellow hero.

While connected to Multiplayer in Tri Force Heroes, you have access to a collection of 'placards' on the touch screen to communicate with other heroes. When the placard icon is tapped, a small bubble appears on the screen with the emote you selected. The emote grows in size with consecutive taps to the placard.

The placards Nintendo has provided are adorable and functional, but there isn't enough variety to communicate with your team when you get stuck. Tri Force Heroes is the most difficult Zelda game to come out in decades, and you need to sync up perfectly with your partners in order to complete it.

Placards alone are not enough to communicate effectively. However, placard icons turn out to robust and enjoyable when combined with a series actions, tricks and other emotes to get the point across.

Learn to Communicate through Placard Emotes

Each placard conveys something different depending on the situation they get used in. For example, the Shrug emote is often used to say "I don't know what to do," but when tapped after tossing your partner into a lava pit, it means "I'm sorry!" Deeper communication can even be reached by cleverly combining placards and actions to overcome complex puzzles.

There are 11 Placards in total, and 3 of them can only be used in the Lobby. This leaves 8 emotes for you and your partners to puzzle out while you play.

Wave Placard

Found in Lobby

Zelda Tri Force Heroes Placard Emotes WaveAt first glance, I thought the Wave emote meant "Hello", but then I noticed there was another one just for that purpose. In this icon, Link is looking over his shoulder to wave - this is a strong sign that he is leaving.

When you see the Wave placard in the Multiplayer Lobby, this likely means that player is departing. If you want to say "Goodbye" to the player as they go, a Thumbs Up will suffice.

Let's Go Placard

Found in Lobby

ZeldaTri Force Heroes Placard Emotes Let's GoThe Let's Go emote is pretty straight forward. It conveys an eagerness or impatience to get started. If you're in the PvP Coliseum lobby, it could even be used to challenge other players.

Hello Placard
  • Found in Lobby

Zelda Tri Force Heroes Placard Emotes HelloThe Hello emote takes first place as the most unmistakable icon in the game. There is literally no way you can misinterpret "Hello"! Have fun with it. Mash that icon.

Over Here Placard
  • Found in Co-Op

Zelda Tri Force Heroes Placard Emotes Over Here

While in-game, you can use the Over Here emote to guide your partners where you need them. Are they running around missing a key puzzle element? Tap it. Did they rush ahead, leaving you in the dust? Spam it.

Do you need a specific player to solve a puzzle? Tap their Hero Panel then press Over Here.

Over Here is the best placard to use when you really need to get your team's attention. Just don't spam it if your teammates are trying to convey something else.

Item Placard
  • Found in Co-Op

Zelda Tri Force Heroes Placard Emotes ItemThe Item emote is a mixed bag because it could be used to refer to almost anything the player can interact with. This is one of the icons that is read differently depending on the situation.

Many times the Item placard simply means "use your item." Tapping a Hero Panel before the placard conveys who needs to use their item.

If a player is near a key object, the Item emote would mean "pick up" or "use." Never forget that all placards are context sensitive.

Throw Placard
  • Found in Co-Op

Zelda Tri Force Heroes Placard Emote ThrowLuckily the Throw emote is quite literal, as you'll find yourself throwing around not only various key items but your partners as well. If no one is presently holding anything, it can easily be combined with the Item or Totem emotes for desirable results.

Totem Placard
  • Found in Co-Op

Zelda Tri Force Heroes Placard Emote TotemThe Totem emote is quite specific in its depiction. When you tap it, it means that you want to be picked up. However, you don't always want to be at the top of a totem.

When you want someone else picked up, tap on their Hero Panel before tapping the Totem. After enough trial and error, your partners will eventually understand - be sure to reward them when it happens.

Pom-Pom Placard
  • Found in Co-Op

Zelda Tri Force Heroes Placard Emote Pom-PomEverybody loves the Pom-Pom emote. The cute animation of Link pumping his pom-poms stands completely unrivaled, and is appropriate in most situations. It only translates into one thing: Optimism.

Use the Pom-Pom placard to cheer on your partners or dance for victory. Tap it when you need to raise team morale after a crushing defeat. It doesn't matter, tap it when you are bored!

The Pom-Pom emote is never inappropriate. Ever.

Shrug Placard
  • Found in Co-Op and Lobby

Zelda Tri Force Heroes Placard Emote ShrugSomething about the Shrug emote leads to some pretty wild interpretations. It is one of the icons that should be observed in its proper context.

Shrugging in the middle of regular gameplay is usually interpreted as being confused. Tapping it as you hurt or cause death for your team is often seen as apologetic. If someone else kills you, however, tapping the Shrug placard will translate to "Eh, whatever."

Additionally, it can be used if you don't understand what your team is trying to say. There are so many uses for the Shrug emote that it's near impossible to list every potential context here.

Nooo Placard
  • Found in Co-Op and Lobby

Zelda Tri Force Heroes Placard Emote NoooThe Nooo emote is pretty plain: no means no. When someone says no, stop whatever mischief you are up to. You're probably trying to beat the puzzle or boss all wrong.

The unequivocal Nooo placard is also used often as a complaint. It's a quick and easy solution for any expletive you can think of.

Thumbs Up Placard
  • Found in Co-Op and Lobby

Zelda Tri Force Heroes Placard Emote Thumbs UpThumbs Up emotes are often used to congratulate each on on a good run! Tapping it encourages other players and lets them know they are doing a great job.

The Thumbs Up placard is unique; it can be used in any situation, but it might not always be for the best. For example, tapping it right after killing the group or hurling a team member over the edge (on accident, of course) is sure to cause some animosity between you and your partners.

Hero Panel Communication
  • Found in Co-Op

The Hero Panel is a wonderful tool that, when held down on the touch screen, centers the camera onto one of your two partners. You can use this to check on your teammates as they progress through different parts of the level.

A message appears on the screen when you tap someone's Hero Panel, notifying the player that they are being watched. This is great for letting someone know you are referring to them while using your placard emotes.

Placard Emotes Inspire More Communication

Placards as Tri Force Heroes' main form of communication is unique because it allows you to convey everything that you need to just by tapping the touch screen a few times.

The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes is still freshly released, and it takes awhile to fully understand emotes through context. However, this system that Nintendo developed is ultimately intuitive by nature, and I have no doubts that any player can learn to communicate what they need to perfectly fine with practice.

Pay attention to the clues left by your partners and revel in the success of communicationg solely through the use of quick yet adorable Link emotes. Learning to use and interpret the placard system to its fullest is a truly rewarding experience.

Image from Miiverse user LoZfan03

  • What is your favorite placard emote?

I'm a huge fan of the Pom-Pom placard - its charm never gets old. Which emote do you use the most excessively?

Sound off in the comments below!

Published Oct. 26th 2015

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