A piñata is the term coined for a building which has been ruined whilst heavily barricaded (i.e. above Very Strongly Barricaded level). Due to the building being ruined and over-barricaded, survivors are unable to free-run inside from an adjacent building, nor are they able to gain entry from street level. Therefore, the barricades must be reduced to Very Strongly Barricaded (VSB) before the building can be entered once again.
To be created, all that is required is a zombie (with the ransack skill) in a building which has been heavily barricaded. A common method to achieving this is a trans-mortal tactic referred to as parachuting, which involves an infected survivor dying in the targeted building after Free Running past the barricades. Another common method is to have a survivor kill another survivors (often usually of the same group) but failing to dump the body outside afterwards. More rarely, a piñata can be accidentally brought about by a well-intentioned survivor heavily barricading a location after zombies have entered but before they have ransacked the location, and then leaving as there cannot be any standing survivors present to ransack the building. Occasionally it is actually possible to end up with a piñata containing survivors by ruining the heavily barricaded location with a revivifying body or an idled survivor inside.
The first recorded piñata was created on 23rd September 2007.
The only way to repair a piñata is to bring down the barricades to Very Strongly Barricaded level so that survivors can enter, dump any zombies inside, and repair it. Since survivors must use more Action Points against barricades than zombies, it is most efficient for life cultists and dead survivors awaiting revives to smash piñata barricades to VSB level for others to repair later.
Large Buildings are very difficult to piñata as it is possible to enter from any corner outside and move within the structure to repair all corners without free running. When ruin was first implemented this wasn't the case, it was later resolved as an oversight through Bug Reports.