Pikmin 4 it’s the same micromanaging creature gameplay we all know and love, with some new features to enjoy the game like the inclusion of Ice Pikmin, Oatchi, and the sprawling cave system.
The core of the game is still the same as the previous games. You are tasked with rescuing some people trapped on a mysterious planet; you do this with the help of Pikmin, docile little critters that you can toss around (and also order to carry your stuff). Pikmin can return enemies and bullets to their place onions grow more Pikmin and carry treasure on your ship to unlock more areas to explore.
This Nintendo IP is beloved for a reason, so if this is your first Pikmin game (or maybe it’s been a while since you’ve played one), we’ve got a bunch of tips to help you navigate Pikmin 4 lower.
Don’t forget about Oatchi
Oatchi (the cute dog) is the main big addition to the game (next to Ice and Glow Pikmin) and he absolutely should not be forgotten. Most of the time, you should be riding Oatchi to avoid having a large crowd of easy-to-target Pikmin chasing you.
Oatchi can also sniff out treasure, swim through water, topple tall objects, and even carry great weight. At max upgrade, Oatchi can carry 100-Pikmin worth of items, which is extremely useful, as it means he can single-handedly carry almost any item in the game.
It’s easy to forget about Oatchi early on and fall back into older Pikmin habits (despite all the instructions), so don’t forget about your adorable orange friend.
No need to rush to the caves – or at all, to be honest
Time passes significantly slower in caves and the day will not end while you are inside one. The caves all work more like linear puzzles to solve, so take your time. When you leave the cave, your Pikmin will all be with you, so you don’t have to worry about any deaths, even if you exit the cave at the end of the day.
That said, there is no daily limit on the main campaign Pikmin 4, so you can take your time playing. Take as many days as you need to explore everything to the fullest.
Remember the ‘dandori:’ always be doing something
To maximize time in both regular scenes and caves, your Pikmin should always be doing something. Whether it’s taking out a baddie, or keeping simple cartridges back on the ship to make more Pikmin, keep them working.
This is especially so in dandori battles, where you HAVE to keep your Pikmin constantly collecting to pass.
Certain types of Pikmin are a luxury (especially early on)
Pikmin 4 features all the Pikmin types from the previous games, along with two new Pikmin types: Ice and Glow.
However, White, Purple, Rock, Pink, and Ice New Pikmin are luxuries early on. While you will find onions for these Pikmin, they won’t spawn for a while, meaning your only way to harvest these Pikmin is via the Candypop Bud in the caves. You can only re-enter the caves to catch the most special Pikmin, but since this is a pain in the butt, make sure to protect these special types as much as possible.
Clear a path before collecting objects
Enemies are everywhere: in the air, underground, on a cliff that is out of your vision. They pose a danger to you, your Pikmin, and even Oatchi. The best thing to do is hit every enemy you see with as many Pikmin as you can and clear out the enemies before sending your Pikmin out to collect treasure.
Pikmin will take the shortest routes back to your ship, so sometimes they can pass enemies you didn’t notice and then… they’ll die! Sad! That said, the enemies in the regular stage maps don’t spawn at all, so once you defeat a bad guy, it’s gone for good. (Enemies respawn in caves after you 100% complete the cave and return.)
Talk to everyone at base camp, not just your crewmates
As you save more and more people, be sure to talk to them twice – once to introduce yourself and once to start any side quests they might give. Completing these side quests isn’t mandatory, but they reward you with currency for doing things you’re probably already doing, like raising Pikmin, finding onions, and shooting down enemies, so you might as well get that money.
When in doubt, drop the Pikmin
Did Oatchi take you to a treasure spot and there’s nothing there? Drop your Pikmin on the ground. Are you fighting against any enemies? Throw all your Pikmin into it. Is a box a little out of reach? Throw in your pink and yellow Pikmin. Drop your Pikmin all the time.
Don’t get attached
The most important thing about Pikmin games is: Never bond with your Pikmin. Hundreds, if not thousands, will die during your game. Sometimes a rock will roll down a hill and crush 30 of them at once. Sometimes an enemy will move one out of your line of sight. It never stops being annoying, but it’s a pretty normal part of the game.
Remember: You can turn back time
New for Pikmin 4, you can actually turn back time to prevent losing your Pikmin if you want. If you were caught by a large Bulborb that rolled over 60 of your Pikmin at once, good news! Just backtrack that cave and you’ll get all your Pikmin. This is great for figuring out boss strategy while avoiding having to jump back and forth between onions.