Pikmin 4 Beginners Guide: Tips & Tricks For Rookie Rescuers

Pikmin 4 is a decade separated from Pikmin 3, and this guide will act as a refresher or crash course for those diving in!

pikmin 4 promo art

Pikmin isn’t a new franchise – the first title was released in 2001 – but due to the immense success of the Nintendo Switch, Pikmin 4 may be a lot of gamers’ first experience with the franchise. Being less than an inch tall in a monster-infested backyard is daunting enough, but doing it for the first time magnifies that feeling.

Luckily, I’ve been rescuing miniature spacefarers for the better part of the last 20 years and feel better prepared for these missions than other seasoned professionals – I’m looking at you, Olimar. Whether this is your first-time crash landing or you’ve already got a few missions under your belt, here are some tips and tricks to get you up to speed.

Pluck Pikmin Faster By Holding A

So, you’ve just carried a 10 Pikmin-sized pellet back to base, and the onion is spitting out seeds as fast as possible. Walking up to each stem and plucking the Pikmin from the ground one by one sounds exhausting, but there’s a much easier way to go about it.

If you Hold or Mash the A Button while near a stem, your character will run around to all of planted Pikmin and pluck them automatically. It turns a rather meticulous task into a more satisfying and enjoyable one.

Leave Your Pikmin In The Ground To Bloom

You’ll notice that every Pikmin that comes out of the onion has a leaf at the end of its stem. Most players will search out nectar deposits to upgrade their Pikmin from leaves to flowers. However, you can actually change your Pikmin using the power of patience.

When a Pikmin is planted, all the player has to do is wait. After a while, the leaf will turn into a bulb, and a little while after that, it will bloom into a flower. You can then pluck your freshly bloomed flower Pikmin. Flower Pikmin are faster than regular Pikmin, so having them carry treasures and monsters from long distances can speed up a job.

oatchi in water

Match Pikmin To Their Color Pellet

The easiest way to amass a large quantity of Pikmin is by farming Pellet Posies. These are the multicolored flowers with numbers on them. At first, they will all be red, but as you collect different Pikmin onions, the posies will cycle through colors.

While this may seem like a charming decorative feature, the colors actually matter when farming. When a posy is attacked, it will stay the same color. You will need to correlate the color of the pellet with the color of the Pikmin that carry it back to the base as it will double the number of Pikmin received.

For instance, if yellow Pikmin deposit a yellow “1” pellet into the onion, it will sprout two Pikmin. But if the yellow Pikmin take a red pellet, they will only receive the number on the pellet. This becomes extremely lucrative when transporting “5” or “10” pellets.

Mix & Match Pikmin Colors While Carrying

In tandem with the tip above, not every item that turns into Pikmin sprouts is color coordinated. Take all of the monsters, for example. Bulborbs and Blowhogs are great for farming, but they won’t net any benefits like color-coordinating pellets.

That said, you don’t need all of one color Pikmin to carry something back to the base in order to grow that color Pikmin. Large Bulborbs, for instance, require 10 Pikmin to carry them back to base. But what determines which Pikmin type they count toward is actually the largest number of Pikmin contributing toward their carry weight.

So, if you have 6 Red and 4 Yellow, the Bulbord carcass will be turned into Red Pikmin. Same for if you have 4 Red, 3 Blue, and 3 Yellow – Red gets the whole package.

Don’t Let Oatchi Carry Resources By Himself

You may be tempted to let Oatchi carry dead monsters or pellets back to the base on his own, especially since his carry capacity can be upgraded quite a bit. But I’m here to tell you, don’t do that.

Oatchi is programmed to deposit resources toward whichever Pikmin you have the least amount of. So if you’re planning to tackle a cave that needs a large amount of Yellow Pikmin, but your Blue Pikmin are your lowest in number, Oatchi will always help increase the Blue.

You’re better off saving Oatchi for treasures or contributing toward a larger haul, say a Bulborb or “10” pellet.

oatchi pikmin 4 breed

You Don’t Need All Of Your Pikmin

Having 40, 80, or 100 Pikmin out on the field can make players feel like they can take on the world, but you don’t actually need the maximum number of Pikmin every day. Especially when exploring a new zone for the first time. Sometimes, it’s more manageable to take 20-30 Pikmin.

You Don’t Need Every Type of Pikmin Everyday

And while you may need 60 Pikmin to take on a cave or an overworld boss, you don’t need every type of Pikmin. Some caves only need one or two types of Pikmin to deal with their obstacles, and having a third type could cause frustration when dealing with traps, puzzles, or water.

Speaking of water, some days you’ll need to explore watery areas, and having anything other than Blue Pikmin could make that process tedious. Yes, Oatchi can carry Pikmin on his back, but allowing yourself the freedom to explore water zones without the fear of your team drowning can turn a stressful adventure into a relaxing one.

Check Your Map for Lost Pikmin

Speaking of stress, there’s no worse feeling in Pikmin than entering the final phase of a day and realizing you don’t have all of your Pikmin. Luckily, Pikmin 4 does have a tool that recalls idle Pikmin from a distance, but you won’t get that until a few hours into the game.

But before that, players can check their map to see the location of any Pikmin. They are small dots, and you may have to scroll the map to find any you’re missing, but it’s a much better alternative to running around the map aimlessly, hoping your whistle attracts any lost Pikmin before sunset.

Pikmin 4 all pikmin

It’s Okay To Leave Treasure Behind

It’s also stressful when you’re racing against the clock to get that last piece of treasure before the time runs out. Just save yourself the hassle and leave the treasure behind. It will be there tomorrow and all of the paths you carved out the day prior will still be there. It’s a lot more relaxing to retread a monster-free path than risking the lives of your Pikmin.

Take Days To Survey & Plan

Pikmin 4 is all about collecting treasure and resources that make numbers get bigger. But not every day has to be a grind.

Instead, players should take days every now and then to explore, especially when entering a new area. Build bridges, open caves, and walk past treasures. You can even explore quite a bit on the back of Oatchi without withdrawing a single Pikmin. This allows you to know which Pikmin you need for the next day’s excursion, and you can plot a path for the most efficient use of your time.

Time Doesn’t Pass Underground

At one point in time, Collin says time underground passes at 1/6 the speed as it does above ground. But in reality, time will never run out when you’re exploring a cave.

Take your time. Venture into every crevice. Loop the same floor a dozen times. Or just chill and enjoy the ambiance. Unlike the surface, you don’t have a timer dwindling down, threatening the life of your Pikmin, so there’s no need to rush.

Heck, I often save diving into a cave at the very end of the day so I can extend the amount of time I have on each expedition.

Pikmin 4 long legs

Unlock The Charging Horn ASAP in Pikmin

Feverishly tapping A while trying to attack or break down a wall is one way to get the job done quickly, but the Charging Horn is much faster. Arguably the most useful piece of gear you can purchase from Russ, this horn allows you to send hordes of Pikmin at a task all at once.

But this isn’t just useful for taking out enemies before they can snap back. The Charging Horn can be used to pick up treasures, clear resource deposits, dig holes and even pick up bodies of various smaller enemies without having to lock on to each one.

Sadly, you can’t use it while riding on Oatchi, but it’s not too tedious to hop off, press X, and hop back on.

Don’t Use Rewind!

Pikmin 4 introduces the Rewind feature for added accessibility, and for some players, it can be incredibly useful. However, if you want the feeling of playing a more traditional Pikmin game, don’t use it. It’s tempting, and the game will even prompt you to rewind if tragedy strikes, but don’t do it!

Part of playing Pikmin is allowing yourself to make mistakes and learn from them. You go into a cave, a giant Bulborb slug-monster rolls over your whole army, and you shoot from 60+ Pikmin down to 0. Of course, you can rewind and instantly try the challenge over, but taking the walk of defeat back to your base and rebuilding your army adds to the feeling of triumph on your next attempt.

That’s all you need to know about getting started in Pikmin 4! There are hours ahead for you to rescue castaways and horde treasures, but following these tips will put you on the fast track from Rookie to Pro.