Pikmin 4 is the fourth game in Nintendo’s long-running strategy series, but it may as well be the first. That’s because the Switch sequel reinvents the franchise’s 22-year-old formula, turning it into a more laid-back exploration adventure with more of a puzzle emphasis. That makes it the perfect starting point for those who never grew up with the series on GameCube (though all three of Pikmin 4’s predecessors are now available on Nintendo Switch).
If you’re entirely new to Pikmin, though, you’ll still need to learn the basics of the oddball strategy game. And if you’re a seasoned veteran, you’ll need to get used to some of the new features that alter how it’s played. Before you set off on your space-faring adventure, here are seven tips you’ll want to keep in your back pocket.
It’s okay to multitask
When you first start playing, your instinct might be to focus your Pikmin army on one task before moving to the next. While you certainly can do that, Pikmin 4 is meant to test your multitasking skills — and you’ll need to sharpen them to clear some of its toughest challenges. Don’t be afraid to split your Pikmin up and juggle multiple tasks at once. You can have a few carrying treasure, another batch breaking down a wall, and another taking down enemies. You’ll only start with a small squad so practice splitting them up efficiently and slowly expand the number of tasks you can do at once as you raise the number of Pikmin that can follow you to 100.
Pik the right ‘min for the job
Pikmin 4 has more creature types than ever, with each one having its own unique strength. Red Pikmin can safely withstand fire, while purple ones can carry 10 times their weight. A big part of the core loop comes from learning what every creature’s function is and picking the right squad for the job. You don’t have to guess, though. Whenever you land in an area or a dungeon, the game will suggest a team. You should initially listen to that, as that recommendation clues you in to what kind of obstacles are in the area. Naturally, you can choose to ignore that if you want and there’s some good reason to. Purple Pikmin can help you move more treasures at once, winged pink Pikmin can speed up resource gathering, and ice Pikmin can freeze enemies to make combat easier. Feel free to experiment once you’ve explored a new area and have an idea of what tools you could use to speed up some tasks.
Nectar is life
Every once and a while, you’ll find a nectar blob sitting around. These orange liquids are incredibly important, as they can power up your Pikmin. If you move Pikmin on top of one, they’ll automatically slurp the puddle down until it’s gone. That’ll