All about Pikmin 4: Release date, editions, gameplay, and more
Jun 13, 2023
The fan-favorite series will finally return on the release date of Pikmin 4, and Nintendo has already revealed tons of info about the new game.
Pikmin has always been an odd duck in Nintendo’s lineup of family-friendly franchises. It’s a riff on real-time strategy games, giving players control over several units to complete a variety of tasks ranging from gathering parts to fighting monsters. Each new edition has introduced big mechanics to the series, and Pikmin 4 is no exception.
Here’s everything you need to know about Pikmin 4, from its release date to its gameplay changes to the new types of Pikmin it will introduce.
The official release date for Pikmin 4
The release date for Pikmin 4 is July 12, 2023.
This date was announced during a February 2023 Nintendo Direct, which also showed off gameplay footage of the title. The announcement came as a surprise, as Nintendo was almost completely silent about the series after the release of Pikmin 3 in 2013 for the Wii U. That game has since been ported to Switch along with a free demo.
Aside from consistent representation in Super Smash Bros., many fans thought that the series was effectively put on hiatus.
That also means that the release date of Pikmin 4 is somewhat commemorative. The day of its release will be exactly ten years minus one day from the release of Pikmin 4, meaning that the series will not quite reach a decade-long hiatus.
It will also be the first Pikmin game made available for the Nintendo Switch, and it will also introduce several other big firsts for the series.
The biggest gameplay changes coming to Pikmin 4
The biggest change Pikmin 4 players will immediately notice is the custom protagonist.
In previous Pikmin games, players controlled a defined character with their own name and personality. This was Captain Olimar in the first two games, with Alph taking the spotlight for Pikmin 3. However, Pikmin 4 will break from tradition by allowing players to customize their own stranded protagonist. The swap to a player-owned main character is a big change, but it’s not the only difference.
In addition, Pikmin 4 will introduce a new controllable character as part of its new gameplay changes. Oatchi is a dog-type creature that will function as a new unit, and he can help smash through barriers or collect machine parts. The protagonist can even ride Oatchi along with some Pikmin, making traversal across long distances much faster.
Lastly, Pikmin 4 will also feature new terrain and enemy types. Trailers show off a new type of Long Legs that will likely function as a new dungeon boss. The trailer is still scarce on details for enemies and levels, but expect to discover lots more on the Pikmin 4 release date of July 12.
What types of Pikmin will be in the new game?
The trailers for Pikmin 4 confirm that all previous types of Pikmin will be returning to the series. That includes the original red, yellow, and blue Pikmin, along with newer additions like the white, purple, and rock Pikmin.
The winged Pikmin were not shown in the earlier trailers, but they do make an appearance on some promotional material, confirming their return. Only one new kind of Pikmin has been revealed so far, but they’re traditionally added in pairs, so it’s fair to expect at least one surprise addition.
The big introduction is the ice Pikmin, a new type of controllable unit with some extremely useful powers. Water has always been a major threat in the series, as Pikmin are unable to swim. However, the new ice Pikmin can freeze water, allowing its friends to cross a pond or river safely.
The introduction of ice bridges will probably mean an even more devilish obstacle like spike pits or lava to mark inaccessible areas, but traversing water will completely open up the world for players to explore.
Will Pikmin 4 have a collector’s edition?
Nintendo has not announced a collector’s edition for Pikmin 4, and no additional merchandise for the series has been revealed.
This is somewhat of a surprise, as Nintendo has been rolling out premium versions of their mainline series for most of the Switch’s major releases. However, Pikmin will not get any such treatment. It’s possible that Nintendo does not see the game as a flagship series, so it will not be offering upgraded versions of the game at launch. Nintendo does produce limited merchandise for the game, with more likely to come. Anyone expecting a massive statue of Pikmin fighting a Bulborb will be disappointed.
As for versions that are available, Pikmin 4 will have both a physical and digital edition both available on its release date. The digital version is exclusively available through the Nintendo Store, though it does allow preloading the game before it officially goes live. The physical version will be in most major video game retailers, including GameStop, Target, Walmart, and others. It can also be preordered online through stores like Amazon.
Will Pikmin 4 be available on platforms other than Switch?
As is standard for most Nintendo games, Pikmin 4 will be exclusively available on the Switch.
This is no surprise, though Nintendo has taken an interest in Pikmin games on alternate platforms. Pikmin Bloom was a 2021 mobile release developed by Niantic, the same company behind Pokemon Go. That title was a gamified fitness app that rewarded players for walking. As they increased their daily steps, players could see Pikmin and flowers spreading through the world using augmented reality.
However, that small game likely wasn’t testing the waters for a full-blown mobile Pikmin game. The only possible exception is if Nintendo announced a Switch follow-up sometime in the next couple of years. That console could see a port of Pikmin 4, similar to how Pikmin 3 was re-released on the Switch.