All Pikmin abilities in Pikmin 4 explained

By Kenneth Williams

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Jul 12, 2023

Reading time: 6 min

Pikmin 4 is adding new abilities to your already-expansive roster, but some of them need to be explained.

Pikmin 4 is the newest addition to Nintendo’s longrunning RTS franchise. Coming out just a day before the tenth anniversary of Pikmin 3, the game will bring back all Pikmin types from the previous game as well as two new types. That brings the total up to nine different types each with their own specialties, niches, and weaknesses.

The complex strategy of Pikmin has only gotten more and more complicated, so if you need a refresher on Pikmin abilities, here are all nine types explained.

Red Pikmin will be your main fighting force

Red Pikmin are the backbone of any roaming horde of vegetable creatures. These Pikmin are the most well-rounded fighters, being able to take on Long Legs, Bulborbs, Mireclops, and more better than most other types. This makes them excellent choice for dealing with overworld enemies and bosses. They’re also usually the first type of Pikmin given to the player, adding to their iconic nature.

In addition to boasting combat prowess, Red Pikmin also have a unique resistance to heat. They tend to do well in hot environments, like the lava plumes shown in the Pikmin 4 trailer. They can also be required for taking on bosses with fire-based attacks. Make sure to always bring at least a few along for their general combat strength and heat resistance.

Blue Pikmin abilities in Pikmin 4 explained

Blue Pikmin are often introduced much later into the game, and for good reason. Water is a constant threat in Pikmin, as your normal pack will instantly drown if forced into it. Blue Pikmin have the distinction of surviving water with no issues, able to swim back to shore after a slight delay.

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This makes Blue Pikmin extremely valuable in certain environments, such as ponds or lakes. Underground water areas, like those found in Pikmin 2, can sometimes require the player to exclusively use Blue Pikmin. Their straightforward abilities don’t need to be explained much, but Pikmin 4 players will quickly learn to value their simplicity.

Yellow went from lightweight to electic

Yellow Pikmin have evolved quite a bit over the series. Originally, they were lighter, making it easier to throw them further distances. But as of Pikmin 3, they can carry bomb rocks, tank electric attacks, and even conduct electricity to solve certain puzzles,

They’re more specialized than some other types of Pikmin, and they’re not particularly powerful in combat. But in situations where the player needs to toss Pikmin across a ravine, their lighter weight makes them a necessity. Try to keep a few in your gang at any given time.

Nobody likes having to walk away from a puzzle.

Purple Pikmin abilities in 4 explained

Purple Pikmin first made an appearance in Pikmin 2, but actually took a break from the series for the third game. Recent trailers have confirmed their return for the next installment. These are the physical powerhouses of the Pikmin species. They can carry ten times as much weight as other Pikmin, though they are much slower to compensate. 

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Their strength also translates to combat, where they are able to stun enemies using a unique attack. Their slow speed can make them a liability against mobile foes, but stationary targets are sitting ducks. Purple Pikmin also use a different spawning system than the standard types.

In Pikmin 2, the player had to throw an existing Pikmin into a special Candypop Bud. That mechanic may or may not return for Pikmin 4.

Poison abilities return in 4 with White Pikmin

Despite their somewhat creepy and frail appearance, White Pikmin are both incredibly useful in the overworld and in combat. These little guys are immune to poison, which is a common method of combat in the brutal Pikmin world. Doodlebugs, gas pipes, and certain types of Dweevils can become a cakewalk with some White Pikmin to take care of them.

They also have a unique effect in combat. When eaten by an enemy, the foe will take damage as if eating White Pikmin inflicts poison. As a nice bonus, White Pikmin are also able to detect and dig up special underground treasures. Similarly to their purple partners, Pikmin 2 explained that White Pikmin gain their abilities through Candypop Buds instead of being planted.

Winged Pikmin are pathetic little baby boys

The abilities of Winged Pikmin are mostly explained by their name, but Pikmin 4 could put a new spin on their niche. These flying friends are able to hover above the ground, allowing them to avoid enemies and cross gaps without the aid of their captain. This can be used to ferry items over ravines when Yellow Pikmin can’t do the trick. 

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However, their abilities come with a literally fatal flaw. These are the weakest Pikmin in direct combat, and their tiny little bodies don’t fare well against most wildlife. Luckily, their aerial nature lets them avoid most enemies. When dealing with the few they can’t avoid, just try to keep them out of the fray whenever possible.

Rock Pikmin hit hard and get hit harder

Rock Pikmin took the prize from Purple Pikmin for the goofiest looking option when they debuted in Pikmin 3, but that’s their only claim to fame. Rock Pikmin are able to bust through special crystal barriers that are impenetrable to other types. They’re also quite strong in combat, able to hurl themselves at foes to protect the group.

Rock Pikmin are equally adept at offense and defense, able to withstand massive attacks that would instantly kill their non-mineral-based brethren. This makes them very valuable in boss fights. They’re not quite unkillable, but if you find yourself losing too many troops to a certain fight, consider the effectiveness of throwing rocks at it.

Solve your water problems with Ice Pikmin

The Ice Pikmin are one of two new types being added in Pikmin 4, and the trailers have already explained some of their unique abilities. Ice Pikmin are able to freeze bodies of water, allowing types other than blue to cross them safely. Unfortunately, they appear to die in the process of creating an ice bridge.

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In addition, Ice Pikmin function similarly to White Pikmin in combat. When eaten, these frozen friends inflict damage to the enemy as their parting gift. They can also freeze enemies by crowding around them. Make sure to remember their combat utility in mind before sacrificing them to cross a body of water.

Glow Pikmin will be important for nighttime

And finally, Glow Pikmin. These are the second new addition in Pikmin 4, and their abilities have yet to be fully explained by the trailers. They behave quite differently from other Pikmin, only coming out at night. True to their name, they provide a light source with their bodies. This will make them invaluable for exploring the lost planet after the sun goes down.

Their strange behavior extends to their mobility. They float around like ghosts, and they appear to bundle together into large mounds that the player can control. One clip even shows the ball smashing into a larger enemy, so they could have a niche use in combat.

Glow Pikmin are the most mysterious new type of Pikmin, but players will get to explore with them once Pikmin 4 releases on July 21, 2023.

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