Red, Blue, and Yellow synergy
Miyamoto may have created Pikmin to be a "carefree experience," but that doesn't mean it lacks depth. With the addition of a particularly creative set of local multiplayer modes, Pikmin 3 has a ton of gameplay related nuances that may be lost to the void if you aren't careful.
Here are some tips to help you acclimate yourself to the wonderful, cute world of Pikmin.
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As a side note, there are a few spoiler related story bits that I'll completely avoid here. Some of the single and multiplayer tips are interchangeable.
- As a recap, Red Pikmin are immune to fire, and are among the most powerful normal Pikmin in combat. Yellow Pikmin are immune to electricity, can dig faster, and have the ability to be thrown higher. Blue Pikmin can go underwater, and fight in the water as well. Rock Pikmin can't be stomped, and are more powerful when flung, rather than skirmishing. Winged Pikmin can simply carry objects over gaps.
- Try to divvy up your Pikmin when assigning them to different tasks. For instance, don't just throw out all 10 of your Red Pikmin to take down a wall, or carry a large object. You may need a few Red Pikmin to kill a certain fire based enemy, and they'll all be back at the base, missing in action.
- Pikmin 3 offers a number of different control schemes: GamePad only, the Wii-mote and a Nunchuk (with Motion Plus support), and the Wii U Pro Controller. Make sure you use the "Go To" function on the GamePad to quickly assign orders to your three playable characters. People will most likely prefer the Wii-mote scheme due to the precision, but personally I play exclusively with the GamePad 100% of the time.
- You can actually play the game with a control scheme other than the GamePad, and still keep the Pad to your side to use as a map at all times.
- At the end of each day, you can watch a replay to learn from your potential mistakes. Also, you can re-do that day if you wish.
- The max amount of Pikmin you can have under your command at once is 100.
- Leaving Pikmin in the ground or letting them feed on nectar puddles increases their capacity to quickly do pretty much any action, as they "level-up" and have a visibly different head.
- Boss corpses will still remain the day after defeating them. Feel free to return and harvest their body for an increased troop count.
- Have one captain start plucking Pikmin, then switch to another character to explore the environment. [Jonathan Holmes]
- For the last boss, I find it helpful to leave two of your captains around the area so you can switch them as the golden wraith gets closer, in case you need to have them whistle your Pikmin out before it turns solid. [Jonathan Holmes]
- As a side note, you don't need to play with a friend to try Mission Mode -- that can be played solo. You will need a friend for Bingo Battle, though.
- The multiplayer-only Purple Pikmin have the strength of 10 regular Pikmin. Additionally, White Pikmin are fast and poisonous, and can locate hidden objects.
- Learn to precisely throw out only the Pikmin you need for each object. Memorize how many need to carry specific objects -- for example, three Pikmin need to carry a strawberry, no more. Of course, over-committing may be a solid option if the path back is tumultuous, as just one missing Pikmin will result in a failed return, which can be disastrous.
- After a certain amount of time in Bingo Battle, golden bubbles will appear on the screen (the game will notify you of this). Take advantage of this and lead a search party for them so rapidly increase your chance of winning.
- Grab cherries with one Pikmin every time you see them -- Pikmin bring these back to base faster than any other object, and they grant you a useful power-up.
- If you hear a rock shower coming your way from an enemy player, remember that you can press left or right on the d-pad to dodge it.
- If you hear Pikmin chanting "ho, ha!" -- that means another player has either stolen your macaroon (flag), or they are bringing the very last piece of their bingo puzzle back to base.