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Pikmin 3 Deluxe tips and tricks

The Pikmin series is unlike anything you’ve ever played. It’s a mix between real-time strategy and puzzle, with action elements sprinkled throughout — and a ton of personality. That continues with Pikmin 3 Deluxe for Nintendo Switch, an enhanced version of the same game for Wii U. Deluxe offers all the content from the Wii U version, plus new story missions, a cooperative campaign, and many quality-of-life improvements.

Despite its cute art style, Pikmin 3 Deluxe can be pretty tough, especially if it’s your first time playing a game in the series. While Pikmin 3 Deluxe does a great job of showing you how things work, it tends to flood you with information at times — making it difficult to take everything in. However, we’ve spent a considerable amount of time with the original Wii U version and Deluxe on Nintendo Switch, so we’ve got everything you need to know about keeping your hard-working Pikmin alive while making the most out of each day.

This is our list of Pikmin 3 Deluxe tips and tricks.

Further reading:

Know which Pikmin do what

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This might seem basic, but it’s imperative that you have the right Pikmin for the job. It’s easy to just throw whatever you have at an enemy or object, but you’ll have a better time if you use the right Pikmin. For instance, Yellow Pikmin are great diggers, so use them to tear down walls or dig for bombs. Likewise, Red Pikmin are resistant to fire, while Rock Pikmin pack a serious punch. If you have to carry something over water, use Winged Pikmin since they can get around with ease. The game rewards you for playing smart, so take the extra time to make sure you’re using the best Pikmin for the task.

Don’t forget to use X to charge

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Charging is an excellent way to get a large amount of Pikmin to attack or interact with an object. It’s much more efficient than individually throwing Pikmin toward your objective. It’s also great because all of the Pikmin of a specific type will charge when you do this, making it quick and easy to separate them in the heat of battle. A great strategy when attempting to take out a formidable foe is to select your Rock Pikmin and use the charge option to quickly deal damage. Assuming the enemy isn’t immune to Rock Pikmin, it’ll go down in no time. Keep in mind, this tactic is only effective for objects and enemies on the ground — aerial combat will still need to be handled by throwing Pikmin one by one.

Plan your day in advance

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When you first start out, it can be tempting to wander around and figure stuff out as you go along. This is normal and expected, but once you’ve learned the ropes, you should consider planning your day in advance. Have a goal of a certain amount of fruit you’d like to collect, or pathways you’d wish to uncover. This will prevent aimless wandering and will save you time. Pikmin 3 Deluxe runs on a day/night cycle, and you don’t want the day to end in the middle of attempting to complete an objective. You should have a good sense of how long a goal will take to finish, so compare that to how much time you have left in the day and either go for it or end the day with what you have.

Don’t be afraid to split your party

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In efforts to make your exploration more efficient, you should consider sending the various members of your squad to different areas of the map simultaneously. By using the “go here” function, you can send a character to a specific location, freeing up your other party members to do their own thing. This is especially effective when you’ve got fruit to collect at opposite ends of the map. Why send your entire squad to each location when you can split it and get both objectives done at the same time?

We will say, it’s highly recommended to consistently check on each squad member when separating, though. A path could have looked clear, but you might not have accounted for an enemy hiding under the ground, or perhaps the Pikmin used a slightly different route to get to where you wanted them to go. Point is, check your squadmates frequently to ensure they’re doing what you expected.

Shortcuts are your friend

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Many levels feature shortcuts that exist close to the start, and you should definitely take advantage of them. Some shortcuts are made of concrete walls, so grab some bombs and blow them up! Others are made of tunnels that need to be uncovered — which are easily dug up with the Yellow Pikmin. Much like Metroidvanias, you’ll want to open up shortcuts as soon as you can to save time and make your travels much more efficient. Don’t ignore those concrete walls!

Be aware of your foes’ weaknesses

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Pikmin 3 Deluxe gives you a huge advantage by describing the weaknesses of enemies from within the Piklopedia. Head to your KopPad by pressing the (-) button and tab over to the Piklopedia to see all the creatures you’ve discovered. Here, you’ll get a description of the creature, as well as some tips for taking it down. For instance, don’t use Red Pikmin on a Bearded Amprat. Instead, use Yellow Pikmin since they’re immune to its electricity blasts. By the same token, the Skutterchuck should exclusively be attacked by Rock Pikmin in order to break their hard crystal shell.

Throw more than the required amount of Pikmin at an object to transport it faster

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Every object you can pick up and carry has a fraction above it that represents how many Pikmin are required to transport it. The heavier the item is, the higher the number on the bottom. But you should always strive to throw more Pikmin at the object than is required! This will speed up the process of transporting the object back to base. In most cases, you can actually double the amount of required Pikmin needed to carry an object. For instance, a dead creature that requires five Pikmin to transport it can actually be moved by up to 10 and you’ll notice a difference! Don’t just stop at the required amount.

A flower pellet will convert to the color of whichever Pikmin carries it to the onion

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You’re going to need to utilize flower pellets around the levels to acquire more Pikmin. You’ll notice that a flower will change colors, corresponding to the type of Pikmin you can get from it. New players tend to wait until the flower changes to the color they need, but this is unnecessary. Even if the pellet doesn’t match the type of Pikmin you’re using to transport it, the pellet will actually change to match them once it gets delivered to the onion. In other words, if you need Blue Pikmin but the flower pellet is red, throw the Blue Pikmin at it anyway and the pellet will change to blue when you drop it off — giving you more Blue Pikmin instead of Red ones.

Sometimes, it’s best to just restart the day

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Sometimes, things won’t go according to plan. In fact, this happens quite frequently, even for seasoned veterans of the series. Remember, Pikmin 3 Deluxe is a resource management game — meaning you want to make the most of your time each day. If things go awry, you’re better off restarting the day and giving it another try. You can learn to master the paths you need to take while saving your precious Pikmin from being killed. If you think you can do better, restart the day. Maybe you think you can get one more piece of fruit before the end of the day or maybe way too many of your Pikmin died due to an unexpected accident. There are numerous things that could go wrong, but you can always give it another try without any penalty.

The ‘assemble all’ function can save your life

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Picture this: You’re about to gather all your Pikmin at the onion toward the end of a day and everything seems fine. And then, you realize one straggler is off doing who knows what at the opposite side of the map. You have no time to go gather the Pikmin, and its fate seems inevitable. What do you do? Well, instead of letting the poor little guy meet his demise, you should use the “assemble all” function at the S.S. Drake. This will send a message to all the remaining Pikmin to gather at the onion. It isn’t fool-proof, but assuming the Pikmin has enough time and there are no major obstacles in the way, they can safely return to the onion without you having to manually go grab them.

Take lots of pictures

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This one is optional, but you should absolutely take the time to enjoy Pikmin 3 Deluxe’s photo mode. There’s so much to take in, from the gorgeous levels, beautiful flowers, and of course, the Pikmin themselves. Jump into the photo mode and try to get the silliest or most stunning-looking pictures you can — whether it’s of the fantastical creature designs or the nature around you. Even if you don’t want to use the photo mode, you can still take advantage of the Switch’s screenshot functionality to get some great pictures.

Below are some beautiful images from the community.

Josh Broadwell, writer at GameSkinny
Greysun Morales, Features Editor at Twinfinite
Greysun Morales, Features Editor at Twinfinite
Nate Ellingsworth, writer for SwitchPlayer Magazine
Nate Ellingsworth, writer for SwitchPlayer Magazine
Joseph Yaden
Joseph Yaden is a freelance journalist who covers Nintendo, shooters, and horror games. He mostly covers game guides for…
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