Oatchi is your newest and most faithful companion in Pikmin 4. This adorable dog-creature will be by your side for the majority of your adventure to help you and your Pikmin rescue all the Castaways. Unlike the cute, yet expendable Pikmin, Oatchi is one-0f-a-kind and even upgradable! Once you’ve teamed up with one, and progressed far enough to meet Shepherd, you will be able to teach this young pup a bunch of new tricks in exchange for Pup Drive. It might sound complicated, and when you see the list of possible skills and levels you can upgrade, even a little intimidating. Worry not, because we’ll break down the best skills you should unlock for Oatchi in Pikmin 4.
We briefly touched on it, but the short version of teaching Oatchi new skills is by spending Pup Drive with Shephard. The option will become available to you after you rescue a Castaway named Russ from a cave and return back to the Rescue Command Post. The main way to earn Pup Drive is to rescue Castaways and Leaflings, with each one awarding you a single Pup Drive, as well as doing Dandori Battles and Challenges. You can also gain a Pup Drive during night expeditions by curing Leaflings with glow sap.
The set of skills you first see is not all that Oatchi is capable of learning. More will become available naturally as you play, such as learning to swim by going in water, or maxing out other skills.
There are 13 total skills Oatchi can learn, and each can be leveled up to a maximum of 3. Here are the ones you should focus on and what they do.
Buff is, well, a buff! That may not be the most exciting, but it will be the most useful skill to have leveled up early since it will be useful for the entire game. Oatchi starts with this skill, so you only need to level it up. This skill determines how large of an object Oatch can push or carry on its own, starting with the equivalent of 3 Pikmin and ending at 10 at level 3. If you want to really go crazy, you can learn Super Buff after Buff hits level 3. Super Buff increases Oatchi’s strength to equal 20, 30, and even 100 Pikmin if you max it out, but we consider that a bit overkill.
Oatchi is a loyal companion, but you do need to train him if you want to make the most of him. This is where Command comes in, as it lets you give new instructions to Oatchi beyond the initial ability to sniff out rare Pikmin, treasures, or Castaways. At level 2, you can send Oatchi back to your base, as well as call him to your position or to a position you ping on the Radar Map. Go to level 3 and you can have Oatchi act on his own to go wrangle up Pikmin for you!
Big Chomp is unlocked after you fully upgrade the regular Chomp ability, but only gets interesting once you start investing in this version. Even just unlocking level 1 of this skill lets Oatchi leap into the air so he can attack airborne enemies, massively improving his combat utility. Further levels just make his bite more deadly, so it’s up to you if you want to max it out, but level 1 is mandatory.
Rush comes in handy in and out of combat, but upgrading it really only helps it be more useful during battles. Getting level 2 shortens how long it takes Oatchi to charge up before actually doing the Rush, making it easier to hit moving targets. Bring it all the way up to level 3 and the power skyrockets to the point where a lot of normal enemies will be taken out in a single hit.
Heal is the lowest on the list since it’s just nice to have, but not necessary. It just gives Oatchi the ability to passively heal himself over time when out of battle. Each level just shortens how long it takes for him to recover.
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