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2-Player Battle

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A screenshot of the Angle Maze, which features many Red Bulborbs.
Players fighting some Bulborbs in Angle Maze.
This article is about the competitive 2-player mode in Pikmin 2. For a mode in another Pikmin game that involves 2 players battling, see 2-player mode.

2-Player Battle is a game mode in Pikmin 2. It involves, as the name implies, two players, who control Captain Olimar and Louie, with a party of up to 50 Red or Blue Pikmin, respectively. Each player can start the match with a multiple of 5 Pikmin between 5 and 50, and cannot exceed 50 total Pikmin on the battlefield at any time. 2-Player Battle mode takes place in underground areas, their layouts randomly picked from a list. Each player has a related Onion, near which a similarly-colored marble lies at the start of the game. There are four ways to win and ten differently-themed areas to play on, ranging in difficulty. A number of Pellet Posies will spawn next to both Onions on all maps, and a group of Female Sheargrubs will spawn nearby on a select few maps.

Returning a cherry to an Onion will allow a spin of the roulette wheel. To make things even, Blue Pikmin are given the strength of Red Pikmin, and bodies of water are absent. However, both types are still immune to their respective elements. If a Pikmin dies from an attack caused by the other team's Pikmin, it will be transformed into a seed, which is expelled from the Onion right away. Regardless, if said Pikmin is the last one alive, a Pikmin extinction will still occur. Ultra-bitter sprays, when used against the opponent's Pikmin, will burrow them, and revert them to leaf state. However, they'll pop out of the ground automatically after 10 seconds. Leaders cannot punch each other or opposing Pikmin, nor can they interact with the enemy's Pikmin, besides being attacked by them. These Pikmin pummels merely deny the victim player the use of GCN A.png / Wiimote A.png / Icon for the A button on the Nintendo Switch. Edited version of the icon by ARMS Institute user PleasePleasePepper, released under CC-BY-SA 4.0., GCN B.png / Wiimote B.png / Icon for the B button on the Nintendo Switch. Edited version of the icon by ARMS Institute user PleasePleasePepper, released under CC-BY-SA 4.0., GCN Y.png / Wiimote Minus.png / Icon for the Y Button on the Nintendo Switch. Edited version of the icon by ARMS Institute user PleasePleasePepper, released under CC-BY-SA 4.0., and both sprays. Attacking pikmin cause no damage to the leader, but do trigger invincibility frames, resulting in enemy attacks dealing no damage on occasion.

On all maps, unearthing a yellow marble with occasionally spawn 1-5 Shearwigs where the marble is unearthed. Note that this chance is based off how many yellow marbles have been collected and the proximity of any uncollected yellow marbles, where equal players will have a 20% chance to spawn 1-3 Shearwigs, a player at an advantage will have at most an 80% chance to spawn 3-5 Shearwigs, and a player at a disadvantage will have at least a 1% chance to spawn 1-3 Shearwigs. The player which is determined to be unearthing a marble is decided by looking at the majority color of Pikmin on the marble.

Unlike other loading screens in the game, 2-Player Battle stage loading screens will contain a random tip.

Ways to win[edit]

There are four ways to score a victory over the opponent:

  • Taking 4 yellow yellow marbles to the Onion. Note that there are only 7 in total, making it so that only one player can do so.
  • Taking the opponent's marble to the Onion. Note that Pikmin cannot carry their own marble.
  • The opponent suffers a Pikmin extinction. Note that this can happen from Pikmin in-fighting or otherwise.
  • The opponent's leader is down.


The players can choose one of ten maps. Every level uses the same music. Unlike the caves in story mode, these are not generated randomly, with the exception of the Dim Labyrinth and rarely Brawl Yard. Instead, one of three (two for the Carpet Plain) fixed layouts is chosen.


The roulette wheel can be accessed when a player finds a cherry and a Pikmin successfully returns it to the Onion. Cherries in this mode spawn randomly, and only one Pikmin is needed to carry one. When the roulette finishes spinning (automatically), it'll randomly land on an item, which the player can use at any moment by pressing GCN Y.png / Wiimote Minus.png / Icon for the Y Button on the Nintendo Switch. Edited version of the icon by ARMS Institute user PleasePleasePepper, released under CC-BY-SA 4.0..

If more cherries are collected before the player uses the current item, they'll be added to a queue, represented on the top-right corner with red dots, for a maximum of 5 items waiting to be used. Pressing GCN Y.png / Wiimote Minus.png / Icon for the Y Button on the Nintendo Switch. Edited version of the icon by ARMS Institute user PleasePleasePepper, released under CC-BY-SA 4.0. will use the item and instantly make the roulette spin for the next one. The spinning takes around three seconds, which stops the player from using an item right after another.

The player will have access to 12 different items that benefit them, disadvantage the opponent or both, listed below, and sorted by the order in which they're placed on the roulette:

Icon Power Description
Roulette Wheel 5.png +5 Sprouts Grants the player five Pikmin sprouts, if they have less than 50.
Roulette Wheel 10.png +10 Sprouts Just like the previous, but ten sprouts.
Roulette Wheel flower.png Flower Makes all of the player's Pikmin that are not planted in the ground bloom into flowers.
Roulette Wheel ghost.png Ghost Makes the player's leader and Pikmin become invisible to the opponent for a limited amount of time. The opponent can still see the dust from the player's footsteps, the leader's whistle, and, if their Pikmin are affected by the ultra-spicy spray, the glowing circles on their heads. Additionally, the opponent's Pikmin can still see everything, and the leader and Pikmin are fully visible on the collecting player's portion of the screen.
Roulette Wheel ultra-bitter spray.png Ultra-bitter spray Grants one dose of ultra-bitter spray.
Roulette Wheel ultra-spicy spray.png Ultra-spicy spray Grants one dose of ultra-spicy spray.
Roulette Wheel marble.png Marble return Makes the player's marble, if above ground, bounce all the way back to the Onion, regardless of distance. Any opposing Pikmin carrying the marble will be knocked down.
Roulette Wheel Withering Blowhog.png Withering Blowhog Makes a Withering Blowhog appear near the opponent's Onion.
Roulette Wheel Swooping Snitchbug.png Swooping Snitchbug Makes a Swooping Snitchbug appear near the opponent's Onion.
Roulette Wheel boulder.png Boulders Makes several boulders drop near the opponent.
Roulette Wheel Volatile Dweevil.png Volatile Dweevil Drops a Volatile Dweevil near the opponent.
Roulette Wheel Blowhogs.png Fiery/Watery Blowhog Makes a Blowhog appear near the opponent's Onion. If the opponent is Louie, a Fiery Blowhog will appear. If the opponent is Olimar, a Watery Blowhog appears instead.

Enemies created upon a spin of the Roulette Wheel disappear completely on defeat, meaning their bodies cannot be returned to either Onion. They automatically die after 50 seconds have passed.


Clay models of Olimar and Louie, facing eachother.
Head to head two player action.

The following article or section contains guides.
The strategies shown are just suggestions.

These are basic strategies. The strategies' nature allows them to be combined and expanded upon freely, to maximize their efficiency.

Wasting the opponent's sprays[edit]

Sprays are an essential part of battle mode, as they can turn the tides in a Pikmin vs. Pikmin situation easily. Using a small squad, attacking the enemy might get the other player to use sprays prematurely. This can be repeated with the rest of the Pikmin. Another strategy is to send small forces to attack your opponent repeatedly, this should drain their spice deposits. Afterwards, rush the opponent with all of your troops. Bitter spray their Pikmin, then spicy spray yours. Afterwards steal their marble with a few Pikmin. Escort the marble with about 1/4 of your troops, and have the rest engage with your opponent's troops, allowing you to distract your enemy. This is very effective at War Path.

Collecting marbles[edit]

With a small squad, the player can run to the opponent's base and steal the marble, assuming the other player is not there with a larger squad. Should the other player come to defend the marble, running up to them with the rest of the Pikmin can distract the enemy Pikmin from getting to the marble that is being carried away. Creatures can also be led to the enemy base as means of distraction or to kill idle Pikmin.

For yellow marbles, if the other player is likely to stop marbles from being brought back, it is advisable to collect ones that are on opposite side of each other, as it will force the other player to decide between them.

Marble guard[edit]

Leave about 3-5 Pikmin at your marble to act as an alert system. When your numbers start to change, get back to base. They can also be left in crucial bottleneck passages.

Cherry siege[edit]

This one often requires a bit of luck as it relies almost entirely on random generation. The cherries that allow you to use a roulette spin will oftentimes drop steadily in the same area of the arena over time (usually in one of the alcoves.) Take note of where cherries seem to drop more during the match, then keep Pikmin in that area to quickly transport them back to the Onion. You can actually hold up to five spins at a time. Use the spins strategically or all at once in hopes that you'll drop lots of enemies and obstacles to keep your opponent busy. Large-scale distractions like this can help you steal marbles without them noticing or even a Pikmin Extinction if your opponent is careless enough.

Pikmin rush[edit]

Focus on increasing your army above everything else. If you're faster than your opponent, you can gather quite a number advantage. Then, go for the enemy with almost all your Pikmin. You can even let one or two Pikmin carry the opponent's marble while they're busy with the battle.

Attack the leader[edit]

Have your Pikmin army attack the opponent's leader. Pikmin attacks will never damage the leader, but they will distract the player. Meanwhile, you can focus on getting the marble. If you get attacked by the opposing team's Pikmin, shake them off by quickly rotating GCN Stick.png / Nunchuck Annalogstick.png / Icon for the Left Stick on the Nintendo Switch. Edited version of the icon by ARMS Institute user PleasePleasePepper, released under CC-BY-SA 4.0..

An attacked leader can use Pikmin from his team to help shake the aggressive Pikmin off. Keep this in mind when you plan an attack like this, and prepare your Pikmin numbers accordingly.

Handling idle Pikmin[edit]

Idle Pikmin on the opposing team can be dispatched in a number of ways. You can try luring the Pikmin towards a hazard or enemy, or spawn your own with the roulette wheel. On a stage with them, you can even throw bomb-rocks at Pikmin to easily wipe them out. As a last resort, you can use an ultra-bitter spray to get rid of Pikmin guarding a choke point. Do not use Pikmin of your own to clear these idlers out, as they'll just be reborn at the Onion.


Facial expressions for each of the leaders.

The leaders' faces on the main 2-player Battle screen change depending on the current score leader. If one player is one point ahead, that player's leader will smile, and the other leader will frown. If a player is three points ahead, their leader will grin, and the other will be quite angry. If the scores are the same for both players, both leaders will have a neutral expression.

Whenever a player has 3 marbles, their Pikmin will chant the corresponding leader's name, "O-ri-ma!" or "Ru-i!", over the latter's Japanese names, Orimā (オリマー) and Rūi (ルーイ). If both players have 3 marbles and only one remains, both Pikmin groups will still chant, over one another. Amusingly, the Pikmin will still chant if they're all burrowed underground.

Each leader has his own victory tune. Though they follow the same melody, the Pikmin will call out the name of whoever won once the tune finishes. If one of the players loses through excess damage to the suit or Pikmin extinction, the themes will have a slight variation in rhythm similar to the difference in the story-mode levels. In the unlikely case of a tie, a different tune plays and both the leader's names will be called out by the Pikmin. The tune changes with each type of tie.

Excluding the variations of the Pikmin chorus, there are eight different themes that can play: one player wins, Olimar loses due to extinction, Olimar loses due to damage, Louie loses due to extinction, Louie loses due to damage, draw by simultaneous marble-collection, draw by simultaneous extinction, and draw by simultaneous damage.

Stage generation and layouts[edit]

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Unlike Story Mode and Challenge Mode caves, which generate sublevels by placing cave units randomly, the stages in 2-Player Battle are mostly made by placing specific units in specific spots to end up with layouts hand-made by the developers. That said, the random sublevel generation logic is still in effect during the generation of 2-Player Battle stages.

The game begins by loading the list of necessary cave units for the stage, in the same format as the lists used in Story Mode and Challenge Mode. Then, the game places whatever manually-specified units exist in their right places, if any. Finally, it starts filing the stage randomly just like in the other game modes, until the stage is completely generated without any issues.

Different stages have different generation modes and different layouts. Dim Labyrinth has no predefined layout and instead always generates the stage randomly like other caves. Carpet Plain has 2 predefined layouts. Brawl Yard has a 20% chance of generating the stage randomly, and an 80% chance of using one of its 3 layouts. All other stages have 3 predefined layouts and nothing else.

When the game loads the stage, it starts by deciding if it will generate it randomly or by using the fixed layouts, and then if applicable, chooses at random one of the existing layouts. The method and layout chosen can be manually selected by the player with an undocumented feature. To activate it, player 1 should be holding a direction on GCN C.png on the GameCube, or Wiimote Dpad.png on the Wii, while the loading screen with the tips is showing up. The time at which the player starts holding does not matter, as long as it's before the loading screen appears, and the player can let go at the loading screen. The game will load the variant determined by the direction pressed.

  • GCN Cup.png / Wiimote Dpad up.png Up: Layout #1.
  • GCN Cright.png / Wiimote Dpad right.png Right: Layout #2.
  • GCN Cdown.png / Wiimote Dpad down.png Down: Layout #3.
  • GCN Cleft.png / Wiimote Dpad left.png Left: Random generation.

To know which layout number corresponds to what, please read the corresponding level's article, and check the technical information section. For the Carpet Plain, both right and down result in layout #2. Because Dim Labyrinth is always randomly generated, holding a direction has no effect there.

By holding left, the level is forced to generate at random, even for stages that don't support it. This generation does not take into account balance, meaning that it is unlikely that a stage will be symmetrical, and more often than not, the Onions are placed in bizarre and inappropriate locations.

Because of the secrecy of this feature, as well as the potential for gameplay balance problems that arise with the "left" variant, it is likely that this is actually a debugging tool in the game during development, but never removed for the final release.


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Flag of Italy Italian Scontro 2G 2P Fight
Flag of Spain Spanish Batalla 2J 2P Battle
Yellow marble
Language Name Meaning
Flag of Mexico Spanish (NoA) Canica amarilla Yellow marble
Foe's marble
Language Name Meaning Notes
Flag of Mexico Spanish (NoA) Canica del oponente Opponent's marble Name taken from the New Play Control! Pikmin 2 manual.


  • The Angle Maze features a Raging Long Legs in one of its variations. It is the only battle map to include a boss enemy.
  • Within the game's files, one can find textures for 3 unused Roulette Wheel slots: an Antenna Beetle, a Spotty Bulbear, and a combination of a Fiery and Hydro Dweevil, the latter having a duplicate file with the same name, but with "_old" appended. The backgrounds' colors and lines indicate that these slots were removed before the final icon textures were cleaned up.
  • In this mode, the leaders are immune to the Watery Blowhog's water-like liquid and the Fiery Blowhog's fire. In the story mode, while it is still possible to gain immunity to fire by collecting the Scorch Guard, there is no upgrade allowing the leaders to be immune to the Watery Blowhog's liquid.
  • In the GameCube games, the idle Pikmin at the start of a match will not have glowing stems. If they are taken in the group and then made idle again, their stems will glow like normal. This glitch was fixed in the New Play Control! versions.
  • In the New Play Control! versions, at the start of a match, idle Pikmin that join a leader will first race to a point far away from the leader, and only after a second return to their rightful spot in the group. The reason for this is not known.
  • Snow Bulborbs, Dwarf Orange Bulborbs, Breadbugs, Anode Beetles, and Careening Dirigibugs can only be delivered to Onions in this mode.

See also[edit]

Icon of a white flower in the Challenge Mode of Pikmin 2. It represents a course that is beaten, but with Pikmin who were lost.

This article was a featured article from September 23rd, 2010 to February 23rd, 2011.

Icon of a white flower in the Challenge Mode of Pikmin 2. It represents a course that is beaten, but with Pikmin who were lost.