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Controls

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This article is about controls of the Pikmin games. For the data file category, see Controls (Exploration Notes).

The Pikmin games have a variety of controls used to control the game's menus, leaders, camera and gameplay mechanics. These controls come in the form of button presses and releases, analog stick tilts, Wii Remote pointer movements and touchscreen touches.

In-game controls[edit]

The following is a list of controls for when the player is controlling a leader on an area or cave, for each game.

Pikmin[edit]

The first title in the franchise is played on the GameCube, and hence, with the GameCube controller. The New Play Control! Pikmin version is played using the Wii Remote and the Nunchuk, and most button inputs are edited accordingly. In the Nintendo Switch port, the controls are more faithful to the GameCube version than New Play Control! Pikmin, though the inputs themselves are very similar to Pikmin 3 Deluxe.

Action GameCube Wii Switch Notes
Move the Control Stick on the GameCube controller
fully held
the Control Stick on the Nunchuk the Left Stick on the Switch (dual Joy-Con)
fully held
Move cursor – main the Control Stick on the GameCube controller
lightly or fully held
Wii Remote the Left Stick on the Switch (dual Joy-Con)
lightly or fully held
Move cursor – alternate N/A N/A Move the right Joy-Con / Move the Pro Controller Only while whistling or throwing.
Reset cursor N/A N/A Left Stick click on the Switch (dual Joy-Con)
Hold and throw Pikmin the A Button on the GameCube controller the A Button on the Wii Remote the A Button on the Switch Pressing holds a Pikmin, releasing throws it.
Release held Pikmin N/A N/A the A Button on the Switch + the B Button on the Switch
Whistle the B Button on the GameCube controller the B Button on the Wii Remote the B Button on the Switch Holding it down longer increases the range.
Swarm the C Stick on the GameCube controller the + Control Pad down on the Wii Remote the L Button on the Switch + the Right Stick on the Switch (dual Joy-Con) On the GameCube and Nintendo Switch, the stick determines swarm direction and distance. On the Wii, Pikmin go in the direction and distance of the cursor when the button is held.
Dismiss the X Button on the GameCube controller the C Button on the Nunchuk the X Button on the Switch
Swap Pikmin type N/A the B Button on the Wii Remote the R Button on the Switch While holding a Pikmin, swaps it for one of a different type.
Swap Pikmin maturity N/A the + Control Pad down on the Wii Remote the X Button on the Switch When holding a Pikmin, swap it for one of a different maturity in the same type. Also causes the swarm effect on the cursor, but the group does not move.
Pluck sprout the A Button on the GameCube controller the A Button on the Wii Remote the A Button on the Switch
Punch the A Button on the GameCube controller the A Button on the Wii Remote the A Button on the Switch Only when not commanding Pikmin.
Lie down the + Control Pad down on the GameCube controller the 2 Button on the Wii Remote Right Stick click on the Switch (dual Joy-Con) Only after day 1.
Face camera forward the L Button on the GameCube controller
tapped
the Z Button on the Nunchuk
tapped
the ZL Button on the Switch Tapping the button makes the camera face towards the cursor on the GameCube, but towards where the leader is facing on the Wii and Nintendo Switch.
Rotate camera the L Button on the GameCube controller
lightly or fully held
the Z Button on the Nunchuk
held
the Right Stick left and right on the Switch (dual Joy-Con) or the ZL Button on the Switch The player can press the button and use the Control Stick on the GameCube controller / the Control Stick on the Nunchuk / the Left Stick on the Switch (dual Joy-Con) to rotate the camera sideways.
Change camera's distance the R Button on the GameCube controller the + Control Pad left or right on the Wii Remote the ZR Button on the Switch
Change camera's vertical angle the Z Button on the GameCube controller the + Control Pad up on the Wii Remote the Right Stick up and down on the Switch (dual Joy-Con)
Open Onion menu the A Button on the GameCube controller the A Button on the Wii Remote the A Button on the Switch When below an Onion's beam.
Olimar's monitor the Y Button on the GameCube controller the Plus Button on the Wii Remote the + Button on the Switch
Pause/resume START/PAUSE on the GameCube controller the Minus Button on the Wii Remote the - Button on the Switch

Pikmin 2[edit]

The sequel retains many of the controls from the first game, but with some additions and changes. Like the first game, the original GameCube version is played using a GameCube controller, the New Play Control! Pikmin 2 version is played with the Wii Remote and the Nunchuk, and the Nintendo Switch version uses a control scheme similar to Pikmin 3 Deluxe.

Action GameCube Wii Switch Notes
Move the Control Stick on the GameCube controller
fully held
the Control Stick on the Nunchuk the Left Stick on the Switch (dual Joy-Con)
fully held
Move cursor – main the Control Stick on the GameCube controller
lightly or fully held
Wii Remote the Left Stick on the Switch (dual Joy-Con)
lightly or fully held
Move cursor – alternate N/A N/A Move the right Joy-Con / Move the Pro Controller Only while whistling or throwing.
Reset cursor N/A N/A Right Stick click on the Switch (dual Joy-Con)
Hold and throw Pikmin the A Button on the GameCube controller the A Button on the Wii Remote the A Button on the Switch Pressing holds a Pikmin, releasing throws it.
Release held Pikmin N/A N/A the A Button on the Switch + the B Button on the Switch
Whistle the B Button on the GameCube controller the B Button on the Wii Remote the B Button on the Switch Holding it down longer increases the range.
Swarm the C Stick on the GameCube controller the + Control Pad down on the Wii Remote the L Button on the Switch + the Right Stick on the Switch (dual Joy-Con) On the GameCube and Nintendo Switch, the stick determines swarm direction and distance. On the Wii, Pikmin go in the direction and distance of the cursor when the button is held.
Dismiss the X Button on the GameCube controller
tapped
the C Button on the Nunchuk
tapped
the X Button on the Switch
Swap Pikmin type the + Control Pad left or right on the GameCube controller the B Button on the Wii Remote the R Button on the Switch While holding a Pikmin, swaps it for one of a different type.
Swap Pikmin maturity the + Control Pad up or down on the GameCube controller the + Control Pad down on the Wii Remote the X Button on the Switch When holding a Pikmin, swap it for one of a different maturity in the same type.
Switch leaders the Y Button on the GameCube controller the Minus Button on the Wii Remote the Y Button on the Switch Only if the other leader is not in the active one's group.
Pluck sprout the A Button on the GameCube controller the A Button on the Wii Remote the A Button on the Switch
Punch the A Button on the GameCube controller the A Button on the Wii Remote the A Button on the Switch Only when not commanding Pikmin.
Lie down the X Button on the GameCube controller
held
the C Button on the Nunchuk
held
Right Stick click on the Switch (dual Joy-Con) Only if the Napsack has been obtained.
Use ultra-bitter spray the + Control Pad up on the GameCube controller the 1 Button on the Wii Remote the Up Directional Button on the Switch (dual Joy-Con) Not possible when holding a Pikmin.
Use ultra-spicy spray the + Control Pad down on the GameCube controller the 2 Button on the Wii Remote the Down Directional Button on the Switch (dual Joy-Con) Not possible when holding a Pikmin.
Face camera forward the L Button on the GameCube controller
tapped
the Z Button on the Nunchuk
tapped
the ZL Button on the Switch Tapping the button makes the camera face towards the cursor on the GameCube, but towards where the leader is facing on the Wii.
Rotate camera the L Button on the GameCube controller
lightly or fully held
the Z Button on the Nunchuk
held
the Right Stick left and right on the Switch (dual Joy-Con) or the ZL Button on the Switch The player can press the button and use the Control Stick on the GameCube controller / the Control Stick on the Nunchuk / the Left Stick on the Switch (dual Joy-Con) to rotate the camera sideways.
Change camera's distance the R Button on the GameCube controller
tapped
the + Control Pad left or right on the Wii Remote
tapped
the ZR Button on the Switch
Camera ground-level angle the R Button on the GameCube controller
held
the + Control Pad left or right on the Wii Remote
held
the ZR Button on the Switch
held
Change camera's vertical angle the Z Button on the GameCube controller the + Control Pad up on the Wii Remote the Right Stick up and down on the Switch (dual Joy-Con)
Open Onion menu the A Button on the GameCube controller the A Button on the Wii Remote the A Button on the Switch When below an Onion's beam or the Hocotate ship's beam.
Pause/resume START/PAUSE on the GameCube controller the Minus Button on the Wii Remote the + Button on the Switch
Check controls N/A N/A the - Button on the Switch

Pikmin 3[edit]

Pikmin 3 allows for four ways to control the game. The player can use the GamePad's buttons, the Wii Remote + Nunchuk, the Wii U Pro Controller, or, as of version 2.0.0, the GamePad's touchscreen; the latter is known as "Stylus Mode". The Wii Classic Controller is not supported. When the player uses a control from a controller different from the one they're currently using, a message will appear on-screen saying the main controller has changed, and the player is then allowed to use that controller from there on out. The exception to this is the - Button on the Wii U GamePad.

In addition, the player can toggle Off-TV Play with the - Button on the Wii U GamePad. While Off-TV Play mode is on, the TV screen will display some Pikmin moving from right to left on a black screen, with the message "Look at the GamePad." on the bottom. Given that with Off-TV Play off, the player uses the TV screen as the main gameplay view-port and the GamePad as the radar, the player will need to use the + Control Pad down on the Wii U GamePad to toggle between gameplay view and radar view, if Off-TV Play is on.

If the player wishes to play with the Wii Remote and Off-TV Play, they must point the Wii Remote at the GamePad, as opposed to the Sensor Bar.

Controllers[edit]

Action GamePad Wii Remote Pro Controller Notes
Move the L Stick on the Wii U GamePad
fully held
the Control Stick on the Nunchuk the L Stick on the Wii U Pro Controller
fully held
When playing with the Wii Remote, the camera will automatically rotate to make it easier to navigate.
Move cursor the L Stick on the Wii U GamePad
lightly or fully held
Wii Remote the L Stick on the Wii U Pro Controller
lightly or fully held
Hold and throw Pikmin/leader the A Button on the Wii U GamePad / the X Button on the Wii U GamePad the A Button on the Wii Remote the A Button on the Wii U Pro Controller / the X Button on the Wii U Pro Controller Pressing holds a Pikmin, releasing throws it.
Whistle the ZR Button on the Wii U GamePad the B Button on the Wii Remote the ZR Button on the Wii U Pro Controller Holding it down longer increases the range.
Lock-on the ZL Button on the Wii U GamePad
held for a bit
the Z Button on the Nunchuk
held for a bit
the ZL Button on the Wii U Pro Controller
held for a bit
Only if the cursor is on a target. The player only needs to hold on for the time it takes the lock-on to activate.
Charge/dismiss the B Button on the Wii U GamePad / GamePad shake Nunchuk shake the B Button on the Wii U Pro Controller While locked-on, charges, otherwise dismisses.
Change next Pikmin type the L Button on the Wii U GamePad the C Button on the Nunchuk the L Button on the Wii U Pro Controller
Switch leader the Y Button on the Wii U GamePad the Minus Button on the Wii Remote the Y Button on the Wii U Pro Controller Only if the other leader is not in the active one's group.
Pluck sprout the A Button on the Wii U GamePad / the X Button on the Wii U GamePad the A Button on the Wii Remote the A Button on the Wii U Pro Controller / the X Button on the Wii U Pro Controller
Punch the A Button on the Wii U GamePad / the X Button on the Wii U GamePad the A Button on the Wii Remote the A Button on the Wii U Pro Controller / the X Button on the Wii U Pro Controller Only when not commanding Pikmin and near a punchable target.
Use ultra-spicy spray the + Control Pad up on the Wii U GamePad the + Control Pad up on the Wii Remote the + Control Pad up on the Wii U Pro Controller
Dodge the + Control Pad left or right on the Wii U GamePad the + Control Pad left or right on the Wii Remote the + Control Pad left or right on the Wii U Pro Controller Only if the Dodge Whistle has been obtained.
Face camera towards cursor the ZL Button on the Wii U GamePad
tapped
the Z Button on the Nunchuk
tapped
the ZL Button on the Wii U Pro Controller
tapped
Only if the cursor is not on a target.
Rotate camera the R Stick on the Wii U GamePad N/A the R Stick on the Wii U Pro Controller
Hold cursor the ZL Button on the Wii U GamePad
held
N/A the ZL Button on the Wii U Pro Controller
held
Allows moving the leader without moving the cursor. If locked-on, places the cursor on the object and keeps it there, otherwise fixes the cursor on the spot.
Reset cursor on top of leader L Stick click on the Wii U GamePad N/A L Stick click on the Wii U Pro Controller
Open Onion menu the A Button on the Wii U GamePad / the X Button on the Wii U GamePad the A Button on the Wii Remote the A Button on the Wii U Pro Controller / the X Button on the Wii U Pro Controller When below an Onion's beam.
Cancel pluck/Go Here! the ZR Button on the Wii U GamePad the B Button on the Wii Remote the ZR Button on the Wii U Pro Controller
Toggle radar the + Control Pad down on the Wii U GamePad the + Control Pad down on the Wii Remote the + Control Padd down on the Wii U Pro Controller Only if Off-TV Play is on. The gameplay is instantly paused when switching to the radar.
Pause/resume the + Button on the Wii U GamePad the Plus Button on the Wii Remote the + Button on the Wii U Pro Controller
Skip cutscene the + Button on the Wii U GamePad the Plus Button on the Wii Remote the + Button on the Wii U Pro Controller Certain cutscenes cannot be skipped.
Use Bingo Battle item the + Control Pad down on the Wii U GamePad the + Control Pad down on the Wii Remote the + Control Padd down on the Wii U Pro Controller
Toggle Off-TV Play the - Button on the Wii U GamePad N/A N/A

Stylus Mode[edit]

With Stylus Mode, the player does the majority of the important actions by pressing on the touchscreen. In this mode, the controls are exactly the same whether Off-TV Play is on or off, and the same touchscreen spot maps to exactly the same game world location in both cases. To use an ultra-spicy spray, dismiss/charge, open the KopPad's apps, or switch leaders, the corresponding buttons on the left side of the touchscreen must be tapped.

Action GamePad Notes
Move the L Stick on the Wii U GamePad The camera will automatically rotate to make it easier to navigate.
Move cursor Wii U Stylus
tapped or held
Hold and throw Pikmin/leader Wii U Stylus Pressing holds a Pikmin, releasing throws it.
Whistle the L Button on the Wii U GamePad + Wii U Stylus
both held
Holding it down longer increases the range.
Lock-on the ZL Button on the Wii U GamePad
held
Only if the cursor is on a target. The player only needs to hold on for the time it takes the lock-on to activate.
Charge/dismiss Wii U Stylus
tapped on icon
While locked-on, charges, otherwise dismisses.
Change next Pikmin type the L Button on the Wii U GamePad / the + Control Pad up on the Wii U GamePad
tapped
Won't take effect if the player whistled after pressing.
Switch leader Wii U Stylus tapped on icon / the + Control Pad down on the Wii U GamePad
Pluck sprout the L Button on the Wii U GamePad
released
Won't take effect if the player whistled after pressing.
Punch the L Button on the Wii U GamePad
released
Only when not commanding Pikmin and near a punchable target. Won't take effect if the player whistled after pressing.
Use ultra-spicy spray Wii U Stylus
tapped on icon
Dodge the + Control Pad left or right on the Wii U GamePad Only if the Dodge Whistle has been obtained.
Face camera towards leader's direction the ZL Button on the Wii U GamePad
tapped
Rotate camera Wii U Stylus held on border / the R Stick on the Wii U GamePad
Open Onion menu the L Button on the Wii U GamePad
released
Won't take effect if the player whistled after pressing.
Cancel pluck/Go Here! the ZL Button on the Wii U GamePad
Pause/resume the + Button on the Wii U GamePad
Skip cutscene the + Button on the Wii U GamePad Certain cutscenes cannot be skipped.
Toggle Off-TV Play the - Button on the Wii U GamePad

Pikmin 3 Deluxe[edit]

Pikmin 3 Deluxe changes many of the controls from Pikmin 3 due to factors like the differences between the Wii U and Nintendo Switch (such as the lack of a second screen), changes to mechanics such as charging, and utilization of the Switch's gyroscope.

The available control schemes depend on the amount of players.

  • In single-player, the player can use one of the following: 2 combined Joy-Con attached to the console, 2 combined Joy-Con detached from the console, or a Pro Controller.
  • In 2-player, each player can use one of the following: 2 combined Joy-Con detached from the console, a Pro Controller, or a single Joy-Con sideways.

The game features three cursor control styles: stick-only, gyro-stick, and gyro-pointer. These control modes are set in the pause menu.

  • With stick-only controls, moving the Left Stick on the Switch (dual Joy-Con) lightly controls the cursor, and moving fully controls both the leader and cursor. By tilting the stick lightly, the cursor can go past its standard range; when it does, it turns cyan. Pikmin can be thrown farther than normal this way, but only roughly until the midway point between the maximum standard range and the maximum "light tilt" range. The whistle always comes from where the cursor is. Moving the stick fully if the cursor was past the standard range will return it to standard range. In this mode, rotating the camera will keep the cursor in place. Unlike Pikmin 3, the cursor is based on the area's geometry. For instance, if the player is overlooking a cliff and has the cursor on the edge, holding up will make the cursor move forward in the area and dip down the edge, despite the fact that doing this moved the cursor down on the screen.
  • With gyro-stick controls, the Left Stick on the Switch (dual Joy-Con) controls the leader when fully held, but also controls the cursor regardless of how much it is tilted. Tilting the controller will also move the cursor. In reality, there is an imaginary "anchor" that is controlled by the Left Stick on the Switch (dual Joy-Con), and tilting the controller allows the cursor to offset around this point, up to a fixed radius around the point. For unknown reasons, in certain scenarios the cursor will behave erratically – if the gyro offset is at a given angle, and the anchor moves to that same side compared to the leader, the offset will cause the cursor to very quickly jump to the leader.[1] the ZL Button on the Switch and the ZR Button on the Switch both reset the cursor's position and gyro offset. With this mode, locking-on will place the cursor on the target, but it can then be offset by tilting the controller. In this mode, rotating the camera will keep the cursor in place, but any gyro offset will change to match the camera's orientation, albeit with erratic results as the camera rotates.[2] Moving the cursor, regardless of input, will make it move around the screen, like with gyro-pointer controls, and not around the area, like the stick-only controls.
  • With gyro-pointer controls, the Left Stick on the Switch (dual Joy-Con) only controls the leader, and only when fully held. Instead, tilting the controller moves the cursor around the screen. It can move to any position on-screen, and cannot go past it. Pressing the R Button on the Switch in this mode changes it to centering the cursor instead of changing the standby Pikmin to the next one; the L Button on the Switch now changes to the next standby Pikmin. In this mode, rotating the camera will keep the cursor in the same screen location.

There is only one cursor control style option in the options menu, so in 2-player mode, it influences both players. Gyro-pointer cursor mode cannot be used with a sideways Joy-Con – the game will act as if gyro-cursor is on instead for any player that tries, despite the option still being recorded as gyro-pointer behind the scenes until players purposely change that.

This means that if the option is set to gyro-pointer, one player is using combined Joy-Cons or a Pro Controller, and the other player is using a single sideways Joy-Con, one can play with gyro-pointer while the other plays with gyro-cursor, which is not something that is otherwise possible. Any player with a sideways Joy-Con will only have the stick-only and gyro-stick options available in the pause menu, but oddly this means that if player 1 is using two combined Joy-Cons or a Pro Controller, and player 2 is using a sideways Joy-Con, player 1 will be able to set the global cursor style option to any mode, while player 2 will be limited to stick-only or gyro-stick, despite the option affecting both players as stated previously.

Action Combined Joy-Cons or Pro Controller Sideways Joy-Con Notes
Move the Left Stick on the Switch (dual Joy-Con)
fully held
the Analog Stick on the Switch (single Joy-Con)
fully held
Move cursor – stick the Left Stick on the Switch (dual Joy-Con)
lightly or fully held
the Analog Stick on the Switch (single Joy-Con)
lightly or fully held
  • With stick-only cursor controls: Moves the cursor.
  • With gyro-stick cursor controls: Moves the cursor's main location.
  • With gyro-pointer cursor controls: No effect.
Move cursor – gyro Move the right Joy-Con / Move the Pro Controller Move the Joy-Con
  • With stick-only cursor controls: No effect.
  • With gyro-stick cursor controls: Moves the cursor around its main location.
  • With gyro-pointer cursor controls: Moves the cursor.
Hold and throw Pikmin/leader the A Button on the Switch the Right button on the Switch (Joy-Con's face buttons) Pressing holds a Pikmin, releasing throws it.
Whistle the B Button on the Switch the Bottom button on the Switch (Joy-Con's face buttons) Holding it down longer increases the range.
Lock-on only the ZR Button on the Switch the SR Button on the Switch Only in stick-only cursor controls or gyro-only cursor controls, and only if a lock-on target is available.
Lock-on + reset gyro the ZR Button on the Switch the SR Button on the Switch Only in gyro-stick cursor controls, and only if a lock-on target is available.
Cancel lock-on – no more available the ZR Button on the Switch the SR Button on the Switch Only if locked-on with no more targets available.
Cancel lock-on – always the B Button on the Switch the Bottom button on the Switch (Joy-Con's face buttons)
Charge the X Button on the Switch the Top button on the Switch (Joy-Con's face buttons)
Change next Pikmin type – right the L Button on the Switch the SL Button on the Switch
Change next Pikmin type – left the R Button on the Switch N/A Only in stick-only cursor controls, or gyro-stick cursor controls.
Use action menu the Y Button on the Switch held + the Left Stick on the Switch (dual Joy-Con) the Left button on the Switch (Joy-Con's face buttons) held + the Analog Stick on the Switch (single Joy-Con) Allows the player to use an ultra-spicy spray, change leader, bring the other player's leader to the group, dismiss, or use the current Bingo Battle item.
Throw Pikmin automatically the A Button on the Switch
held
the Right button on the Switch (Joy-Con's face buttons)
held
Only while locked-on.
Pluck sprout the A Button on the Switch the Right button on the Switch (Joy-Con's face buttons)
Punch the A Button on the Switch the Right button on the Switch (Joy-Con's face buttons) Only when not commanding Pikmin and near a punchable target.
Dodge the Left Directional Button on the Switch (dual Joy-Con) / the Right Directional Button on the Switch (dual Joy-Con) N/A Only if the Dodge Whistle has been obtained.
Rotate camera the Right Stick left and right on the Switch (dual Joy-Con) N/A
Face camera towards leader's direction only the ZL Button on the Switch N/A Only in gyro-only cursor controls.
Face camera towards leader's direction + extend cursor the ZL Button on the Switch Analog Stick click on the Switch (single Joy-Con) Only in stick-only cursor controls.
Face camera towards leader's direction + reset gyro + reset cursor the ZL Button on the Switch Analog Stick click on the Switch (single Joy-Con) Only in gyro-stick cursor controls.
Reset gyro – gyro-stick Left Stick click on the Switch (dual Joy-Con) N/A Only in gyro-stick cursor controls.
Reset gyro – gyro-pointer the R Button on the Switch N/A Only in gyro-pointer cursor controls.
Face camera North + point to Onion Right Stick click on the Switch (dual Joy-Con) the L Button on the Switch / the R Button on the Switch Only in Bingo Battle. If the player is rotating the camera manually as they do this, then the camera will not face North.
Open Onion menu/Assemble All the A Button on the Switch the Right button on the Switch (Joy-Con's face buttons) When below an Onion's beam/when next to the S.S. Drake.
Cancel pluck/Go Here! the B Button on the Switch the Bottom button on the Switch (Joy-Con's face buttons)
Zoom mini radar in/out the Right Stick up and down on the Switch (dual Joy-Con) N/A
Show hint the Up Directional Button on the Switch (dual Joy-Con) N/A
Radar the - Button on the Switch the - Button on the Switch / the + Button on the Switch
(Player 1 only)
If player 2 uses a solo Joy-Con, they cannot open the radar.
Pause/resume the + Button on the Switch the - Button on the Switch / the + Button on the Switch
(Player 2 only)
If player 1 uses a solo Joy-Con, they cannot pause the game.
Skip cutscene the + Button on the Switch the - Button on the Switch / the + Button on the Switch
(Player 1 only)
If player 2 uses a solo Joy-Con, they cannot skip cutscenes. Certain cutscenes cannot be skipped.

Pikmin 4[edit]

Pikmin 4 has a similar control scheme to Pikmin 3 Deluxe, with some notable changes. Shigeru Miyamoto said in the game's announcement presentation that Nintendo Switch has made controlling the game simpler, meaning you can further concentrate on the core essence of Pikmin gameplay.

The available control schemes depend on the amount of players.

  • In single-player, the player can use one of the following: 2 combined Joy-Cons attached to the console, 2 combined Joy-Cons detached from the console, or a Pro Controller.
  • In 2-player, either player can use 2 combined Joy-Cons detached from the console, a Pro Controller, or a single Joy-Con horizontally and vertically for P1 and P2 respectively.
Action Combined Joy-Cons or Pro Controller Single Joy-Con Notes
Move the Left Stick on the Switch (dual Joy-Con)
fully held
the Analog Stick on the Switch (single Joy-Con)
fully held
Move cursor – main the Left Stick on the Switch (dual Joy-Con)
lightly or fully held
the Analog Stick on the Switch (single Joy-Con)
lightly or fully held
Move cursor – alternate Move the right Joy-Con / Move the Pro Controller Move the Joy-Con Only while whistling or throwing.
Hold and throw Pikmin/Send Oatchi the A Button on the Switch the Right button on the Switch (Joy-Con's face buttons) Pressing holds a Pikmin, releasing throws it.
Whistle the B Button on the Switch the Bottom button on the Switch (Joy-Con's face buttons) Holding it down longer increases the range.
Manual lock-on the ZR Button on the Switch N/A Only if a lock-on target is available.
Cancel manual lock-on the B Button on the Switch N/A
Charge the X Button on the Switch the Top button on the Switch (Joy-Con's face buttons) Only after buying the Charging Horn, and when not riding Oatchi.
Ride/Dismount the Y Button on the Switch the Left button on the Switch (Joy-Con's face buttons)
Jump the X Button on the Switch the Top button on the Switch (Joy-Con's face buttons) Only when riding or playing as Oatchi.
Change next Pikmin type – right the R Button on the Switch the SR Button on the Switch Pressing the L Button on the Switch and the R Button on the Switch at the same time sets the next Pikmin type to Oatchi.
Change next Pikmin type – left the L Button on the Switch N/A
Swarm the ZL Button on the Switch + the Right Stick on the Switch (dual Joy-Con) the SR Button on the Switch + the Analog Stick on the Switch (single Joy-Con) Only after obtaining the Lineup Trumpet, and when not riding Oatchi.
Use action menu the Y Button on the Switchheld down button on the Switch the Left button on the Switch (Joy-Con's face buttons)held down button on the Switch Allows the player to disband, give a command to Oatchi, open the Pack, or either dismount Oatchi or switch between the player character and Oatchi.
Pluck sprout the A Button on the Switch the Right button on the Switch (Joy-Con's face buttons) Only when near a Pikmin sprout.
Punch or Bite the A Button on the Switch the Right button on the Switch (Joy-Con's face buttons) Only when not commanding Pikmin or Oatchi.
Rush the X Button on the Switchheld down button on the Switch the Top button on the Switch (Joy-Con's face buttons)held down button on the Switch Only when Oatchi is the selected type, or when riding or playing as Oatchi.
Rotate camera the Right Stick left and right on the Switch (dual Joy-Con) N/A
Rotate camera (alternate) the ZL Button on the Switch + the Left Stick left and right on the Switch (dual Joy-Con) N/A
Adjust camera angle vertically the Right Stick up and down on the Switch (dual Joy-Con) N/A
Face camera towards leader's direction the ZL Button on the Switch the SL Button on the Switch
Reset the camera's vertical position Right Stick click on the Switch (dual Joy-Con) N/A
Cancel pluck/Go Here!/Rush the B Button on the Switch the Bottom button on the Switch (Joy-Con's face buttons)
Pause/resume the - Button on the Switch the - Button on the Switch / the + Button on the Switch Single Joy-Con controls only pause when the Tablet is open and dependent on whether Player 1 is using the left or right Joy-Con.
Open Tablet the + Button on the Switch the - Button on the Switch / the + Button on the Switch Single Joy-Con controls dependent on whether Player 1 is using the left or right Joy-Con.
Skip cutscene the - Button on the Switch / the + Button on the Switch the - Button on the Switch / the + Button on the Switch

Hey! Pikmin[edit]

Hey! Pikmin is primarily played with the 3DS's control stick and the touch screen, as almost all actions can be done with them. While most buttons are not required to play the game, they still have functions to provide an alternative to using the control stick. The buttons exclusive to the New Nintendo 3DS do not do anything.

Action Button Notes
Move left the Circle Pad on the 3DS left / the + Control Pad on the 3DS left / the Y Button on the 3DS
Move right the Circle Pad on the 3DS right / the + Control Pad on the 3DS right / the A Button on the 3DS
Move up the Circle Pad on the 3DS up / the + Control Pad on the 3DS up / the X Button on the 3DS Only when swimming or climbing a vine.
Move down the Circle Pad on the 3DS down / the + Control Pad on the 3DS down / the B Button on the 3DS Only when swimming or climbing a vine.
Hold and throw Pikmin 3DS Stylus Pressing holds a Pikmin, releasing throws it.
Whistle 3DS Stylus tapped on icon
Change next Pikmin type 3DS Stylus tapped on icon
Enter doorway the Circle Pad on the 3DS up / the + Control Pad on the 3DS up / the X Button on the 3DS
Open jetpack 3DS Stylus tapped on icon
Close jetpack the Circle Pad on the 3DS down / the + Control Pad on the 3DS down / the B Button on the 3DS
Bounce up the Circle Pad on the 3DS up / the + Control Pad on the 3DS up / the X Button on the 3DS Only when carried by Winged Pikmin.
Fall faster the Circle Pad on the 3DS down / the + Control Pad on the 3DS down / the B Button on the 3DS Only when carried by Winged Pikmin.
Radar the L Button on the 3DS / the R Button on the 3DS
Pause/resume START on the 3DS / SELECT on the 3DS

Specific controls[edit]

The following article or section is in need of assistance from someone who plays Pikmin 3.

This section details controls for specific scenarios that can be encountered while playing.

General menus[edit]

The controls for the menus are simple, allowing the player to highlight an option, change its values, or activate it. In general, the controls are as follows:

  • To highlight a different option, the D-Pad or main Analog Stick of the controller is used, normally up and down.
  • To change the value of a highlighted option, the D-Pad or main Analog Stick of the controller is used, normally left and right.
  • To confirm the option, if applicable, the punch button is used.
  • To cancel, if applicable, the whistle button is used.

Onions[edit]

In the first two games and the New Play Control! remakes, the Onion menu allows the player to withdraw or save Pikmin using a simple control interface.

  • Pressing up or down on the D-Pad or main Analog Stick of the controller allows the player to change the amount of Pikmin of that type in the party. Missing or excessive Pikmin will be automatically withdrawn or stored accordingly. Up increases the amount of Pikmin in the Onion, while down increases the amount in the group.
  • Pressing the punch button confirms the choice.
  • Pressing the whistle button cancels.

Area selection[edit]

The area selection menu in the first two games has some specific options and controls.

Action GameCube Wii Switch Notes
Change selected area the Control Stick on the GameCube controller the Control Stick on the Nunchuk the Left Stick on the Switch (dual Joy-Con) Also changes the selected voyage log entry. In Pikmin 2 for the GameCube, the + Control Pad on the GameCube controller can also be used.
Pick area/log the A Button on the GameCube controller the A Button on the Wii Remote the A Button on the Switch Opens a menu asking if the player wishes to enter the area. On Olimar's voyage log, it opens the selected journal.
Close log the B Button on the GameCube controller the B Button on the Wii Remote the B Button on the Switch Closes Olimar's voyage log in Pikmin. This button also allows canceling the area choice, if the ship's animation hasn't been completed yet.
Toggle Olimar's voyage log the Y Button on the GameCube controller the Minus Button on the Wii Remote the + Button on the Switch
Open Piklopedia the L Button on the GameCube controller the + Control Pad left on the Wii Remote the Left Directional Button on the Switch (dual Joy-Con)
Open Treasure Hoard the R Button on the GameCube controller the + Control Pad right on the Wii Remote the Right Directional Button on the Switch (dual Joy-Con)
Quit START/PAUSE on the GameCube controller the Plus Button on the Wii Remote the - Button on the Switch Opens a menu that allows the player to continue or return to the title screen.
Play "boing" N/A the Minus Button on the Wii Remote N/A In New Play Control! Pikmin 2, it makes the Wii Remote's speaker sound a "boing" sound effect, the same that can be heard when an invalid Pikmin number is attempted on the Onion menu.

Piklopedia and Treasure Hoard[edit]

On the Piklopedia and Treasure Hoard menu, there are a few specific actions that can be performed.

Action GameCube Wii Switch Notes
Change entry the Control Stick on the GameCube controller the Control Stick on the Nunchuk the Left Stick on the Switch (dual Joy-Con) Only when no entry is opened.
Open selected entry the A Button on the GameCube controller the A Button on the Wii Remote the A Button on the Switch Only when no entry is opened.
Close entry the B Button on the GameCube controller / the L Button on the GameCube controller / the R Button on the GameCube controller the B Button on the Wii Remote / the + Control Pad left on the Wii Remote / the + Control Pad right on the Wii Remote the B Button on the Switch / the Left Directional Button on the Switch (dual Joy-Con) / the Right Directional Button on the Switch (dual Joy-Con) Only when an entry is opened.
Move camera the Control Stick on the GameCube controller the Control Stick on the Nunchuk the Left Stick on the Switch (dual Joy-Con) Only when an entry is opened.
Zoom in/out the + Control Pad up or down on the GameCube controller the + Control Pad up or down on the Wii Remote the Up Directional Button on the Switch (dual Joy-Con) / the Down Directional Button on the Switch (dual Joy-Con)
Rotate camera the C Stick on the GameCube controller the Z Button on the Nunchuk + the Control Stick on the Nunchuk the ZL Button on the Switch + the Left Stick on the Switch (dual Joy-Con)
Throw pikpik carrot the A Button on the GameCube controller the A Button on the Wii Remote the A Button on the Switch Only on the Piklopedia.
Use ultra-bitter spray the Z Button on the GameCube controller the 1 Button on the Wii Remote Right Stick click on the Switch (dual Joy-Con) Only on the Piklopedia.
Open Olimar's journal/Olimar's notes the X Button on the GameCube controller the Plus Button on the Wii Remote the + Button on the Switch
Open sales pitch or Louie's notes the Y Button on the GameCube controller the Minus Button on the Wii Remote the - Button on the Switch
Switch between Piklopedia and Treasure Hoard the L Button on the GameCube controller / the R Button on the GameCube controller the + Control Pad left or right on the Wii Remote the Left Directional Button on the Switch (dual Joy-Con) / the Right Directional Button on the Switch (dual Joy-Con) Only when no entry is opened.
Quit the B Button on the GameCube controller the B Button on the Wii Remote the B Button on the Switch Opens a menu asking if the player wishes to remain on the mode or if they went to return to the area selection screen, if no entry is opened.

Pebble Pitcher[edit]

In Pikmin 4, a second player can control the Pebble Pitcher. As a supportive cursor, it has unique controls.

Action Combined Joy-Cons or Pro Controller Single Joy-Con Notes
Activate Pebble Pitcher/reset cursor the X Button on the Switch the Top button on the Switch (Joy-Con's face buttons)
Move cursor — L Stick the Left Stick on the Switch (dual Joy-Con) N/A Option only available when using Two-Hand Hold.
Move cursor — Motion Controls Move the Joy-Cons or Pro Controller Move the Joy-Con
Launch pebble the A Button on the Switch the Right button on the Switch (Joy-Con's face buttons)
Change item selection — right the R Button on the Switch the ZL Button on the Switch / the ZR Button on the Switch Single Joy-Con controls dependent on whether P2 is using the left or right Joy-Con.
Change item selection — left the L Button on the Switch the L Button on the Switch / the R Button on the Switch
Launch item the Y Button on the Switch the Left button on the Switch (Joy-Con's face buttons) Only when an item is available.

Bomb rocks[edit]

Main article: Bomb rock.

Due to the actions that can be performed by Pikmin carrying bomb rocks, some special notes need to be taken into consideration in order to not have a bomb rock explode accidentally.

Radar[edit]

Main article: Radar.

A few buttons control the radar. These allow the player to pan it and zoom it.

Pikmin 2 title screen[edit]

Main article: Title screen secrets.

Some Easter eggs exist on the title screen for Pikmin 2 and the New Play Control! remake. These allow the player to change the words the Pikmin spell out, and allows the spawn and control of an enemy.

Button-mashing[edit]

The term button-mashing is used when a player rapidly presses buttons or tilts sticks on the controller, without any discernible pattern. The point of doing this varies between games and scenarios, but in the Pikmin games, one may have to button-mash in certain situations in order to achieve a goal. The following situations require the player to button-mash:

  • When the current leader is being attacked by an opposing Pikmin, twirling the main analog stick allows the leader to shake them off; they'll remained latched until the stick is twirled for long enough. In Pikmin and New Play Control! Pikmin, actual buttons can also be pressed rapidly to shake off Mushroom Pikmin.
  • When the leader is being held by a Greater Spotted Jellyfloat, Swooping Snitchbug or Bumbling Snitchbug, the player can rotate the main stick to break free. If they do not do it in time, they subject the leader to damage. In Pikmin 3 Deluxe, the player may also shake the controller itself.
  • In Pikmin 3, when a leader is thrown to the ground, the player can mash directions on the L Stick on the Wii U GamePad / the Control Stick on the Nunchuk – such as twirling – to make them get up. The player can also shake the Nunchuk to make them get up (usually easier and faster). The leader will get up by themselves eventually, however. This is also true in Pikmin 4 when Oatchi takes big knockback, but with the Left Stick on the Switch (dual Joy-Con) / the Analog Stick on the Switch (single Joy-Con)[source needed]. In Pikmin 3 Deluxe, they get up by themselves right away.
  • When playing as Oatchi in Pikmin 4, the player can mash the A Button on the Switch / the B Button on the Switch / the X Button on the Switch / the Y Button on the Switch to make him recover from a hazard such as fire, poison or panic sooner.

In a sense, it could be said that the games prior to Pikmin 3 require the player to mash the A Button on the GameCube controller / the A Button on the Wii Remote to continuously pluck Pikmin, but this is only partially true: the player needs only to press the button during a pluck animation, in order to assure that the next Pikmin will also be automatically plucked. In addition, mashing the throw button is required in order to throw Pikmin in quick succession.

If the player is not interested in a cutscene's dialog, the fastest way to advance it is by mashing the the A Button on the GameCube controller / the A Button on the Wii Remote / the A Button on the Wii U GamePad and the B Button on the GameCube controller / the B Button on the Wii Remote / the B Button on the Wii U GamePad buttons. If the game in question allows using the "B" button to both advance the text and auto-fill the letters, then that button may be mashed alone.

In Pikmin 2, the mashing logic only reads from the control stick, not any other button or the C-stick. The game keeps track of how hard the player's been mashing lately as a numeric value. As the player mashes, this number increases every frame, but it also decreases every frame the player doesn't mash, meaning the player has to keep mashing to keep that number up. Due to the way the system works, this number can never go beyond 14. Every frame where that number is higher than 5, the game rolls a random number between 1 and 22, and if that number is below it, it can proceed to the next check: a roll between 1 and 10, where if the number is 1, the leader is freed. In practice, this means the harder the player has mashed in the past 22 frames, the higher their chance of escaping, and even with the fastest possible mashing, there's a 14/22 × a 1/10 chance every frame to be freed.

Console and controller resetting[edit]

For the GameCube games, there are two button combinations that replace the need to interact with the physical console itself: one resets the game without pressing the button on the console, and the other resets the controller's neutral position, without needing to unplug and replug it. The former can be achieved by holding the X Button on the GameCube controller + the B Button on the GameCube controller + START/PAUSE on the GameCube controller for a few seconds. For the latter, the player must hold the X Button on the GameCube controller + the Y Button on the GameCube controller + START/PAUSE on the GameCube controller, for three seconds, without touching the Control Stick on the GameCube controller, the C Stick on the GameCube controller, the L Button on the GameCube controller or the R Button on the GameCube controller. This is because when the console is booted, or the controller's neutral position is reset, the position of the sticks and the analog shoulder buttons is considered to be the default. If, for instance, the Control Stick is held to the right when the default position is being registered, then the game will assume that the Stick is being held left, if the player releases the Control Stick.

Controller diagram[edit]

Pikmin, New Play Control! Pikmin, Pikmin 1 (Nintendo Switch), Pikmin 2 (Nintendo Switch), and Pikmin 3 Deluxe contain diagrams of the controller with labels on what each button does during gameplay. In Pikmin and its rereleases, a diagram is found in Olimar's monitor, in the Nintendo Switch version of Pikmin 2 a diagram (that is directly copied from the Nintendo Switch version of Pikmin) can be viewed at any time by pressing the - Button on the Switch, and in Pikmin 3 Deluxe, diagrams of the different control styles are found in the Control Guide in the pause menu. These can be used should the player forget the controls.

Movement and analog stick drift[edit]

After the release of Pikmin 3 Deluxe, there have been reports[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11] of players being unable to move the leader, sometimes in specific angles only. This is because in order to move a leader, one must tilt the analog stick fully, since tilting it partially will only move the cursor (or do nothing, if the player is using gyro cursor controls exclusively), and given that some Joy-Cons and Pro Controllers suffer from analog stick drifting and incorrect range detection[12], players suffering from this hardware problem will find themselves unable to move leaders effectively until the affected controllers are repaired.

Trivia[edit]

  • Interestingly, after switching leaders in Pikmin 3, there is a small delay until the player can switch again. This delay can be bypassed with Stylus mode and the touchscreen buttons.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Twitter video on Twitter, published on October 17th, 2020, retrieved on December 1st, 2020
  2. ^ Twitter video on Twitter, published on October 17th, 2020, retrieved on December 1st, 2020
  3. ^ For Pikmin 3 deluxe on the switch, Movement gets stuck when going straight forward. Makes game near unplayable at times and i hate freezing and losing pikmin because I can’t move. Anyone else having this problem? on Reddit, published on October 31st, 2020, retrieved on December 1st, 2020
  4. ^ Pikmin 3 Deluxe issue on Reddit, published on November 1st, 2020, retrieved on December 1st, 2020
  5. ^ Pikmin 3: Deluxe unplayable with joycon controller? Can't walk down on Reddit, published on November 3rd, 2020, retrieved on December 1st, 2020
  6. ^ Walking broken in Deluxe? (Pro controller) on Reddit, published on October 30th, 2020, retrieved on December 1st, 2020
  7. ^ Issue with Control Sticks- Massive Dead Zones on Reddit, published on November 3rd, 2020, retrieved on December 1st, 2020
  8. ^ Weird movement issues on Reddit, published on October 31st, 2020, retrieved on December 1st, 2020
  9. ^ Are you guys getting the bug where the captain randomly stops moving? on Reddit, published on November 5th, 2020, retrieved on December 1st, 2020
  10. ^ Controls on Reddit, published on November 3rd, 2020, retrieved on December 1st, 2020
  11. ^ Pikmin 3 Deluxe Stop Moving Bug on Reddit, published on November 5th, 2020, retrieved on December 1st, 2020
  12. ^ Nintendo Responds To Sufferers Of Joy-Con Drift on Kotaku, published on July 22nd, 2019, retrieved on December 1st, 2020