Dodging is a mechanic in Pikmin 3 that allows the leaders and Pikmin to dodge attacks. This gameplay feature is not available from the start of the game – players must first retrieve the Dodge Whistle from the Distant Tundra in order to unlock the functionality. To use it, the player must press / / , to dodge in the desired direction and avoid enemy attacks.
When the button is pressed, the leader will quickly roll sideways either left or right. Normally, the actual direction depends on the way the camera is facing: the dodge happens either to the left or right side of the screen. If the player is locked-on to an object, however, the roll happens clockwise or anti-clockwise around the object (left and right dodges, respectively), all while keeping the same distance from it.
Any leaders and Pikmin on the party will roll that way too. The leader rolls on the ground twice – this covers a distance of about slightly less than the span of the Onion's legs on the ground. Every character and Pikmin in the party will roll the same distance, from the spot they were on at the start of the command. Group members that are too far away will not perform any roll. There is a small delay until the dodge order can be issued again, but regardless, if done too frequently, it can cause some party members to ignore the order altogether; the main leader will always dodge, however.
Plants stop almost all rolling momentum. If a roll starts on top of a plant, it will barely go anywhere, and if a leader dodges into a plant, they will stop moving once they touch it.
The Dodge Whistle is given its name due to the fact that when the leader rolls, they whistle a specific sound, to order their group to do the same. This move is also the only spacesuit upgrade to be active in Mission Mode and Bingo Battle, even against the Armored Mawdad, which would be impossible in story mode.
Bizarrely, while rolling, leaders and Pikmin are not affected by gravity. Only after the rolling animation stops are they affected by the forces of gravity again. This makes it possible to skip over gaps, provided the distance between them isn't too great, and that the destination edge isn't higher than the starting one. This has a few uses in speedrunning. For instance, by throwing a leader at the boundaries around the clipboard hiding the Velvety Dreamdrop on the Garden of Hope, and then having some Pikmin lift the board while a leader is on top, it is possible to use the rolling mechanic to go into the path leading to the Quaggled Mireclops' arena; the leader must be moving before initiating the dodge in order for it to work.
Another exploit is the ability to control Pikmin farther away than normal. By throwing Pikmin at a ledge, whistling them, and dodging repeatedly so that the leader doesn't move from their lower ground, but the Pikmin roll into a target far away, it is possible to dismiss them near the target and get them to interact with it. In order to get the leader to not move, the player must make them roll into a wall.
If a leader rolls into a lightweight fruit (i.e. one that requires only 1 Pikmin to carry), they can slightly nudge the object. By doing this repeatedly, it's possible to push it somewhere else. This can be used, for instance, to push the Cupid's Grenade on the Tropical Wilds out of its island. It's also possible to move pellets, crystal nodules, or unconscious leaders (Captain Olimar in Story Mode or Louie in Mission Mode) with this trick.
There are two sounds for this move: one for the first player, and another one for the second player.
Names in other languages