The main menu, also called the title screen, is the hub for most other menus in a Pikmin game. From it, the player can continue to the main story mode, continue to an alternative game mode, or open various other menus. This menu is presented upon booting up the game, but after some other minor screens. If the player does not press anything on the menu, they will be taken to the attraction mode cutscenes in the first two games or the opening cutscene in Pikmin 3.
In Pikmin, the screen fades in to some tree's leaves passing by the camera. As the camera goes down, it eventually stops near the ground, where the flowers of some Pikmin can be seen, spelling out the game's name. The words "PRESS START" ("PRESS " in New Play Control! Pikmin) then appear below that, and, in the bottom, the copyright information.
After pressing the requested button (although also works in the GameCube version), a menu with three options appears: "Start", "Options", and "Challenge Mode", with the last one only being there if Challenge Mode has been unlocked. The first option takes the player to the saved game selection menu, the second one to the options menu, and the third one to the Challenge Mode menu.
In Pikmin 2, the screen fades in to show the camera moving down a tree's trunk, with some enemies roaming around it. When it gets to ground level, it stops, showing some white-flowered Pikmin spelling out "PIKMIN" with their leaves, and to the right, some pink-flowered Pikmin spelling out "2". At this point, "PRESS START" (or "PRESS ", in New Play Control! Pikmin 2) appears below the Pikmin, and in the bottom of the screen, the copyright information.
After pressing the button (although can also be pressed in the GameCube version), a menu with the following options appears:
This menu comes in four seasons, picked at random each time:
There are a few Easter eggs in this screen, activated by pressing some buttons. The Pikmin also behave according to a group of algorithms called Boids, which simulate how birds flock together in real life.
In Pikmin 3, the screen fades in to show a detailed portion of PNF-404, on a forest-like location. A tree trunk can be seen in the distance, and a river takes most of the attention of the scene. Occasionally, Pikmin of varying types are seen moving about in the distance. The game's logo gradually fades in, and the message "PRESS / " appears. After any of those buttons are pressed or the touchscreen is tapped, the three menu bubbles appear. On the bottom left, there is a small copyright message, and on the bottom right, the version number. The menu has 2 lighting options: day and evening.
The "Story" button leads to the day selection menu, the "Mission" button to the Mission Mode menu, and the "Bingo Battle" button to the Bingo Battle menu. The "Mission" button will have an eShop icon coming out of it if there is downloadable content available, regardless of it being purchased already or not.
Interestingly, the terrain shown on this menu bears a striking resemblance to the Awakening Wood's western corridor. The trunk stump and the surrounding area closer to the screen matches with the small open space where the Geographic Projection can be found. The river path further beyond matches all the way with the path south of the treasure in the Awakening Wood. Finally, at the end of the path, there is a curved tree. This is almost exactly the same tree with the Snagret Hole. This can be best seen using a model editor for both pieces of terrain, since the water and perspective don't allow one to see the connection very clearly.
Pikmin 3 Deluxe
The menu is noticeably changed in Pikmin 3 Deluxe. The logo is expanded to contain the word "Deluxe", and and must first be pressed to advance to the main page of the menu.
The main page of the menu contains 4 buttons: "Story", "Mission", "Side Stories", and "Bingo Battle", arranged in 2 rows with the Story button being on its own row. Below the buttons is a grey box containing a description of the current mode. It is possible to open the pause menu from this menu with the button.
In addition, various speech-bubble icons can appear on the top left of buttons. The "Recommended" icon recommends that mode, while the lock icon indicates that that mode cannot be played yet. The position of these icons changes depending on where the player is in Story Mode and the Side Stories.
In the demo, an extra button appears to the right of the Story button, labeled "Nintendo eShop". This one is bright orange at all times and has a shopping bag icon beside it. It redirects to the Pikmin 3 Deluxe listing on the eShop.
To note also is that if the player hasn't started Story Mode yet, trying to enter Bingo Battle will show a warning recommending Story Mode for newcomers instead, and for the player to confirm if they want to continue onto Bingo Battle.