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The squad (also group) is a term used to refer to the Pikmin that are following a leader. While Pikmin are in the squad, they can be thrown, swarmed, charged, and dismissed, among other actions. Some enemies may also be followed by Pikmin or enemy squads.
In the main series
In the main three Pikmin games, the squad works more or less the same, bar some minor differences. Pikmin can be added to the squad via whistling, plucking, withdrawing them from the Onion, or simply from bumping into an idle Pikmin. Pikmin leave the squad when they are killed, knocked down, or otherwise unable to follow the player, among other things. In the first two games, they will get distracted by nectar weed and rubble, and will leave the squad in favor of trying to obtain some nectar from these objects. In all three games, they will stop to drink nectar.
If a Pikmin is whistled, but gets stuck on a wall or similar, they will first attempt to navigate around it, but if they fail they will stop, look around, and then become idle, leaving the squad. Leaders added to the squad will behave much the same as Pikmin do, even having similar animations. Pikmin that are too far away from the leader will also eventually leave the group after some seconds. If Pikmin are following any leader when the day ends, they will be considered safe and board their Onion.
In Pikmin, the squad will follow Captain Olimar in a loose, roughly circular group. Pikmin of a lower maturity will visibly lag behind. When the player presses / , the nearest Pikmin will run to Olimar's hand, and he will pick it up. Releasing the button will throw the Pikmin. In the New Play Control! port, while Olimar is holding a Pikmin the player can press to switch Pikmin types between Red Pikmin, Yellow Pikmin, Blue Pikmin, and bomb-rock carriers, as well as pressing to cycle through maturity levels while holding a Pikmin.
can be used to swarm the squad Pikmin in the direction the stick is held. In the New Play Control! port, can be held to swarm the Pikmin to where the cursor is instead. This can be used to solve puzzles, attack creatures and set one's squad to do different tasks.
Pikmin can be dismissed into groups of their color (and bomb-rock carriers) by pressing / .
When Pikmin make contact with an object they can interact with, they will leave the squad and do that task instead. This behavior is unique to the first game.
To keep track of the squad, there are the Pikmin counter and standby Pikmin HUD indicators during gameplay, which provide information on the number of Pikmin in the squad and the type and maturity of the closest Pikmin, respectively. If there is no Pikmin within range, the standby counter will display a hollow figure in the shape of a Pikmin. Olimar's monitor, which can be accessed by pressing / during gameplay, provides detailed information on type and number of Pikmin currently in the player's party.
The Puffstool also acts as a leader for squads of Mushroom Pikmin. Mushroom Pikmin will dance around the Puffstool that infected them and start following Captain Olimar to attack him when he gets close. If they are returned to normal, they will stop following the Puffstool unless they are infected again.
In Pikmin 2
The squad in Pikmin 2 acts largely the same as it does in the first game. However, there are some improvements to the Pikmin's AI, such as them backing up and attempting to trace the leader's path if they run into a wall. They will not stop to do tasks if they run into an object in this game, except for uprooting nectar weed and hitting rubble. This game introduced the feature to the original GameCube version of being able to switch out Pikmin types and maturity with and respectively, when holding a Pikmin.
This game introduced the feature of having multiple leaders. Leaders each have separate squads, and when one leader is added to the other leader's squad, any Pikmin following them will join the squad too. If leaders are switched with / while both leaders are together, all Pikmin and the previously controlled leader will join the switched-to leader's squad.
Like in Pikmin, the player can use the Pikmin counter and standby Pikmin HUD indicators to keep track of the squad in a similar fashion. The pause menu essentially replaces Olimar's monitor from the first game, providing similar information on Pikmin type and number in the player's squad.
In this game, several enemies have squad-like interactions:
- Spotty Bulbears frequently have Dwarf Bulbears following them wherever they go.
- Adult Bulbmin are also followed by up to 10 juvenile Bulbmin. When an adult Bulbmin is defeated, its juvenile Bulbmin will panic until whistled, and behave like other Pikmin types when joining the leader. They will stay behind when a cave is left, even if they are in the player's squad at that moment.
- An Anode Beetle requires at least one nearby partner to generate an electric current.
- Antenna Beetles produce a sound that causes Pikmin within their range to start following them.
In Pikmin 3
Once again, the squad in Pikmin 3 works mostly the same as it did in the previous games. However, swarming has been replaced with charging, which makes all Pikmin in the squad rush at a locked-on enemy, obstacle, or object. In Pikmin 3 Deluxe, charging works slightly differently. Only the selected type of Pikmin will rush forward, and the player does not need to be locked on to charge. Bomb rock carriers will not follow charge orders. When going underwater, non-Blue Pikmin may refuse to follow leaders, and cannot be grabbed directly, although they can still be switched to when holding a Blue Pikmin if within range.
Leaders act the same as they did in Pikmin 2, however they cannot be switched to while they are part of a squad, and will stay behind when charging. In Pikmin 3 Deluxe, co-op play in Story Mode was added to the game. Leaders in this mode act, once again, largely the same as normal, except that two leaders can be controlled at once. One player can add the other to their squad using the action menu, and selecting the golden flag. This acts mostly like having a leader in the player's squad in single-player mode, however both players can whistle, throw, and charge. To leave a squad, the leader in charge can dismiss or throw the other leader out of their squad, or they will leave if knocked down, get stuck on a wall, or similar.
In this game, the Pikmin counter works as it did previously, with additional information displayed on top of the rectangular bubbles to make it easier for the player to understand their purpose. The standby Pikmin has been reworked, however. Three bubbles appear, with the leftmost one being more prominent and showing what type of Pikmin will be thrown next, regardless of distance, and the number of Pikmin of that type in the squad. It no longer displays the maturity of the next Pikmin to be thrown. If there is no Pikmin in the squad, a hollow Pikmin in the shape of a Red Pikmin will be shown instead. If there is any Pikmin in the squad but outside the leader's range, there will be an X on the icon, instead. Pressing / / allows the player to toggle to a different Pikmin type. The smaller bubbles represent the next two types of Pikmin.
In this game, several enemies may also have squad-like interactions:
- Spotty Bulbears frequently have Dwarf Bulbears following them wherever they go.
- Swarming Sheargrubs form swarms, moving and fleeing together if one of them is attacked. They can weigh down items together, requiring more Pikmin to carry.
- Scornets can coordinate and make formations to capture and kill Pikmin. They can be issued commands by the Scornet Maestro.
In Hey! Pikmin
In Hey! Pikmin, Pikmin in the squad follow Captain Olimar in a line behind him, as the game is in 2D. They visibly overlap each other to avoid taking up too much space. When Olimar walks around, Pikmin walk towards him, but aim to stay some small distance apart from other Pikmin, so they may wait still briefly if Olimar turns around. When Olimar starts climbing a vine, the squad immediately jumps on to be in a tight group underneath Olimar, and will stay in this tight group for as long as Olimar is on a vine. When swimming in water or gliding with Winged Pikmin, Pikmin in the squad will stay behind Olimar based on the direction he is moving in.
When all Pikmin are in the squad, the Pikmin counter in the HUD will be white. When some are not in the squad, it will be grey, and when some have been separated for a while, it will flash red. When a Pikmin is thrown, it will briefly leave the squad before walking back; once it reaches the group of Pikmin or Olimar, it will be counted in the squad again.
In Pikmin Bloom
Squads in Pikmin Bloom act entirely different to the main series games, due to the game having radically different gameplay. In this game, the term "squad" is used to refer to the Pikmin following the player's Mii. The amount of Pikmin in the player's squad determines the thickness of the flower trail the player can plant. Pikmin in the squad will show up in the garden, and can be fed nectar. They will also take part in various animations, such as celebrating when a Pikmin becomes a Decor Pikmin, and taking part in the daily lookback in the lifelog. The maximum number of Pikmin in the squad at a time can be increased via leveling up, to a maximum of 40 Pikmin at level 55. The player can change which Pikmin are in the squad at any time, but is impossible to have 0 Pikmin in the squad.
In Pikmin Adventure
The squad in Pikmin Adventure can be used to refer to the small Pikmin robots that follow Captain Olimar. They will always attempt to return to Olimar when thrown or knocked down, and do not drink nectar. If they are killed, a small colored circle of light will appear at Olimar's feet after a few seconds and another Pikmin will pop into existence. The number of Pikmin in Olimar's squad and their maturity will increase as Olimar levels up.
Names in other languages
|Used in New Play Control! Pikmin.|
Used in New Play Control! Pikmin 2. Used in Pikmin 3.
|Used in Pikmin.|
Used in Pikmin 2 and Pikmin 3.
|Types||Red Pikmin • Yellow Pikmin • Blue Pikmin • Purple Pikmin • White Pikmin|
Rock Pikmin • Winged Pikmin • Ice Pikmin • Bulbmin • Glow Pikmin
|Biology||Candypop Bud • Idle • Maturity • Onion • Flarlic • Pellet|
Pikmin extinction • Trip • Sprout • Seedling • Soul • Squad
|Abilities||Carry • Dig • Dodge • Fight • Hide|
|Controls||Charge • Dismiss • Swarm • Pluck • Throw • Whistle|
|Other||Decor Pikmin • Leafling • Mushroom Pikmin • Pikpik carrot|
|Pikmin Bloom articles|
|Pikmin||Decor Pikmin • Friendship • Maturity • Seedling • Squad|
|Items||Badge • Coin • Fruit • Nectar • Petal • Postcard|
|Activities||Expedition • Flower planting • Weekly challenge|
|Places||Big Flower • Mushroom • Special Spot|
|Game mechanics||Detector • Event • Friend • Level • Lifelog • Mii • Planter Pack|
|Miscellaneous||Shop • Soundtrack • User interface • Loading screen • Version history|