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Art of Captain Olimar throwing a Blue Pikmin.

The following article or section is in need of assistance from someone who plays Pikmin 3.
Particularly: Add things that can't be done while holding, and special throws.

Throwing (投げる?, lit.: "Throw") is one of the main ways of giving instructions to Pikmin, the others being swarming, dismissing and charging. The player can aim where the thrown Pikmin land at, by use of the cursor, and if a Pikmin lands near a task, it will begin working on it; it will remain idle on the spot, otherwise. If a Pikmin hits an enemy during its flight, it will latch on to it, if it can, and begin attacking. To throw, the current leader must be close to a Pikmin on their party, and the player must press GCN A.png / Wiimote A.png, on the first two games, WiiU A.png / WiiU X.png / Wiimote A.png / WiiU A.png in Pikmin 3 with the normal controls, or by tapping on the screen with stylus controls.

Pikmin are thrown upwards at an arc, leaving spark particles through their trajectory. The cursor estimates the landing location of a thrown Pikmin, but if there is a wall or object in the way, the Pikmin might bump into it and fall short. This is only true in the first two games, as Pikmin 3's cursor takes into account walls and obstacles, and the line connecting it to the leader changes to a preview arc. One of the traits Yellow Pikmin possess is the ability to be thrown higher than other types. This allows them to reach ledges otherwise unreachable. The throw arc of Purple Pikmin is slightly different from the rest: they are thrown faster than the others, so that the apex of their jump is located somewhere above the cursor. When the cursor is reached, the Pikmin loses its horizontal momentum and drops down with a great impact. Besides homing in on enemies, when landing, they cause high damage and can also cause the creatures to bounce up, making them unable to move for less than a second, or stun them altogether for a few seconds. Winged Pikmin can be thrown, though they will not land on the ground like the other Pikmin types do. If a Winged Pikmin is thrown near an enemy, the Pikmin will fly towards the enemy and attempt to latch on.

Interestingly, flower Pikmin twirl after they reach the apex of a throw arc in Pikmin and Pikmin 2, and this results in them falling slower. It also results in the Pikmin losing some horizontal momentum, and ending up closer to the leader compared to a leaf or bud. Purple Pikmin, regardless of maturity, do a pound instead and no twirl.

In Pikmin 3, leaders can also be thrown. Unlike Pikmin, leaders are unable to latch on to enemies and will always remain idle (unless they are near an enemy, at which point they panic and run around in circles). The trajectory that leaders are thrown through is noticeably lower than the arc of a Pikmin; this is likely to prevent exploits by throwing leaders up to an otherwise inaccessible area.

The next Pikmin type to be thrown will be shown on the HUD. This reflects the type of the Pikmin closest to the leader in the GameCube games and their Wii rereleases, but is chosen by the player in Pikmin 3; the type can be toggled with WiiU L.png / Nunchuck C.png / WiiUPC L.png, and leaders are one of the choices. In all games, Pikmin carrying bomb rocks and mines have their own groups.

In all games besides Pikmin 3, Blue Pikmin can also throw drowning Pikmin: if an idle Blue Pikmin finds a drowning Pikmin nearby, it will grab it, carry it near the surface, and throw it to solid terrain. Should the ledge be too high up, it is possible that the Pikmin won't make it to dry land, fall back into the water, and be thrown again, in an endless cycle.[1] At least in Pikmin 2, a Blue Pikmin's rescue throw is the same as a normal leader throw, which means it can be used to crush Dwarf Red Bulborbs, for instance.[2] In Pikmin 2's 2-Player Battle mode, leaders can also grab and throw bomb-rocks.

In Pikmin 3, leaders and Pikmin cannot be thrown while standing on an enemy corpse. This is likely to prevent the player from going out of bounds by using the corpse to reach higher, normally inaccessible areas.


The data file explaining throwing.

Before throwing, it is possible to hold on to a Pikmin/leader by keeping the button pressed. While held on, the Pikmin or leader will make a sound indicating that they are ready to be thrown; in Pikmin 2, this sound is repeated several times with varying pitches, until thrown. The leader can move around with a party member in their hand, which can be useful if one wishes to bring a single slow Pikmin with them. In Pikmin and Pikmin 2, when a Pikmin is being held on to, all other Pikmin in the group will be organized by type, so that those of the type of the currently held Pikmin are at the front of the line – this allows the leader to throw several of the same type of Pikmin in a row.

While holding, it is also possible to swap the currently held Pikmin/leader for one of a different type in the party, if available. In New Play Control! Pikmin, Pikmin 2 and New Play Control! Pikmin 2, GCN Dpadleftright.png / Wiimote B.png swaps the Pikmin type, while in Pikmin 3, WiiU L.png / Nunchuck C.png / WiiUPC L.png must be pressed; in this game, the thrown type can also be swapped without the leader holding on to anything, as stated above. Pikmin on the GameCube lacks this feature entirely. In Pikmin 2 and the two New Play Control! remakes, GCN Dpadupdown.png / Wiimote Dpad updown.png can also be used to swap for a different maturity in the same Pikmin type.

In New Play Control! Pikmin, if the Nunchuk stick is slightly moved while Captain Olimar is holding a Pikmin, Olimar will start facing the cursor, which will cause the Pikmin to follow behind where he's facing.[3]

The leader cannot perform any of the following actions while holding a Pikmin:

While it is not possible to swarm, the player can make it thinner and longer by holding GCN C.png in any direction, in the GameCube games. In New Play Control! Pikmin, holding Wiimote Dpad down.png will make the cursor flash to indicate a swarm, but the Pikmin will stay in their place regardless. In New Play Control! Pikmin 2, nothing happens if one attempts to swarm while holding.

Interestingly, any held Pikmin in Pikmin 3 cannot be killed. If an enemy attacks (just) the Pikmin, it will squeal, but nothing else will happen to it. It will also not be affected by hazards, except water.

In Pikmin, a mechanic goes unused that possibly explains why Pikmin make a sound while held. By holding onto a Pikmin for longer, the throw height climbs to a second value found in the game's parameters. Because the parameter is identical to the base throw height, however, the mechanic does essentially nothing, unless the values are changed. The climbing of the throw height finishes around the same time as the end of the noise a Pikmin makes while being held. The parameters also exist in Pikmin 2, though the code to change the height is gone.

Special throws[edit]

Rock Pikmin being thrown at a crystal wall.

Some Pikmin throws perform special actions, instead of making the Pikmin work on a task or latch on to something.

  • In the original Pikmin (but not the New Play Control! version), thrown Yellow Pikmin carrying bomb-rocks will become "ready". When whistled, they will drop and activate the bomb-rock. In addition, if thrown next to a gate or enemy, the Pikmin will in turn throw the bomb at the target.
  • Throwing a Pikmin at a Pellet Posy's pellet will make it drop it after just one attack (this works for 1 pellets only in Pikmin 3).
  • The following enemies behave differently when a Pikmin is thrown directly at them:
  • When a Blue Pikmin is thrown at the Goolix' larger core, while the creature is stretched, the two cores will slam against one another, and all Pikmin attacking the smaller core will scatter around.
  • A Pikmin that is thrown at the Armored Cannon Beetle's blow-hole will become trapped in it and make the boss overheat, exposing its weak point.
  • Throwing a Purple Pikmin at a Waterwraith will make it temporarily vulnerable.
  • A thrown Purple Pikmin can destroy Armored Cannon Beetle Larva and Decorated Cannon Beetle Larva rocks in Pikmin 2.
  • In Pikmin 3, a Rock Pikmin thrown directly at a crystal nodule will cause it to shatter.
  • In Pikmin 3, any kind of Pikmin thrown at a grub-dog's eyes will cause it to recoil and spit out any Pikmin it may have started to eat.


Swarm trick[edit]

The swarm trick done with frame-perfect precision.

To do: Some comparison times would be really nice.
Care to do so?

Under normal circumstances, when the leader presses the throw button with Pikmin nearby, the closest Pikmin will move from its spot towards the leader's hand, where it can then be thrown. This delay varies between games, but it normally makes it so that a player who wants to throw several Pikmin quickly can only throw three or four per second, while mashing the throw button in Pikmin. In Pikmin 2, this delay is shorter, but relevant all the same.

The closer the Pikmin is to the leader, the shorter this delay is. By using the swarming function, one can move the Pikmin so that they are constantly around the leader. While doing this, the throw button can then be pressed repeatedly and quickly in order to throw Pikmin at a much faster pace.

For the GameCube games, it is relatively simple: after setting the cursor on the intended location, the player can move one digit to GCN C.png (such as the left or right thumb) and another to GCN A.png (like the right thumb or right index). The player can then mash GCN A.png and tilt GCN C.png so that the group is always near the leader. Due to the way swarming works in the New Play Control! games, this is a harder task in those games. Wiimote Dpad down.png moves the Pikmin towards the cursor, which should be pointing at the enemy or ledge. The Pikmin are on the opposite side from the leader, so in order to keep them close, the player must press Wiimote Dpad down.png in short spurts, so that the Pikmin are neither too far ahead or behind.

The method for the New Play Control! games is quite a lot harder than the GameCube way, as it is harder to position the fingers so that both Wiimote A.png and Wiimote Dpad down.png can be pressed, especially without releasing the Nunchuk; it is also hard to maintain a steady cursor while two fingers are pressing on the Wii Remote repeatedly. Finally, it is hard to maintain two different button rhythms at once. As such, an alternate strategy is normally used instead. Because the leader can move independently of the cursor, the latter can be held on the target, and the player can focus on moving the leader through the group. Care should be taken in order to keep the cursor from deviating from its intended place, though. One way to stop the cursor from leaving its spot on the screen is to place the Nunchuk hand's wrist in front of the Wii Remote's sensor.[4]

In Pikmin 3, a Pikmin of the standby type will instantly move towards the leader's hand.

Longer throw trick[edit]

In Pikmin and Pikmin 2 on the GameCube, if the leader is moving while throwing the Pikmin, the leader's speed is added to the Pikmin throw's speed. Hence, if a leader is running forward while throwing a Pikmin in the same direction, it will land much farther than normal. This trick can be used to throw Pikmin to places where they were not meant to reach. An example would be over the cardboard box at the southwest of The Forest of Hope, throwing Pikmin from the western side over the box and on to the eastern side, where they can push it without the need for Blue Pikmin on the nearby lakes.

In the New Play Control! versions, this trick is not necessary, nor does it work: the leader's momentum is not carried over, otherwise the player would not be able to accurately throw Pikmin all around while moving, which is one of the new control scheme's biggest advantages. In these games, the throw distance limit has been raised, compared to the GameCube games, which allows for naturally longer throws that can permit the same exploits as those in the original games.

High ledge glitch[edit]

By using the aforementioned trick to throw at longer distances, one can make non-Yellow Pikmin reach ledges they shouldn't be able to normally.[5][6] This glitch is only possible in Pikmin and Pikmin 2, as well as the Wii remakes.

With the added distance of the trick comes added throw strength, which, when used towards a wall, can be enough to propel the Pikmin high enough to reach a high ledge. The Pikmin must scrape the wall a bit during the ascending part of their jump in order to make it. The exact amount of contact with the wall depends, and some surfaces (especially when they aren't perfectly vertical) work better than others. In Pikmin 2, Purple Pikmin are especially more likely to make it up high ledges.

In the New Play Control! versions, the cursor must be placed so that it is at the longest possible distance or beyond. This gives the throw enough force to perform the glitch.

Escorting a few Pikmin[edit]

If the player must bring a single Pikmin with them, having the leader carry the Pikmin on their hand is a safe and fast way to bring the Pikmin to the destination. This is particularly useful with slow Pikmin.

If the player needs a small amount of Pikmin (around five), it can be faster to repeatedly throw them ahead all in a row while moving forward, and whistling them back to the leader. This keeps them always ahead of the player's character, instead of staying behind and risking lagging. This is easier if the control scheme allows the cursor to be moved independently from the leader. Once again, this is more helpful when used with slow Pikmin.

Throwing Pikmin higher or further[edit]

Interestingly, there are a few ways to throw Pikmin even higher or further, in New Play Control! Pikmin and New Play Control! Pikmin 2. It depends on the type and the way the Pikmin is thrown. The following tricks do not have any known uses at the moment, however. Also, they do not work in Pikmin nor Pikmin 2, only the Wii remakes.

  • Changing the distance of the throw: The aforementioned tricks can be used to throw Yellow Pikmin both higher and further. However, there are some ways to increase or decrease the distance of the throw for other Pikmin types. Thanks to plants (particularly the Figwort), it is possible to throw Red, White and Blue Pikmin slightly further[12] and Purple Pikmin slightly less far[13]. However, if Purple Pikmin are thrown against a Breadbug, they will go further[14]. Similarly, Purple Pikmin can be thrown further thanks to the fire of a Fiery Blowhog[15]. This also makes Yellow Pikmin ascend higher.
  • Other tricks: If Pikmin are thrown from a gas pipe, they will suddenly gain a lot of speed when choking[16] This does not happen if they are not thrown. Finally, if a Purple Pikmin is thrown at a gate while very close to the gate, and is thrown at full force, it will go through and attack from the other side[17].


For unknown reasons, when the player tries to throw in Pikmin, there is a chance that Olimar will simply twitch instead. This is not the case if the Pikmin to throw is in front of Olimar, or is far away from him. Every once in a while, the game will enter a state for 1 frame where it will reject the throw if the player presses the button on that frame. In the GameCube game, this happens every 11 frames, though sometimes it's every 10 frames instead, and in the New Play Control! release, it's roughly every 3 frames, with the periodic break of 20 frames where the glitch won't happen.[18]

In Pikmin 3 Deluxe, if the player holds a non-bomb rock Pikmin, then swaps types while holding until they select bomb rocks, throwing that Pikmin and then quickly pressing the throw button again will make the game swap to the next type, causing the player to hold or even throw a non-bomb rock Pikmin.[19] Care should be taken as to not throw unarmed Pikmin into an active bomb. Giving a small pause between the next throw, or simply swapping to bomb rocks without holding a Pikmin allows the player to throw several bombs without this risk.

Technical information[edit]

Pikmin 3's data includes a parameter file with the throw height value for each Pikmin and leader, in plain English. This file can be found in /content/CMCmn/system/param_db.szs/pikminparam_db.txt.

Type Height (in game distance units)
Purple Pikmin 60.0
Yellow Pikmin 107.0
Other Pikmin 72.5
Leaders 30.0

In other games[edit]

In the Super Smash Bros. series[edit]


This article or section is a short summary on the move Pikmin Throw.
SmashWiki features more in-depth content.

In the Super Smash Bros. series, Olimar's forward-special move is called "Pikmin Throw". When used, the next Pikmin in line is grabbed and instantly thrown forward, where it may land on the ground and rejoin the group some seconds later, or latch onto an opponent, where it will cause damage until it falls off. The type of Pikmin determines the damage caused and the throw arc. Yellow Pikmin are thrown at a higher arc, Purple Pikmin are thrown a very short distance, and White Pikmin are thrown very fast and far. Red Pikmin cause strong fire damage, Yellow Pikmin cause electrical moderate damage, Blue Pikmin cause regular damage and White Pikmin cause high poison damage. Purple Pikmin do not latch on, but instead, knock the opponent away.

In Pikmin Adventure[edit]

Only the Olimar player can throw Pikmin in Pikmin Adventure. When they have a Pikmin nearby, they will grab it and toss it right away. To toss a Pikmin, the player must tap on the target on the GamePad. If the Mii Pikmin are stacked atop the leader, they can be thrown one by one by the latter.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Flag of Japan Japanese 投げる?
Flag of China Chinese
投擲 Throw
Flag of China Chinese
投掷 Throw
Flag of France French Lancer Throw
Flag of Germany German Werfen Throw
Flag of Italy Italian Lanciare Throw
Flag of South Korea Korean 던지다
Flag of Spain Spanish Lanzar Throw


  • In Pikmin and Pikmin 2, Pikmin in mid-throw retain their position and velocity when a cutscene is triggered. In Pikmin 3 however, cutscenes often involve a leader speaking in a paused world; these cutscenes behave differently than most, and when gameplay resumes, thrown Pikmin still retain their position but not their forward velocity. They fall to the ground idle, which can put the player at a disadvantage if they were combating an enemy before the cutscene started.


  1. ^ YouTube video showing Blue Pikmin constantly failing to throw their partners to safety
  2. ^ Twitch clip on Twitch, published on June 21st, 2019, retrieved on June 21st, 2019
  3. ^ YouTube video demonstrating how Pikmin follow Olimar when the stick is slightly moved in New Play Control! Pikmin.
  4. ^ YouTube video demonstrating how one can cover the infrared sensor on the Wii Remote to stop the cursor from shaking about
  5. ^ YouTube video showing how the high ledge glitch can be used to get non-Yellow Pikmin up high ledges
  6. ^ 2:25 of part 4 of a speedrun on Speed Demos Archive
  7. ^ YouTube video showing Yellow Pikmin being thrown higher from a plant
  8. ^ YouTube video showing Yellow Pikmin being thrown higher from a piece of chiyogami
  9. ^ YouTube video showing Yellow Pikmin being thrown higher thanks to fire geysers
  10. ^ YouTube video showing Yellow Pikmin being thrown higher thanks to corpses
  11. ^ YouTube video showing Yellow Pikmin being thrown higher thanks to treasures
  12. ^ YouTube video showing White, Blue and Red Pikmin thrown further thanks to a Figwort
  13. ^ YouTube video showing Purple Pikmin being thrown less far because of plants
  14. ^ YouTube video showing Purple Pikmin being thrown further thanks to a Breadbug
  15. ^ YouTube video showing Purple Pikmin being thrown further thanks to a Puffy Blowhog
  16. ^ YouTube video showing how Pikmin can gain speed when choking
  17. ^ YouTube video showing Purple Pikmin being thrown through a gate
  18. ^ YouTube video showing how Olimar can fail to throw, and how various actions like whistling do not fix the problem, published on July 20th, 2020, retrieved on July 22nd, 2020
  19. ^ Twitter video on Twitter, published on December 1st, 2020, retrieved on December 1st, 2020