Weight is a major mechanic of the Pikmin series. Liftable objects weigh some number of carrying units, and in order to carry them, enough Pikmin must be directed to the object in order to support its weight. Some obstacles, such as seesaw blocks, also involve weight.
The weight of objects is measured in arbitrary weight units, with most Pikmin types able to carry exactly 1 weight unit. Smaller objects tend to have lower weights and larger objects tend to have higher weights. Weights above 15 usually come in multiples of 5.
In the main series of Pikmin games, most Pikmin types can carry 1 weight unit, while Purple Pikmin can carry 10 weight units. In Pikmin Bloom, carrying strengths are slightly different – most Pikmin types can still carry 1 weight unit, but Purple Pikmin can carry 5 and Rock Pikmin can carry 3.
In order to carry an object, there must be Pikmin attempting to lift it with a total carrying strength greater than or equal to the object's weight. If there are any less than this, the object will stay put.
Weight is clearly indicated in the HUD, through numbers that appear above the object when Pikmin are carrying or trying to carry it (or when the cursor is placed over it, in Pikmin 3 Deluxe). In Pikmin and Pikmin 2, the top number indicates the weight and the bottom number represents the strength of the Pikmin, to visually symbolize Pikmin lifting the object's weight. In all later games (including ports), the bottom number indicates the weight and the top number represents the strength of the Pikmin, following the actual convention for writing fractions. In Hey! Pikmin, the same information is indicated through dots that are filled up as Pikmin are thrown onto the object.
Pikmin and leaders
Pikmin and leaders also have weights, and these are used for weight-detecting obstacles. Most Pikmin types weigh 1 unit, except for Purple Pikmin which weigh 10. The weight of a leader is inconsistent and depends on the game and the situation. When a leader lies down, they weigh 4 units in Pikmin and 1 unit in Pikmin 2. When a leader stands on a seesaw block or elevator platform, they weigh 0 units in Pikmin 2 and 1 unit in Pikmin 3. In Pikmin 3, when unconscious leaders are carried at some points in the story, they weigh 5 units. Castaways in Pikmin 4 consistently weigh 3 units.
- Main article: Treasure#Dynamic weights.
In Pikmin 2, some treasures dropped by bosses will sometimes change their weight to match the size of the player's squad. This happens if the treasure's weight is greater than the number of Pikmin the player has in the cave when the boss is defeated.
Weight units do not represent a consistent amount of mass. An object's weight is more dependent on its general size and what is needed for gameplay purposes, rather than being based on a real-world weight. There are two treasures that do show their weight, the Doomsday Apparatus and the Golden Vaulting Table, a 1-kilogram dumbbell and 1-kilogram golden bar, respectively. They both weigh 1000 weight units, hinting that each weight unit is equal to 1 gram, but other treasures in both Pikmin 2 and Pikmin 4 easily disprove this; for example, the Proton AA weighs 6 units, while actual AA batteries weigh as much as 25 grams, and the Telekinesis Detector and Connection Detector weigh 10 units each, while actual Joy-Cons weigh as much as 48 or 52 grams, respectively. Thus, there is no real-world value of a weight unit.
Weight as an obstacle
Weight is sometimes used in obstacles. Cardboard boxes, paper bags, iron blocks, and iron balls all require a certain number of Pikmin to push on the obstacle in order to pass it, and this pushing strength is measured in weight units, with each Pikmin (and in some cases, each leader) pushing the obstacle with its own weight. Seesaw blocks and elevator platforms use weight in a more complex way, with weight being able to be applied to both sides of a scale.
In Pikmin 2, heavy weights are sometimes used as an obstacle, due to the presence of Purple Pikmin, which can carry 10 units and weigh 10 units themselves. Some treasures weigh more than 100 weight units, and due to the 100 Pikmin limit, Purple Pikmin must be used to carry them because of their increased strength. Some bags also take more than the strength of 100 Pikmin to compress, meaning Purple Pikmin are required.
Weight is used to measure a player's score in Pikmin 4's Dandori Challenges and Dandori Battles. When carried back to the S.S. Beagle or Onion respectively, each object is worth the same number of Dandori points as its total weight. This means that, for example, a Bulborb is worth 10 points and a pile of gold nuggets is worth as many points as its number of fragments.
Metric weight in Pikmin Bloom
- Main article: Expedition#Weight.
In Pikmin Bloom, items collectable on expeditions have their weight indicated in grams. This metric weight has nothing to do with the weight of the item in carrying units. For fruits, it indicates how much nectar the fruit will provide. For seedlings and gift boxes, it has no functionality.
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