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Fire starter

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The image accompanying Olimar's voyage log #34 "Fire-Starter Basics".
A Red Pikmin holding a fire starter next to a bonfire altar.

Fire starters are tools in Pikmin 4. They are small flaming pinecone-shaped objects that can be picked up and carried around by Red Pikmin. A Red Pikmin carrying a fire starter can then be thrown at an object to burn it, which can destroy dried plants and weaken icy enemies.

Fire starters are connected to objects in areas and caves called bonfire altars. These are found in fixed locations and can either be flaming or extinguished. Each flaming bonfire altar can supply one fire starter at a time.


Red Pikmin carrying fire starters cannot ride Oatchi unless held, and appear separately from other Red Pikmin in the HUD to allow the player to select one to throw. Fire starters have a time limit before they burn up and disappear, but can be thrown an unlimited number of times within this period, provided the Pikmin isn't ordered to do something that ends up destroying the fire starter. The time limit is represented by a circular health wheel above the fire starter, and another on the standby Pikmin HUD indicator, which steadily deplete over time. If a fire starter Pikmin is thrown at the floor, it will drop the fire starter, which can be picked up again by throwing another Red Pikmin at it. Non-Red Pikmin will not burn on contact with a dropped fire starter, and will remain idle if ordered to pick one up. A Pikmin thrown at dried plants or something else it can burn will go idle unless close to the currently controlled captain.

Throwing a Red Pikmin at a bonfire altar to pick up the fire starter on it will mean there is no fire starter on the bonfire altar until that fire starter burns up and disappears. Extinguished altars can be lit by throwing a fire starter at them, which will light it aflame permanently and make a new fire starter appear on it. Lighting a bonfire altar will also reset the time limit on the fire starter used to light it. Since each altar is responsible for one fire starter, if the player can manage to visit several in time, they can obtain multiple fire starters. The standby Pikmin HUD indicator's health wheel will reflect the fire starter in the squad with the least time remaining.

Throwing a fire starter at a Fiery Bulblax will reset the time limit on the fire starter.


The primary use of fire starters is to destroy dried plants when thrown at, in order to open up a path or object that was previously blocked by the plants. The fire starter will not be used up by this, so the Red Pikmin holding it can be called back and the fire starter used again, but it will not reset the time limit.

For combat, fire starters can be thrown at certain enemies for various effects. Charging at an enemy using a fire starter Pikmin will not work.

  • Frosty Bulborbs, Dwarf Frosty Bulborbs, and Snowfake Fluttertails lose their protective coating of ice if they have it. Doing so will make the fire starter disappear. In all cases, only one fire starter is required to remove the ice, except for when the Snowfake Fluttertail regenerates its ice coating at low health, in which case two fire starters are required.
  • Some enemies can also be damaged by fire starters, granted that they do not have a protective coating of ice at that moment. In all cases except for the Snowfake Fluttertail, doing so will make the fire starter disappear. The following list shows how many fire starters it takes to kill different enemies:

Throwing a fire starter at frozen hydro jelly, ice walls and ice vents will instantly destroy them. In either case the fire starter disappears, and in the case of the ice wall, it is possible for the Pikmin to become frozen.

Some bonfire altars have hydro jellies on top of them, and the hydro jelly must be destroyed before the altar can be used. If the hydro jelly is frozen, throwing a fire starter at it will melt it instantly but also destroy the fire starter, meaning another fire starter must be used to light the bonfire altar.

In cave sublevels with cold air, having a lit bonfire altar will warm up the immediate room and stop Pikmin from feeling cold. Pikmin elsewhere in the sublevel will still feel the cold unless it is dissipated, however.


  • Giant's Hearth: Fire starters are a major mechanic of this area. There are 9 bonfire altars around the area.
Olimar's Shipwreck Tale areas
  • Frozen Inferno: Fire starters are a major mechanic of this cave. 3 bonfire altars are on the first sublevel, 3 are on the second sublevel, 2 are on the third sublevel (one blocked by a hydro jelly) and 3 are on the fourth sublevel (one blocked by a hydro jelly).
  • Cradle of the Beast: 2 bonfire altars are present on the first sublevel.
Dandori Challenges
Dandori Battles
  • Hot Sandy Duel: Fire starters are placed on the northwest and southwest corners of this arena, opposite the players' Onions which are in the east.

In addition, fire starters and bonfire altars appear in the Piklopedia entries for the Frosty Bulborb, Dwarf Frosty Bulborb, and Snowflake Fluttertail.


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Names in other languages[edit]

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Language Name Meaning
Flag of Spain Spanish Brasa Ember

See also[edit]