Bodies of water are the most common obstacle in the Pikmin series, since it is a feature of the terrain itself, and often impossible to remove. Water is a hazard to most Pikmin types, given that they cannot swim nor breathe underwater. However, Some bodies may be too shallow for the Pikmin to drown in, and such bodies are purely aesthetic.

Any Pikmin that is not immune to water will begin flailing at the surface if they find themselves submerged, including Winged and Ice Pikmin that enter water via enemy attack or by following a careless leader's order. They will eventually stop and drown, resulting in a Pikmin death. Pikmin in this state might be saved by having them slowly flail towards the leaders, and luring them to dry land or Oatchi's back. Pikmin in Pikmin 3 will follow leaders automatically, but in the previous games, they must first be whistled. Alternatively, if there are idle Blue Pikmin nearby, they can toss drowning Pikmin onto land in Pikmin and Pikmin 2. Some enemies can be affected by water as well. Mandiblards will steadily lose health while submerged, and certain fiery enemies become extinguished.

Commanding Pikmin in water

A group of Red Pikmin drowning.

Blue Pikmin may cross bodies of water unhindered, making this type of Pikmin ideal for underwater tasks. Bulbmin and Glow Pikmin are also fully immune to water, but both types have limited availability and only appear during Night expeditions and caves. Winged Pikmin can fly above the surface, allowing them to travel with the leader and carry treasure over water, but they cannot be thrown when the leader is standing underwater and are unable to retrieve any objects that are submerged too deeply. Ice Pikmin can float on water while in the leader's party, but they can't be thrown while the leader is standing underwater and are also completely unable to cross water while carrying an object.

In Pikmin and Pikmin 2, leaders, Blue Pikmin, and Bulbmin stick to the bottom of the terrain while underwater, and gravity acts as if they were on land. Starting in Pikmin 3, Blue Pikmin were given the ability to swim, allowing them freedom to move up and down, such as when chasing aquatic enemies. Leaders will always remain on the bottom, however, and when they throw a Blue Pikmin, said Pikmin will slowly ascend and descend while underwater. In Pikmin 4, Oatchi will swim on the surface of water after learning Doggy Paddle, and while Pikmin are traveling on Oatchi's back, all types can cross the water's surface and even be thrown freely.

In Hey! Pikmin, pools of water are recurring obstacles. In order to cross bodies of water safely, Olimar must either not have any non-Blue Pikmin with him, or he must throw the ones that can't swim at Seeding Dandelions. Olimar and the Blue Pikmin can swim in water in this game, and the Pikmin will follow Olimar around and swim back when thrown underwater.'

Rescue Pups

At the start of the game, Oatchi is unable to swim; if he tries, he will immediately begin drowning, bucking all Pikmin on his back into the water. Unlike non-Blue Pikmin, he will not perish if he drowns, instead teleporting back to the last piece of dry land he stood on before he fell into the water. After his first exposure to water, Shepherd will train Oatchi's Doggy Paddle skill, and will inform the player character of her success at the start of the second day following, assuming Oatchi has grown to his large size. Once Oatchi has acquired this skill, he can freely swim on most bodies of water, transporting both player and Pikmin. Upgrading Oatchi’s Doggy-Paddle allows him to swim faster and a Lv. 3 Doggy Paddle allows Oatchi to dive a short distance to perform certain tasks underwater, such as carrying or fighting.

Moss can swim by default in Olimar's Shipwreck Tale and does not need to learn how to Doggy-Paddle.

Avoiding water bodies

Most bodies of water cannot be removed from the stage by any means. However, there are many ways to allow Pikmin of other types to avoid water if necesary:

  • Draining: In Pikmin 2 and Pikmin 4, some bodies of water can be drained if the right seam is found. In Pikmin 2, these seams are found underneath clogs, while in Pikmin 4, they are usually found buried and can be drained through digging. Blue Pikmin are still required to reach drains.
    • Hero's Hideaway has a drainable sink, and in order to open the drain, a button must be pressed instead. This button is found above the water, so Blue Pikmin are not needed.
    • At noon, the water level in Serene Shores will recede, opening much of the centre of the stage to being traversed with non-Blue Pikmin.
  • Bridges: Many bridges allow Pikmin and leaders to cross water bodies without getting wet, allowing non-Blue Pikmin to carry treasure around the map. Most bridges are more convenient than crossing the water even for Blue Pikmin, although some bridges can only be formed with the assistance of Blue Pikmin to begin with. Others may require a circuitous alternative route be navigated first, instead presenting a shortcut for later carries.
  • Freezing: In Pikmin 4, Ice Pikmin can freeze bodies of water, allowing other Pikmin to carry treasures over the body of water regardless of what routes they must follow. Freezing water can also raise the height of the terrain, making it easier to jump up a ledge with Oatchi or carry treasure across fiddly ledges. However, objects that are submerged under water cannot be retrieved while the water is frozen, and the water will quickly unfreeze once the Ice Pikmin are called from their task. An Ice Blast can also temporarily freeze a body of water.

Enemies and water

For the most part, enemies are not affected by water, but some exceptions exist:

  • Fiery Bulblaxes and Pyroclasmic Slooches will lose their fire if they enter water. The Fiery Bulblax will reignite if it leaves the water, but Pyroclasmic Slooches need to touch another Slooch's fire trail.
  • Members of the mandiblard family in Pikmin and Pikmin 2 will lose health at a steady pace, as long as they are underwater. Shearwigs will also lose health if they fly above the water.
  • Wolpoles and Puckering Blinnows will swim freely in water, but will begin flailing around if they find themselves on dry land.
  • If a Mockiwi falls underwater, it will quickly lose all its health and drown.
  • Young Yellow Wollywogs hop around on land, but swim when in water.
  • Large Splurchins can slowly move underwater, but can't move at all when they're on land.
  • Pricklepuffs will be unable to move if out of the water, but can still attack Pikmin.

Reflection effect in Pikmin

The water in Pikmin has a faint reflection of the walls and leaves on the trees. This effect is actually obtained by having the walls duplicated and inverted under the ground, as well as having a white "bowl" with the shadows of the leaves. The ground texture underwater is then made translucent. Effectively, when looking at the water, the player is not seeing the reflection of objects high above, they're actually seeing through the ground, into a textured surface.


The Primordial Thicket in Pikmin 4 is filled with mud, both above and below ground. Similar to water, it is most often found in the form of large pools and can be frozen with Ice Pikmin or Ice Blasts. Unlike water, leaders and Blue Pikmin are not immune to its effects. Shallow mud can be traversed by all Pikmin types and leaders, but at a reduced movement speed. The Gunk Busters upgrade allows leaders to walk through shallow mud unhindered. Deep mud pools, however, will cause leaders and non-Glow Pikmin to drown, but (like water), drowning Pikmin can still be whistled back to shore before they fully submerge and die. Ice Pikmin can float on top of deep mud, unless in a panicked state or shot with mud, in which they will drown like normal Pikmin. Winged Pikmin will always fly above it. Deep mud can be distinguished from shallow mud by being a much darker brown.

While only seen in the Primordial Thicket in the main story mode, the Ice-Cross Course Dandori Challenge contains a pool of shallow mud in the center (which the leafling recommends freezing with Ice Pikmin) and puddles of shallow mud are present in the Blossoming Arcadia where some water would be in the Olimar's Shipwreck Tale version of the area.


There are a few glitches related to the water in the series:


Names in other languages

Language Name Meaning
  Spanish (NoA) Agua Water

See also