The hardest challenges in Pikmin 4 come from the dangerous areas and bosses within caves, dark underground zones that act like dungeons you must be prepared to explore. Although there are no time limits in caves like there are on surface maps, more enemies roam in the dark than in any other place. By carefully moving through different sublevels, you have a chance to find a ton of various treasures and resources.

Before even going into a cave, try to collect as many Pikmin Onions as you can so that you can grow enough allies for the trip. While the early stages of Pikmin 4 may not let you gather Onions for the rarer types of Pikmin in the game, it should be fairly simple to gather ones for the basic Yellow, Blue, or Red Pikmin. Gathering Flarlic also raises the maximum amount of Pikmin you can have to help prepare for caves.

Related: Where To Find Purple & White Onions In Pikmin 4

7 Bring Lots of Different Pikmin

Three Pikmin from Pikmin 4 in front of the S.S. Beagle and Onion

You can’t replenish your Pikmin in caves, making it important to bring as many as possible divided among the nine types available in Pikmin 4. The many puzzles and obstacles in caves will sometimes require a specific kind of Pikmin to move forward. Having a good variety of Pikmin gives you a strong arsenal that can adapt to a cave’s challenges or take on certain enemies that may only be defeated by one Pikmin color.

Nearly every cave also has a boss at the end, making it important to max out your Pikmin capacity whenever you are ready to dive into the darkness. Having some disposable Pikmin may sound cruel, but it could be necessary to have buffers against enemies that might surprise you. Unlike the surfaces of Pikmin 4, you do not need to spread your allies around the whole map but instead keep them close at all times.

Pikmin 4 Squad end of day

Every cave will have a recommended type of Pikmin color that the game suggests you bring, hinting at the nature of the challenges inside. For example, a cave that proposes you recruit Blue Pikmin in Pikmin 4 may have tons of water in its sublevels. While these pieces of advice are good to consider when getting started, this does not mean you should only bring one type of Pikmin, as every cave has a variety of challenges.

5 Follow Your Map

Pikmin 4 Seafloor Resort Cave Map Sublevel 1 with Treasure Icon Marked

The general structure of a cave’s sublevel is not a mystery when you enter, only the contents in the area. When dropping into a new section of a cave, you can check your map to discover the layout of the current level, giving you a good idea of what directions to travel toward the next exit or possible treasures. Monster spawn locations in Pikmin 4 are far easier to determine by looking at what areas on these maps could host enemy creatures.

One of the main goals in caves is to find and rescue castaways who have crashed on the planet, who might show up on the maps of certain caves from different quests.

Those looking to 100% complete the game can use context clues on these maps to infer what areas of the cave are likely to have the most collectibles. The Blossoming Arcadia treasures in Pikmin 4 are an excellent instance of this, with the six sublevels of the Kingdom of the Beasts cave almost demanding players check their maps often.

4 Be Careful Throwing Pikmin

Pikmin 4 Throwing Blue Pikmin On Top of Ledge in a Cave

The caves in Pikmin 4 are sometimes made of floating platforms suspended in an endless void that you or your Pikmin could fall into. Fighting enemies and gathering resources are done by throwing your Pikmin, making it easy to accidentally throw one of your allies into the abyss below. If you send one too many Pikmin to an early grave, you can back out of a cave at any time to resupply your forces.

3 Use Otachi When You Can

Pikmin 4 How to Upgrade Oatchi

The loyal dog Otachi follows you around on the surface and within caves, using a variety of abilities to help you overcome the complications in your path. Otachi can swim, jump, or travel through tunnels found in caves to explore hard-to-reach areas. This companion may also act as a second commander to the Pikmin, which helps you perform multiple actions at once, an excellent skill against bosses in Pikmin 4.

You can upgrade Otachi’s skills at the Command Rescue Post by talking to Captain Shepherd, enabling the dog with more abilities for cave exploration.

2 Research Powerful Upgrades

Pikmin 4 The Lab Used to Research Powerful Upgrades

Pieces of gear and items may be upgraded at the Lab with Russ when spending resources or materials, giving you great tools before diving into a cave. An important upgrade to get first in Pikmin 4 is the Charging Horn, which allows you to command all of your Pikmin to attack together. Those who manage to keep their Pikmin alive throughout a cave’s sublevels will find this feature amazing for boss battles.

Other upgrades like the Treasure Gauge can also be important for cave travel, allowing you to detect castaways and treasure spots on your map of any cave. It can be frustrating to get through a cave and realize you missed an artifact or NPC that unlocked something new on the surface. Make sure to collect plenty of raw material to buy the right upgrades for your next journey to a cave in Pikmin 4.

1 Rewind Time if You Make a Mistake

Pikmin 4 Running Away from Large Boulder with Allies

Whenever you start a new sublevel in a cave, you can rewind time to the beginning of that area whenever you want. If you’re running low on Pikmin or make a pretty bad mistake while exploring, there is no penalty for rewinding to the checkpoint save of the sublevel. This will reset your Pikmin to the number that survived into that area, essentially allowing a free redo in Pikmin 4.

Out of all the things to know before exploring caves in Pikmin 4, the ability to rewind time is perhaps the best, taking away the tension or anxiety you might feel by traveling through such dangerous zones.

  • Pikmin 4 Game Poster

    Pikmin 4


    Nintendo Switch


    Nintendo EPD


    Adventure, Real-Time Strategy

    Proprietary Nintendo Engine

    Not Yet Rated

    Pikmin 3


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