How to Unlock Gear in Pikmin 4

Here's how to unlock gear in Pikmin 4.

by Drew Kopp
Image: Nintendo

Pikmin 4 introduces many fun and exciting mechanics that put a fresh spin on the franchise’s iconic real-time strategy gameplay loop. However, eagle-eyed veterans may notice that many reoccurring gameplay elements introduced in previous Pikmin games are absent at the start of Pikmin 4. That’s where Pikmin 4’s Gear system comes in. Here’s how to unlock Gear in Pikmin 4.

How to Get Gear in Pikmin 4

In Pikmin 4, players step into the shoes of the newest member of the Rescue Corps. This means you don’t have access to many starting abilities featured in previous Pikmin games, such as ordering your Pikmin to swarm or knowing when you are getting closer to a collectible Treasure. Thankfully, you can begin working on getting these abilities once you’ve got the game’s first area, Sun-Speckled Terrace.

Once you’ve gotten to Sun-Speckled Terrace, you’ll be all but forced to delve into its first cave, Last-Frost Cavern. This cave introduces Ice Pikmin and squad-expanding Frarlic, but it’s also where you rescue the Rescue Corps’ chief scientist, Russ. Once you’ve saved him, Russ will return the favor by building pieces of Gear for you.

Pieces of Gear function similarly to the Exploration Kit Treauress introduced in Pikmin 2, as they unlock permanent passive abilities after you get them. To get new pieces of Gear, you must talk to Russ in Pikmin 4’s hub area. He should be standing right next to the S.S. Beagle.

Related: Is Pikmin 4 Multiplayer? How to Play With Friends

Unfortunately, Russ will not give you Gear for free, as he needs to build it from scratch with Raw Materials. Raw Materials are pieces of light-blue crystal that can be found in large piles or dropped by enemies and eggs. You can collect samples of Raw Material by throwing your Pikmin at them, but you should ensure they have a safe path to carry them back to the S.S. Beagle.

Each piece of Gear can be helpful in certain situations, but some are much more valuable than others. During my playthrough, I immediately purchased the Treasure Gauge and the Charging Horn since they allowed me to find pieces of Treasure and get enough Pikmin onto it to carry it back to the S.S. Beagle faster. That being said, defensive items like the Scortch Gaurd will come in very handy as you explore Pikmin 4’s caves, which are full of elemental hazards that can decimate your Pikmin squad and eat through you and your dog companion Oatchi’s health quickly.

- This article was updated on July 21st, 2023

About The Author

Drew Kopp has been a writer at Attack of the Fanboy for three months and has covered Baldur's Gate 3, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Ahsoka. He has a Bachelor's in Creative Writing and loves writing about indie games and celebrity gossip. When he isn't writing, he can be found reading fantasy books or rocking out as Bard in Dungeons & Dragons.