Pikmin 4: Subterranean Swarm Cave Guide

The Primordial Thicket in Pikmin 4 is full of enemies and hazards that make exploration more harrowing than other areas. The caves here are no exception, offering little respite from the terrors on the surface. When investigating the caves in this area, it’s best to start with the Subterranean Swarm.



Related: Pikmin 4: Primordial Thicket Treasure Guide

This cave is much easier than The Mud Pit and Cavern for a King caves. There aren’t any special gimmicks to watch out for, making this cave feel like standard exploration. Bring along Winged Pikmin and Rock Pikmin to deal with the flying enemies; the third Pikmin type you bring is up to you.

Sublevel 1

Sublevel one has five enemies and several patches of sticky mold. The Gunk Busters gear is great for this cave, as patches of sticky mold are present on multiple sublevels. This gear can be purchased from Russ for 240 raw materials.

To eliminate the Grubchuckers, toss Winged Pikmin at their heads until the beast falls to its knees. Then throw Rock Pikmin at the defenseless enemy until they’re defeated.

Be sure to also use the two Violet Candypop Buds to create ten Purple Pikmin. You’ll need the extra firepower for the boss on the final sublevel.


Description, Name, Details

Hoop of Healing and Hoop of Fortune caught in some webbing on Sublevel one.

Hoop of Healing

Stuck in web west of base

Hoop of Fortune

Stuck in web west of base

Sphere of Calm hanging from webbing on Sublevel one.

Sphere of Calm

Hanging from web north of base, use ledge from the east to reach

Sublevel 2

The Radar Map of Subterranean Swarm Sublevel two.

This sublevel has 16 enemies, the majority of which are Shearfleas. The fleas can be killed instantly by lobbing a Pikmin on top of them. Stand at a distance when throwing Pikmin so that these pests don’t latch onto you.

The three Armored Cannon Beetles are stationed across this floor and will constantly shoot boulders. Make your way toward the beetles and Rush into them with Oatchi. The combined strength of your whole squad should be able to wipe out the beasts in one strike.

Use the Ivory Candypop Buds to create more White Pikmin. Unless you have Oatchi’s Sniff Saver gear, you’ll need the White Pikmin to dispose of some poisonous hazards later on.


Description, Name, Details

Two Belted Delicacies on top of a stump on Sublevel two.

Belted Delicacy (x2)

Center of room with base, reach by jumping up with Oatchi

Spouse Alert next to an Armored Cannon Larva on Sublevel two.

Spouse Alert

Center of east room on top of mound, next to Armored Cannon Larva

Sublevel 3

The Radar Map of Subterranean Swarm Sublevel three.

The Armored Cannon Beetle is the only enemy you’ll need to fight on this floor. The shell on this beast makes it impenetrable to all attacks.

Before beginning the fight, use the Violet Candypop Bud here for a few more Purple Pikmin.

To expose the beetle’s weakness, throw a Pikmin into the beetle as it sucks in air. After this, the enemy will raise its wings, allowing you to attack from behind.


Description, Name, Details

Back-at-the-Beginning Track trapped under sticky mold on Sublevel three.

Back-at-the-Beginning Track

West corner, under sticky mold

Creativity Conduit next to an Armored Cannon Beetle on Sublevel three.

Creativity Conduit

Dropped by Armored Cannon Beetle

Leafling Castaway laying down in a corner on Sublevel three.


North corner, under sticky mold

Sublevel 4

The Radar Map of Subterranean Swarm Sublevel four.

This area has 15 enemies and a few poisonous mushrooms to dispose of. A majority of these enemies are flying types that are best taken down with Rock or Winged Pikmin. If you’re out of White Pikmin to destroy the poison hazards, there are two Ivory Candypop Buds to use here.


Description, Name, Details

Chance Totem on top of a tin can on Sublevel four.

Chance Totem

Inside a vase on top of a can in the east room

Gold Nuggets in a pot behind sticky mold on Sublevel four.

Gold Nuggets

Behind the patches of sticky mold in the west

Mega Horn in the northern area of Sublevel four.

Mega Horn

Center of northeast room

Memory Fragment (Center Right) on the tin can below the Chance Totem on Sublevel four.

Memory Fragment (Center Right)

On a tin can in the east room

Sublevel 5

The Radar Map of Subterranean Swarm Sublevel five.

On this floor, you’ll fight the Sovereign Bulblax, the boss of this cave. Before waking up this monster, break the vases in the northern part of the map. This will open up two flowers that provide cover from one of Sovereign Bulblax’s attacks. You should also dismount Oatchi before the battle to have an easier time dodging attacks.

Once the fight has begun, throw Pikmin onto the sides of the beast’s face to attack. Throwing Pikmin directly into the enemy’s face will likely result in them being eaten. Sovereign Bulblax will jump after being attacked, so you’ll have to attack in short bursts to prevent any of your Pikmin from getting crushed.

The Sovereign is also capable of roaring, which will send your entire squad into a panic. This is why you shouldn’t ride Oatchi during this fight, as you’ll be knocked off and stunned when Oatchi panics. Use your whistle to calm everyone down.

After roaring, the monster will jump towards you, causing rocks to fall from the sky. At this point, use the flowers from earlier as cover. Then go in to attack once the rockfall has ended.


Description, Name, Details

Sweet Stumble-Not laying near the exit in Sublevel five.

Sweet Stumble-Not

Next to the exit, reached by defeating Sovereign Bulblax

A Castaway near the Sovereign Bulblax on Sublevel five.


Dropped by Sovereign Bulblax

Next: Pikmin 4: Industrial Maze Guide

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