- This article relates to the canonical games. See Pikipedia's "Leader" article for more canonical information.
The Pikmin leaders are the characters of whom the player has control. Because most of these characters are commonly able to pilot ships, they are also usually referred to by fans as captains. In the first game, there is only one captain, Olimar, an employee of Hocotate Freight who crash-landed on PNF-404. In Pikmin 2, Louie is added as a second character, also controlled by the player; it is possible to switch between the two playable leaders. Louie is replaced by The President after the debt is cleared. In Pikmin 3 there are three new leaders: the engineer Alph, the botanist Brittany, and the crew's captain, Charlie. No leader has any gameplay attribute that is worse or better than the other ones.
The leader is followed by Pikmin they have called out of the Onion or plucked, and by lone Pikmin they touch or whistle at. The leader can throw Pikmin for various purposes, or attack creatures themselves when no Pikmin are nearby. Puffstools, Antenna Beetles, mature Bulbmin, and the Scornet Maestro act as naturally occurring enemy leaders, in each of the three Pikmin games, stealing the player's Pikmin or scouting with their own type of underlings.
Captain Olimar, often simply called Olimar, is the main character of the Pikmin series. He is the Hocotate Freight employee who discovered PNF-404 and the Pikmin. He is the captain of his personal ship, the S.S. Dolphin, until it is sold to repay some of the debt at the start of Pikmin 2. In Pikmin 3, Captain Olimar is a non-playable character that appears later in the story.
Louie first appears in Pikmin 2 and serves as a partner to Olimar, commanding Pikmin as his sidekick. He is relatively new to the shipping business and has a ravenous appetite. He was raised by his grandmother who made him play with bugs and eat them, from where it is assumed that his great affinity for cooking beasts in Pikmin 2 comes.
The President is the owner of Hocotate Freight, and is a playable character in Pikmin 2 after the debt is repaid. He is called 'Shacho' in the Japanese version, which is Japanese for President, and is often called by that name because he says it when he is switched to.
Alph is the mechanic of the S.S. Drake. He is very interested in technological devices and is a very capable engineer that configures objects found on the Pikmin Planet for the crew to use on their quest for food. He has a blue tuft of hair and wears a spacesuit with blue highlights. Like the other two members of his team, he is from Koppai.
Brittany is a botanist who is responsible of keeping track of the fruit found on the planet and juices produced by the crew. She is a bit dishonest and seems to care about her own safety far more than that of others, as she tends to take slightly more than her share of juice and isn't concerned at all when Charlie is lost in the wild. Brittany is also a bit of a glutton, though not quite as much as Louie. She has shoulder-length pink hair and a spacesuit with pink highlights.
Charlie is the captain of the Koppaite trio. He is brawny with dark-brown hair in a buzz-cut. Though acting tough, he is caught quite off-guard by the Pikmin on the foreign planet. He tries his best to appear as a good leader, but nonetheless the crew members all have equal say in decision-making. His suit has green highlights and also bears a five-point star, which presumably denotes his superior rank. He also has a rubber ducky that he is very fond of. In the European version of the game, he appears to be very fond of Brittany, but in the American version, he instead has a massive ego.