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New Pokémon Snap beginner’s guide, tips, and tricks

Become a Pokémon photography professional with these tips

A Quagsire sits peacefully by some waterfalls Image: Bandai Namco/The Pokémon Company, Nintendo via Polygon
Julia Lee (she/her) is a guides producer, writing guides for games like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Genshin Impact. She helped launch the Rift Herald in 2016.

New Pokémon Snap is about more than just riding around in a buggy and taking photos of Pokémon. You also need good timing, creativity that convinces Pokémon to perform unique actions, and an eye for taking the best photos.

After you arrive in the Lental region, you’ll be helping out Professor Mirror discover the mystery behind Illumina Pokémon — huge, glowing Pokémon linked to an ancient mystery. Using your handy dandy camera and the Neo-One transporter, you must photograph the wildlife in the region and figure out what’s going on.

In our New Pokémon Snap beginner’s guide, we’ll help you get started with tips about taking photos of rare moments and using your tools to get the perfect shot.

Take tons of photos

You can take 72 pictures per expedition, so you might as well use that film. The more photos of different Pokémon you take, the more experience you’ll get, which will unlock more routes and different Pokémon.

Don’t worry about perfect shot (at first)

A Sharpedo charges through the water in front of a colorful reef Image: Bandai Namco/The Pokémon Company, Nintendo via Polygon

Given how fast some Pokémon move, prioritize taking any photo, not the perfect photo. Especially with flying Pokémon, take whatever you can get. Worry about getting the clean, zoomed-in shot on later.

Take pictures, even if you’re moving your camera

A Croagunk puffs out its cheeks, croaking without a care in the world Image: Bandai Namco/The Pokémon Company, Nintendo via Polygon

Unlike real-life cameras, the New Pokémon Snap camera won’t take blurry photos if you’re moving around mid-snap. Feel free to pan your camera around quickly and take photos as you do.

Use the D-pad to quickly look around

Rather than rotating slowly, you can hit the D-pad buttons to quickly move your view around. This is great for doing an immediate 180 to see what’s behind you, since Pokémon are always moving in Snap.

Fuss with your camera’s speed settings

You can change the speed of your reticle and the camera movement, so if you’re missing out on key moments because you’re too slow, crank that speed up. Conversely, if it’s too fast and it’s making your pictures come out less desirable, slow it down. We ended up increasing the camera and pointer speed fro, 3 to 6.

Stars favor moments and photo quality

You’ll get more stars for capturing rare moments and unique poses. A photo of a Pikachu just standing around may be worth one star, but a photo of a Pikachu eating or jumping will be worth more.

Star quality ranges from bronze to diamond, depending on how good shots are. Is the Pokémon centered? Are you zoomed in a lot, so the Pokémon is clear? While pose does contribute to the score, the other factors are much more important for star quality.

Use all of your tools frequently

If can’t find new poses or Pokémon, throw the glowing Illumina Orbs and delicious Fluffruit at everything. Scan constantly to find new, hidden Pokémon or alternate routes. Play music from your camera whenever you can.

Even when you don’t expect it, using all of your tools can convince Pokémon to act differently, so they’re always worth a try. There’s no limit to how many times you can perform non-photo actions, so there’s no harm in spamming them.

The next level of puzzles.

Take a break from your day by playing a puzzle or two! We’ve got SpellTower, Typeshift, crosswords, and more.