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Pokémon Go finally adds Smeargle, who now photobombs your AR photos

The new Go Snapshot feature is your path to catching the elusive painter Pokémon

Smeargle the Pokemon stands in a carpeted room at Vox Media in a shot from Pokemon Go Niantic/The Pokémon Company via Polygon
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Smeargle, the Pokémon that’s long been missing from Pokémon Go players’ Pokedex, is now available to catch in the mobile game. To get Smeargle, you’ll need to use the game’s new Go Snapshot feature, the augmented reality camera that rolled out to Pokémon Go in February.

Getting your hands on the Johto-region Pokémon is easy, but requires a bit of luck. All you need to do is take photos of Smeargle using the Go Snapshot feature. Occasionally, Smeargle will show up in a photo you’ve taken, photobombing it by appearing in the corner of the image. (Don’t worry, though, if you’ve lined up a particularly good shot, Pokémon Go will save a Smeargle-less version of the photobombed picture in your photo library.)

Here’s what a Smeargle photobomb looks like, and the Pokémon’s subsequent appearance in the game world:

If Smeargle does pop up in one of your AR photos, once you exit the Go Snapshot camera mode, Smeargle will appear in the wild nearby just like other Pokémon. Throw a Pokéball at it and Smeargle will be yours.

It’s not clear yet how often Smeargle will appear in Go Snapshot photos. I took a dozen photos before Smeargle appeared in my game, then I took another 20 or so and had no luck.

Smeargle joins a handful of other long-awaited Pokémon that Niantic recently added to Pokémon Go: Clamperl, and its evolutions Gorebyss and Huntail.

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