New Pokemon Snap Guide for Beginners

Last Update: May 3, 2021 6:27 AM /


New Pokemon Snap Guide

New Pokemon Snap is now out and those hungry for a new Pokemon photo adventure since the Nintendo 64's Pokemon Snap. In this new game the basic premise is the same but there's also a fair bit that has been expanded upon. In this New Pokemon Snap Guide for Beginners, we'll go over some key questions you might have setting out on your new adventure as well as some tips on how to get the best photos.


New Pokemon Snap Guide for Beginners — What items do you get through the game?

Name: Research Camera

Description: What kind of photographer would you be without your camera? You cna also use your camera to scan the environment, this will show nearby Pokemon and point out anything suspicious. There will be a blue circle icon at the bottom of your screen when there’s something to scan for so keep an eye out! The scan will also cause Pokemon to react and look at you, this is better for the Pose criteria of taking photos.

How to unlock: Start of the game


Name: Flufffruit

Description: This is a fruit that most Pokemon enjoy eating. Feeding Pokemon can make them happy, some performing special actions. The biggest benefit of Flufffruit is that you can use it to lead pokemon around. If you want a better photo but those three Pokemon are standing just a bit too far apart then you can lay Flufffruit on a trail to bring them together. Capturing multiple Pokemon of the same species together in a single image is a great way to earn some bonus points

How to unlock: Earned after completing Florio Nature Park Illumina Spot


Name: Illumina Orb

Description: This orb can be thrown at pokemon and can trigger a number of effects. The base effect is that the Pokemon will begin glowing. This is an easy way to spice up some of the photos that you’ll be taking along your journey.
The Illumina Orb will also trigger a number of effects for the pokemon that can be as small as them performing a special action, or changing attack colors, or can be used to unlock new pathways through levels giving you access to more and more Pokemon to see. The Illumina Orb is also instrumental in finding all of the Legendary Pokemon that New Pokemon Snap has to offer.

Each island has a different power flowing through it, represented by a different color, so you'll earn Illumina Orbs through the campaign that work on different islands.

How to Obtain:

Blue and Yellow Illumina Orbs: Earned after completing Founja Jungle Night and capturing an image of the Crystabloom

Green Illumina Orbs: Earned after completing Sweltering Sands Night and capturing an image of the Crystabloom

Pink Illumina Orbs: Take a photo of the hidden glowing Frillish in Lental Seafloor

Purple Illumina Orbs: Earned after completing Shivering Snowfields Night and capturing an image of the Crystabloom

Gold Illumina Orbs: Take a photo of the hidden glowing Crystabloom at the start of the Ruins of Remembrance stage


Name: Melody Player

Description: This item plays a happy tune that Pokemon enjoy listening to. While not all Pokemon will react to it there is a lot that will smile, perform different animations, or just start dancing. The Melody Player is also required to get access to some Legendary Pokemon.

How to Obtain: Achieve Research Level 2 of Founja Jungle (Night)


Name: Turbo

Description: This upgrade to the NEO-ONE will allow you to speed up when out taking photos. There are a variety of good uses for this including skipping to sections with pokemon you know you need to take photos of, or getting a better angle on a pokemon you're trying to take a photo of.

How to Obtain: Complete the Lental Seafloor Illumina Spot


Name: Burst Mode

Description: Did you ever think the shutter of your camera was just too slow? This is a toggleable setting that will now appear in-game that lets you just hold down the capture button and take as many photos as you want in a row. Keep in mind that this doesn't change how many photos you can take per course but it will mean you can spend more time getting the perfect shot.

How to Obtain: Complete the game


New Pokemon Snap Guide for Beginners — What are photos scored on?

After each session on a New Pokemon Snap level you’ll return to the research camp to have your photos checked out by Professor Mirror. Sort through your photos selecting one for each unique Pokemon you took a photo of. You might have taken 4 photos of Charmander and 2 of Ho-Oh, but you’ll need to pick which one looks best to present to the professor.

New Pokemon Snap Selecting Photos

After your images have been selected the Professor will rate your Pokemon Picture first for how many stars the photo is, and then on a number of criteria.

Star System

From 1-4 stars this will rate how unique the Pokemons action is. A photo of a Pokemon standing still will only earn you one star, while a Pokemon attacking, performing an animation or attack, or glowing will earn you more stars. This star rating does not affect the score it receives though.

You can still only pick one Pokemon photo per rating session. If you have taken four photos of Dodrio and three of them are 1-star and one is a 2-star you have to still pick ONLY ONE to submit. You can lot at the folder tabs at the top of the screen when selecting to filter by star numbers.

The Scoring Criteria are as follows:

  • Pose - Take a photo of a Pokemon when they’re waving at you or performing another animation. The better the timing in the pose the higher the score.
  • Size - How big is the Pokemon in your frame? Be careful though, if the Pokemon is too close and is cut out of view that could mean lower points
  • Direction - Is the Pokemon facing towards you?
  • Placement - Is the Pokemon in the center of your frame?
  • Other Pokemon - Are there other Pokemon in your photo (Hint: Flufffruit can help)
  • Background - What’s happening around and behind your subject

When submitting new photos of Pokemon you have seen before your current best will be put side by side so you can see how the scoring matches up. You might not have the subject as big in your new photo, but if it’s using an attack then you might have enough points for it to be a better photo.

Unlike Pokemon Snap where you could only keep a single photo of each Pokemon in New Pokemon Snap you store a photo for each star level of a Pokemon you have. You can have four photos of Pikachu as long as you’ve captured a photo-worthy of each star.


New Pokemon Snap Guide for Beginners — How many levels are there in New Pokemon Snap?

There are a total of 11 levels in New Pokemon Snap. If you think that that’s a low amount then don’t worry, the levels can have multiple states you can visit them in. For example the Florio Nature Park, where you’ll set out on your first safari to has three different states you can visit it in.

New Pokemon Snap Guide
Preview paths that you'll take during stages

The list of all levels is as follows:

  1. Florio Nature Park
    • Day - Unlocked at the beginning of the game
    • Night - Unlocked after completing Florio Nature Park Day twice
    • Illumina Spot - Unlocked after completion Florio Nature Park Day once
  2. Founja Jungle
    • Day - Complete one more session after finishing the Florio Nature Park Illumina Spot
    • Night - Reach Research Lv. 2 on Founja Jungle Day
  3. Sweltering Sands
    • Day - Reach Research Lv. 2 on Founja Jungle Night
    • Night - Reach Research Lv. 2 on Sweltering Sands Day
  4. Blushing Beach
    • Day - Reach Research Lv. 2 on Founja Jungle Night
    • Night - Reach Research Lv. 2 on Shiver Snowfields Night
  5. Maricopia Reef
    • Day - Reach Research Lv. 2 on Sweltering Sands
    • Evening - Complete the game
  6. Lental Seafloor
    • Undersea - Reach Research lv. 2 on Maricopa Reef
    • Illumina Spot - Complete the alternate path in Lental Seafloor and take a photo of the ruins
  7. Fireflow Volcano
    • Volcano - Complete a level of Sweltering Sands after obtaining the Green Illumino Ball
    • Illumina Spot - Complete Fireflow Volcano at Research Lv. 2
  8. Elsewhere Forest
    • Forest - Reach Research Lv. 2 on Fireflow Volcano
    • Illumina Spot - Reach Research Lv. 3 on Elsewhere Forest
  9. Research Camp
    • First Starting Spot - Complete Fireflow Volcano Illumina Spot
    • Second Starting Spot - Complete Elsewhere Forest Illumina Spot
  10. Shivering Snowfields
    • Day - Complete the Lental Seafloor Illumina Spot
    • Night - Reach Research Lv. 2 on Shivering Snowfields Day
  11. Outaway Cave
    • Cave - Complete Shivering Snowfields Night after earning RL 2
    • Illumina Spot - Complete Outaway Cave Research Lv. 2 and take a photo of the ancient ruins
  12. Ruins of Remembrance
    • Ruins - Complete Outaway Cave Illumina Spot
    • Illumina Spot - Light all of the Crystablooms in the Ruins level and enter the beam of light


New Pokemon Snap Guide for Beginners — How many Unique Pokemon are there in New Pokemon Snap?

There are over 200 pokemon from across all generations of Pokemon. Much like how the first Pokemon Snap for Nintendo 64 only has 63 available Pokemon of the 151 known Pokemon at the time you can’t snap ‘em all but that’s ok. 

New Pokemon Snap Guide
Look on the ground, or up in trees and you're sure to find new Pokemon


Is there an online mode to New Pokemon Snap?

There is online in New Pokemon Snap, but it’s not traditional multiplayer. In New Pokemon Snap you can upload any of your photos to an online database. This will allow other players to see your photos. You can also add stickers and notes to your photo so be sure to show off to all of your friends.


New Pokemon Snap Guide for Beginners — What is your Research Level?

As you progress through the Lental region taking photos of Pokemon your earned score goes towards your Research Level for each level. There’s no real way to NOT work towards raising this level as you play the game but with more unique and special photos you’ll be able to raise it higher.

Raising your research level gives a number of bonuses including Pokemon acting differently towards you giving you more opportunities to earn points.

New Pokemon Snap Research Level
More research levels means more interesting photos for you to show off

New Pokemon Snap Guide for Beginners — What are Research Titles, filters, and more?

Research titles are earned by completing a variety of criteria like collecting more pokemon, exploring more regions, and completing optional side quests. These are items that you can apply to your profile or images that you post online. They’ll appear whenever players online are viewing your uploaded photos.

Other Tips?

New Pokemon Snap has really well done motion controls. If you’ve ever aimed your bow in Breath of the Wild or used Motion Aiming for Splatoons 2 then you know what I’m talking about. The Camera and Pointer speed are extremely slow when using your joysticks. You can speed this up though.

  1. Press +
  2. Go to Settings
  3. Go to the Camera Tab
  4. Camera Speed and Pointer Speed are set to 3 by default with a max of 10

You can use a sped up stick control speed to be able to whip around in the NEO-ONE, and then use Motion Aiming to get a more precise shot lined up

Have a tip, or want to point out something we missed? Leave a Comment or e-mail us at

Andrew Stretch Headshot
| Senior Content Manager

Andrew has written Video Game and Entertainment news, reviews, and guides for 10+ years. As Senior Content Manager, he assists in creating and editing… More about Andrew

More Info About This Game
Learn More About New Pokemon Snap
Game Page New Pokemon Snap
Nintendo Switch
Release Date
April 30, 2021 (Calendar)
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