New Pokemon Snap ranks each photo in four different categories. The best and most valuable photos are always 4 Star, but if you want to complete your Photo Album, you’ll want to get photos of each Pokemon in all four star categories — ranging from 1 to 4. If you’re confused on how the categories system works, we’re going to break it down and explain how to earn each type of star ranking. Earning a Star Rank is different for each Pokemon, but it’s also basically the same for the entire Pokedex.

New Pokemon Snap is just like the original N64 classic — you’ll ride on a track through a nature environment, snapping pictures of Pokemon on your route. There are all-new ways to interact with Pokemon here, including throwing apples for them to eat, playing music, or sending out an electronic pulse to get their attention. You’ll have to experiment with all of these methods to (eventually) find all the different poses for each Pokemon. Some poses fall into the same category, and some may only be available after unlocking new Research Levels in an area. There are three Research Levels, so if you’re unable to get those 4 Star snaps, you may want to wait until you’ve unlocked the highest Research Level for a location.

More New Pokemon Snap guides:

How To Unlock All Locations | Completion Guide | Florio Nature Park (Day) | All Requests | Florio Nature Park (Night) | All Requests | How To Unlock The Lental Seafloor Illumina Spot | How To Unlock All Optional Routes | Where To Find All Legendary & Mythical Pokemon | How To Enter All Areas Of Elsewhere Forest | All Illumina Orb Locations

How To Get 1, 2, 3 & 4 Star Snaps | The Basics

All photos (snaps) you take of Pokemon are separated into one of four categories — 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 Stars. Pictures are saved for each Star Category and ranked individually. You can get silver / gold / platinum snaps for reach Star. The higher the Star Category, the higher the point value. To get the best possible pictures, you’ll want to keep an eye out for those super-rare 4-Star Snaps.

To complete your Photo Album, each Pokemon has a slot for all four Star Categories — so you’ll want to get simple pictures, action shots, and everything else you can. If you choose [Auto-Select] at the end of a research run, Dr. Mirror will always prioritize taking new shots for your Pokedex — he won’t necessarily pick the best, but he will always pick the best possible snap that also fills an empty spot in your Photo Album.

NOTE: You DON’T have to save a snap of a request to complete that request. If you already have a higher-rated 4 Star snap, don’t sweat it. You don’t have to overwrite your previous snap — the request will still be counted as complete.

Requests are a new feature in New Pokemon Snap. These clues will always lead you to a 4-Star Snap, so try to complete them to get the rarest Pokemon pics.

How To Get Different Star Rankings | The Breakdown

1-Star: Common pictures. Any snap of a Pokemon performing its most common behavior is a 1-Star snap. This means either standing still, milling around on the ground, or just doing nothing of particular interest. These are the easiest snaps to get, and usually don’t involve any unique interactions.

2-Star: Uncommon pictures. 2-Star snaps can be earned by Pokemon reacting to you, or performing a special interaction — you’ll commonly earn these by throwing apples, using your scan pulse to get their attention, or playing music. You can use apples to both anger or feed Pokemon, and an eating Pokemon (or an angry Pokemon) will almost always be a 2-Star snap. Performing a scan pulse and snapping a Pokemon’s reaction will also get you 2-Stars.

3-Star: Rare pictures. 3-Star snaps can be achieved in a variety of different ways — you’ll have to capture rare interactions, or use Illumina Orbs to capture unique Pokemon poses. Try throwing apples to generate unique Pokemon reactions — if Pokemon interact with one another, that’s almost always a 3-Star snap. Using Illumina Orbs, you can wake up Pokemon, make them aggressive, or make them especially friendly. Music will also sometimes get you a special 3-Star snap if you capture Pokemon dancing.

While exploring an environment, use Scan often to find unique Points-of-Interest. These will usually give you a clue for finding a 3-Star or 4-Star Snap. Often, drawing out hiding Pokemon with an apple, scan, or Illumina Orb will score you a 3-Star snap.

4-Star: Legendary pictures. The rarest of the rare Snaps. There is no set method for getting 4-Star pictures. They’re all different — some are just rare interactions you’ll need to watch out for, while others require lots of interaction from you. Sometimes you’ll need to catch a Pokemon snoring, or a Magikarp performing a huge jump out of the water, or a Pokemon falling out of a tree. You’ll have to try all your items — and be extra watchful.

The easiest way to find 4-Star snaps is through Requests. Each Request gives you a clue for a specific Pokemon. If you solve the mini-puzzle, you’ll always get a 4-Star snap. Sometimes it really is as simple as just watching — you may also need to unlock Research Level 3 before 4-Star snap poses / interactions become possible.

To get the rarest snaps, you’ll also want to look out for alternate routes. Use Illumina Orbs on the different dormant colored bulbs in each area. When they light up, they may reveal Pokemon tracks — scanning these tracks will unlock alternate paths through a level that you can use over-and-over once unlocked. These alternate paths give you unique access to different types of Pokemon — if you want the best shots (of certain Pokemon) you’ll need to find and unlock all of these alternate routes!

That covers the basics of how to get all four snap categories. Getting 1-3 Star snaps is a breeze once you get the hang of it. The tricky part is finding those super-rare 4-Star snaps... even with clues, it isn’t easy. We’ll talk more about how to get all the 4-Star snaps soon.