At the end of each expedition on New Pokémon Snap, you submit what you believe to be your best picks to the judgement of Professor Mirror.
While the presence of star grades and points are evident from the get-go, they’re not overly well explained, and it takes some time to work out what the Professor is after in your snaps.
In this New Pokémon Snap guide, we’re running through explain how stars and points work as well as offering some examples and advice to help you get each star grade and maximum point scores.
How the star grades work in New Pokémon Snap
Whenever you take a photo of a Pokémon and select it for the approval of Professor Mirror, it’ll be given two separate scores: a star grade and a points score.
The star grade is entirely dependent on the activity of the Pokémon, with more unusual behaviours rewarding more stars. Stars dictate which of the four Photodéx slots your new picture can go into.
This can even mean that the photo of the Pokémon can be very obscured, provided that the game recognises that it’s been snapped while the Pokémon is performing a rarer behaviour.
How to get one, two, three, and four-star photos in New Pokémon Snap
Each Pokémon has a different set of behaviours that fall under the categories of one-star, two-star, three-star, and four-star behaviours.
After going on an expedition, you’ll be able to see all of your photos for each Pokémon, with the snaps also showing their star rating before you submit them to Professor Mirror.
As shown below, you can use the L and R buttons to organise your photos by their star rating to help you pick which one that you want in the Photodéx.
On one expedition, we grabbed one of each for Tyranitar to use as an example of what each star grade can require.
For this one-star image of a Tyranitar, the Pokémon is simply standing around and not doing anything particularly interesting. This is how you can get a one-star image of most Pokémon.
The two-star pictures of Tyranitar revolve around throwing it a Fluffruit and snapping it interacting or eating the food. Many two-star pictures can be snapped this way, but some Pokémon offer a two-star reaction to your Scan instead.
Tyranitar gets agitated when you throw Fluffruit directly at it, causing it to roar, which snaps as a three-star picture. Three-star snaps are far more unique to each Pokémon than one or two-star behaviours.
Finally, the epitome of Tyranitar photos in New Pokémon Snap comes by way of watching it perform an attack. Here, the four-star picture was taken when a Midnight Form Lycanroc approached after the Tyranitar was angered.
For other Pokémon, this structure of one to four-star behaviours won’t be the same, and sometimes an environmental event can result in a four-star photo. For example, we spotted a Skorupi up in a tornado to grab its four-star snap.
Still, it’s always good to test your Scan, throw Illumina Orbs into nearby Crystabloom, throw a Fluffruit down for Pokémon to eat, throw Fluffruit at Pokémon, and see if the Melody gets a reaction.
How the points scoring works in New Pokémon Snap
The second way in which Professor Mirror will judge your photos is through a point system. Point scores aren’t influenced by star scores or vice versa.
Six categories determine how many points you get for your photo, with the final points tally adding to your area experience to help you level-up and unlock new Pokémon, behaviours, and areas.
Points matter for your progression in New Pokémon Snap, but they are also logged into your Photodéx with each tier. The number of points that you get changes your star grade’s colour, as follows:
- Bronze Stars: 2,499 points or less
- Silver Stars: From 2,500 to 3,499 points
- Gold Stars: From 3,500 to 3,999 points
- Platinum Stars: 4,000 points or more
How to get maximum points for each category in New Pokémon Snap
Below, you’ll find each of the points categories, an example of what we’ve snapped as our highest score in each so far, and what we think is the ceiling for each.
Pose comes down to snapping the Pokémon at the right moment, with it preferably being in the middle of an activity or emotional state. While points don’t influence stars, a good star grade tends to result in a good Pose score. Our highest score here has been 1,995 so far, so it’d make sense for the ceiling to be 2,000 points.
Size relates to how much of your photo’s space is taken up by the Pokémon. This doesn’t mean that you need to zoom-in up close, just that far away shots are worth less than those full-body shots that fill more of the image. This is, by far, the most significant influence on your final points total. Several of our snaps hit the 2,000 points mark, which appears to be the maximum.
Direction is scored on where the Pokémon is looking, with more points going to photos that feature a Pokémon that’s looking at you. Many of our snaps were given a 1,000 points score, so this is likely the maximum points for the Direction category.
Placement is all about getting the Pokémon in the middle of the frame. To help with this, try to avoid using the cursor controls and instead only move the camera so that the aim is always central to the snap.
Above is another example of a shot that ended up getting 1,000 points for placement, showing how you have to position the middle of your camera’s aim within the Pokémon’s target square. Usually, doing this will result in Phil popping up to say that it was a good shot. We believe the cap here is 1,000 points, but only one of our snaps have reached this high, well-rounded score.
Other Pokémon grants a bonus for there being more than one Pokémon in the image. We found that Pokémon interacting with each other is the main driver of these points. As our highest has been 814, perhaps the ceiling is closer to 1,000 points.
Background gifts some points if certain backgrounds are present in your photo. Our highest score here is 450, so we assume that the points cap is around 500 points.
So, as you can see, Pose and Size are by far the most important aspects if you want to submit a high-scoring photo. Direction and Placement are the next most important, with Other Pokémon and Background being more circumstantial bonuses rather than targets.
Now that you know how the star grades and point-scoring works, what each colour of star grade means, and a good idea of how to hit those high scores, venture back into the Lental region and snap some more Pokémon!
New Pokémon Snap FAQ
Here are some quick answers to a few of the more common questions about points and star grades in New Pokémon Snap.
What are the maximum points that you can get in New Pokémon Snap?
Based on the evidence above, the maximum points that you can get are:
- Pose: 2,000
- Size: 2,000
- Direction: 1,000
- Placement: 1,000
- Other Pokémon: 1,000
- Background: 500
These are estimated values based on what we’ve found in New Pokémon Snap so far.
How can I take better photos in New Pokémon Snap?
Here are some tips for taking better photos in New Pokémon Snap:
- Use a controls set that has the Take Photo and Zoom buttons on the bumpers;
- Be trigger-happy when you spot a rare Pokémon: it’s better to take too many photos than too few;
- Zooming in and facing out of the back of the NEO-ONE slows down the journey;
How do the star colours work in New Pokémon Snap?
You’ll get a better star colour if you get more points for your snap. See above for more information about the star grade colour brackets.