How To Take A Pokémon GO Snapshot

December 6, 2021: Reconfirmed the method and added links to other Pokémon GO articles.

Knowing how to take a Pokémon GO Snapshot is an essential skill. Not only are in-game photos great for meeting new friends on social media, but they're also the key to getting a bunch of handy rewards, with more and more Pokémon GO events asking players to endure another Pokémon GO snapshot photobomb.

Whether a specific type of Pokémon in the wild, your buddy, or a combination of random creatures and NPCs, you'll often be asked to take photos in this AR game. And if you're not sure how to do it, we're going to walk you through the process down below.

Before we get started, do consider loading up a bunch of our Pokémon GO guides. The game is always getting new events and mechanics, and we're constantly keeping tabs on the very best Pokémon for its raids and growing competitive scene. Last month it was Giovanni and the Team GO Rocket leaders, and right now it's the Season of Heritage event.

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An infographic showing how to take a Pokémon GO Snapshot.
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How Do I Take a Pokémon GO Snapshot?

  • Open your Pokémon collection
  • Select the Pokémon you'd like to snapshot
  • Tap the camera icon to the right of their model
  • Give the app permission to use your camera if you haven't already
  • Point the camera at a flat area with plenty of light and scan it until tall leaves or tall grass appear on-screen
  • Tap the spot to throw your Pokéball, spawning the Pokémon in the chosen spot
  • Frame your snapshot
  • Tap the Camera icon at the bottom of the screen to take the Pokémon GO snapshot
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Look at the #GoSnapshot hashtag on Twitter or Instagram and you'll see a never-ending stream of cute and creative Pokémon GO snapshots. Thanks to the depth sensors in today's smartphone cameras and Pokémon GO's cool AR tech, it's possible to drop your favourite Pokémon in the world and take a picture as if you were riding, holding, or feeding the Pokémon yourself.

To do so, all you need to do is open up your Pokémon collection (The PokéDex won't work), tap the Pokémon you want to pose with, then tap the camera icon to the right of their 3D model. Assuming you've given the app permission to use your camera, you'll just then need to scan the area around you. Select a spot to spawn the Pokémon, position yourself for the perfect shot, then tap the camera icon at the bottom to take the shot.

Once you back out of the menu using the button at the top-left, you'll be presented with every Pokémon GO snapshot you took during the session. Save them to your phone for safekeeping, or upload them from the app directly by swiping to the very end of the reel.

A screenshot showing the Pokémon GO snapshot feature on a wild Pokémon.
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How Do I Take a Pokémon GO Snapshot of a Wild Pokémon?

  • Encounter a wild Pokémon
  • Tap the AR toggle in the top-right corner
  • Line up your shot (don't get too close)
  • Tap the camera icon at the top of the screen
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Spotted a shiny Pokémon out in the wild and want to get a Pokémon GO snapshot for your collection? If you want something more personal than a flat screen, all you need to do is tap the AR switch found at the top-right of the screen during a wild encounter. Scan a spot of land with your camera, tap the tall grass to spawn the Pokémon, line up your shot, and tap the camera icon at the top.

How Do I Take a Pokémon GO Snapshot for a Task?

If a task from a PokéStop, event, or another in-game activity asks you to take a Pokémon GO Snapshot, take note of exactly what it wants from you. Some request you take a photo of a specific type of Pokémon (like a Fire or Water-type), whereas others may ask for a specific species like Grimer.

In the case of a type-specific one, this is typically exclusive to wild Pokémon, making it almost as difficult as type-specific "catch" challenges. The upside to these is that you can take multiple rapid-fire Pokémon GO snapshots once you've found the right Pokémon. You're not limited to taking one snapshot of each.

An infographic showing how to use the Pokémon GO snapshot feature to take a photo of a Buddy Pokémon.
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How To Take a Pokémon GO Snapshot of a Buddy

Some in-game tasks will ask you to take a Pokémon GO Snapshot of your current Buddy Pokémon. You can't do this by selecting the Pokémon in your collection menu and going from there. Instead, tap into your player profile, tap your buddy Pokémon by your character avatar, then hit the 'play' button on the resulting menu. From this point, you should be able to follow the same steps as any other method to take a Pokémon GO snapshot of a Buddy Pokémon.

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How Do I Get a Pokémon GO Snapshot Photobomb?

During certain events, any Pokémon GO Snapshot you take may be intercepted by another character once you press the snapshot button. Smeagle was a good early example of this, but from Professor Willow to Goh from the anime, Pokémon GO photobombs have been a popular time-limited feature for a while.

To get a Pokémon GO snapshot photobomb, all you need is a tiny bit of luck. Just take a snapshot of a wild Pokémon, your buddy, or a random one from your collection, and there's a good chance a photobomb will occur.

An infographic showing how to use the Pokémon GO group snapshot feature.
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How Do I Take a Group Pokémon GO Snapshot?

  • Tap your player icon
  • Tap your Buddy Pokémon
  • Tap the icon that shows three people above a camera next to the Play button
  • Create a Group QR code to host the session or select 'Scan a Group QR Code' to join a nearby player's session
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Recent advances in AR technology have allowed from Group Pokémon GO Snapshot functionality. This allows a bunch of players to join the same Pokémon GO snapshot session, dropping multiple Pokémon into the scene for an interactive photo.

Why Can't I Take a Pokémon GO Snapshot?

  • Your device doesn't support the feature
  • The lighting isn't good enough to detect a space for a Pokémon
  • Your device storage is full
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The only step that may trip you up in this process is when it comes to spawning a Pokémon in the real world. Without a good amount of light or enough space, the leaves and tall grass effect needed to spawn a Pokémon may not show up. If that's happening, try to move to a more open area with more sunlight. A cramped bedroom with the curtains drawn won't always work.

It's true that there are a lot of ways to take a Pokémon GO snapshot, but hopefully the breakdown above will make things that little bit clearer for you. Though it started out relatively lacklustre, the snapshot feature has grown into one of the game's best aspects. It can truly help you feel as if Pokémon are living with and around you, and with enough artistic direction, you'll be taking memorable shots in no time.