New Pokémon Snap’s Point System & Diamond Star Requirements Explained


The new star-ranking system in New Pokémon Snap is a bit complicated, but rewards players for taking close up photos of their favorite Pokémon.

Since its launch on April 30th, 2021, New Pokémon Snap has taken the internet by storm. With tons of new features and breathtaking visuals, this latest title in the Pokémon franchise has been selling out in stores around the world. Some of the new features have players stumped, however, with a less-than-clear ranking system. New Pokémon Snap introduces the star-rating system, which ranks how interesting the photographed action is, meaning if the Pokémon being photographed is just standing there, the picture will receive a 1-star rating, even if it’s a perfect photo.

Following the same model as the original, New Pokémon Snap takes the player on a guided tour of the Lental region, which is comprised of six different islands. Players take on the role of research photographer and are asked to capture photos of wild Pokémon, photos that will then be scored by Professor Mirror, the head researcher. Each island is broken down in to different stages, with individual courses at each stage. At the end of each New Pokémon Snap course, photos that were gathered are rated, and those ratings help in leveling up the course itself. All the points given to each photo are totaled up and this is put toward the player’s Research Level.

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Related: Is New Pokémon Snap Worth It?

Research Levels affect all sorts of things in New Pokémon Snap, the most obvious one being which stages the player has access to. But as the stages and courses are leveled up, the Pokémon on each course will begin to act differently, and on some courses entirely new Pokémon will appear. Course leveling is an important part of the game, as certain photos will only be attainable once the player has gained enough points. Photos in New Pokémon Snap are given a star rating ranging from 1 to 4, and each star rating has a color ranking to go with it, from Bronze to Diamond. Because stars are based on action and not on quality, it’s important to level each course so that certain Pokémon actions are unlocked.

New Pokémon Snap Introduces Diamond Stars to Denotate Quality

Wailmer screaming at Octillary in New Pokémon Snap


In New Pokémon Snap, the quality of a photo is broken down into six different categories: Pose, Size, Direction, Placement, Other Pokémon, and Background. Each criteria has a max score, though the max score for each one is different. For example, the highest score a photo can receive in the Size category is 2,000, but for Direction and Placement the highest is 1,000. In order to achieve a Diamond Star rating for a photo, whether it be a 1-star or 4, the player must score over 4,000 points totaled from the aforementioned categories. The other star ratings are given based on the following points:

  • Bronze Stars: Less than 2,500 points
  • Silver Stars: 2,500-3,500 points
  • Gold Stars: 3,500-4,000 points.

Unfortunately, the categories that dictate the color of a star are quite finicky. Particularly, the Pose ranking seems to be a bit ambiguous, as two photos taken seconds apart can receive different pose scores if the subject is in the middle of changing positions. Both Direction and Placement have more to do with centering a New Pokémon Snap shot than with taking a good photo. A perfect Placement score will be given if the Pokémon is directly in the middle of the photo, and a perfect Direction score if their face is pointed directly at the camera.

As players fill up their Photodex, they are asked to capture four different photos of each Pokémon, each with a different star rating. New Pokémon Snap players that are struggling with achieving that 4-star rating needn’t worry too much, as the 1 and 2-star photos are just as important to progressing the game.

Next: How To Find Legendary Celebi In Pokémon Snap

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Updated: May 4, 2021 — 8:07 pm

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