New Pokemon Snap: How To Unlock All Locations | Completion Guide

Want to explore everything New Pokemon Snap has to offer? Then you’re going to want to rush through the story and unlock every area on the islands. There are 12+ unique locations to explore, with special alternate versions and hidden paths to uncover. It isn’t always obvious how to progress in the story — and there’s one particular event that many players are going to struggle with. If you need to know how to unlock all the areas, we’ve got a complete list of progression requirements below.

And once you unlock all the areas, you’re free to spend more time snapping pics of Pokemon. This isn’t really a game about making progress — this is a game you’re meant to spend time with and enjoy. It’s a chill hike through some Pokemon-infested nature. Progressing will also give you more tools to get the best snaps possible. Reaching the final islands will unlock the Turbo function on your vehicle, allowing you to speed up and skip straight to the action. There’s a lot more to uncover, and the game is less linear than you might think.


More New Pokemon Snap guides:

How To Get 1, 2, 3 & 4 Star Photos | Beginner’s 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


Progression Guide | How To Unlock All Areas

To progress in the game, you don’t need to earn points and level up areas too much — if you want to quickly unlock all the different areas, follow this basic pattern.

  • Play the (Day) stage twice — or reach Research Level 2. It should take about two runs to hit Research Level 2 for almost any stage.
    • In the (Night) stage, you may need to take a picture of a glowing Illumina Bulb. Do it — that’s the only picture you’re required to take.
  • On some stages / routes, you’ll also unlock Illumina Spots. Play through these once and take plenty of pictures to progress.
    • Once you unlock the Illumina Orb for a region, make sure to replay the route once.

This only works when completing the maps in the order they’ve unlocked. If nothing is progressing after playing a map twice, you may need to play any of the other maps you’ve unlocked — for me, I didn’t need to play the extra maps more than once to unlock additional routes.


Starting Path – The First Illumina Spot, And Unlocking All Four Islands

  • Florio Nature Park (Day) – Complete 2 runs.
  • Florio Nature Park (Night) – Take a photo of the glowing Illumina Bulb.
  • Florio Illumina Spot – Complete 1 run.
  • Founja Jungle (Day) – Complete 1 run.
  • Founja Jungle (Night) – Complete 1 run.
  • Sweltering Sands (Day) – Complete 1 run.
  • Blushing Beach (Day) – Reach Research Level 2.
    • Unlocks Maricopa Reef (Day)

NOTE: The following three paths can be completed in any order.


Branching Path #1 – To Elsewhere Forest Illumina Spot

  • Sweltering Sands (Night) – Take a photo of the glowing crystabloom on the right, before sliding down the sand near the end. Replay Sweltering Sands with the Illumina Orb unlocked.
    • Unlocks Fireflow Volcano.
  • Elsewhere Forest – Reach Research Level 2.
  • Elsewhere Forest Illumina Spot – Complete 1 run. Get a good picture by throwing an apple at Milotic to make it emerge.
    • Unlocks Research Camp. (Unlocks a new Research Camp route if the Research Camp is already unlocked.)

Branching Path #2 – To Lental Seafloor Illumina Spot

  • Maricopa Reef (Day) – Reach Research Level 2.
  • Lental Seafloor – Take a snap of the crystabloom near the beginning. When you reach the field of seaweed, throw a fluffruit to wake up the Pokemon blocking the glowing crystabloom on the right. Use scan to find its location.
    • To unlock the Lental Seafloor Illumina Spot, reach Research Level 2 and then throw an Illumina Orb at a Clawitzer to your front-left, right at the start of the level. It will move forward — throw another Illumina Orb and it will blast open the rock cave to your left before reaching the seaweeds. Follow this optional path!
  • Lental Seafloor Illumina Spot – Complete 1 run. Throw Illumina Orbs at the Wishi-Washi so they change to their School Form — then you can get good snaps of the Illumina Pokemon.
    • Unlocks Research Camp. (Unlocks a new Research Camp route if the Research Camp is already unlocked.)

Branching Path #4 – To Fireflow Volcano Illumina Spot

  • Fireflow Volcano – Reach Research Level 2. Replay Fireflow Volcano to find the ruins entrance.
  • Fireflow Volcano Illumina Spot – Complete 1 run. Throw fluffruit to extinguish the flames and use Illumina Orbs for a good snap.
    • Unlocks Research Camp. (Unlocks a new Research Camp route if the Research Camp is already unlocked.)

Fifth Island Path – To The Caves Illumina Spot

NOTE: Complete all four Illumina Spots to reveal the final island.

  • Shiver Snowfields (Day): Reach Research Level 2.
  • Shiver Snowfields (Night): Take a picture of a glowing crystabloom — you’ll find it up the steep hill, and down below the cracks in the ground.
    • Complete 1 run of the Shiver Snowfields (Night) with Illumina Orbs to unlock the next level.
    • This unlocks the Outaway Cave and Blushing Beach (Night).
  • Outaway Cave: Reach Research Level 2.
    • Replay Outaway Cave after reaching Research Level 2 to find an alternate route.
  • Outaway Cave Illumina Spot: Complete 1 run.
    • To complete a run, throw fluffruit at the Scan spots, then throw multiple Illumina Orbs until Steelix is glowing. When patterns appear on it, you’ll be able to take a proper picture. Picture of a non-Illumina Steelix don’t count.

Ending Path | Ruins of Remembrance Illumina Spot

  • Ruins of Remembrance: Take a photo of a glowing crystabloom. Also, take a picture of the Ancient Ruins near the beginning, and the strange ruins underground — both spots are marked with the Scan. To unlock the Ruins of Remembrance, you need to light all the crystablooms in the Ruins of Remembrance.
    • Before entering the ruin, find the crystabloom on the canyon wall to the right of the hole. Completing this challenge unlocks the Illumina Orbs.
    • After unlocking the gold Illumina Orb, return to the Ruins and replay it — lighting all the crystablooms in the underground ruins.
  • Ruins of Remembrance Illumina Spot: Complete 1 run. You need to take snaps of Xerneas in its Illumina Form.

For completing the game, you’ll unlock Burst Mode for your camera, Course Scores for Online Ranking, and the Maricopia Reef (Evening) area! Also, you may be able to find more Legendary and Mythical Pokemon if you look carefully.