Pokémon Go April Fool's photobomb: How to get Ash Pikachu and Smeargle using Pokémon Go's new Snapshot mode
Pokémon Go's Smeargle has proven to be one of the game's most elusive creatures.
Smeargle has been conspicuously absent from the Gen 2 line-up for around two years, until the arrival of the game's Snapshot feature.
As a result, the steps for how to get Smeargle in Pokémon Go are among the most unique in the game - and requires a dose of luck before it can appear.
And, for a limited time only, there is the chance to get an Ash Pikachu photobomb for April Fool's too.
How Pokémon Go's April Fool's photobomb feature with Ash Pikachu works
Developer Niantic is doing something different for April Fool's this year - whereas 2018 offered sprites from the main games as part of the Pokédex, this year makes use of the recently-added Snapshot feature with more photobombing participants.
Previously the domain for Smeragle, for April 1st only you can be photobombed by two possible other characters - Ash Pikachu and Ash himself.
Here's how it works:
That's about it - it's assumed Ash Pikachu and Ash will only appear on April 1st, so make sure you try it out while you can. There is, the possibility April 2nd will give you another opportunity, so be sure to try again.
If you miss out though, then don't worry - Ash Pikachu has appeared in previous events and will almost certainly do so again, and the likelihood of you encountering a shiny version is incredibly rare anyway.
How to get Smeargle in Pokémon Go in brief
Catching Smeargle centres around the Snapshot feature, and in brief, involves the following steps:
That's essentially it - keep using the Snapshot feature until Smeargle appears. There is a little more nuance to it, though, which we'll explain now.
How to open the Pokémon Go Snapshot feature and get Smeargle
First, you need to take pictures with Pokémon Go's Snapshot feature. This allows you to place any of your caught Pokémon in the real world using your camera.
There are two ways to access this mode. One is in your item inventory - scroll down to the Camera, then select it, followed by a Pokémon of your choice. Alternatively, enter your Pokémon box and select the Camera icon in the upper right corner.
Your camera will then be active, and you'll presented with a view of in front of your phone with the Pokémon laid over the top. Position the Pokémon however you like in the world - it doesn't have to line up with anything - and snap away.
If you have AR+ on your phone, then turning that off will make it more likely Smeargle will appear.
When you've taken enough, exit the mode with the door icon in the upper left corner.
This will present you with the photos you have just taken. It's at this stage that Smeargle can appear.
If it does, it'll appear in the bottom corner, as if photobombing the scene, and the game will pause to highlight its presence. Now when you back out of the mode, Smeargle will appear in the wild. Tap it, then catch it like any other creature.
If Smeargle does not appear, then you must reopen the Snapshot mode and try again until it does.
To our knowledge the Pokémon you use and the amount of photos you take doesn't influence when Smeargle will appear, so take as many or as few photos at a time before backing out of the mode and cycling through your snaps.
How many photos does it take to get Smeargle in Pokémon Go?
Based on early impressions, the amount of attempts it takes to get Smeargle in Pokémon Go varies widely.
For us, it's ranged between 30 photos across 10 attempts for Smeargle to appear, the very first attempt for a lucky member of the Eurogamer team, and after hundreds of photos taken, not a single appearance for another.
This appears to line up with a lot of other players' experiences too. The key is to simply keep trying - and if Smeargle isn't showing up, take a break and try again later.
Remember since you can catch more than one Smeargle, there's no rush at all. If it takes took long, considering using the Snapshot mode casually until Smeargle appears. It will show eventually!
Other things you should know about Smeargle in Pokémon Go
There are a few other non-essential things to know about getting Smeargle in Pokémon Go, too: