There is a new Pokemon released in Pokemon Go named Smeargle, how do you catch him? He's not available in the wild.

  • Just an update - I caught him after around 600 pictures. My wife caught him on her second picture.
    – MacItaly
    Commented Mar 26, 2019 at 18:42

2 Answers 2


While TurkuSama's answer pretty much sums up how to find Smeargle, there are a few other things are worth pointing out

Finding Smeargle

  • By using the new photo feature, Smeargle has a random chance to photobomb the picture you have taken. While it is random, it was been confirmed by Niantic Support that Smeargle will only appear in the first photo in session, and you can increase your chances by taking pictures of a variety of Pokemon

    [...] Smeargle appears only in the first photo of a session. To increase your chances to encounter one, try taking pictures with more variety of Pokemon

  • Smeargle can be found in both AR and AR+ picture modes. Standard AR mode is much faster when Smeargle hunting. AR+ requires you to look around and place your Pokemon in the area. This can take a lot of time

  • A few reddit posts are reporting that Smeargle will only photobomb once per day. After you find a Smeargle, you can find another one after midnight.

  • An easy way to tell if Smeargle photobomed your picture, without having to backout and review the photo, is to monitor the mini view icon on the bottom right of your screen. When a photo is taken, it will burst a single white circle. If Smeargle is there, the icon will shimmer and pulse three times.

Catching Smeargle

  • Once Smeargle has photobombed your photo, return to the world map. Smeargle will spawn in the wild.

  • Smeargle will stay in the area for roughly 1 hour from the time it spawns.

  • Catching mechanics for Smeargle is the same as a regular spawn. It can run (my first one ran on me)

  • Smeargle's move set will copy the Pokemon it photobombed, except for Frustration and Return. If the Pokemon contains either of these two moves, Smeargle will instead obtain a random move in replace of these.


  • 1
    There is now confirmation of this on the official Facebook page.
    – Notts90
    Commented Feb 26, 2019 at 21:56
  • There are some move that Smeargle can't learn in Pokemon go like frustration and return. It will be replaced with a random move at that point.
    – Styxsksu
    Commented Sep 11, 2019 at 13:39
  • @Styxsksu Thanks for that info, added it into the answer Commented Sep 13, 2019 at 14:18
  1. Take a picture of one of your Pokemon.
  2. Check picture to see if it got "photo bombed" by Smeargle.
  3. Exit back to main map and it should spawn near you.

Complete RNG. People have been reporting its been appearing between 10 to 3000+ pictures.

Have fun.

  • Do you have a source for the numbers you are reporting?
    – Kyle Rone
    Commented Feb 26, 2019 at 17:55
  • @KyleRone pokemongo discord. People could be inflating their numbers too. I doubt a single person has taken 3000+ pictures.
    – TurkuSama
    Commented Feb 26, 2019 at 18:17
  • 4
    @TurkuSama 3000 pictures amounts to one picture roughly every 30 seconds over a 24 hour period. Frankly it wouldn't surprise me at all if that number was accurate - some people playing this game are crazy. :P
    – Abion47
    Commented Feb 26, 2019 at 18:54
  • One can take photos much more rapidly than that-- the AR camera takes a photo at each tap, so positioning a pokemon and then rapidly tapping 20-30 times takes only a few seconds. (My local PoGo facebook group has people reporting that they caught a Smeargle after as few as 6 or as many as 2400 photos).
    – Meg
    Commented Feb 26, 2019 at 19:05
  • I can confirm it took me at least 10 pictures because I just got Smeargle to spawn...
    – TurkuSama
    Commented Feb 26, 2019 at 21:39

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