After doing an expedition, you get points to level up that expedition. How do they work?

  • Are they based on the picturedex score of the images you save?
  • If so, does that mean it could be beneficial to overwrite photos from another expedition, even when the score is lower?
  • If not, does this mean it's beneficial to take photos of poses you already have good scores for on other expeditions, even if you know you won't save them?

1 Answer 1


I just completed doing some SCIENCE! on Park (Night) to figure out how this works.

  1. Expedition points earned are based on the score of photos submitted for evaluation
    • Only photos that are submitted for evaluation are converted to evaluation points (photos taken, but not submitted for evaluation, earn you no points).
    • Expedition points are earned even if you DON'T decide to feature the new photo in Photodex, or save it in your album (aka ALL that matters is you submitted it for evaluation).
  2. Full points are earned for the first photo of a Pokemon taken for each star rating at each location
    • Your score from photos are converted to expedition points at a 1:1 conversion rate (meaning a 2000 point photo will earn you expedition points).
    • The "first photo" status is based on if it's the first photo taken at that location (meaning that you'll still earn full points for your first 1-star Magikarp photo on The Beach even if you've already taken a Photo of 1-star Magikarp in the Park).
    • The "first photo" status is also divided up by star rating (1-4). So the first photo at each star rating will earn you full points (meaning submitting a 2000 point 1-star photo will earn you 2000 points, even if you already have a 3000 point 2-star photo).
  3. If you've already submitted a photo for a Pokemon for a specific star rating and location, points earned will be the difference in score between your new photo and your previous best at that location for that star rating
    • The game secretly tracks your best score for each Pokemon and Star Rating at each location. It's this score that's used for evaluating expedition points earned. The photo saved in your Photodex is 100% irrelevant for determining expedition points earned.
    • If your new score is lower than your previous best, then no points are earned.
    • For example, if you submitted a 1-star Magikarp photo at the Beach that was worth 3000 points, and your previous best 1-star Magikarp photo at the beach was worth 2000 points, then you'd earned 1000 expedition points (3000 - 2000). Any photos you've taken at other locations aren't factored into this calculation at all.
    • There doesn't appear to be a way to see the previous best score the game uses for evaluating expedition points earned, nor does there seem to be a way to determine if you've already submitted a photo for a Pokémon at a specific location and star ratings (aside from saving every submitted photo in your album).

My SCIENCE! consisted of taking multiple trips to the Park (Night) location. My actions and results from each visit are as follows:

  1. I took and submitted no photos, and earned 0 points.
  2. I took multiple photos of a Sylveon, but didn't submit any, and earned 0 points.
  3. I took a 1-star Photo of a Sylveon, and submitted it for evaluation. I already had a photo of Sylveon from another location in my Photodex (valued at 4,309 points), but this was my first picture at Park (Night). The picture was evaluated for 2,503 points, and I earned 2,503 Expedition Points.
  4. I took a 1-star Photo of a Sylveon that was evaluated at 3,614 points, and earned me 1,111 expedition points. This is equal to the difference between my new photo and previous best at Park (Night) (3,614 - 2,503 = 1,111).
  5. I took a 3-star Photo of a Bidoof, which was my first 3-star Bidoof photo at any location. It was evaluated for 3,310 points, and I earned 3,310 expedition points. This run was to confirm there wasn't any "First time ever" bonus for each star rating.
  6. I took a 2-star photo of a Sylveon. I already had 2-star Photo of a Sylveon in my Pokedex from another location, evaluated at 3,749 points. The photo was evaluated at 2,460 points, and I earned 2,460 expedition points.
  7. I took 1-star photo of a Bouffalant. I already had a 1-star photo of Bouffalant at Park (Night) worth 4,249 points. My new photo was evaluated at 2,574 points, and I earned 0 expedition points.
  • I hope this all makes sense. I tried to make it as clear and concise as possible, but let me know if there's anything that needs clearing up.
    – Wipqozn
    Commented May 4, 2021 at 1:46
  • Interesting. So the game keeps track of your best score for each pose for each level. That means that increasing your score relies mainly on submitting new poses for that level. I wish they'd tell you which poses you need for each level... Commented May 4, 2021 at 3:13
  • @BlueRaja-DannyPflughoeft Yeah, it's really annoying there's no way to check your score on a locational basis. A simple little "Previous best at this location" on the photo submission/evaluation stage would go a long way.
    – Wipqozn
    Commented May 4, 2021 at 11:51
  • I just started playing this game this week, and this is kinda the only way they could do it that makes sense. It would be crazy if you lost points on one course just because you got a better photo of the same pokemon-star combination in another course. And they can't give you points only when you get a new record regardless of course, because then a good photo in one course prohibits upgrading another course. And yet they can't just give you all the points for all the photos you submit. So they need to keep a record of your best of each possible pokemon-star-course combination and use that.
    – Arthur
    Commented Dec 22, 2023 at 0:34
  • And yes, it's really annoying that the game seems to give you no hints whatsoever about this hidden scoring system. If want to level up a course, it would be nice to know which pokemon and stars are worth aiming for. Going in blind just means a whole lot more unfun, rewardless effort.
    – Arthur
    Commented Dec 22, 2023 at 0:37

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