Game Guides

Pokémon GO – How to Catch Smeargle for the Johto Collection Challenge

When and how to get Smeargle

by Kyle Hanson


Whenever a new event happens in Pokémon GO there’s always some trick hidden away somewhere for players to discover. Sure, the announcements and news cover most of it, but Niantic like to surprise. Smeargle has often been a part of this, including his introduction to the game. And he is a surprise once again in the Johto Celebration Event with players tasked to catch him but no clear way to do so. Here’s how to catch Smeargle for the Johto Collection Challenge in Pokémon GO.

How to Catch Smeargle

As with his previous inclusions in Pokémon GO, Smeargle isn’t just going to spawn in the wild. While many species have had their spawn rates boosted, Smeargle is always a special case. Even after his generation was added to the game it took months for him to appear and only via one unique method: pictures.

This is how you catch Smeargle once again during the Johto Collection Challenge. To do so, just open your Pokémon menu and select any character. Tap the camera icon at the top right to open the augmented reality camera feature. If you have AR+ enabled you’ll need to go through the motions of spawning the Pokémon in the world around you, but with it odd they should just walk out in front of you. Once they do simply tap the button at the bottom of the screen to take a picture.

In the image you took you should see Smeargle photobombing you, but this can take multiple tries, sometimes 10 or more pics (take one picture, back out, and try again). Exit out when you see him and he will spawn right next to you in the game world. Tap and catch as normal to complete this part of the challenge, but be sure to check out our full Johto Collection Challenge guide if you need help with the rest.

But that explains how to catch Smeargle for the Johto Collection Challenge in Pokémon GO, so hopefully you’re all set.

- This article was updated on:January 26th, 2021

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