As far as locating Xerneas in New Pokémon Snap goes, it’s the easiest to find, since you encounter it naturally as the final Illumina Pokémon in the game. However, getting the 4-star Xerneas photo is a little tricky, as it requires both good timing and good Fluffruit aim. If you can pull it off though, it’s really quite a treat to see. Follow our New Pokémon Snap guide to make sure you don’t miss out on this elusive Photodex entry!
Head to the Aurus Island Illumina Spot at Research Level 2. Ignore the first room in which Xerneas appears and proceed into the second one. Hit the flying orb with an Illumina Orb to make Xerneas appear. Then turn left along the course and you should see two sleeping Houndoom. Hit each with a few Fluffruit to wake them up. During this process, you should see Xerneas hanging out in the background, so take a moment to hit it with an Illumina Orb here so pictures of it will actually count. A 4-star Xerneas photo opportunity is still a little while away though.
Once the Houndoom are awake, use Fluffruit to guide them towards each other. Once they’re together, scan a few times until they proceed to approach Xerneas. At this point, Xerneas should then use Geomancy, which is your cue to take photos. I recommend using Burst Mode here to capture multiple frames of this animation. The first time I did this, I submitted a photo I swear was a 4-star, but it turned out to be a 2-star. So if you’re submitting one toward the beginning or end of the animation, double-check the star count to be sure. As long as you get one during this animation though, you should have the 4-star Xerneas photo on lockdown.
There are nine other Legendary and Mythical Pokémon to find in New Pokémon Snap, so if you’re having trouble with those, be sure to check out our other guides!