The game takes place on the Lental region, where the protagonist arrives to assess the region for an ecological survey. The player meets Professor Mirror and his assistant Rita. Later on, they meet their rival Phil and his mentor Todd Snap, the protagonist of the first Pokémon Snap.
In the game, the player takes photos from the NEO-ONE vehicle, which moves along a set path. The player's main goal is to take good pictures of the various Pokémon living in the different biomes. As the game progresses, the player unlocks new tools to help them take better photos. The player can throw Fluffruit, which some Pokémon will eat. Illumina Orbs will briefly cause a Pokémon to glow, but they must be unlocked for each region in the game. The player can also run a scan, which will make identifying nearby Pokémon and discovering secrets easier. The melody button plays a brief song that certain Pokémon will react to. Finally, the player earns the ability to move the NEO-ONE faster than normal.
The game features a variety of tasks that test the player's photography ability by making them snap a picture of a certain Pokémon, usually performing a specific action. For instance, one challenge involves befriending a Pidgeot by feeding it Fluffruit twice on the route.
New Pokémon Snap was developed by Bandai Namco and is published by The Pokémon Company and Nintendo. Bandai Namco had previously developed the Pokémon fighting game Pokkén Tournament, in which Pokémon were depicted as part of an interconnected world, coexisting with humans. According to game director Haruki Suzaki, who directed both titles, it was this depiction of Pokémon that helped the studio earn the opportunity to work on New Pokémon Snap.
Suzaki's vision for the game was to keep the basic gameplay from the original, while adding new features that reflected how people currently interact with photographs. He explained, "The result is a simple game of taking pictures in a world where Pokémon are alive and well in nature, but at the same time there is a variety of contemporary ways to play with photography."
It was announced during the Pokémon Presents presentation on June 17, 2020, and was released on April 30, 2021, for the Nintendo Switch.
An update was released on August 3, 2021, which adds three new areas to explore, and twenty more Pokémon.
New Pokémon Snap received "generally positive reviews", according to the review aggregator Metacritic. The game was nominated for Best Family Game at The Game Awards 2021.
- Shroomish appears in the game's files, despite not actually appearing in-game.