When a new shiny Pokémon becomes available in Pokémon Go, there’s always an event happening alongside it. For Smeargle’s shiny version, it’s a celebration of the upcoming release of the New Pokémon Snap to the Nintendo Switch. In that game, players will be taking pictures of the many Pokémon they encounter in the wild. The quests in Pokémon Go for the New Pokémon Snap event will mirror those requirements, tasking players to take snapshots of the wild Pokémon they encounter in their world. If you want to capture a shiny Smeargle, you’ll need to take plenty of snapshots of wild Pokémon and wait for Smeargle to appear.
Smeargle appears in the first five snapshots you take in Pokémon when it releases to an event. For the New Pokémon Snap event, you can do this with any of the wild Pokémon you find or any Pokémon you’ve already captured and trained up. Smeargle is unique because when you take a snapshot of a Pokémon, have Smeargle appear, and then catch it, the charged moves it can know will be similar to the Pokémon you took a snapshot with. So, if you take a snapshot of a Machamp that knows crosschop, the Smeargle you catch will also have it.
Normal Pokémon in Pokémon Go has a one in 500 chance to be shiny whenever you encounter them. Smeargle has the same chances of also being a one in 500 chance from what we can tell. Because of these meager odds, if you do not capture a shiny Smearlge during the New Pokémon Snap event, anytime Smeargle appears in future events, it has the chance to be shiny moving forward. Unfortunately, Smeargle only appears in snapshots during events, so you have to wait for those to happen.
All players will have a total of 15 attempts to capture a Smeargle each day, adding up to 60 attempts for the entire New Pokémon Snap Celebration event.