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New Pokémon Snap new areas: How to unlock Secret Side Path, Mightywide River and Barren Badlands in the new update explained

What new surprises await you in the Lental region?

The New Pokémon Snap update introduces new courses to the Lental region, but, first, you need to unlock these new areas.

There are six new courses in total divided across the Mightywide River, Barren Badlands and the Secret Side Path.

Below you'll discover how to get the New Pokémon Snap update, so you can unlock all of the new areas.

On this page:

New Pokémon Snap - Free content update trailer (Nintendo Switch)

If you'd like to learn more, visit our New Pokémon Snap walkthrough.

How to get the New Pokémon Snap update

Before attempting to update New Pokémon Snap, you need to ensure your Nintendo Switch is connected to the Internet. You can easily do this by selecting 'System Settings' from the console's home page and scrolling down until you reach the 'Internet' option.

Here you'll be able to test your Internet connection and create a new one if needed.

After this, New Pokémon Snap should update automatically when you attempt to start the game.

If this doesn't occur, press the plus (+) button on the right Joy Con to check if you're playing Ver 2.0.0 of New Pokémon Snap. If you are - go ahead and play! - but, if you're not, select 'Software Update' followed by 'Via the Internet' to download the update.

You'll know if the content patch has been downloaded successfully, because, once you start New Pokémon Snap, you'll be met with a list of the new courses. This update also includes new filters, stickers, frames, profile icons, research tasks and requests.

How to unlock the Secret Side Path Day and Night courses in New Pokémon Snap

To unlock the Secret Side Path courses in New Pokémon Snap, you first need to select 'Research' and watch the cutscene introducing the new shrinking ability of the Neo-One.

After this head to the Park (Day) course and travel through the nature park until in the area containing the lake. Here you'll want to scan the tree directly opposite the lake, which will be on your left-hand side.

Scan this tree!

You'll now be shrunk down and travel through the Secret Side Path course! At the end of this course, you'll return to normal size and find yourself in the flower meadow at the end of the Park course.

Afterwards both the Side Path (Day) and Side Path (Night) courses will be automatically unlocked. On these courses you'll encounter new Pokémon like Shroomish, Foongus and Snorlax.

A quick note for completionists - you'll always be returned to normal size in the flower meadow at the end of the Side Path courses where you'll find a number of new Pokémon, which can be added to the course maps for both Park (Day) and Park (Night).

How to unlock the Mightywide River Day and Night courses in New Pokémon Snap

The Mightywide River (Day) course will be automatically unlocked once you update New Pokémon Snap. On this course you'll encounter new Pokémon like Psyduck, Feraligatr and Tropius.

To unlock the River (Night) course, you need to reach Research Level 2 on the River (Day) course by earning 45,000 Expedition Points.

How to unlock the Barren Badlands Day and Night courses in New Pokémon Snap

The Barren Badlands (Day) course will be automatically unlocked after New Pokémon Snap updates. Throughout this course, you'll see a range of new Pokémon, including Tepig, Diglett and Crustle.

To unlock the Badlands (Night) course, you need to earn 40,000 Expedition Points to reach Research Level 2 on the Badlands (Day) course.

Good luck exploring the new courses and, if you'd like to learn more, visit our New Pokémon Snap walkthrough!

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Lottie Lynn avatar

Lottie Lynn

Guides Editor

Lottie Lynn is Eurogamer's Guides Editor. She likes exploring new games and still has nightmares about the moon from Majora's Mask.

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