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Psychonauts 2: How to unlock Photo Mode

Psychonauts 2 has quickly become one of the most popular releases of the year and — like any good game launched in 2021 — it features a robust Photo Mode. It’s not readily available to new players, but with a bit of digging, you’ll be taking professional photos before you know it.

If you’re looking to get starting with Psychonauts 2‘s Photo Mode, you’ll need to be prepared to put in a few hours of game time. Here’s how to unlock Photo Mode and how to take full advantage of its powerful features.

Further reading

What is Photo Mode?

Raz posing for Otto Shot camera.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Photo Mode in Psychonauts 2 is practically the same as Photo Modes in other games. Once unlocked, it’ll grant you access to a variety of filters and ways to modify the look of your game before snapping a screenshot. It’s a great way to take pictures of Psychonauts 2‘s gorgeous — and often psychedelic — graphics and is without a doubt a perfect fit for the game.

Best of all, it lets you pause the action, remove UI elements, and take your time to pull off the perfect shot in the heat of battle. Unlike many games, however, Psychonauts 2 doesn’t give you Photo Mode right away. Instead, you need to work for it.

How to unlock Photo Mode in Psychonauts 2

Raz entering Otto's Lab in Psychonauts 2.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Before gaining access to Photo Mode, you’ll need to progress through a good chunk of the main story. Eventually, you’ll be allowed to leave the Motherlobe and head out into the Quarry. Depending on how fast you play — and how many side quests and collectibles you’re distracted by — this will likely take a few hours.

With the Quarry unlocked, head to Otto’s Research Facility. If you’re looking out at the lake in front of you, this will be located to your right. You’ll also find it listed on your map of the Quarry if you need to reach it from a different starting location.

To get there from the Motherlobe, simply walk towards the edge of the platform in front of you. This will trigger a series of floating discs to appear and form a tidy walkway to Otto’s lair.

After entering the building, go talk with Otto who should be located behind the counter at the front of the room. Ask if you can borrow any of his gadgets, and he’ll give you both the Thought Tuner and the Otto-Shot – the latter of which gives you the ability to use Photo Mode and capture screenshots.

How Photo Mode works and how to upgrade it

Filter screen in the Otto Matic in Psychonauts 2.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

With Photo Mode unlocked, hold down the D-Pad on Xbox or V key on PC to use it. From here, you’ll be able to tweak the screenshot in the following ways:

  • Pose Raz
  • Adjust position
  • Rotate camera
  • Zoom in or out

However, unlocking Photo Mode doesn’t give you full access to everything it has to offer. For that, you’ll need to visit the Otto-Matic. This is where you’ll find Filters on sale, each one available for 75 psitanium. These radically change how the world appears through the lens and are available in several flavors:

  • Achromatizer
  • Classif-eyed
  • Hot Dog Spectralizer
  • Psitonium
  • Psychodelica

Once these have been purchased, you’ll be able to cycle through them at will when using the Otto-Shot. Each one is more unique than the last, so it’s definitely worth saving up a bit of psitanium to collect them all.

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Jon Bitner
Jon Bitner is a writer covering consumer electronics, technology, and gaming. His work has been published on various websites…
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