Beginner’s Guide

Welcome to the world of Ingress!

Ingress is massively-multiplayer online mobile augmented reality king-of-the-hill game made by Google.

Faction choice really doesn’t matter for gameplay – you choose between the Resistance (RES, nicknamed Smurfs), and the Enlightened (ENL, nicknamed Frogs) – but as an Enlightened player, I do recommend the Enlightened! Realistically though, if there’s someone you know who plays, who you want to play with, pick their faction. Otherwise, ask around on the internet for someone to check your local area, and pick the losing side (not only is it more fun to be losing, it’s quicker to reach higher levels and keeps the game more balanced, so it’s more fun for everyone).

When you open Ingress, after you’ve done the agent signup and intro stuff, you’ll be shown a map of the world around you:


You’ll probably see more than just the plain map though:


You can see four portals (three RES, one ENL), and a bunch of links and fields. The aim of the game is to create these control fields to cover the entire planet – and you can create them by linking three portals together in a triangle (this screenshot is from the Intel Map (


You can see three fields here, created between 6 portals using 8 links.

But let’s start at the basics.

Portals are normally points of public artwork (statues, sculptures, wall murals, etc), interesting locations (historical places, cool story), hidden gems, community gathering places, points of interest which promote discovery, libraries, train stations, places of worship (full criteria here). There’s also a bunch of advert-type portals on AXA insurance buildings, and Schuh footwear outlets.

Around portals, you’ll see white dots floating around – this is exotic matter (XM). You’ll also see it randomly floating around the rest of the world too, more concentrated around areas where lots of people go (major bus routes in a city for instance).

At the top of your screen, you’ll see a few bars:topbar-annotated

This shows your level, agent name, agent avatar (blue box), level progress (red box), and current XM level (yellow box), and a compass showing which direction is north.

You need XM to do most actions in the game, and you can pick it up by moving around and picking it up off the ground. If your XM bar goes empty, you’ll need to pick up more XM before you can do anything else – don’t panic if you do run out!

The small bar along the top shows your progress to the next level – collect Access Points (AP) to level up. Different actions have different values attached to them:

  • Deploy a resonator: 125 AP
  • Upgrade a resonator: 65 AP
  • Capture a portal: 500 AP
  • Fully deploy all resonators on a portal: 200 AP
  • Create a link: 313 AP
  • Create a field: 1250 AP
  • Hack an enemy portal: 100 AP
  • Destroy a field: 750 AP
  • Destroy a link: 187 AP
  • Deploy a mod: 125 AP

Other things provide AP too, such as deploying/destroying mods, and glyph hacking. AP gains can soon add up though: Capturing a portal, and fully modding can give you a lot of AP:

(8 \times 125) + 500 + 200 + (2 \times 125) = 1950

Fielding can likewise provide a lot:

(3 \times 1950) + (3 \times 313) + 1250 = 8039

Get hacking, deploying, linking, and fielding and you’ll soon be rising up the levels!

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