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Ingress – A beginner’s guide

Ingress – A beginner’s guide

Ingress is a massive multiplayer online role playing game, using augmented reality and GPS, created by Niantic Labs, which are part of Google. The game uses Google Maps with a stripped back interface to navigate players around the real world in order for them to play the game, and is like a cross between capture the flag and geocaching. Game play is incredibly limited while stood still, instead the player is forced to continually move about to progress, exploring their surroundings, and most importantly getting off the sofa and out into the real world. If you like the look of this, then here’s an Ingress beginner’s guide to get you started.

The game Ingress has a complex sci fi back story, in which an alien race known as the Shapers have invaded the Earth, bringing with them a mysterious energy. The purpose of this energy is unknown, but humans must chose which side to fight for. The game consists of 2 factions fighting for control;

The Enlightened – Working to assist the Shapers, the enlightened embrace the mysterious energy, believing the aliens are working towards a powerful enlightenment which will uplift all of mankind.

The Resistance – Working against the Shapers, the resisitance believe they are protecting humanity from Shaper ingression

When first signing up to the game you must pick a faction to fight for, so make sure you pick the right one…..

ingress beginner's guideThere is also an extensive video library to supplement the complex back story. The official Ingress YouTube Channel contains weekly reports sharing insights into the Niantic Project, Agent achievements, and anomaly events. Or you can visit The Sphere of Weirdness to see what has been unearthed about the Niantic Project so far.The back story can be quite complicated to grasp, or catch up on if you start playing now, but understanding it is not essential to being able to play the game.

Events are put on by the creators called anomalies. Anomalies occur for a few hours in one day, in a primary and secondary city somewhere around the world. The rules for each anomaly are different, but they generally have the two opposing factions fighting for control of a specific area, and the winners receive bonuses, and can affect the course of the story and character alignments.

There are several things you can do in the game to help your faction, and to level up, as most actions reward the user with AP (required to level up);

Hack a portal (Enemy) 100 AP
Hack a portal (Neutral or Own Faction) 0 AP
Recharge a Portal 10 AP
Place a resonator (new resonator) 125 AP
Upgrade your resonator 0 AP
Upgrade another’s resonator 65 AP
Capturing a portal (place the first resonator) 500 AP
Complete a portal (place the eighth resonator) 250 AP
Link two portals 313 AP
Establish a control field 1250 AP
Apply a portal shield or other mod 125 AP
Destroy a resonator 75 AP
Destroy a link 187 AP
Destroy a control field 750 AP

Hacking portals acquires items for the user to aid them in their fight, and each item has a different use;

Resonators Deploy a resonator to an unclaimed portal to claim ownership, or add a resonator to a faction portal to reinforce them, each portal can have up to 8 resonators. By deploying whilst stood far away from the portal you can place your resonators at maximum distance, making them more difficult to destroy.
XMP Burster XMP Bursters are used to attack opposing faction’s portals, they spread damage over a wide area, but damage is amplified if the target is close to the source of the blast.
Ultra Strike Focus damage on the spot in which they have just been fired.
Jarvis Virus Used to flip the alignment of a portal from Resistance to Enlightened.
ADA Refactor Used to flip the alignment of a portal from Enlightened to Resistance.
Sheild A mod which stabilises the portal against attacks.
Force Amp A mod which boosts the damage done to an attacker.
Turret A mod which boosts the damage done to an attacker.
Heat Sink A mod which reduces the time to wait in between hacks.
Multi Hack A mod which increases the number of times the portal can be hacked before it’s burned out for 4 hours.
Power Cube Provides a burst of XM.
Portal Key Allows remote access to recharge the portal’s resonators or is used when linking to your chosen portal.

In order for your faction to increase control, you need to create fields over populated areas. This is done by first controlling portals, maintaining control of these portals, and creating links to other portals in order to create a field.

Portals are stronger if all deployed resonators are of the highest level (8), however each agent can only deploy up to one level 8 resonator on any portal, therefore 8 level 8 agents working together to put down one resonator each will make for a much stronger portal. The other advantage is that if all 8 agents ensure they have the portal key, they can all help keep the resonators charged remotely. It is also wise to fully mod the portal as extra defence against attack. Once your faction controls a number of portals in an area then you can start to make links. Two portals can only be linked if;

  1. Both portals must have 8 resonators deployed, and require a minimum of 3 resonators on each side in tact to maintain a link
  2. You must acquire the portal key for the portal you wish to link to, the portal key for the portal you are creating the link from is not required
  3. The link must not cross any other existing links, the path must be clear

As the portal key is used up in creating links, it is wise to always return the portal you have just linked and hack again to acquire another key, so that you can continue to remotely recharge.

ingress beginner's guideOnce you start making control fields, you just have to defend them against attacks from the opposing faction to ensure your side wins!

I play for the Enlightened in the Manchester area, if you would like to join me, then you can download the app here, and join our Google+ community where you can meet other local agents who will help you out. We also get together to farm items and take out the Resistance, so come and join the fun!


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