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A Beginners Guide to Ingress from a Beginner


As Ingress grows in popularity, so too does the number of questions regarding how to play more effectively. Thanks to the magic of the in game chat feature, I’ve learned a few very helpful techniques to make the most of Ingress ranging from portal suggestions, to offensive and defensive strategy, and because I’m such a nice person I’m going to share what I’ve learned with you all. We’ll start with portal submissions

Submitting a new portal suggestion is very simple. Take a photograph with location data enabled, and share it via NIA Super Ops, just like you would to share on twitter or Facebook. Give your portal a name, and an email will be prepared to send to Niantic labs at Google. Recommended suggestions include unique architecture, historic buildings or monuments, or anything in your area that’s decorative such as statues, monuments etc. The approval process can take about 6-8 weeks, which is a long time for people with nothing in the area, but they’re usually all added. So far all my suggestions have become portals.

If you have an opposing portal in range, you’ll probably want to take it down. You’ll need XMP bursters for this which like all items in the game, can be obtained from hacking other portals. The level of XMP you use determines how much damage is done and how far the burst will travel. When attacking, the important things to remember are XMPs do most damage where you’re standing and spreads out causing less damage the further it goes, and you’re attacking the resonators, not the portal. Imagine dropping a water balloon on your feet. Your feet get completely soaked, and the water splashes outwards spreading out. The least amount of water travels the furthest. The same applies to an XMP burst. Using this knowledge, the best thing to do is stand directly on top of a resonator, then use XMP bursters. You’ll cause maximum damage to the resonator below your feet, and smaller amounts of splash damage to resonators nearby. There will be occasions you cannot stand on a resonator such as it being inside a building or over water. For these you’ll need to stand as close as possible, and launch your highest level XMP, but remember you cannot use items with a higher level than yourself.

The best way to play defensively is to remember how to attack offensively. XMP bursts spread damage out, so to minimise the splash damage received, its important to place resonators as far apart as possible. To do this, stand just within range of the portal so that you’re out of range when you take a step backwards. This ensures the resonators are placed as far apart as possible. When levelling up resonators, look at your surroundings. Are there any resonators you cannot stand on, such as inside buildings or over water? If so, work out which of the 8 resonators it is using the in game compass, and level it up. By doing this, you’ll be able to reduce damage received on your higher level resonators making your attackers use a lot more bursters than they’d ideally want to. Below are examples of good and bad portals.

Good portal. Resonators placed far apart to minimise splash damage

Bad portal. Resonators placed close together, maximum splash damage.


Links and fields.
If you link portals together, you can create a field which is a great way to gain AP which will help you level up. Creating links can be difficult in areas with few portals as the distance a link can be made is determined by the level of the portal. A portals level is determined by the average level of each resonator placed round the portal. Below is a table of portal level ranges

Level 1 – Range 160 metres
Level 1.5 – Range 810 metres
Level 2 – Range 2.56 km
Level 3 – Range 12.96 km
Level 4 – Range 40.96 km
Level 5 – Range 100 km
Level 6 – Range 207.36 km
Level 7 – Range 384.16 km
Level 8 – Range 655.36 km

From the table you can see that low level portals don’t go very far, so you won’t be able to link them until you’re at a high enough level to power them up. If you manage to get a portal to a level high enough to link with other portals, you can create a field. Generating  a field will give you huge amounts of AP, and will generate Mind Units depending on the population inside the field, which is determined by census data. To generate the most AP for leveling up, find an area with lots of portals close by and link them with small triangles. To get more Mind Units, create larger links and fields, but you may need to get some help levelling the portals to a high enough level to link.
A single player can only apply the following number of resonators per portal

L1 x8
L2 x4
L3 x4
L4 x4
L5 x2
L6 x2
L7 x1
L8 x1

Portal levels are an average of all the resonators on the portal, usually rounded up. The highest level a single player can make a portal is level 5
L8 : L7 : L6
L6 : (P) : L5
L5 : L4 : L4
The average level from the portal above is 4.4, which is oddly rounded up to 5. This portal can be linked with other portals up to 100km away. To make a long range link, you’ll need the key to the portal you’re trying to link. Again as with all items in the game, you’ll need to hack the portal to gain the key.
Hopefully these tips will prove useful to you and improve your game. If you have any other tips to share, feel free to comment below

About Chris Summerfield

Chris is the Android gaming nut of the team. He's probably got more games under his belt than is possible to complete in a year of 24 hour non stop gaming. He currently repairs phones for a living to feed his 2 young boys. Chris runs his entire digital life from an Android device opting to not own a PC
  • Gary Eckhardt

    A great article for someone just coming in – I had to just figure it out and ask questions as I went along! You might want to mention other strategies as well – remember that links can’t cross other links, even enemy ones. You can contain your enemy by surrounding them, or putting a link between two of their unlinked portals to stop them from creating links and fields. Another defensive strategy is if you have the key to a portal that is being attacked, you can charge up the portal remotely. It’s a long shot, but you might just make your opponent use up all their XMP and then move on.

    • Chris Summerfield

      I’ll remember to add that when I do an advanced tactics article when I get better myself :-) everything above is what I learned in a week from simply talking to people in game

  • Ingress Philippines

    shared this in our G+ page thanks . great article

  • Jeff Andrews

    Correction: The average level of that portal is 5.625. That’s why it’s a L5 portal. (Add all resonator levels, then divide by 8.) Cheers!

    • Chris Summerfield

      Thanks! Too much beer when adding up me thinks

  • knike

    best guide, yet. Maybe ad the passcodes.

    • Chris Summerfield

      Pass codes are difficult to post as they have limited usage before they’re invalid again. By the time I get a list together, they will be invalid

  • Alex Yao

    Very useful guide for a beginner!

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  • Vivek

    Thanks for this :) Really helped

  • Madhawa Habarakada

    valuable content. thanks.