Monday, December 30, 2013

I'm Back

Okay it has been almost 3 months since I last posted. A lot has happened both with me playing the game and the game itself. While I haven't posted in a while I've started a number of different posts but have never finished them, so I will be finishing up and posting then over the next couple of days.

Friday, October 4, 2013

I Cringe Inside

Wow, I didn't realize how long it has been since my last post.

I've been out there fighting the good fight. I was part of a cool event where members of my faction built a control field yielding nearly a million mind units. I was responsible for clearing the southern most links and capturing the southern target.

But what I wanted to post about today is how I cringe inside when I pass a portal and cant hack it.

This seems to happen for 2 reasons and I don't know which is more annoying. 

First, not that long ago in one of the system updates they apparently installed a script which determines your speed and will not allow you to hack if it calculates your speed is too quick. From what I've read online it appears that they calculate the distance between the last portal you visited and the current one. If your time between the two gives you a speed above ??? then you can not hack, deploy, recharge, etc... 

This system is very flawed. take for example my morning commute today. There is one stoplight I almost always catch. When I'm stopped I hack and recharge it. While I always seem to catch this light it is only for a minute or so tops. Then I get to a stoplight further down the road. Now this light is one I've written about before. As of now it has a level 6 portal on one side and a level 7 portal on the other. I want to catch this light, but almost never do. Well today I caught it and got nothing from either of the hacks. Grrrr.

Now I understand the reasons which have been given as to why this is done:
  • To prevent playing while driving---
    • I am a responsible adult and do not play in a way which would endanger myself or others. I realize others may not, but that is not an issue with the game that is an issue with the individuals playing. These individuals are putting themselves and others in danger and in most areas probably breaking the law. But Niantic/ Google can't be held responsible for individual's behavior.
    • What about commuters/passengers? While I live in a rural area not terribly far from me is a light rail system. Each station has a portal, but you cannot hack those portals from the train. Also, I've been the passenger in vehicles and want to play, but can no longer do so. There is also a portal I use to hit every day on my way home. I would be driving, hand my son the scanner and tell him, "When the hack button lights up, hit it." and he would and I'd get that every day, but not any more. 
  • To prevent spoofing--
    • Cheaters are going to cheat. Liars are going to lie. Yes this could prevent spoofers, to a certain degree, but maybe if they moved the threshold to a much higher speed one that will not hamper the game play of honest people. 
    • By far and away, the vast majority of people play the game fairly. Don't ruin the game on their account we as players will report them, and Ingress can ban them. 

The second thing that makes me cringe is when I'm there looking at a portal and in my mind I can see the portal and it's resonators around it. Unfortunately, I'm with my family and they are not fans of me playing Ingress. A trip to the nearby grocery store has 2 portals on the way and another 3 very close by. After so many times of these "quick trips" being longer than my wife or kids want, I've succumbed to their will. It is just not worth the grief.

Now my plan is to load Ingress on my wife's phone for her and get her playing. She has a friend who plays and I think if she tried it she'd enjoy it. It would be a cool thing for us to do together. My daughter has expressed interest, but she has an iPhone...

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hack, Hack, Hack and then Hack Some More.

So you're a higher level agent now and you don't need to hack every portal you see. What are you  going to do with L2 or L2 items anyway?

Really who cares about that the resonators or bursters you get from those level portals. But as a higher level
agent you should be hacking any portal you come across. Remember, hacking a portal is similar to those video slot machines.

While I do not have validated proof that this is how it works only empirical evidence. It seems that when you hack a portal it is like pushing the spin button on a video slot machine. With lower level portals the ratios greatly favor getting leveled items such as resonators, XMP Bursters and Power Cubes. But you also have the opportunity for non-leveled items including Portal Shields, Multi-Hacks, Turrets, but also items like Jarvis Viruses & ADA Refractors.

A friend in my local community recently posted a screen shot of a Jarvis Virus he had hacked from a neutral portal. I recently got an ADA from a L5 portal.

Once again I have no hard evidence (but remember this is a blog - blogs require no evidence ;) ) but it appears that the standard hack rate for items like a common  Portal Shield is somewhere in the 1:15 range. Items like Very Rare Heat Sinks and Very Rare Multi-Hacks come up in the 1:1500 range. ADAs and Jarvis Viruses seem to come up on the 1:800 range.

To put more empirical proof to this we have seen events where it is announced for X amount of time there will be an increased portal drop rate on XMPs, Power Cubes, and other items. Also, you have probably noticed on Thursdays you will hack a media item of the latest Ingress Report.

So hack every opportunity you get on any level portal. You never know what you are going to get and worse case scenario, you recycle anything you don't want or need.

Happy Hacking!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Ingress Courtesy

I've learned a lot about courtesy to your fellow Ingress agents since hooking up with a local players group. Unfortunately, looking back before I joined the group and was operating solo, I had some bad habits which probably irritated some others in my faction.

  1. Recharging - If you are hacking a friendly portal at least have the courtesy to at least put one recharge on it, especially if it looks like you are in a area that this person frequents. You can tell this if you see there name on multiple portals and having multiple resonators on it. So look at the portals as you hack them and see which players are associated with it. 
  2. Linking - When I was a lone wolf I thought it was cool to try to create these really long impressive links. I even posted here some of those. But remember, links can not intersect, so by creating this giant link or field that looks good on the Intel Map, you may be screwing other players. Remember you get the same amount of AP for a link regardless of the distance, and you get the same amount of AP for a field no matter how large. 
  3. Upgrading Resonators- At face value it may look like you're doing a good thing by upgrading a portal with either higher level resonators. But that may not always be the case. Higher level agents often create pet portals of a lower level, particularly L4 & L6, to be able to hack L4 & L6 resonators. Altering that can screw with others' plans.
  4. Upgrading Portal Mods - Just like upgrading resonators, putting portal mods on a random portal my interrupt others' plans. Sometimes there is strategic reason for putting one mod versus another on a portal. This is even more important now that the rules about portal mods have been changed. Where before 1 player could place 4 mods on one portal and replace unwanted mods, now an individual player can only place 2 mods and mods can not be removed. 
  5. Communicate - If in doubt get on the COMM and discuss with others. If you are not part of a local group find one. Most places will have some level of a local group. The may have private communication channels beyond the COMM and you can be in the loop on what is going on in your area. But there is nothing wrong with getting on the COMM, in the Faction channel and contacting someone who "owns" a portal and saying, "I pass by ___ portal regularly and wanted to know if you minded me upgrading it." 
So just show a little courtesy to your fellow players and keep the game enjoyable for everyone.

My Wishlist for Future Ingress Development

Over the past 8 months or so there have been many upgrades and enhancements to not only the game but to the user experience. I'm sure our friends at Niantic have some great enhancements to come. Here's my pie in the sky list of what I'd like to see in some form or another.

Greater Number of Items in Inventory

2000 items seems like a lot, but like many of you I am hitting my inventory cap several times a week. I would like to be able to have more items at my disposal. Now, I don't think I necessarily need more at any given time, but I think it would be nice to have more items in a cache. The trade off could be that once you put something in your cache it would not be available again to you for 4-5 days. 

Greater Functionality from the Intel Map

Well first lets say I've been really disappointed with the functionality of the Intel Map. One of Google's strengths has always been Google Maps. So I was expecting more. 

I'd like to be able to search for portals with multiple criteria. For example I'd like to only be able to see blue, L7 & 8 portals with links in a certain radius of a given location. 

I would also like to see more game interaction from the Intel Map. When I receive an alert of a portal being under attack I'd like to access my portal keys from my desktop somehow and recharge my resonators. 

I think it would also be great if we could access our inventory from the Intel Map including being able to drop and recycle items.

I would also like to have the ability to redeem codes again through the Intel Map like we use to be able to. 

Portal Invisibility 

Imagine a portal mad where you can make a portal invisible to an individual enemy. So you have a pesky enemy agent when you deploy this mod you can enter a players agent name and the portal will not be visible to them. But a portal equipped with this mod wouldn't be available to be linked to other portals.

Instantly Create a Portal of a Certain Level

When you deploy to a neutral portal you select what level portal you create and the correct resonators are deployed instantly to make that portal. The same rules apply so an individual can not create a L8 portal. But say I want to create a L4 portal I just select a create L4 portal button and it is done. 

Instant Portal

Another cool item the game could add that could be even more rare than Jarvis/ADA is an Item where you can instantly create a portal without any approval needed. Now if you give it an inappropriate name or make it inaccessible to the public, then it would be removed. 

Offensive Weapons

Think of how awesome it would be to have a weapon which can directly used against enemy players. You can fire this weapon at an enemy who is physically in proximity to you and disable their scanner for some period of time say half an hour to an hour.

Another offensive weapon idea would to have a weapon that has a range of a certain distance and when an enemy passes within its range it would fire at them and do damage to their XM levels. These weapons wouldn't appear on an enemy's scanner or Intel Map, but could be destroyed with an XMP of proper level in proper range.

Scanner Mods

I mentioned some mods which attack individual players, so to keep some balance we could offer some scanner mods. Like a scanner shield. The shield could mitigate damage done by offensive weapons, but the trade off would be it would lessen the range/ power of your XMPs or Offensive weapons.

Another scanner mod would be one which would be interesting would be a mod which you can increase your likelihood of obtaining a certain type of item (resonators, bursters, cubes, keys) but not exclusively. If you had this mod set up to increase your chance of getting XMPs you would still get other items just at a proportionally lesser amount.

Care Packages

When I was a leveling player I had some L8 agents help me out by dropping items for me. Some of these larger drops could take half an hour or more to transfer items. What I'd like to see is a way to build into a package. So I can in one package transfer hundreds of items if I wanted. It could be as easy as selecting an item then, selecting the quantity you want to add to the package. Then the intended recipient could just pick up the one care package.

This doing things in bulk could also apply to recycling items too. So you could instantly recycle say all of your L4 XMPs at one time.

Portal Transport

Say I have some items I want to transfer to another player. If I am at one portal and the other player is at a different portal then, I can select what portal I want to send items too. The portals must both be under control of the same faction and items not picked up within a short period of time would decay.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

My First Two Encounters with Police while Playing Ingress

Earlier this week I had to go out of town for a funeral. So Monday evening I got in town, settled in, visited with some people. But by 10:00 pm was bored and had nothing planned to do. So I get on the COMM and announce I'm a level 8 player in town and want to help the local community while I was there.

Pretty soon I had a few replies. The other faction had a pretty large level 8 farm in a neighboring town, they were looking for some help taking down then they also needed help building their farm. I'm always in for blowing up enemy portals. So I offer to help do that. I was well stocked with several hundred Level 8 XMPs and dozens of power cubes thanks to the recent doubling the drop rate for cubes. I got on the road and headed to their farm.

I was blowing their portals up with ease. I went up one street and down the next attacking away and introducing Ingress to my younger brother (unfortunately he's an Apple guy and cant get him to play). I get to one street and even though I'm not familiar with the area I can tell the portals are in a park. I, legally, park on the side of the road in a marked parking spot and start firing L8 XMPs. Combining where I parked and the range on the XMPs I could hit all the portals in the park. By now, I've taken out half of the portals and then...

I saw the unmarked car pass by the first time and didn't make any mind of it. But a minute later he came back from behind be and the lights came on; including spotlights.

The officer approaches, very kindly, and tells us were in a park and the park closed at sunset.

I apologized and told him I didn't realize the street was in the park, but I would leave.

He was friendly and said the sign was not easy to see at night, but the entire street passes through the park and the park continued up until the next street. He thanked me and turned away as I pulled away. I unfortunately had to leave some of those portals, while damaged, still in the hands of the other faction.

I continue driving, my brother holding the tablet and navigating me through this unfamiliar territory. I knock out another couple of portals. I then come up to this church that has 3 L8 enemy portals on it's property. I park on the street. Once again I'm parked legally, on the street, in a marked spot in front of this church directly under a streetlight.  I'd been there for a minute or two then comes the same officer again. He pulls in the parking spot beside me, rolls down his window and asks me, "Are you playing that Google game where you have to go places to claim portals for your team and blow up other team's portals?"

I tell him yes as I show him my cell phone.

He goes on about wishing Google would delete the game and that they have gotten some reported possible burglaries that end up with people playing that game. He concludes by telling me that this is a small, sleepy old town that basically closes up completely at 10:00 pm and asks me to call it quits for the night and come back in the morning.

From my best knowledge, he had no legal reason to ask me to stop, I just thought it better to tell him I would stop. While I do not believe he had the legal authority to have me stop. Since I had left the park he admitted was poorly marked, I had done nothing wrong. But arguing was not something that could have any positive effect for me. Besides it was getting late and I think other than the chit-chat and catching up my brother was over playing with me.

In hindsight, I was an easy target for the officer. I was basically the only person moving around in the town, I had an out-of-state license plate and I was stopping frequently and probably seeming strange to anybody who did see me.

But note to others: If you are approached by police, be calm, be polite, tell them exactly what you are doing, and obey any instructions they give you. It's just a game. This officer very likely did not have the legal right/authority to ask me to stop, but is it worth the argument or discussion? No to me, that is not a booger I'm going to pick.

Decode Ingress has a good post about encountering law enforcement you may want to read if you haven't already: Ingress[tip]: Contact with Law Enforcement.

Happy and Safe Hacking!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Is the Ultra Strike Worth All the Hoopla?

So the new Motorola Droid phones came out earlier this week. These phones were preloaded with +Ingress and when you activated your account on these phones you also got a goody bag of items including several of the the new Ultra Strike weapons. 

Now since these phones have been released Ingress internet sites have been buzzing on how to get hold of the Ultra Strike weapon if you do not have one of these phones. These theories run the full spectrum from crazy to to easy to be true. Some of you have even commented here on rooting your phone and altering your build.prop file to mimic or be seen as a Droid. 

Sounds interesting to me and why I am not a technical neophyte, I have learned that I know/think I know enough to end up getting myself into trouble, but do not know enough to get myself out of it. So I will pass. Besides I do not believe this would fall in line with the game's TOS.

Other than being complete Ingress addicts and just needing to have the newest stuff and try it out, I haven't seen anything that makes me say I need this new weapon. Sure I want to get my hands on one and use it, but I doubt it will be able to knock my socks of.

The fact that you are using one item to destroy one resonator doesn't impress me by itself. What would impress me is if this new weapon were able to do its job and not result in the portal attacking and draining my XM Energy.

The one cool advantage I see with this weapon is that you could strategically go and knock out resonators of your least favorite opponents, just to screw with them.

I'll update if I feel differently later.

Happy Hacking!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

GPS Drift

So your right where you normally go to hack/attack one of your favorite portals. You hit the deploy or hack button and get the message that the portal is out of range. Grrr.

Or IMO even worse you think you are at the furthest point where you can deploy resonators, you deploy them just to see they end up immediately on top of the portal making for an easy hit on your newly claimed portal.

You look on your scanner and it shows you are where???

Here's what got me thinking about GPS drift. The image below is from my commute this morning into work. Don't worry fellow agents I was going exactly 0 MPH when I took this screenshot. Just as I was going 0 MPH for the next 10-15 minutes, but that's another rant for another time. Keep in mind I am in the left (the "fast") lane on the interstate here. My GPS drift is probably close to 100M if the ring represents 40M. So if I were trying to hack or deploy, I'd be SOL.

First, your phone is not a military grade GPS, it is more perfunctory. 

Second, because of it's more general functioning ability it is more prone to disruption from weather (even mild/moderately inclimate weather) and obstructions like trees and buildings.

There are some things you can do to help. 

One thing I've found, and I can't explain why, is that you will need to check your phone's settings to make sure you are not set to automatically connect to Wi-Fi. It doesn't make sense to me because GPS is separate from your network connection and operate independently of one another, but for some reason it works sometimes. 

Another reason (beyond general security and not related to GPS drift) not to automatically connect to available Wi-Fi is that you may be just on the fringe of the Wi-Fi range and your connection may be slower than your regular data connection. I ran into this problem at my children's school. I have their school set up as a trusted site and to connect when available because I am active in the school and am there frequently. Well their school has a Civil War historical marker in front of it which is a portal. I had so many issues on that portal. It took me a little while to realize that I was connected to their Wi-Fi, but had such a weak signal being on the street or in the parking lot it made working that portal difficult.

I don't recommend it, but it may help; remove your phone's protective case. To help determine whether removing your protective case will help refer to your owners manual and find where your phone's GPS antenna is located. If the case is obstructing the antenna's reception, you may want to consider a different case. Remember were talking a low wattage signal which travels thousands of miles. 

If you are experiencing GPS drift there are some things you can do:
  1. Be patient. GPS drift often corrects itself in a short time. 
  2. Move to a clearer location or get outside of your building or car. This will help you get a clearer signal.
  3. Force Sync Ingress from the device tab in the OPS menu
  4. Restart your phone. Just like when you call tech support for your computer the first thing they want you to do is restart.
  5. Load a GPS App. I use GPS Status and like it it also has the ability to clear your GPS cache which can slow down your GPS and even give bad locations. 
  6. There are also external GPS antennas for phones, but I have no information on how well they work.

I hope this helps.

Happy Hacking!

I wrote this post at lunch time today. Now as I get ready to leave work I turn on my scanner to burn up the XM Energy I'd accumulated through the day. This is the image I get. Where I actually am is probably 400+ Meters from where it is showing me. I am barely on the map. This is the worst GPS drift I've ever encountered. I typically show accurately from my office. Wow...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Must Have Accessories for the Serious Ingress Agent

Sure, for the casual +Ingress  player all you need is a good smartphone and you'll be out there hacking away in a few short minutes. But for the true Ingress Agents (and if you're reading this you are a true agent) you will certainly need more.

From my experience the Google Play Store will allow phones which just don't have the capability to download Ingress. Ingress is a resource hog. You will not only need a good Android powered smartphone, but you will want one with greater resources. Like some of the latest models from Motorola or Samsung.

A tablet??? I have a cool, awesome and powerful smartphone, why would I need a tablet?

Your cool, awesome and powerful smartphone is great as a scanner, but you will need additional resources. Prime example is the Ingress Intel Map. No matter how powerful your smart phone is, the Intel Map blows from a phone; including the mobile version. For serious missions you will need constant access to the Intel Map.

Additionally, if you are part of a local community and use some form of electronic communication for collaborating missions having a tablet will make things a lot easier for you.

Tablets with GPS and their own wireless internet connection work best. Tablets which you are able to tether to your phone and use your phone's data can also work. Be sure to check with your wireless provider's terms.

Charging System:
Okay, you have a car charger that's a start. But to be a real agent that will not be enough. I've said it a million times before. Ingress is a resource hog on your phone. It will drain your phone's battery very quickly. You will hit some target rich environments which are not car accessible like theme parks, large parks or even some urban areas where the freedom of being on foot (or even bike) will be more productive than being in a car.

I immediately bought a portable charger after my recent trip to Disney World. There were so many portals, so much opportunity, but by lunch time every day my scanner was dead. And when you are really addicted to Ingress there is nothing worse than being in a target rich environment and have a dead scanner.

Later this summer I went to Busch Gardens Williamsburg properly equipped and over the course of the day turned the park which was entirely blue to entirely green. From destroying, hacking (enemy portals), building and linking I earned over 160,000 AP on that trip. A real boost to helping me level up.

So, you will need more power. There are a variety of options out there from the barely useful like this mini USB Charger which may get you one additional charge.
To this monster system created by some Resistance agents which can power 8 scanners at once. 

That's probably overkill for most of us. I got this one from Amazon. It has 4 USB ports of various power levels and can recharge my phone AND tablet multiple times making sure I have all the juice I need to have a productive day and even enough to share.

Others get backup batteries. That works too, but I find it more of a hassle to take off my cover, and switch batteries than just plug into my portable USB charger.

Protective Case:
Were out there walking, running, riding around with our scanner in our hand and not always paying the best of attention to the world around us. We have our nose stuck in our scanner as we try to get either close enough to a portal or get that optimal position to deploy or destroy resonators. Because we're not paying the best of attention, we slip and fall, we drop our scanners, we bump into things and any other number of things. Make sure you have a good protective case, not just a cool decorative one. While Geocaching once with some friends going over some unforgiving terrain I had a friend drop his phone onto a rock and bounce into a puddle. Needless to say his phone was then FUBAR. Quite an expensive accident.

Auto Mount:
First and foremost; do not play and drive! 

But, having an auto mount whether it is a vent, dashboard, or windshield mount is a great tool to have. It assists in navigating to unfamiliar portals or having quick access to hack, deploy or attack when stopped or parked.  

There is a a stoplight on my route to and from work that for better or worse I can go a week or two without catching the light. Only in Ingress are you wishing to catch a light on your way to or from work. But when I do from my windshield mount I can get them both. 

Also, in urban settings where you frequently stop park and hack or attack, then move on to the next target.

Google Glass:
You may have seen +Google Glass  in some Ingress Reports. I specifically remember seeing +Klue S.  wearing one in one report, but they pop up from time to time. If you are not familiar with it, check it out here: . You also see +Brandon Badger  wearing one if you follow him on Google+.

I'm not certain how it works with Ingress, but man I'd love to get my hands on one. 

Happy Hacking!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Don't Hoard Your XM Energy

Your XM Energy bar is at 100%! Great right?


Unless you are heading immediately to a mission to blow up enemy portals, there is no reason to have your XM Energy at 100%. 


Just doing absolutely nothing but going about your daily activity, you are bound to be able to pick up extra XM Energy. Here is my strategy.

In the afternoon when I'm ready to head home from work I have discovered that even as a Level 8 Agent I can bring my XM energy level all the way down to 25% and be back at 100% by the time I get home. When it is time to leave I get on the scanner and look at my keys and see which portals I need to recharge. 

I look at a couple of things as I scroll through my keys. First, I look at portals which are in areas where they may be more prone to attack. Then from there I judge which ones I either need to recharge the most or the ones I don't think I will be able to recharge directly. 

After that I will look at my "pet portals" these are portals that are important to me for convenient farming. Fully charged portals have a higher likely hood of giving more/better items.

But I do wait to deplete my energy until I am ready to leave, because through the course of the day I will get an alert that I have a portal under attack. Depending on the portal and it's strategic value to me and the local group I will recharge it causing the enemy to use more items to take it. Very rarely will I use a Power Cube to defend a portal. Most portals just aren't that important to me because I know I can just take it back if needed.

I will also remotely recharge my portals if I know I'm going to be heading out to lunch and Ingress isn't in the plans because I know just driving around town I can recoup a fair amount of XM Energy.

So do not hoard that energy! Use it. Calculate how much is your minimum you need and stay at that level until you are ready to go attack.

Happy Hacking!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Defending Your Portals

So you've taken the time and energy to take a portal and now you want to keep it, but that is often easier said than done. The enemy faction is constantly blowing it up. And now you have to rebuild it.

First understand that it is not possible to make an impenetrable portal. No matter what you do a Level 8 player with enough L8 XMP Bursters can (currently) take down any portal no mater how well defended it is. But some times it is a war of attrition you know they can take it, but make them work their butts off for it.

Keep it Charged
The easiest thing you can do is keep your portal fully charged. This basic step helps no matter what other tactics you use. A weaker portal is an easier one to take down.

Portal Mods

Portal Shields - Your portal shields are your basic building block of portal defense. Their defense rates range from 10 mitigation for common shields (the green ones) to 30 for the very rare ones (the pink ones).

Force Amplifier - These are nice mods to use in conjunction with other portal modifications, but you will not want to stack your portal with Force Amps because after deploying the first one you get less protection from each additional one. The first one deployed does double the damage to an attacker.

Turret - This great portal mod gives your portal more attacks.Like the Force Amp you do not want to stack these up on a portal because of diminishing returns. You will want to combine it with other portal mods. Placing a turret on your portal will have your portal attack an attacker twice but will also give a hit bonus of 30%.

A not so commonly known fact is that links, either incoming or outgoing, provide a defensive bonus to portals. One link gives about a 10% defensive bonus to a portal. Each additional link gives less of an increase until you have 8 links. A portal with 8 links gets a 50% bonus, but after 8 links there seems to be no advantage.

Other Portals
Another interesting trick you can use to protect a portal is use other portals around it to defend it. The picture below is a local level 8 farm. The portal circled in red has no defensive portal mods, but rather heat sinks and multi-hacks. The portals around it have shields force amps and turrets. This is great for farming. We have 14 L8 portals and one is a very fruitful portal. You can walk the path of this artsy park and each sculpture has a portal. Then the monument in the center has the multihack and heat sink. As you walk the path, you can hit each portal and every 2nd or 3rd sculpture hit the monument. Walk the path a few times and you have hopefully loaded up on some goodies. The outer perimeter portals protect the inner one. An attacker would sustain significant XM losses and have to use many additional XMP Bursters to take down the farm. It's not impossible, and happens somewhat regularly, but it takes a lot of resources on their part to do.

Portal Keys
Yes, Portal keys can be a very effective defensive tool. When you get the alert on your scanner that you have a portal under attack, start recharging the heck out of it. Eventually your portal may fall, but once again you have cost the attacker to deplete their inventory much more than they otherwise would have. 

With these tips hopefully you can defend your portal well and atleast annoy the heck out of any would be attackers.

Happy Hacking

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Most Valuable Commodity - L4 Resonators

If you are like me and you have been leveling up, you might be excited when you start to see that you're getting Higher level gear and you may even start to grow some discontent when you hack a portal and get lower level items.

But not so fast there ..

Your lower level resonators are very valuable, especially your L4 resonators. Think about it:

  • If you are a Level 8 to fully power a portal by yourself you need:
    • 1 L8, 1 L7, 2 L6, 2 L5 & 2 L4 Resonators to make a Level 6 Portal
  • If you are a Level 7 to fully power a portal by yourself you would need:
    • 1 L7, 2 L6, 2 L5 & 3 L4 Resonators to make a Level 5 Portal
  • If you are a Level 6 to fully power a portal by yourself you would need:
    • 2 L6, 2L5 & 4 L4 Resonators to fully power a Level 5 Portal
You get the picture. 

But there may be strategic reasons for building lower level portals; i.e. being able to readily hack the L4 and lower level items you need.

I can't tell you how many times I haven't been able to complete fully charging a portal because I haven't had L1- L4 Resonators. It is irritating. So do yourself a favor and be sure to hack/build lower level portals regularly so you can build your stock of L4 and below resonators.

Now, the same does not hold true for the XMP Bursters. As you move up your strategic need for lower level XMP Bursters goes down. I generally keep XMP Bursters of my level and 2 below and strategically use my lower level ones as not to waste the higher level ones. 

But don't don't just drop them or recycle them. Help an up and coming player of your faction and arrange a drop.

Happy Hacking!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Ultra Strike - New Ingress weapon

I've been wanting to post about this for a while. In Episode 19 of The Ingress Report it was announced that there is a new weapon available for +Ingress . The Ultra Strike is a weapon designed to be used against enemy resonators. You can strategically target resonators for an intense burst on a resonator. This burst will have limited range. Ultra Strikes will come in various levels like resonators and XMP Bursters and presumably will be most effective on resonators of the same level or lower. We have been told these items will be pretty common.

And the fans go wild !!!!!!!!!!!!!

But, it was also announced that this weapon can only be hacked using the 3 new Motorola Droid phones...

Oh, not so excited anymore...

But all is not lost, sports fans. While it is still only available to be hacked by the new Motorola phones, they can be shared and used by anyone. Yes, it still makes the majority feel like 1st runner up in a beauty contest it's not all that bad. I personally see limited use for this as a L8 XMP Blaster is highly effective and will destroy so much more.

Initially I was disappointed that these would only be available on the Motorola Phones. But lets look at the money trail. Ingress is done by Google, Google owns/has substantial stake in Motorola. Samsung (The current largest mobile device manufacturer that runs Android)  is testing their own OS, Tizen, in what is seen to move free from Google/Android. So they want to get people to put their money in their own pockets. And honestly I would prefer them making money from Ingress this way versus allowing people to stock up on items by buying them like they are able to do on many games like Farmville.

If/when Ingress starts selling gift cards like this , I will probably be out...

Happy Hacking!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Size Doesn't Matter

In the world of +Ingress  , size doesn't necessarily matter. One great way to earn XP quickly is finding a group of portals relatively close together and hack them all until basically they burn out.

Here's the plan; hack it as often as possible over a few days, whether they are under the control of your faction or not. Build that inventory and keep track of the keys you get. then when you feel you have a fair amount of keys go in and build your links.

Be sure to to this strategically. In this case smaller is better. Link the portals which are closest to each other and build an interlocking series of small control fields. Yes, your control fields will yield very few Mind Units (MU) for your faction, but you are earning 313 AP for each link and 1250 AP for each control field.

You want to link the closer ones to ensure you do not block out other potential links and control fields. I've done it before and created too large of a link which prevents me from executing my master plan and now I can't create new links or fields.

No your control fields won't be these huge sexy multi-million MU control fields, but remember you earn the same weather it is 1MU or 10,000,000 MU. IMO until your are a level 7 or 8 don't worry too much about the global faction score, first worry about leveling up and getting yourself to the point where you can then worry about making the huge control fields.

Below is a local historical area where I hacked for a while to build the inventory of keys I needed to execute my plan. When all was said and done I created enough portals, links and control fields to earn over 130,000 AP in just one night. Not too shabby. Not to mention all the AP I earned building that inventory.

Happy Hacking.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Mid-level Player Player Strategy

So you're a level 4, 5 or 6 agent and want to continue to advance, but it's your finding it hard to. Don't give up.

First, hack, hack, hack! Build that inventory - especially XMP Bursters. At this level your bursters aren't powerful enough to do massive damage to portals your level or higher, so you need to rely on quantity. You will also need a source of XM. So if you are not hacking in a portal rich environment, you will want to make sure you have some power cubes. Hack, for a few days then plan your attack. When you think you have enough items, keep on hacking.

Second, do your research! Get on the +Ingress  Intel Map and take a look at what you have available and what makes a promising target.

Here's what I look for.

  1. A portal which is my level or lower. I might do one level higher if the portal is weak
  2. Links - The more the better. Links do not have any bearing on the portal's defensive strength, just points for you. You get 187 AP for each link you destroy.
  3. Control Fields - Like links the more the better and they don't have anything to do with the portal's defensive strength. You get 750 AP for each control field you destroy.
Here is an example of a portal I'd want to attack as a level 6.
  • Level 5 Portal
  • 5 Links
  • 4 Control Fields

Attacking and flipping this portal would give you 6285 AP
  • Destroying 8 resonators at 75 AP each       = 600 AP
  • Destroying 5 links at 187 AP Each             = 935 AP
  • Destroying 4 control fields at 750 AP each = 3000 AP
  • Deploying 8 resonators at 125 AP each      = 1000 AP
  • Capturing a portal                                      = 500 AP
  • Fully charging a portal                                = 250 AP
This gives you the most bang for your buck.

Here's an example of a portal which is weaker and I might consider for a L3 or even a L@ with a lot of resonators and the ability get more XP through other nearby portals or through power cubes.

Here's a screen shot of a portal I attacked that had 13 links and 8 control fields attached to it. I got 10781 AP for:

Work smarter not harder my friends! This will make your leveling up happen a lot quicker, but does require some planning on your part.

Happy Hacking!

My Best Day Yet

Today (okay its 2:00 AM so technically yesterday) I had my best day ever playing +Ingress .
It started at lunch time. There was a nearby L6 portal which I noticed on my drive in to work had a number of control fields and links coming from it. When I got to work I pulled it up on the Intel Board. At that time it had 7 links and 5 control fields. I decided I would hit it over lunch.

So I head to my local Taco Bell then went to the enemy portal. It now has 9 links and 7 control fields. I pulled up and parked right on top of the only L8 resonator, but wanted to hack it first. This portal was well protected with just 1 hack I lost 600 XP.

I started firing my XMPs in rapid succession (boy I miss being able to use Carousel Method to limit my XM losses). About 30 L5 XMP Bursters and 4 L5 Power Cubes later it fell.

Look at the points! When all was said and done between hacking, bringing it down & redeploying this one attack was worth over 9000 AP for me!!!

The down side is that GPS drift really screwed me. I noticed that drift was pretty bad when I was attacking too. I was in my car on the edge of the portal's resonator range when I claimed the portal. I started deploying resonators and when I did, I did not look at the field. All 8 resonators basically deployed directly on top of the portal. An easy target for the other faction to claim.

Later this evening. I decided to hit the road. I had a lot of portal keys and wanted to put them to work. I think I claimed about a dozen neutral portals (there aren't many players where I live) made many links and control fields. I did make one bonehead mistake and created a link to the wrong portal which caused me not to be able to create a control field I wanted and now I will have to create 2 adjoining control fields, but after I obtain another portal key. Guess who is going to be burning out that portal hacking it. I will deploy a Multi-Hack on it to help expedite the process.

Happy Hacking!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Ingress Wonderland

I recently took a family vacation to Walt Disney World and naturally played a lot of +Ingress .

As I have mentioned I live in a rural area and only have 6 portals in my town which I control almost the entire time. I was amazed at how many portals there were. Unfortunately for me nearly all the portals were controlled by the Enlightened and I couldn't gain any AP for hacking them, but I could hack away, link and get some nice items. Below is a cool screen shot form Disney's Animal Kingdom showing just how many portals there were. If I could find a Resistance portal I could flip it.

I actually got my first Turret, and Heat Sink while down there.

It seemed no matter where I was waiting in line there was a portal or two ready to be hacked. Additionally, there were so many portals I didn't have to worry about running out of XM. Now, the one thing I did have to worry about is running out of battery life. Unfortunately, I did think about getting a portable charger but just too late. Even with there being very few portals from the other faction I am pretty sure I would have been able to level up from just deploying resonators and creating links. I almost never made it past lunch with any battery life at all.

So note to all heading down to such a target rich environment: get yourself a portable charger of some sort. If you are a serious Ingress player you will thank me for it.

On the down side, I left with a number of Disney World area portal keys. I tried reaching out to others on the COMM to arrange a drop but had no takers which I thought was pretty weird. Oh well I'll just end up recycling them for additional XM sometime.

Happy Hacking!

I haven't disappeared....

It has been a while since I last posted and a lot has changed.

I think there have been two new releases - and they have been significant.

Look for some new posts soon with a little bit of catch up and some new things as well.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Commercial Portals

I've been noticing quite a number of what I will call "Commercial Portals" popping up near me. What I mean by commercial portal is one that is there seemingly to promote a business. Heck, the company I work for created a portal for their main building.

Also, near where I work a billiards hall put up a portal, a T-Shirt company did one and many others.

I'm not sure what I think about this. On one hand I love that there are more portals available, but on the other hand I feel it cheapens the game, especially the more blatant ones. Think how watered down the game will become if every strip mall has half a dozen portals.

I already have issues creating control fields because my link would intersect another link. it will only become more difficult with extreme quantities of commercial portals.

What are your thoughts?

Happy Hacking

Great Source for XM

So have you ever been out hacking portals, and your XM levels are too low to do anything? That last portal you recharged took the last of your XM and you can't wait the 20 minutes for the portal to recharge?

Well I stumbled upon a great place to get a fair amount of XM. It may even be as good as an unclaimed portal or a level 1 portal.

What is this great source for XM, you are probably asking?

Your neighborhood cell phone retailer. Add to that every strip mall seemingly has at least one. Each retailer has hundreds of XM there for the picking.

Just a quick tip that may help you.

Happy Hacking!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Ingress Version 1.28.1 Released

I haven't been following +Ingress  as much lately for a variety of reasons, so this release caught me by surprise. But this was a very welcome surprise.

I woke up this morning, and my scanner showed it had automatically updated Ingress. (By the way if you haven't set your phone/scanner to auto upgrade this is an app I definitely recommend allowing the auto upgrade). Initially I didn't think much about it, but when I launched Ingress on my way to work I was really impressed.

The first and most noticeable upgrade is Portal Vectoring. This is an awesome tool. If you have no portals in view on your scanner you will get pop ups with direction and distance to nearby portals. You can also immediately see the portal level and which faction controls that portal.

This solves one of my major complaints about Ingress. If you were in an area with you are not familiar with, it could be hard to find portals. I am really excited about this portion of the upgrade.

Other important features include the release of 5 new portal mods.

  • Multi-Hack - Now there are "blackhat" methods of multi-hacking a portal. Now it appears that you now have the opportunity to "legally" multi-hack. But the number of multi-hacks will be limited before the mod burns out.
  • Turret - This is another long awaited mod. But I am not quite certain of just how powerful they are going to make this mod. What we do know is that it will increase the number of defensive attacks on an enemy hacking a portal. But will it increase their strength? Will it automatically attack enemy faction players who get within range even if they do not attempt to hack? These are  some of the rumors out there.
  • Link Amp - As the name implies this will amplify the distance between points of possible links
  • Force Amp - This mod boosts the force of an attack on a portal
  • Heat Sink - When hacking a portal you must wait 5 minutes between hacks. If you try to hack again too soon you get a message telling you the portal is in a cool down period and you must wait. This mod greatly reduces this time. The question remains: will this prevent portal burnout?

Happy Hacking

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

New Finding - Crop Circles

I saw this on +Ingress  on Google plus a while back and have been meaning to comment on it.

Apparently the game has created what they are referring to as "Crop Circles." Designs which show up on your scanner made up of inventory items.

The one pictured to the right reportedly contained approximately 600 level 1 & level 2 resonators.

I think it would be really cool to find one of these.

So keep your eyes open in case one of these pops up nearby.

Happy Hacking!

Ingress Version 1.26 Released

Always be sure to update your scanner with the newest releases. This one comes out later today (5/21/13), version 1.26.

In addition to your obligatory bug fixes, version 1.26 offers:
  • Portal health and faction control info on Portal Keys
  • New Recharge visual animation
  • Notifications for 
    • Portal under attack 
    • Portal neutralized 
  • Personal messages by using @<codename>
  • Support for Jarvis Virus 
  • Support for ADA Refactor objects
I'm looking forward to this!

Happy Hacking!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Ingress Game Evolution

While I have been on the side line for awhile because of my phone situation, I have tried to keep up with the happenings of +Ingress . One concern I have had about Ingress is how is the game going to evolve. When I got my invite there were already many who had made level 8. I wondered what would happen next? They have to introduce new things and levels to keep the membership active.

As of late they have announced and released several new things:

  • Power Cubes
  • Recycling
  • Jarvis Virus
We have also seen an apparent lower likelihood of a hack being successful.
What will be next will we see a level 9 Agent? Will we see a new weapon?

Happy Hacking!

Getting Back in the Game

Today I finally received notice that my new phone has shipped.

I'm really excited not only because of getting to play Ingress again, but I have been dying slowly without my smartphone. Not only that I will have it just in time for the Memorial Day weekend. I hope to be able to do a lot of hacking and get the full feel of using the Samsung Galaxy S4 as a scanner.

As promised a full review will be coming soon.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

New Ingress Item - Power Cubes

In the 1.23.1 release of Ingress we were treated to a new item among other things; Power Cubes.

So what is a Power Cube and What will it do for me?
It appears they are XM storage units. and there are 8 levels of power cubes. The higher the level the greater the storage.

What I do not know yet, but am assuming, is that they work like XMP Bursters and you can not use Power Cubes greater than your player level.

How do I find Power Cubes?
They are an item you get when you hack a portal, much like XMP Bursters, Portal Shields, etc...

Get out there and find some Power Cubes!

Sitting on the sideline

You haven't seen any posts from me in awhile.

A few weeks ago I had my car broken into and the SOB's stole my cell phone. Grrrr....

So frustrating because while yes, I had an earlier post about wanting a new phone and waiting for the Samsung Galaxy S4, I wanted a phone in the meantime.

I've gone from someone completely addicted and dependent on my smart phone to someone who now has a standard phone. Luckily in the back of my closet I had an OLD, OLD , OLD standard cell phone that for some reason I never traded in or donated. Even more amazingly, I still had the charger too.

I did go ahead and pre-order the Samsung Galaxy S4 from Verizon. When I receive it I will give a full review of it as a scanner. Verizon has said they will be releasing it by the end of the month.

But back to my car being broken int, there were more and other items in my car of greater value that they didn't touch. Very strange. Also they did not use it once they got it for calls or text, but I did have a high amount of data usage after I last used it and before it got shut off.

Maybe they hacked a nearby portal for me and leveled up???

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Scoring Strategies/ Leveling up

I've developed some scoring strategies I think you will find useful. Using these strategies I went from a high level 2 to a level 4 in one afternoon.

Stock up
Do not pass up an opportunity to hack a portal; friendly or enemy. This is the quickest and easiest way to build your inventory of resonators, shields, XMP Bursters, Media, Portal Keys and everything you will need.

True you do not get any Action Points (AP) for hacking neutral or friendly portals, but they do yield items more often than not. I actually leave for work 10 minutes early now so I can hit a few portals to hack.

Remember higher level portals yield have potential to yield higher level items.

Do Your Homework
Spend some time looking at the area yo will be working on the Ingress Intel Map.
Be sure to zoom in all the way so that in the bottom right corner it reads "Showing All Portals." This way you can find unclaimed portals. You may be surprised how many there are out there. Waiting for you to claim. This takes patience. Zoomed in this far you don't get too see that many, if any at all, on one map. So you will have to scroll around a bit.

Also think about the places where Ingress Portals are found. Historical Markers are one of my favorite places to go. Besides being a true nerd and like reading these things, many of these are portals. And if they are not go ahead and submit it as a portal.

I live in a pretty rural area, but it is old (in U.S. historical sense) and rich in history there are many historical and Civil War Trail Markers. If you think about your area and where you see these markers you have a pretty good chance of finding a portal. Also, remember post offices (both current & former), libraries and even some municipal buildings are frequently portals. My county seems to have an inordinate number of post offices to our population so those are a good source. Knowing your area can give you a distinct advantage.


Love your L1 Resonators
I've seen online many people who get frustrated at the number of L1 Resonators they acquire. They call them useless, some people even write that they drop them when they get them. IMO they are really missing out. Here's what I do. When I do my homework and find the places I want to go there are some which I would have no chance, or even desire to maintain without a portal. This is where I love the L1 Resonators. I can pretty quickly score 1750 Action Points and use no more than 8 L1 Resonators, but quite frequently net using only 6. 

I find the portal and hack it. I will most likely get a L1 Resonator. I deploy my 8 resonators and mainly because my phone is slower, I then hack again after I've deployed the resonators. Boom 1750 easy points. 

Strategically Manage Your Portals
 I have 4 categories of portals I own.
  1. Higher level portals I link and actively manage
  2. Higher level portals I strategically manage
  3. Lower level portals I strategically manage
  4. Portals I don't manage. 
The first level portal I make sure the resonators are fully charged every day. These are the higher level portals  that I often link to. Keeping them fully charged and managed well yields me better items when I hack. 

The next group I "strategically manage." This takes two forms. One is higher level portals are ones that I don't link but do actively manage. What I will do is recharge the resonators individually that is all but one of the lowest level resonators. I will let that one decay all the way down. Then every 10 days after it has fully decayed, I place a new resonator. An easy 375 points.

With the lower level portals these are ones I will make only a L1 Portal. They are in areas I can manage easily enough, but choose not to because they don't seem to get any activity from other players. I do not recharge these resonators and let them all fully decay, in between their decay I go to hack them and probably get enough L1 resonators to rebuild them. So I make sure to visit them regularly enough to track. Another easy 1750 AP. 

The portals I don't manage are ones I find in my travels and may fully charge initially or not. I won't put anything higher than a L1 on and I won't place a shield. These are portals that are typically not in an area I frequent. I never recharge these and have no intention of reclaiming. 

Know Thy Enemy
Sun Tzu's war fighting knowledge applies to Ingress too. Keep tabs on your enemy's portals. It may be strategically (AP wise) better to continue to hack their portals and let them continue to decay. Then, when they are nearly completely decayed that's when you attack their resonators. You have gained 100 AP each time you go to hack, then you can use some of your L1 XMP Bursters, which have limited value to destroy their weakened resonators. You earn 75 AP for each resonator destroyed, then you can claim the portal for 1750 AP not bad at all. 

Sooner or later you will learn which portals near you your enemy likes to actively defend or not. You may also become familiar with your opponents by name. This will help you know the opponents in your area and what they typically do.

Happy Hacking!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Your Phone

Your +Ingress  Scanner is your only direct communication with the game. An outdated

I currently have the Motorola Droid 3 through Verizon. This is an okay phone. When it was new it was excellent. But times have changed, new phones have greater memory, storage, speed, 4G and other features. It was never designed with running apps which are so resource intensive like Ingress.

Using a marginally capable phones is frustrating. I cant begin to tell you the number of times I've had it freeze up and need to reboot the phone. Or it will just automatically reboot itself.

Other times it will screw me up when there is a Portal when I'm stopped at a red light hit the portal and select Target. By the time it opens to the portal main page and I get to push Hack, the light is green and I do not get to hack the portal. It is frustrating.

Luckily I am fast approaching my upgrade time. I was looking at the Samsung Galaxy S III, but this weekend I saw reports that the Galaxy S IV will be released in April. So I've decided I'm going to hold out and at least see what the pricing is on the S IV. As of right now no pricing information is available.

If you are frustrated like me in issues playing Ingress, chances are it is not the game it may be your phone. Look into getting an upgrade for a much better playing experience.

Happy Hacking!

New Version 1.21.3

March 14th a new version was released. 

Version 1.21.3
* Portal Discovery - players can take photos of cool new Portal locations and submit them via the Ingress app to be reviewed and added to the game.
* Portal Editing - players can submit a new photo for an existing Portal, and/or submit suggested improvements to the Portal name, description, or location data.
* Embedded Video Player for story media.
* Improved player GPS location acquisition - more stable, less jumpy.
* Bug fixes and performance improvements.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Defending Your Ingress Portal

You put a lot of effort into capturing your portals you don't want them falling into enemy hands. So you need to protect them.

Here's what you can do to protect your portals.

  • Deploy Portal Shields - There are 3 varieties of Portal Shields
    • Common - These have bright pastel green markings and are easy to find but they offer the least protection
    • Rare - These have pastel purple markings and are relatively easy to find but they offer moderate protection
    • Very Rare - These have bright pastel pinkish-purple markings and are more difficult to find but they offer the greatest protection
    • Each portal can hold up to 4 portal shields
  • Keep your Resonators charged!
    • The greater your charge your Resonators have the more resilient to an attack they will be.
    • Also, charge the Resonators for your faction's portals when you hack them. 
    • Remember, if you have the Portal Key for a particular portal you can charge it remotely.
  • Defend your portal when attacked
    • When your portal goes under attack and you loose a Resonator you will receive an email. If you are able, this is a great time to remotely recharge your Resonators. 

Deploying Resonators

Deploying resonators in Ingress is crucial. Think of  a resonator as an amplifier. The portal itself is like raw energy, it needs an amplifier to enhance it. Resonators come in eight (8) levels L1-L8. The higher level the resonator the more energy it harnesses. The value of the resonators gives the portal it's level; however, this is not  a simple average. Higher level portals have the ability to link greater distances.

When you deploy a resonator to a neutral portal you are capturing that portal for your faction. It takes 8 resonators to complete a portal.

An individual player does have limits as to how many resonators they can deploy at a single portal. This does upgrades, believe me I tried.

Here's  chart showing what an single player can do:

Player Level Resonator Level
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 8 -- -- -- -- -- -- --
2 4 4 -- -- -- -- -- --
3 -- 4 4 -- -- -- -- --
4 -- -- 4 4 -- -- -- --
5 -- -- 2 4 2 -- -- --
6 -- -- -- 4 2 2 -- --
7 -- -- -- 3 2 2 1 --
8 -- -- -- 2 2 2 1 1

I think this emphasizes the need for teamwork in both deploying and upgrading portals.

You do need to use some strategy in deploying your resonators.

First if you are going to be deploying resonators of different levels, do not place then directly next to each other. Try and place your highest level resonators opposite, or as far as possible, from each other. This applies to upgrading resonators too.

Next, place your resonators as far from the portal as you can.

The reason for these strategies is to help protect them from attacks. Even if an individual is standing immediately at one of your stronger resonators the residual damage to your other stronger resonators is lessened. The would be assailant may run out of XMP Bursters before destroying all of your resonators.

Attacking Portals in Ingress

Here's something I wish I knew earlier about attacking enemy portals and firing XMP Bursters in +Ingress.

You are not attacking the portal itself. You are actually attacking the resonators which are powering the portal. So here is the best strategy for attacking a portal.  Your XMP Burster have a limited range and the further away you are from the portal the less damage the burst does to the resonator. The resonator you are closest to will sustain the most damage, but as an added bonus the surrounding resonators will also incur damage.

Tips for attacking enemy portals.
  • Do your homework.
    • Look at the resonators
      • What level are they?
      • How fully are they charged?
      • Where are they "physically" located?
      • Are they accessible?
  • For individual play
    • Go to the most fully charged resonator of the highest level that you can get directly over/on
    • Fire your highest level XMP Bursters you have available.
    • Repeat as necessary
    • Once the resonator is destroyed, use your scanner again to find the next most fully charged highest level resonator.
    • Once again start by firing your highest level XMP Burster when you are at the resonator.
    • Repeat until all resonators are destroyed.
  • For team play
    • The team member with the highest level XMP Bursters that they can use target the most fully charged resonator 
    • Other team members go to the next resonators relative to the most powerful XMP Bursters they have available to the most fully charged of the highest level
    • I suggest firing sequentially and waiting until the previous person confirms the damage recorded before the following person firing. 
      • The reason I say this is the speed and capability of some phone/networks can create additional delay in getting the damage. If you do not fire sequentially as I mentioned the team member with the faster phone/network may waste XMP Bursters and energy firing multiple times before the next person can fire. The residual energy from your teammates can cause enough damage to reduce your need to fire. Not all people agree with this, but I believe it holds true. 
    • This strategy may require reshuffling of the team at their positions. Say I am a level 6 with dozens of level 6 XMP Bursters. I destroy my resonator, but still have the most higher level bursts. I should then go to the resonator that is now the most fully charged of the highest level and the other team members should regroup accordingly. This should be done every time a resonator is destroyed. It will help ensure the quickest and most efficient destruction of resonators. 
Thanks for reading, come back for more tips!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Hacking Portals

When you come across a portal you will want to hack it. Hacking portals is one of the primary ways to get items. In one hack attempt you may get 3-4 items or you may get nothing.  As you approach your target touch your screen and you can select Target.

Once you are within range the scanner will open to the portal’s display. Then you can select hack portal. You will earn 100 points for hacking an enemy portal, but no points for hacking a portal in your faction’s control or a neutral portal.

Higher level portals often yield higher level items. BUT… They are also more likely to be defended with a shield where the portal can defend itself and drain your XM energy. Remember it takes XM Energy to be able to perform actions like Hack. If you lose all of your XM Energy you will not be able to do anything until you recoup it.

Another thing to remember about Hacking Ingress Portals is there is a 5 minute cool off period between hacks. So don’t bother just sitting there looking to collect items all day.  

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Your Ingress Scanner

Your Ingress Scanner

No you don’t have to buy a separate item for this you simply download the Ingress App from Google play and load it on your Android device. Sorry it’s not available for iOS products.

It’s free, but just remember that right now it is in a closed beta stage.  So even if you download the app you wouldn’t be able to participate in the game until you get an invite.

One word of caution… It will suck your battery dry in no time flat, so please make sure to have a charger handy. On my Motorola Droid 3 I would say it would take me from a full battery to empty in less than an hour.  I am a high user of my phone and realize the Droid 3 doesn't have the best of battery life in normal conditions, but this is extreme.

The Scanner is relatively easy to use.  Making things even better the game starts with a brief tutorial on using the scanner. At start up it will display your current location. You will see a GPS type view of your area you can only expand your view out to approximately one mile out.  Your location is the triangle in the center of the thicker blue ring.

You will notice that periodically you will emit a thinner blue ring that goes out and ultimately fades away and another will be emitted. Think of this as your radar. This radar will find the portals for you. Some higher level portals will be on your map before the radar hits it. But lower level ones will need to get a hit before they display.

Hint. It is very tempting to try playing Ingress while driving. Not only is this not safe, often times it is not practical. At highway speeds, you will not be able to locate the portal, target, and hack before you are out of range. So please do not try while you drive.

Once you see a portal appear on your screen, touch and hold it for a second. It will give you a few options: Target, Fire XMP, Deploy & Recharge.

If you select target when the portal is out of range it will keep track of the distance and open to the portal’s screen when you are in range. I think this is a really cool screen. From here you can Hack the portal, Link to another Portal (More to come on that later), Recharge the resonators, Upgrade the portal, or cancel back out to the map view.

You can also see how many resonators the portal has, their level, how well charged they are.  Sometimes there will be a photo of where the portal is in the top left, but not always. You can also see how powerful the portal is, who is the current owner, and even more information on the portal.  You can see what mods if any the portal has too. By touching the picture you may be taken to some really informative info about the site especially if you are at a historical location, artwork or something else that may have a story behind it.

Your scanner can also act as a communication device. At the bottom you will see the COMM button. This will allow you to chat with other players. You can set the chat up to only get messages from members of your faction, only ones in your area and more. You will also be informed here and by email if an opponent destroys your resonators. This is a useful tool if you are going out in a group (I’ll cover group play soon).

You also have the OPS button at the top. This will take you to the game menu. From here you can see the items you have under Items. This is useful because by default if you want to fire an XMP Burster or deploy a resonator it will deploy/fire your lowest level one and many time s you may not want to do that. It is also useful because you can see what Portal Keys you have and more. Another thing you will find on the Items page is where you can enter passcodes (more about these later).

The Intel tab will basically give you the worldwide game score.

The mission tab will go over the training demos with you that you went through when you first got your invitation.

Recruit allows you to send invites to others to play. You need to earn the ability to do this first.

The device tab basically lets you set your scanners settings.

That’s your Ingress scanner in a nutshell.