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Exotic matter (typically called XM) powers your scanner. You need XM to do almost any action in the game.

XM Reserves

The bright meter you see at the top of your scanner’s screen shows your XM reserves; you can tap this meter to see the exact amount. As a level 1 agent, your XM capacity is only 3,000 XM. Your XM capacity increases every time you level up: +1,000 XM for reaching levels 2 through 8, and +1,500 XM for attaining levels 9 and above. A Lawson power cube (LPC) can extend your XM capacity by providing an additional “tank” from which your scanner will draw XM automatically to replenish your reserves. The capacity of an LPC is also dependent on agent level. The table below shows XM reserves and LPC capacities at each level:

Level XM Capacity LPC Capacity
1 3,000 XM  18,000XM
2 4,000 XM 20,250 XM
3 5,000 XM 22,500 XM
4 6,000 XM 24,750 XM
5 7,000 XM 27,000 XM
6 8,000 XM 29,250 XM
7 9,000 XM 31,500 XM
8 10,000 XM 33,750 XM
9 11,500 XM 36,000 XM
10 13,000 XM 38,400 XM
11 14,500 XM 40,800 XM
12 16,000 XM 43,200 XM
13 17,500 XM 45,600 XM
14 19,000 XM 48,000 XM
15 20,500 XM 50,400 XM
16 22,000 XM 52,800 XM

Obtaining XM

There are four ways you can obtain XM:

Collecting XM in the Field

XM shows up in you scanner as white glowing dots scattered over the land and clustered densely around portals. To pick it up, move near it (within 40 meters). You will only pick up XM if your reserves aren’t full. Note that XM is global: once you pick it up, in about 15 seconds it will become unavailable for others to pick up until it respawns. Keep this in mind when out with other agents from your faction: by walking around in a group, you can all pick up the same XM before it disappears. Otherwise, you may end up starving a friendly agent for XM.

Power Cubes

Power cubes are items that give you XM when consumed, and the Lawson power cube provides supplemental XM to replenish your reserves automatically.

Recycling

You can also get XM from recycling items in your inventory.

Passcodes

Passcodes sometimes grant XM when redeemed.

When using a power cube, recycling items, or redeeming passcodes, make sure your have enough space in your reserves for the XM, as any that you receive in excess of your scanner’s capacity is lost.

Using XM

Nearly every action you take in the game uses XM. The required amount is drawn from your reserves. If your reserves get too low, the screen will fill with red static. At that point, you will not be able to do any action which requires XM until you collect more.

Action XM Cost
Deploying a resonator resonator level × 50 XM
Hacking a portal portal level × 50 XM (+ enemy portal zap)
Installing a mod (C/R/VR) 400/800/1,000 XM
Creating a link 250 XM
Upgrading another agent’s resonator reso level × 50 XM
Recharging resonators (slow) up to 1,000 XM
Firing an XMP or ultra strike weapon level × 50 XM
Using a flip card portal level × 1,000 XM
Recharging resonators (quick) up to 15,000 XM