Ingress How To Play Series

Welcome to our Ingress How To Player series. Information provided is intended for agents just picking up the scanner all the way to advanced techniques.

Part 1 – The Basics

Exotic Matter (XM)

  • You need XM to do almost any action.
  • Portals emit a high amount of XM.
  • Tap the XM bar to see the numerical value of your XM.

Access Points (AP)

  • AP more or less is “Exp.”
  • Tap the XM bar to see the numerical value of your AP.
  • Tap your avatar to see your Agent Profile.


Communications (COMM)

  • This is your chat.
  • Make sure to set COMM to Local to stay in touch with agents in your area.
  • Use faction chat for secure transmissions.


  • Use the intel map to locate portals in your area (
  • Blue portals are owned by the Resistance.
  • Green portals are owned by the Enlightened.
  • Gray portals are neutral/unclaimed.
  • Get within 40 meters to interact with a portal. (The ring around you represents a 40 meter radius.)
  • Hack portals for items.


  • Collecting keys allows for the creation of links.
  • Having a key allows you to link to that portal from other portals. (The key is consumed after a successful link is made.)
  • Form triangles by linking portals to create a control field.
  • Triangles, triangles, triangles. It’s all about the triangles.

Low level leveling

  • Deploy resonators on neutral portals to claim them.
  • Deploy resonators on open slots on friendly portals.
  • Create lots of small links and fields.
  • Recharge portals.
  • Hack enemy portals for AP, but watch out, they hurt.

Part 2 – Access Level Increased


  • You must wait a period of five minutes for cooldown before hacking the same portal again.
  • Adding a heat sink mod will reduce the cooldown period between hacks.
  • Hacking the same portal four times within a four-hour period will burn out the portal. You must wait four hours before you can hack that portal again.
  • Adding a multi-hack mod will allow you to continue hacking a portal beyond its burnout limit.


  • To fire an XMP blast, push and hold on the screen, then move your finger to Fire XMP.
  • Push and hold the Fire button to increase the power of your XMP burst. The closer the energy is to the center when you release, the higher bonus you’ll get (max 20% increase).
  • Once you’ve started attacking, XM will be drained, and the portal may attack back.
  • You do the most damage with an XMP burst when you stand close to the resonator(s).


  • Place resonators at max distance (~39m) to make them harder to destroy.
  • Place shield mod(s) to boost the defenses of a portal.
  • Place turret mod(s) to boost the frequency of attacks.
  • Place force amp mod(s) to boost the amount of damage done from each attack.

XM Management

  • Recycle items for small amounts of XM.
  • Power cubes are a one-time use item to recharge XM.
  • The XM received is determined by the level of the power cube x 1000 (ex: L6 Power Cube gives 6000 XM).


  • Don’t link to any available portal just because you can. Think before you link. Maximize AP.
  • You get the same amount of AP, no matter how large the field. (You do however, get more mind units for a larger field.)
  • Mind Units (MU) determine which side is currently winning on a global scale. (Some might debate this.)
  • When you destroy a link, sometimes a key is dropped.
  • To determine which portal the key might drop at, check the flow of the link. If dropped, it will be at the portal the link was flowing to.

Part 3 – The Art of Ingress


  • Portals naturally decay every day, keep them recharged.
  • If you have the key to a portal, you can remotely recharge it (range decreases efficiency).
  • You can charge resonators individually.

Power Management

  • Don’t let low battery life stop you while out in the field.
  • Close apps you don’t need open.
  • Dim your screen brightness.
  • Considering buying an external battery pack.


  • You cannot link from portals that are covered by a field.
  • When a portal is covered by a field, you can link to it from the outside portals of that field.
  • With these rules in mind, you can layer fields.
  • Another example of layering: ladder building.

Ultra Strikes

  • Condensed XMP, very powerful, short distance.
  • Ultra strikes have a higher chance to break shields than an XMP. (Stand close to the center of the portal.)
  • Great for single resonator destruction (especially when someone is recharging).

The Compass

  • Tap the compass needle to enable dynamic compass mode.
  • The red needle always points north.
  • When deploying, the hexagon with the red dot is the north point of the portal.
  • An easy mnemonic for compass directions (N E S W): Never Eat Sour Watermelon.
  • Deploy highest level resonators inside hard to access areas (like in the middle of water, behind a fence, inside a building).

Flip Cards (a.k.a. Viruses)

  • Flips a portal to a new alignment (depending on Jarvis or ADA).
  • An ADA will flip a green portal to blue.
  • A Jarvis will flip a blue portal to green.
  • Costs XM 1000 × portal level to use. Ex: To use a flip card on an L8 portal, you’d need at least 8000 XM.
  • Links are destroyed, but no AP is awarded.
  • This is a one hour cooldown period before another flip card can be used on a portal. Using a flip card on a portal before this cooldown will still use the flip card, so be careful.
  • Resonators are recharged to full.


  • Queue up empowered bursts in a row to fire more rapidly.
  • Collect XM in the area when getting attacked to starve your opponents of XM.
  • Deploy resonators on portals as they are being destroyed.
  • Remote charge during an attack (more effective as a group).
  • Links will boost the defense of a portal. (Eight links adds up to 50% mitigation.)

Glyph Hacking

  • You can get additional items from a hack via glyph hacking.
  • To initiate a glyph hack, press and hold the Hack button.
  • Memorize the glyphs displayed in order.
  • Draw the glyphs you memorized.