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Frog Pond

The Tadpole's Secret Guide to Ingress

A tadpole is a lower level member of the Enlightened Ingress Team. These secrets will help you to better understand the game at an early level to rapidly propel your growth to a Level 8 Frog on your way to Level 16. We've also added links to great Ingress sites which will provide instruction, passcodes for bonus gear, and other help.

These secrets aren't secret once you know them and you are encouraged to share them. These are some facts that you might not know about early on. The earlier you gain this knowledge, the quicker you'll advance.

  1. Join a local Ingress Community
    This is very important as it will give you a greater enjoyment of the game and you'll meet a lot of new friends that want to help you succeed. If you're an Enlightened team member, you have access to millions of other players who are ready, willing, and able to help you learn the game and advance. There are some in your town. I guarantee it. You just need to find them, or acknowledge them when they find you. Often, if they see you playing they will send you an invite you via your COMM to join their local chat rooms. You'll have opportunities to attend gaming parties and other get-together's. (Look for a little orange profile to appear at the bottom of your screen next to the word COMM. If you see this, click on it and read the message that has been sent to you).
  2. Team Up
    Going solo is fun, but teaming up to Ingress together brings another dimension of fun and cooperation to help you advance.
  3. Master the Slow Hack
    Also known as the "Glyph Hack". If you press and hold the HACK button, a series of 1 to 5 Glyphs will appear. You are then expected to draw the glyphs in the same order in a very short period of time. You earn extra gear for each glyph you get right. If you get them all correct you will also a time bonus which gives you even more gear. You have nothing to lose. Even if you only get one glyph right, you get more gear. You'll suck at this at first. Don't worry. You will get better the more you glyph hack. Once you do get better watching your glyph-hacking results gets boring. You can hit "DONE" at any time to move on without losing any bonuses you've earned.
  4. Hacking Keys
    When you quick hack a portal for which you do not currently have a key, you may receive 0 or 1 key. If you slow hack a portal (whether or not you currently have 1 or more keys) you can request more keys. At the very start of your glyph hack, prior to any glyphs appearing, draw a "More" glyph. While this doesn't guarantee you a key, you will get between 0 and 3 keys. If you absolutely don't want any keys, draw a "Less" glyph instead.
  5. Master the Slow Attack
    If you press and hold the FIRE button you will earn up to a 20% increase in attack intensity. You'll catch on to this quickly. It's all in the timing.
  6. Only use UltraStrikes when standing on top of the portal
    Ultrastrikes are intended to be used to pop mods off of portals. Be sure you're standing on top of (or very near) the portal before using, otherwise they will be wasted.
  7. Use Heat Sinks to get another hack
    If you ever need to try to get another key and you don't want to wait 5 minutes to be able to hack again, insert a Heat Sink into an empty mod slot. This will grant you another hack instantly.
  8. Download IITC and Ingress Intel Map
    Both of these programs can be run on your smartphone and computer. These are world maps that allow you to see all of the portals, fields, and links for any area you are playing in. There are also tools for helping you plan your fields.
  9. Use Quantum Capsules Properly
    Also known as "Redcaps", "Baby Makers", "MUFUGs" and "Mommas", these very rare grey capsules will store up to 100 items and will duplicate items placed within them over time. The rarer the item, the more time it takes to replicate. Quantum Capsules work best when you keep 90 - 98 items in them. However, once the total equals 100 they won't produce any more. They also won't produce if your total items owned in your entire inventory exceeds 1999. So clean them out occassionally.
  10. Full Service
    Advancement through the first 8 levels only requires Action Points (AP). Levels 9 to 16 requires earning badges in addition to AP. Using a "full service" model of game play will allow you to advance more rapidly. Almost every activity awards AP and adds advancement on one or more badges. Here's what to do when coming upon a portal (realizing of course that you may have difficultly with some of these items until you become stronger):
    1. Glyph Hack the portal. Earn gear, bonus gear, AP for successful glyphs, and 100 AP if it's an enemy portal.
    2. Destroy the portal if it's an enemy portal. Earn 75 AP per resonator, 187 for each link, and 750 for each field, destroyed.
    3. Upgrade the portal. Earn 125 AP for each resonator deployed, plus bonuses of 500 AP for the first resonator (#1) and 250 AP for the last resonator (#8). You can also upgrade another agent's weaker resonators, for which you also earn 65 AP. Where possible, avoid making the mistake of creating weak portals. The further you stand away from the portal when resonating, the better. Portals are much stronger when they have a larger starburst pattern. Portals that are resonated while standing close to, or on top of, the portal are weak. The act of making weak portals is called "Pineappling" or "Campfiring".
    4. Mod the portal. Add offensive or defensive mods if slots are available. You are permitted to add up to 2 mods. Each mod added earns 125 AP.
    5. Link the portal. Earn 313 AP for each link, and 1250 AP for each triangular control field, you make.
    6. Recharge the portal. Earn 10 AP per charge, regardless if it's a long charge or a short charge.
    Many agents skip several of these steps as they can be time consuming and it's certainly more fun to simply destroy portals and move on, but they are missing out on significant AP and advancement on their badges --- both of which are needed for higher levels. For example, if you destroy an full enemy portal and put 1 resonator in it to claim it, you'll earn 1,225 AP (plus link and field points). If you take a little more time to fully resonate the new portal your AP will almost double to 2,350 AP. Throw links and create fields and your points grow exponentially. Ingress can be played a little or a lot, there are no time limits. Everything is counted and every addition matters.
  11. Do Missions
    It normally takes tadpoles a long time to discover that missions even exist. Missions are badges that can be earned (with AP and gear earned in the process) by hacking specific portals identified in the mission. Missions are usually fun and often lead you to places you wouldn't normally discover. A list of nearby missions can be found by pressing "OPS" on your scanner, then "MISSIONS" at the top of the next screen.
  12. Mods
    New mods are introduced occassionally. Collect them until you learn how to optimally deploy them.
  13. Key Lockers
    Key lockers are special capsules that can be purchased in the Ingress Store. There is no need to spend any money until you find that you routinely hit up against the 2000 inventory limit. These capsules will hold up to 100 keys each, yet count as only one item in your inventory. There is a limit of 5 key capsules per player and they cannot be dropped, recycled, or traded.
  14. Portal Frackers
    Portal Frackers (aka "Frackers" and "Powerups") can also be purchased in the Ingress Store. They double the output of any portal for 10 minutes. Most frackers are deployed on Level 8 portals with very rare hacking mods (Multi-hack and Heat Sink) already in place to speed up the time between hacks and increase the number of hacks permitted. Frackers are best utilized when there are 2 or more Enlightened players present. They cannot be dropped, recycled, or traded. Related term: Farming. "Farming" is the act of harvesting gear from one or more portals using frackers, or from a large concentration of nearby portals.
Helpful Sites
Ingress HelpDownload the field guide kit to learn all about your scanner functions.
Tadpole Training GuideThis is a great, illustrated reference that will walk you through almost everything thing you need to know about the game.
Ingress GuideInformation on all things Ingress.
Ingress Intel MapMap of every portal in the world.
Decode IngressGreat guide with game instructions and strategy.
Ingress SwagA great site to buy high quality Ingress items, like lanyards, key chains, coins, and lapel pins.

Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed. The information presented is an opinion intended to assist new Ingress players in rapidly advancing in the game. Since we do not have complete control over the "Ads by Google" appearing on this page, we do not directly endorse their sites or products. Please notify us if you find any of the advertisers to be misleading.
Feel free to contact me to correct any information in this article
or to alert me to additional information one should consider.

© 2017 Topher
Updated 2019

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