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Frog Pond

LavaSurfer's Secret Guide to Ingress Prime

Members of the green Enlightened Ingress Team are referred to as "Frogs", and "Tadpole" is an endearing term for their newest team members. These secrets will help you to better understand the game at an early level to rapidly propel your growth from a fledgling Tadpole 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-togethers.

  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. They are also effective at killing particularly stubborn individual resonators one at a time --- but you must stand directly on top of the resonator before igniting.

  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. Heat Sinks also reset your portal hack count to zero and reduces the time between hacks for everyone.

  8. Use the Ingress Intel Map
    This app can be run on your smartphone and computer. Although it rasters as a world map view, you can quickly drill down to see all of the portals, fields, and links for your local area and any other areas you wish to explore.

  9. Use Quantum Capsules Properly
    Affectionately known as "Redcaps", "Baby Makers", "MUFUGs" and "Mommas", these very rare blue-and-purple-colored capsules will store up to 100 items and will duplicate items placed within them over time. Rare items take more time to replicate than common items, and Very Rare items will not replicate at all. 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 (or 2499 if a CORE subscriber). So clean them out occassionally.

  10. CORE Subscription
    CORE is an Ingress subscription that provides a few extras to agents willing to pay approximately $5/month. You can subscribe and cancel on month-to-month basis as needed. The primary benefit is an increase in your inventory count from 2000 to 2500. This can be especially useful when traveling.

  11. 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 bonus 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 a whopping 65 AP per charge --- regardless if it's a time-saving "Boost Charge All" or a slower "Charge All". Fully recharging a portal will use the same amount of XM resources either way but if you wish to significantly boost your AP while charging, then the slower and more painstakingly you recharge, the more AP you will earn.

    Many agents skip several of these steps as they can be time consuming and it's certainly 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 a full enemy portal and put 1 resonator in it to claim it, you'll earn 1,225 AP (plus points for any links and fields destroyed). 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.

  12. 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 the button on the bottom of your scanner that looks like a Death Star thermal exhaust port, then "MISSIONS" towards the bottom left of the next screen.

  13. Farming
    "Farming" is the act of harvesting gear from one or more portals, or from a large concentration of nearby portals. Finding a farm is like finding an oasis as it allows you to resupply yourself with high level gear --- regardless the color of the portals. Farms are typically located in parks, campuses, cemeteries, and corporate areas --- though any concentration of 3 or more level 8 portals will allow you to quickly hack lots of quality gear.

  14. Ownership of Portals
    The agent who most recently captured a portal is the current "owner" of the portal. When first starting out, it's common to get a little possessive of portals you have captured. While being protective of your portals isn't a bad thing, being overly possessive is. The portal itself belongs to no one. It's always in play. Besides, if the portal changes color, you'll earn more points when you recapture it and throw new links and fields.

  15. Portal Pictures
    When a portal first comes online, the agent who submitted the portal is also credited with having taken the portal picture and the agent's name is associated with the portal. Some portal pictures are gorgeous while others are incredibly crappy. If you can take a better picture, you can get credit for it. Any agent can take and submit a new picture for any portal. Hint: Ingress' current portal display dictates that taking pictures in landscape mode works best. Once your new picture has been accepted it becomes available to all agents to vote it up. The picture with the most votes becomes the new portal picture. Don't forget to vote up your own pictures. Often it only takes 1 or 2 votes to become the new portal picture.

  16. Use of Specialty Gear
    • Mods
      New mods are introduced occassionally. Collect them until you learn how to optimally deploy them.
    • 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. Note: Keys residing inside a key locker are not available for play until retrieved.
    • 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. They are often deployed in farms. Frackers are best utilized when there are 2 or more Enlightened players present. They cannot be dropped, recycled, or traded. Note: When a Fracker's 10-minute time limit is depleted the portal being fracked with lose 50% of its XM. Be sure to fully recharge friendly portals before leaving.
    • Apex
      "Access Point Exploits" or "Apex Boosts" can be activated to double all AP earned for 30 minutes, and they can be stacked. If you activate more than one at a time then when one Apex expires the next one will automatically keep the clock ticking for another 30 minutes. These are particular effective at significantly increasing your AP earned if you activate them just before slow charging a large batch of keys; or when building, linking, and glyphing a large volume of portals.
    • Kinetic Capsule aka Transmogrifier
      One Kinetic Capsule is now issued as standard equipment to all Ingress agents. It allows you to create higher quality / rarer MODS from less rare equipment. When you open the Kinetic Capsule, you will be presented with 4 MODS you can create from different recipes of equipment plus walking and/or driving slowly a total of 8.0 km. As of 2021, you can create a Very Rare Shield, Very Rare Heat Sink, Very Rare Multi-Hack, and a (Very Rare) SoftBank. Make whatever equipment you have the most need for. The only thing to remember is to make sure you ALWAYS have something cooking in the Kinetic Capsule.

  17. Courtesies
    There is no rule saying you must do any of the following. Your specific circumstances as well as local traditions may actually dictate play. These are courtesies to keep in mind while playing.
    • If you come across a Level 8 cross-faction farm (easily identified by the abundance of hacking mods, relative lack of defensive mods, and general lack of links and fields), DO NOT blow up any of the farm portals, DO NOT throw links from the portals, and DO NOT link into the portals. Instead, count yourself lucky that you have discovered a farm and milk it for all the gear you can carry! If you don't like the color of the portal it is fair game to ADA or Jarvis the portals (keeping in mind that hacking portals of the opposing faction grants you 100 extra AP per hack).
    • When you come upon a friendly Level 7 or Level 8 portal that has 2 or 3 Rare or Very Rare mods installed, do not add a common mod. Agents have built that portal with stronger mods on purpose. Please honor them by only adding rare and very rare mods.
    • When you are hacking friendly portals, please take the time to upgrade the resonators and throw a little recharge their way.
    • Generally "if it shows, it throws" is not a mantra for linking portals. Unless strategically thrown, a long random link that is not part of your plan to make a field is considered poor play as it blocks local agents from building fields. You get the exact same points for throwing small links as you do for throwing long ones. Try to keep them tight.
    • If you need to destroy a high level fully resonated friendly portal because you are working on a big field, or wish to field in an area currently covered by a big field, attempt to contact the owner of the obstructing portal first to give them a heads up and/or ask for permission. You can try to contact them through COMMS > CHAT > Faction. They will appreciate the notice and you typically won't get any resistance. Be sure to rebuild the portal later if possible. It's also acceptable to rebuild it strong but with 1 resonator missing so that someone doesn't accidentally throw to it. Next time the local agents stop by the portal they will add their own upgrades and will appreciate your Level 7 and Level 8 resonators.
    • Do not attack a portal while its being fracked. You might consider this a strategic strike. These days, it's really just poor sportsmanship as Frackers are expensive and fracking typically involves a fun, light-hearted, gathering of agents. Instead, feel free to secretly glyph-hack the portal they so generously fracked or introduce yourself and join the fun.
    • It's not treasonous to be friendly to, and commiserate with, players from the other side. (Just because they "chose poorly" doesn't mean they don't want to join you for a beer).

  18. Major No-No's
    You are absolutely prohibited from doing any of the following. Not only are you cheating, these are in direct violation of the Ingress Prime "Terms of Service" and you will be banned when caught.
    • You must not have more than 1 Ingress account or agent name.
    • You cannot deploy from an account that is not yours.
    • You cannot use any software or apps that augment or plugin to the game.

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 Intel MapMap of every portal in the world.
Agent Stats AppA great app for tracking your progress and getting predictive analysis on when you'll earn your next badge. You can also create or join a group which allows you to see a sortable table with complete stats of everyone in the group.


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 2021

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