Friday, June 20, 2014

Levelling quickly in Ingress (part 1, levels 1-4).


I've started playing Ingress, and hit level 7 in a couple of weeks playing solo, so I thought I'd give some tips on what I did, in the hope that other players find it useful. Your level is dictated by the number of Action Points you have, which is the equivalent of experience in any other game.

First things first, I live in London, so there are lots of portals EVERYWHERE. This is obviously an advantage. I also started walking home from work, and have covered ~70km in 2 weeks. And I do it all by foot (except this one time by bus, which proved to be more troublesome than useful). I've been putting in about 3 hours per day, on average. And learning about some amazing little things I never knew existed.

Levels 1-4

You should be able to hit level 5 (or even 6) by the end of your first week, and that's also when things start to actually be fun, so for the first few levels, don't worry too much about attacking enemy portals. I did, and it just wasted a LOT of time. As you can see below, the damage from low level bombs (XMPs) is pitiful. Even a level 4 bomb is going to outperform a level 3 bomb at 50m. Don't worry when your stuff is destroyed. It happens, and it's not a problem.

So, instead do the all the training missions. You can do them from your sofa, because it'll create portals for you. Then go to the ingress intel map ( and look for some unclaimed or partially claimed portals. As you can see below, even in the middle of London, there are quite often 3 or 4 grey portals very close together.

As you're walking there, hack everything, green or blue. Hacking enemy portals will give you a little AP (which is the experience) but mostly, you're doing it for gear and portal keys. You can long-press the hack key if you like, which will put you into the Glyph game. I've read various reports saying that the Glyph game isn't worth it, but I think it's fun, and it generally rewards 2-5 extra items per hack, so I do it probably 90% of the time. I generally get 2 of the Glyphs, and even without the time bonus, rewards are good. I just wish the interface ran a little quicker. But I digress.

As you're walking around, you will find portals with less than 8 resonators on them. Deploy your resonators until there are 8 on the portal. And then hack it. There's a 70% chance you'll get a portal key. If you don't, don't worry just yet. If it's a grey portal, deploy all 8 resonators to fully claim the portal, (and remember to hack).

You can hack a portal 4 times (once every 5 minutes) before it burns out. The burnout is specific to you, but will lock you out of more hacking for 4 hours. This can be reduced, but don't worry too much for now.

As you'll remember from the training, you can link two fully deployed portals if you have a key for one of them. So, now start to link. And you want to make lots and lots of little triangles.

Here's what I did in Regent's Park inner circle yesterday in about an hour. Most of them were grey, and a couple were green. I walked around all the portals in a clockwise manner, deployed 8 resonators on each. As I got the next, I linked back to the one I'd just hacked, when I had the key. After 3 loops, I had everything linked up, and did one more circuit for extra parts. It earned me somewhere around 30,000 AP.
10 fields: 12500 (1250 per field, regardless of size)
14 links: 4382 (313 per link, regardless of length)
9 portals fully deployed: 15750 (125 per resonator, 250 bonus for first, 500 bonus for last)

This is a great little cluster to fix up, regardless of level. And I'm hoping someone goes and blows it apart over the weekend, so I can rebuild it next week. That's the key here. Don't be upset when people destroy your work. It just means you can rebuild it and earn more AP.

You'll find you start to acquire shields and other mods as you hack - hang onto these for the time being. They're best saved for when your portals have a slightly better chance of staying alive, rather than wasting them on level 1 portals.

Top Tips:

Long press the hack button to win bonus items.
If you see a portal with less than 8 resonators, fill it up.
Link, link, link. Make lots of small triangles, not one big one.
If you're bombing, don't forget to long press fire (let go when the circle closes over you), to do up to 20% extra damage.

I'll post about levels 5-7 tomorrow, and then start to daily document my quest to level 8.

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