Welcome to part 2 of the Ingress – New Player Guide hosted by The RiotACT! This article will explore my journey into the field and the progress I’ve made and what I’ve learnt along the way.
My first week attempting to Ingress turned into a nightmare of dealing with Android. Having ordered a HTC Desire S off ebay because I had read there was a 4.x android ROM from HTC I could upgrade with, I went head and did that only to discover touch was failing to work in certain areas of the screen afterwards, meaning I couldn’t even click “next” in the Ingress screen to get past the new player tips and into the game itself.
After 2 mad days of reading up on rooting phones, s-off, restoring to stock ROM, etc… I finally managed to first downgrade HTBOOT on the phone, then get Cyanogen mod installed, then restore it to it’s stock ROM. By this point I wasn’t a big fan of this new phone, so I went and visited Tech Exchange in the Hyperdome, and ended up trading in the Desire for a store credit along with my iPhone 4 i still had and getting a LG Google Nexus 4 instead (one of the Google flagship models) for an extra $20 out of pocket, and I instantly fell in love with this new phone and don’t regret not being on iOS one bit now I’ve had the Nexus 4 for a week.
So after finally being able to actually dive into the game properly with the ‘new’ phone, I headed out into the field to see what trouble I could cause. Early on I met up with Resistance agent Varthrax, who introduced me to some vital game concepts I would need to know (more on that further down) as well as showed me some game mechanics and tips on practical gameplay and dropped a bunch of items he had spare I could use to help level up. We then proceeded around Gungahlin with a couple of other agents whose names I forget (sorry guys) and they smashed all the portals clean for me so I could deploy them and link them together, and before I knew it they had helped me get from level 1 to level 4 in the space of an hour, and I then headed home for the day, high on the joy of Ingress and having confirmed I would be very addicted to this new game lol.
Woden after an early attempt at linking fields.
The next few days proceeded with me smashing portals in Woden solo and rebuilding them with medium level resonators and linking them together to form fields for the AP (action points), although my portals got destroyed again the next day each time, this just meant there was more AP for me to do the same back each night. It has been a see-saw battle for Woden since, with a number of Enlightened players working there during the week able to easily target portals during the weekday, and me living right on the edge of it all and able to target portals at night when Enlightened aren’t around, it’s a great typical Red vs Blue situation with neither side willing to give ground and a battle of attrition being waged around the clock.
After a few days of game play, I joined a Resistance meetup in Tuggeranong, where 21 of us joined together and smashed tuggers blue one evening, was a lot of fun meeting everyone and talking to strangers explaining the game wondering what we were all doing (we had some of the skater kids quite fascinated by our antics). Over the weekend I was out of town and Woden went green again, but since getting back I and some other agents have already fought back and the war of attrition is heating up here. I also went and farmed the sculpture gardens the other night late in the evening with Varthrax and the most active night watchmen the Resistance has (sorry forget game handle) while they turned it into a blue level 8 farm and I replenished on items which was great fun. I have also had some fun farming in Queanbeyan with some players, which is a blue stronghold currently and also provides a good 5 minute walking route like the SG does.
Woden after a later attempt at linking fields.
The social aspect to the game has been great, the Resistance players are very friendly and very keen to help new players level up, with a number going out of their way the past week to assist me in one way or another. There are a number of big events in the works being planned for big meet-up’s and group events, and I couldn’t feel more welcome or at home among the great group of people that make up Resistance Canberra, and the Google+ community page for Resistance Canberra is very active and a great source of daily interaction with interesting new people I never would have met without Ingress. I can’t speak for the Enlightened side in Canberra but if you are considering joining the game, I can assure you could do worse than pick the Resistance team to join
USEFUL INFORMATION TO KNOW AS A NEW PLAYER:
* Portal – physical location that is a location in game to attack/defend
* Hack – allows you to gain items from friendly or enemy portals by “hacking” them
* Resonator – deploy 8 of these per portal to put the portal online
* XMP Buster – use them to attack the portals by firing at the resonators
* Linking/Fields – join 3 portals together in a triangular shape by linking them to form a field to gain points for every MU (min unit) aka population count contained in that field – this is how the scores for each team are calculated.
* Farming – going in a circular route around a group of portals that pref. ends where you started, allowing you to hack portals along the way and then start again once the 5 minute cooldown has expired (you can only hack a portal once every 5 mins, and a total of 4 times before it burns out for a few hours).
Tips for new players:
1. When attacking a portal, attack the resonators not the portal itself.
2. You do more damage if you are literally standing on top of the resonator itself you are attacking.
3. Damage from busters spreads out in a circular wave, diminishing in power the further out it goes.
4. When deploying resonators, they will appear the same distance from the portal as the distance you are standing when you deploy them – always deploy with the portal at the edge of your action field.
5. Holding down the fire button for 3-6 seconds before letting go will do up to 20% extra damage per attack.
6. It takes 8 level 8 players to make a completely level 8 portal. You can only deploy 1 level 7 or 8 resonator per portal per person, 2 level 5 or 6 resonators, 4 level 4 resonators, 6 level 3 resonators, or 8 level 2 or 1 resonators per portal per person.
7. You can install mods on the portal, up to 4 per portal (2 per player) that add effects, such as a shield, turret, heat sink, multihack, etc… that are gained from hacking portals.
8. When you know a portal is on the 5 minute cooldown, don’t keep trying to hack it too early as this can sometimes cause it to fail subsequent hacks even though it is not burnt out yet.
9. You gain keys by hacking portals, you must have a key to the portal you are linking to in order to link portals together.
10. If you drop a key from you inventory before hacking a portal, you can sometimes gain another key and then pick the original back up again.
11. High level players often have spare low level gear they can drop for you, always ask your faction teammates if they can help you when you are leveling up initially.
12. Working in a team is much faster AP gain for those involved than going solo, plus level 8′s don’t need AP anymore and will be happy for you to take it all while they help you level.
13. Watch the comms messages for codes found by other players that give you free items, these may appear at any time.
14. If you get serious about the game, consider an external battery recharger for your phone, such as the 6600MAh from Kogan – I get about 2hrs max from my 1500MAh phone battery fully charged, the external charger allows me to recharge up to 4 times in the field which is more than enough even for heavy gameplay.
15. Heavy gameplay uses about 1-1.5GB of data a month depending on exactly how active you are, less active players will find they get by on < or around 500MB a month.
16. There are many useful Google+ communities based on Ingress, including ones for the Resistance and the Enlightened in Canberra, a general cross-faction community, and a Recruitment cross-faction community. Joining in discussion will help you learn the game and your fellow players faster.
17. Sculpture gardens in Barton are as best I can tell the most densely populated section of portals in Canberra, and is accessible 24hrs a day, so when you need to farm, go SG.
18. An iOS version of the game is in the works but probably a few months off still, so if you are keen right now you need an Android phone, or if you are happy to wait check back in a few months time for the iOS version.
19. GPS drift is an issue on many android phones, it is suggested to install “GPS Fix” if you have a non-rooted phone, or “Better GPS” if you have a rooted phone, both are free in the Play Store to download.
20. There is an incredibly rich and detailed story behind the game for those who enjoy sci-fi/fantasy/role-play aspects, you can ignore it completely or dive right in, either way the game is just as fun.
This concludes my 2-part series introducing you all to the world of Ingress, I hope you found my articles useful and I look forward to hopefully seeing you in the field soon!