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Ingress Help: Leveling Faster and Gaining A.P.

Updated on August 23, 2018

Help you get started playing Ingress and gaining lots of AP/levels

When I first started playing Ingress, I did not really understand how to play. I felt lost, and I didn't really have a friend or acquaintance who played to explain to me how to go about getting started. It was like flying blind, and it took me a while to gain enough experience playing to start figuring things out. It was much more painful than need be, and I wish I had the knowledge that I am about to share with you when I started playing Ingress.

Since I mostly play solo, I will explain from that particular point of view. If you are able, try to meet up with a fellow player and have them show you how to level quicker, and even soften up an enemy portal for you.

If you ask nicely, I am sure they will share some of their lower level XMPs and resonators, and help you along. This is a wonderful boon to a starting player.

Once you get the basics down here, you should check out my tips and tricks page.

Building control fields

Levels 1-3

Linking portals/creating control fields is by far the easiest solo way to gain AP.

Either find and link neutral portals together (5 or more is optimal) yourself or find a bunch of faction portals that are unlinked.

Hack them to get a portal key, then proceed to the next portal. Link it to the next closest portal. Once you enclose an area in a triangle, this will create a control field. This will get you a large amount of AP.

Try to make a large amount of very small control fields. You don't get more AP for a large control field.

After you get to be level 4 or 5

You can start smashing opposing portals to level much quicker. This is much less time consuming than building your own control fields, and a better use of your time, overall.

Find an area with a lot of the opposing team's fields. Fire off your level 4 and 5 XMPs to drain their resonators of energy. Breaking a control field will get you 750 points. This seems slower at first, because placing a link that creates a control field will get you 1500 AP. Realize that if you destroy portal that had more than one control field from it, you will gain 750 AP per control field destroyed. If there are 4 control fields that include that portal, that is 3000 points for the fields alone!

Good places to look for opposing team's portals are county parks, cemeteries, and downtown areas. Breaking control fields will also help your team move ahead in the standings.

Remember to continue hacking enemy portals before you destroy them, if XM levels allow.

Destroying enemy resonators

"Smashing Portals"

Remember that smashing portals is dependent on where you are. XMPs are strongest at ground zero (where you fire them) and get weaker as they radiate outwards. A few well placed level 5 XMPs can easily destroy level 8 resonators if you fire them properly (remember to get the 20% bonus)

To take out higher level resonators with lower level XMPs, walk over to them on the map and fire your XMP on top of them. Try to hit as many resonators as possible with your XMP so that, overall, you will use less XMPs to destroy an enemy portal.

Try to focus on the highest charged resonator first. There will be a trickle down effect when destroying the other resonators, which will allow you to use fewer XMPs to neutralize the enemy portal.

Continue to focus on clusters of enemy portals.

Once you get the hang of it, destroying enemy links and control fields is the quickest way to gain levels. Do not forget, Niantic plans to release higher levels, so continue to gain AP, even if you are already level 8. The AP you gain now will not go to waste.

Try to hack higher level portals as much as possible, as level 8 XMPs are extremely powerful and can deal immense amounts of damage to enemy portals. Level 8 resonators are the strongest resonators right now, and are important to gain more level 8 gear further down the line. It takes 4 level 8 players, each with level 8 resonators, to make a level 8 portal. So stock up now, work with your team, so you will have a steady supply of more level 8 resonators and XMPs in the future.

"Why didn't my hack work!?" and "Why didn't my recharge work!?"

A note about playing Ingress while driving.

Playing Ingress while driving is very difficult, but more importantly, dangerous. Do not drive and attempt to play Ingress - it is worse than texting.

That said, getting a significant other to drive you, or carpooling with other Ingress players is a GREAT way to level quicker, cover more ground, and make lots of links and control fields.

Ingress has some built in mechanisms to prevent "drive by" hacking. If you attempt to hack a portal and receive the message "Hack received no items" then you will have to stop and wait near the portal and re-hack it.

Frequently when you are attempting to recharge resonators on the fly, it will appear to work, but then you will be recharged with the XM and the recharge will not go through.

You must either slow down or stop driving to hack and recharge correctly.

If you have any tips for leveling, please let me know. I'd like to share them with others. These are the best strategies I have found so far, but I would be very interested in learning your strategies.

I've hoped I have helped you get a better handle on the game.

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    • shellys-space profile image

      Shelly Sellers 

      7 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      I will share your Ingress tips with my son.


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