Google’s popular multi-player online game Ingress was finally released this weekend for iOS. The game began as a beta on November 15, 2012, and until now it had been limited to Android smartphones. Ingress is basically an electronic game of capture the flag (aka portals) between two sides (aka factions) – Enlightened (green) and Resistance (blue).
It’s as simple or complex as you make it. As a player since early 2013, here are some tips to get you started.
New Players Guide to Ingress for iOS
Tip #1 RTFM: There is a great third-party online manual which explains more than you’d ever want to know about Ingress. It’s worth a read, and it will answer 99.9% of the questions you have. I recommend you read it before getting started. Here’s the link – Ingress Manual.
Tip #2 iOS Version Limitations: I found two main differences between the iOS version of Ingress vs the Android version. (1) You cannot submit new portals through the iOS version, and (2) you cannot recycle multiple items at one time.
Tip #3 Maps: To see what portals exist around you for gameplay – go online to https://www.ingress.com/intel
Tip #4 Socialize: Although you will be tempted to play alone for the first few days – the game is much more fun when you connect with other players. You’ll be staring at your smartphones while playing, so don’t worry about having to make small talk.
Find other local players in the COMM section of the game (use the slider to extend the distance from which chats appear) where other plays will chat publicly. Because COMM is not considered secure most other players use a different chat service — Google Hangouts and GroupMe seem to be two active ones.
There is also a rather large (100,000+) member community of Ingress players on Google Plus – here.
Tip #5 Level Up! : Until you reach level 6, you won’t be able to destroy much in the game. For the first week concentrate on gaining points to get to at least level 6. Most other players are bored senseless and more than willing to help you achieve a higher level by clearing portals in your area which you then can capture.
Tip #6 It’s All About Time: The game is really about time. No matter which side is “winning”, at the moment there’s only so many hours in the day for any player. Do not fall victim to burnout by playing 6 or more hours a day or traveling all over the state. The game can be addicting, but players who overdo it tend not to last very long.
Tip #7 Backyard Players Are The Norm: The game is really about playing locally (unless you’re a traveling salesman). Ideally, to dominate a town or region you will need 3 active players of at least level 8 or higher. The vast majority of players will stick to their own backyards.
Tip #8 GPS Is A Battery Hog: You’ll probably need an extended battery. Since the game makes heavy constant use of GPS (which eats battery like nobody’s business), you’ll need either a car charger or portable battery if you plan to play for much more than an hour or so.
Tip #9 Accept Offers Of Help: Accept every bit of help another player offers. Within the game, other players can drop inventory items. When you can see those items within your screen circle then you can pick them up by clicking them. An even faster method is to use capsules which allow for up to 100 items at a time to be dropped or picked up. See the Decode Ingress Manual in Tip #1 above for all you need to know about the rules of the game.
Tip #10 It’s Just A Game: Do not take any portion of the game personally. In heavily populated areas, the portals you capture within the game may not last 15 minutes. You are not being targeted. Go out and recapture for more points. Erase forever the concept of your “owning” any particular portal. These game items swap sides very frequently, and capture and destroy is all part of the game.
What Makes A Successful Ingress Player?
After playing for over a year, I’ve observed that most successful players pace themselves in the game. Some of them are commuters who only play on the drive into or home from work, and some are lunch players; the key to their success is they play regularly.
The players who tend to leave the game are those who play an extraordinary amount of time (think 6+ hours) daily. These players burn out over the course of months, and they are usually never heard from again.
Ingress is essentially a team game. As you’ll learn, it takes multiple players to build up objects of higher values so almost everyone who plays will eventually meet up with other players and have joined gaming experiences. Use the same amount of caution you would when meeting any stranger – when possible, travel in pairs and keep your safety in mind.
The average age of Ingress players seems to be recent college graduate up to about 30. Most of the players I’ve met are involved somehow in information technology, and they tend to have a gaming background.
The best part of Ingress is that it provides you with an opportunity to get out and walk around while also enjoying the game.
Enjoy the sites you’ll see. Pace yourself. And have fun!