Ingress for iOS Released: 10 Things New Players Should Know

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.


Ingress for iOS Released: 10 Things New Players Should Know


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

Ingress for iOS Released: 10 Things New Players Should Know

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!

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About the Author

Wayne Schulz
Wayne is a diehard Android user and consultant specializing in Sage 100 ERP Accounting Software. He lives in Glastonbury CT with his two children. When not helping them with their homework or pushing the latest school fundraiser off on his co-workers, he is active hiking and investigating all manner of technology.

3 Comments on "Ingress for iOS Released: 10 Things New Players Should Know"

  1. Perry Brauner | July 15, 2014 at 11:35 am |

    I just joined yesterday and captured a few portals on the way home from work.
    What do you think is the best way to earn points and level up?

  2. Pair up with another local player. Most people who’ve been playing for a while are bored to tears and enjoy something different. Also hack everything, capture everything, create links as much as you can – fields are even better.

    When you are making fields or links use the shortest ones possible to start – that way you don’t interfere with anyone. As you get used to the area then you can use larger links/fields. I tell players make tiny triangles to begin – you get the same points without getting into anyone else’s way who may be creating a bigger link or field.

    Creating lots of links and fields seems to be the fastest way to gain points without traveling all over. Have another player take down all the opposition portals so you can capture them. Don’t worry about what level you make them – the points don’t depend on making them any particular level.

  3. Michael Siebenaler | July 16, 2014 at 5:49 am |

    Thanks Wayne. I just installed. Will try out amid the VBS fiesta this week.

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