"The world around you is not what it seems. It's time to move."Ingress is an augmented-reality game created by the Niantic Labs team at Google.The plot centers around a new kind of matter dubbed 'exotic matter', discovered at CERN. It turns out to have highly unusual properties, and is connected to a mysterious alien intelligence known as the 'Shapers'. In the wake of the discovery, a secret project called the Niantic Project was established to study the effects of Exotic Matter on the human mind and how it connects to the Shapers.Gameplay is centered around visiting portal locations (in the real world) and then interacting with them. Players can hack portals for supplies, as well as install Resonators to align them to their faction. If the portal is aligned to the enemy faction, the player can attempt to destroy its Resonators to neutralize the portal for seizure by the player's faction, although the player is vulnerable to being attacked in the process.The game is free to playnote mostly; see Bribing Your Way to Victory below and can be downloaded for Android on Google Play. An iOS port is in the works.
Acquiring position. Downloading latest example package. Welcome back.
Absurdly Low Level Cap: It's very possible to hit Level 8 within a month or two if you play regularly and in an area with a lot of portals. Once you do, the focus shifts from Level Grinding to using level 8 items to reinforce friendly portals and assault enemy portals.
Action Commands / Charged Attack: As of version 1.39.2, XMP Bursters can be "charged up"; as you hold down the fire button, a ring of energy converges on your position; the smaller the ring, the more damage the Burster will inflict, up to a 20% boost in strength. However, once the ring converges completely, it vanishes and starts to converge again, meaning that attempting a 20% boost can result in no boost at all if timed too late.
All There in the Manual: One of the characters in the game runs a website called What Is The Niantic Project?, which serves to provide background information on the people, places, events, and organizations that form the background for Ingress. The game itself provides the player with only the roughest outline of the conflict. The portals also occasionaly drop "Media" - documents that make no sense out of context.
A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Arguably, ADA, the Niantic Project's AI. She appears to have ordered the killing of Roland Jarvis and an innocent bystander. She also arranged the death of contractor Edward Faulle in the wake of Zipcarmageddon.
To be fair, ADA's sentience was shaped by people talking to her about themselves. Given the Niantic Project's staff roster, it should be no surprise she turned out a little bit questionable.
Anti-Poop Socking / Anti-Grinding: When a player hack a portal, it has a "cooldown" period of 5 minutes before the player can use it again. After four hacks, the portal "burns out" and needs four hours until it can be hacked once more. This is to prevent players from simply camping a portal all day for items. However, the Multi-Hack upgrade increases the number of times a portal can be hacked before it burns out, and the Heat Sink upgrade reduces the cooldown time between hacks. Portal cooldown and burnout are local to each player, so even if a large number of players are hacking the same portal, each individual player will be allowed to hack the portal four times by default.
Augmented Reality: While What Is The Niantic Project? provides information on the game's universe, the game itself is played using a "scanner app" that uses GPS data to determine where you are and what in-game entities are in your general vicinity, which it then overlays on a map of the surrounding area.
Author Avatar: The Niantic Project may be one for the entire NianticLabs@Google team.
Benevolent Alien Invasion: The Shapers' influence on humanity could be considered this, at least from the point of view of the Enlightened.
Bribing Your Way to Victory: Secret passcodes can be redeemed to give you items and XM. What makes these passcodes fall under this trope is that bottles of Hint water, which have passcodes hidden under the caps, can be purchased at some grocery stores or ordered straight off the oficial website.
The two factions in the game are most easily identified by the color of the entities they control: Resistance entities are blue, while ones under Enlightened control are green.
Items are color-coded by their potency;
Level 1 (the weakest) are yellow, while Level 8 items (the most powerful) are purple.
Common portal mods are green, Rare ones are purple, and Very Rare ones are pink.
Competitive Balance: Players can create new portals, but each new portal must be reviewed and approved by the game staff before they can show up in-game; otherwise a player could simply make portals willy-nilly to bloat their faction's power. Portals have several guidelines to abide by, such as being monuments, fountains, places of worship, major shopping centers, major transit hubs, or other unique structures of artistic or cultural merit.
Conspiracy Placement: The NIA is a government agency so secret they pretend it was closed down in 1992. Naturally, they have an iconic logo, which they among other things stamp on the special chips in the phones they give to their agents. (When a phone is lost, one character complains that he always thought this was a bad idea).
Cosmetic Award: Medals, which function in a manner similar to achievement systems in other games, but with five degrees per medal.
Early Game Hell: At Level 1, your available weapons are only effective when standing on top of a Level 1 Resonator, and will do Scratch Damage in all other occasions, while your available Resonators are easy cannon fodder for enemies. As you level up, you gain access to more powerful weapons and Resonators, allowing you to provide plenty of energy to a co-aligned portal and do massive damage to a cross-aligned one with only a few XMP Bursters, which not only bear high attack power but also have roughly four times the Splash Damage radius of a Level 1 Burster.
The Lost Angeles anomaly qualifies; the goal of the Enlightened was to create a pathway between portals for an NPC to travel along, while the goal of the Resistance was to prevent this from happening. The Resistance won.
During the #13MAGNUS arc, the Enlightened's goal was to transport the 13 Jarvis Shards via portal links to San Francisco, in order to resurrect Roland Jarvis. The Resistance's goal was to transport the Shards to Buenos Aires, Argentina, in order to destroy them. Eight of the Shards successfully reached San Francisco, and two reached Buenos Aires.
Players from the in-game factions have nicknames for their opposing numbers: Resistance players refer to the Enlightened as 'Toads', 'Frogs', or 'Kermits', while Enlightened players refer to the Resistance as 'Smurfs'.
An incident where a significant quantity of item-generating passcodes was discovered after the Niantic Labs team partnered with ZipCar was referred to as "Zipcarmageddon".
Resonators placed very close to the portal are known as "Rings of Shame" due to the fact that they can be destroyed with more efficiency than if the resonators were spread out.
Ingress Intel Total Conversion, also known as IITC, a tool for desktop browsers and Android devices that provides more features than the standard intel map and, more importantly, makes it run faster.
broot is an alternate client that provides a number of enhancements, such as disabling animations to make the game run faster.
Go Mad from the Revelation: Whether one believes that exposure to XM corrupts or enlightens, there isn't much argument that some people didn't come out of their experiences with XM with all their chips in a neat stack - Oliver Lynton-Wolfe being a prime example.
Gone Horribly Right: So you create a research facility dedicated to the study of a strange matter/energy with qualities of Psycho Serum, and strange creatures who you suppose to be a mind virus or alien invaders. For better performance, expose the whole team to large amount of said Psycho Serum. Employ a man who you know to be contaminated by Shapers as a lead researcher to study them closer. Brilliant, director Ni. What could possibly go wrong?
The Enlightened want to unleash mankind's potential by exposing people to the extradimensional exotic matter, which - according to the Shapers - inspired the invention of the alphabet, the settlement of the first cities and all human progess since. However, it's a bit of a Psycho Serum, and possibly lets aliens take over your mind in the process.
The Resistance want to protect our humanity from the aliens, stop this reckless experiment, and if that ends all human creativity forever, so be it.
It's implied that this ambiguity is deliberate, and that whatever faction eventually wins the game turns out to have been right all along.
If you've been gone long enough, when you log in again your scanner's AI tells you how long it's been since your last login. If you've been gone over 12 hours, she comments that she was "getting worried about you."
A less-emotional but more gameplay-influencing example is resonator decay. If you don't recharge your resonators, or hack or upgrade the portals they belong to, within 24 hours, your resonators will lose 15% of their energy each day. The decay can destroy your resonators if they are left alone long enough or enemies cripple them but don't bother to finish them off.
Hostile Show Takeover: During one of the December 2013 Ingress Reports, the studio was raided. The following episode was conducted in a secret location for safe measure.
Level-Locked Loot: Resonators and XMP Bursters of higher levels are more effective than lower-level ones, but you can't use ones that are of a higher level than you. This is why getting to Level8 as quickly as possible is important.
Pacifist Run: It's very possible to get to Level 8 without ever deploying a single XMP Burster, ADA Refactor, or JARVIS Virus. In fact, the best ways to grab AP are through means that don't involve weapons: capturing portals and creating control fields.
Hacking an enemy portal gives you a 100 AP bonus for having the guts to do it. This means a large cluster of portals will allow you to earn several thousand AP. You'll probably get attacked and lose XM, but unless another player was in your location recently, you'll quickly regain the lost XM back.
If you ask, other, higher-leveled players can create these for you by weakening enemy resonator clusters just enough to be destroyed with a few more bursters, or neutralize a portal but leave it unclaimed so you can reap the portal capture and link/field bonuses.
Press X to Die: Power Cubes are used to refill the XM gauge with 1000-8000 XM depending on the level of the Cube. Like all other items, Power Cubes can be recycled for XM...160 XM at most. Conclusion: There is no reason to ever recycle a Power Cube, but the option exists if you really want to for some twisted reason.
Product Placement: Zipcar parking spots and Jamba Juice locations have official portals, as exceptions to portal submission rules.
Real Life Writes the Plot: The course of the game has been influenced by several "anomalies", each of which was an in-game event that resulted in a battle between Resistance and Enlightened players.
Take a Third Option: After the Time Zero anomaly and the London Enlightened intercepting a package containing images of glyphs relating to the Shapers, the London Enlightened were given offers from three different corporations for some of the game's newer items in exchange for the package. The Enlightened denied all three corporations the package, and forced an anomaly in Portland, Oregon which resulted in Klue, one of the story characters, switching from Resistance to Enlightened.
Scoring Points: During an "anomaly" event, portals in the event area are divided into multiple "clusters"—one for each hour. Within each cluster, portals aligned to a particular faction earns a few points for that faction. Links and fields will produce more points. "Volatile" portals within the current cluster are worth a lot of points, but volatile portals are usually not announced until 15-20 minutes until the five-minute measurement period. The score is tallied up at a random point during the measurement period. At the end of all of the measurement periods, whichever faction scored the most points during the anomaly is declared the winning faction.
Bogdanovich:"...We watched a movie once, when we were stuck in that cabin near Jungefraujoch. We were totally alone. It was the only English-language DVD in the cabinet... I'll meet you at the place where ? and Peter roasted Marshmallows to save Dana."
Splash Damage: How XM Bursters work. The damage is greatest at the point of impact, weakening at further ranges. A Level 8 Burster can easily damage a cluster of Resonators, while a Level 1 Burster requires you to practically stand on top of the resonator to do more than one percent of damage to it.
Creating powerful and fortified portals or destroying them, as well as establishing strong portal networks and overturning those of your enemies, rely greatly upon coordinating with other players in your area. Additionally, there is a limit on how many of each level of resonator you can place, with the limitation being stricter for higher level resonators. (For example, level 8 players can only place one level 8 resonator, one level 7 resonator, two level 6 resonators, etc.) For this reason, players often hold get-togethers in person and walk around together to attack portals, defend them, raise portals up to level 8 (only possible with 8 L8 players or more) or simply milk portals and exchange supplies.
Many passcodes for items (e.g. the ones on Hint caps) can be used by more than one player, but all participating players must hit the Submit button at the same time.
Too Awesome to Use: The ADA Refactor converts one Enlightened portal to a Resistance portal, and the JARVIS Virus does the opposite. They're also Very Rare items. Unless you build up a nice collection of either, and especially unless you attend Anomaly events, chances are you'll probably never use one.
Up to Eleven: Invoked by P. A. Chapeau in the wake of the Resistance coming out victorious after a dual anomaly during Operation: Cassandra, a two-week-long in-game event.
"If you were watching earlier today, you saw a corner turned. From overwhelmed and ensnared in an Enlightened Megafield, the Resistance in Washington D.C. turned it up to 11 and claimed the day. After a victory like that, I hope Resistance morale is high. It's proof that under the toughest circumstances, we are nimble, powerful and united."
You Require More Vespene Gas: XM, which is collected out in the open and through Power Cubes and is used for actions such as recharging Resonators and attacking Portals with XMPs. Additionally, your scanner needs XM to function, or else your scanner will fill with red static and be unable to hack portals or even see their various conditions until you refill on XM. Since the game doesn't have a health system, aligned Portals strike back against hostile players by sapping their XM, with their chance of attack increasing with Turrets and attack power increasing with Force Amps. Equipping a Portal with a Turret item will increase its chances of attacking every time it's hacked or attacked.
Zerg Rush: A method of attacking large clusters of portals. However, players have to be within geographic proximity of the portal location at the same time to conduct a mass attack, and this can be hindered by players having real-life responsibilities, a lack of reliable transportation, or low battery. Even then, players might get intercepted by those on the enemy faction, as all portal capture and link activity is published in the Comm window and watchful enemies may take advantage of this.