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Video Game / Ingress

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"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 formerly 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 , and was released for Android on Google Play in 2012 and for iOS on the App Store in 2014.

A new version of the game, Ingress Prime, was released on November 5th, 2018. Instead of the now-defunct RoboVM this version will run on Unity, the same engine used by Niantic's other game Pokémon GO, which will presumably make it easier for the two games to share features. Additionally, all existing player profiles freely carry over from classic Ingress to Prime.

An anime adaptation to go along with Prime, produced by Studio Crafter under the direction of Yuhei Sakuragi and with character designs by Takeshi Honda aired in October 2018 with worldwide streaming from Netflix on April 30, 2019.

See also Pokémon GO, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, and Pikmin Bloom, three other Niantic games with similar gameplay.


Acquiring position. Downloading latest example package. Welcome back.

  • Absurdly Low Level Cap: Played straight until the May 2014 update; it's very possible to hit Level 8 (the old level cap) 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. The max level was later increased to 16, and the truly insane can "Recurse" to Level 1 and grind all the way back up for a cosmetic reward.
  • 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 Myths Are True: Played with. Hank Johnson believes that all myths have at least a basic element of fact or rational explanation, and that XM played a factor in their creation. It helps that his "Sensitive" nature seems to naturally draw him to historical and long forgotten locations.
  • All or Nothing: Completing Glyph sequences for the Translator medal. Replicating every Glyph successfully will give you credit towards the medal, but missing even just one Glyph will give you none. This is despite the fact that the number of Glyphs to replicate varies with the Portal level.
  • All There in the Manual: P.A. Chapeau runs a real website called What Is The Niantic Project? and the investigation webpage on the official ingress website, 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 occasionally drop "Media" - documents that make no sense out of context.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: ADA, the Niantic Project's AI, is both a benevolent and malicious example - while she supports both factions' goals of forwarding humanity, 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.
  • Alternate Reality Game: Much of its story - especially pre-Prime - had Intel that would drop communications between story characters, with even a staged "play" of sorts culminating in one of the official gatherings.
  • Animated Adaptation: Craftar is in charge of its 2018 anime.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The conclusion of the Obsidian anomaly in April 2016 caused a massive XM shortage, with Portals no longer generating XM, not even Level 8 Portals. However, a story event a few weeks later resulted in increase in Power Cube drop rate when hacking a Portal as compensation.
  • 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.
  • Arc Number: 1331
  • Arc Words: "Something is very wrong".
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: After listening to the Jarvis Manifesto, it can be assumed that this is what happened to Roland Jarvis. The end goal of the Enlightened is to do this for the human race... as is the N'zeer.
  • 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.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Lower-level Resonators may not be very durable nor do they contribute well to a Portal's level, however you can deploy more of them (in contrast, each player can only put a single L8 Resonator on a Portal), and just having eight Resonators on a Portal allows you to start linking it to other Portals.
    • Shield Mods may not be very exciting, but installing them makes Resonators take less damage from enemy attacks, with Common-class Shields already adding 30% damage reduction. Outside of specialized operations (such as item farming and massive nation-spanning fields that may require Link Amps), putting a Shield on a Portal is virtually never a bad move.
  • 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 official website.
    • As a player must physically travel to a portal to interact with it, players who lack the means to travel will find some tasks more difficult or even impossible. One of the most envied things in the game is the 'couch portal', which a player can reach from their office desk or even from their own home without having to even stand up. On top of that, there are players who will go on road or airline trips, or even on private flights, just to contribute to producing megafields and "blocker" links.
    • Chaotic Matter can be purchased with real-world cash and used to buy Frackers, which double a Portal's item drops for all players who hack it for the next 10 minutes ("all players" as in "yes, enemy players also get the benefit"), and Key Lockers, which store up to 100 Keys each and keeps those Keys from counting towards the inventory limit. However, you can only have up to 5 Key Lockers.note 
    • The C.O.R.E. monthly subscription service was introduced in February 2021. Subscribers receive exclusive bonuses: 500 extra inventory capacity, a monthly "care package" of 2500 CM and some rare items, and the ability to check their inventory and key counts via the Intel Map.
  • Came Back Strong: Roland Jarvis. The NIA had him killed. It didn't quite work as intended. NIA and the resistance would say he Came Back Wrong.
  • Catchphrase: Klue, with "tell me that I'm wrong".
  • Character Blog: P. A. Chapeau's What Is The Niantic Project?. It's the game's story, being told gradually in a Scrapbook Story fashion.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • 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 items (the weakest) are yellow, Level 8 items (the most powerful) are purple, and everything in between consists of incremental hues of orange, red, and magenta.
      • Common portal mods are green, Rare ones are purple, and Very Rare ones are pink.
  • 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).
  • Conspiracy Theorist: P.A. Chapeau. Of course, the Government Conspiracy is quite real.
  • Cooldown Manipulation: Heat Sinks reduce the time required between Portal hacks, and Multi-Hacks give you more chances to hack a portal before it burns out.
  • Cosmetic Award:
    • Medals, which function in a manner similar to achievement systems in other games, but with five degrees per medal. As of May 2014, they avert this trope, as medals are required to level up past Level 8.
    • In addition to increasing your "missions completed" counter, completing a mission will give you its respective badge to display on your profile. Some missions come in series that, when completed in order, form a nice mosaic representing the area where the missions are located.
  • Diminishing Returns for Balance:
    • Resonators and weapons can only go up to Level 8, despite the player level cap being 16, in order to prevent players level 9 and up from completely dominating the game and preventing players who haven't sunk enough time to reach the very long second half of the level scale from being of minimal worth. The only long-term benefit for leveling up past 8 is an increased XM capacity, which is already applied to previous levels, as well as increased remote recharge range and efficiency.
    • Installing more than one of a particular type of Portal Mod other than a Shield will apply a weaker version of that Mod's effect than the first one. For example, the first Force Amp applied to a Portal will double the damage it inflicts to other players' XM reserves, but a second one will only increase the damage multiplier by half for a x2.5 boost rather than x4.
    • Speaking of Shields, the maximum Mitigation rating a Portal can have is 95%. Any higher becomes "excess" shielding that is ignored in damage reduction calculations and only serves as a buffer in case other Shields or Links are destroyed.
  • 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.
  • Energy Being: Some Glyph messages hint at the Shapers being this ('body' being 'impure' or source of all chaos).
  • Escort Mission:
    • The Los 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.
    • During Operation Recursion, the objective was to transport the 17 Ancient Artifacts to target portals, in a similar manor to 13Magnus. Unlike the previous series of anomalies where each faction had a fixed target portal, each side had to earn their target portals by winning Recursion anomalies. Whichever faction won an event opened up a target portal for their side. After each anomaly, a limited window of time opened where the artifacts could be moved, after which the artifacts would be locked in their current positions. The Resistance won all but the final primary event site, effectively locking the Enlightened out of recovering the artifacts, and leaving them with only two hours after Los Angeles to get them. Only five artifacts were recovered however, all of them by the Resistance.
    • Artifacts round three for Helios. This time, there are 40 artifacts, and each faction has their designated target portal. However, each week of the anomaly series, the target portals change locations, and the artifacts can only be moved between portals if both the current and destination portals are level 7 or 8.
    • Persepolis follows very similar rules to Helios: 40 artifacts, two target portals, one in California for the Resistance and another in Taiwan for the Enlightened, with both of them set to swap factions at some point.
    • The Avenir shard event had elements of this, with both Resistance and Enlightened players working to move Avenir shards to selected target portals.
  • Exergaming: The intent of the game is for players to walk from Portal to Portal, or maybe even go jogging or biking, using portals as waypoints for their workout routes. The game shows a "Distance Walked" counter in the player's profile and offers medals for reaching walking distance milestones.
    • The Kinetic Capsule also utilizes player movement as part of its mechanism for upgrading certain items.
  • Expospeak Gag: In one of the documents released after the final Helios anomalies, ADA tells Oliver Lynton-Wolfe that "similarly-feathered avians should engage in flocking maneuvers."
  • Fall Guy: Edward Faulle.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The name of the Niantic Project's AI - ADA - is short for "A Detection Algorithm".
  • Game-Breaking Bug/Tutorial Failure: The "Hack a Portal" tutorial failed on most devices because the "CHOOSE" button needed to advance wouldn't work, until a patch in October 2013 fixed it.
  • Game Mod: These are against the game terms of use, and may result in your account getting suspended or demoted back to Level 1, even if you are not using them to gain unfair advantages. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK.
    • 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?
  • Good Versus Good: Not so much the Shapers and Niantic (both of which are very shady), but in-character material featuring Agents will typically make both sides out to be Actual Pacifists who want what they interpret as best for humanity. In-universe, this explains why the two sides never engage in physical violence over control of portals and fields, even when the fate of humanity is supposedly at stake.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: Very.
    • 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 progress since. However, it's a bit of a Psycho Serum, and possibly lets aliens take over your mind in the process, if it doesn't allow Shapers to break into this dimension and re-enact Independence Day on everyone.
    • The Resistance want to protect our humanity from the aliens, stop this reckless experiment, and if that ends all human creativity or progress forever, so be it.
    • It's implied that this ambiguity is deliberate, and that whatever faction eventually wins the game will turn out to have been right all along.
  • Government Agency of Fiction: The NIA.
  • Guide Dang It!: Copying the glyphs shown while glyph hacking is typically straightforward; however, many players have been stymied by the seemingly easy to draw glyph for "imperfect." A guide to drawing it correctly can be seen here. One line must be drawn twice, and you must skip the middle dot at least one of those times. If one looks closely at the glyph when it's presented to you during the example, it is possible to see that the line is question is of double thickness, but since the glyph is only flashed at the player for a moment, many will have already found the solution on the internet before realizing this.
  • Guilt-Based Gaming:
    • 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.
  • Highly-Visible Ninja: Players play the role of secret agents for their factions, for similar reasons involving lore and real life practicality: It does no one any favors if agents are making a big scene which draws unwanted public attention.note  This however, doesn't stop Niantic (the game company) or fans from selling, making, wearing, etc. various items that display everything from their faction colors, insignia, or even their agent name (complete with the prefix "Agent/Agt.-"), let alone the various Anomaly and Mission Day events held in cities across the globe for the public to see hundreds to thousands of agents proudly declaring their loyalty to the Resistance or Enlightened.
  • Hold the Line: The "Guardian" Medal requires you to maintain possession of a Portal for a specific number of days depending on Medal level.note 
    • from 2 April 2018, the "Guardian" medal is no longer available.
  • 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.
  • Ice-Cream Koan: Many of the glyph messages can feel like this.
  • Kayfabe: In addition to Character Blog posts on social media, the story of Ingress unfolds through real-world "Anomaly" events, with actors playing major characters making apperances.
  • Item Crafting: Added (to a limited extent) late in 2020 with the addition of the Kinetic Capsule to the game; it uses player movement (along with XM and other items) to upgrade certain items to similar items of a higher tier. While there are hints that the Kinetic Capsule's capabilities may be upgraded at some point in future, currently it has five "programs" it can run:
    • 3 Rare Shields can be upgraded to one Very Rare Shield
    • 3 Rare Link Amps can be upgraded to one SoftBank Ultra Link
    • 3 Rare Heat Sinks can be upgraded to one Very Rare Heat Sink
    • 3 Very Rare Multi-Hacks can be upgraded to one Very Rare Multi-Hack
    • 10 Power Cubes (of level 4 or higher) can be upgraded to five Hypercubes
  • La Résistance: The Resistance, at least in name. In practice, any small group of agents in a region dominated by the opposing faction becomes this.
  • 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 Level 8 as quickly as possible is important.
  • Level-Map Display: It is a location-based AR game, after all.
  • Meaningful Name: Edward Faulle, the contractor who was allegedly responsible for the ZipCar code leak. (Doubles as a Punny Name.)
  • Mugging the Monster: When 855 needs a new gun, he just goes and gets mugged.
  • New Game Plus: Level 16 Agents who use Ingress Prime may perform a Recursion. This resets your Agent Level back to 1, but you keep your medals, Mission badges, and you can optionally change factions. You get a special "Recursion" badge for your efforts.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The Enlightened collectively became victims of this trope at the end of the Obsidian Anomoly. Their victory enabled The Acolyte, their leader, to deploy the Obsidian Shield, with the hopes of blocking the N'Zeer from influencing the world, and it did just that... AND the Shapers as well, AND caused a global XM drought; portals were no longer generating fields of XM around them. Oops...
    • To be fair, had the Resistance won the anomaly, Jahan, leader of the Anti-Magnus, would have deployed the shield to block the Shapers, and the result would have been the same.
  • No Fair Cheating:
    • See Game Mod above.
    • If you are moving at over 60 kilometers (37 miles) per hour, the game will prevent any actions you take from becoming successful; hacks will result in no-item hacks, weapons will fail to hit resonators even if the damage radius covers any, etc.
  • One-Word Title.
  • Overheating: See Anti Poop-Socking above.
  • 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.
  • Path of Inspiration: What the Resistance believe the Enlightenment is.
  • Peninsula Of Powerleveling:
    • 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.
  • Play Every Day:
    • The Sojourner medal. You earn credit towards it for every 24-hour period in which you hack or recharge a portal at least once.
    • Portals lose 15% of their XM every day, and as such must be recharged periodically or they may lose Resonators to XM decay.
    • The Hackstreak feature and Epoch medal. Your first hack of the day gives double the item drops. If you complete a streak by hacking something once a day for 7 days, you get a triple item drop and credit towards the Epoch medal.
  • 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 was no reason to recycle a Power Cube...until an update "fixed" this by having the recycle value be the same amount as using the Cube properly. Nowadays, choosing to recycle Power Cubes in bulk is actually a more efficient option than using them "properly" if you have a big XM capacity but only lower-level Power Cubes to refill with.
  • Product Placement: Zipcar parking spots, Jamba Juice locations, Japanese Lawson stores, AXA retail agencies, and Vodafone shops had official portals, as exceptions to portal submission rules. Many of these partnerships have long since ended, but a couple still remain.
    • The Doritos XM Vaults during Recursion Austin.
    • AXA Shields, which deflect 70% of damage. Renamed to Aegis Shields.
    • SoftBank Ultra Link mods increase linking range by 4x (as opposed to a standard Link Amp's increase of 2x) AND increase the number of outgoing links on a portal from 8 to 16.
    • Red-colored Mitsubishi UFG capsules, which have a very low chance of duplicating items held within. Renamed to Quantum Capsules.
    • ITO EN Transmuters, which come in two variants. The Up variant, represented by a "+", cause the portal it's installed on to exclusively drop defensive items such as Resonators and Portal Mods, while the Down variant, represented by a "-", causes the portal to drop offensive items like XMPs and Ultra Strikes.
    • Lawson Power Cubes and Circle-K Power Cubes, which temporarily overfill your XM tank . Renamed to Hypercubes.
  • Professional Killer: 855. Also a Master Actor and Master of Disguise.
  • Psycho Serum: Exotic matter. Exposure gives some people superhuman senses, intelligence and creativity, but side effects may include insanity, physical decay and - according to some - Puppeteer Parasite infestation.
  • Punny Name:
    • P. A. Chapeau, the conspiratorial character "leaking" the story to the players. His nickname is based on the French words for "tinfoil hat".
    • Edward Faulle, the NIA contractor who allegedly leaked the information on certain item passcodes being related to ZipCar assets, which in turn led to players exploiting the leak to rapidly gain AP.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: The Shapers may fit the bill; however, the jury is still out on this (see the Psycho Serum entry above).
  • Purple Is Powerful: Items that are level 8, the highest possible item level, are colored purple.
  • 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.
    • Roland Jarvis's resurrection, the result of Enlightened players bringing the Jarvis Shards to the Cupid's Span in San Francisco.
  • Reincarnation: Roland Jarvis in the finale of the #13MAGNUS arc.
    "My name is Roland Jarvis. And I EXIST."
  • Romanticism Versus Enlightenment: The Enlightened and Resistance factions have shades of this. Ironically the Enlightened faction are the romantics here, which the Resistance are enlightened.
  • Scoring Points:
    • Faction control is determined by Mind Units (MU), which are generated by creating Control Fields. To encourage competition, the game splits the world into thousands of cells and features 175-hour cycles split into 35 five-hour checkpoints; players within each cell try to help their respective factions to victory by making fields within the cell and getting them to hold each time a checkpoint passes.
    • 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.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Oliver Lynton-Wolfe during the finale of #13MAGNUS. He started by addressing the crowd of players (Resistence players, in particular), insisting that he and his supporters have won and that Roland Jarvis must be stopped, but then Roland Jarvis appeared, flesh and blood and all. Lynton-Wolfe reacted with Stunned Silence and then promptly bolted the hell out of there.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge:
    • Collecting Portal Keys as digital souvenirs is a common habit of players. The further from home or the more difficult to reach the Portal, the better.
    • Players collaborating to make artwork out of Fields and Links. Even better, some of these creations are cross-faction efforts.
  • Shout-Out: To Ghostbusters (1984), in a recently-leaked transcript of a conversation between Devra Bogdanovich and Hank Johnson:
    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."
  • Side Quest: A September 2014 update introduces missions. Each mission has you visit specific portals and non-portal waypoints, all with a common theme (e.g. close proximity, cultural or historical significance).
  • Simple, yet Awesome: Portal Shields reduce the damage a Portal's Resonators take when hit by a certain percentage, the effects of multiple shields stack additively, and Shields are a somewhat common drop from a Portal. Outside of big-haul farming and other specialized operations, there's almost never a bad time to install a Shield; even one Shield ensures that enemy players will need to use at least 30% more gear to neutralize the Portal. Even if installing a Shield brings the Mitigation rating over 95% (the maximum damage reduction), at least the "excess" shielding ensures that the damage reduction will persist even as Shields get knocked off.

    That said, Portal Shields can be knocked off easily by Ultrastrikes, but the same can be said of all mods, so it's still worth it to use your Shields to defend Portals.
  • Social Darwinist: Glyphs hint at the Shapers, or a faction of the Shapers, or even Resistance/N'Zeer trying to make the Shapers look evil, as this ("take portal attack weak", various glyphs talking about separating or attacking the weak).
  • Socialization Bonus:
    • 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.
    • There are many special badges which can only be obtained by attending the associated Anomaly events or performing other actions that require working with other players. For example, the "Eve" badge, introduced to celebrate the porting of Ingress to iOS, required a player to invite three iOS users to the game, take photos with them and their agent profiles on their phones, then send the photos to Niantic.
    • Another example is the "Recruiter" badge, with the lowest tier, bronze, awarded by inviting two people to play the game who both have to reach level three at the very least.
  • 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. The Ultra Strike is the opposite of this: It sacrifices blast radius to instead deal massive damage to a single point.
  • Starfish Aliens: Shapers. The most known about them is that they're probably Energy Beings, or at least made of something alien to us.
    • Potentially the N'Zeer, who appear to serve as the antithesis to the Shapers. Information about the N'Zeer is slowly being discovered after all evidence of them having been wiped from the face of the Earth by the 13Magnus group forever ago.
  • Stealth Pun: The late Edward Faulle. He was the fall guy for Zipcarmageddon.
  • Stupid Jetpack Hitler: The secretive Die Glocke Nazi project, many a subject for real life conspiracy theorists, was an attempt to harness XM for Nazi tech. It failed.
  • Take a Third Option: Invoked by Dr. Devra Bogdanovich in the wake of the Resistance victory during the Interitus anomalies; during her brief speech at Gettysburg, she voiced concerns that the Resistance's efforts may have been co-opted by ADA for her own purposes, and that she intended to follow a third path.
  • Temporary Online Content:
    • Didn't get to Level 5 or higher before December 14, 2013? Say good bye to the "Founder" medal.
    • Beginning with the "Recursion" anomaly, you can get event medals. Miss the specific event for a medal and you won't be able to get it.
    • "Seer" and "Guardian" medals were retired due to bad player behavior (See Why We Can't Have Nice Things below).
  • The Nth Doctor: Roland Jarvis assumed a completely different form after his reincarnation. (Before and after)
  • Too Awesome to Use:
    • The ADA Refactor converts one Enlightened portal to a Resistance portal, and the JARVIS Virus does the opposite. They also prevent another one of either item from being used on the same portal for one hour. 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.
    • Very Rare Portal Shields and AXA Portal Shields provide 60% and 70% damage resistance, respectively. They are, as the former's name implies, classified as Very Rare items as well. Again, players tend to hoard them for events, unless they have a big enough excess that they can part with a few of them for Portals being used for the Guardian badge.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Shields initially provided a marginal amount of defense: 6% reduction for a Common Shield, 8% for a Rare Shield, and 10% for a Very Rare Shield. In mid-2013, their effectiveness was increased to 10, 20 and 30 percent. A second update in 2014 buffs up the Shields' properties again; the three types of Shields now deflect 20%, 30%, and 50% of damage, respectively. And another update in mid-2014 buffed the shields so that they now deflect 30%, 40%, and 60% of damage, respectively.
  • Turn Coat: Players can switch factions, but only once. In the classic-Scanner days, this was done by emailing Niantic with the faction change request. In Prime, a player who has hit Agent Level 16 can switch factions as part of a Recursion.
  • Two Beings, One Body: Some time during the 13Magnus arc, ADA merged with Klue, and now inhabits her body. The Resistance winning Recursion might have cemented the connection between the two, as they plan to merge human and machine.
  • Useless Item: Link Amps are used to extend the linking range of a portal. They are generally only useful on extremely out-of-the-way portals and for major, preplanned operations, as even a level 5 portal has more than enough range to link to anything within the same city, so they have absolutely no use in everyday play. And even then, quirks of the mapping system can allow cross-country links without amps. Putting Link Amps on a portal wastes mod slots that could be used on more useful mods and will most likely illicit angry remarks from fellow players, since installed mods can only be removed by enemy force, and is often a tactic for players who ADA/Jarvis their own portals by spamming it with useless links instead of shields.
    • Made somewhat less useless with the advent of the Kinetic Capsule, as they can now be turned into SoftBank Ultra Links; in addition to boosting link range, SBULs also boost damage mitigation from links and increase the number of outbound links that can be made from a single portal.
  • Violation of Common Sense: Either faction may receive ADA Refactors and JARVIS Viruses. It seems like there's no point in having a "virus" item that flips a Portal to the opposite faction...unless you're trying to construct a "megafield". Since you can't create Links that cross other Links (not even your own faction's Links), if a Link prevents you from doing what you need to do, you can use an opposite-faction virus to sever the offending link, as flipping a Portal destroys all Links associated to it.
  • Wham Episode: The Abaddon Anomaly can be considered this. Over the course of the Anomaly, it was revealed that all of the Niantic researchers were turned into simulacra (XM constructs with the appearance, memories and personalities of the host) by Ezekiel Calvin, who also was aware of the struggle between 13MAGNUS and Anti-Magnus. By the end of the Anomaly, the majority of researchers (who reappeared as shards in the portal network) were aligned with the Resistance. But most notably, ADA and Jarvis (the de facto leaders of the Resistance and the Enlightened) switched alignments.
  • What Did You Expect When You Named It ____?: "It’s called Niantic. Named after some ship that’s buried under San Francisco. The NIA names all their projects after shipwrecks. That should have been my first clue."
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: ADA's relationship to P.A. Chapeau looks like it falls under this.
  • Why We Can't Have Nice Things:
    • The "Seer" medal that used to be awarded for having 10/50/200/500/5000 portal submissions approved. The medal attracted huge amount of poor quality portal submissions which overwhelmed Niantic's portal review staff. Due to the huge backlog, portal submissions were temporarily disabled in 2015 until Operation Portal Recon went live in 2017. Portal submitted after the disablement period no longer counted toward the medal. Some examples of poor quality portal submissions were documented in a Google+ community.
      • Reverted, to a certain extent, with the advent of Niantic Wayfarer - formerly known as Operation Portal Recon - and the "Recon" medal (which counts how many times a given reviewer's opinion of a candidate is in agreement with other reviewers who've seen the same candidate). However, that hasn't stopped people from submitting low-quality candidates... which, with the closure of Google+, are now chronicled on Reddit.
    • The "Guardian" medal that used to be awarded for holding a portal for 3/10/20/90/150 consecutive days. For years, this attracted many griefers known as "Guardian Hunters" who used illegal hacks, scraping tools, and/or location spoofing tools to track and find portals that were close to 90 or 150 days old, and then destroying them. Due to such player behaviors and the ensuing drama, the medal was retired on 2018-04-02. Players who had longest portal held time of 80+ and 140+ days (10 days before the milestone) were retroactively awarded Platinum and Black medal tiers.
    • Similarly, you can't have single letters in the icons for multi-part missions any more, because players would intentionally do the mission segments out of order so that the icons would spell something obscene or offensive.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Your Portal The Stinger (240 Troperia Street, Troperville, Tropeland) is under attack by FastEddie