Games, Ingress

They’re Already Here: A Month With Ingress

Ingress Map US

One month ago, I published a blog centered around Ingress, a mobile game app created by Niantic. When I first started, I knew only the basics – the object of the game is to collect XM, capture portals, and create links and fields between these portals. Hacking portals awards items, like weapons and resonators, and mods can be deployed to enhance friendly portals. There are two teams – the blue Resistance, and the green Enlightened. When I started, I chose Enlightened.

Ingress keeps track of your player stats for everything that you do: how far you travel, how many portals you hack, how many portals you capture, completed missions, and more. Here’s a look at my stats after a month of (fairly casual) playtime.

Screenshot_2016-04-26-21-01-37Now, as far as distance walked goes, I doubt I walked 13 miles. Ingress speed locks gameplay somewhere around 30 miles per hour, but there have been times when I have had the app on in the car. Town speed limit is 30-40 mph, so I would imagine some of that came from driving slow enough to and from work. What happens when you are in a fast car while playing Ingress? Nothing works. You can’t hack portals as you pass by, remote recharge portals, or anything. But if you are driving below the speed lock, it could be recorded as distance walked.

Cities seem to have portals around every corner; however, we live in the suburbs, and don’t have much (especially within walking distance). So that fact that I have visited nearly 70 unique portals is pretty great! I haven’t gone on the offensive too much – we are a little pocket of green surrounded by little pockets of blue – and maybe that makes me lazy. I do always try to stop at the portals on my commute to hack and recharge.

When my boyfriend and I are both off, we sometimes go on Ingress adventures! One day, we drove to a historic site nearby where a player had created a set of missions. Missions involve hacking or capturing portals in an objective manner. Our missions had us hack, capture, and even link together the portals at the site. It made everything a little more fun, and we walked around the grounds and took photos afterwards.

Desktop Screenshot
This is my Enlightened-style desktop, done with Rainmeter.

The player base was a big help after both of us started playing. A veteran Enlightened player immediately messaged us in-game and offered to help or answer any questions we had. They directed me to a site that lets Enlightened players join chats based on location. Players there have been nothing but kind and supportive. Some of them even reinforced our portals with higher level resonators and mods. I can’t speak for the Resistance, but the Enlightened players I have been in contact with are very easy going and amiable.

I’m currently only level 4 (out of 16) but the experience has been fun. What originally was an experiment to gauge how Pokémon Go would function once it is released has turned into something much greater. I’m still really excited for Pokémon Go, but I don’t think I’ll stop playing Ingress.

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