When I started playing this game I knew NOTHING about it. I didn’t play PoGo, had no idea of the Ingress history, had no mentor – I just jumped in. For while I thought I was playing a bunch of fifteen year old kids and then I gradually learned that it had been going for years, with months old grudges, from people who had been there from the start. And most of all. I knew nothing about what I was doing!
I didn’t see the Smurfling Guide until I was around Level 11 – it was then I realised I needed badges to level up. Once I knew that, I got to L14 in two weeks. I somehow made it to L16 in under a year and yet, I still feel like a new player, and there’s so much to learn; So here are a few things I didn’t find in guides, that were imparted to me by other players and personal experience. This is not a definitive guide, it is my idiotic experience of fumbling through a game I knew nothing about. It is in no particular order.
(Seriously, it took me weeks of intense psychological grappling with whether I had even picked the right side. I am glad I chose RES.)
1. PORTAL OWNERSHIP
Nobody ‘owns’ a portal really – but I would defer to the name on it if you want to Jarvis or link to or from it etc What matters is that the portal is blue, it doesn’t matter who ‘owns’ it. All portals are transitory and all will change colour over time, it’s your job to keep it the right colour. (Moved to #1 on @Dowit’s advice)
2. KEY LOCKERS
The Magic Key Lockers – you can store 100 keys in them and it counts as ONE item. No you cannot give them away nor will the keys duplicate in them. These are very handy for key farming and preventing yourself from going over cap. (Before I found out, I had one and kept about 3 keys in it that I had been gifted from overseas).
3. QUANTUM CAPSULES
Quantum Capsules – they will duplicate items – however the items generally need to be the same or a different level of the same item. Throwing one Jarvis in probably won’t do much, fill it with around 95-96 and you’ll start growing them. Strikers (ultrastrikes) breed like rabbits. And all levels are useful. You can dupe keys in them but they take longer than most other items. (I started with 11 of the same key and now have around 150 copies of it). Again, this has been my experience. It may not be the same for others.
4. JARVSING PORTALS
This applies to Jarvising your own teams portals. (IE Using a green Jarvis virus) In my opinion, it’s manners to ask or inform the portals ‘owner’ of your intention. I generally will flip it back once I’ve done whatever the flip was needed for. Respect your fellow team players – especially with using this virus. Some use them for clearing portals that are blocking them for making a larger field. Blue is blue. But flipping them back afterwards only seems right.
5. USING AN ADA ON A FROG PORTAL
Using an blue ADA Virus on frog portals. You earn no AP for doing so and flipping one in frog country is silly. (I did this out of spite the other week and got a lecture). They are good for flipping your own portal back after they’ve done it to you. Or for removing blockers – but generally, I would save them for emergencies; smashing and rebuilding always gets you more AP and experience.
(I made many mistakes with these in my early days – I had seen some portals all Level 8 with one person deployed on all resonators and assumed that’s what these things did. Upped your portal level.)
6. THE SOJOURNER BADGE.
The Sojourner; Said to be both the easiest and the hardest badge to get. You do not need to hack the same portal every day, something I thought you needed to for a while. You just need to hack A portal – doesn’t matter where or who. Just hack.
7. GLYPH HACKING
Glyph Hacking: I thought this was for higher ranked players, I did not know you could do it from the beginning. Start early, it gets so much easier. Name the glyphs what you want and you will learn the patterns eventually. It yields many rewards. A correct Glyph will give you extra items. It seems impossible at first, but start on the slow mode and you’ll soon start recognising sequences. It’s super handy for key farming and when hacking Frog portals, I always request a key I can use as a power boost if I get zapped. Some prefer to use the correct names and others don’t. I know a sequence I call ‘Hook / Gun / L / Undies’ – whatever works for you. (A HUGE thank you to @hnjhj who taught me the ways of glyph hacking, I probably still wouldn’t have got there if it wasn’t for him)
8. MORE GLYPH HACKING
Glyphing (I figured this out LAST WEEK) – Once the sequence has started (say you’re on a train), you can complete the glph and still get your items! I thought you had to complete the glyph while at the portal.
(That glyph pictured – FRACK that glyph, it took me FOREVER to get it right – I hate it)
9. FROG INTIMIDATION
When you start playing you WILL get hassled by frogs trying to get you to stop playing. They will tear down your portals, seemingly follow you around, troll you on comms, they might even try and get you to change teams. Frog intimidation. Ignore it.
Once you start levelling up and playing better, making fields, taking portals etc – you can expect more attacks, probably by groups of frogs; they don’t like to see us doing well. They will destroy days or weeks of your work.
10. DEALING WITH IT
This comes with thanks to @Spect8tr – sometimes your area will be destroyed daily. It’s disheartening. But suck it up and rebuild.
My area was and still is partially destroyed every day, but you Smurf up, rebuild and re-field. It’s tiring and sometimes boring. But it shows you will not be bullied…and actually helps you grow as a player, as you earn a lot more AP building, you learn how to key farm and how to mod and field effectively.
11. TAKE A BREAK
If you are finding it too hard, too taxing, taking you away from your actual life, then take a break. It’s a game and should be fun. Or call on some higher level players in the area for some help – occasionally they answer the call and it really helps your mood/attitude. Again, I think @Spect8tr who helped me a lot when we lived in the same area.
12. USING ULTRASTRIKES
Ultra strikes might seem utterly useless when you first try them. They are not. They are a highly useful tool when used correctly. They are for taking out portals at close range – most likely a heavily modded L8 Portal.
I attempted some screen grabs of how to use them, which are possibly pathetic, but they do the job in a sense. You need to zoom right in and find the centre of the portal and strike there a LOT. You’ll know you’ve made a hit when it goes bright orange – you’ve killed a mod and it feels wonderful. Sometimes you can make out their blackened ghosts screech out of the fire – you can just make out a Force Amp seeing its last in the final pic.
Again, this is how I use them. You can also walk around the portal and strike off each resonator. Everyone has a preference and different tools.
13. FROG FEAR IN REAL LIFE
If you are feeling a little intimidated or are aware a frog is following you and taking your portals – sing out on your chat group. I promise you that someone will respond and keep an eye on you. This happened to me early on and was very reassuring to know. We got your back Smurfs.
14. KEY FARMING
Key Farm. If you want to own/dominate an area, you need heaps of keys for every portal in that area, that way, if it’s taken down, you can rebuild a throw links out super fast. @Rockclimber67 is VERY good at this. (I currently have 30 keys to my HP, I don’t need them, but if I run out of cubes, I can recycle a bunch of keys for that xm)
15. RECHARGING PORTALS
(Everyone groans). Yes, I am a stickler for keeping portals charged. It keeps them strong and holds off attacks longer. If possible, keep the portals in your area charged, if you can, charge portals all over the place; if you are stopped at the lights, walking by etc – just a little boost helps and might even keep it from dcecaying.
PLUS, you get a badge. If a high level, important or strategic portal is getting hit and you hold a key, help charge it as it helps the entire team.
16. RECHARGING AND RESULTS
BUT, Sometimes it’s not worth wasting precious cubes on targeted attacks. Let the frog take it and head out and take it back, you’ll get more AP for recapturing then recharging (as @jimsug points out) and you’ll get a lot more game experience.
I still believe if its a L8 portal of importance, perhaps linking many others or has rare mods on it, then it’s worth trying to save it.
17. OLD SCHOOL AND L16 PLAYERS
There are a lot of players mostly L16 – who have been playing this for YEARS. They know everyone, talk about the good old days and have plenty of experience.
However, they should not assume every agent knows all the information. Don’t make agents feel stupid for asking questions. We have a lot of new players which is excellent and we will make a better team if we help each other out and not act like a L7 is beneath you.
I believe it was @V4lkyr who said ‘Everyone who isn’t L16 is a baby’ – and I think a lot of the older players can talk down to Newbies (not intentionally), or dismiss them. This can be really alienating to new agents. Be kind and grow wonderful players.
18. ATTACHMENT ISSUES
This was (and still is) a hard learnt lesson (courtesy of @HugeVeryCat and @Jimsug). DO NOT GET ATTACHED TO YOUR PORTALS! All portals are transitory. You will have a favourite – a couch portal or a hacking portal. And it will be taken by the frogs. It hurts but you take it back. And keep doing so until they stop. (They never stop)
I still grapple with being attached to areas. Just the other week a certain Mortal Portal Nemesis took a bunch of portals from an area i work in pretty exclusively. I was really upset.
BUT, because I farm there all the time, I have at least 6 keys to every portal so when I was able. I went and took it back and relinked it pretty fast. It took a few days but it’s blue again and who got the AP – not my nemesis.
19. BE A TEAM PLAYER
Everyone has a different style of play. Some are medal chasers. Some just want to build huge BAFS, some want to own areas, some want that Explorer Badge. But, try and get along with all your teammates. (I am guilty of causing trouble and I readily admit that – but never knowingly to the detriment of the team). I am both emotional and honest. These are not great qualities in an Agent. But I am also passionate and determined.
We ARE a team and should help each other out – if a player needs gear and you have it in abundance, why not share? Don’t send out shitlinks out of malice and ruin fielding for your team. Don’t fight on open comms. Be respectful.
20. ASK FOR ADVICE
Believe me, there are players with years on you, and while I think fresh blood and different ways of playing is wonderful and brings a new and exciting mix to the game. It never hurts to ask for the advice of a higher up player in your area. Most likely they will be delighted to have some help against the frogs and load you with intel and even gear! Some players who might help you out include @wasps / @jimsug / @HugeVeryCat / @PandaBelle / @Hnjhj (The Master)
**THINGS I HAVE YET TO DO
Had an ingress buddy:
I’ve never rolled or played with anyone in this game, and it sounds like heaps of fun. This is not for lack of trying, it just has never happened.
I’ve now rolled twice with a buddy. It’s very different experience. It changes everything. Thank you friends.
This generally happens at farms which I usually can’t attend. But I would like to have a go one day. It looks like the portal is on fire.
I can now say I’ve been part of fracking a portal. Its amazing. You get so much gear!
Attended A Farm:
Initially this was because all farms happened at lunchtime in the city, which I couldn’t get to. Now they happen spontaneously or at times I can’t make it to. I don’t really even know what’s involved.
Attended a First Saturday:
his is for personal reasons. I have real life issues with a couple of frogs and I will never attend an event they might show up to. I’ll tell you about it if you like, but I do have my reasons.
(Went to my first today it was fun, I met some people I only knew online and even made friends with some frogs 😱)
Attended a n1331X Event:
I had a ticket for the first one and meant to go after work. I missed out. Second time, I realised that it’s just a badge and I don’t like crowds.
Participated in a anomaly:
These mainly involve travel. I can’t afford to do that. The few that have happened in Sydney, I’ve been away for.
Been involved in a BAF:
I don’t know why? Not my style?
IT IS KNOWN
Play like you have the blood of the dragon. Fight for that portal with everything you have. And then get up and keep on fighting. And never forget that it’s a game and I can Be the Mother of Dragons if I please.
Seriously though, it is just a game. I’m also guilty over becoming upset over in-game behaviour. Best you can do is ignore it or walk away for a while, or take your issues out on the frogs. I still have miles to go in terms of being a better agent. I need to learn to take the high road. But nobody is perfect
Hold your head high and be the bigger person. I’m still working on that.