Author Kyle Perkins

Ingress: The best phone based ARG ever made.

Many of you are aware of the game Pokemon Go, I mean, how can you not be? A lot of people are far less aware of Niantic’s first game, which in my opinion is far more entertaining. Especially when you sprinkle in the ARG aspects of it.

The game takes place using our reality melded with another storyline. Two realities in one, though you only really see Niantic’s within the app itself. This makes things really interesting because even though you’re on this covert mission to win this hidden war, people are walking all around you completely unaware of what you’re doing. In geocaching, we call those people “muggles.”

The story is, that alongside the discovery of the Higgs Boson by CERN, scientists discovered exotic matter. This exotic matter has seeded into Earth and can be found all over it, as well as open portals. You are supposed to collect the exotic matter, or XM, and take control of these portals. Once you have a couple portals, you can link them together. When you have three or more, you can link them over an area, for control of said area. There are two factions, the enlightened and the resistance.


The Enlightened faction wants to help Shapers to infiltrate Earth, and they believe that Shapers will help humankind evolve and that they will bring enlightenment to all people. The Enlightened are represented by the color green in the game.


The Resistance faction fights to save the Earth from Shapers. The Enlightened say that the Resistance fears change and a better world. But the Resistance believes that the Shaper invasion will be the end of humankind, and they want to stop it. The Resistance are represented by the color blue in the game.

Shapers are the code name assigned by ADA or the NIA for the transdimensional intelligence that may be infiltrating our dimension through XM Portals. At present, we have no visualization for Shapers. We only seem to see them when manifested in their human identities.

As you walk through the world, your device is constantly scanning the area around you for this XM and for the presence of these portals. Enemy portals will attack you, and the enemy is always around fighting for control of the most area. Even if you destroy someone’s hold on a portal, someone else is likely doing the same to yours. They are typically found at places of worship or unique architecture, and have a ton of XM around them.

What’s interesting beyond the game itself, is the lore. By hacking portals, often times you’ll pick up reports and confidential videos which explain the story inside of the story. Inside these videos are codes that can be cracked using various decryption methods, whether it be rot13, morse, or base64.

The ingress Twitter account is constantly pumping out news, material, and hidden passcodes to the public. The story is far from over and continues to unravel to this day. I don’t want to say too much, because the story starts as soon as you load up the game, but there is a massive amount of resources online where you can spoil for yourself what’s happened so far, or get tips on how to play better. There are even groups dedicated to throwing out solved passcodes which give you experience and rare in game items.

Also, be sure to check out the map of your area. Plot out exactly where you’ll go for the day, and what you have the capability to capture. Oh, and be sure to investigate everything.

The last bit I will say about this game, is that it has a very active community with local meet ups. You can meet some pretty cool people who can help you along with becoming a better player, or share some aspects of the story that they’ve learned. Some of this story is passed on from word of mouth, and theories made by players. It’s honestly the best time to get in, because they are releasing a new version of the game later this year, and it’s best to get your practice in now!

Get in on apple or android, explore(and get some exercise), and have some fun! Before I forget, give me a shout in game! @KingReeReeRee

If you need a recruitment email, just send me a message through the contact form on my site.

More information and resources:

The Niantic Investigation: Abridged


The History of Ingress [Part 1]

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