Ingress Portal Rejections

One of the most frustrating aspects of playing Ingress is the process of submitting portals. On the one hand, it is a remarkable game feature that lets anyone, anywhere, submit portals that are then incorporated into a game played by millions of people from all over the world. In other words, there is no reason any area can’t have portals no matter how far they are from someone who works at Ingress.

On the other hand, to avoid Ingress cheaters, and other people who don’t care about the game as much as they care about their own little desires (spoofers, and bot runners are other examples) there has to be a review process to make sure that submitted portals are both legitimate and worthwhile. However, with players all over the world, submissions are numerous. As a result it takes a very long time to get submitted portals reviewed and approved. Last time I checked in with team members, it was taking nearly four months to have portals reviewed.

Check out my Credit Karma review.

The long review period in itself acts as a bit of a deterrent to Ingress cheats. After all, if it’s going to take four months before any submitted portal goes live, there is no way to submit a portal quickly and use it to build a BAF (Big Ass Field) or a flash 8 portal to gear up with. In fact, many players who submit couch portals, or other portals, aren’t the ones who end up using them. After four months, players quit, circumstances change, and so on.

The long review period also causes considerable frustration. Players attempting to get the Seer Badge, for example, not only have to find new portal candidates, they have to wait a very long time to get them approved. If you have zero submitted portals today, no matter how many amazing portal candidates you find, you will not earn the Bronze Seer Badge for at least four months. In a game with mostly real-time feedback this is hard to put up with.

Even more frustrating is when a portal you submitted, and then waited months to be reviewed, is rejected. Even more frustrating that that is that in order to make the portal review process move along even at the current glacial speed, time can’t be spent by the reviewer to tell you WHY your portal was rejected, other than the form letter text that the submitted portal doesn’t meet the requirements. And, even more frustrating than that is when a portal you submit is rejected while a very similar portal is accepted.

Keep in mind that when the game was starting more portals was a good thing. These days, some areas are choked with portals. So, what was once a good portal is not a good portal now. Cheeseman Park in Denver, Colorado, for example, is filled with portals that are memorial benches. A memorial bench, if you aren’t familiar with the concept, is nothing more than a regular park bench that someone donated money to put a little plaque on. These benches are in no way cultural. In fact, they are routinely ignored. However, they have been there for a long time, and are fun local place to play Ingress.

Rejected Ingress Portal

Still, it is a little hard to swallow when I submitted a Memorial Garden that is,

a) bigger than a bench,

b) has a bigger, more impressive sign than the bench, and

c) is in an area with just a few portals existing.

If you ever submit a portal that you know SHOULD be accepted, there is an appeal process. Don’t be a jerk though. The portal review and appeal process is already choked enough without belligerent chuckleheads insisting that their portals must be approved. I’m not appealing this portal rejection. After all, I know that it is in no way culturally significant, and while I want my Bronze Seer Badge to make the last lock on my stats go away, I know that it’s a judgement call. Now, if a large, beloved local statue was rejected, that would be different.

In the end, if you want your Seer Badge, of any color, start submitting portals now. You’ll need to think of them the same way you think of Guardian Portals. Just having the one and hoping it makes it is not an intelligent strategy. Submit everything you find, everywhere you go. Eventually, even though it make take months, or even a year or more, you’ll get your badges, and have plenty of new portals to play with as well.


Almost to Level 11

I realized several months ago when the new higher Ingress levels came out that I was going to have a lot more AP than the minimum for getting to Level 10 and then eventually Level 11. Of course, back when I started playing Ingress, Level 8 was the highest level and the badges weren’t really for anything other than vanity. As a result, I never focused on doing the things that counted toward badges.

Just the things I did playing the game counted toward getting, of course. I blew up enemy portals when they were in my way, too big, too close, or just on the way when I had some free time available to play. I also deployed resonators in order to build my own portals, linked portals to turn the skies blue, and so on. But, in the end, badges came without any effort or knowledge on my part. I remember getting the Gold Guardian badge one day and then looking it up to figure out why I got it. (I capture and keep a lot of portals around my home and work. One of them lasted 20 days. I didn’t even try.)

The one thing I had going for me was that I didn’t like the idea of my portals dying for no reason. That is, I didn’t let portals decay. I started by recharging anything that was sentimental or otherwise important to me. Then, I’d charge whatever I needed to keep up my fields or links. I’d charge portals that I knew were particularly irksome to other players, and finally, I’d charge anything that was about to die. I’d leave my scanner on when I drove places. At red lights, I’d recharge with the XM I collected on the trip. I didn’t save everything, of course, but I did save a lot. As a result, the first ever Platinum Badge I got was the Recharger Badge. Now, I have the Onyx Recharger Badge. Currently, I’m sitting on 28,246,948 XM recharged.

onyx recharger badge

The point is that I got that badge just because that was how I played. Other badges came too. I basically got the 6 Silver Badges before the higher levels came out. As I mentioned, the Recharger and Gaurdian badges were already Gold before I had to bother “working” at it. Ironically, my first effort to actually, deliberately go get Gold Badges didn’t work out before my next badge just kind of came to me. My Mind Controller Badge went gold, and while I certainly was aware of it happening, I didn’t necessarily force it the way I have my quest for unique captures and unique hacks.

Unfortunately, as a freelance writer that works from home, summer is not the most productive Ingress time for me. While working from home usually affords one some flexibility in Ingress time, watching kids on summer break while also trying to maintain quantity and quality of work does not. As a result, I’m still just Level 10 as the middle of August approaches. However, Level 11 is close at hand (I’ll have it in a single day if I’m not already there once the kids go back to school.) Even more interesting, it that by playing in the small spurts I’m able to put together, me and my over-sized L10 AP are actually very close to Level 12 as well. I’m less than 50 unique hacks from Gold Explorer, 51 unique captures from Gold Pioneer, and 1,100 links from Gold Connector. So, as fall rolls around, it looks like I’ll be L12 very soon.

Current Status:

  • 10,666,439 AP
  • 10 Silver Badges
  • 3 Gold Badges
  • 1,966 of 2,000 Unique HACKS for Gold Explorer
  • 949 of 1,000 Unique Captures for Gold Pioneer
  • 3,902 of 5,000 links for Gold Connector

Basically, any one of the Golds above gives me Level 11.

Two more golds gives me Level 12 (I already have enough AP for that.)

For Level 13 I need another 3,000,000 million AP and one more gold and one more platinum. I seems like that might be the level where my AP needs match up more closely with my badge needs, unless I get lucky with a Guardian portal hitting 90 days.

Ingress High Level Requirements 9 – 16

There are other places online that have the requirements for Ingress levels table, but I’m tired of searching for it, so I’m putting it here. However, if you are just looking for the requirements for the next higher Ingress level you want to get to, they are in your scanner near the top of your Agent tab.

Update: Thanks to the new Ingress badges recently released, attaining higher levels, especially Level 14, Level 15, and Level 16 is easier than ever. 

next ingress level requirments

In this case, I need one more Gold Badge to be Level 11 in Ingress for a total of six silver badges and four gold badges. Note that there is a semi-confusing issue here with how the badges are counted. Each level of badge is counted cumulatively. For example, I have a Gold Mind Controller badge. That means that I have also earned a Bronze Mind Controller Badge and a Silver Mind Controller badge along the way. This is important because when you are counting Gold badges, for example, you need to know that those badges also count as Silver badges. The badge counts do not continue above the number required. So, even though I have more than 6 silver badges, the display does not bother with them once the requirement of six is met.

For those of you who are particularly detail oriented, you may have noticed that I’m just 34 unique hacks away from my fourth gold badge and Level 11. You may have also noticed that I have WAY more AP than is required for Level 11. From speaking with other agents, this is a common phenomenon, particularly among those of us who played the game before the badges were really used for anything.

Ingress Level Requirements Table 9 – 16

Level AP Req Silver Gold Platinum Black
L9 2,400,000 4 1 0 0
L10 4,000,000 5 2 0 0
L11 6,000,000 6 4 0 0
L12 8,400,000 7 6 0 0
L13 12,000,000 n/a 7 1 0
L14 17,000,000 n/a n/a 2 0
L15 24,000,000 n/a n/a 3 0
L16 40,000,000 n/a n/a 4 2

As for what you get for being a higher level, the answer is, basically nothing as far as your everyday game play is concerned. Officially, you get a longer range for recharging portals (and a higher percentage of recharge for portals that are far away but still within range for lower levels). You also get a higher maximum XM capacity. However, there are no items above L8, including power cubes, so really the higher maximum is usable just once, until you start playing, and then, you’ll have to re-collect up XM to the maximum. Assuming that XM was around to collect in the first place, then you could have just filled up to your old maximum, deployed, attacked, built, recharged, or whatever, and then collected more XM as you played, making the max XM a minimal advantage.

I find that the only way it really comes into play for most players, including myself, is that if you leave your scanner on as you drive around, it will collect XM as you move around. Do not try and actually play while driving. However, there is nothing wrong with turning your scanner on and then leaving it running as you drive. You may have to make your time to sleep or screen saver longer to take full advantage of this technique. Depending upon where you live, how dense the portals are, and how far you drive, you can get full-up with XM on your way to wherever you are going. At a higher level, this is an advantage to have a bigger XM bank to start with, but again, it isn’t really that big of deal, especially if you have a few power cubes in inventory.

Playing Ingress While Traveling

Recently, I took a family vacation that allowed me a little bit of time to play Ingress in another city. Playing Ingress in another city near your own town really isn’t that different than playing on your home turf. Hack what you can, attack what you want, link and field, and then when you are done, decide which keys to keep, and which keys to recycle.

However, when you travel farther away, especially if you are gone for a longer period of time, things can be a little different. Here are some tips for playing Ingress on vacation, or while taking a business trip.

Key Management

One of the first things you will find, is that your home keys are not very useful in another city. Chances are you can’t link from Florida to Chicago, or from Cleveland to Seattle without a little planning, and some help clearing blocking links. However, that doesn’t mean your home keys are worthless. After all, you’ll be going back there sooner or later, and starting over from scratch collecting keys isn’t appealing.

Also, there may be some portals that you want to keep alive by recharging. However, distance makes each recharge weaker. How much weaker depends upon your level. One of the only benefits from levels higher than 8 in Ingress is longer distance for recharging. Recently, I was in Florida, as a Level 10 player and recharging portals in Denver came in at just over 51% efficiency. In other words, I needed about two recharges in Florida for every one charge while I’m in Denver.

Fortunately, sorting your keys by distance should keep your local “away” keys separate from your now distant “home” keys. However, while traveling, it is useful to utilized capsules for keeping your keys separate. I find that sorting my home keys into those that I’m just holding on to until I get back from those I intend to use for recharging into two different capsules saves a lot of scrolling and time. It also keeps you from missing an important recharge among all those “not now” keys. Since you can’t recharge keys from inside of a capsule, I find that using a third capsule for my current location keys makes everything run smoothly.

To use the system, put your home keys into two different capsules. One capsule is for dormant keys that you don’t intent to use while you are gone. The second is for the capsules you want to recharge or keep an eye on. When you arrive at your destination, you should have no keys outside of capsules. Now, you can hack and acquire new keys and play, link and field without your home keys getting in the way.

When you feel like recharging, you can, of course, pull out your keys one or two at a time. However, I find that that it is easier to load all the keys I have acquired on vacation or on that business trip into a capsule for temporary storage. Then, unload all the keys from your home recharging capsule. Scroll through and charge what needs charged. Move the keys for any portals that are captured or destroyed into your non-active, home holding capsule. This way, only the keys that need your attention are left. Depending on how many portals you own, and how long you are gone, there may only be a few keys left when you head home.

When you are done recharging, reload all of those home keys back into their capsule and unload all of your current location keys. Now you are ready to play again without having to mix, match, sort, and watch different sets of keys.

Hack Everything When Traveling

Whether you plan to do anything with the keys and portals you get while traveling, be sure to hack absolutely every single portal you can. Unique hacks can add up to give you a gold or platinum Explorer Badge which you may need in order to have enough golds for Level 11 or enough platinum badges for other levels. Likewise, always capture any gray portals, even if it just a single L1 resonator. Those unique captures count toward your Pioneer Badge. And, as a dedicated Ingress player, you should of course, take down any enemy portals that you can based on your time, location, gear, and ability.

Connecting With Ingress Players in a Different City

If you are traveling with family, or your business travel schedule is just to tight for you to really connect with the Ingress community in other town, you can just go about your business. Teammates will never begrudge the help purifying or fielding their city, and the tears of your enemy taste just as sweet in any town.

On the other hand, if you have some free time, you may want to give out a shout in the local comms and see if you can connect with other players. You may be surprised to find out the community is very much NOT the same in every town. Some Ingress areas are very friendly with plenty of cross-faction interaction. Other communities are less friendly. Some are downright unpleasant, and worst of all, some areas are nothing more than the playground for bots. However, Ingress is a social game, and most times, you’ll find at least a few friendly compatriots. Grab a beer with your new comrades, then head out to field up downtown, tear down that enemy field, or just pitch in. Ideally, they’ll do the same when they visit your community.

As always, have fun, no matter where you play Ingress.

Collecting Uniques Isn’t a Picnic – Ingress

Turns out that even though collecting various “uniques” is still likely the best bet for many players to get two more gold Ingress badges, it isn’t necessarily a quick task either. (Update: Playing Ingress on vacation is a good way to rack up some uniques, if you can get away to play.)

Yesterday, I managed to grab about 40 uniques, and squeezed out another 30 unique hacks this morning between dropping off kids and getting to work. Still, that’s a long way to go to get the next 681 needed for a gold Explorer badge. A local player says that there is a 100-ish portal cluster nearby. That might be my next move.

Getting unique captures for a gold Pioneer Badge is even a longer process. There, you need not only new portals, but new enemy portals. Then, you need to have the gear and time to take down those enemy portals and capture them. I know where there are some good enemy portal clusters. Unfortunately, most of those are heavily linked and shielded. Not that I don’t love a good fight, there is just a very big difference between racking up quick captures and taking down a big enemy field.

I guess it’s time to hit the Ingress Intel map and find clusters of Level 4 green portals, hopefully unshielded 🙂

Latest stats:

  • 7,200,758 AP
  • 1,129 / 2,000 Unique Portals Visited
  • 616 / 1,000 Unique Portals Captured

L11 Progress Pictures


Level 11 and 4 Gold Badges

On the day that the new levels in Ingress went live, I had enough AP to be Level 11. Unfortunately, I didn’t have all the necessary Ingress badges, so I only jumped to Level 10. I did have all the Silver Badges, and I had two of the four required Gold Badges. However, as I played I realized that unlike the previous levels, just “playing” Ingress wasn’t going to be enough to get to Level 11 any time soon.

Level 11 AP and Badges Requirements

I checked around with my higher level Denver players. Most came to the same conclusion I did. I would have far more AP than necessary for Level 11 by the time I actually got the four gold badges needed to achieve 11. Ironically, according to, the original required AP for Level 11 was going to be 7,500,000. That might have been a lot more realistic number for your average Ingress player as the point where 4 golds might actually happen.

As it turns out, I’m a fairly balanced player. I have the two “easy” Gold Badges: Recharger, and Guardian. The rest are all Silver except Purifier, and I’m pretty close to getting that one to Silver too. However, that also means that there isn’t one of the badges that I’m much closer to going Gold on either.

Level 11 Badges and AP

The only badge I don’t have is the Seer Badge. Honestly, it took so long for portals to get approved, and at the time, the only meaning for the badges was as trophies, that I just quit submitting portals. That’s too bad, because by now, all 5 of the portals I did submit late last year have been approved.

Targeting Gold

For most of the badges, there is really no way to go after them any more than you already do when you are playing Ingress normally. For example, the gold level Hacker Badge requires 30,000 hacks. Right now, I have 14,885, so that leaves 15,115 more hacks to go.  That’s more than all the hacks I’ve ever made during the entire 5 or 6 months I’ve been playing Ingress. There is simply no way to “hack more” than I already do. If I have Ingress on (most always) and there are portals in range, I hack them. I could deliberately hack a little more, but no matter what, it’s just going to take time.

I could target getting the Gold Seer badge, but with four to six months for portal approval, that’s a pretty long wait for L11. In fact, I am going to start aggressively submitting portals, but I think that a Gold Seer Badge will help a lot more for Level 13, than L11 or L12.

Links and Fields both sound deceptively close. I have 2,517 out of the 5,000 links needed to get a Gold Connector Badge. But, again, there is no way to “force” links. There are either portals that I have keys to or not. True, I’m linking pretty much anything to anywhere instead of carefully creating fields, but that still doesn’t give me a way to just go out an get 1,500 more links. The same is true of the Mind Controller badge where I have 1,385 out of 2,000 necessary fields. Again, I’ll field anything now rather than trying to create bigger, or more nested fields, but without the portals to link and field, it’s just going to take time.

Getting Gold Badges Faster

There is still a way to maybe force the issue of two more gold badges faster. The added bonus, is that along the way, I’ll be moving forward toward the other badges too. After all, chances are that I’ll have 8,400,000 AP much quicker than I’ll have 6 Gold Badges that you need for L12. (Fortunately, I already have a Platinum Recharger, so L13 is just one more Gold).

Two badges require “unique” portals. The Explorer Gold Badge requires 2,000 hacks on unique portals, and the Pioneer Gold Badge requires 1,000 captures of unique portals. In this case, unique, means a portal that you haven’t hacked or captured before.

As of this morning, I had 1,140 unique hacks and 606 unique captures. That means I need 860 for a Gold Explorer and 394 unique captures for a Gold Pioneer. Those aren’t close by any means, but unlike the other badges, these may be ones that you can push ahead a bit.

If you are like me, you play Ingress in a fairly standard area. That area may be big or small, but it’s your “home” area and you defend, attack, field and link there most of all. That’s awesome, and you are building up tons of AP, and resonators deployed, and resonators destroyed, and so on, but by now, almost none of them are unique.

Fortunately, I live in a decent size metro area, and I have my own car, so that means all I need really push those two badges ahead is to play in some new areas. Thanks to some help from local players, I think I have 300 unique hacks that I can get in some fairly tight clumps. That’s without even checking the map. The 40 new uniques I got this morning happened to be in a beautiful L8 farm that I never made it to, so I stocked up on gear, and got some hacks.

The captures will be more difficult. Ideally, I’ll look for places that the other side has recently captured but doesn’t intend on keeping. Those areas are often left with one resonator or low-level resonators without shields. Otherwise, the newer more powerful shields make captures and resonator destruction more costly.



Ingress Is Addictive

Wow. This blog ended up neglected rather quickly.

The reason?


Ingress Addiction

Like all addictions, Ingress starts out as just recreation, something you do every once and awhile. Pretty soon, you’re playing every day. Then, you’re neglecting friends and family in order to hack one more portal.

I kid, but Ingress is definitely habit forming, for certain people.

One of the things that makes Ingress so addicting is the constant state of flux the game is in. One of the common complaints from certain types of players is that there is really no way to play a reasonable defense against anything but low-level players. A Level 6 player with a pocket full of bursters, a handful of power cubes, and a willingness to stand there can blow away a fully shielded Level 8 portal in a few minutes. That means that “your” portals are constantly being neutralized, which means you have to go out and retake those portals. If you had built control fields around those portals, you have to reconstruct those as well.

Since Ingress is played in the real world, that means getting to your portals via car, bus, bike or foot, doing your activities, and then returning home or to work, or whatever. That can add up to a rather big time commitment without you realizing it, and that’s before you go do anything new or offensive in nature.

The more you play, the more you can do. The more you can do, the more you want to do. The more you do, the higher your level. The higher your level the more you can affect the game. The more you can affect the game, the more you feel you should/could/would do.

The genius of Ingress is that you can play for just a minute or two, or given the willpower and free time, a day or two. The whole world is your game board, and new players come and go continuously. Just when you think you’ve dominated all the players into leaving your home turf alone, along come some high level players from another part of town, attracted by your grown control fields and concentration of blue (or green) portals. 

Even trickier are players leveling up and growing in strength. That new Level 2 player who used every bit of gear they had without being able to take down your shielded Level 7 portal as you remotely recharged it, is a Level 7 player hammering your guardian portals with piles of L7 bursters and a stack of power cubes. 

In the end, “one more portal,” is the call of the Ingress addict, and I find myself saying it more, and more, every day.