Let assume a player is next to a portal and has about 1 hour to key farm the portal. What is the best strategy (shortest time, maximum hack count) to key farm a portal for a single user with no item limit?

I have found the following order to be most effective but can it be improved?

VRMH+VRHS->First Hack+16 times
Virus or Refactor, Capture
VRMH+VRHS->First Hack+16 times

With this method I should be able to hack the portal approximately 34 times in less than an hour. Is this correct?

  • Yes this seems to be the most hack effective strategy to follow.
    – Montag451
    Jan 18, 2015 at 8:32

3 Answers 3


The number of time you can hack a portal does not get reset when you Jarvis and capture it, it does however get reset when you install a heatsink. Added to that, a newly installed heatsink allows for four additional hacks within the first four hours. Source: https://plus.google.com/108020987035258478791/posts/cZo1X1mk3Je

For one player, the best strategy seems to be the one you gave, but you get more hacks out of it because of the 4 mentioned in the link . Additionally, if you first hack and then install the heatsink, you get one more hack out of it. So, ideal strategy:

Capture, hack, place multihack and heatsink, which resets the burnout counter and also the timer. You can then directly start hacking again, 20 more times with a 90 seconds cooldown. Virus, destroy, capture, repeat the procedure. Depending on whether the 4 additional hacks also resets you then get another 21 or 17 hacks. So either 42 or 38 hacks. 2 times with no cooldown, once with the time it takes for you to recapture and the other times 90 seconds cooldown.

If you do this, please report back. I'd love to know if this actually works as expected.

For two players, the best strategy as far as I can see is thus to install two VR Multihacks and a VR Heatsink, hack until burnout (26 hacks) , install another VR heatsink and that player can hack until burnout again ( hacking once every 58 seconds with two VRHSs)

  • Can a single player install more than 2 mods on a portal? Did they change the 2 mod limit recently?
    – Montag451
    Jan 18, 2015 at 12:38
  • Right, you got me. I was still working under old rules.
    – YviDe
    Jan 18, 2015 at 12:39
  • 1
    There should be 2 different strategies. A-Single Player stragety; B-2 Player Strategy They are different. The question was for one user but the answer covers 2 player situation as well. Thank you.
    – Moonorb
    Jan 18, 2015 at 12:40
  • 2
    @Emmos Proje But the hack counter resets when installing the heatsink. See decodeingress.me/ingress-manual/ingress-items/portal-mods/… I am just not sure if it also applies to the additional 4 hacks. The whole system is a bit of a nightmare...
    – YviDe
    Jan 18, 2015 at 12:56
  • 1
    Ok, I didn't know that. In that case my answer to this question (gaming.stackexchange.com/a/202215/82644) is the correct answer.
    – Montag451
    Jan 18, 2015 at 13:04

According to the information provided by YviDe, it seems that Moonorb's strategy turns out to deliver 6 more hacks.

VRMH+VRHS->First Four Hacks + 16 hacks
Virus, Capture
VRMH+VRHS->First Four Hacks + 16 hacks

A total of 40 hacks

There would be a 28,5 mins time interval between the first and the last hack (19*90 seconds between the first and the last hack). If you add the time to capture and fully deploy the portal 2 times it sums up to roughly one hour in total.

PS: Niantic's post about the new Heatsink mechanism doesn't state if the extra 4 hacks given to a player for installing an HS does reset after a virus-recapture process, so the total number of hacks could be 36 instead of 40.

Edit after field trials:

I've just tested this last night with VRHS and VRMH. The total hack count turned out to be 17 and the total hack time for this was about 25 mins. I've lost a little bit of time between the first hack and the mod installation pause.

In this case we have the final answer to the question which was moonorb's first guess. The total hack count will be 34 and the timespan will be about 50-55 mins.

If the player wants to get the extra 4 hacks per HS than they need to wait for the first 4 hacks which amount the total time to about 50 mins + (6*5 mins) = 80-85 mins and the total hack count to 40 (this method doesn't have the starting hack advantage) which would make this approach less preferable. (55/34 mins per hack (mph) against 85/40 mins per hack).

  • 1
    In my experience "VRMH+VRHS->First Four Hacks + 16 hacks" would be only valid if the 2 mods are placed after the first four hacks which would add up to 20. If the mods are placed without any hack the number of hacks would be 16, NOT 20. It all depends when the HS is placed. It simply RESETS the hack count. If there is a MH at the time of the HS it resets it to the value including the MH(16) if there is no MH at the time HS is placed it resets it to 4. That is where the +4 hacks comes.
    – Moonorb
    Jan 20, 2015 at 8:05

If you want maximum number of hacks, here is what you should do.

First burn out the portal with VRMH (16 hacks). Then deploy a Heatsink (doesn't have to be very rare unless you are in a hurry) and this will reset the number of hacks so you get 16 more. Total 32 hacks. The Jarvis + ADA method won't work and besides you would have to wait an hour in between anyway.

EDIT: To be clear on what I mean in regards to "Jarvis + ADA method won't work". If you Jarvis/ADA the portal and then recapture it this does not make any difference to the 4 hour hack reset time window. This window starts when you first hack the portal no matter how many times it switches from Green to Blue to Gray to Purple to Pinstriped.

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