I've started playing ingress recently, and it's fun, but it's really annoying to be unable to use most of the items you get when you're at level 1. The level 1 xmp's are too weak to take over much of anything that's not already weakened unless you have a lot of them.

I've been walking around hacking things for hours trying to level up, but it's taking quite a long time. It seems like all I can do at this point is hack enemy portals for 100 AP at a time since I run out of level 1 xmp's before destroying resonators. If I'm lucky I find a friendly portal without all the shields filled in, but even that is only 150 AP. I can't deploy higher level resonators that enable long links. I've been around friendly portals that an enemy was trying to attack and was able to save it by recharging as they attacked, but that doesn't give any AP points. So it seems like just level grinding till you get to the higher levels.

Am I missing something obvious or easy to get AP points early in the game?

9 Answers 9


Hack plenty of enemy portals. You get 100 AP for hacking an enemy portal, but none for hacking a friendly one.

If there are no unclaimed portals around (highly likely in some locations), find a level 1 enemy portal and start slugging away. You'll want a few dozen XMP bursters at minimum to destroy the portal, but the rewards are high--destroying 8 resonators and planting 8 of your own on a single portal will get you almost a quarter of the way there. Even if you don't manage to capture the whole portal, you'll still have gotten 75 AP for each resonator you destroy.

Deploying portal shields is a good way to get AP that may not be obvious at first. Check every friendly portal you encounter to see if it has a full complement of shields. If it doesn't, deploy as many as you can. You get 150 AP for each one.

  • 1
    This is all pretty much what I ended up doing. I was never able to take over a portal so had to settle for destroying a few resonators, but I finally got to level 2
    – mmrobins
    Commented Dec 11, 2012 at 5:56
  • You get 200 AP for hacking unclaimed portals, so hack before you deploy, if you have time.
    – brianary
    Commented Jan 19, 2013 at 3:03
  • 1
    @brianary There is 0 AP for hacking unclaimed portals, tested today after reading your comment earlier.
    – Alok
    Commented Feb 6, 2013 at 20:36
  • @Alok Must have been a recent change. I'll have a chance to recheck on Friday, I think.
    – brianary
    Commented Feb 6, 2013 at 23:26

Creating links and fields generates the most AP at that stage.


  • Yeah, but at early levels it's pretty difficult to create links and fields since you can't deploy high level resonators (160m range isn't much), so can't link over any decent distance unless you have someone else deploy the resonators for you and then let you create the field.
    – mmrobins
    Commented Dec 10, 2012 at 22:48
  • @mmrobins, I live in DFW, so there are tons of existing high-level portals that I was able to link over great distances. I went from L1 to L2 in a day just by creating a few new fields. If there aren't many portals in your area, go exploring and find more to submit! Sculpture gardens are some of the best places, b/c it allows you to create a lot of fields over short distances.
    – Ben Davis
    Commented Dec 18, 2012 at 18:40
  • 5
    Looking back I realize the main reason I was having trouble linking wasn't because the portal level wasn't high enough, but because I didn't realize then that links couldn't be made within fields, couldn't cross other links, and that creating links consumes the key so I couldn't keep linking to the same portal. That all seems obvious now, but just starting out it wasn't. If you try to tap the link button when it's greyed out it will tell you why you can't make the link, which is helpful.
    – mmrobins
    Commented Feb 6, 2013 at 1:39

Finding neutral portals and filling them with resonators is probably the fastest way of gaining AP.

Each portal you build up with 8 resonators and 4 shields will reward you 2000AP. Do this 5 times and you are level 2 :-)

Avoid to recharge lonely portals (recharging a portal will give you 10AP per charge), sometimes it is better to let them decay to neutral and then rebuild them, more AP at the end.

  • 2
    There don't seem to be any neutral portals where I am otherwise I'd love to just take them over. The early adopters got to them all before I got my invite. I like the idea to let lonely portals decay instead of recharging though.
    – mmrobins
    Commented Dec 10, 2012 at 22:45

Also, when working with higher-level players remember that upgrading another player's resonators gives AP now, too.

So in a team with a level 1, a level 2, a level 3 and a level 4 player:

  • All together blow the old resonators up. The L4 has the highest chance do deal the killing blows. (600+ AP)
  • Then the L1 places 8 L1 resonators and one shield (1750+150 AP)
  • Then the L2 upgrades 4 L1 to L2 and places one shield (260+150 AP)
  • Then the L3 upgrades 4 L2 to L3 and places one shield (260+150 AP)
  • Then the L2 upgrades 4 L1 to L2 (260 AP)
  • Then the L4 upgrades 4 L3 to L4 and places one shield (260+150 AP)
  • Then the L3 upgrades 4 L2 to L3 (260 AP)

In total: 1900 AP for the L1 player, 670 AP for the L2 and L3 each, 1010 AP for the L4

  • Good info, but not gonna help anyone who's at level 1 trying to get to level 2. Might wanna add this over on the how do I level up question gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/94377/…
    – mmrobins
    Commented Feb 8, 2013 at 21:18
  • @mmrobins How does this not help someone who's at level 1? The plan ended with the level 1 player getting 1900 AP Commented Mar 10, 2013 at 7:16
  • The only part of the plan that helps the level 1 player is placing the first 8 resonators and shield. All the rest of the info doesn't apply to the level 1 player trying to level up, hence the suggestion to move the answer to a different question about general leveling.
    – mmrobins
    Commented Mar 11, 2013 at 17:31

Since nobody else has mentioned it, the fastest way I've seen new players level up is to work with a higher level player. The higher level player can destroy or weaken a portal for you, and then you can place all the resonators. Or since I hit level 8 there's little point me creating fields for points, so I just give away my extra keys so others can make fields and get the points.

Higher level players will often be excited to help a new player level up because they know that the more active people they have on their team, the more help they'll have defending their territories. Also, once people hit level 8 they really don't have any reason to keep earning AP, so they might as well help their team out as much as possible.

Just ask in the Faction chat in your Comm to see if anybody's nearby who wants to help you past the early levels.


If you are located close to a large city that is dominated by the opposing faction, there is yet another way to get to level 2 or even level 3-4 in just an afternoon. Get a bicycle and head downtown. Here in Denver, downtown is covered in Resistance portals, and I am in the Enlightened.

While riding my bike and holding my phone in one hand, the biggest limit to the number of portals I could hack was my ability to open and close the portal window in the app.

Since there were so many portals around, by the time I circled back to my starting point, all the XM had been regenerated, so I didn't have issues with running out of XM either.

It also helps if you choose a spot near an art museum, capitol, or park. Then the open air helps your GPS track coordinates better.

I'm willing to bet if you dedicated a good 2-3 hours you could get all the way up to level 4 in one go.

  • 3
    That's kind of a dangerous advice! Don't hack and drive ;)
    – Sentry
    Commented Mar 20, 2013 at 9:45

My advice: take a road trip. There are TONS of unclaimed portals in small, hole in the wall towns. Remember that every post office and public library has a portal. Also, if you really want to level quickly and have a friend of the opposite faction, find an unclaimed portal and place a single level 1 resonator. Let you friend kill it. Repeat. Every "1st" resonator you place gets you 500 AP so only place one at a time. Hope it helps. :)

  • 1
    Re friend of opposite faction: AFAIK that's win-trading and against the TOS. Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 11:59

If you are in a city, this is similar to the idea of riding a bike but safer: Get on a local downtown bus with your phone silenced and your favorite music or audio book on your headphones to keep you happy. For +/- $2 you can level 3-4 times in a 1-2 route loops.


Join a first saturday event. Every first saturday of the month the Ingress community arrange a FS event for new players. It is a crossfaction event with a lot of high level players having fun and helping you levelling. It’s part of the total event score to level up most new players, so in order to win, your faction will give you a huge boost. Look at the site fevgames.net for the page “IngressFS Event Registration” and find an event close to you. Please note that many events are first registered two weeks before first saturday. And the event is virtual for the time being due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s time to move!

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