Ingress AMA Archive

Any clarifications regarding portal/wayspot criteria is outdated.
Please refer to the official Wayfarer criteria for all current criteria

July 2018

Q1: How soon can we expect to see some rules/format information for this month's anomaly round?
A1: The rules are typically released a week or two before the event.
Q2: In a previous AMA it was noted that browsing missions causes Speedlock, what's the status on that?
A2: I was able to confirm that the development team is aware of the issue.
Q3: Consider this situation, an otherwise legitimate portal candidate has been submitted. But there's one problem. A part of the photo contains people whose faces can be seen and identified. I'm not talking about a scenario where there are people but they cannot be identified via their facial features, etc. Should these be flat out rejected basis privacy issues and maintaining an unbiased submission, or are identifiable faces in the photo acceptable? Would that be the right thing to do?
A3: NIA OPS recommends giving a Portal a one-star if the faces are recognizable or the focus is on the people rather than the portal candidate.
Q4: With Android phone you can use the Passcodes in the game. For the iOS users you have to go to the Intel Page. Does this will be changed in the future as well ?
A4: This is a limitation of the platform and not something Niantic can change.
Q5: +Andrew Krug, with the confirmed release month of October for Ingress Prime, will we finally see the Ingress Nexband released and the rumored features that go along with it? Or is that something that will remain on the drawing board?
A5: At this point, I have to assume the Ingress Nexband is not something that is going to materialize.
Q6: Ingress Prime is out in October according to +John Hanke. Do you have a timeframe on Prime Beta for Agents such as those from Navarro?
A6: People will start to receive invites to the first phase of the Prime Beta by the end of July/beginning of August.
Q7: Will there be an anime character based on you in the new series?
A7: No. Absolutely not.
Q8: There has been an ongoing dispute over whether locations that fail to meet any point of the "Acceptance Criteria" of the Candidate Portal Criteria should be accepted as portals. One side says that the location must meet the "Acceptance Criteria" unless explicitly stated to reject. The other side states that the "Acceptance Criteria" is merely a suggestion for "high quality" portals and all locations should be accepted unless it is explicitly stated to reject. So which of these is correct?
A8: I spoke to NIA OPS and they said, if you come across candidates that do not fall under the acceptance criteria, but feel they should be included in the Portal Network, share examples in the Google+ OPR Community ( They'll evaluate and update the criteria if needed. As a reminder, the guide has examples of how the Criteria applies to specific candidates: https://opr.ingress....
Q9: There have been appearing new portals in my area from L10 players that are clearly bought accounts. They only have black translator to get them to L10 and have not been active in our region ever. Is there any merit to reporting these accounts or should we just be happy that PoGo players are buying accounts to add pokestops?
A9: Report anything suspicious that you think NIA OPS should investigate.
Q10: Portal Edits have rolled out to everywhere via OPR. After talking to various people across the USA it appears that no one has seen any of the edits they sent in go live. They get seen in OPR, they gets votes, and then...nothing. Edits have been out in OPR long enough that you think we would be seeing some stuff going live by now. I was wondering if there was a bug in the system stopping stuff from going live, that there are not enough votes on everything, or it's intended for them to be held back for now?
A10: We are being a bit cautious with the initial portal edits, verifying the workflow, and making tweaks as we monitor things. However, the OPR Team also told me that you should start seeing more and more edits going live in the coming weeks.
Q11: How do you like your eggs?
A11: Used as a batter for French Toast.
Q12: In my local play area, the opposition has had at least a dozen accounts banned (and that's just the ones I know of). Each of them is claimed to be a kid, cousin, spouse, etc. The main accounts don't appear to have had any action taken against them. What can we do to make sure that someone who's pretty obviously multi-accounting doesn't get an endless grace period for their main account?
A12: Again, I would advise you to report anything suspicious that you think NIA OPS should investigate.
Q13: When can we get the next Challenge like Exo5 Controller or Via Lux Odyssey or Magnus Controller?
A13: There is one coming. More information will be released about it this week.
Q14: Too many ingress agents, from both factions, who play since 4+ years, reached the 150 missions limit to create more. This is not new, is time to increase or remove this limitation. More and more mission banners are being added and lots of agents use this as an excuse to explore and play in new areas. We want more missions per agent.
A14: This is good feedback and valid. The engineers read the AMA but I’ll bring this up to them as well. Thank you.
Q15: How Agents who have drawn and shared exceptional fieldarts on ALL glyph theme will receive their passcodes?
A15: They will receive a private message via Google+ with a passcode. We’ll start sending out codes later this week to the exceptional works of art.
Q16: On glyph hacks, complex and simple only affect the speed of the glyphs, right? Or there are effects on the bonuses?
A16: The development team says that currently, the glyphs only impacts the speed at which things are displayed. That being said, we have had conversations about changing this in addition to adding new command channels. So how will things function in a year from now? I couldn’t really say.
Q17: Why is it called "Cheesecake" , when it is neither Cheese, or a Cake?
A17: The main ingredient to cheesecake is cream cheese. Which is in fact cheese. It also meets at least one of the definitions of a cake: https://www.merriam-.... Pro tip: Sweetbreads are not sweet or bread.
Q18: Will Ingress Prime work similar or better than Ingress 1.x? There is a lot of concern that the User Experience will be much more frustrating due to (un-skipable?) animations and a general focus on eye-candy rather than efficiency.
A18: They are completely different products so it is hard to compare them. The Quality of Life (QoL) improvements made to Ingress Prime are fantastic though.
Q19: Will the Operation Clear Field badge at Cassandra Prime be the same badge we’ve already had, a new 2018 badge, or a new tiered badge?
A19: The badge for OCF will be a new badge and I’m also told it will be tiered. Look for an official announcement with specifics about the medal in roughly a week.
Q20: ###### account(s) continue to destroy the game board, despite them obviously being nefarious actors. Can OPS look into proactively removing all of these accounts? They continue to disrupt daily play.
A20: I’ve highlighted this to NIA OPS.
Q21: Will the anime follow the same timeline and/or extend it ?
A21: Following Epiphany Night, it has become increasingly clear that XM exists in many universes, and that the XM may in fact be one of the forces connecting these universe to each other. It’s unclear if the events portrayed in the anime directly take place in this universe, but it has been proposed by some high ranking research officers that events in our world could shape it -- and indeed may already have.
Q22: Hi Andrew.. what speech do I have to use or how I can report a player that practice Wintrade? I had made a lot of reports related to many players and they arent effective.. what evidence do I have to use?
A22: You can use your native language to make the report. Just make sure you include the player’s Agent name.
Q23: Over the years we have had multiple "This is a great idea" responses from you from anything from being able to name capsules, making the mod slider like a carousel (i.e. so that the common shield and turret are not miles apart) to a power saving mode where these oh so tiring/battery killing animations can be switched off. I am struggling to find any one instance of you guys actually implementing one these great ideas from us players. Why? Most of these ideas are quite simple from a software development perspective.
A23: Hold off until the Ingress Prime upgrade is complete. It wouldn’t make sense to program something for the old software knowing you would have to duplicate the same work in the new software.
Q24: How could agents use Ingress or Niantic elements (including logo, icon and some other offcial designed things and, the origin version or the rearranged version) legally in designing and producing swags?
A24: Currently, the only merchandise we provide a license for is for items related to Ingress Anomalies.
Q25: Will there be an option to 'upgrade' mods in prime IE from a common shield to a rare one ?
A25: There is not a way to upgrade a mod in Prime. This is also something that has been discussed. I’ll be honest though, I don’t think it is a priority at the moment to implement.
Q26: When will OPR start including a list of WHY we are rejecting a portal? It would be useful feedback to submitters if they knew what they were doing wrong. The response email could include whatever the most selected reason is, or the top two.
A26: The OPR team says they are working on this currently. More information coming… soon.
Q27: Do each of the new anomaly add-on events come with a badge?
A27: Yes.
Q28: Train A, traveling 70 miles per hour (mph), leaves Westford heading toward Eastford, 260 miles away. At the same time Train B, traveling 60 mph, leaves Eastford heading toward Westford. When do the two trains meet? How far from each city do they meet?
A28: The trains meet two hours after leaving their respective cities. The two trains meet at a point 140 miles from Westford and 120 miles from Eastford.
Q29: Hello, did you had time to test if we still can skip link and field animation on prime ? :)
A29: I did try this. Unfortunately, or not, the animation was too fast so I could not test if skipping was an option. Each time I did it the link appeared near instantaneously. I don’t know if this is the intended mechanic or not though.
Q30: Also with the introduction of multiple different events happening in the same weekend (aka stealth ops, prime challenge, Intel ops, Nia base camp experiments, clear field, portal recon) has there been a consideration of more embedded reporters or possibly specific reporters for each event?
A30: We have thought about opening up the Embedded Reporters program to more people. But not specifically for a role to follow around folks for a specific side event.
Q31: Knowing NIA now does nothing on multi accounting cases, with the influx of Pokemoners that want more stops and need to get to LVL10-12, knowing that cheating is blatant and accepted... When will NIA either act or admit that multiaccounting is acceptable?
A31: From the Ingress community guidelines, “Don't do it….playing with multiple accounts (one account per player, please)”
Q32: Have you given out codes yet for #IngressPride and #GlyphChallenge?
A32: For #IngressPride - yes. They were sent via a variety of methods including, but not limited to, a private Google+ message from the Ingress account and a Hangout message from me. Passcodes for the #GlyphChallenge will likely start to go out at the end of this week.
Q33: Hey Andrew. We've been reporting several multiaccounters for quite a while now, but they're still using 5-6-12(!) accounts each. What should we do to get them banned for good?
A33: Can you contact me with ticket numbers? You can reach me via Telegram @RedSoloCup.
Q34: Evening Mr Krug... hope you are well? Why are the European primary anomaly site agent packs more expensive than the satellites, when the us sites are the same price? #StopTheEUPrimaryTax
A34: The primary Support Kit prices for the EU are higher than the satellites due to the event logistics and support required for the primary. They are the same in the U.S. because the requirements are almost the same. However, this may change in the future and the prices will be adjusted accordingly based on the needs of the event.
Q35: Would it be possible to integrate our portal submission's description in the confirmation email we receive? We sometimes take time to write something interesting and, if portal is refused (for any reason) we can't retrieve the description anymore.
A35: That’s actually a really good idea. I’ll flag this for the OPR team.
Q36: Another question. Although a lot of people don't know this, there is actually a backstory in Ingress. However investigators are starving from no content or PAC posts. I know you guys are working hard on Prime and probably the anime, but we don't even know anything about the next anomalies except that apparently Carrie Campbell is back and that we somehow get her journal. Do you think you can get PAC back to posting? Essex is sadly falling apart with lots of people leaving. Greetings 👋
A36: Our intelligence indicates that Carrie Campbell (TS-OSIRIS), Oliver Lynton-Wolfe (TS-OSIRIS) and Hank Johnson (TS-1218) are en-route to a number of upcoming XM Anomalies. This information supports the theory that a transition is taking place, and our current space-time location is within a gradient between multiple universes. It’s unclear what intelligence these individuals have gained access to that is leading them to their destinations, or how they intend to leverage this transitional timeframe, but it is possible information may emerge into the public eye which sheds light on this.
Q37: Hello Andrew! First time submitting a question for the Q&A AMA. Can there be a possibility of submitting an extra photo along the portal submission photo for inside locations? For example, a panoramic photo for portal submissions inside businesses or restaurants so that people can see that the portal is located inside the building?
A37: The OPR Team has said this is something currently under development.
Q38: What would exactly happen if someone change his/her faction? Can he use opr/ missions-author-tool as soon as he change his faction?
A38: They will lose access to OPR if they change faction and are reset to level one.
Q39: Has Niantic thought about instead of releasing new levels releasing a Prestige type system. For instance if an agent were to hit level 16 they could prestige aka get some kind of badge ranked of course there ap would go to 0 and they would start the grind over. Personally for me I would rather gain the ap for 1-16 again then gain the ap for 16 to 17. Some perks could be added something like 500 more xm capacity starting out. You could even play with being able to prestege at a lower level. Thoughts?
A39: We’ve actually talked about implementing a prestige option for those that want to reset and level up again. I don’t know where it stands currently as I doubt that it is an immediate priority given everything else. But I like the idea personally.
Q40: Is it confirmed that ingress prime is going to be released in October based on the interview of John Hanke?
A40: Correct. More details coming in the next month.
Q41: Regarding the meganomaly on May next year, will there be additional sites or will it just be the three locations that was stated before?
A41: It will just be the three events.
Q42: Hey Andrew, how can we have a Prime Anomaly, if we don't have a Prime scanner?
A42: At this point the TS-OSIRIS universe aligns closely to ours -- enough that our own technologies are able to function, but as events unfold in the Prime universe that may cease to be the case. Niantic research staff is working diligently to ensure that the Ingress Prime technology set is available to all Agents before that happens.
Q43: Hey Andrew, since the vanguard are members of the comunity and has been a little while that is going on, why dont you open a form for the comunity to evaluate the work they been doing so far?
A43: The main point of the Vanguards is to provide me with their opinions as players when I ask them questions on various topics. There isn’t much that the community would be able to evaluate them on. So I don’t think that this is a viable idea.
Q44: Andrew, what is the best airport to wait in line at? ie which ones gives you the best options, while standing in line / queue ?
A44: Las Vegas, NV. I love that Wheel of Fortune machine.
Q45: Do you think it would be possible to have a little trailer for the anime, seeing that the first episode was shown at Anime Expo?
A45: Yes. I can’t say more at this time though.
Q46: It is true that images of missions that have only one letter are rejected?
A46: NIA OPS said, in general, if the image does not relate to the overall Mission content (title/description/waypoints) it could be rejected. If you are creating a Mission series, consider integrating the text as part of the banner image instead of using individual characters per Mission.
Q47: Andrew, how come we can report a portal via scanner but to report a spoofer we need to fill up a form? put that on the scanner plz.
A47: Not a bad idea. I’ll pass this feature request on.
Q48: Hey, you have mentioned in an earlier AMA that we will perhaps be receiving more information in the emails we get when a portal is rejected. Do you have any more information on this? It would really help us be better at submitting portals.
A48: I don’t have any more information on this other than in talking with the OPR developers they said they are working on this feature.
Q49: Would it be possible to make a change to in-game comms so that when an agent receives a new comm message from another agent for the first time, they receive a request for contact instead of the message content? It seems a shame that we cannot choose to reject unwanted incoming messages without reading them first. Many times comms trolling can be resolved by blocking an agent who is the source of unwanted messages, but in the case of the recent sexshop bot and in cases where a problem agent makes a new account to continue comms trolling, this is too little, too late.
A49: This is an interesting idea. My fear is that it could be abused for trolling purposes. The obvious scenario that comes to my mind is a bunch of fake accounts pinging a person and setting off hundreds or pop-ups that would have to be cleared. There is merit in exploring the idea though. But it would need to be implemented correctly.
Q50: You have been in your position for over a year now, do you feel that the transparency and increase of communication that the community has been clamoring for, for the longest time is improved? What would you do to improve it more?
A50: It has been 917 days since I started (when I wrote this) or 2 years, 6 months, 5 days. But I’m not counting... Yes. I believe transparency and communication has improved. I also think that there is room for improvement as well. I would love to see developer insights for Ingress and to publish a developer roadmap. I think some sort of dedicated communication tool, a forum maybe, that has different places for categorized two-way communication to occur would help things. We can improve our responsiveness as well to questions and comments on official posts. All of these things are in the process of being addressed. I’m excited about the future and continuing to evolve.
Q51: Is it at all possible for a fix to be made when deploying resonators in sequence? Example: 8, 7, 6... at the second 6, the scanner seems to skip back to 8 instead of remaining on 6 for the second L6 resonator. Please and thanks,..
A51: I can’t replicate this in Ingress Prime at the moment so I don’t think you have to worry about this anymore.
Q52: Could you reveal what kind of medals you will have in Ingress Prime? A little info Please
A52: At the launch of Ingress Prime, I do not believe there will be any new medals.
Q53: People who attend GORUCK STEALTH/OCF in July & Augest will get new 2018 ingame badge which is different from the previous badge, is that right? Would like to know because I attended stealth/OCF in 2016/2017 and I am planning to attend the incoming events.
A53: That is correct. It is a new medal.
Q54: Is OPR still considered to be running smoothly? We've noticed even wider than country reviews.
A54: I do believe that things are working pretty good. Are there areas that can and will be improve? Yes. Software development is an iterative process.
Q55: What measures does NIA Ops have in place to identify spoofers performing otherwise legitimate actions, except for the geographical issues with it, such as crossong commercial shipping lanes or impassable canyons at 30kmh straight line?
A55: I can’t talk about anti-cheating detection and countermeasures.
Q56: can we get another anomaly in UK, please?
A56: If it was up to me, sure. How about Norwich? I’m looking at YOU Vicki Ellen!!!
Q57: What's the first major new in-scanner feature Niantic will be working on once Prime is released, since we haven't had a new feature since mid 2015?
A57: If I told you, it wouldn’t be a surprise. You’ll just have to wait to find out. We have had new features since 2015 though. Boosted Power Cubes, Ito En Transmuters, in-app purchasable items to name a few.
Q58: A group of friends have been interested on starting a YouTube channel about Ingress and Pokémon Go. We read the last month's AMA where you made that suggestion to another agent. Can you give them an advice before they start? :)
A58: It takes a lot of dedication and passion. Don’t do it because you want to be Ingress famous. Do it because you love the game. Make sure you have a formula set for your format. Don’t make long videos.
Q59: Is it safe to assume that we should 1* OPR submissions for locations that are exclusively oriented towards children (ie. Daycares, preschool, ect.)?
A59: According to NIA OPS, these should be given a one star and they will add this to the OPR Guide.
Q60: For the upcoming anomalies, is it possible to do both OCF and portal recon?
A60: Yes.
Q61: Hi Andrew, two questions, I've noticed there's lots of options missing under the OPR categories tab for things that are often accepted as portals in Australia, e.g. basketball courts, swimming pools, CWA halls, Scout halls etc. I was told that typing them in would register the category and Niantic regularly updates the list based on user submissions, is this true or am I wasting my time?
A61: The OPR Team said if you suggest some new ones in the OPR Google+ Community they will review them and add them
Q62: Does +Niantic have, or intend to have, a simple and easy way for Agents to request their personal information from Ingress and Pokemon Go, similar to Google Takeout etc?
A62: I spoke to the legal team and they mentioned our updated privacy policy contains the instructions on how to request your personal information. The instructions are in section seven of the following webpage: https://www.nianticl...
Q63: Hello Andrew. I don’t know if you remember but a while back, I asked for advice concerning the pet N’Zeer I adopted (I found it on my doorstep). You didn’t have much advice but you did ask for any information I might get. Here is my report… Do you have any new advice?
A63: Don’t feed it after midnight or get it wet.
Q64: Could we trouble NiaOps for a complete breakdown of what the star ratings specifically mean for each category? There is a lot of confusion. I.E. 3 star overall is an unsure rating... Well What's a two star rating for then?
A64: NIA OPS recommendation is to view the scale this way. 1 = strongly disagree. 5 = strongly agree. So a 4 star rating might be for a candidate that you agree should be a Portal but is not necessarily a super high quality Portal. They are going to review the training and tips and add this clarification where appropriate.
Q65: Have you seen anything from the evertoon acquisition making its way into the future game plan of Ingress? If so are you liking what you see?
A65: Nothing Ingress specific. But I could see how things could be applied to Ingress. I can’t really comment further though on this.
Q66: Portals that may interfere with the operations of fire stations are in list of "please don't submit". Portals in sea rescue bases need to respect the same rule? Especially because they also can disrupt rescue operations.
A66: NIA OPS says that in general, yes, they do need to respect the same rule. Without specifics though it is hard to give a definite answer.
Q67: Hello Andrew, me and a few other agents are big fans of so-called pita portals. Recently 1 of these portals was removed because of no safe pedestrian access. You could however safely get to the portal by boat. Will Niantic ever drop the pedestrian from the safe access? There are quite a few portals in the world where you have to prepare yourself to get there safely. So why is the pedestrian added and how should pedestrian be interpreted? I would love to see the pedestrian being dropped from the criteria. Only safe access should be enough I think.
A67: Our motto is adventures on foot. I don’t think things will change in the short-term. If you are referring to the Red Sands Fort, I believe NIA OPS commented on the appeal thread and it was more about the “safe” part than the “pedestrian” part from reading their reply.
Q68: Since we are doing the AMA once a month and that too in a time zone where you are. Would request that AMA be kept open for longer period of time so that many regions/ timezones can be represented.
A68: Unfortunately, it takes a long time to process just the couple hundred questions that currently get posted. I just don’t have enough time to keep it open longer and process more than I currently do. I’ll think about holding it at different times though. That’s a fair request.
Q69: Hi Andrew! Any updates on rules/guidelines/requirements for 3rd party tools?
A69: Conversations are still occuring internally. There isn’t anything I can comment on publicly.
Q70: I remember in past AMAs they are revamping First Saturdays any word on this?
A70: I plan to solicit the players in a couple weeks about this very topic and selecting a few players to have a conversation with about it as well for deeper feedback. The goal is to gather the feedback by the end of August and start formulating a plan for the future.