Two Factions, the Enlightened and Resistance, vie to control 'Portals' which are sources of exotic matter. Portals appear at real world locations around the globe, mostly on landmarks and notable locations.
Players choose one of the two factions and begin by accumulating Exotic Matter (XM) by moving within range of XM using the player's phone or tablet. XM allows the player to perform many actions in the game. Performing actions earns Action Points (AP) by hacking or performing other actions on Portals to level up. Other actions the player may perform include: destroying enemy Portals, links and control fields, capturing neutral Portals; recharging, modifying, or upgrading allied Portals; create links or control fields between two or more Portals. The game encourages players to work together in order to coordinate attacks and to place enough high level resisters on portals in order to create higher level portals. Higher level portals allow for links over greater distances and thus larger control fields. Control fields are a source of mind units (MU) witch add to your factions global score.
Portals are located at landmarks such as statues, murals, unique stores, heritage buildings, etc. While players can see any portals in their immediate area, players can also consult the Ingress Intel map to see the location of all portals worldwide.
Players may submit locations they believe to be popular, unique, or otherwise notable enough to have a Portal placed there.
Beta Period and release
The app was released for the Android platform in a closed beta November 12, 2012. Activation codes could be acquired by requesting one on the Ingress website which typically took a few months. Players would occasionally be given codes to invite friends. Developers would also give out codes on Google+ for fanart.
On October 15, 2013 Ingress went into open beta and was finally released to the general public December 15, 2013.
An iOS version was released July 14, 2014 and is cross-platform play compatible with the Android version.