Ingress is a great game, it truly is, with real world espionage, player interactions, lack of secrecy and the emphasis on tactical elements of day to day game play. However, it was always notorious for it’s difficult new player experience.

Ingress Prime introduces a new tutorial system, solely aimed at easier onboarding for new players. Be warned, it will not teach you anything meaningful in terms of tactics and item effects, but at least it will show you the ropes and help you understand elements of the map and the story behind the game.

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Here are the key concepts that the new Ingress Prime tutorial introduces:

  • Portals, places that are brimming with XM energy. XM is mysterious on it’s own, so there is no need to explain it any more than to announce it exists and that we want it.
  • Your role, as an Ingress agent, is to control the Portals. We use XM powered tools and weapons to control Portals. Cool, now we have a goal.
  • Once we control multiple Portals we can create Links between them. Huh? Luckily, the next sentence explains the goal: we want to capture and control the territory.
  • Last screen introduces a mysterious AI looking head, which is a depiction of your faction’s brand new AI character

Is the new portal good? Well… it’s something. It doesn’t really explain any meaningful interaction between the player and the game, nor does it go into any intricacies of Ingress’ hacking, deploying and linking mini games, but it does do one thing good: paint a picture and set a context for the new player.

After reading through the tutorial, it’s quite clear that you want to go to a portal and do something with it – presumably link it with another one. Not bad, for a first tutorial you encounter. Pokemon GO has an arguably better tutorial, but it also has simpler game play loops and no inter-POI interactions. A gym is a gym, and a Poke Stop is a Poke Stop, regardless of anything surrounding it.

Not bad Niantic, close, but no cigar. A video clip of hacking a portal should be in here, but luckily it’s available on your official Youtube channel: