In order to acquire items in Ingress you have to hack portals. The level of items you obtain is influenced by the level of portal you are hacking however it is not directly correlated. So you can receive higher or lower level items than the portal level.  When hacking enemy controlled portals you will also receive a small amount of Action Points (AP) but less (if any) items.  However, you will also take an amount of damage from the portal to your XM pool.

To hack a portal you must first be within action range, which is within 40m of the portal.  Once you are within action range of a portal you should click on the portal and then click ‘Hack’ in the portal menu.  The action of hacking will take a short amount of time as it will hit the game servers, but you can leave the action range while hacking and still receive items.

When hacking any portal you have a chance of receiving a portal key.   These keys are important as they allow you to remotely recharge the resonators on a portal as well as link to the portal from another portal.

There is a 5 minute cool down on hacking a portal and if you hack a portal to many times in an undefined amount of time it will cause the portal to burn out and prevent it from being hacked for an extended period of time.  If you attempt to hack a portal that is still cooling down you will receive a notification with approximately how long until the portal will be available again.  This timer rounds up to the nearest minute until you get to under a minute in which case it rounds up to the nearest 10 second mark.  To burn out of a portal it takes around 5 consecutive hacks.

A burnt out portal. No timer to tell when you will be able to hack it again.

  31 Responses to “Hacking”

  1. I’ve got a message from a nearby portal “Portal burned out! It may take significant time for the Portal to reset” it seems that if you try and hack a portal too many times in a row it is burned out for you for a long time. This one’s been unavailable to me for about an hour!

  2. Does a portal ‘deplete’ of items as it is hacked? Or whether you get items beside the portal key is random?

    • Items you receive from a portal are random they are only somewhat based off of portal Level. Been working on a L4 Portal and hacking it and receiving items from L3 to L6. Doesn’t take anything away from the portal.

  3. Im begginning to give up on this, in my town there are like 12 portals and they are all linked too, they are all green. i have tryied numerous times hacking but it gives nothing, how are u supposed to destroy or hack a portal when it never happens anything? Either i get no items from the hacking, or sometimes i get but what else? I also fired once the XMP weapon but could not again.. how am i supposed to damage the resonators then ?

    • This is something we’ve noticed as well. It’s one of the major drawbacks of the game if you get stuck in a one-sided town. We’ve sent in feedback regarding this issue and how we would suggest to resolve it. You should do the same. This is still is only in beta so that is important to remember.

    • If there is a town nearby that you can go hack and help harvest gear as well as level up that is recommended. Many folks will do a “day trip” to an area just to focus on this type of effort. That gives you additional inventory and AP to take on the portals in your area.

      Also use the passcodes any time you can find them. Many sites and Google Groups post them as soon as they become available. This will give you inventory, AP, and XM to assist in your efforts.

  4. Yes im well aware of that, i really have nothing against that if the other team is strong and organized as they seem but problem is there is so little you can do on your faction as it is right now, making ingress open beta with more portals would sure solve this problem, i hope really the team listen to the feedback as im sure they want people to stay and play in the longrun.

    • In my opinion the game needs some strong negative feedback loop – one example – the stronger a faction in a locality is, the harder could be for the faction to maintain it.

      • I think the stronger faction is in trouble when other team is unable to play. They can’t level up ’cause they haven’t enemy portals to destroy and conquer.
        They can only hack till inventory reach 2000 items, and after ?!
        Better for both team and for game, if some portals stay at low level.

  5. Does cool down apply to all players or just the individual? If I hack can another come along and hack a few seconds later, or does he also have to wait? I will totally go and spam enemy portals if the latter is true XD

    • Believe right now it’s by player. But that may be inaccurate and there may be some leeway between being on someone else’s cool down.

      There is nothing wrong with burning out enemy portals though.

  6. “There is a 5 minute cool down on hacking a portal and if you hack a portal to many times in an undefined amount of time it will cause the portal to burn out and prevent it from being hacked for an extended period of time.”

    Should be

    “There is a 5 minute cool down on hacking a portal and if you hack a portal [too] many times in an undefined amount of time it will cause the portal to burn out and prevent it from being hacked for an extended period of time.”


  7. FYI: Getting a portal key from hacking your own faction’s portals is not guaranteed. It may take a few times before you get one.

  8. The action range to hack a portal is 40m or even less, it is not as you said 50m.

  9. How long do ‘dropped’ items stay? Particularly keys, res, burst? I want to drop items I don’t frequently use, but don’t want them to stay so long the server or whatever wipes them. I know they can be picked up from others, but the building I’m in is large enough they can’t reach them, so I’ll drop them in the middle. I just need a timeline of how long they stay

  10. I was hacking a portal and got -600 AP points, why did this happen?

  11. i want to hack a portal of my university ….can u help me?

  12. I have been trying to hack numerous portals, all depending on where I am, do I have to destroy enemy resonators to hack easier? And all the portals I’ve been to have a shield around them. How do I get rid of that? I am Agent Zacharo of the Resistance.

    • If you’re just harvesting, do not destroy the resonators.

      More enemy resonators == higher portal level == expect higher level items

      Shields are a MOD. To get rid of MODs, use Ultra Strikes directly on top of the Portal.

      Shields reduce damage; they do not block all damage. If you hammer away with XMP Bursters, you will eventually kill off the resonators … then the MODs disappear and the Portal will be up for grabs.

  13. I keep running out of weapons, when I hack portals it will give me one weapon usually, but most of the weapons I get are above my level. What should I do to get more weapons?

    • You just have to keep hacking portals. Aim for hacking portals that are around your level. That or keep trying to level up by finding unclaimed portals and deploying or finding portals that you can upgrade resonators.

      Unfortunately, that’s the only way.

    • You need to harvest (hack) more, instead of attacking. I try to keep about 100 XMP Bursters of my current level. Also, like Ingress Agent said, hack lower level portals to get lower level items. Also, sometime a higher level local agent may be willing to give away surplus low level weapons. At level 5, I just recycle LVL 1-3 XMP Bursters, but I’d love to trade them for Ultra Strikes, and have given them away before.

  14. Traveled through many small towns, hacking all portals. I do not ever receive any inventory items back. Why is this?

  15. Today is the first day where I’ve tried hacking all portals green ND blue of all levels and are receiving absolutely no items. I honestly don’t want to play anymore. This is in two different towns.

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