Although Ingress is still a closed beta, we here at Android Headlines are committed to making sure that when you do eventually start playing, you'll be ready. Make sure to check out our first episode of the Android Headlines Ingress Show. I've been playing this game as long as anyone, but even I learned quite a bit from the players we interviewed. We also have a plethora of articles that include everything from tips for beginners to in-depth field guides.
But today we are discussing gear. I won't be discussing the obvious: you need an Android phone running Gingerbread or higher. Although honestly, if you are still running Gingerbread on your phone you should be spending this time rooting your phone and flashing a custom ROM, not playing games. Get it together.
You will need your WiFi card on while you are out on the town hacking Portals, your GPS will need to be enabled and of course you want your phone/tablet/phablet to be fully charged. So now you're ready to play Ingress, right? Wrong! What follows is a list of things you would have eventually figured out that you need when you are out to take down some enemy fields.
Of course, this doesn't apply to those of you who live where coldness isn't an issue. You guys can free to ignore this and skip down the page to #2. For the rest of us, we must remember the words of one of our national treasures, Sean Bean. Winter is coming. Its crazy cold outside and at least one of your hands will always be freezing if you don't plan ahead. Toughing it out sounds like a great idea right up until your first finger falls off. Grab a pair of gloves that have conductive fingertips so that you can keep them on. These gloves aren't always the warmest, but they are much, much better than nothing.
There are a million cases out there just like these. Make sure that your phone will fit into whatever case you end up purchasing, but you'll want it to be as tight a fit as possible. Cases like these also have a heavy, plastic conductive surface. Being able to walk around in the rain and not worry about your phone getting damp is priceless. Remember, even a little bit of moisture can destroy your smart phone. Ingress is fun, but it isn't worth destroying a great device.
3. Extended Battery/External Charger/ Extra Battery
I cannot emphasize the importance of this last point enough. Using WiFi, GPS, your GPU and your CPU simultaneously will run down almost any battery quite quickly. I got an extended battery for my Galaxy Nexus for less than $25. You could also look into getting a power pack or any of the myriad external charging accessories out there. Even purchasing a fully charged extra battery is fairly inexpensive, and won't require you to add extra weight or size to your handset. Obviously a car charger can be helpful but in a lot of urban areas, like here in downtown Chicago, parking is at a premium, and moving on foot is much more convenient.
Ingress is surprisingly addictive and by far the most fun AR game that I've ever seen or heard of. But don't rush out there unprepared. Keep your device safe, powered and be ready for anything. Remember that all around you is a world that has no idea that you are having the time of your life wandering around a public square is sub-zero temperatures tapping furiously on your smart phone. Pity them.