In the near future Ingress is going to see a massive influx of new players. The transition from closed to open beta might be somewhat jarring for those of us who have already been playing for a few weeks, but growth is always good for a game like this. I've already met random strangers who are fellow members of The Resistance when out and about playing the game. We have an instant connection and our conversations have yielded all kinds of great advice. However, this is a beginner's guide. Ingress is massive and is simultaneously simple and complex. Hopefully this guide will help newbies make a smooth entrance into the crazy world of Ingress.
1. Get To Know Your Area
It's important to know right off the bat that you won't be able to see much through the Ingress app. You can visit ingress.com/intel on your phone, but it is more or less unusable. Proper preparation before you dash out the door to fight for the cause of your faction is key. Find a few portals that are either unclaimed or are level 1. Once you know where you are heading, find a central location and use Google Maps to save that portal. Remember that even though you might know the area around you, you might find yourself heading to areas that you aren't familiar with.
2. Ingress Passcodes
This is a Google doc that has tons of pass codes you can enter to get resonators and XMP bursts. Much of what you get from these codes will be level 2 or above, but don't despair. Having a bunch of higher-level weapons and resonators will pay off in huge ways when you eventually do work your way up the Ingress food chain. To enter these pass codes you can either enter then on your phone at the bottom of the Ops –> Items screen. You can also enter these codes at the bottom right corner of Ingress.com/intel. I would recommend cutting and pasting everything in one sitting from your desktop or laptop, some of those codes are pretty lengthy, but they are a massive help in getting your inventory off to a good start.
3. Where to Attack First
Once you have identified portals that you want to take control of, go out and make it happen. Remember, you get lots of XP for destroying enemy resonators and for creating fields. Even a small field will make a huge difference if you are still level 1 or 2. Make sure that you don't wander into heavily fortified enemy territory as a beginner. This is an easy way to get discouraged. But remember, this game is huge. If you look hard enough, you will find something that is poorly defended. Also, look for strongholds that your faction has already set up. Hacking high level friendly portals won't get you lots of XP, but it will get you fantastic stocks of weapons and defenses. Remember, no field is too small, and don't get discouraged if someone comes along and destroys all of your hard work by taking over your portals; this is just them giving you an opportunity to level up quickly by taking those landmarks back.
I hope this information is helpful for those if you who are new to this crazy new AR game. Ingress is a massive, complex game but getting started is actually quite simple. If some of the terms I've used above don't make sense, check out some of my introductory Ingress articles.