Dev Diary: Dronenet

We originally teased the concept of the Dronenet in the Niantic Project ARG before Ingress released in Nov 2012. Eagle-eyed Agents may recall Drone Footage of California City, CA that led back to Roland Jarvis, or videos shared by Ben Jackland. Dronenet Canisters were also dead dropped for Campus Agents in New York, SF, LA, and Austin, which included Closed Beta invites and passcodes for gear.

We’re releasing Dronenet now in Ingress 2.48 as a “Mark I” so we can hear early feedback from Agents to help us shape the direction of how the feature may evolve over time. We’ll launch and iterate. In the next Ingress update, we have the first Dronenet improvements already scheduled, like a visible cooldown timer to make it easier to see the time remaining before your Drone is ready to move. We're especially eager to experiment with different ways to play using Dronenet to explore an area, from Portal to Portal.

Dronenet allows Agents to deploy Drone Mark I to any neutral, friendly, or enemy Portal within view on the map screen. Agents can hack a Target Portal for items once per Drone flight, and the Drone can move once every 60 minutes. It can’t be used to retrieve a Portal Key or take any other action. It does count as a Drone hack towards Sojourner, but it can't be used to complete a mission or as a proxy for event attendance — these will continue to require your physical participation.

For more info on how to access Dronenet and deploy Drone Mark I, please see our Help Center article.

The specific functionality of Mark I is intentional as a Mark I starting point. There are several different ways Mark I might be used by Agents: Agents may compete for Furthest Drone Flight (the furthest distance traveled hopping from Portal to Portal from the initial Start Portal), or use Drone Mark I to help farm L8 gear and practice Glyph hacking. But there are many possible paths a new Mark II or Mark III Drone could take, and we’d love to hear your feedback and suggestions.

At its core, Ingress will continue to enable outdoor adventures with friends, and our intention with Dronenet is to help give Agents even more ways to play. You can access Dronenet today in Ingress 2.48 by tapping the Main Menu button, then selecting Dronenet. We're working to deliver the Mark I to all Agents now so if you aren't yet seeing Dronenet in the Main Menu, stay tuned.

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Comments

  • IshiraIshira ✭✭✭✭

    More things to add to study. <3 looking forward to glyphing with my little drone.

  • FMotaBraFMotaBra ✭✭
    edited June 6

    @NianticBrian, congratulations on the Dronenet idea, for the agents not to lose Sojourner. It seems to have been 12 days late for me.

    Is it possible to go back in time when I lost the sojourner because of COVID-19 12 days ago?

  • BreenzyBreenzy ✭✭

    I hope MK 1 means we will see more versions that can destroy portals, make links, count towards missions etc. Otherwise this feature will be a dud.

    Everyone complains about no new features, but refuses to accept gameplay changes.

  • BERN1ESANDERSBERN1ESANDERS ✭✭✭

    "The specific functionality of Mark I is intentional as a Mark I starting point. There are several different ways Mark I might be used by Agents: Agents may compete for Furthest Drone Flight (the furthest distance traveled hopping from Portal to Portal from the initial Start Portal), or use Drone Mark I to help farm L8 gear and practice Glyph hacking. But there are many possible paths a new Mark II or Mark III Drone could take, and we’d love to hear your feedback and suggestions."


    Sounds like there are plans for additional versions, but they want community feedback first.

    Personally I'd pay for a drone that gives some participation functionality during anomaly windows.

  • docwho2100docwho2100 ✭✭✭

    This is awesome!

  • BreenzyBreenzy ✭✭

    So attaching a portal within view distance once and hour is equivalent of spoofing? Disagree.

  • SSSputnikSSSputnik ✭✭✭

    Yes i agree with you. However this is drone 1. What if they allow drones to visit portals you have a key for in the future?

  • HydraulinskiHydraulinski ✭✭✭✭✭

    How could a drone attack if its function is accessing a portal? If the portal got destroyed, the drone will be recalled. But that said, I'm totally against drones being used to attack or do links.

    I don't mind mod destroy. I'm not sure yet about deploying mods, but resonator is a big no.

  • grendelwulfgrendelwulf ✭✭✭✭✭

    Not necessarily. What if the drone was only capable of deploying viruses and such and action immediately recalled it to its origin.

  • Podría utilizar según la cantidad de compra de suscripciones tenga más opciones el drone

  • grendelwulfgrendelwulf ✭✭✭✭✭

    A Mark-M drone purely for mission hacking would be swell.

  • theimmctheimmc ✭✭✭

    From my experience so far, it's the straight line distance from the point of origin. I've flown 3 legs, total over 1 km, but it shows 0 km. Straight line distance is about 900m.

  • HydraulinskiHydraulinski ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 6

    In my opinion this is not very useful data so far. I'm more inclined to know the distance traveled, not the farest it went. I already know that this is gonna be something around 25km, after that the city ends. But total traveled distance, there's no limit.

    Could you try return to original deployed portal and see if will reach the 1km and raise to 2?

    I'm testing by going back and forth, and zigzag, it's gonna take longer to hit 1km. I'm also trying to hack everything in the neighborhood during the process. There's a lot of additional data we could enjoy for this like: distance traveled, portal hops, time airborne, current and maximum distance from start position, original portal (people might forget), current and max hacks during one section, total drones deploy/recall all time, etc

  • unagiramenunagiramen ✭✭✭

    I don't like Mark-I with mission hack functionality. Mark-I can fly very far away from a player through portal network. It means we could complete so many missions without going outside. It is against "Adventure on foot". Mark-M aligns "Adventure on foot" but could provide workaround just in case.

  • wrexorwrexor ✭✭
    edited June 6


    Personally I think using a virus is no different from an attack. It makes hard earned portals vulnerable. If you rent a boat to capture a portal just across a river, I shouldn't be able to just flip it from the shore using a drone. Any sort of attack, deploy, hack for keys completely turns the game on its head in terms of strategic portals. Hack counting for missions would be a good idea, possibly even deploying mods or upgrading resonators (but not deploying in empty slots).

    That said, I think the drone is an interesting feature and I'm happy to see it implemented. Kudos to Niantic for doing this.

  • HydraulinskiHydraulinski ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't see the problem here. Drones take 1hour to move, and most mission line can be finish in this time, also your drone might be destroyed during a long banner, and you're gonna need to restart, also many cities have large blank areas that will be a dead end. And we're probably will be able to do mission of our own cities this way, because as soon as you hit the road there will be no portal in sight.

    And if the mission author don't want droned mission, is just not make it back only. By putting a password, do a link, upgrade, etc, the droners will be in check.

    If we can choose between many drone models, one able to do mission hack will be very useful, considering that you will have to wait 1 hour for each step by drone, and as suggested (one use and recall) people will still have to be at location. So, make it within 6 hours by drone or 6 minutes by foot...

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