Scout Controller

TheAuraStormTheAuraStorm ✭✭✭✭

Following on from the previous thread, myself and a number of others were less than happy with the requirements for the new “Scout Controller” badge.

Apologies in advance, this is an essay...

@NianticBrian recognised that some valid points, but wanted to give it at least two weeks before any potential changes, and with some metrics to hand about the number of scans agents are doing.

I’ve been playing for about two years, and have 6126 unique visits and 4334 unique caps.

I consider myself a well rounded player and will try to Onyx every badge, but the near impossible requirements of this badge are very off-putting, and have served as a disincentive to scan than anything.

Issues with the badge requirements:

We have two other actions that have a badge for the action itself, and that action on unique portals. That being Hacks with Hacker and Explorer respectively, as well as Liberator and Pioneer.

Onyx Hacker asks for 200,000 hacks, and Onyx Explorer asks for 30,000, this means that the badge for the action on unique portals is 1/6 of the Onyx action badge itself.

Onyx Liberator asks for 40,000 portal captures while Onyx Pioneer asks for 20,000, the ‘uniques’ badge asks for 1/2 of the actions than the standard badge for total actions.

I understand that Scout Controller isn’t Scout on uniques, there is another step, but for argument’s sake, let’s treat it as it is. Onyx Scout asks for 6,000 total successful scans, while Scout Controller asks for 15,000 unique portals, that’s a multiplier of x2.5.

Mathematically, this doesn’t make sense. The badge for an action on unique portals, should be less, as it is with Pioneer and Explorer. One would have to have to have at least Scout Onyx x2.5 to get Onyx Scout Controller.

We are also limited by 200 Scans every fortnight, to predict how long it would take to get Onyx, the following assumptions must be made:

• An agent uses all 200 scans the day they are available • No other agent has scanned the portal in the last 30 days so every scan nets “Scout Controller” • Every portal is suitable for scanning • Every scan is off good quality, not a 5 second video in the dark • Every portal scanned is unique.

15000 / 200 = 75. 75 fortnights required.

75 x 14 = 1050. 1050 days required, minimum

1050 / 365 = 2.88. 2.88 years required.

To take just under 3 years at an absolute minimum, for an action that isn’t part of the game, but to add AR+ data to Niantic is bonkers.

I’m all for helping out and making the network better by adding portals, reviewing, adding text edits and additional photos, but the game is making triangles of your faction’s colour and smashing triangles of the other faction’s.

Rather than just highlighting an issue. Some suggestions that Niantic could take on board to encourage more high-quality scanning.

The Badge;

Bronze: 50

Silver: 200

Gold: 500

Platinum: 1,000

Onyx: 2,000

Onyx w/ Wings: 4,000

While this is less than whats currently live, it’s much more attainable and realistic, it may evolve the meta of badge collecting that lower levelled agents are encouraged to scan early to have the badges required L9-13, which can be especially awkward for non-rounded players.

Badge hunters who play well-roundelay as is, will be more inclined to hammer out the scans to try and get another badge with wings, if recursed. This is the democratic I relate to.

I wholeheartedly believe that this will result in more scans being done by agents and also higher quality scans, the wolf badges themselves look amazing, whoever designed them needs a pat on the back.

Also to encourage scanning, Niantic could tease with how these AR+ features can be used, or a small AP incentive.

I hope I’ve been clear, this is a criticism, but as constructive as possible. We are all human, and some suggestions on how to make our game better for everyone.

I would love to hear others’ opinions and suggestions as well.



  • Fully in agreement here. I'm just under half way to silver on the Scout Recon badge. As I've scanned almost everything in my local area, I'm going to struggle to get to silver since my next trip out of town isn't until next month, when I go for my routine check up at the oncology unit. And even then, like you said, I'd only be able to get the uniques providing that none of the other agents in the town I'm travelling to haven't scanned the portals for at least 30 days.

  • What bothered my most about the badge and worse for scout is it promotes lazy and awful scanning. Most agents I know now just 5 second spam scan to take the controller away for the unique of max out scout. One portal in my area required 18 scans for controller.

  • ZeroHecksGivenZeroHecksGiven ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2020

    Absolutely guilty of this. Before, 10-15 second scans generally, several of each portal I felt would be cool (and that’s a guess because who knows how it will even be used, if it’s used in ingress at all) and I put some bit of effort into it. Once the scout controller badge was added. 5 seconds and that’s all you’re gonna get. I hit silver on scout controller and with the numbers, as-is, I don’t plan to take it any further, especially when there isn’t even any AP to gain from it, lol.

    Post edited by ZeroHecksGiven on
  • ZeroHecksGivenZeroHecksGiven ✭✭✭✭✭

    I’ll be honest, most of those reasons just seem like personal issues specific to you. Getting 500 unique scans wasn’t easy for me, but I figured it out and got it done.

    That being said, I still feel like I'm straight up being used by Niantic with little (the badge only) in return. I can spend an hour and get 60 or so scans (again, nothing in return) or spend an hour and get 100K in AP or add some MU to my teams score or literally do ANYTHING else and get more than I do scanning, lol

  • CliffMCliffM ✭✭✭✭✭

    Another missed point - they obviously want more people to scan, and they think that the way to do it is to set a high number as the goal. I, and many of the people I am in chats with, won't even attempt this, or I unlock the badge, because the requirements are too high.

    They are actually doing the opposite of motivating people to scan. And I say this as someone with Onyx on every badge except Connector.

  • GoblinGranateGoblinGranate ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yesterday it was announced that the Scout Controller badge would be lowered to 12K for the Onyx tier.

    After reading all complains over here, it's clear to me that Niantic has no interest in lowering the badge since there is no real interest in agents getting it.

    I'll stand by my words and keep both scanning badges at 0, locked forever, since I prefer to waste my time in actual gameplay.

  • mortuusmortuus ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2020

    worst part is no AP and its so boring scan... and we still dont know why we should do it, what will be gained ??? i rather play and get ap the oldschool way then fiddle around scanning portals that doesnt give me any ap or affect Mu score in the cells.

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