Ingress Lore Primer

edited September 2021 in The Investigation

Hi Agents -

@NianticBrian wrote a lore primer and we thought it would be of interest to other Investigators, particularly those new to the story of Ingress.


Last Updated: 7 September 2021

At 00:44 Nov 30, 2009, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN accelerated beams of particles to higher energies than any achieved before. What was not included in public reports was that scientists discovered a new form of matter, dubbed Exotic Matter or XM. Scientists realized XM was ordered data, not random, and seemed to encode messages of some kind.

A government organization known as the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) was tasked with investigating this XM signal. Identify its origins, purpose, and any applications. What they found was that XM wasn’t only present at the LHC, but it also collected near sites of cultural and historical significance. They found references in historical texts that referred to these places as “Power Spots” or “Portals.”

These places of cultural and historical significance where XM pooled attracted people and anomalous or inexplicable events. The NIA’s hypothesis was that XM influenced people’s thoughts and actions, and had been doing so throughout human history. When people spent time at these locations, they seemed affected by XM or their proximity to the Portals, becoming more creative, or more thoughtful/introspective, or more empathetic. 

Fast forward to 2012, the NIA brought together a group of 13 researchers to study XM, and study its effects on the human mind. The NIA handpicked these 13 researchers because this specific group of people were particularly sensitive to the effects of XM. 

While trying to harness or contain XM within a container object, the Power Cube used to store XM overloaded and exploded, accidentally exposing the Niantic Project researchers to massive amounts of XM. The NIA dubbed this event “Epiphany Night.” 

Some of these XM Sensitives exhibited signs of uncomfortable optimism and wanted to shield themselves from outside influences, while others embraced the unknown and wanted to find ways to harness potentially new knowledge. These leanings formed the 2 Factions: The Resistance believe XM is a hostile takeover of the human mind. They seek to defend humanity from this unknown outside influence or Shaper ingression. The Enlightened believe humans can learn from XM and decrypt this Shaper message to evolve humanity to new heights.

Attempting to hide from the NIA, 2 researchers fled the Niantic Project in the chaos that ensued following Epiphany Night. 1 (Roland Jarvis) was assassinated at the Zürich Hauptbahnhof. 1 (Devra Bogdanovich) was able to escape, but lost her phone in the process. 

The Ingress mobile app, used by NIA researchers to discover XM and Portals and interact with XM objects was installed on this phone. Before the lost phone could be retrieved, its contents were shared and distributed online. Knowing Pandora’s box had been opened and the Ingress app was now public knowledge, the NIA chose to call Ingress a “real world video game” and allow users to download it from Google and Apple app stores.

Post edited by NianticThia on


  • mortuusmortuus ✭✭✭✭✭
  • Pensé exactamente lo mismo que tú.

    Por otro lado, un buen recordatorio de la historia y lo que nuestros nuevos agentes deben saber.

    Saludos Thia. ✨

    Saludos Azhreia 💙

    Resistencia!!! #Res4Ever

  • edited September 2021

    Brian is still trying to deprogram his brain of Enlightenment propaganda after he recursed and switched factions a few weeks back, obviously.

    (Also I accidentally read "exotic matter" as " **** matter" which gives a good idea of how frazzled my brain is this morning)

    Post edited by NianticVK on
  • SSSputnikSSSputnik ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2021


    I also thought originally Resistance sought to learn to use XM independently of the aliens who perhaps couldn't be trusted.

    Given resistance usage of xm and in the anime and prior law, i think Brian's interpretation is, wrong.

    The Enlightened should really be the baddies as they are relying on dubiously motivated aliens to do the right thing.

    Bit like the Spaniards in South America etc ..

  • GreenVamGreenVam ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2021

    Super, and when will we have a continuation of the plot? I mean the plot is closely related to the functionality of the scanner and especially to its training. Because in the story we beat the shapers and the scanner says that the shapers are still a threat. And the phrases from the portals are flying out of date for a long time, it would not hurt to update them, at least with the help of a free speech generator.

    By the way, what is the official position of the company, will shapers and other exogenous creatures return to the game?

  • PkmnTrainerJPkmnTrainerJ ✭✭✭✭✭

    No mention of Dark XM? Aw. I thought that might be leading somewhere.

  • GreenVamGreenVam ✭✭✭✭✭

    And here's another question, what exactly does enlightenment now believe in? The Shapers were taken away from us by people from the nemesis, and we seem to have no more sense in fighting. What is the official goal of enlightenment today? Once again I will repeat OFFICIAL and NOW. Not a fan's opinion, but exactly the opinion of the company regarding the plot.

  • InvestigateXMInvestigateXM ✭✭✭✭✭
  • Agree Hope this post will be modifiated and be neutral 💙

  • ArkFangArkFang ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2021

    “We” as in humanity. Brian already related the Resistance goal to the broader Humanity (explicitly using the word) so he used “we” instead when explaining the Enlightened when doing the same relation. Just avoids redundancies for anyone who actually bothers to read the post and not just hop on the bandwagon in the comments.

    Both Faction outlooks are written from a ‘separated’ or 3rd person viewpoint and are NOT establishing Us v. Them mentality. Just slightly different wording.

  • just one thing:  "bad like the Spaniards in South America" The meeting of European civilizations (represented by the Spaniards) and American civilizations (not just South America, but north america also ) happened more than five centuries ago. Unfortunately it was a war of conquest, as the Romans colonized the barbarian peoples.

    Today, Spaniards and Latin Americans are not enemies. We do not consider the Spanish as "bad" people but as brothers, because Latin America today is a mixture of cultures with an identity. We all have in Latin America a bit of Spanish and indigenous people and asiatics arabics and europeans , Russians etc etc everybody were always welcome and mixed again and again . If indigenous peoples are currently suffering from injustice, it is the responsibility of Latin Americans today, not Spaniards. The Incas, Aztecs and Mayas were very warrior peoples, but they did not have the best weapons to defend themselves so the Spanish ( Europeans) won. And most importantly: all of them were and are part of humanity. The consequence of that was more diversity in the humanity. in the case of ingress the shapers are not humans. that is why we must be vigilant 💙

  • PkmnTrainerJPkmnTrainerJ ✭✭✭✭✭

    That’s true. It was one of the things that piqued my interest and one of my early gold badges so I remember it well.

  • MatatacMatatac ✭✭
    edited September 2021

    We eliminated the threat of dark XM a long time ago..... But like in the anime, it would be nice if Hulong started interacting with the portal network..... Even if it was just portals doing random things. @NianticThia perhaps that an idea for a future special event, have bot-powered agents "spoofing" the portal network?🤷‍♂️

  • MatatacMatatac ✭✭
    edited September 2021

    Dark XM was my first event medal, and my first ever interaction with a smurf

  • Well that's a scratch in the surface of Ingress Lore. I was looking forward to a fair bit of reading with hopefully some of the no longer available G+ material. I started late and it wasn't too long after I became interested in the background of the game that G+ went down.

  • Thanks. Good for noobs like me to start with the lore and study further.

  • PkmnTrainerJPkmnTrainerJ ✭✭✭✭✭

    I hadn’t realised this until today but given the lore, it’s odd for Ingress not to have an event for this?

    Run 3 of the LHC is expected to start on 5 July, the day after #Higgs10, the 10th anniversary of the discovery of the Higgs boson.

  • MoogModularMoogModular ✭✭✭✭✭

    Why would there be an Ingress event with it? You can still attach the Superposition anomaly if you really want to. It's just they used the event in 2009 to mark XM discovery.

  • PkmnTrainerJPkmnTrainerJ ✭✭✭✭✭

    Are there any plans to update this as to where the story is at now?

  • MoogModularMoogModular ✭✭✭✭✭

    The story provided has been the basis for 1218 and Osiris. What changes is what you will need to document.

  • LeothiLeothi ✭✭

    The story is being reset again, so the exogenous are back. But I agree, if the motives in the XM are created by the exogenous, since the end of Nemesis the enlightened were broadcasting an empty signal. However, except for the patterns transmitted through it, the raw properties of XM aren't created but merely used by the exogenous. We can do the hypothesis that the factions' roles can be dissociated from them, with the enlightened still seeking to study the effects of the XM on the mind, as it may still create some sort of mass telepathic bond between people, and the resistance wanting to use the XM for its raw physical properties, stripped of its mind-altering properties. That's what was hinted at from what i remember. That was never clear though.

    The reboot of the story is a nice thing to have after these events still, but i just hope it's not a reboot of the investigation and a retcon of what we learned during Nemesis. I still want to know what happened to the other 10 exogenous people, and who the Undynes are, as i'm sure they are tied to Machina.

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