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


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