You have to load the target portal using a key and go to remote portal view, then you are able to see the portal.
I tried to move the Drone to a portal 1.5 km away, got the messenge "out of range".
Helpful, if you have the key to that portal anyway.
I got it up to 1,2km. But was unable to return to last portal and had to do 2 jumps to reach it again.
You had a key for both portals - but could not "see" back to where you came from? Or was that due to lack of key?
My first attempt was a portal approx 1.1km away. I could not "see" it - but that may have been inexperience with this technique/not getting zoom level right.
I have the key of the first jump, but not to go back. But a portal at 1,5km I also the key but couldn't jump there.
Odd. It seems that it depends on your phone how far you can look. The furthest I can see is about 600 meters... Doesn't matter if I zoom out or fly low. Definitely can't view portals a kilometer away.
You need the key to see far than 500-600m, but it doesn't show always. Try loading the key on capsule or recharge it. But the drone won't move over 1,3km even if the portal is visible.
Yes, it does make a difference if I view the portal if it is near the edge before moving the drone. The point is, the viewrange on the phone is just ~600 meters. Doesn't matter if I zoom in or out, it just won't go further. Looking at BrunoRAS' screenshot he or she can clearly zoom out further (portals look smaller). Maybe be related to the resolution of the screen.
@Offlean You may be able to tap on portals even if they aren't visible. I have a vague notion that I managed to do this once or twice.
So far this has held true, tested by many agents:
To see portals far away, it is better to zoom in, If you zoom out, they may be out of the edge of your phone's display.
Yeah, eventually I figured out that if you zoom in ('fly low') you can scan the horizon for portals, but they are tiny! But I managed a 1km jump this way.
@NianticBrian So can we get a word from Niantic about what the exact distance with and without keys is? I was able to make a 587m jump with no keys, but then couldn't make the next 535m jump with no keys (but I can see XM by that portal). What's worse is I can see a portal 565m away that I can jump to with no keys. Knowing what to expect would be great for planning drone's route without having to backtrack just because something somewhere is glitching. Thanks.
And what the hell are "S2 L16 cells"?
Let's start with what are S2 cells. You can read all about it here, but the tl;dr version is that you cover the surface of the Earth in equal sized cells. A L0 (level 0) cell is made up of 6 cells that completely cover the Earth. Every time you split a cell into 4, that's one level down. So 4 L1 cells make up 1 L0 cell, 4 L2 cells make up 1 L1 cell, etc. It goes all the way down to L30. Ingress appears to work with L16.
Now, a cell is a 2 dimensional area. If you're looking at 2 points, there's only one distance between them. However, when you're looking at the distance from a point to an area, you're going to have the closest distance, and the farthest distance.
When you're moving a drone from a portal, the originating portal is a point. So what portals can it move to?
First, the scanner gets a list of all the S2 cells whose nearest point to the originating portal (or originating location, if the drone is recalled) is 500m or less.
Here's an example. The diamond shapes are Level 16 S2 cells, the circle is 500m. Notice that every single S2 cell shown is at least partially inside the circle, meaning that their closest point is within 500m of the originating portal.
A portal is a point, and a point can only be in one S2 cell. Each of the S2 cell can contain 0 or more portals. The scanner loads in all the portals that are in Level 16 S2 cells that are within 500m, and these are the portals you can jump to without keys.
If you refer to the picture, you can see that there are some portals outside the 500m circle, but inside a S2 cell, that you can jump to, on the lower left (the two portals close to each other). There is also one portal just outside the circle on the upper left that is actually closer than those 2 portals, but because the S2 cell it is in has its closest point more than 500m away, it is not loaded, and you cannot jump to it without a key.
Also note that due to the peculiarity of this method, just because you can jump from A to B, does not mean that you can jump from B to A.
The image above is using a plugin developed by @tehstone for IITC. It has not failed me yet.
@theimmc Thanks for explanation. That explains a lot except for one thing - how do players get all this info from regular Ingress Map? @NianticBrian
you install a plugin, iitc.... pretty well known
@ZeroHecksGiven My point exactly - we have to resort to 3rd party software.
what point are you trying to make exactly? Install the plugin and move on with your life. It will literally take 3 minutes to install iitc and a drone plugin and you can be planning routes instead of moaning about it on a forum.
I am not moaning. I am complaining that in order to properly use Niantic's game feature we need to rely on 3rd party software and player tests instead of Niantic saying, "OK guys, here's how this works, here's where you can see that". I've never heard about this S2 L16 **** before.
Niantic doesn't explain many things. Many of the things players know about Niantic games, be it Ingress, Pokemon Go, or Harry Potter Wizards Unite, are discovered through experimentation or statistics collection. We jokingly call this #science. Pokemon Go has a large group of players who spend considerable effort gathering statistics in the group known as Silph Road. This is all information that Niantic could easily provide but does not. They won't even confirm if the data is correct.
Brian provided some information regarding drone distances in the past. We found the information to be inconsistent with our observation. Maybe he doesn't have the latest information, or maybe the implementation is different from the original design. The risk in using information we learned through experimentation is that Niantic may change their implementation for whatever reason without needing to inform us.
Take, for example, item drop rate. I can tell you that you get about 0.5 mods per glyph hack on a level 6 portal. How do I know that? Because for a week, I glyphed a cluster of level 6 portals and collected the data. Most of the mods will be shields. Good luck trying to get Niantic to share this information with you.
What I'm trying to say in my long winded way is that you can just take this information and make use of it. Or you can continue to beat your head against the wall that is Niantic. The choice is yours. Most of us prefer to make use of whatever tools are available and just play the game.
Problem comes when Niantic threats you with the hammer for using them.
Like, what is this, the dark ages again? 21st century and we are suposed to play out of sheer faith?
Well, @theimmc is right - but there is a problem with Niantic's approach, which is that we can't tell if @NianticBrian is being imprecise, or if the things we are discovering are bugs.
The uncertainty about the 500m limit is a good example of this, we don't know if the cell based system for reachability described above is the intended design, or if there's supposed to be an extra step in there that goes through the list of candidates and filters out those over 500m. Perhaps that step is in the code, but it's broken because the programmer typed 500km instead of 500m (yes, I know this is a silly example, but it's just to demonstrate the concept), how would that bug ever get reported and fixed if we don't know the intended behaviour?
@theimmc I don't see the reason why we can't do both - use whatever we can while asking Niantic to fix things and give us proper information 😊
Sure, we can ask :) As long as we're not getting frustrated waiting for a response, there's nothing wrong with asking.
I can just imagine a scrum meeting at Niantic.
"Looks like the players discovered how this works and wrote it up. Just paste that into Confluence and close the issue."
Well, I was pretty frustrated with IITC, trying to figure out how to install and configure everything 😊 I still don't understand how one script works (to measure distance from manual location to portal - it says double-click to change/set current location, but that doesn't work) and how to draw circles similar to your (draw tool draws different circles and is SO annoying to use)
IITC can have a pretty significant learning curve, and is not universally well maintained. There's a TG group that's dedicated to IITC support, if you're not in there already. The first thing that's asked is "what version of IITC are you using". The original iitc.me hasn't been maintained in a long time, and has issues with some new plugins. The new community edition can be found on iitc.app. More troubleshooting of IITC is better done in that TG group than here. Search for "IITC Group [XF]" in Telegram (there's probably join links posted elsewhere).
There is a specific plugin for the drone. Google “iitc drone plugin” and it should be the first Reddit link you see.
@theimmc Thanks, I'll check it out.
@ZeroHecksGiven Thanks, it worked!