Annoying and random mission rejection causes


I submitted a banner of 36 missions and I think the reject method is a bit random. Below is an example of 2 identical banner medals. One accepted and the other rejected for the following causes:

  • Use of an image or text that isn't yours or that you don't have rights to use or that consists of a logo -> not true
  • Use of official Niantic logos or event names (NL1331, Mission Day, etc.) -> not true
  • Use of Image or Text that claims the Mission as "official", otherwise implies it has special designation, or is endorsed by Niantic (e.g., "The Official Ingress London Mission") -> neither true

Why is this happening? What's the difference between these 2 missions? They are almost the same and the images are almost the same too.

On the other hand, the vast majority of missions in this banner were rejected for the same reason but the images are not copyrighted and are all mine.



  • Same problem. This is the mission banner and about 5 have been approved and most have been rejected more than 10 times with the same reasons above. The mission banner is using a portals around a historic goal (Jail) in the photo. None of the provided reasons apply and we have just given up after that many rejections.

  • ArtilectZedArtilectZed ✭✭✭✭✭

    Dealing with completely vague mission rejections lead to me not bothering making missions anymore. The amount of work I had to put in to deal with those rejections added to far more time than originally making the banners. Just tell us *exactly what is wrong* so we can fix it, please!

  • Here's my set of tips, gathered over years of mission making. Try something or anything in it.

    New Mission Reject

    • Add REJECT to its title, and create a new mission for your next try. This gives you a record of what happened (in case it’s rejected again and you want to try again, or you have a new theory later). Plus, the rejected version might be “tainted”, so go in a slow track.
    • More generally, the reason cited in a rejection notice is usually, but not always, connected to the reason a mission was rejected. Get experienced mission creators to look at anything that is rejected,
    • Now your focus is to get it approved, even if it means making temporary changes you don’t like. Get a skeleton approved, and plan phases of edits to make it better.

    “Use of image or text” Email

    • Try a portal key picture as badge. Niantic already owns it. (You’ll probably need to edit it to make it work.) Or use a picture you took yourself. Pictures from other sources could have an embedded copyright, causing mission rejection. 
    • Any individual mission whose icon is a single letter, or looks like it might be a single letter if you sqint your eyes, will be immediately rejected with an unrelated reason cited on the rejection notice.
    • Last resort:  submit without a badge. Add it back after published! 
    • Remove words (even the name of the town) that in your wildest imagination might be a person’s name.
    • Don’t use song lyrics, product names, TV/movie lines, etc. Google phrases used. Ask someone older/younger than you, who would know a different decade.
    • Make the title and description boring, and remove portal descriptions (so definitely no potential copyright infringement). Like: “Hack these things to earn a badge.” You can edit it after it’s approved.

    “Quality issues” Email

    • Remember each mission is judged as stand-alone. Maybe the portals aren’t relevant to each other and the title, description. 
    • Your chances of approval go up if each mission says where the banner starts, and/or describes what this specific mission explores.
    • On the Preview page (4th screen), read the text below each portal. Maybe a portal’s nominator used some text that the mission approvers don’t like.On the Waypoints tab (3rd screen) you can click a portal and change or ignore its text.
    • Rearrange portals, even if Any Order. Optimize the order (from the approver’s standpoint) anyway. I have seen rejected Any Order missions accepted after merely changing portal order. One way: Temporarily set to Sequenced and rearrange to have the shortest route (lines), ignoring roads. Then set it back to Any Order before submitting. 
    • Avoid starting on the same portal as another mission (some approvers allow; some don’t). 
    • Add and drop one or more waypoints. 
    • Maybe your title, mission description, and/or portal descriptions are clever, but your approver didn’t ”get it”. Try making them boring for the initial approval, then edit. 
    • Your chances of approval go up if the name of the city or region is in the TITLE of the mission.
    • Maybe you used a boring all-white photo, or something else that looks pointless by itself. Sometimes a plain tile ( for example a blue sky tile in a banner) can be replaced by a city seal or something standalone.
    • Niantic greatly favors missions from people who have submitted none, or very few, already. If all else fails, find a pal to submit it for you.

    Ambush Portals

    • Omit Fire stations, hospitals - anything that might raise a red flag for an approver. You can always try to add it after the initial approval.
    • Try to include 7 or more waypoints. Several times, I had missions approved minus a portal, and my edits to add the portal back were rejected (a store, a clubhouse, and a church). Best guess: these portals have been reported (so Niantic doesn’t want them on a mission), but not processed (so are still in play). If this randomness puts your mission below the 6 waypoint minimum, it will be rejected - still showing your original portals, so you won’t know why. Better to start with too many, then do the mission, and potentially edit to remove some. 

    Wording Tips

    • Do not use an at sign - not even “Closes @ dusk.” (Yeah, the character limit is killer.) Avoid other special characters too, as they could be flagged by a security program as a possible attempt at code injection. 
    • Minimize/remove acronyms. They’re not looking them up; just assuming the worst.
    • Be clear when using a city or county name – the approver doesn’t know what Barrow is, or that Helen is a town.
    • Clarify/remove anything a non-local might not understand, like A1A => Hwy A1A.
    • Avoid words that MIGHT mean you’re marketing something. I used “Banking” in a title, and every portal/fieldtrip was about a long-gone bank, but I think they suspected I was trying to get customers. Changed title to “Historic Bank”, and it was approved.
    • Don’t assume that something in other missions - or a portal name - is OK for your mission. They were approved by somebody else. Your approver is not researching what’s already out there. Example: A mission named after its first portal, with that portal key as mission badge (BMW Water Tower) - was rejected. Changed only title - accepted. Another: Used identical description as another mission - rejected. Description changed - accepted

  • ZeroHecksGivenZeroHecksGiven ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yeah, been struggling to get a set of missions through before second Sunday, but appears I’ll miss the boat. Two rounds of rejections. First time made me think I needed to change the title, so I changed them all and even adjusted the descriptions a little. All were rejected again with different reasons and a warning that if I continue getting rejections, I’ll lose my mission authoring privileges.


  • You can't give a banner all the same name and description. They have to each make standalone sense to a reviewer who may not see any of the others. Or if they do, they don't care about relating them.

    Come up with a standalone connection between the portals you want in a mission, and vary its description to match.


    Title: 03/18 Tour the <name-of-place>

    Description: Visit these churches along Church St as you tour the <place>, between 2nd and 3rd Streets.

    Portals: all somewhat connected and match the description

  • pictop23pictop23 ✭✭
    edited November 2021

    Same Problem here.

    Hoped to get it approved for Second Sunday, but now it looks like this.

    Got rejected for:

    Don't have the right to use the picture (self drawn)

    Including curse words/obscenity

    Showing a Real Person



    This is the Status after 3 weeks

  • mortuusmortuus ✭✭✭✭✭

    this is a problem since u cant add any info when u submit a banner pics additional info where u got the image or if u draw it yourself, i hope they update this submit process oneday.

  • Pol89Pol89 ✭✭
    edited December 2021

    This is annoying. less than a week and the same rejection reason. i think they have a bot and reject all my missions attemps

  • I don’t understand, this is the last one to pass and I get refused over and over again….

  • MargariteDVilleMargariteDVille ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2021

    @Adamcorsica Remember the first rejection reason bullet starts with "TEXT". Maybe the reviewer doesn't know French, and thinks "Amiens" is someone's name. Or maybe "venez de découvrir la ville" is the name of a TV show, or song lyric.

    Here's what I saw when I googled the phrase. Maybe they saw it and thought the phrase is copyrighted.

    It's but I doubt they clicked into the link.

    Yes, that's all dumb. But it indicates you should try a different description.

  • Amiens is the name of the city and there are already 23 missions which I have this title ... and the same for the description ... I put the same for all the missions ... so the only difference with the other missions c 'is the picture

  • For the last three months, I've had this issue as well.

    Trying to submit a banner EXACTLY EQUAL to another one already submitted in the system and the result is the same.

    This is seriously getting on my nerves as the feedback from the rejections is wildly random (8 were accepted, 10 were rejected).

    This is not a good experience and cause for massive anxiety as the lack of meaningful feedback stresses me out and keeps me from further investing time, effort, and money into the game.

    I'm certain that I'm not the only one in this boat.

    Is there something you can do to help unblock (or even clarify) this @NianticThia ?


  • ZeroHecksGivenZeroHecksGiven ✭✭✭✭✭

    I hadn't worked on any banners in a few months, but recently had some positive feedback from another agent and they urged me to make some more. So I put in the first 6 of a 42 mission banner. the first six are nearly the same minus the image of course. Wording, etc. 5 were approved and one was denied because of this:

    • A lack of a clear and informative description and/or title
    • Mission Image, description, and/or title are unrelated to the Waypoints chosen

    So, created a new mission, changed the description slightly to reference the park versus the city and re-submitted. It's crazy how painfully tedious this is and how quiet Niantic has been about this.... Silence = not important apparently.....

  • Mission reviewers don't look at what already exists. Or what was submitted at the same time. They look at that ONE mission and want it to make sense with whatever senses they have.

    Saying a mission should pass because there are others like it = saying a portal should pass because there are others like it. Neither of these statements have any bearing on how it works.

  • ZeroHecksGivenZeroHecksGiven ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2022

    If two or more missions are the same minus a small variation in image, why is one or more making it through and not a single one. I put in six missions, every single one is the same, title (01 of 42 vs 02 of 42), description the same, portals the same, actions the same (capture of upgrade). Five made it through, one did not. I'm so curious how five make it, one doesn't. I understand your explanation, but it doesn't quite match up with my experience and likely the experiences of many others....

    want it to make sense with whatever senses they have.

    It's clear they have no sense, so, you are correct....

    edit: I wanted to clarify and say, to me, the “rules” for what should be accepted vs what is rejected is obviously not very black and white and while I understand it kinda can’t be, it’s obvious this line is so blurry the people reviewing them don’t understand where the line starts or ends. It’s obvious there is an issue if this issue presents itself time and time again.

    Post edited by ZeroHecksGiven on
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