Redfection - The XM Parasite

edited December 2019 in Events

This is a suggestion for adding more gameplay to Ingress without cross faction events and to help out places where the player numbers are dropping.

Lore Concept

The N'zeer and the Shapers are missing. The exogenous entities on the other side of the portals have fled from or been consumed by a failed experiment gone wrong. The NIA is unaware of who started it, or what the original attempt was to create, but the thing that came forth has consumed all minds on the other side of the portals and is now attempting to Ingress our world and do the same.

The exogenous parasite, known colloquially as the 'Redfection' has begun to break through to our world through weakly defended portals, primarily those that are uncaptured by any human faction. It's purpose is to feed of the mind energy of humanity using what we term 'control fields'. The mindless parasite will spread its influence across a region through links, infecting other portals, and opening them as new footholds into our world.

In any given region, the Redfection will spread by one of two means every 24 hours

  1. If there are no footholds into the region, it will focus its efforts on a handful of uncaptured portals, pressing their weakness to open a channel to our world through which Redfected XM can flow.
  2. If there are one or more footholds into the (scoring) region, it will focus its efforts on reaching out to nearby portals and infecting them. The Redfection will send out links to nearby portals of equal or lower level, and infect them. Portals that are captured, but weak are susceptible to the Redfection. Only the most powerful portals (Level 8) are capable of repelling the infection completely. If no new portal is available to a given Redfected portal, it will make its available links to any already Redfected portals that it can and create control fields to begin consuming the mind energy of the humans within.

Additionally, every 72 hours that a portal remains Redfected, its foothold will gain strength, making it harder to root out.

Do not be dismayed however. Humanity can fight back, because this parasite is an XM entity and we have the weapons and constructs to combat them.

XM Pulse Bursters and Ultrastrikes work as effectively on Redfection portals as they do on Enlightened or Resistance controlled portals. ADA Refactors and JARVIS Viruses are capable of cleansing a Redfected portal of its infection and returning it to the appropriate faction's control. As mentioned above the highest strength portals are capable of repelling the infection and a Redfected portal cannot link through the barrier of an Enlightened or Resistance link. Captured portals that have a control field already hosted by them, gain immunity from infection as well, with portals hosting four fields creating a total immunity to the Redfection.

Redfected portals also still function like other portals for generating XM constructs, however their output is reduced, and they cannot provide ADA Refactors or JARVIS Viruses.

Given the Resistance and Enlightened differing philosophies on XM constructs and the portal network, cooperation is still indirect and it will be up to each Agent to choose whether to coordinate against a greater enemy, or continue to fight two enemies with your faction's superior strategy and forces.

Game-play Explanation

The Redfection will appear on the scanner with Red portals, links and fields. These portals can still be hacked, but will only output 75% of the normal output, and will not provide ADA Refactors or JARVIS Viruses at all.

Spread of the Infection:

Every 24 hours, the Redfection will spread depending on whether there is already Redfection in the scoring region:

A. If there are no Redfected portals into the Scoring Region, 5% of all uncaptured portals, randomly selected, will become Redfected L1 portals, with 8 L1 resonators. If there are no uncaptured portals in the Scoring Region, 1% of all captured portals in the region will become Redfected, starting with L1 portals.

  • Only grey portals that have at least 4 portals within 5 kms of them are susceptible to infection. This prevents mountain top portals from covering the countryside from impossible places.

B. If there are Redfected portals in the scoring Region, each Redfected portal will attempt to link a number of times equal to its portal level using a series of options. Links cannot cross existing links, and a given Redfected portal can only link up to a total of 40 times.

  • A link will be made to the nearest uninfected portal if available.
  • Otherwise, a link will be made to the nearest infected portal.
  • Redfected portals covered by a field will not attempt to link.
  • Links cannot be longer than 5 kms.
  • Redfected portals with 40 Inbound OR Outbound links will not attempt to link, and other Redfected portals will not attempt to link to it.
  • Redfected portals will contain no Mods and any existing mods on a portal will be removed when it is Redfected.
  • Redfected portals will not link to existing Level 8 portals.
  • A captured portal that is Redfected will retain its existing level.

Every 72 hours all existing Redfected portals (not those being infected at the checkpoint), will gain 1 level, by raising the resonators on the portal equally to gain the next level.

E.g. An 87665544 portal will become 87666666 after 72 hours of being Redfected, moving from Level 5 to Level 6. An 81111111 Level 1 portal will change to 82222222 after 72 hours of Redfection and become Level 2.

Defending against the Redfection:

  • XMP Bursters and Ultrastrikes work against Redfected portals like they do against the opposing faction. Standard AP will be gained for killing Resonators, Links and Fields.
  • ADA Refactors and JARVIS Viruses will flip a Redfected portal to their appropriate faction. No AP will be gained for using a flip-card.
  • A Level 8 Portal of either faction cannot be infected.
  • Portals with a field attached to them gain a 25% immunity, per field, up to 100% at 4 fields.
  • Redfected portals have no defensive mods, but will gain link mitigation based on their inbound and outbound links.

Redfection Scoring (A possible addition to the Regional Cycle):

Additionally, fighting the Redfection could be an additional scoring format, running on the same 35 checkpoint windows, with its own leader board and faction total.

  • For each Redfected Portal killed the scoreboard grants a faction 1 point.  
  • For each Redfection Link killed the scoreboard grants 2 points.
  • For each Redfection Control Field killed the scoreboard grants 6 points.
  • Using ADA Refactors and and JARVIS Viruses does not grant any points.
  • Winning team each cycle is the one with the most points.


The goal is to encourage people to play in whatever way they want to be beneficial.

  • Destroyers can chase after the infected portals.
  • Builders can field their area to protect it.
  • Explorers can search out grey portals and deploy on them to reduce the infection rate or control where infections occur.
  • Teams can build P8s in larger numbers to protect portals, or ring infections off with a barrier of P8s and 4 field portals linked around an infection site.

Regions where there are very few players, or very uneven faction populations will have additional activities to be a part of, or could even farm Redfected portals in a controlled area.

(This was originally posted a few months back here:, and refined with discussions in @IUENG )

Post edited by Perringaiden on


  • This would actually get me interested in playing again.

  • I don't think it's workable in my area unless we can recruit a lot more players to the game. Very few players seem to care about the cell scores etc here.

  • I love it. But I do want red faction to be able to BAF. That would not only create a need to go clear red areas, but a need to throw blockers which would make Ops more interesting and complex as well. Plus events to liberate grey areas would be a great new thing that could stand alone or be a part of anomaly scoring. For example, the team that has the highest score in the play box, or captures the most area within wins. It would also be fun to have the red faction send out shards that detonate like an atomic XMP that greys every portal for a 50-100 mile radius. Like a game of hot potato where it’s a rush to get the shards to where they’d do the least amount of damage. This of course would be a red faction attempt to break through in more areas.

  • edited December 2019

    The 5km limit is mainly to avoid portals in impossible places from linking together and making unplayable regions. Imagine if an inaccessible portal off the coast of Los Angeles linked to one in a ZC region of Baja California, and then another on a mountain top in the Rockies in winter.

    Suddenly a vast number of people are unable to even play normally.

    And somewhere, some time, trolls would make it happen.

  • One of the reasons I've seen for people quitting is one side dominates and the other walks away, making it boring. A Redfection opponent would be playing every day, expanding constantly if ignored. So it would give people something to do whenever they wanted.

  • Cool idea! Do you see this potentially tying into the Nemesis storyline or being something to consider after Nemesis has been played out?

  • I doubt the development could be started (or finished) before the Nemesis event is over. Lorewise, it could happen at any point since the initiating event would be on the other side of the portal's.

    That said, it would put paid to all of Nemesis' warnings.

  • Sure, that would be possible, and we’d adapt and formulate new strategies to deal with it. We’d probably have to fence off certain areas. But adding a higher level of difficulty and complexity would be a good thing.

  • Maybe once they see the system working, they could remove the limiters. More links off a portal and longer links.

  • I think it's a fantastic idea

  • I say let it loose without the training wheels so we have to learn on the fly. Like a real invasion. As in it takes everyone by surprise and kinda kicks our tails and we’ve got to fight and drive it back and regain control.

  • I like it a lot

  • That's not a bad idea - if things go really really badly, can always calvinball a way around it. Also would be pretty interesting to see how redfection would spread without a 5k limit.

  • I had seen the bare bones of this idea on Reddit a long time ago (can't find that anymore), and had actually thought about it a fair amount. I had thought about a simpler version that wouldn't need many rule changes to work. It would be a lot less aggressive than what's described above.

    If a portal is unclaimed, it has a small chance each day of adding a level 1 red resonator and becoming active. How high this chance is would set the difficulty, I would say if it's been open for two weeks it should probably turn.

    Once it is active, it adds one new resonator each day until it is a full level 1 portal. Once it is full, it upgrades one resonator a day, upgrading the weakest resonator and slowly upgrading through level 2 and on. This requires one rule change for the red portals - that the resonators do not decay if the portal is unlinked. If resonators are destroyed, it first refills the empty locations with 1s and then starts upgrading again.

    Each day after upgrading the resonator to set its new level the portal looks for any links it can throw to another red portal, following normal linking rules, and throws the longest possible link.

    Once linked, the resonators start to decay, following normal decay rules. Nice part of this is that it takes 7 days to decay, but 8 for the resonator upgrades to make it all the way around to reset the decay level. So after 7 days the portal will lose one resonator and not be able to throw or receive any new links, or increase in level. This means it will be hard for a portal to ever reach very high levels, and would eliminate the need for the "5K" limit suggested above. You aren't going to get high level portals unless they are under a field and can't link, it takes months to get to a very high level, and once they link they won't increase in level.

    Attacks, ADAs and Jarvises would all behave just as on any opposing faction portal.

    Seems like this should take less programming, since there is only one rule change, it is basically just an AI third faction. Only problems I see is how to manage all the portals trying to throw links at once, may be too big of a pull on the servers and you may get a bunch of crossed links (though the last might make some interesting effects.)

    This could be a starting point, and over time it could shift to the more aggressive version suggested in the top post.

    Also it would be great if they would just turn this on with no warning or comment, the meltdown would be beautiful.

  • HydracyanHydracyan ✭✭✭✭✭

    There should be something to prevent it to became free lv8 portals for everyone who waits, like halving the output, increasing delay and higher drain of xm. The AP also shouldn't be the same as destroing a real real portal, I actually prefer it to be none.

  • The entire point of this process is to provide an enemy that players can play against when there is only one active faction (or not enough active players). So having it give no AP is not really worth the effort.

  • Which rule changes are you seeing? Or do you mean changes in code?

    As far as I can see, the portal would pretty much run by the standard rules of the game, resonators define level, links can't cross etc. The only thing that would break the requirements would be the greater than 8 links, and if that's a development issue, 8 links could be a fine limit.

  • HydracyanHydracyan ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2020

    But them people will intentionally let everything be taked over. It should give less AP than a normal energy portal.

    Not giving any AP or very low AP (like 1/4) it will incentive people's to keep everything captured, to avoid waste of xmp.

  • edited January 2020

    But them people will intentionally let everything be taked over.

    That's part of the strategy. If you leave it too long, someone else will remove it.

  • Yeah, by rule change I mean things in the game that would need to be recoded to work differently than they currently do. For example, my understanding of your idea would be that the infected portals would link to any other portal, regardless of which faction controls it which is a big change.

    But just to be clear my comment isn't meant to be any sort of criticism of what you had put together, just that I had also thought about the same basic concept but had come up with slightly different mechananics.

    Regardless of the way it works I think it would add something that is really missing in a lot of areas, especially where the player base is small. Even in denser areas like where I am there are still clumps of portals that rarely get touched, this would definitely give incentive to go to those areas.

  • For example, my understanding of your idea would be that the infected portals would link to any other portal, regardless of which faction controls it which is a big change.

    That would be easily coded as part of the changing of portals to Red. It'd just need to ensure the portal turns red at or before the link lands :-)

    Even in denser areas like where I am there are still clumps of portals that rarely get touched, this would definitely give incentive to go to those areas.

    That was part of my thought. Here in Los Angeles, there are vast areas with thousands of grey portals, in the middle of the city.

  • HydracyanHydracyan ✭✭✭✭✭

    What if It actually creates random portal in areas (s2celld) without any portal? Once destroyed, or captured, they disappear. Will help a lot of new players that don't have anything to interact and just leave the game.

  • I doubt there's too many regions without at least a handful of portals now, and Redfection would give them an enemy they can fight, such that they can level faster to 10 and submit, themselves.

  • HydracyanHydracyan ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2020

    There's a city about 180km from me that has only one portal. I doubt a citizen there will travel just to play a new game.

    When I first installed the game there was nothing nearby. The closest was almost 3km, but the game didn't show it, so I was just looking to a ugly black GPS. I only came back to it about 2-3 months before Pokemon go release. And still, six months to get lv 8... I can do this amount of AP in one day now, in same location I played back then.

    I'm not against the redfection idea, but ingress surely need new ways to play in empty areas. A random "notportal" spawn will sure help it. I've been playing the Jurassic world alive, and it has random weekly generated points of interaction and works just fine.

  • PhantomR1982PhantomR1982 ✭✭✭
    edited January 2020


    I like this idea myself personally.

    Now there's only 2 things I would add to the existing idea and that's the way that a purified "redfection" portal/field/link is scored after defeated it awards CMU instead of AP as it's a RED style gameplay mechanic that is more Unstable/Chaotic than normal factions and the more of the redfection that is defeated the more CMU that is awarded by way of simpler rewards and this can be traded in through the shop interface for the CMU Bundles which are already purchasable by real world cash as well

    The second thing is if there are no neutral portals for the redfection to expand to then it can start to infect existing faction portals and links which then a push alert is sent out to say "your network of portals are being redfected,please contain the infection from spreading further" much like a attack/neutralised message comes through to agents...however it WILL infect existing portals and spread across the links/control fields and blow out Mods already established by either side slowly using the rules set out in the original post above but infecting the resonators first changing them from blue/green to red in an attempt to create a big enough foothold into our world for the big bad REDEFACTOR can be changed to emerge like a boss battle this "boss" could then become a high level player in area's where an infection needs to be started yet the player name in the display just becomes "Redefactor" and not the actual high level players actual name but to bring back the original players who know Ingress better than newbies and bring some chaos back into the game.

    I recently (last year) went out to dinner at a family members home and as I got there I happened to glance at the scanner upon entering there door and something caught my attention and it was a Burning on fire Portal,now at the time I didn't know what was causing this and went to take it down hoping for some special goodies etc...yet when I took it down I saw it was just a standard Green faction portal from someone in that area (10km away from my base) I recaptured it and made it blue yet nothing special came out of it but it was still burning/on 🔥 turns out it was a visual glitch and as another agent stated through the Comms "It's Nice & Pretty" for the area and was the result of a Fracker being used...but still it got my attention.

    1. CMU while nice to get (and maybe this could give some) isn't a replacement for AP which is the prime purpose of this mechanic. To give players with no opposition, someone to play against and get AP from. Think about it for places where the only play is "Build, wait 1 week till it decays out, build again". Without the AP factor this would not help those areas.
    2. The mechanic of switching to already deployed portals already exists in the original post:

    If there are no uncaptured portals in the Scoring Region, 1% of all captured portals in the region will become Redfected, starting with L1 portals.

    However, I like that concept of a push notification telling you that the Redfection is stealing your portals. It definitely would put some people into a more active mindset.

    (Of note the fracker animation bug is a long standing, server side, issue from before Prime. Fixed by another fracker or a beacon, or notifying Niantic).

  • Shapers vs. N’zeer vs Red Faction. No. Or, not yet. What are the shapers? What are the N’zeer? We know nothing about either faction to let alone add a third influence on humanity. I have too many questions about the Shapers in the lore. I have even more questions about the N’zeer. They won’t give us a third faction until they lore-wise answer a lot of questions.


  • Answer: It doesn't matter what they were after the Redfection kills them both. We don't need aliens to have a disagreement about creativity or conformity.

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