Farming is a must, there just is no way to keep XMPS, Portal Shields, Portal Keys, and even Resonators (especially high level ones) in stock without spending some time dedicated to collecting this equipment. Personal preference – I prefer a farm that is walkable, but that is not always doable.
First, some Portal Hacking basics:
Hostile Portals (those controlled by the opposing Faction) will attack you at some point, sapping XM.
The higher the level of the hostile Portal the more XM you will lose when hacking and by being attacked.
You earn 100AP for hacking hostile Portals.
Friendly Portals (portals controlled by your Faction) do not attack.
Hacking friendly Portals does not earn AP.
Neutral Portals (Portals not controlled by any faction) are considered Level 1.
A Portal’s level is determined by the energy it has.
You get higher level items from higher level Portals.
You get more items from friendly Portals than from hostile Portals.
A Portal can only be hacked once every five minutes (per agent).
A Portal can only be hacked four times every four hours (per agent).
Knowing all that, how should a farm be structured?
On the Intel map the more you are zoomed out the more Portals get filtered out by level ,in this manner low level portals (1s & 2s), and especially unclaimed portals can go unnoticed. But you don’t get ideal items (other than keys) from low level portals like this, so higher level portals are better for farming. Creating a farm with a substantial amount (four or more) of portals that (hopefully) won’t just become contested ground that uses all your resources rather than providing you with a source of new items takes some strategy.
Here are my suggestions:
1. You want the Portals to be close, but not too close to each other.
2. You want it “off the beaten path”.
3. Don’t link them.
4. Upgrade Portals to the highest level possible.
5. Deploy Portal Shields
6. Hack till you burn out all the Portals.
7. Avoid initial/common portals locations.
Why these Suggestions?
1. Portals that are very close to each can be attacked at the same time; making destruction of your farm easier.
2. People are less likely to go somewhere that is inconvenient.
3. Links attract attention because is adds a lot more color to the map, and is attractive from an AP perspective.
4. If you have these “silos” some people will be intimidated, for others it just isn’t worth it. Having to destroy a Level 6 Portal that has no Links or CFs is not seen as advantageous for most agents because of the high XMP to AP ratio.
5. Portal Shields may be what causes an attacking agent to not be able to “finish the job” because they ran out of XMPs prematurely when trying to take down a Portal or group of Portals.
6. Get as much equipment as you can, hack till you can hack no more.
7. At launch portals were comprised of Post Offices, Museums, Libraries, and Fire Stations. Everyone knows these are portals and keeps an eye out for them.
Don’t worry about AP from a farm, it has a different purpose, but if you have a plan it can be an AP gold mine. Let’s say you’ve been farming the same place for a while now, everyone in your faction in the local area has been able to get amount of items “in stock”, or you suspect/hear of a “raid” by the other faction happening soon. Get a low level player in, let them link everything and create control fields and get a ton of AP.
And don’t forget to keep your Resonators charged, its those high energy numbers that will deter the weaker opponents from coming to your farm.