Linking Portals is essential to the goal of the game, attaining Mind Units (MUs), which is done by. Creating Control Fields (CFs).
Before I get into it, let’s start with some facts and background info.
A Control Field is created by linking three Portals to form a triangle.
A Portal’s linking distance is determined by its level.
A Portal’s level is determined by how much energy it has (from Resonators).
Portal Keys are required to Link.
A Portal must be fully powered (have all eight Resonators) to be able to be linked.
Control Fields can overlap, but Links cannot cross.
Okay, once you’ve got the above understood then you are left with a very simple strategy for creating links in the best manner possible.
1. We want links to not block each other.
2. We want Control Fields to be as small as possible.
Let’s take a look at a cluster of portals. Go to http://www.ingress.com/intel and search for 1839 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands, TX (this requires Ingress log-in).
My apologies for some of the colors on the images below, I modified them to get rid of existing CFs that cluttered or confused the point of this posting, and my image editing skills are not top-notch.
Here is the optimal linking for this area based on the above strategy:
This one might be easier to read:
For printing purposes:
Just for fun: (Oh yes, when I saw this I too realized how they decided on the coloring for the Ingress in-game map, by simply inverting the Google Maps roads map!)
Okay, so why is that optimal?
There are ten Portals here. My Optimal Linking Pattern shows not overlapping links and creates eleven CFs. The entire area could be covered by three CFs, most of it with just two CFs if you wanted to. But that means that an opposing agent could easily take away all the mind units gained from taking out just one portal. With my Optimal Linking Strategy it takes no less than depletion of three Portals to destroy all the Control Fields. By making Control Fields as small as possible you minimize the reduction to your Faction’s MU total by when an opposing agent destroys a Link or the Link decays. And by creating small, tight CFs you also earn substantially more AP.