Ingress Tips: Optimal Linking Strategy

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 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:
optimal woodlands

This one might be easier to read:
ptimal woodlands greys

For printing purposes:
optimal woodlands simple

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!)
small - optimal woodlands inverted

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.

9 thoughts on “Ingress Tips: Optimal Linking Strategy

  • January 23, 2013 at 7:20 AM

    Hi Kyle! I saw your post about Ingress on LinkedIn. Would you mind sending me an invite so I can play along? My G-mail address is just Ray Crawford as a period separated word. Thanks & good luck with this awesomely cool new experience!

  • January 30, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    This was pretty good, but you could have made around 15 control fields using these 10 portals. The trick is to make triangles inside of triangles. Control fields can overlap! 3 portals make 1 control field max. BUT if there was ONE portal in the middle, and it was linked to the ones on the 3 corners, you’d get 3 additional control fields! that’s one field per portal! If the geometry allows, each additional portal can add 3 more fields (max). (one control field per LINK)

    • January 30, 2013 at 12:13 PM

      For max AP that would be good, but that draws a lot of attention. The goal is MU, gaining AP helps you level, but the more links to a single port the more attractive it is to the opposing faction. I was going for and approach balancing all three, AP, MU, and discretion.

  • March 5, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    Creating fields is something that we (in our area are on a BIG debate over) and we see the huge flaws in your plan immediately – your example carries a central portal with 7 links and 6 CF’s … yummy, that will boost my AP lots and is definitely worth spending extra XMP on.

    Try our theory, which we’re about to start putting into practice. Join the most central portals together as one CF (ideally for the most dense MU), now join the next most central for another CF (doubles the original MU, as it counts twice) – note you have six portals linked with one CF inside the other. Now link the portals of the outer CF to the inner (creates 3 trapezoids) and finally add a cross-link to split the trapezoid in half (two CF’s) … 6 portals, 12 links and if you have done it correctly, the most intense portal only has 4 links.

    When you have that clear in your head, add a 3rd triangle around everything and repeat.

    We’ve mapped out our area and have sight of 4 overlapping CF’s in this manner.

    Happy days

    • April 22, 2013 at 9:25 PM

      I was going for a balanced approach. You have good points, but with portals having uneven disbursement like in this map how would you suggest linking with these portals?

  • May 28, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    Hey Kyle, nice guide, i’ve yet to get an invitation to Ingress, despite my google+ post image i dedicated to Ingress of #Downtown_Dallas. A user from Ingress promised me an invite but no word back from him yet. If you happen to have a spare invite, I’d greatly appreciate it, Thanks. 🙂


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