XM and You 2: Knowing Your Power Source Better!


Thanks to dedicated Agents in the field, we now have more refined (read correct) data about the concentration of XM clouds around portals and a more in-depth look into the nature of XM itself. Also some tips and tricks, which should be useful in keeping your scanner charged.

A Portal's Info Card with Energy Level in the top right corner.

A Portal’s Info Card with Energy Level in the top right corner.

The XM Concentration around a Portal is 10% of the Portal’s Energy. Finding this number is as easy as clicking on a Portal Key or the Portal itself. The number is next to the key icon, and in the image above is 19,000, so the XM cloud around this portal will be 1,900 XM. This means that keeping portals fully charged is even more important than might be realized. As a portal decays, the XM cloud around it will decrease as its collected and refreshed. Giving you less energy for attacking and defending.

Here are a couple of tricks to get the most out of the XM around Portals:

  • Portals recharge their XM every 15-20 minutes, so try to work that time into your plans when working out a hack/attack route.
  • You can force an early recharge on Friendly portals by upgrading them to the next level. This process usually takes 1-2 minutes before the portal begins emitting new XM, but it’s a lot better than the 15 minutes it would have been! For Enemy portals, you will have to completely destroy the portal and then redeploy, but you can collect the XM before and after for a nice boost, and as with Friendly portals the process takes 1-2 minutes after deployment for XM to reappear. I find that stepping away from the portal makes it happen even faster. Here is an example of a portal refilling in under 1 minute!
    Having just deployed resonators onto a newly destroyed portal,

    Having just deployed resonators onto a newly destroyed portal.

    by the time I circled the parking lot more XM had appeared!

    By the time I circled the parking lot more XM had appeared!

    When you have multiple agents traveling in packs its very important for the group to stay together! If one agent sprints ahead their scanner will suck up all the XM and starve the other agents, however, if everyone stays close, they can all collect the same XM at the same time.

  • Being aware of XM clouds is also important in tracking the movements of Enemy and Friendly agents. If you see large blank spots where you know XM should be, that means an agent has been in the area in the last 15 minutes, or is possibly RIGHT BEHIND YOU!  These blank spots can help you decide if further action is required from you in the area. Whether it be attacking what’s being built by an enemy agent or helping a fellow faction member build higher level portals.

The Information in this article wouldn’t have been possible without help from these agents: Mihail Dadun for figuring out the true formula for XM cloud concentration. Daniel Upstone, for reminding us of some of these tips and tricks, and Anne Brooks for confirming that upgrading a portal gives a boost to XM.

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Chef by day, Resistance agent by night.


  1. They need to put more XM on the streets. They also need to move XM around so that it is more accessible to the public. There are several thick concentrations of XM near my house, but they are clustered in the middle/inside/center of the block. The only way to get to it, would be to enter the back yards of at least 8 houses, and no one is going to let me do that daily. Right now, I have to make a 4.5 mile drive around town to fill up my XM bar to 100%. Sometimes I have to drive 32 miles to recharge all the portals in my neighborhood and I still come home with an almost empty bar of XM! Please add more XM to the streets!!!

    • You get a lot more AP from letting portals decay then throwing out more resonators and rebuilding all the links, then you do from charging them back up. Let the portals go, and concentrate on repeatedly hacking so you’re all set to build back up again.

  2. If this really worked it would be great, in some cities, the Xm does not respawn when you upgrade (before 20 Mins have passed) and when you take down an enemy portal and deploy your resonators, it takes 20+ Minutes before xm respawns

  3. When a group stands together, it definitely looks like everyone gets the same XM – but I’ve heard that the scanner eventually catches on and steals the XM back. If you’ve ever seen your XM drop dramatically without much explanation, I think that’s the reason.

  4. When you capture XM, your scanner tells Niantic that you’ve collected x guids (Globally Unique Identifiers) of XM, each XM blob is unique. I’d imagine that once you collect these unique blobs, they’d be dropped from Niantic’s database making further requests for it invalid.

    There is one possibility and that is if the delete request for the XM is queued, and checking of the guids is faster than removing them. A common race condition possibility in asynchronous coding. Especially something as big as Ingress, I can only imagine the amount of traffic that goes through their API. It IS possible that some of the XM could be duplicated across scanners, much like double/triple hacks are possible on portals if you do it fast enough.

    With that said, this is simply a side effect of the server being large and processing so much information, you MAY sometimes get the same Xm across multiple scanners, but I imagine in normal conditions, as Leven said. This is not the case.

  5. The group XM capturing is also based off of the ingress report video where they stated this fact. But I agree, there’s only a small window where you have the chance to capture it. just like multi hacking, which is getting scarcer and scarcer for me these days. So we may see that go the same way.

  6. Scattered and Portal-generated XM has a lifespan of about 60 seconds after being collected by passing agent(s). That means it will add to everyone that suck it into their bars, and the operation is valid by design.
    The XM “GUID” can be duped and awarded by the server to all claiming parties, but this doesn’t happen to items: if two agents try to pick-up the same dropped item, the server will honor the first request, leaving any other a “Pickup failed: item does not exist” response.

    • Wasn’t aware that it was intended by design, I thought it was a server latency that they had felt was more a feature than a bug. But knowing there is a 60 second grace period makes a different. Thanks for the Intel, Agent Keijo.

  7. Triggerfish on

    The “steal-back” of XM after you scoop it up occurs even when I’m the only person taking it. Typically, I’ll lose a few percent of what I picked up, so up to a few hundred XM at times.

  8. Actually, your enemy can’t steal your xm…only someone else on your own side can pick up xm that you can see. It’s a decent way to find an ally when you want to attack a more difficult portal :-) But if you follow an enemy player, the xm you see isn’t the same they see

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XM and You 2: Knowing Your Power Source Better!

by Swey time to read: 2 min