Scorched Earth Tactics


Hello Agents,

Today I’m going to be discussing scorched earth, aggressive, heavy-handed, inventory limiting and suppression tactics. Many of these tactics will be primarily about portal control and inventory limitation for the opponent and most are for use by L8 agents who are not looking for significant AP gains.  Keep in mind, as the world of Ingress and all its variables change, so will the effectiveness of individual tactics.

Some tactics are more controversial than others.

Circle The Wagons

Is the opposing faction creating FrankenPortal farms which are very inventory expensive to take down? The next time you take over an enemy farm, build it up to whatever level you like and then limit their defensive options by creating a link perimeter around their farm (the further they have to travel to take it out, the better). This way they have to travel away from the farm to take out your perimeter so they can create defensive support links. By the time you see this happening, you can respond appropriately.

Slice ‘n Dice Variation:

Same as above but instead of creating links AROUND the farm, send as many links as you can directly THROUGH the farm, diminishing their defensive capability significantly.

The Bait Farm + Remote Recharge Driving tactic

Is the enemy taking down all or one of your farms shortly after they’re built? This tactic takes a team of 3+ agents, though you can easily include a dozen or more agents if your local portal density is high enough. Create a flash farm (a quickly built farm which you burn out and abandon) and get everything you can out of it ASAP. Leave it with Rare or VeryRare shields on all mod slots. Make sure that everyone has keys for all the flash farm’s portals. Once your farming is done, load up people into vehicles in fairly equal sized groups and head out in different directions towards portal dense areas. Have your farm’s keys loaded up in the scanner and ready to respond. When the other faction predictably rushes out to your farm to attack, have every person who isn’t driving begin recharging relentlessly. Continue to travel around, scooping up all the XM, recharging. They may very well take down the farm in the end, but if this tactic is employed successfully, you can easily cost the opposition 5-50 times as many XMP as they would have used if their attack went unchallenged. Bonus points: You will not need to use any Powercubes if this tactic is applied effectively.

High Level Portal Targeting tactic

Decide on a maximum portal level you will allow the other faction to attain before immediately targeting them. For example: any portal which goes above L5 gets targeted immediately by the closest agents. This can severely limit the inventory quality which the opponents can hack. EDIT: agents have noted that this isn’t as effective as it used to be given that the drop rates on enemy vs friendly portals are more balanced than they were, one way it can still be employed effectively is if you know an agent’s general area of operation, you can employ this tactic to minimize their quality portals nearby.

Instant Response Farm Crushing tactic

One of the best ways Agents can cause enemy actions to become inventory negative is to destroy farms immediately before the other faction has a chance to burn it out. This requires some serious coordination (we mostly use hangouts in our area) and requires that some agents pay fairly close attention to the Intel map on a regular basis.

This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things tactic

The local opposition has been using this relentlessly against us lately. Here’s the gist: if the opposition has built up a L7+ farm, check how many L8 resonators are already on the portals, bring enough L8 agents to flip the portals with viruses and then fill them up to full L8 portals. Next, burn them out, remove all mods, flip the portals back and burn them to the ground, leaving nothing for the opposition. Note: some agents have expressed that they feel this tactic is unlikely given the rarity of viruses, all I can say is HACK MORE! Many of the agents in our area regularly carry 4-12 viruses because we hack and recycle excess constantly.

Additional Tips:

Firing XMP the old way through the ops menu is still overall MUCH faster than using the new firing mechanism and can be leveraged in certain situations to your benefit (see next tip).

Using low level Powercubes can be a very effective tactic when attacking high level farms: fire XMPs until out of XM, use one L1 powercube, fire 3  L8 XMP, let the portal zap you back to negative XM levels, let it finish zapping you, recharge, refire, repeat.

That’s it for today agents, we may see a part 2 to this article if we gather enough additional tactics to share. Your feedback and suggestions are welcome.

Post by Dustin Downs (@Ascended0ne) with contributions by @Azztaroth

About Author

I've been an active ingress agent since Dec 2012 and have been L8+ on each team. I co-manage DeCode Ingress and our local xfaction community here in Victoria, BC. I'm an IT and Google enthusiast with a focus on security. If you have any feedback or are interested in contributing to DI, please reach out to us, we'd love to hear your ideas.


  1. Hey Dustin,

    I’m not sure about all your inventory limiting techniques. This was probably effective before the xmp drop rate from enemy and friendly portals was made nearly equal. Nowadays, limiting your enemy’s inventory without also limiting your own is fairly difficult.



  2. Elhanan Maayan on

    “bring enough late agents to flip the portals with viruses” ah.. don’t you need to have enough viruses in the first place??? there’s a reason why these things are “VERY RARE”

  3. Hank Yeomans on

    We have players that carry 200 or so cubes at all times so they play the game as they always have. They go right in for the kill and it doesn’t take then long. In these cases these tactics don’t work.

    • Hi Hank, if you’ve got 4+ VERY well supplied agents attacking it can be hard to completely stop them as I noted in the article, but with the remote recharge driving technique, you can certainly make it substantially more costly for them. I’ve effectively used it myself with a group against a couple very well supplied agents.

  4. Michael Anderson on

    If you are using Pubes for anything but recharging or deploying you are wasting them. There is no reason to use one attacking. You should never get zapped.

    • Hank Yeomans on

      The agent using them to attack wipes out whole farms in minutes. As if there were never changes to the game. You may think they are wasting them but because of the amount of time he puts in and not having xm problems at all we don’t keep farms more than a few hours no matter how well they are built. We’ve tried many tactics over two months. He also plays on a 29 hour schedule. None of us want to play all day every day.

  5. My attack tactic uses very few cubes. For my initial attack, I strike from afar where I can strafe with out getting hit back to hard. Once my XM bar is out, I move in. I recycle 6 L7 resonators and fire 2 L8 XMPs. I can fire about 8 XMPs a minute, which while isn’t as fast as I can go otherwise, but I loose 0 XM to the portal counter attacks. Once I have 50% of the resonators destroyed, I will use 1 L7 or L8 cube to recharge and then finish everything off. I usually have enough XM left to do a few deploys and the XM will re-spawn in about 45 seconds after I finish those deploys.

  6. Another tactic which is pretty evil, if you know that the enemy likes a particular portal (maybe it’s near their home, work etc.) is to destroy the portal, place a bunch of low level resonators as close to the portal as possible, 4 common shields (or other useless mods you don’t want – i have a huge excess of common multihacks for example) and flip it back to the opposition.
    Now the portal is held by the opposition, they are free to upgrade it, but they won’t be able to remove your crappy mods, effectively limiting the portal’s potential.

    Of course, they could always flip it back and destroy it, but that still costs them a jarvis/ada of their own…

  7. Couple points on the last tip:
    “…Next, burn them out, remove all mods, flip the portals back and burn them to the ground, leaving nothing for the opposition…”
    Might want to NOT use the same term, in the same sentence, for 2 different actions :)
    and, about the part: “remove all Mods”…. how do you propose doing this?
    I think that option was removed before this article was written….

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Scorched Earth Tactics

by Dustin Downs time to read: 3 min