Ingress Missions
Niantic Labs is releasing a huge new updating to Ingress that’s going to forever change how people play Ingress. The new feature is called Ingress Missions and they are user-generated, GPS-based missions that give you yet another reason to go cruising around your city. The update will begin rolling out today and will continue to roll out over the next few weeks.

What are Ingress Missions? They are essentially treasure hunts. Users can create a mission that includes a starting point, waypoints, and an end point. People who want to engage with the missions can view the details and accept the mission, follow the waypoints, and attempt to reach the end. Stats will then be generated to give other potential mission goers an idea of how long each mission takes along with an average user rating. Ingress Missions can cover anything from touring restaurants to checking out historical buildings/monuments. The possibilities are limitless.

People who are interested in “writing a mission” have several options. They can give missions a name and create a 512×512 logo which mission goers will see. They can then add the waypoints and include any relevant information that they may want to include. From there things get really interesting. Mission writers can opt to have all of the waypoints showing from the get go or have all of the waypoints hidden until the mission goer unlocks them. This can be done by entering a passcode or phrase that can be found at the current waypoint.

Let’s use an example for clarification. Let’s say you tell someone to go to a local sandwich shop and you want them to unlock the next waypoint by entering the passcode. You can give them a clue like, “What is the price of a large drink?” Once they respond with the correct answer, the next waypoint opens up. Think of it like the movie National Treasure. Mission goers can pretend that they’re Nicholas Cage. That is just one option. There are many others.

Ingress MIssions
For right now mission writing will be limited to a Niantic Labs-moderated whitelist. Once the roll-out is complete, any verified level 5 agent or higher will be able to write missions. Each mission will be moderated by Niantic Labs to prevent spam and violations of the terms of service. That’s always good news.

Perhaps the most interesting part of Ingress Missions is the integration with another Niantic Labs app called Field Trip. Mission writers can use Field Trip cards to enhance the experience of missions. Niantic Labs have confirmed that you don’t actually need to have the app installed in order to use this feature. Those who don’t have the app installed will see a pop-out HTML window inside of Ingress that will show them the information. Those who do have the app will see the information in the app.

This is interesting because Field Trip is known for having information on known monuments and places as well as lesser known places. This can work in favor of mission writers who may not know much about their waypoints and can use Field Trip information to increase the quality of their waypoints and of their mission experience.

Ingress Missions
A few other things you’ll see in the update are as follows:

  • Players will be able to switch between mission view and the standard portal view in the Ingress app.
  • Mission ratings and estimated time will continuously change as more people rate the missions and as more people complete the missions.
  • The initial mission writer whitelist will gradually expand until the roll-out is complete and then it will be open to everyone who is a verified level 5 agent or higher.
  • Waypoints can be portals and even act like portals. You may have to hack a waypoint so make sure to bring the proper tools!

The first line of roll-outs will begin today. For now only those who have been whitelisted can create missions and that list will grow over time until it includes all verified agents that are level 5 and higher. Starting today, pretty much everyone will be able to engage with existing missions. According to Niantic Labs, the iOS version is currently waiting for approval so that will be rolling out in the near future.

This is a huge update and a lot of information to be exposed to at once. We know some people are going to love this and maybe a few won’t be so enthusiastic. This is a great way to get people out and about. A really good mission can even be used to show people around town as they hit waypoints and explore the town. Another great use for this are for Ingress players who may live somewhere where there aren’t a lot of portals or other players. They can create missions and give new players something to do in order to help build the following in their area. Are you going to be trying the new Ingress update?