Hacking is the primary way to obtain items in Ingress.
Hacking occurs at portals. To hack a portal, the portal must be in the player's area of influence. Tapping on the portal will bring up the portal menu. Selecting the "Hack Portal" button will hack the portal.
The player may also press and hold on the portal, then swipe left to hack it or swipe down to hack without getting a portal key.
Hacking a friendly portal will always give the player at least one Resonator. Hacking an enemy portal will grant the player 100 AP, but the portal has a chance to counterattack. However, community studies suggest that enemy portals are more generous with XMP Bursters.
- Main article: Glyph Hacking
Glyph hacking is a minigame that players can activate when hacking portals, accessible by pressing and holding the "Hack Portal" button on a portal's screen for three seconds. A series of glyphs will then appear, which the player must memorize and repeat as quickly as possible. Successfully glyph hacking a portal will award the player with bonus items and AP.
After a hack or a glyph hack, a portal cannot be hacked again for a certain period of time. This is called "cooldown". Usually, cooldown lasts for 5 minutes, but this can be reduced by installing a Heat Sink.
- Main article: Burnout
After hacking or glyph hacking a portal a certain amount of times, the portal will not be able to be hacked any more. This is called "burnout", and lasts four hours after the first hack. Usually, burnout occurs if four hacks are made within four hours, although the number of hacks can be increased by Multi-hacks and the burnout counter can be reset altogether using Heat Sinks.