Ingress vs Pokemon Go: The Difference, Similarity, and More
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Ingress vs Pokemon Go: The Difference, Similarity, and More

A detailed Ingress vs. Pokémon Go comparison post. Which is better? How to play both Ingress Prime and Pokémon Go at the same time? Will you go solo or with a team?
author of this article Apr 10,2020 / Posted by Felix Baynham

“I absolutely love Pokémon Go. And I also feel excited with Ingress Prime! Are they REALLY all that different? Can I play both of them at the same time? How are they similar? Beat me!”

These are definitely thoughts that cross the minds of gamers loving the two extremely popular AR (augmented reality) mobile games! Both Ingress and Pokémon Go are Niantic’s children, with the first being their first-born. Yet, the latter managed to become a worldwide phenomenon, with one billion downloads so far! The good news is that Ingress has had a major makeover and is made far more accessible to new players than in the past, and hugely more immersive. Truth be told, both Ingress Prime and Pokémon Go draw massive crowds already. Read on this Ingress vs. Pokémon Go guide to find out more about how those two compare against one another. How are they similar? Where do they differ? How can you play both Niantic developments without having to use multiple devices? All that, and more, will soon be revealed to you!

Part 1. Relationship between Ingress and Pokemon Go

To begin with, Pokémon Go and Ingress Prime are multiplayer location-based AR games. Indeed, these are siblings we are talking about that share the same DNA. This makes sense, though, since they are both developed by the same company. It is also no wonder that Ingress portals and Poke stops (also, Pokémon gyms) are often the same thing – remember that they are both based on the same location data. In the following sub-sections, we give you an overview of the games’ similarities. You will realize that Pokémon Go and Ingress Prime are, in fact, spitting images of one another!

Way you go for walking around!

The overall concept is about the same. Players are encouraged to walk around the real world to complete missions, be it to find and capture a pokemon, work with your faction (Ingress terminology for a self-selected team) to control the Mind Units or whatever other. Speaking of walking, both games reward players for their efforts. Pokémon Go enables you to hatch eggs so that they become powerful pokemon when you walk (or bike or jog) at below 10.5 kph. Ingress does pretty much the same, though in minor ways, as it allows players to use their vehicle to drive between portals.

Poekmon game 1

Going solo or what?

What is also mirroring among these games is the fact that there is a team sport aspect involved. At the same time, both AR games support lots of individual play. You may choose to join a faction at Ingress or go solo, although teaming up with others to take control of portals with significantly more firepower is much more popular.

Exploring the sights!

Both the portals in Ingress and the Pokestops at Pokémon Go are nearby areas of cultural interest, such as art illustrations, churches, historical markers, and more.

Team spirit…of some sort…

Finally, we also notice some form of team system in both games. Pokémon Go has three teams, the Valor (red), Mystic (blue), and Instinct (yellow), that you can join once you reach level 5 and visit a Gym. Ingress, on the other hand, has two factions, the Enlightened and the Resistance. But, that’s how far the Pokémon and Ingress Prime similarities go.

Part 2. How Ingress and Pokemon Go are different

Firstly, the way the games are played is quite different. Pokémon Go players enter the game, capture pokemon, take them to the gym, and then use them to battle with other pokemon as individuals. Ingress has another story – you join one of the two opposing factions, and you work as a team (you never interact with another player directly). The look and feel are also not the same, with Pokémon Go being more cartoony and Ingress giving a sci-fi sensation. Here are some more aspects that are mismatched.

Strategy & the power of many vs. being the lone wolf

Admittedly, Ingress involves a whole lot more strategy than Pokémon Go. Plus, it is significantly more community-oriented. With Pokémon Go, you really don’t need to make friends or join/create a team outside of a small Pokémon Go area. As an Ingress player, you also never suffer from any kind of damage, except perhaps the time when you run out of XM, which is a temporary thing anyway.

Teams at international vs. local level

Megafielding distinguishes Ingress and refers to creating massive fields that become the team’s territory. This is achieved by joining three portals together. These fields can even cover entire continents. To get there, though, you need hundreds of agents from several different countries working in unison. The need to cooperate in Pokémon Go is not as intense, expect when agents place pokemon in their team’s gyms as a means to fortify those gyms. But again, this involves collaboration on local levels only unless you are traveling to another city or state or country and want to play there.

More special tools

Pokémon Go allows players to use a low energy wearable (Bluetooth) called Pokémon Go Plus to find Pokémon without having to look down their smartphone all the time. This availability of tools is not found at Ingress.

Ingress game 1

More Pokestops than portals

Ingress is definitely more of a car than walking game, as opposed to Pokémon Go for the reasons we mentioned above. It also outperforms Pokémon Go with the number of portals compared to the number of available Pokestops. This is, somehow, compensated with the appearance of more Pokémon, which gives players the chance to enjoy more random events.

Part 3. Why Pokemon Go players consider trying Ingress

Perhaps the most crucial thing that could make Pokémon Go players turn to Ingress is the considerably less spoofing. There have been way too many instances of Pokémon players manipulating their phone’s GPS signal to go around the world and collect Pokémon. Ingress implements a spoofing detection software that catches jailbroken and rooted devices or devices that use modified versions of the Pokémon Go app.

Other than that, Ingress, as already mentioned, requires much more collaborative work, which is why it is appealing to players loving teamwork effort.

Part 4. How to play Ingress and Pokemon Go at the same time

We have already explained how both games share the same mapping technologies. So, don’t be surprised if, in some cases, you find it easier to track Pokémon through Ingress. In fact, many players rely on that shared map data to spawn pokemon, which are most likely sitting in the exact spots where Ingress XMs are spotted. Nevertheless, playing both games at the same time is a lot of work - perhaps, even unnecessary. Why so? Because there are several ways to play Ingress Prime and Pokémon Go. Here are the top ones.

The Pokémon Go peripheral

Remember when we talked about that Pokémon Go Plus wearable? It is a great tool that allows players to visit locations and gain rewards in both games simultaneously. You only need to:

  • Start Pokémon Go
  • Pair the device with the game
  • Move the game to operating in the background
  • Open Ingress

That way, you will use the wearable to operate Pokémon Go while playing Ingress to its full without having to juggle the apps. The only downside with this peripheral is that you will need to play Pokémon Go through the wearable rather than the app itself. Some players see that as an added reason to get the peripheral, though, as the idea of not having to check their phone all the time excites them. Nevertheless, it should be noted that Pokémon Go Plus has been associated with frequent restarts that need to be made, as well as a lower capture rate. 

Do a split-screen

Some Android phones come with a split-screen function that is actually the ability to run (or force apps to run) multiple games or apps at once in split-screen mode. This applies to Android Nougat and higher, though. Nevertheless, you can work some magic to make it a function of other Android versions that don’t support split-screen as well. It is a tedious process, but if you want to give it a try, here is the drill. You will first need to tweak your phone a bit to enable Developer settings, and then force multi-window mode on the applications that don’t support it:

  • Open the “Settings” on your smartphone.
  • Tap on “About Phone” at the bottom (scroll all the way down).
  • Find “Build Number” and tap several times on it repeatedly.
  • Once the “You are now a developer!” notification pops up, stop tapping.
  • You will enter the Developer Options menu that is just for developers. Open it.
  • Tap “force activities to be resizable”.

The final step is to restart your smartphone. Beware that forcing a phone to support split-screen may end up breaking the apps you have installed. There is usually a good reason why developers chose not to allow specific operating systems and phones to support multi-window features.

Download NoxPlayer

Noxplayer is a program that primarily allows you to play an Android mobile game on your computer. However, it also comes with two more features, one of which enables you to run multiple games at the same time and synchronize your operation even if you have multiple gaming accounts. The steps to download NoxPlayer are as follows:

Step 1: Visit and download the program

NoxPlayer software

Step 2: Install the software after the download is completed.

NoxPlayer install

Step 3: Select the game, install, and start playing.

NoxPlayer install 1


  • NoxPlayer also gives you the freedom to set the controls of your mouse, gamepad, and keyboard to boost your gaming experience.
  • The program runs in tablet mode by default. If you want to switch it to Phone, head to Settings > Advanced >Startup Setting > Phone.

Whichever game you choose to play and give your heart to, you are certainly bound for lots of hours of fun - especially now that you know how to take all the thrill onto your computer!