Ingress Recruiter Badge Done Right

The Ingress Recruiter Badge
The Ingress Recruiter Badge

Level 4!

That’s a text my mom sent me yesterday. My wife, dad, and mother-in-law have sent me similar messages. Leveling up is a common mechanic to video games but my mother doesn’t play video games so I’ve never had the chance to see her excited with new powers gained and an ever-climbing amount of experience points.

Ingress has changed that.

Some agents shun the Recruiter badge because it can feel a little forced. No one wants Ingress to go the way of Farmville and annoy the friends of its fans into playing. I embrace the badge because I can immediately see the value in having a network of friends that have a similar stake in the game. My parents live in another state, and I honestly look forward to swapping keys with them to pull off a big operation one day. My wife’s best friend lives in town, but she frequents very different areas from my wife and I and that can prove valuable too.

A group that already knows how to work together socially is incredibly powerful in this game.

And if you treat the Recruiter badge like a Farmville — spam all your friends and family with links — I can assure you it will not work. The signup flow from your recruitment email isn’t that great and it’s definitely not convincing.

Here’s how you can rock the Recruiter badge and your friends and family will thank you for it.

Play the game for a while first. Show them what fun you’re having, and ask if they want to come out sometime.

That’s it. No pushing, no explaining. Have fun and ask them to join in on your next afternoon. You can promise drinks afterward if that’s your thing.

One of the reasons I think the Recruiter badge is done well is that you don’t “score” any of your recruits unless they hit Level 3. This is easy to accomplish if you go out with them, neutralize a few portals for them, let the new player capture them, and setup a few small fields at a local park. That might be underwhelming your Level 16 greatness, but I promise a new player will get an endorphin hit for throwing those links. If you get their account setup, say “Do the tutorials” and let it go… it’s less fun for everyone and they might give up before they hit level 3.

And that’s your fault if they do, and you don’t deserve to call yourself a recruiter.

Ingress is all about the meta-game agents play behind the scanner. Embrace that in your own social structure, and I think you’ll have fun earning that Recruiter badge the slow way: one agent at a time, one jaunt at a time.

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