July 7, 2020

The Tessellation: A Primer

The Tessellation has been going on for a few months now, but what does it all mean? 

Agents around the world race to locate hexagonal media, known as Tesserae, post them on the Ingress community forum, find the appropriate location on the Tessellation game board, and beat out both the opposing faction and Nemesis. There is talk of an unspecified reward for the winning faction at the conclusion of the event. Update: You can also view Niantic’s own video explaining this, with extra lore and more sound.

How does one get a tessera? 

Tesserae may be global media drops, where any agent in the world can discover them, targeted media drops where agents must decipher clues to find the location (and possibly time) to hack the media, or physical drops, where agents must locate an NIA operative and make contact to obtain the media. There may be other methods for obtaining tessera that have not yet come into play.

I hacked a media, is it important?

Short answer: probably not. Long answer: If it’s a hexagon, it might be a Tessera, but unless you were specially asked to go hack a portal to find this Tessera, chances are it’s a global drop. And unless you are closely following the Tessellation, by the time you got it, someone else has most likely already posted it on the forums. You can go post it if you want, for fun or practice, but this is not going to be make-or-break for your faction. If you’re interested, go ahead and discuss with your faction and/or scour the forums for clues, but if you are just looking for permission to get more inventory space, go ahead and delete it.  If it’s any other shape, it’s not a tessera, though it may be a clue.  But once again, unless you did something special to get that media, it was probably a global drop and once again someone probably already has it.

Are the Decoding Challenge and the Tessellation Connected?

Maybe, but not really. The decoding challenge is a weekly series of puzzles, where agents compete for spots on a leaderboard. Yes the decoding challenge yields hexagonal media, and these are being shown at the bottom of the Tessellation board as dormant tesserae, just as the media retrieved at the Field Tests last September were. But for now, there are no points being awarded either for discovery or placement of these items.

NEW: Do I get a badge? 

On April 19, 2020, Niantic Announced that there will be two badges available to agents who participate in the tessellation. The Knights of the Tessellation badge will be available to all agents who participate in the tessellation (by uploading a screenshot of a media in the appropriate thread on the Ingress Community). Agents who are members of the winning faction will obtain the gold badge, agents on the other faction will obtain the silver badge.

A second badge, The Paragon, will be available to agents of “high participation.” This is not a reference to one’s use of mind-altering substances, but rather by being very engaged in the tessellation – e.g., by being one of the first three discoverers or participating in a live drop event.

Does the Tessellation Contain an Infinity Stone? 

No, you’re thinking of the Tesseract, which contains the Space Stone, and has at various times been in the hands of any number of alien species, not one of which is named the Shapers or N’Zeer, nor have they been known collectively as Nemesis. Interestingly enough, a Tesseract is also known as a HyperCube, so it is possible that the replacement for the Lawson Powercube contains an Infinity Stone. Anyone have an Infinity Gauntlet I can borrow?