As you dive into the game, there are two terms that will become very important to you, Action Points (AP) and Exotic Matter (XM).
AP is earned through performing actions and is pretty much the same as Experience (XP) earned in many other games. AP is cumulative and when you earn AP, it should flash at the top of your Ingress Scanner. As you earn AP, you will pass milestones which will designate you with a higher level. A higher level is needed to use higher level items, e.g. you need to have a Access Level of 2 in order to use a L2 Resonator.
XM is collected as you travel. While looking at your scanner you will see little blue particle looking balls. As you travel towards them and they enter within range (blue circle), you will collect them to your reserves. XM is important, because it costs XM to perform actions, e.g. it costs a certain amount of XM to hack a portal.
|Hack a portal (Enemy)||100 AP|
|Hack a portal (Neutral or Own Faction)||0 AP|
|Recharge a Portal||10 AP|
|Place a resonator (new resonator)||125 AP|
|Upgrade your resonator||0 AP|
|Upgrade another's resonator||65 AP|
|Capturing a portal (place the first resonator)||500 AP|
|Complete a portal (place the eighth resonator)||250 AP|
|Link two portals||313 AP|
|Establish a control field||1250 AP|
|Apply a portal shield||0 AP|
|Destroy a resonator||75 AP|
|Destroy a link||187 AP|
|Destroy a control field||750 AP|
|Level||AP Threshold||XM Capacity|