Central to the success of adaptive systems is their ability to interpret signals from their environment and respond accordingly—they act as agents interacting with their surroundings. Such agents typically perform better when able to execute increasingly complex strategies. This comes with a cost: the more information the agent must recall from its past experiences, the more memory it will need. Here we investigate the power of agents capable of quantum information processing. We uncover the most general form a quantum agent need adopt to maximize memory compression advantages and provide a systematic means of encoding their memory states. We show these encodings can exhibit extremely favorable scaling advantages relative to memory-minimal classical agents, particularly when information must be retained about events increasingly far into the past.