To celebrate the start of its “Zwift Season”, Zwift has announced a number of new features that aim to make the virtual platform more engaging and fun for both existing and new users.
Improvements to in-game content discovery, new training options, more routes, improved event capabilities, and increased on-demand services are some of the features that Zwift is showcasing to cyclists riding indoors over the autumn/fall/winter period.
“Making Zwift more simple is one of the biggest opportunities for our expanding audience,” said Zwift Vice President of Content, Mark Cote.
“We’re continually looking at new ways to make Zwift more accessible, easier to use, and more fun – whether you’re new to the platform or have been here for years.”
“With so many different ways to Zwift, this year we’ve focused on building out the tools that empower our community to create their own Zwift experience. We have improved in-game discovery, enhanced the toolsets of Zwift Clubs and also added to our library of 24-7 on-demand content. We believe our experiences this season will help make Zwift a more engaging and personalized experience for members around the world,” Cote further explains.
Training has been a particular area of focus. Improvements to the home screen user interface aim to make it easier to discover and learn more about Zwift’s library of workouts and training plans. Zwifters will be able to search by workout duration and perceived effort, and will be able to learn more about each individual workout through improved graphic detail.
One of Zwift’s recent additions, PacePartners is set to graduate from the FutureWorks test program. PacePartners are prominently featured on the home screen, and give Zwifters the ability to join a group ride for a social workout at a variety of paces.
Evolving from PacePartners is Zwift’s all-new HoloReplay feature. This feature will launch under the FutureWorks test program and will allow Zwifters to compete against a ghost of their previous personal records, providing a personalized competitive element to their training.
Another development is Route Based Workouts. These provide an alternative to FTP-based training, providing a more accessible pathway into structured training on the platform. Living up to their name, Route Based Workouts use Zwift’s terrain and marked segments to create a structured workout plan, allowing for a mix of different efforts.
This new feature will appear in the Zwift Academy Road program this year before expanding with more workout plans later this season. Zwifters taking advantage of Route Based Workouts will not need to know their FTP but will be able to learn more about their strengths upon creation.
“By testing various different systems, Route Based Workouts will not only be able to accurately calculate FTP, providing a pathway into ‘traditional’ structured workouts, but will also provide Zwifters with their cycling phenotype, helping them better understand their cycling strengths and weaknesses,” says Zwift.
Racing on Zwift, and this year’s calendar and other details, can be found on a new dedicated racing website. Here, the Zwift Racing League is back and open for registrations. This is Zwift’s biggest competition league with more than 1,800 teams and 15,000 riders taking part last season.
New for this season is ZRacing, a thematic race series for each month of the year. ZRacing delivers always-on, easy-to-access competition. A new stage will run each week, and those taking part will be able to earn a monthly badge. ZRacing is designed to fit with a rider’s schedule, allowing for a warm up, race and then cool down in under one hour.
For those with an eye on elite competition, Zwift will once again be the host platform for the 2023 UCI Cycling Esports World Championships. Maintaining the same pathway as in 2022, Zwift will open a qualification phase to the 2023 UCI Cycling Esports World Championships.
Qualification events, followed by Continental Championships will provide an opportunity for any Zwifter to represent their country, and follow the pathway of 2022 UCI Cycling Esports World Champion, Loes Adegeest who qualified via this open route.
For those who regularly take part in Zwift racing, there have been a number of developments. One of these is the WTRL Team Time Trial League, a race format also run in the Zwift Racing League. Here, new TTT race functionality helps improve a social form of competition on the platform.
In addition, Zwift has also been rolling out auto-categorization to make Zwift racing fairer. Auto categorization ensures Zwifters are matched against riders of similar abilities, based on their most recent ride data captured in the platform
Lastly, Zwift’s roads are expanding and Makuri Islands will expand in November with roads, gravel, and dirt surfaces winding through the Urukazi (woo-roo-kah-zi) map. ‘Urukazi’ is the combination of two Okinawan words – ‘uru’ meaning ‘shore’, and ‘kazi’ meaning ‘breeze’.
“The combination of the two words is meant to evoke the serene, untouched character of the Southern Japanese archipelago. On the terrain of Urukazi, you’ll find a Zwifty interpretation of those islands’ scenery, as you ride pavement, gravel, and a new type of surface not yet found anywhere else on Zwift,” the company adds.
You must be logged in to post a comment.