Zwift gave me a preview of several new in-game improvements, new features, and a new world map. The plan is to roll these out gradually to users in the next few months. In this post – or better yet, you can watch the video edition – I will go over all the new Zwift in-game features that are on deck to release soon, including new cycling levels, new routes, holographic replay, and a new user interface coming to the Zwift app on Apple TV.
What’s On Zwift 2022
- More cycling levels.
- New workout user interface.
- New User Interface rollout to Apple TV.
- Route-based workouts.
- Holographic Replays.
- ZRacing: New monthly race series.
- New Roads.
If you are like me and have been sitting on level 50 for the past few years, soon, you will have ten more levels to unlock. Zwift is going up to level 60, and just like the last time they added more levels – which by the way, was back in 2018 when Zwift added 25 levels to go from level 25 to level 50 – you will be given the option to use whatever miles/kilometers you have accumulated since you reached level 50 toward your next level. Zwift will put you on an accelerated path toward the next levels.
NEW WORKOUT UI
Zwift has been rolling out the new user interface for a while now, and it has been rolled out on all Mac and PCs and 90% across tablets but not apple TV yet. Zwift has been working on a new workout user interface to make finding workouts and training plans easier. You will find workouts organized under four categories:
Collection: which will group workouts under categories such as GCN workouts, Mountain biking workouts, Baby on board if you are an expectant mother, FTP test, etc.
Custom Workouts: these are workouts that you create yourself or sync from a third-party app like Training Peaks.
All Workouts: displays all workouts available in Zwift with the ability to filter by duration and difficulty level.
You will also find many more details about the workout, such as the length of the workout, a 1 to 5 difficulty level, description, and percentage of time spent in each zone. I would love to see Zwift add the intensity factor and TSS because this is how a power nerd like me knows which workout to select. I did actually ask them about this, and they told me they wanted to keep the information displayed simple and easier to digest for the majority of its user base, even though Zwift itself uses the intensity factor to sort workouts by difficulty.
Workout Plans: That’s where you find all the workout plans that you are available in Zwift.
APPLE TV UPDATE
If you happen to run Zwift on Apple TV, then you have probably experienced the frustration of using the Apple TV remote with Zwift. The workout screen, in particular, is extremely difficult to navigate. I believe this is why Zwift hasn’t been rolling out the new User Interface to the Apple TV yet. But now, with the new workout UI, Zwift will start rolling out the new UI to Apple TV users this fall, and this will hopefully improve your experience drastically. And hopefully, the Apple TV remote control will no longer suck.
ROUTE BASED WORKOUTS
Zwift is also rolling out route-based workouts. These are workouts based on perceived exertion rather than FTP. Route Based Workouts use Zwift’s terrain and marked segments to create a structured workout plan. This new feature will appear in the Zwift Academy Road program this year before expanding with more workout plans later this season. Great for someone who is new to training and doesn’t know their FTP value, or maybe some of you prefer to train by perceived exertion and heart rate than power.
Moving onto pace partners, as you probably know, pace partners were part of the Zwift FutureWorks test program, and now they are graduating from FutureWorks and becoming a prominent feature of Zwift.
And a little tidbit for you, 30% of zwifters do at least one pace partner ride per week.
Evolving from pace partners, zwift is rolling out Zwift’s all-new Holographic Replay. Holographic Replay will be part of FutureWorks test program, and basically, it will allow you to compete against a ghost of yourself using your 90-day PR or most recent segment attempt. So as you cross a segment, a Holographic image of your previous self or previous effort will appear, and you get to chase it. So the Alpe du Zwift climb is a segment on its own, so you get to chase your own ghost to the top. Sounds painful to me.
On the racing side of things, Zwift, for the 3rd time, will be hosting the UCI CYCLING ESPORTS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS IN 2023. Also, they are introducing a new monthly thematic race series called ZRacing. A new stage will run each week, and those taking part will be able to earn a monthly badge. All these races are designed to allow you to warm up, race, and warm down in under one hour.
NEW URUKAZI MAP
There will be a new map coming to Zwift in November. The new Urukazi (woo-roo-kah-zi) map will be an expansion to the Makuri islands and will have the same southern Japanese island character found throughout the Makuri islands. The new map will have eight new routes, including one 25+ mile route. And 10-12 miles of new roads connecting all of Makuri.
Expect to see these updates gradually roll out in the next few months as we get into the indoor cycling season.
Zwift also shared several stats around Zwift usage and Zwift users. For example, the median 20-minute power has decreased by 15% over the last three years, and now it’s at 181W.
I asked Zwift if they think this was attributed to trainers becoming more accurate or if it’s because more people are using smart trainers rather than classic trainers. Zwift thinks it’s attributed to more people joining zwift identity as beginners, which caused the drop in FTP.
Another interesting stat they shared was that 80% of new subscribers don’t usually have a setup and are buying their first trainer or smart bike specifically to use it with Zwift, which makes me question their decision to exit the hardware plans they announced a few months back and I talked about in more details in a separate video.
So what are you most excited about? Personally, I am very excited to try out the new holographic replay. I will definitely be attempting on the Alpe du Zwift at some point here… I have a feeling this is going to cause a GOOD AMOUNT of PAIN.