Best Strategy on Zwift

At first glance, Zwift looks like it’s designed for a road racing cyclist. However, the more I ride on Zwift the more I realize that a bicycle touring mindset is a much better game strategy and here is why.

Screen shot of the 120 Experience Point Bonus for completing the Railways and Rooftop Route Badge on Zwift.
120 XP Bonus for the Railways and Rooftop Route Badge on Zwift.

Remember, Zwift is a game where you earn points and the more points you earn, the higher your level in the game. A road racing strategy is all about speed. The faster you ride the faster you accumulate points. However, if you wanted to double your points in a Zwift session, that means you would have to ride twice as fast as your normal pace. Not a realistic strategy.

A bicycle touring mindset on the other hand is not about speed. A touring cycist focuses on traveling down roads and trails that they never traveled before, new environments, and the satisfaction of knowing they’ve the got the guts to continue the journey no matter what conditions they encounter. As a result, a bicycle touring strategy can easily double their points riding at their normal pace on Zwift by simply focusing on riding new routes. When a rider completes a route for the first time, they earn a route achievement badge. In addition to earning the points for the distance ridden on the route, they also receive a one-time XP bonus equal to the XP already earned for the route. And there is no shortage of new routes to doubles point with currently 129 routes on Zwift.

Screen shot of the 500 Experience Point Bonus for a three-week training streak on Zwift.
500 XP Bonus for a 3 Week Streak on Zwift

In addition, that daily determination of a bicycle touring mindset is also rewarded on Zwift. When I cycled across the United States, I realized that the real challenge was not the daily milage. Rather, it was all about the determination to get up and ride again day after day for almost two months. Similarly, Zwift rewards a bicycle touring mindset by giving bonus points for consecutive Riding Streaks.

So, the best strategy on Zwift is to ride like you’re bicycle touring. To illustrate, at the completion of my last 9.2 mile I would have received 288 XP no matter how fast I rode. Yet, I earned 912 XP as follows: Milage 288XP (9X32), Route Badge bonus 124 XP and a Training Streak bonus 500XP. It pays to ride Zwift with a bicycle touring mindset. Ride On!

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Ken Whittaker