Zwift is a massively popular multiplayer online cycling and running videogame and physical training program that enables users to interact, train and compete in a virtual world. Zwift allows players to ride their bicycles on stationary trainers while navigating through six virtual worlds (Watopia, Richmond, London, Innsbruck, Yorkshire, and New York – a seventh world, Bologna, is available for certain time trial events, and an eighth, Crit City, is available for short, criterium-style, races). Players may cycle freely around the game world and join organised group rides, races or workouts with other users. Zwift uses ANT+ or Bluetooth Low Energy technologies to transmit data that, in combination with athlete weight and equipment choices, is used to convert the athlete’s efforts as speed.
Zwift is the most popular virtual platform with over 1.2 million registered users. “Peak Zwift” was achieved in March 2020 with over 28,000 riders on the app at the same time. Zwift’s popularity can be put down to two key factors: Gamification and interaction with other riders.
As you clock up KMs you earn experience points (with more accrued on special events). Those XPs then unlock more features – new routes to ride, bikes to use, kit to wear. You also accrue drops – Zwift’s currency – to trade in for upgrades: Faster frames and faster wheels.