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How To

Zwift How-To: Understanding, Using, and Maximizing PowerUps

on March 05, 2019

PowerUps are a fun way to mix things up on Zwift. Used strategically, they can be a big help in races and challenging group rides. They can even help you set new PRs on solo rides! Here is everything you need to know about the different PowerUps in Zwift and how to maximize them.

What Each PowerUp Does:

  • Large Bonus: +250 experience points (XP)
  • Small bonus: +10 XP
  • Feather Lightweight: reduces your weight by 9.5kg / 21lb for 15 seconds.
  • Truck Draft Boost (van): increases the draft effect you are experiencing by 50% for 30 seconds.
  • Helmet Aero Boost (helmet): makes you more aerodynamic for 15 seconds.
  • Breakaway Burrito: event-only PowerUp that makes you undraftable for 10 seconds.
  • Invisibility (ghost): event-only PowerUp that makes you invisible to other riders for 10 seconds.
  • Steamroller: event-only PowerUp which makes rolling resistance as fast as a road tire on pavement regardless of wheels or road surface, for 30 seconds.

Obtaining PowerUps

By default, PowerUps are randomly awarded when you go through a start/finish, KOM, or sprint arch.  If you have an unused PowerUp as you pass through an arch, you won’t receive a new one.

Certain events (social rides, races, etc) may modify the way PowerUps are awarded, electing to give out none at all or customizing how frequently each PowerUp is awarded.

If you're in the middle of a structured workout or on a TT bike, the only PowerUps you're eligible for are the Small and Large Bonuses.

Activating Your PowerUp

To activate your feather, van, helmet, burrito, or invisibility PowerUp just hit the spacebar on your keyboard (PC/Mac), select the PowerUp icon (iOS, tvOS), or tap to activate on the Companion app.

With the exception of the Large and Small Bonuses, all PowerUps show a white timer bar when activated.

When To Use Your PowerUp

Timing is everything if you want to get the most out of your PowerUps! It’s important to know how long the PowerUp lasts and what exactly it does so you can use it most effectively in your situation.

  • Feather Lightweight: Want to launch an uphill attack, or need a little help to stay with the group on a climb? The feather can be a big help! Use it at the steepest point possible for maximum effect.
  • Truck Draft Boost (van): If you’re in the draft and wanting a little rest, the van is a welcome help. It can also be used when sprinting from the back of a pack, as it will boost the draft you are getting off riders as you pass them.
  • Helmet Aero Boost (helmet): Race coming down to a sprint finish? You’ll want an aero helmet for that final jump! The helmet is also handy when you want to attack off the front or bridge up to a group on a flat or downhill section.
  • Breakaway Burrito: Attacking off the front and don't want to tow others along? Activate the burrito then go full gas!
  • Invisibility (ghost): Looking to sneak away, creating a gap before others riders see you up the road? It's called "ghosting" and it works! You may also play some mind games with this PowerUp by triggering it to make other riders think you are attacking.
  • Steamroller: Riding in the dirt on any bike setup? Use the Steamroller to get relief or go on the offensive!

PowerUps add an exciting element of chance to Zwift riding. Learning to use them effectively makes the game even more engaging and exciting. Ride On, and PowerUp!


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