How To

Zwift How-To: Understanding XP

on March 04, 2021

We know fitness is its own reward, but a bit of extra motivation can help keep you going.

So as you ride or run on Zwift and make progress on your personal goals, you’ll also build XP and level up, collecting goodies and new opportunities along the way!

“XP” is short for “experience points.” As they add up, these points are what take you to the next level in Zwift.

While you’re riding or running, you can see your level at the top of the screen. It’s represented by a number in an orange circle. Beside that number, a progress bar will fill as you ride or run, showing how close you are to your next level. You can check how many XP you have by opening the menu before or after your ride. The total will show up at the top of the menu screen.

Levels do more than just keep track of your progress. As you level up, you’ll get access more equipment, more kits for your avatar, and even more roads in Watopia! At first, it only takes small amounts of XP to reach the next level. The XP needed to level up will increase over time, but this comes with bigger rewards.

How To Earn XP

  • Riding: in a free ride or event, you earn 20 XP for every kilometer you ride (or 30 XP for every mile, depending on whether you set Zwift to use metric or imperial units).
  • Running: in a free run or event, you earn 10 XP for every 1/4 kilometer you ride (or 15 XP for every 1/4 mile, depending on whether you set Zwift to use metric or imperial units).
  • During a structured workout, you earn XP based on the length and difficulty of each workout block, along with how well you complete it.
  • There’s a random chance that you’ll get an XP bonus instead of a powerup when you cross a segment or lap banner.
  • Earning achievement badges, including route badges, will award you experience points.
  • Some special events, like the Tour of Watopia, may award double XP! Keep an eye out for these when we announce them, because they’re a great chance to level up faster.

Dress For Success

With each new level, you’ll get something special for your Zwift avatar. It might be a jersey, some snazzy socks, a pair of cycling shoes, a hat or helmet, or a pair of stylish sunglasses. The more you ride, the more you can customize your look. Coordinate and match your accessories with subtle flair, or make some bold fashion choices to stand out from the crowd! The choice is yours.

Get Faster Gear

Just like in the real world, some bikes and wheels on Zwift perform better than others. They might be more lightweight for quicker climbing, or more aerodynamic for faster flat speed and descents. In your garage or the Drop Shop, each bike and wheelset is given a star rating for both weight and aerodynamics. More stars equal faster speeds!

Read our Garage Guide for tips on choosing the best bikes and wheels for a particular event

You can get more gear by spending the “Drops” currency you earn while riding and running (learn more about the Drop Shop here). But you’ll find that some items are locked, even if you have enough drops for them. As you level up, more and more of this equipment will be available to you.

Explore New Horizons

There are two level gates on Watopia, and you won’t be able to pass them on your own until you’re at the right level. One leads to the Mayan Jungle, and you must reach level 5 to pass it. The other will let you climb Alpe du Zwift starting at level 6.

It’s still possible to get to these roads if you’re in a group ride or race. But if you want to explore them freely, you’ll need to earn XP and level up. Put in the time, and the upgrades will come. You got this!

 

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