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Zwift PowerUps And Racing Tips

Today I decided to take a deeper dive into Zwift and discuss the Zwift PowerUps functionality.  For those that are new to Zwift’s riding experience, Zwift introduced what is known as PowerUps.  You can think of them as in game boosts and in fact that is exactly what they will do.

Zwift PowerUps Lightweight Draft Aero


In Zwift PowerUps are awarded every time you pass through the start/end of a KOM or Sprint and can either boost your score or provide a PowerUp performance boost.

► Large Bonus – 250 XP
► Small Bonus – 10 XP
► Lightweight Boost – Makes you 15lbs lighter (Really helps on climbs)
► Draft Boost – Increases drafting by 50%
► Aero Boost – Makes you more aero (Really helps on downhills)

Activating The Zwift PowerUPs

Once a PowerUp Boost has been awarded, you can activate it one of 2 ways depending on your setup.

  • SPACE BAR – If you are using a computer, simply hit the SPACE BAR
  • RIDE ON – If you are using the Zwift app, simply click the RIDE ON Button

Note: Currently once activated, the Boost will last for 15 to 30 seconds depending on the PowerUp and you can’t pause it, so time it wisely.  

Great Tip from Chad McNeese  “If you are riding solo and want to increase your Zwift XP, choose the TT bike. It doesn’t get any of the performance PU’s, so you will get XP PU’s every time.”

Tip: To get the most PowerUps during a ride or race, make sure you use it prior to the finish of a KOM or Sprint.  That way Zwift will randomly give you another one when you pass the finish.

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Zwift Automatic Score Boosts

Currently in Zwift there are 2 automatic score boosts called the Large and Small bonus.  These boost your Zwift score to help you achieve and unlock gaming enhancements including faster wheels and bikes.

Zwift PowerUps Large Bonus

Zwift PowerUp – Large Bonus

The Large Bonus PowerUp immediately earns you 250 XP, which is equivalent to riding 8 miles or 12.5 kilometers in Zwift.  The bonus helps you unlock Zwift achievements.

Zwift PowerUps Small Bonus

Zwift PowerUp – Small Bonus

The Small Bonus PowerUp immediately earns you 10 XP, which equates to about 1/3 of a mile or.5 kilometers.

Zwift Performance PowerUP Boosts and Bonuses

Currently in Zwift there are 3 types of PowerUp performance boosts including

  • Lightweight Bonus
  • Draft Bonus
  • Aero Boost


Zwift PowerUps Lightweight

Zwift PowerUP – Lightweight Bonus

powerup-featherFor those that like to race and do a lot of climbing, the Lightweight PowerUp, reduces your weight by 15 lbs for 30 seconds.  The weight reduction should enable you to climb faster and during uphill sprints makes it easier to achieve KOMs.

Racing Tip: Use the Lightweight boost when your 2/3rds up the hill to give you that extra burst of speed to crest the hill strong.

Zwift PowerUps Draft Boost

Zwift PowerUp – Draft Boost

powerup-truckWheel suckers love the Draft Boost PowerUp.  The boost increases the effect of the draft by 50% for 30 seconds.

Racing Tip: The Draft Boost comes in handy when you are in a pack and need a little breather.  The Draft Boost really useful to use if you have a teammate you are drafting off of because they also receive a slight drafting boost.  

Zwift PowerUps Aero Boost

Zwift PowerUp – Aero Boost

powerup-helmetThe Aero Boost icon was changed from a Jet to an Aero helmet to alleviate any confusion in game.  With an Aero Boost, Zwifters reduce their aerodynamic drag (CdA – used to calculate wind resistance) by 25%.  You can sort of think of it as simulating and going from riding a bike with road bars to riding a bike with aero bars.  The Aero Boost PowerUp currently lasts 30 seconds, which in many cases can really help achieve personal records.

Note: Aerodynamic drag is the air resistance attributed to an object. It is a product of an objects drag coefficient (Cd) and it’s size, which usually involves the  frontal area (A). Hence the scientific measurement of aerodynamic drag and the input required by a cycling power model is Cd x A written as CdA.  In Zwift CdA seems to rely a lot on weight, which is why when people enter in their weight inaccurately (Usually on the lighter side), they have an advantage over others that are in the same weight class.  This technique is often called Weight Doping and is how you can cheat in Zwift.  

Racing Tip : Use the Aero Boost to pull aways from your competitors on descents where aerodynamics plays a big part in how fast you can go.   

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About The Author

Tom Crandall

Tom has been writing about photography, cycling, running and fitness since 1988, covering everything from the product reviews to the latest in fitness trends. Tom is the Editor-in-chief of,,,, and a few other publications, he began racing in college while getting an Information Resource Management degree at George Mason University. Based in the photography and cycling-crazed city of Austin, Texas, with his wife Kathleen and pug Olaf, Tom enjoys running, walking or riding most every day.

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