Zwift PowerUps: what are they, how to use them and what might we see next?

Zwift PowerUps are something you should get to terms with. As well as improving your racing performance for a short period of time, Zwift PowerUps play a crucial role in Zwift races – You can win Zwift races by not being the strongest rider, but the smartest rider.

Zwift PowerUps are easy to understand and use to your advantage – familiarise yourself with them by reading the content below – we’ll discuss what each PowerUp does, how to use them and what kind of PowerUps we might see on Zwift in the near future!

Zwift PowerUps: What are they?

There are five types of PowerUps on Zwift:


  1. Large Bonus – This PowerUp does not directly improve your riding performance in-game e.g. make you faster riding uphill or more aerodynamic. However, when you this PU, you will gain +250 XP (experience points). Why does this matter? Well by gaining XP, you will unlock new “levels”, which offer faster bikes and wheels as well as different kinds of cycling kit. You can also gain XP by just simply riding: 1km = 20 XP.
  2. Small Bonus – Pretty much identical to the Large Bonus, but on a smaller scale. You will gain 10 XP (equivalent to riding 0.5km).
  3. Lightweight (feather) – reduces your weight by 15lbs for 15 seconds. You get to ride at your dream weight, for 15 seconds! To maximise the ‘feather’ PowerUp, use it on climbs, where weight matters the most.
    Cyclist drafting lorry
    A cyclist drafting a lorry. However tempting, don’t try this!
  4. Draft Boost (van) – increases the draft effect you are experiencing by 50% for 30 seconds. To maximise this PowerUp, use it at high speeds (on the flats and descents) and when you are drafting another rider! It is called the Draft Boost for a reason.
  5. Aero Boost (helmet) – makes you more aerodynamic (reduces your CdA by 25%) for 30 seconds. This is arguably the most desired PU in Zwift races, considering most Zwift races end in a bunch sprint where speeds are high and aerodynamics matter. To maximise this PU, use at high speeds (on the flats and descents).

Please note that the Aero Boost icon (a jet) has now changed to a helmet:


Zwift PowerUps: How do you use them?


There are two ways of activating Zwift PowerUps:

  1. By pressing the space-bar on your keyboard
  2. By tapping the PowerUp icon on the Zwift Companion App

In the image shown, the feather PowerUp can be activated by simply clicking the feather icon (top left).

The Zwift Companion App is super-useful to have. Want to take screenshots of your achievements in-game? No problem. Want to enter a group ride in an hours time, or a race tomorrow evening? You can. In addition to this, you can create weekly or monthly goals, see whereabouts you (and others) are out on course, message friends and hand-out ride ons!

Zwift PowerUps: How do you get them?

PowerUps are randomly given when you pass through the start/finish, KOM and Sprint banners. If you have not used a PowerUp and pass through one of these banners, you will not receive a new one.

Below (from left to right): The start/finish banner, the KOM banner, and the Sprint banner.

Zwift PowerUps: What might we see next?

I’ve compiled some of your thoughts and opinions (taken from In The Pens – A Zwift Racing Podcast Facebook group), as well as my own, on what PowerUps we’d like Zwift to introduce in the near future:

  • “Madison Sling” – This PowerUp would slow you down substantially but give a huge w/kg boost to the rider you target (e.g. your teammate).
  • “The Anvil” – Basically the opposite of the ‘feather’. This may handicap you on the flats and ascents, but prove useful on the descents. Perhaps this PowerUp could be an option when passing through the KOM banner?
  • “The Invisibility Cap” – Makes your avatar and w/kg invisible from others for 10 seconds, for example. Imagine having one of these at your disposal in a sprint for the line; you could go early and nobody would know!
  • “The Ride On” (my suggestion) – Every ride on received improves that rider’s w/kg by 0.5 by 10 seconds! It would be great to see Zwift riders/racers directly benefit from supporting Zwifters.
  • “Laser Guns” – to shoot your opponents off the road – I thought I’d include this one from the Facebook group for fun πŸ™‚

Your imagination is the limit – I’d love to hear your ideas and suggestions for new Zwift PowerUps! What PowerUps would you like to see? Do you think PowerUps should be banned from Zwift Races, maybe even Zwift entirely? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below πŸ™‚

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