The latest Zwift update has been announced and is being released on a per-OS basis. It includes a minor set of new features, but the real excitement is all the behind-the-scenes code updates that open up new feature possibilities in the coming months.
Let’s dig into the details…
Staggered Release, New Possibilities
For the first time that we can remember, Zwift is releasing this update in a “staggered” fashion on a per-OS basis. Shuji in the Zwift forums said “It’s going out to some PC users first, then other platforms will follow.”
Why the staggered release? Here’s what Zwift says:
Zwift has been working on a number of back-end improvements that will open new possibilities for the next evolution of the Zwift game experience. Version 1.34.0 sees much of the code written over the past 9 months added to the public client for the first time.
Due to the scale of this change, the game release will be staggered to minimize the risk of disruption. We will unveil more details on our future plans later in the year.
We love the sound of “new possibilities for the next evolution of the Zwift game experience”! What is Zwift referring to exactly? Watch this space, because Zwift says they’ll be sharing some of what’s coming soon in a media release next week. We’ll write all about it as soon as possible.
Pack Dynamics 4
Zwift has been working on updating pack dynamics since October 2022 or thereabouts. (It’s come a long way since we caused a bit of a mess using it for Tiny Races back in October.) The goals of PD4 are:
Reduce pack speed somewhat for large packs
Make it less punishing if you’re dropped/easier to bridge back up
Make breakaways have a slightly better chance of sticking if the attackers work well together
Reduce the number of bunch sprint finishes in races
Reduce churn and rider movement in large packs
PD4 has been activated for Zwift Insider Tiny Races since early March, and we’re hearing good reviews. Riders seem to agree that it’s not a very noticeable change – which is probably a good thing.
UPDATE: PD4 is now activated across all Zwift worlds – see this forum post for details.
XP Display Tweaks
Zwift says, “Zwifters with banked XP will now see their rider score match their level progress graph position.”
Before this update, riders above level 50 who had banked XP saw a bit of weirdness in the rider score/graph on the game’s pause window. This update cleans it up.
Additionally, riders at level 60 previously weren’t seeing their additional XP on this screen – their rider score simply displayed 750,000, which is the XP needed to hit level 60.
Now the screen displays your actual rider score, although it doesn’t chart your level on the graph, since there are no levels above 60 in Zwift. Yet.
Additionally – for runners – “Rider Score” is now shown as “Runner Score”. It’s the little things.
Auto TT Swap
We’ve all been there… you drop into a RoboPacer ride, only to realize you’re on the TT frame you used in yesterday’s race or workout. This simple new feature alerts you if you’re on a TT frame, and lets you click a button to be placed on Zwift’s default Carbon frame instead.
The Carbon frame isn’t the fastest road frame in Zwift, of course. But it’s much faster than a TT frame in a pack, since it receives the draft benefit. This is a simple solution to a minor but annoying “quality of life” issue. (Word is Zwift co-founder, TT lover, and game creator Jon Mayfield whipped this one up himself!)
Note: this feature is “feature-flagged”, which means it’s included in this release’s code, but Zwift has to flip the switch on the server side to activate it for everyone. It’s not yet enabled for all Zwifters.
More Fixes and Tweaks
A few more fixes were noted in this release:
Fixed an issue that would sometimes cause HoloReplays to fly while on the Alpe.
Fixed an issue that would cause the start time for Time Trial events to appear incorrectly.
Replaced the Time Trial HUD element with the standard race HUD element for all routes while in a Time Trial event.
Fixed an issue that would sometimes cause duplicate race results to be saved when completing a race.
Screenshots taken from the action bar will now save as expected (Android/iOS)
Questions or Comments?
If you spotted any other changes or bugs in the update, please comment below!