We all know that a mile in Zwift is worth 30XP and a kilometer is worth 20XP. So how did I reach Level 50 with less than 20,000km of riding?
With 500,000XP being needed to reach level 50, surely one needs to ride 25,000km at 20XP per km or 16,667 miles (26,816km). Or do they? I’m Zwifting proof that it’s entirely possible to reach 500,476 XP with 19,843km of riding. That’s 25.22 XP/km (40.58 XP/mile)!
A good number of approaches to gaining extra XP are covered in 8 Ways to Earn more XP and Level Up Faster on Zwift. And the screenshot above, like a good weight-watchers case study, proves it.
So, what tips does someone who has gained 25% extra XP over 20,000km give?
- Put yourself into km rather than miles (you’ll get 7.3% more XP this way).
- Get gamified and go seek achievement badges. Throw a U-turn, do a workout, be a fan, watch people and complete a workout are pretty easy ways to get a little XP bonus.
- Tour the courses and get the route achievements. You pretty much get double XP for the first time you ride a route. Ensure you select it as you start up Zwift and keep riding until you get the success banner!
- Look for events giving double XP (they are very rare). The 2020 Tour of Watopia was a prime example of this, giving 40XP per km rather than the normal 20XP. If you get a route achievement on one these stages, that’s as good as triple XP.
- Ride the Alpe. Ride it a lot. Yes, it’s slow XP on the way up, but the XP on the way down is pretty easy. 13km 260XP in 10 minutes. Plus, there is an XP bonus at the top once you have the gloves or don’t get the wheels.
- Ride a time trial bike – you’ll get XP bonuses through each arch instead of powerups.
- Get into a pack in a group ride. Ok. It doesn’t earn any extra XP per km, but you will cover more distance within a set time if you’re traveling faster thanks to the increased draft.
- Do some workouts. Feel free to craft your own if you want, but you do get more than 20XP per km.
But the biggest keys to gaining XP are to ride your bike, have fun and be social in the Zwift community.
Think it’s going to be a quick trip to Level 50? Whilst it’s proven possible to gain 25% extra XP over 20,000km, it will still take you ~700 hours to do so. Enjoy. Ride On!
What About You?
Have you managed to reach level 50 with less than 20,000km of riding? Share your experience and tips below!
No, still way behind! Level 29, 6,337km. Maybe by the end of the corona lockdown I will be on level 50 🙂
Lockdown will probably speed you along the way, as we’re all riding more indoors since we’re not riding outside.
Did you reach level 50?
Not yet. I’m on level 43. 7 to go!
I thought ride-ons affect drops, not XP?
There are achievements for giving and receiving Ride Ons. Achievements get XP.
Great tips thanks!
How does riding a TT get you more XP?
On a tt bike you cannot get regular powerups like the feather, aero helmet, etc, but you will always get 10xp for every banner you pass.
I had assumed, maybe wrongly, that it means you may be faster covering any distance so gain more XP in same time frame?
It’s definitely faster than a non-TT bike if you’re riding all by yourself most of the time on flats. Good option if there’s no one to draft or if you’re determined to ride a set pace (i.e. have no intention of lowering or raising effort to match pace with other riders). So besides getting the +10XP at every banner, you’ll also cover more miles.
You wont get power ups with tt. +10xp instead.
What is the benefit of riding a TT bike for XP points? The downside is no drafting, so potentially slower and less distance. What’s the up side please.
good article BTW
On the TT bike you get 10XP under each banner rather than a power up, also potentially faster if there’s nobody to draft. I think the benefit would be negated by the huge number of riders online lately, so you’d be drafting for much of your ride (so be faster and earn more XP than a banner would earn you).
I am level 18 with about 1400km of riding, which works out about 38xp per km.
Nice one Sam. Well done. Ride On!
You could also do a u turn and repeat sprints over and over. Gets really boring, but works.
it takes 5 minutes for the banner to reset it bonus
Let’s talk about the math of Alpe XP. Let’s say 13km up and 13km down (rounding up for the part before the start line). That’s 520XP for an ascent and a free descent. If you have all of the items from The Wheel at the top, you get a 250XP bonus or a 1000XP bonus (1000XP for the Lightweight wheel space and 250XP for the others). If it’s truly a 1 in 8 chance of getting the Lightweight wheel space, my math says the total expected value of an ascent/descent of the Alpe is 863.75 XP. You can get 800XP/hour… Read more »
Good math. I just set my my route to Jungle Circuit, then turn around and roll down the hill each time I spawn. If you know someone who’s climbing you could “ride with” and roll down. Used to be much easier 3 years ago without all the extensions as you could guess they were doing the Epic depending on their mileage and speed. Oh btw., back then you would also earn their current elevation due to a bug.
The wheels come up way more than 1 in 8 once you have them the first time. I posted my own experience above, I’m level 49 and have a higher earning rate than the author’s despite never using any of these strategies specifically to get XP. My measurement is miles, for instance, and I don’t see that changing. The only “strategy” of these that I use, because of my training goals, is climbing the Alpe.
Your calculation is for XP you earn over time where as the article is about the XP you earn over distance.
In your example you are riding 40km whereas the Alp is only ~26km in a similar time frame. Therefore the XP per mile is way higher on the Alp.
It doesn’t mean I agree with the tactic of earning XP by climbing the Alp as I think it makes sense to maximise the XP over time like you are suggesting.
That’s fair. The article does seem to talk (implicitly) about time, too. “Get into a pack in a group ride. Ok. It doesn’t earn any extra XP per km, but you will cover more distance within a set time if you’re travelling faster thanks to double draft. You’ll have some fun, and more than likely get some Ride Ons and some followers who will give you Ride Ons in future rides, so long as you also give some.” If we want to talk purely about maximum XP over distance, one thing not mentioned was jumping into a race in Crit… Read more »
I created a one hour pure “interval workout” for the Alpe/ Road to the Sky. 3 sets of 4 x 5 minutes at 75% FTP. I warm up into the Alpe, start the workout, finish it right before the top, and descend the 13-14km outside of workout mode. 5 km lead-in (100xp), 60 min interval (720xp), Prize wheel (250 or 1000xp), and 14km top and descent (280xp). So anywhere from 1350-2100xp for 80-90 minutes of riding. And this is also working towards the 25 Alpe ascents achievement. So if we’re talking about XP/min for a similar effort, an Alpe workout… Read more »
I do same and get similar. Have custom workouts for every climb.
To add an extra dimension, select Everest Challenge going up and switch to California Challenge coming down (on all the big climbs). Get’s a bit technical but we’re talking optimizing aren’t we.
My favorite trick is doing a workout up the Alpe (like SST Medium), getting the bonus points, then coasting down. Instead of 260 XP just for riding up, you get all the points you get for the time in the workout.
But after the workout is completed…are u still getting xp points? I finish the workout while climbing, and going down I get 0 xp points ..
workouts on Alpe is LAME – are you also setting your weight to nothing and your FTP to 50!?!
Of course…it’s what supercheaters used to do… And as u guess I’m one of those… (Ironicmodeoff)
And after the judge interrupted us…anyone knows the answer to my question?
I think you should get normal xp for distance after the workout finishes. But you should be able to tell just by watching the screen as you go.
General statements like this is LAME. I am riding Alpe every day until I get a set of wheels. Still need to do my workouts. I know it doesn’t keep me exactly on the workout schedule but so be it. Want to join me?
I guess I don’t get the rush, I use miles and enjoy the process.
To each their own though
25 points/km is not really impressive. I think more challenge would be to get less than 25 points/km than to get more than that. I am myself currently at level 26 (121.000 XP) with 3.600km of cycling, which gives an average of over 33,5points/km and believe me that I definitely was not really cycling for XP during my 4 months on Zwift… With that XP collection speed probably it would be possible to reach level 50 for me after cycling 16.000km… Anyone here who achieved that with cycling less than 15.000 KM? Well, that would be impressive and worth mentioning…… Read more »
Right, but once you tick off all the routes, and get all the badges, there will be no extra XP anymore, and your average is going to go down.
You’re actually not even 25% of the way to level 50. The points required to go from one level to the next are not the same all the way to 50. It gets exponentially more difficult to achieve level jumps. Level 50 comes at 500,000 XP.
It does come at 500,000 xp. However, 500,000÷ 33.5 = 14,925 km. Therefore, Lukasz is correct. I am Level 33 with 34.7xp/km. 500,000÷34.7 = 14,409 km….
Well , I.prefer kms rather than points. I need the kms right now….points, maybe later…
Do all the achievement badges give XP bonuses? I know that completing a Route the first time gives you an XP bonus. But that’s fairly recent. Have all of the badges always given an XP bonus and I just missed that? Or did they start awarding bonuses at some point? And if so, do folks who earned the badges before the XP bonuses were incorporated get the XP retroactively….?
Yes the other achievement badges do give XP. Not found a list anywhere of what the XP is per achievement. Several places acknowledge it. If you’ve not yet unlocked the 5x, 10x and 25x Volcano Circuit achievements, do them as a test, and if you could record your XP along the way, perhaps you could find those values for us?
Is there any other way of checking your exact XP value besides calling Zwift API directly? I am actually planning to do the 25 laps tomorrow, and could try to check my XP before and after each threshold, not sure though if I would remember each time…
The only place I’ve found the accumulative XP score is in the in game whilst riding menu. I tend to screen shot it at the end of some rides and so have a history of it on my laptop in \pictures\zwift (wonder if the number of images in there is what’s slowing my laptops boot time).
I’ve been capturing what the bonus badges give . Not perfect list but fairly accurate … whoa nelly, master draftsman, speed demon, daredevil I think are 250 50 pointers – ride on give 3, big fan give 30, fan club – give 100, statistician , paired, your popular, addicted, habitual , paparazzi, unemployed, marathon , your famous 100kph possibly 1000 sprinter apprentice 100 warmed up 100 completed a workout -possibly 200 10 laps gives 1000 points pretty sure 750 for 5 laps i saw something on zwiftinsider on what 25 gives … happy Zwifting and ride on .. I’m current… Read more »
Ultimate irony .. Jensie gives 0 points …laughed at that one
Excellent work Sara. Thank you for those. Thinking there might be a future Zwift Insider article on this thanks to your handiwork.
I’m level 25 on 5157km without thinking much about it!!
27 on 5317km – I’ve just ridden really – with no thought of maximising the XPs.
Do you know if you can get xp points if u still ride after finishing a workout?
I always climo Alpe dhuez doing a workout, and when this ends I go down (in free ride mode) but I get 0 xp points…
hmmmmm. That seems odd. I’ve always noticed the +20XP per km messages after a workout.
you dont deserve the XP, if you did the workout and “skipped” doing the Alpe the hard way
Thanks for your info Dan. I really appreciate it. U can follow me on zwift and ride together whenever u desire.
Yes, just tonight I finished a 2+ workout, and then rode for another hour, collecting xp every km.
As for not climbing the alp the proper way because its a workout, lol, Dan you better tell the pros they are cheating too….. Do you even understand that workout mode, and group workout are not the same?
I believe Benjamin is correct, There is no rubber band to pull you up the hill (or bog you down, for that matter) in individual workout mode. Moreover, if you put out 300 watts because you chose to or because the workout “made” you, it’s the same. If 300 watts is hard for you in non-workout mode, it’s going to hurt just as much as part of a workout, and you’ll travel only as far and fast as that 300 watts will normally take you based on your w/kg. What doing a workout going up the Alpe does do is:… Read more »
Why have I never thought to do this! Thanks!
I’ve never used any of these specifically to get XP. Out of curiosity after reading this, I calculated my own earning rate. It’s 42.66 XP/ mile (which I use as my in-game measurement), higher than the author’s. I think the reason for this is that I climb the Alpe a lot because one of my primary activities in Zwift is vEveresting. So I climb in practice and during vEveresting attempts. Once you get wheels the first time, it seems like they come up once every two tries. One time when I paid attention I got three in a row. While… Read more »
The alpe and vEveresting are way’s to stack up XP. Have checked the numbers from my vEveresting success. I did it on the alpe and the 227.3km netted me 16,440XP which works out to 72.3XP/km or 116.4XP/mile. I did along the way get a couple of 1000XP bonuses at the top, unlocked the Masochist achievement for 25 times up the Alpe and of course the vEveresting challenge. Was also able to get myself into the Hells 500 vEveresting hall of fame (bought the kit and wear it zwifting – it’s not yet been warm enough to wear it outside).
I haven’t even been using KM, been running miles and not specifically trying to gain XP although I did push to earn the tron bike as fast as I could. I’d been getting 37 XP/mile which isn’t far from the title of the article.
What advantage is their to doing workouts on alpe? Only get 520xp for up and down plus 250xp for spinner so 770xp. That takes longer than an hour so let’s say 1:10 (one up, 10down) which isn’t very efficent compared to a workout on a flat course like the desert, yea?
The wheels are 1000 XP if you already have them. And once you have them, they seem to come up at least 50% of the time.
Level 16 – 48067XP in 1178km workouts out at 40.8 XP/km. Not sure I’ll be able to keep it that high when I’ve ran out of new routes! Ride on!
Fingers crossed for new route achievements. 🙂
Still learning a lot… but not so bad at 32/km after only 3100km done. Thanks for the advices.
Looks like I’ve averaged 39.8 XP per mile over 15,715 miles, but it gets harder to keep that average up once you’ve pretty much run out of achievements you can do. As far as the Alpe goes, I recommend doing a workout on the way up. In fact, any time you’re averaging less than 30 km/h, you’ll get more XP from a workout.
Best efficient ways to gain XP outside of double XP events and achievements: group rides over 36km/h; create recovery/ easy ride interval “workouts” for riding under 36km/h so you can gain 720xp per hour (12xp per min for intervals); and workouts up the Alpe (just finish them before descending). Most efficient way for me: I created a one hour pure “interval workout” for the Alpe/ Road to the Sky. 3 sets of 4 x 5 minutes at 75% FTP. I warm up into the Alpe, start the workout, finish it right before the top, and descend the 13-14km outside of… Read more »
My two tricks I used to get more XP in addition what was mentioned above is to use a workout in a hilly course and before an event instead of spinning for nothing in the start pens, i go for an easy spin on a flat course until 1m before my event.
Level 32 192,631XP 7,102km. 27.12XP/KM. B-) Technique 1 (on bike) Custom workouts on ADZ. 30 minutes of 4x15s intervals at 200W. I adjust my FTP to suit the intensity/ training time I want to achieve. Higher wattage doesn’t change XP only hitting the target watts during an interval. Smaller intervals means you’re more likely to hit the target!! Works out ~11.5XP/min and between 1 and 2 mins from the summit I skip to “complete workout” > > > > > > to ensure I get the B-B-B-Bonus. Don’t pause as it will negate the bonus. Soon as bonus is applied… Read more »
Technique 2 is sneaky, devious and genius. Find someone about to ride down the alpe then opt to “ride with them”. 2200 followers – you are popular. Ride On.
Great post Rob. Prompted me to check my own stats. Cycling Level 29 with 5,508km = 30.0 XP/Km. I’m happy with that, a 50% increase to the base yield. Multiple Meilensteins have helped, 1,000 XP each time. Running hasn’t given the same return though. Level 14 with 562km = 66 XP/Km vs base of 60 XP/Km, Only 10% increase.
Thanks Jim. Well done on your Zwifting achievements. The alpe summit is a proper treasurer trove. Ride On!
What about the Zwift Companion Goals? Do you get XP for achieving a Weekly/Monthly Distance or Time Goal?
Not aware of XP for those weekly companion app goals. Are you getting some?
I’m averaging 58.8 XP/mile so far. I’m on the verge of hitting level 19 after starting almost 3 months ago. I’m pretty sure double XP during the Tour and focusing on route badges has helped. One other tip: I do workouts up the big climbs (so speed doesn’t matter) and free ride down after the workout ends for easy XP.
Well done Ric. That’s good going. Keep it up. Ride On!
24392XP vs 665KM so i’m at 36.7 XP/Km so far. level 12
I am in the good path then, with 70400xp (level 20) in 1971km achieved. That’s 35xp per km. I hope I can keep the rythm…
I’ve been on Zwift for almost 4 months now. I’ll have logged 3300 km to reach level 27 while checking off all available route badges. My likes include long walks on the beach and trying to get under 1:45 on Quatch Quest. With all the route badges done, I’ll have to plan something like a vEveresting whilst hiding from the 50 degree temperatures here in the Middle East this summer.
Level 50 in 12670 miles. Ride Alpe and VenTop to get Tron faster. Rode mostly on Tron and then bought Drop Shop Tarmac with Millensteins. Never rode TT bike. Completed a few workouts. Participated in a lot of different group rides on mostly climbing routes. Raced just to cover more routes not looking for podiums. Trainer setting varied from 11% to 100%. Read in ride messaging to get best tip. Ride harder routes and complete multi day events to get most XPs per distance ridden. Zwift has dramatically improved IRL road and MTB climbing in Rocky Mts.
You can add pace partners in now 😉
Indeed. The bots do give you a group you can ride in that helps you travel faster for your w/kg. Sticking close to the pacer bots gives increased dropz too.
There doesn’t seem to be a linear relationship for XP. I should be able to level up every 10,000 XP. However, that’s not the case. Do you know what XP is required for each level?
Hi Marc, no the gaps per level aren’t the same, or seemingly similar. XP needed for a level, along with what you unlock at that level can be found in the Zwift Insider article at https://zwiftinsider.com/points-levels-unlocks/
The XP points you get for a workout compared to a normal ride are speed-related, and are not always more than for the same distance on a normal ride as you suggest. Just doing the maths on it, and if you go at 33 kph on a regular ride you get roughly the same XP points as a workout using 62sec intervals, or approx 12XP/min. If you ride slower than that you get more XP points per time riding in a workout than you do on a non-workout ride. That’s assuming the volcano circuit on a TT bike so you… Read more »
Here is a way to gain +XP quickly: https://youtu.be/WUtOBmtqKEk
Since my easy route badges are done I wanted to be able to gain XP points quick even on shorter rides.
I reached level 50 about a year ago, probably at about 20km. I’m at 26325km now and about 662k XP. I did a lot of baseline workouts going up the Alpe (120 minutes at least, also accumulating altitude for the Tron). The workout usually ended near the top so I was getting the “freeride” XP on the way down.
How about “Never finish a ride at a partial km/mile – ride to the next full km/mile.” If you finish a ride at 12.6, keep pedaling until 13.0 so you get credit for the entire km/mile.
There’s a way to get 27.1 XP/km (43.7 XP/mile) if you do the Village sprint loop in the new Makuri Islands World. It’s a 1.4km loop, with 5 laps giving you 7km and 190 XP, or 27.1 XP/km. The World isn’t available all the time but it’s another option, and the highest XP earner so far.
That’s on a TT bike of course, so getting another 10XP points per lap.
I’ve been on Zwift for about 8 months, I am at Level 27 with 2660 mi / 133,500 XP, averaging 50 XP per mile. Completed all routes except the PRL Full.
Workout up the Alpe. More XP than the km/miles. Then free ride down for quick XP.
Lvl 50 on 16’000 km with lots of short Workoutsegments (<1km).
Hi, I recently saw the Bike stats from a friend. How is it possible that one can ride 51.553km and only be at Lvl 46? Even assuming he never got any extra XPs, never finished a single route for double XPs never was at the spinner at AdZ he still should have more than 1.000.000 XPs and more than enough for Level 60 instead of 46. Any explanations?
Not sure on that one.
it’s possible to leave XP out on the road by not completing the current km/mile or in workouts to not get the star.
but to be out by as much as that example…. Perhaps ask the rider?
I hit level 50 today at 14,156km (8,848 miles) with 241,179 metres of climbing and 990 pizza slices. Lots of AdZ workouts, plus most of the badges got me there.
Congratulations Stephen. Welcome to the level 50 club.
And 8848 miles – that’s a special number.