Your Zwift avatar is a virtual representation of yourself, and some people take that very seriously. Think of everything that goes into your avatar’s “look”–your jersey and shorts, headwear, head type, hairstyle and color, skin color, sock style and length, shoes, gloves, sunglasses, facial hair… it’s a lot!
Zwift has a challenging task on their hands in building tools to create avatars people can feel good about.
What about the avatar’s actual body? Sure, your avatar is “decorated” with all the clothing and accessories listed above, but have you ever wondered how Zwift sizes avatars?
We did a little research to figure it out.
3 For Men, 2 for Women
Zwift’s avatar sizing is actually quite simple. There are only three avatar body types for men, and two for women. Here’s what they look like:
What determines which body size you see? It’s the rider’s weight and height. It appears body types change at a particular BMI.
Men’s Avatar Sizing:
- Small: BMI <21
- Medium: BMI 21-26
- Large: BMI >26
Women’s Avatar Sizing
- Small: BMI <22
- Medium: BMI >22
That’s it. Your body doesn’t slowly grow larger or smaller as you change weight or height–you are given one of three (or two if you’re female) body sizes based on your BMI.
Example: men with a BMI of 26 or more will all have the same avatar body. Even if your BMI is 40 it will look the same as someone with a BMI of 26.
Sometimes this helps: if you’re very overweight, you might be happy with how your “gorilla” avatar makes you look. But BMI can be a bit of a silly measurement: I have two real-life friends who sport the “large” men’s avatar on Zwift, but neither would ever be confused for being big or overweight guys. One is a very lean guy, all muscle, and the other is a very tall guy with a bit of belly fat.
So it’s not a perfect system, but it works.
Want to calculate your BMI? Go here >
Your height affects your speed in Zwift and helps determine (along with weight) which avatar body type you get. But it does NOT change the visual height of your rider in game.
All avatars are the same height, regardless of your setting. This was probably done so kits and bike frames wouldn’t need to be scaled for each rider, but wouldn’t it be cool if you could see people’s actual size? It would add some nice variety to the visuals.
Any questions about avatar sizing, or thoughts on why Zwift does it this way? Comment below!