Most Zwifters understand at least the basics of how powerups work. You use the feather on climbs, the aero for sprinting, the burrito to make everyone hate you…
More experienced Zwifters know routes well enough to remember where each sprint/KOM/lap arch is located, so they can use their powerups at the optimal time, especially in races. Example: racing Sand & Sequoias? You’ll get a powerup at the desert arch and atop Titans Grove KOM, so if you’ve got a feather and you’re climbing the KOM, use it before the top in hopes of getting a sprint-friendly powerup heading into the finish.)
But today’s big question is… do you know about Zwift’s hidden powerup arches? (Zwift calls them “grant locations” internally, which is probably a better name since riding through this zone grants you a powerup even though there’s nothing visual – like an arch – indicating that it’s a special place.)
I know of precisely 5 hidden grant locations in Zwift. It’s entirely possible there are others.
Just after you pass the France start pens, heading up Ventoux, you’ll pass a sort of driveway on your left. Our first hidden powerup grant location is just before this driveway:
Ventoux Ride On Thumbs
As you climb Ventoux, you’ll ride over Ride On thumbs painted on the tarmac, like so:
Each of these grants a powerup, and by my count there are 3 of them as you climb the Giant of Provence. (You’ll also receive another powerup at the Chalet Reynard KOM banner.)
Just a bit of bright sunlight peeking through the suffering as you climb Zwift’s tallest mountain!
Glasgow Central Station
Zwift’s new Scotland map has a hidden grant location at Glasgow’s Central Station:
Why did Zwift insert this one? It certainly isn’t needed for the Glasgow Crit Circuit, which already has two arches per 3km lap. My theory is, Zwift added it so riders could get a useful powerup on the lead-in to City and the Sgurr.
Since these grant locations are hidden and undocumented, I can’t promise they’ll always exist in game. In fact, just a few months ago there was a hidden grant point at the foot of Alpe du Zwift, and in putting together this article I discovered it had been removed from the game!
Questions or Comments?
Do you know of other hidden grant locations in Zwift? Share below!
wow!! These are gems! Could be crazy in some races too!
Are there still a ADZ power-ups on a timer?
I don’t ever see the timers anymore, but they are still there (3 that I’m aware of). But in my experience, I have to be going at least fairly hard, or I don’t get them. You might have to be climbing at a minimum w/kg to get them.
It’s in comparison to previous best efforts
Fascinating! Thank you.
Yeah I thought there was power ups on ADZ. Half way up and on a timer you got to beat. Haven’t riden ADZ lately so not sure there still operating.
There is one hidden place on Alpe du Zwift going up, in the large cave near the top and two or even three, not exactly sure, when going down. The last one near the end of the decent.
At least the “downward” ones are coupled to invisible mini segments. With the introduction of the personal segment robo pacer, you can now spot them, since the robos spawn for a few seconds and disappear when you get the powerup.
I have noticed this too!! Robopacers are revealing the secrets of Zwift!
I saw one at the exit of the tunnel on Segment 19 (? second segment in to the climb) during the FRR race this morning, in addition to the one near the top. No powerups in the event so each Thumb was an XP boost.
There is also one just before you start the The Alp climb
Not anymore, Colin. As mentioned above… I tested it here and it wasn’t happening anymore!
I just went up the Alpe for the first time in over 90 days so all the powerups were given to me. They are at the end of the tunnel/avalanche barrier, at the log truck, and in the cave near the top. Thumbs-up are painted on the tarmac at each location.
At least 2, i think maybe more on alpe climb.
I knew the ones climbing the Ventoux, and their approximate locations. But I never realize that they coincided with a thumb rode-on painted on the road. Next time I will check.
I thought there was one on the Alpe as you pass under the crane lifting logs, but it’s been a while so that may no longer be there
It’s still there. As of 3 days ago at least!
Alpe has 3, 1st just after the tunnel after corner 20, then just under the lumber tractor( can’t remember the corner) then after the caves past the yeti, they all seem to be linked to your previous best time, so you have to go harder each time to get the power ups
I was always puzzled why I’d sometimes get them and other times not. Only just found out about being linked to your best time.
Off topic, but where are the “How the race was won/lost” reports, Eric? There are a lot of good articles coming each week, but your race reports are missed.
Ah, thanks Erland! It’s sort of a combination of two things – one, I’ve had a LOT of posts to write on other topics… and second, I just haven’t felt like I had any real interesting stories to tell from my recent races.
Hopefully I’ll get one done soon.
Really enjoyed the hidden one in Glasgow in race 3 of the UCI series. When you binned the burrito you received 250xp in the “gem” and an extra 250 a top of the kicker. So an extra 500xp/ lap
Are you sure it was 250xp? Normal would be 10xp with the 250xp being very rare.
It was the big one, Ben. Some sort of bug. People got a LOT of XP in those Worlds Experience events!
I can confirm the one in Glasgow Central Station. I did the iTT in City and Sgurr, and not only got a powerup the first time a pass there, but also after finishing the TT when I was free riding on Glasgow city.
Sorry I can’t be more specific, but there was a grant location on a London route, unless you find it first, I’ll post when I rediscover
I remember there being one in London as well – somewhere along the river….
it was just before the bridge where you turn left for Box Hill, (just after Big Ben)
It’s not there anymore – I just checked with my bot!
I can remember being surprised by getting a power up on the larger loop in London (if you were going counter-clockwise, it was a bit before you turned left at the Thames.) But that was a long time ago and I haven’t encountered it since then.
Ha! This must explain what happened last night on the Ride Scotland Muckle Vin route. Someone nearing the end offered to give away an unneeded truck powerup. I was still 2.5 km from the end and climbing so suggested he give it a good toss if he could get it back that far. He said he’d just leave it at the end for me. All fun banter, but right after that, a truck powerup “magically” appeared. I felt like the Zwift gods were monitoring messages and granted me a favor.
About the Ride on inthe Ven Top. They give 4, I do not know if in the map Eric drow the last one is in the end of the La Reine, or the one that it’s around 1.5 km after that one.
Also, whne doing La Reine route yesterday, after passsing the Petit KOM and turned left into the Vetoux, a few metres after that, I got a powerup as well.
Emilio – are you sure you’re not talking about the powerups you get at the visible arches? End of Petit KOM and end of La Reine both have arches…
The one that is 1.5 km after La Reine arch I’m sure, because I took notes of the Ven-Top climb. Apart from the inclination, powerups were given in four places on the climb: at 12.8, 8.6, 6.0 (la Reine arch) and 4.5 km to the top.
The other one, I’m doubting myself because was very close after the Petit KOM, normally at that point I still haven’t use the powerup. But on Sunday Flamme Rouge world tour a 10 XP was given in all arches, that is how I found it. But I’ll check again.
There is indeed one right after the left turn, shortly after petit KOM banner, but not the same one.
I got 3 power ups this morning completing the Volcano KOM (as opposed to just the one at the top) riding with a pace partner. There are broken arches all the way up that climb, not sure if they coincided with those at all – I wasn’t paying much attention as wasn’t expecting it!
There was a minor update to zwift today, and it seems to have created a bunch of hidden power up locations when riding with pace partners at least. I got a few extra powerups riding with coco on tick tock today.
Yesterday I did 2 laps of Tick Tock and each time entering Tempus Fugit just before turning right and starting the sprint I would get a power-up. This has never happened before. Not sure if it’s a glitch or a new hidden arch
I’m guessing its a new feature of the minor update released data. See comment directly above yours.
As others have mentioned, new “hidden arches” have been added with the latest updates – I have received power-ups a couple of times on sequoia circle and after descending from the Hilly KOM (Just before the bridge)…
I asked Zwift about this today – they confirmed this is a temporary “feature” heading into Tour of Watopia, which will have all those extra powerup grant locations.
These will go away after ToW. Enjoy them while you’ve got ’em!
Regarding the new powerup grant locations in Watopia – please read this: https://zwiftinsider.com/extra-watopia-powerups/
Excellent information. Good to know about “secret” power ups. I’ve said it before and I will say it again. If Zwift is a religion, then Zwift Insider is its Bible and Eric its High Priest.
There are two in the tick Tock route.
Three, actually! Those are new… and temporary. See https://zwiftinsider.com/extra-watopia-powerups/