How Zwift’s Pace Partner Drops Multiplier game works

How Zwift’s Pace Partner Drops Multiplier game works

Zwifters were happy to see all four Pace Partners return to Watopia this morning. Zwift HQ said a short break was needed to eradicate some bugs – but the bots are back and appear to be in good form riding steady, handing out Ride Ons, and creating always-on group rides at their various paces.

Zwift rolled out a Drops Multiplier game for the Pace Partners in the last significant update, and now that the Pace Partners are live again we’ve had a few test rides to figure the game out. Here’s how it works…

NOTE: Pace Partners continue to evolve, so while the basic concept of the Drops Multiplier game has stayed the same, distances and multipliers may may change with each game update.

Stay with Pace Partner

The whole point of the Drops Multiplier game is to encourage riders to group up around the Pace Partner. So when you get within 7 meters of the Pace Partner’s “bubble”, a “Stay with Pace Partner” message will show on screen, along with a number indicating the distance between you and the Pace Partner’s bubble.

As long as you’re within 7m of the Pace Partner’s bubble, you’re good! But if you get further than 7m, the “Stay with Pace Partner” message will disappear. This is the danger zone! At this point you have just a few seconds to get close again, otherwise your entire Drops Multiplier game will be reset.

Note: Pace Partners have a 10 meter diameter “bubble” around them. You only get the prompt to “Stay with Pace Partner” if you’re outside of this bubble. So you actually need to be within 12 meters of the Pace Partner for the Drops multiplier game to keep progressing.

Here’s what it looks like to get close to the Pace Partner, then move too far enough away that the game resets:

How Drops Multiply

So what’s the reward for staying close to the Pace Partner? More Drops, of course!

Drops are Zwift’s virtual currency which can be used in the Drop Shop to purchase frames and wheels. Read all about how Drops work >

When the game begins, you aren’t receiving any boost in your accumulation of Drops. You must first stay close to the Pace Partner for 5 minutes (you’ll see the blue progress bar filling up). Once the progress bar fills up, the multiplier value to the right of the bar will change from “x1.0” to “x1.2”. This means you’re receiving 20% more Drops than you would on a standard ride.

Stay close to your Pace Partner for another 5 minutes, and the progress bar will fill up. You’ll be upgraded to x1.4, x1.6, x1.8, then x2.0.

After 5 minutes at x2.0 (that’s 30 minutes of staying near the Pace Partner) the multiplier remains at x2.0 while the progress bar goes from full to empty over a span of (we think) 2-1/2 minutes, then resets and you’re back to x1.0.

Here’s a short clip of the progress bar counting down from x2.5 (the former limit, which has now been changed to x2.0):

Caveat

Please note – the Drops Multiplier game is part of Pace Partners, which are a FutureWorks project. So this multiplier is subject to change at any time. What we’ve documented here may not be the experience for others, since at any time Zwift may fine-tune the drop multiplier effect and how it’s applied to those riding alongside Pace Partners.  

Tips

Maintaining a good position in the virtual peloton takes some practice, since the pack is constantly churning around us and we don’t have brakes to help us slow when needed. So the Drops Multiplier game is an excellent training tool if you’re new to group rides and races on Zwift!

While the Pace Partners currently hold steady wattage regardless of terrain, staying near them will you require you to pay attention and increase or decrease power as needed. This is because their speed and yours are affected by the draft of other riders in the group, as well as the current road pitch. So keep your eyes open, and if the “Stay with Pace Partner” dialog pops up, modulate your power a bit to pull in closer to the Pace Partner.

To see how steady wattage definitely does not keep you close enough to the Pace Partner, watch this video of us getting dropped on the Titans Grove rollercoaster by Brevet (it happens near the end):

Questions or Comments?

Share below!

About The Author

Eric Schlange

Eric runs Zwift Insider in his spare time when he isn't on the bike or managing various business interests. He lives in Northern California with his beautiful wife, two kids and dog. Follow on Strava

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
50 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Julián Alzate
Julián Alzate
11 months ago

Good to know, this morning I was on an easy ride with Dan Diesel and had no idea what was that bar for, just saw it getting fill and the numbers changing but that was it. Of course I noticed the stay with the pace partner and it is a good idea for you to learn how to pace yourself so you won’t go crazy fast or stop short and then get in trouble to catch up. Dan is the easiest one and at some downhills I got in trouble catching up because I would stop pedaling and then getting… Read more »

Fran
Fran
11 months ago

I have not tried it yet, and did not know there was a game involved… but since the partners are always on and you lose the game once you are away from them… does this mean this is Hotel California Zwift Style? You can never get off?
What I really mean is: when do you really earn to points?

RobH
RobH
11 months ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

Yeah so what you lose is the ongoing multiplier and you have to start at 1x again but you keep what you already earned?

Víctor
Víctor
11 months ago

Thank’s those are great news 👏👏👏

Bob Schraven
Bob Schraven (@b-schraven)
11 months ago

This drop multiplier could also be a stimulance to keep the pack together in group rides… might work better vs a (broken) fence for some.

Jtolosa
Jtolosa
11 months ago

Thanks Eric! This is one of the best features in a LONG time!! It’s renewed my interest in Zwift, and I’m sure I’m. It alone!

Darrnfool
Darrnfool (@darrnfool)
11 months ago

Does the ride-on multiplier work with this too? Potentially 5x xp rate.

curtis
curtis (@crepen)
11 months ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

ooooh, and the climbing multiplier also? So a RO while climbing while in Coco’s pocket would be 8+x??

Gregg Taylor
Gregg Taylor
11 months ago
Reply to  curtis

Yes, it should, but I’m not sure Coco has anywhere on her route where you’d get the climbing multiplier. Not on Tempis Fugit anyway. BTW – I think it would be 10, not 8… 2+2×2.5

Spinmonkey
Spinmonkey (@geoffspinmonkey)
11 months ago
Reply to  Gregg Taylor

I’ve ridden with CoCo once when she left Tempus but that was just before they were shut down so could have been glitch.

Paul Walker
Paul Walker
11 months ago

“Ride On” (Love this). Although is 7m enough especially as pack gets big and we have ascending and more importantly descending (no virtual brake).

Ken Riise
Ken Riise
11 months ago

please don’t turn Zwift into Candy Crush

Benjamin
Benjamin (@benjamin_pitt)
11 months ago
Reply to  Ken Riise

Learning to ride smoothly in a group is a skill, just check out the brutal sticky draft zwiftinsider gets near the end of the video causing them to get dropped. If you think learning this skill isn’t important, then maybe you don’t really care about the racing aspect of zwift.

Graham Hobson
Graham Hobson
11 months ago
Reply to  Ken Riise

Remember Zwift started as essentially a game, not a simulation.

curtis
curtis (@crepen)
11 months ago
Reply to  Ken Riise

Select a workout (including rider’s choice) and unplug your internet while riding and all the fun stuff goes away. For me, sometimes I ride with intent and don’t want the game stuff, but sometimes I want all the distractions Zwift can provide.

Paul Lubbers
Paul Lubbers
11 months ago

Would be nice if they made a same option for xp points. Lots of drops have no use, when you have no unlocked upgrades to buy (new bikes or wheels)

Chris
Chris
11 months ago

Do all multipliers stack, so if you were climbing a long climb, receiving ride ons and at 2.5x with the pace partner you would be at a huge multiplier?

Gregg Taylor
Gregg Taylor
11 months ago
Reply to  Chris

Yes, they do all stack. If you get to 2.5x and get a ride on you can barely read the last number changing it goes so quickly.

DCR
DCR
11 months ago

Good explainer!

Funny that we were riding with Coco at the same time – as I saw the conversations up ahead. Albeit, ‘with’ in my case was about 45 seconds behind…cause I forgot about Coco while I was troubleshooting something at the start and then looked up and was like ‘Oh crap Coco!!!’

samcooke
samcooke (@samcooke)
11 months ago

love the drop multiplier idea!
they should use it for other free-riding rewards, like if you take a jersey or top place 3 on KOM or lap (currently there is no reward or bonus for that), or do a PR..?

Jerome
Jerome
11 months ago

I’m new to this so apologies if this is a dumb question but how do you hook up with the pace partner? Is it just a chance thing? I get the idea of control to stay close once there but it’s how I get there to start with I’m not clear about.

Richard
Richard
11 months ago
Reply to  Jerome

You can join them from the main menu by selecting Watopia, or just follow one if you see one while riding in Watopia.

Gregg Taylor
Gregg Taylor
11 months ago
Reply to  Jerome

Same process as selecting to ride with a friend.

Colin
Colin
11 months ago

I don’t really see the point because most of the bikes and wheels you can buy aren’t worth having and if you ride a reasonable amount you should have tons of drops points anyway and nothing to spend them on.

Mick Such
Mick Such
11 months ago

The problem I had yesterday was riding with the group at 3.2 Wkg was a bit too fast for me and I got dropped easily and stickies spoil the fun. 😕 Coco was better and stayed where for a few laps of the desert, but again the change in pace cancatch you out easily from an uphill to a downhill n you have to sprint to catch up then fly off the front as got no brakes. Diesel Dan was alright, but too slow at times… I was in the small ring and spinning on the flats, but then hit… Read more »

Orangey
Orangey
11 months ago
Reply to  Mick Such

Diesel Dan is the hardest one, ironically, to stick with tight for a typical Zwift rider. As you mentioned, he goes way too slow on the slightest inclines so it’s very to get too far ahead, but zooms by unexpectedly fast once the gradient drops. I have to do 5w/kg efforts to frantically catch up when I wait for him but snoozed a microsecond too slow to react. Considering he’s only supposed to be a 1.6w/kg output, it’s just ridiculous.

S B
S B
11 months ago

I’m happy to see at least some things are progressing, but honestly, who cares about drops? Totally useless.

Ben
Ben
10 months ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

I’m a high end C or low end B and did my first ride tonight. It’s not about the drops, it’s the challenge of sticking close and not losing the multiplier that makes it fun. Why be so petty about what you win?

DAVID BERMAN
DAVID BERMAN
11 months ago

Did a ride with Diesel last night. Had ridden with Coco prior to the revamp. Thank you for the update as I thought my app had not updated. I have one suggestion for the Zwift team. Have the hexagon with arrow on the right side of the multiplier point in the direction the rider is related to the pace partner. I rode away from Diesel on a climb and could not see his name on the rider panel on the right of the screen, which resulted in the multiplier zeroing out. Knowing if you are ahead or behind the pace… Read more »

SWTarmac
SWTarmac
11 months ago

There are way to big of gaps between the WPK for the pace partners. DD rides at 1.5 CC rides at 2.6 ……. etc. This is the best Zwift can do, SAD!

WhamSamKaBlam
WhamSamKaBlam
11 months ago

Thanks for the clarification Eric. I hope zwift add more side quests in game. A Mario party list of things for people to do is the best way for zwift to replace real riding. Also I love the fact that “hard core” riders hate this stuff.

Chris
Chris
11 months ago

Nice, but who needs drops? There is absolutely nothing interesting in the drop shop left.

Davis
Davis
11 months ago

I road with Bowie Brevet for two laps on Sunday and the banner never came up, and I never got the bonus. I was within the small bunch, and never more than a second gap between us.

Dan
Dan
11 months ago

It’s a shame there’s no XP multiplier, now that would be more of an incentive!

Jimmie Richey
Jimmie Richey
11 months ago

Eric, I really appreciated this article. I have been outside for a month and did not know pace partners were back nor the changes. I read this yesterday and then rode 90 minutes with the partner. It was not only fun but enlightening to see how much of an effect terrain and the pack had on my position relative to the partner. With trainer sensitivity set at 100% it was challenging at times to maintain the required proximity. One thing I did find was it was easier to keep track of the partner when I used the overhead cam (9).… Read more »

Steve Reynolds
Steve Reynolds
11 months ago

I’ve used the pacer bots (coco) quite a few times now figured how significant they were from the outset, and so have seemingly a huge number of others, which brings about an issue. Staying within 7m of the pacer in a group of 100+ riders is almost impossible, and requires huge amounts of concentration that frankly shouldn’t be needed, or is really feasible if you’re embarking on a long ride. I think the 7m rule needs extending, its clearly having a big positive effect on keeping the pack together from what I’ve seen, so you should be rewarded for sticking… Read more »

Ponder
Ponder
11 months ago

If Zwift increased coco’s weight would she ride more steadily within large packs?

abaelard
abaelard
11 months ago

Tried it for the second time yesterday. Still unusable for me. No way to do a warmup before joining a PP without completely restarting Zwift. Staying within 7m over short rolling hills inside a huge blob is close to impossible and after all no one needs those drops anyway. Wish Zwift would eventually come up with something useful again.

Martial Pottier (Foudre)
Martial Pottier (Foudre)
10 months ago

the progress bar goes from full to empty over a span of (we think) 2-1/2 minutes, then resets and you’re back to x1.0.”
it seems to be 2min + extra 15 secs

Phil Wisson
Phil Wisson
9 months ago

I find Pacer D a little slower than perhaps I’d like i.e. keeping in the bubble etc for a whole 30 mins or so is quite easy yet Pacer C is just too fast for me. Need something in between!!

J. Hand
J. Hand
8 months ago

Ok, I’ll ask… how do you get on a pace partner ride?

Hybrid Noob
Hybrid Noob
7 months ago
Reply to  J. Hand

Look for it on the pre-ride start screen – somewhere around “ride with”.

Drew
Drew
7 months ago

Any input on whether zwift will address the issue that if your last ride was on a tt bike, you basically have to immediately stop, change bikes, end game and go through the long process of reloading if you decide you want to ride in a pace group?

Paul Gulbransen
Paul Gulbransen
6 months ago

Not been on Zwift for too long so just started using the Pace Partners in my training toolset. Not sure if others feel the same however a small but possibly easy enhancement would be to add a prompt to “Stay with Pace Partner” indicating if you need to catch up or slow down. When I’m going full gas on the limit, sometimes in a large pack, I lose track.

Mike Tighe
Mike Tighe (@mbdtighe)
27 days ago

Doing some calcs on this and with a pace partner the multiplier for an hour of riding with them averages out at ca. 1.54. That’s a significant increase, even better if you get ride ons.

Jan
Jan
22 days ago

The max multiplier is 2.5x at this time. Not sure when it changed as I’ve only just started Zwifting.

Free Zwift Trial

Newsletter Subscription

50
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x