Your Guide to PowerUps in Zwift

Your Guide to PowerUps in Zwift

PowerUps in Zwift give you either immediate XP or a very short “boost.” In Zwift’s early days powerups were outlawed by most race organizers, but over time Zwifters have come to embrace the use of powerups as a virtual substitute for the mechanicals, shifting winds, and other variables common to outdoor riding. They truly add a necessary element of randomness and strategy to Zwift racing.

Here is everything you need to know about powerups in Zwift.

What Does Each PowerUp Do?

  • Large Bonus: +250 experience points, or the equivalent of riding 12.5 kilometers.
  • Small bonus: +10 experience points, or the equivalent of riding .5 kilometers.
  • Lightweight (feather): reduces your weight by 10% for 15 seconds.
    Use on climbs, when weight matters the most.
  • Draft Boost (van): increases the draft effect you are experiencing by 50% for 30 seconds. In a double draft event, this powerup will give you 3x the standard draft effect.
    Use at higher speeds (flats and descents) when you are already drafting off another rider (since this powerup only helps when you are drafting.)
  • Aero Boost (helmet): makes you more aerodynamic (reduces your CdA by 25%) for 15 seconds.
    Use at higher speeds (flats and descents), especially when no draft is available (although it is still useful when drafting.)
  • Burrito: turns off draft effect for riders within a 2.5m radius for 10 seconds. Event-only.
    Use when attacking off the front so opponents have to work harder to follow you, or use it in the group to make everyone work harder for a bit.
  • Cloaking (ghost): makes you invisible to other riders for 10 seconds. Event-only.
    Use when you want to get away from one or more riders. Deploy then hammer, in hopes that you will create enough of a gap that your opponents can’t grab your wheel.
  • Steamroller: reduces Crr for 30 seconds so you roll as fast as a road tire on pavement regardless of wheels or road surface. Event-only.
    If you’re on a road bike, use this when you hit a dirt patch. (It also provides an advantage on cobbles, bricks, ice/snow, etc.) If you’re on a mountain bike in the jungle, use this when you hit the wooden bridges or the hard-packed dirt at the bottom of the Jungle Circuit.
  • Anvil: makes you heavier for 30 seconds, so you can descend faster. Event-only.
    Use this on downhills. Pair it with a supertuck to go extra fast with zero effort!

Activating a Power Up

Use the spacebar on your keyboard, or Zwift Companion also provides a button.

With the exception of the Small Bonus and Large Bonus which activate immediately, powerups show a white timer bar when activated, so you know how much time you have left.

Obtaining PowerUps

PowerUps are randomly given when you go through an arch (start/finish, end of KOM, end of sprint).  If you have an unused powerup as you pass through an arch, you won’t receive a new one. In official events, powerups can be disabled entirely, or set to be distributed in a customized way (for example, a 50/50 split between the aero boost and burrito).

Distribution of PowerUps

Curious how often each powerup is given out when free riding? Here’s a handy chart >

More PowerUp Tips!

Read “PowerUps in Zwift: Advanced Usage Tips” for more advanced tips on when best to use (and not use) each powerup.

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

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

Thank You for Your comprehensive and detailed overview. But there is one more question I have. I´m riding on an old-school Bkool trainer and I hardly expierience any advantage of a power up. But when I´m riding within a large bunch i.e. group ride or race i have the full advantage of a draft. Did I miss something in settings or else. Thank You for Your advice.

Glücksburg/ Germany

1 year ago

I’ve never seen the ghost powerup. And the burrito has been disabled since beta days (I joined late in beta and it was already disabled; never got to use it 😪)

1 year ago

what is the new tractor power up

1 year ago
Reply to  Pas

I see it above, thanks

Keith Turner
Keith Turner
1 year ago

I think i have deactivated my power ups and the warning you get when you closing up on a rider or losing distance, how can i check? or reinstate

Oliver Paul
Oliver Paul
11 months ago
Reply to  Keith Turner

Maybe you are using a TT bike. Since they can’t draft, you won’t get the “close the gap” messages with the distance to the rider in the front. Just change the bike and the messages should reappear.

8 months ago

Does the draft (van) power up have any effect if there is nobody in front of me?

3 months ago

does the burrito power up produce a strong nasty offensive odor to riders around you to keep them off your wheel ? and does this odor linger for about 2 minutes like it does in real life ?

Free Zwift Trial

Newsletter Subscription

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x