Did you know Zwift has 100+ different cycling routes which earn you a special achievement badge and XP bonus the first time they’re completed?
Here’s everything you need to know about Zwift route achievements, including the little gotchas that trip up new Zwifters. Ride on!
Every Badge has a Bonus
When you earn a route achievement badge you also receive a one-time XP bonus for completing that route. This bonus is equal to the XP you already earned for the route (20XP per km), so you effectively double your XP earning rate when riding routes for the first time, helping you level up faster.
What Counts (and What Doesn’t)
Route badges can be earned in two ways:
- Selecting the route from the startup screen, then riding the full route on your own. The game will make the correct turns for you. You can do this as a “free ride” or a workout.
- Joining an event (group workout, social ride, race, etc) or Meetup which uses the route, and riding the full route. If the event ends before the route is finished, you must continue riding in order to finish the route and earn the badge.
What will not earn the badge is you freely navigating the route without having selected it from the startup screen or by joining an event or Meetup which uses the route. Many Zwifters have hopped into the game, completed a particular route, then attempted to keep riding and complete another route in the same session. This won’t work. You may ride all the right roads, but since you never selected that route for your ride, the Zwift game doesn’t know it’s supposed to give you the badge.
Your route selection is only saved when you select a route from the route picker menu, or begin a new event/Meetup. So if you want to earn two badges (or more) in a day, you’ll need to restart your session and pick another route, or join an event on the second route.
Routes Without Badges
There are two types of routes which do not earn badges in Zwift:
- Event-only: these routes are not available from the route picker menu or Meetup menu, and thus can only be ridden in official calendar events. Examples include fondo routes like the Gran Fondo, as well as many reverse routes and after-party routes.
- Run-only: these routes are only available to runners, and have their own running achievement badges. Examples include Jon’s Route and Hudson Roll.
For a complete list of available routes on Zwift, including event-only routes, see our Master Routes List.
Mind the Lead-In!
This is a big “gotcha” that trips up many Zwifters. Due to how Zwift’s maps and routes are laid out, many Zwift routes require a lead-in: some road you have to ride before the official route begins. I see questions from riders daily that say something like this:
I chose the Serpentine 8 route and rode 21km, but never got the badge. Is it broken?
You have to add the lead-in distance to the route distance in order to calculate the total distance needed to earn the route badge. The Serpentine 8 route has a 7.3km lead-in, followed by the 19.2km route, for a total length of 26.5km. That’s how far you’ll have to ride to earn the badge. (Keep in mind this distance may vary by 100-200 meters, as spawn locations are a bit flexible so riders don’t all start on top of each other.)
You can see this lead-in when selecting a route from the route picker menu in Zwift. The lead-in portion comes at the start of the route animation and is in blue instead of the normal white used for the actual route.
At the time of this post, there are 25 routes with badges you can earn who have lead-ins of 2km or more. Again, our Master Routes List is a big help here: it shows the route length as well as the lead-in length for each route.
Planning and Tracking Your Progress
Some Zwifters like to use tools like Zwifthub to track which routes they’ve completed.
I keep it simple – I have Zwift installed on my phone (even though I never use my phone for Zwifting). This lets me easily sign into the game, pull up my list of route badges, and see which routes I haven’t yet completed.
If you’re looking for a progressive plan to help you complete every route, check out our schedule for completing all badges in 12 weeks.
Questions or Comments?
6 toughest still to unlock 🙂
Did my 3 remaining routes – The Uber Pretzel (twice actually, as the 1st time my laptop died past half way up the AdZ), Mega Pretzel and PRL Full during 5 days between Christmas and New Year, as Rapha Festive 500. Nice challenge, and good Z2 training.
Always remember to keep riding until you get the route complete message. It’s easy to forget how far lead ins are.
Beware, the route doesn’t always work. I tried the Uberpretzel to get the XP, but it went wrong. I reported it to Zwift, they insinuated I had manually gone off course. I sent them the log which said, “course completed,” so they told me I had done it. I sent them the map from the ride showing them I hadn’t. Now they say they’ll give me the badge, but not the XP. I’m trying to find out if I ride the route again and it works I’ll get the XP, but I’m guessing if they give me the badge I… Read more »
I completed the The PRL Half and the companion app showed me the achievement was unlocked. It has not appeared on my achievements badges. I have contacted Zwift and still waiting for them to give me the badge credit. They did say that they couldn’t guarantee the XP points. I have a screen shot to show that I completed it. I only have the last 3 routes to do and I don’t really want to repeat something I’ve already done
Honestly I’d rather have the XP then the badge. Does look like they have an issue though.
Hi Frank, I have the same issue now with the Achterbahn Badge. Did you get the badge in the end?
Thanks for that. I had similar glitch a while ago and the Zwift response was they had no way to credit the badge after the fact. Will know now to ask the next time this happens.
Lutscher and Lutscher reverse lead ins! Ack! A lesson I won’t soon forget!
One of those you can do a “trick” by creating a meetup that either shortens or eliminates the lead in. 👍
It works on both 🙂 So use meetup and you will only have to climb once instead of twice on each of the routes
Just the Full PRL left to do. 😣
Eric can you do a piece on all the other badges in zwift.
The standard ones are pretty easily seen, but there are hidden badges that we can get that are not on our badge pages…. But do appear when we complete them… Like… Up to 1200 Watts etc…
Could you list them for us.🤔
Already done! https://zwiftinsider.com/extra-credit-badges/
Some of the other badges are very difficult to get!
Great post. I wish I knew some of this when I started. I have been on Zwift a bit over a year now and want to start redoing some routes that I originally got the badge for last year. Is there a way I can easily see my time from last year? It would be nice to have something to shoot for. I am thinking a way I could adjust my display to show my time from last year and maybe my estimate finish time as I ride.
The only way to track times is on Strava. We’ve got a massive list of verified accurate segments which you can star so they show up when you ride: https://zwiftinsider.com/verified-zwift-strava-segments/
I think you can also look back through your entire list on the companion app…but it takes a while – especially if you didn’t rename your ride for the day! I highly recommend renaming you badge rides so that you can find them easily.
Pretty sure I read this in other ZI articles. A great way to get the routes is by creating your own group rides. This way you don’t have to wait until the route you want is on the calendar for today.
Speaking of badges, I have never been able to get an accurate count of all the badges. What’s the total number including cycling, running routes and achievements?
It just recently changed when they added the 4 new routes with badges. Just open the companion app to see the current count. Also do you mean all or ALL badges? and by ALL I mean the crazy extra credit 5:00 minute mile (running), 26.2 marathon (running, not the cycling), Everest and 1.21 Gigawatt!
I believe the current count is 143.
Will we ever settle the total badge count? LOL. You say 143. When I look at the badge list in Zwift it says I am 94/135. But I only have 19 left that arent filled in which will get me to 113. If they are counting extra credit, I have six more of those to get which will get me to 119. Maybe the difference is for the running badges? But if that is the case, why does mine show 135, but the Zwift Insider Master is showing 143? And by the time I figure it out…. Zwift will have… Read more »
The Extra Credit badges (both cycling and running) are not counted towards the total until you unlock them.
Yessir- 143 currently!
It’s always surprised (and disappointed me) that the running route badges don’t mirror that of biking. There’s only about 15 routes that have badges. Seems like it would be a super easy tech fix to replicate the biking badges. If someone wants to run the London Pretzel (34.5 miles) – they deserve at least a badge!
And also the levels stops at level 21 🙁
It’s the free potion currently
Recently when completing The Pretzel, Zwift asked if I wanted to continue for a bonus climb after I completed the climb… I was hesitant (and did not take the detour) as I didn’t know if I would complete the route for full XP. Can you explain what would have happened if I had taken the Bonus Climb?
Is it still true that you may skip (at least some of) the lead-ins by joining a meet-up? If yes that might be a good advice to mention here, too 😉
Thinking of Innsbruck, especially 😀
Absolutely this works for the Lutscher / CCW routes but unfortunately I’ve not found that it helps on other routes with massive lead-ins (I’m looking at you – The Highline).
I went on Zwifthub and a number of routes that I have completed aren’t there. Is there a fix for this? or a way to update the list?
Zwifthub doesn’t sync to Zwift. You manually set the routes you’ve completed.
If you join a pace partner on a route, does completing one loop count? Do you have to start at the start of the route and finish at the end or as long as you do a complete loop you are OK?
You have to cross the loop’s start line, then cross its finish line.
Somebody knows why now there are 140 achievments on my zwift screen and if i count well 39 badges + 80 routes is 119 and not 140?
Maybe these? https://zwiftinsider.com/extra-credit-badges/
Thx Eeic but nope i have all badges routes achievment and extra credit badge mentioned on the link. 119 badges but zwift whrite i have 119 badge on 141. 119/141. Maybe they have new extra badge ???
There are running badges that are included in the total (except extra credit badges, which are included only if you unlock them): https://www.zwift.com/news/23127-running-achievement-badges
Can confirm it’s 143- here’s all the known extra credit badges
I’ve run into the same situation. I’ve completed 145 badges and show there are 174 total badges. My badge screen shows I only have a couple more to complete not 29. I’ve been searching for the additional badges but don’t know where to look or how to achieve them.
There are 180 total badges currently available if you include the hidden extra credit badges (https://zwiftinsider.com/extra-credit-badges/).
Alan, have you ever run on Zwift? The total badge count includes run badges (27 of them), but you won’t see their slots in your list until you’ve earned one of the run badges. That’s probably your issue…
Wondering if Zwift will ever add a “completed” date or check mark, to routes you have done. This would help when signing in, while browsing the available routes, and is something “workouts” already do by logging the date, and would be SUPER helpful…
From the school of hard knocks and un-earned badges: Yet another route problem. If you are in drone view mode (on Windows or Mac), you know that the arrow keys move the camera all around. You also know that those same arrow keys can (and will) change the direction of an upcoming turn, taking you off the course for a route badge. And cost you the badge. Go figure why two different actions were apparently assigned the same keyboard shortcuts… Earned badges will disappear for no reason. I lost seven NYC earned badges that were there in May 2020 and… Read more »
I have completed the Lutuce Express 4 or 5 times now but it does not turn up in my badge overview. Any tips or does anyone else have same problem?
May seem a silly question (I’m new to zwift) where do I see my badges for routes I completed? I cant find them on my profile
You can only see them when you’re in game. Go to the Menu, then click the badges icon on the top-right.
should also point out if there is a glitch/disconnect, e.g., a freeze up and “resume ride” along the way the badge earning process can be disrupted. I learned this the hard way riding The Pretzel (I did) to get the badge (I didn’t) the other day
If you use the Zwift prefs app to go to a guest world on a day it is not officially offered, select a new route and complete and get the notice that you completed a new route at the end should you be getting credit? I have tried to earn London Greatest Loop 3 times now and in the very exact location about 3/4 of a mile from the end Companion stops showing my map progress but the computer shows me moving to the end and earning the new route. I immediately try to end the ride and save and… Read more »
It might have been asked already but I still have to complete the Road to the sky route and I still have to ride up the Alpe x amount of times. If I turn around after climbing the Alpe to ride up it again before completing the route achievement, do I still get the badge if I complete the route after going up and down the Alpe 3 times?
I have done 116/140 ACHIEVEMENTs but are only missing 2 ACHIEVEMENTswhat are the last 22 ACHIEVEMENTs ?
sorry if i am being totally stupid but the article says the bullet point “what will earn a badge… Joining an event (group workout, social ride, race, etc)”
Then a few lines down it says “What will not earn the badge is …. by joining an event or Meetup which uses the route.”
If i do a group ride or a race on a new route will it earn the badge?
Eric: (some?) routes that I did say 3-5 years ago don’t show up as having a badge. I assume when there was only a hill and flat loop, it didn’t matter if I lead weekly ride and did it scores of times. #1: none of them are super long so I’m not bummed about that, #2: I’m over the hump and hey if I do it ‘again’ I get double xp again! So not complaining now (I did when I found out), but I figured once all the .fit files got on the same server it would have been fixed.… Read more »
Do you still earn the badge if you stop and change bike? I’m thinking about the routes that go through the jungle eg Dust in the wind…
Just saw that ZwiftHub is going away at the end of April 2021 (developer is going to work for Wahoo Fitness and doesn’t want to be disloyal to the Sufferfest, which he’ll be working on professionally). It’s a nifty thing to have an online place to track Zwift route achievements; are there any good substitutes for it out there?
Thanks fo the great article. I joined a meeting yesterday and achieved the ‘road to sky’ badge. Unfortunately, the badge does not show as complete in zwift afterwards. Would you know why this happens?
Can I do a custom workout while completing the route? Even if the workout ends before the route is finished and then I go on to fully complete the route, will I still get the badge?
Yep! Just gotta complete the route.
@eric still confused by this. I did a group ride for Surrey Hills. We did the whole ride and a few Km after, but never got the badge. How could I have set up correctly so we would have received the badge?
do you get a badge for a “Surprise Me” route?
If you accidentally turn around 3 hours into the Uber Pretzel – will it still count?
Not sure. In my experience it’s a definite “maybe”.
What if the latest total number of badges? Ride and run combined. I currently have 180 badges. I think I have done all the “secret missions” but wondered if I missed any??
I believe the number is currently 180. That includes all the cycling achievements, cycling route badges, running achievements, running route badges, and extra credit badges.
It’s a bit confusing, since the “total” number on your badges list doesn’t include the hidden extra credit badges until you earn them. So my total says 177 right now, but that’s because there are three extra credit badges I don’t have.
if i select a route using zwift on my mobile, start riding, turn off data mid ride, then turn the data back on before the route completes, will it register my route badge? (trying to save mobile data)
Yep, that should work just fine.
If my odometer is set to KM will I still get the “No Big Deal” badge when I hit 100 miles in a ride? Or do you have to be set to miles to earn the badge?
You’ll get it either way.
Love all the tips you provide! Thank you so much.
Q:When you start a Zwift workout and select a course to do it on, do you still have to do the Lead in ? or does the workout drop you at the start of the route (skips lead-in)?