UPDATE: levels 51-60 were released in Zwift’s September update.
Zwift recently published their “This Season On Zwift” (TSOZ) press release summarizing plans for new Zwift features through the end of 2022. And while that press release gives some high-level details of upcoming features, we like to dig a little deeper here at Zwift Insider.
This is one in a series of individual posts discussing specific upcoming features in more depth.
It’s finally happening, veteran Zwifters: level 51 is arriving! Buried in Zwift’s TSOZ FAQ are multiple references to new levels. We even did a bit of digging and found out what sort of XP we’ll have to earn in order to level up! Here’s the chart:
|Level 50 kit + Fire Socks
|Junk Food Kit Pack
|April Fools 80’s Kit
|Fun Shaped Glasses
|April Fools 80s Paint Job
|Rear View Mirror Glasses
|Animal Print Pack
|April Fools 80s Socks
|Level 60 Kit
Note: at levels 50 and 60 you will receive 100,000 Drops. You’ll also receive a 25,000 Drops bonus at level 55.
What Took So Long?
Many long-time Zwifters have been stuck on level 50 for months (or even years). And even though repeated requests were made to add more levels, Zwift seemed stuck between two excuses:
- “There are so few level 50 Zwifters and we need to put our time into updates that benefit everyone”
- We want to do something better than simple levels. Perhaps dividing the year into seasons (like many video games do) where you level resets and you see how high you can get before the next season begins…
It felt like ZwiftHQ wanted the perfect solution (fancy seasonal levels), and that got in the way of implementing a simple and acceptable interim solution (just adding more levels). Consequentially we’ve been stuck at level 50 since December 2018. Thankfully they’re finally throwing us a bone with 10 more levels. That should keep us busy for a while!
How Long to Level Up?
Based on our calculations, Zwifters can expect to earn 500-700XP per hour of riding. Moving from level 50 to 60 requires a total of 250,000XP. If we assume 600XP per hour, that works out to 250000/600=416.67 hours of riding. That’s 42 10-hour riding weeks, or 1 year of 8-hour weeks.
But that doesn’t include XP you’ve banked, if you’re already at level 50.
You never stop accumulating XP in Zwift, even if you reach the top level. It takes 500,000 XP to reach level 50, but I’ve banked over 1.3 million XP!
So how does Zwift handle this situation when they release new levels?
They could just grant me all the new levels as soon as I log in. Unlocks, unlocks, and more unlocks! But that’s not much fun, since I don’t get the pleasure of working to achieve a level.
Instead, Zwift will use “accelerated leveling”. This is a bit tough to wrap one’s head around, but the big idea is your banked XP is combined with new XP to help you level up more quickly than if you had to earn all the required XP from scratch.
When Zwift released levels 26-50 they allowed us to opt into 8x accelerated leveling (read this post for details about how that worked). That meant that as long as you still had banked XP, effectively every 1XP you earned unlocked 7XP from your bank, and those 8XP were then applied to your leveling up total.
It’s a bit confusing, admittedly. But it’s a good solution that rewards Zwifters who have banked XP, while also giving them the leveling up experience.
For levels 51-60, Zwift will automatically apply accelerated leveling to everyone who is already at level 50, but the acceleration will be at a rate of just 2x. That means each 1XP you earn will unlock 1XP from your bank, so you’ll level up 2x faster than a “typical” Zwifter. This extra fast leveling up works out to approximately 21 10-hour weeks, or half a year of 8-hour weeks, to reach level 60. (Or maybe a week if you’re Tim Searle).
Zwift hasn’t given a release date for levels 51-60, but we know it’s coming in 2022. Since the levels are already all worked out, we’re guessing they will be released in September or October.
Questions or Comments?