How to ride any Zwift course at any time using the <world> tag hack

UPDATE (April 17, 2020): with Meetups now allowing Zwifters to schedule events on all open worlds, world hacking via a Meetup may be your simplest option. Especially if you’re on AppleTV, Android, or iOS! See this post for details.


When selecting a route to run or ride, Zwifters must choose between Watopia and two guest worlds which rotate according to the monthly course schedule set by Zwift HQ. 

If you want to ride on a guest map that isn’t featured for the day, here’s an easy hack that lets you ride any course at any time.

You have a prefs.xml file in your Zwift user directory (which is in your Documents/Zwift directory on PC/Mac). Before starting up Zwift, open this file in a text editor like Wordpad and simply add one of the following tags to force Zwift to place you in Watopia, Richmond, London, or Innsbruck.

To ride Watopia, add: <WORLD>1</WORLD>
To ride Richmond, add: <WORLD>2</WORLD>
To ride London, add:<WORLD>3</WORLD>
To ride New York, add:<WORLD>4</WORLD>
To ride Innsbruck, add: <WORLD>5</WORLD>
To ride Yorkshire, add: <WORLD>7</WORLD>
To ride France, add: <WORLD>10</WORLD>
To ride Paris, add: <WORLD>11</WORLD>

This text should go just after the opening <ZWIFT> tag near the top of the file. (If you place it inside of a section like “<DEVICES>” then it will not work.)

Using Zwift iOS? Here’s how to accomplish this same hack on your iDevice.

Important: Do not insert bogus values into your preferences file! Invalid values will just make Zwift behave unpredictably or even crash. Follow the instructions above carefully and you’ll be safe.

Sample

Here is a sample prefs.xml file which forces Zwift to always allow Richmond access (added text is in red):

<ZWIFT>
  <WORLD>2</WORLD>
  <DEVICES>
     <LASTCADENCEDEVICE>720996</LASTCADENCEDEVICE>
     <LASTPOWERDEVICE>720996</LASTPOWERDEVICE>
  </DEVICES>
  <CONFIG>
     <RICHMOND_BRANCH_PREFERENCE>0</RICHMOND_BRANCH_PREFERENCE>
     <BRANCH_PREFERENCE>4</BRANCH_PREFERENCE>
  </CONFIG>
  <WORKOUTS>
     <USE_ERG>1</USE_ERG>
  </WORKOUTS>
</ZWIFT>

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
92 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jim Mattson
Jim Mattson
1 year ago

Is there a world number for Bologna?

thewannabeironman
Super Member
thewannabeironman (@wanna_b_ironman)
6 months ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

Are you sure for Bologna? In your article you’re saying that 7 is Yorkshire: To ride Yorkshire, add: <WORLD>7</WORLD>

Eric R
Eric R
22 days ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

Bologna is 6. Still can’t hack into in.

thewannabeironman
Super Member
thewannabeironman (@wanna_b_ironman)
22 days ago
Reply to  Eric R

Forget this hack. Create a meet-up using the Companion App. You can choose any world at anytime. The only downside is that you have to invite at least one person.

Christoph
Christoph
1 year ago

do i have to close everything of zwift, and then edit the xml, and then restart zwift?
Because it doesn’t work on my computer.

Tony
Tony
1 year ago
Reply to  Christoph

Yeah. I’m having the same problem. Can someone please confirm this hack still works?

Tony
Tony
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony

I apologize. I failed to notice the tab for “Watopia” actually did correctly read the name of the world I did the override for. All is right with the world, so to speak. Thanks!

Jarrod
Jarrod
7 months ago
Reply to  Tony

It still works as of 13 June 2020

Tony
Tony
1 year ago
Reply to  Christoph

Christoph, in the event you haven’t resolved this, it MAY be because Zwift is still running in the background even though you’ve closed the Zwift window. If you click the upward-pointing arrow (“Show hidden icons”), and the Zwift icon is visible, right click on it and click “Exit”. Then, edit your “prefs.xml” file to identify the world you want to ride, and fire Zwift up again. Hopefully, you’ll see your world of choice on the first world tab.

Jerry
Jerry
1 year ago

I used this exploit to try Yorkshire a couple weeks ago, and on the subsequent ride I noticed that all of the “drops” I earned on that ride had been erased. I’m not sure if this happens for anyone else or if it also applies to the XP/levels. Has anyone else noticed this?

Eric R
Eric R
22 days ago
Reply to  Jerry

Doesn’t happen to me.

Norman Sherran
Norman Sherran
1 year ago

I read the article on riding any course at any time. I use the app in Apple TV. When will be able to pick any course any time?
thanks

Norman Sherran
Norman Sherran
8 months ago
Reply to  Norman Sherran

The top of the page says “world hacking via a Meetup may be your simplest option. Especially if you’re on AppleTV, Android, or iOS! See this post for details.” Can you now pick a route on Apple TV? thanks

Jim
Jim
1 year ago

How do I find the documents/zwift directory on my iPad?

Jane
Jane
9 months ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

how do you get to it on a PC?

Denis
Denis
1 year ago

I tried to do as you wrote. Does not work.
I exit from Swift and write:

4
    
Launching a Swift.
The prefs.xml file is renamed to prefs.xml.INVALID
The popup opens in windowed mode.

Denis
Denis
1 year ago
Reply to  Denis

I exit from Swift and write:
ZWIFT>
WORLD> 4
     DEVICES>
I am writing <. The site does not allow to write this symbol in front (

Jimmie Richey
Jimmie Richey
11 months ago

Eric, I love and appreciate your stuff.
Can we ride hack the Event only cities? (Not that anybody would WANT to ride Bologna but Crit City might be cool.
Thanks

Joy Murphy
Joy Murphy
9 months ago

I assume I need to go in and delete this tag when done??

Cédric
Cédric
9 months ago

Does this hack still work with the recent changes (2nd guest world) ?

Neil
Neil
9 months ago
Reply to  Cédric

Yep. I used the hack tonight and it worked fine.

Jane
Jane
9 months ago

how do you get to the zwift user directory?

Todd Tucker
Todd Tucker
8 months ago

I think Zwift has recently changed this with one of their updates. I can no longer find the WORLD tag in the preference file.

Dorian
Dorian
7 months ago
Reply to  Todd Tucker

It still works, you just have to add the whole tag like this.
 
<ZWIFT>
  <WORLD>5</WORLD>
  <DEVICES>
 

Carolyn Audilet
Carolyn Audilet (@caudilet)
6 months ago

First, do I also modify the _BRANCH_PREFERENCES tag to match my chosen world? Second, can I use this to get into the new France and Paris worlds? Last, is France 9 and Paris 10?

Thanks in advance,
Carolyn

ABMikkelsen
ABMikkelsen
6 months ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

You actually can hack into both France and Paris… 😉 You “just” have to hack the “mapschedule-files”… People are currently riding both Ven-Top and Champ E..

Simon
Simon
6 months ago
Reply to  ABMikkelsen

Yes, I also saw people riding the new maps. Do you know how to “hack” the mapschedule file? 😃

thewannabeironman
Super Member
thewannabeironman (@wanna_b_ironman)
6 months ago
Reply to  ABMikkelsen

When you load Zwift, the MapSchedule_prev.xml is overwritten by Zwift. So if you modify it, Zwift will change it back. I’ve set it up as read only (Mac OS) but still, didn’t work. Would be interesting to know how those users have worked around that …

Simon
Simon
6 months ago

Got it! I’ve done the same thing, changed the Mapschedule to read only. When you start Zwift, the file can’t be changed, so Zwift generates a new file simular to “Mapschedule”. I’ve done the same thing again, and tadaaa, I can choose France and Paris 😁 I hope this information is fine to share… 😅

thewannabeironman
Super Member
thewannabeironman (@wanna_b_ironman)
6 months ago
Reply to  Simon

When I change the new map file (Mapschedule_V2.xml), Zwift doesn’t start (on OSX). What name have you used for the map? “FRANCE”? “PARIS”? Something else?

Paul Bertram
Paul Bertram
6 months ago

This hack seems to work on pc but not on mac (OSX)

Andy
Andy
6 months ago
Reply to  Simon

Can you explain in more detail how you did it ? I have updated prefs.xml with <WORLD>10</WORLD. Then set MapScehdule_prev.xml as read only. When I start Zwift I don’t see any new worlds. I now have a MapSchedule_v2.xml file in Zwift folder. Do I need to do something with this ?

Simon
Simon
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy

I changed in the first MapSchedule file “LONDON” to “PARIS” in the row with the actual date. Save and read only. Then start Zwift. Zwift will create a new file called “MapSchedule_v2”. So close Zwift and do the same change in the new file. Don’t forget to make it read only too. If you start Zwift now again it should work 🙂

thewannabeironman
Super Member
thewannabeironman (@wanna_b_ironman)
6 months ago
Reply to  Simon

Are you using MsWindows Simon? It does not work on OSX. When I change the files and make them read only, the next time I start Zwift I have an error message 🙁

Chris Cavanagh
Chris Cavanagh
6 months ago

I’m following the same method and get the error on Mac OS too. damn

Simon
Simon
6 months ago

Yes, I did this on a Windows computer.😬

josh
josh
6 months ago
Reply to  Simon

worked for me, thank you! do i have to change the mapschedule every day? and to revert back normal, safest way would be delete v2 file, change original mapsched file back to “london” for every “france ” i entered, and delete world 10 from pref file? thanks again!

JJCD
JJCD
6 months ago
Reply to  Simon

Thanks it works on my PC, now someone please find a way to do that on an iPad !

Tom Morash
Tom Morash
6 months ago
Reply to  Simon

I can’t believe how easy this works on PC. I spent two hours getting it to work in offline mode and while it was nice to ride, it’s not good. This method took a minute and works so much better. Only need to change the current map to PARIS in the two mapschedule files and save and make read only and voila, 30 people riding with me in France. Thanks for the tip!

Penny Priest
Penny Priest
6 months ago
Reply to  Simon

Thanks Simon – this gets me so far – when Zwift opens up I can see the Ven Top route, but when I go to ride it takes me back to a different world – i.e. doesn’t give me any France route options

thewannabeironman
Super Member
thewannabeironman (@wanna_b_ironman)
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy

You need to edit both files. If on MsWindows, make them read only and start Zwift. If you’re on a Mac, disconnect from Internet and start Zwift (click ok on the warning). When the login appears plug back Internet. Et voila!

Karl Slingo
Karl Slingo
6 months ago

It works if you replace all the LONDON text in the files to PARIS 😉

Paul Bertram
Paul Bertram
6 months ago
Reply to  Karl Slingo

Even on a Mac?

thewannabeironman
Super Member
thewannabeironman (@wanna_b_ironman)
6 months ago
Reply to  Paul Bertram

No, works on Windows only. On Mac Zwift won’t start.

Screenshot 2020-06-30 at 14.01.49.png
Geert
Geert
6 months ago

I managed to do this on a mac too, but it took some more fiddling. It will indeed crash if both files (_prev and _v2) are not writable. But there is a race-condition, so you can leave the _v2 file writable and then run a simple script while starting that constantly overwrites _v2 with the “hacked” _prev version of the file. May take a couple of tries, it’s a tight window. To avoid spilling system resources you can stop the script once Zwift is running with France active.

thewannabeironman
Super Member
thewannabeironman (@wanna_b_ironman)
6 months ago
Reply to  Geert

You’re officially a geek !

Geert
Geert
6 months ago

Thanks I guess. Or I was just so frustrated that I couldn’t ride it while the weather here warranted an indoor ride. 😉 Anyway, to try it, just do the hack as described on MapSchedule_prev.xml then run something like this on a terminal in the background: # while true; do cp MapSchedule_prev.xml MapSchedule_v2.xml; done And try to run Zwift a couple of times, as said it still needs to catch the small gap between when Zwift replaces the v2 file and it gets read, so it may not on work on try 1. You’ll see it it worked quick enough… Read more »

tino
tino
6 months ago
Reply to  Geert

I don’t understand what I should typing on a terminal (macOS)?

the command “do” is not found …

Geert
Geert
6 months ago
Reply to  tino

Should be the entire line:
while true; do cp MapSchedule_prev.xml MapSchedule_v2.xml; done

Geert
Geert
6 months ago

Just found an even easier way to do this on mac: Just edit the MapSchedule_prev.xml file -> disable the network connection of your mac -> Start Zwift (Zwift will ask if you want to continue to start anyway, click yes) and wait for the login screen -> reenable internet -> profit.

Geert
Geert
6 months ago
Reply to  Geert

No need to change file permissions this way either.

thewannabeironman
Super Member
thewannabeironman (@wanna_b_ironman)
6 months ago
Reply to  Geert

I will give it a try, thank you! I won’t be able to ride though, I’m using an Apple TV for that. But curious to see how it looks.

milhouse
milhouse
6 months ago
Reply to  Geert

brilliant, this works for me. Thanks! 🙂

Zach
Zach
6 months ago
Reply to  Geert

I get error Z101 on startup as Zwift always checks to download the latest version and can’t without an internet connection.

thewannabeironman
Super Member
thewannabeironman (@wanna_b_ironman)
6 months ago
Reply to  Zach

Windows or Mac? Windows => files in read only. Mac => disconnect internet, start Zwift, reconnect Internet at Login page. Other devices, don’t know.

Karl Slingo
Karl Slingo
6 months ago
Reply to  Paul Bertram

Probably not.

thewannabeironman
Super Member
thewannabeironman (@wanna_b_ironman)
6 months ago
Reply to  Paul Bertram

Yes, scroll down

Fabio
Fabio
6 months ago

My 2 cents.. we are about to see the end of the “world hack” because of all of these keyboard warriors who desperately need to ride a new map in advance. We’ll be stuck to the scheduled maps because of this, you’ll see..

thewannabeironman
Super Member
thewannabeironman (@wanna_b_ironman)
6 months ago
Reply to  Fabio

Or Zwift will consider changing the way it works. They’ve done it once, we went from one world to two (on top of Watopia).

milhouse
milhouse
6 months ago
Reply to  Fabio

When I rode Ven-Top earlier there were 12 of us in all of France. I can’t see Zwift worrying about that too much, personally 😀

Jim Mattson
Jim Mattson
6 months ago
Reply to  milhouse

They might get more upset if you crash the Pro races. But, surely, they would have additional protections for those, right?

thewannabeironman
Super Member
thewannabeironman (@wanna_b_ironman)
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim Mattson

If a bunch of people can crash a world, they have a serious problem !

Jim Mattson
Jim Mattson
6 months ago

I meant crash in the sense of “show up uninvited.”

thewannabeironman
Super Member
thewannabeironman (@wanna_b_ironman)
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim Mattson

😂

milhouse
milhouse
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim Mattson

haha, good point! I wonder if that’d work…

(no, I’m certainly not going to try 😂)

Marcus Berghauf
Marcus Berghauf
6 months ago
Reply to  milhouse

You can’t “crash” a race. Try it for yourself – enter a few Zwift races and you’ll see no-one is visible except the riders entered. You don’t see anyone going the other way, even if racing in a world where there are thousands of people free riding that world.
Or just watch today’s Tour de France stage from Watopia while you ride the same route…

MR B
MR B
6 months ago

Managed to get Ven-Top access on MacBook. No need to edit prefs file with world tag. Just edit mapschedule_prev by changing current schedule’s location to “PARIS” (I changed “NEWYORK” to “PARIS” as that’s what’s currently in the schedule. I locked the file to be ‘read only’. I then ran Zwift first time, let it create mapschedule_v2, then edited the new version as before and also locked that file. Then ran Zwift again, turning off internet connectivity after the first dialogue box and before selecting ‘let’s go’, when it asks you to login, I turn internet connectivity back on, and it… Read more »

zuludelta
zuludelta
6 months ago
Reply to  MR B

just edit the MapSchedule_prev.xml, disconnect internet, start Zwift, click ok on launch anyway, when login screen appears – duplicate the MapSchedule_prev.xml and rename it MapSchedule_v2.xml, reconnect internet, sign in, ride on

Kris Janssens
Kris Janssens
6 months ago

Is there a world number for Paris ? 6 ? or 8 work not

Franny
Franny
6 months ago
Reply to  Kris Janssens

10-11

josh
josh
6 months ago

this worked for me a few days ago, but not working today? did they patch it? is it still working for others? i’m on PC

ikerarri
ikerarri
6 months ago
Reply to  josh

Yeah. I think they have patched it…

Simon
Simon
6 months ago

Are there world numbers for France yet?

thewannabeironman
Super Member
thewannabeironman (@wanna_b_ironman)
6 months ago
Reply to  Simon

Probably 10 and 11. But per comments above it doesn’t seem to load the worlds. Use the ‘MapSchedule’ hack to load the French routes (scroll up for details).

Mark
Mark
6 months ago

Is there a new world number for France?

Steve White
Steve White
5 months ago

Looks like <WORLD>=10 & 11now work as of today’s update. Just checked them both out.

Eric R
Eric R
22 days ago

One clarification is that the world tag hack replaces the first tab (watopia) out of the three available in zwift. So if you have another world hacked in you either need to delete the tag or change it to watopia to ride watopia routes

Harry T
Harry T (@harrytozer505)
9 days ago

Is there a way to make it so all of the worlds are always available, or do you have to change the 1 line every time you want a different world?

thewannabeironman
Super Member
thewannabeironman (@wanna_b_ironman)
9 days ago
Reply to  Harry T

You have to change all the time. Best is probably to set a meet-up using the companion app.

Brick
Brick (@brick-climber)
9 days ago

Surprised this editing tool wasn’t mentioned in the comments yet…

ZwiftHacks has a tool for this function on MacOS and Windows. Instead of manually editing the file, use the tool to do it for you. It’s called ZwiftPref. Get it at https://zwifthacks.com/zwiftpref/.

Latest article for this tool is at https://zwifthacks.com/world-hack-into-france-and-paris/

There’s another tool called zwift-preferences that might be better for Windows users.

Last edited 9 days ago by Brick
Julian Liebregts
Julian Liebregts
5 days ago

Question – do you still receive badges for route completion and other challenges when world hacking?

Julian Liebregts
Julian Liebregts
5 days ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

Nice, thanks for responding

92
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x