How to Ride Alone on Zwift

How to Ride Alone on Zwift

When it launched in 2014, Zwift grabbed cyclists’ attention because it enabled real-time interaction between riders: a social platform. And this is truer today more than ever: the interaction with other humans, the camaraderie developed over time, and the friendships built on the platform are motivating and valuable.

But sometimes, you may just want to ride or run solo, and there’s nothing wrong with that! We’ve had several Zwifters ask us how to do this easily – here are three ways.

Solution #1: Turn Off Your Internet Connection

Once you’ve logged in and started your Zwift activity, turn off the Internet connection on your Zwift device. This will remove all other Zwifters from view, and remove you from their view.

It is quite easy to turn the Internet connection off on most devices – a click or two on Mac, PC, iOS, and Android. It’s more of a hassle on AppleTV, but can be done there through the Settings menu or by simply unplugging your ethernet cable if you’re using a wired connection.

Here’s the important part: reconnect the Internet before you save your activity and exit Zwift! This will allow the activity data to sync up with your account at my.zwift.com as well as Strava or other third-party connected apps.

Gotchas

Turning off the Internet may be the simplest way to ride alone on Zwift, but it also means your Zwift device will be without an Internet connection during your activity, which may be an annoyance. Additionally, your fans won’t be able to give you a ride on during your activity. If either of these an issue, try this next approach…

Solution #2: Firewall

This solution is really only practical if you’re running Zwift on a Mac or PC. Both macOS and Windows have built-in software firewalls that allow you to easily create rules governing the data flowing in and out of your computer. The nice thing about the firewall approach is it lets you maintain an Internet connection on your device while riding solo on Zwift.

Simply put: if you turn off outbound UDP traffic on port 3022, all riders on course will be hidden and you will be hidden from their screens.

Setting up a “Solo Zwifting” firewall rule on Windows 10:

  • Open up the Windows Defender Firewall app
  • Click “Outbound” then click “New Rule”
  • Select “Port” from “What type of rule would you like to create?”
  • Select UDP, and enter 3022 as the “Specific remote port”
  • Choose “Block the connection” (which is the default)
  • Let the rule apply to Domain, Private, and Public (which is the default)
  • Give it a name such as “Zwift solo riding” and click “Finish”
  • Done! The rule will automatically be enabled, but you can click to disable it and ride with others anytime you’d like.

We won’t include instructions for macOS or other Windows versions here, but the rules are pretty simple to create, and you can always delete the rule if you think you messed something up.

One way the firewall approach wins over the “Turn Off Your Internet” solution is your followers will still see that you’re active, and be able to give you Ride Ons.

Gotchas

We use this firewall method for much of our Zwift Insider Labs speed tests, and occasionally we’ve had issues with Zwift crashing if we boot up Zwift with the firewall enabled and begin our activity. To avoid this, boot up Zwift with the firewall setting disabled, then only enable it after you’ve begun your activity.

Solution #3: World Hack

This last solution doesn’t ensure you’ll be riding solo, but it will greatly reduce the number of riders on course. If you use the world tag hack to access a world that isn’t today’s scheduled guest world, the only Zwifters there will be other world hackers or those participating in an event – and chances are those event participants will be hidden from view.

World hacking, therefore, is a nice way to get yourself into a barely-populated map, if that’s what you’re looking for. Learn all about the world tag hack >

Questions or comments?

Do you like to ride alone on Zwift sometimes? How do you accomplish it? 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

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Pascal
Pascal
1 year ago

Justement j’utilise zwift pour ne pas être seul. C’est moins monotone et ça me motive pour rester actif pendant l’hiver.

Michael Davis
Michael Davis
1 year ago

Interesting!
But let’s say I’ve chosen to do a workout from the menu. If I start the workout and then turn off the internet, would the workout–its intervals, etc.–still go on? Would ERG mode still work?

adaycj
adaycj
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael Davis

Workouts work, and ERG mode works but you should do as advised and only block the port after you start and re-enable it before you click save.

Drew
Drew (@andrew_anson4)
1 year ago

Useful article thanks. Do you know what port Ride On’s come through on? My problem is that they don’t come through in game

chainsaw buddha
chainsaw buddha
1 year ago

Excellent! other riders is in my opinion the most annoying thing about Zwift.

Carl J
Carl J
1 year ago

Weird, because that’s what makes Zwift, Zwift.
I believe that there are other apps out there that use a map and don’t have other users.

Carl J
Carl J
1 year ago

Interesting that people have asked you how to ride without anyone on the course. This is what makes Zwift so great.

And even when I do my own solo rides on there, having other riders around makes it a lot less boring

Hatch
Hatch
1 year ago
Reply to  Carl J

Great Carl! But possibly some people think Zwift is Zwift from the courses/terrain they can ride. Perhaps that’s what makes Zwift fun for them. Perhaps they enjoy the solitude of not riding with others. It’s possible that others may have a different opinion than you.

thewannabeironman
Super Member
thewannabeironman (@wanna_b_ironman)
1 year ago

I would say if you wanna ride solo, don’t use Zwift 🙂

BigLampar
BigLampar
1 year ago

absolutely. Otherwise there are a few software out there where u can ride with real scenery. I bought some but managed to ride 1 route complete. It was like looking at paint dry. I never looked forward to riding them like i do with Zwift. My fun with Zwift is to see how long i can hang in there with the better riders – just like in the real world cycling. Sometimes the buzz of a good ride in zwift is nearly as good as a good ride IRL. Not everyone likes Zwift but I do.

Bob
Bob
1 year ago

In my case, I like riding alone because I don’t want to be tempted to hang in there with better riders. I have a heart condition that requires me to ramp my HR very gradually and I can’t do max efforts like sprinting or full on TT. I can still do all the rides on Zwift and I’m not slow but I keep my HR very even. I try to ignore other riders and at times just shut my eyes for awhile. Sometimes though it’s nice to just be the only one there. Then there is no temptation to exceed… Read more »

Hatch
Hatch
1 year ago

Or perhaps others can just do as they wish and not follow the advice of a wanna be. Zwift doesn’t need to be a one size fits all platform. Perhaps people can use it in various ways.

willem
willem
5 months ago

my potato computer lags in big groups, and i mostly do zwift workouts.
The extra latency caused by other riders can be annoying.

tempocyclist
1 year ago

It wouldn’t be hard for Zwift to add a toggle button somewhere on the menu to enable “private” rides with nobody else about.

I don’t get it though, the biggest draw of Zwift is the interactive side of things! If you simply don’t want draft effect, choose a TT bike. Chasing down or riding alongside other riders adds motivation and enhances the whole experience. It’s what makes Zwift great! Each to their own I guess.

Pies
Pies
3 months ago
Reply to  tempocyclist

For you. For me it’s seriously creepy and distracting.

corbie
corbie
1 year ago

I can understand that sometimes peoples want to ride alone. So solo session should be available as option, easy task for zwift programmers.
Don’t understand why peoples must looking for so complicated solutions. Disconnecting internet, firewall blocking ….. Have no word for making such things so hard.

Nigel Tufnel
Nigel Tufnel
1 year ago

Here’s one more idea, and possibly the easiest way to ride alone, or close to it, in Zwift: Just pick ‘Jungle Circuit’ as your route, it’s pretty much deserted these days. 🤪

Jerico
Jerico
1 year ago

I’ve also found that setting the security settings on an Arris router to High will usually do the trick. Although Zwift will still work, and you will still get internet traffic in and out, it will effectively screen out other riders. It took me two weeks after setting up Zwift figure this out as the reason that my Zwift companion was not working and I was not seeing any other riders.

Mattia
Mattia
1 year ago

Thanks Eric for the article
I have one question: if I use the first method (turning off internet) is it still possible to see that I m riding from the app zwift companion?

Michael Davis
Michael Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Mattia

I tried this yesterday by just unplugging the Ethernet cable to my Apple TV after I was in-game. The Companion app will think you’re still at the spawn site the whole time until you reconnect the internet to the Apple TV, then all the riders will reappear and the companion app will show you at your current location. The problem I had was after I did all this, the ride didn’t save even though I got credit for the XP’s and drops. I’m going to try blocking the port in my router to see if that works better. With the… Read more »

Michael Davis
Michael Davis
1 year ago

A variation of Solution 2 is to block the port in your router instead of in the Windows Firewall. This is a good option if you have Apple TV. I just tried it out and it worked like a charm.

Todd key
Todd key
3 months ago

How to block harassing Zwifters?

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