Eliminate or reduce XP bonuses on 50%, 75% climb portal

At present, climb portals have the highest density of banners of any route on Zwift, with typically 10 banners during the climb, allowing for many opportunities for XP bonus. But this encourages riders to “farm” XP by repeatedly climbing short climbs at 50% altitude. This is against the spirit of Zwift, where riders should be encouraged to ride climbs at full altitude.

So I propose one of the following two remedies:

  1. eliminate selected banners when climbs are done at reduced altitude. So for example, with 50%, eliminate banners where # mod 2 = 0 (where “”# is a banner index, and “mod” is the modulo operator). With 75%, eliminate banners where # mod 4 = 0.
  2. too complicated? Then eliminate all banners for reduced altitude climbs.

It’s a bad look when elite level riders are repeatedly climbing portals at 50% to farm XP.

Respectfully, this is just your opinion. People use Zwift for many different reasons, there is no “right way” to Zwift. There are many other ways to farm XP, none of them are wrong, it’s part of the game aspect of Zwift.

IMHO, as long as you aren’t cheating with a bot or altering weight and height to ridiculous levels, what you do on Zwift is none of my business and I hope you have fun and improve your fitness.


Here’s an idea – let riders upgrade level just by hitting a button. Want level 100? Just hit the button 99 times. Done.

There’s no right way to Zwift.

The reality is decisions are made all the time about what sort of behavior the game will reward. For example, there’s an XP bonus for streaks, because Zwift wants people to keep using the game. There’s an XP bonus for doing some events, because Zwift wants people to ride those events. So then the question is: do we want people exploiting a feature of the system such that levels stop having the same meaning? That’s a design decision, and yes, it is my opinion this is not what the level system should be rewarding.

This already happened about 2 months ago when they released levels 61 - 100, streak bonus, and the new leveling up system. The meaning of levels decreased by a large margin, and since this was Zwift’s decision and design, then I would assume they don’t care how people level up as long as it happens very quickly without as much effort as in the past.

No different to someone using a workout mode to farm XP or riding repeatedly up ADZ in workout mode to do the XP farming workout.

Even if someone is using 50%, they might actually be smashing themselves up that climb each time.

Willunga Hill at 50% is an almost ideal length to do manual intervals without resorting to workout mode. It is more interesting using the gears for this.

Not pleased with this suggestion to be honest. Yes, have level 93 but most of that was from lots of riding on Alpe du Zwift (128x) using the gears and dealing with the gradients and a lot of longer riders over time.

The bad look is bots riding along at fake 170-180bpm heart rates between 270-310w at 68-71rn cadence for 12 hours around the volcano. Thats what needs to be stopped, and from the comments of other riders yesterday, that’s also something they are annoyed with.

The question is rather “do I want people…” - it’s you rather than “we”.


Definitely this plusI find riding it at 50% smooths out the gradient changes for more of a consistent power for those intervals.

Some of the portal climbs do have unrealistic gradient changes. I know that because I’ve ridden the same climb in real life, sometimes multiple times.

I’d know if there was a 23% gradient IRL and there wasn’t. Given that I don’t see the fuss.

If this encourages people to try riding hills and not take the ERG mode option each time then it’s a good thing. They can work up to 100% and the bonuses encourage that.


Using intervals in a workout is actually not much different than just riding with a pace partner. When you say “Farming XP” how much additional XP do you think they are getting compared to someone doing Z2 with Coco?

Yes – Old La Honda IRL is burned into my muscle memory, and some of the gradients in the Portal version are just incorrect. I’ve ridden it previously on FulGaz and RGT and both of those got it right (on RGT I created the climb myself, using Magic roads, so I was able to compare the gradients to IRL before upload).

But this is independent of the question whether the XP bonus system should reward riding at 50% vs 100%.

And the Alpe XP farming workout detailed on Zwift Insider has been killed off effectively now - you don’t have as high a chance to get the wheels anymore. It used to be on a 2x ADZ ride I could get wheels both laps - not now. The old story of once you get the wheels you are more likely to get them frequently doesn’t happen anymore.

Also the 250XP bonuses in climb portal are much less likely to be given out at each banner now. Getting 5-6x 250XP on a single lap doesn’t happen.

You can have 4 laps with only 1x 250XP. I’ve done the climbs and can prove that.

Same could be said for less than 100% trainer difficulty, or anything less than 125% portal difficulty as well right?

It’s right to reward the lower levels, give them some encouragement. Crack down on the bots instead. That’s where effort needs to go.

Our experience and riding shows that it’s not worth using climb portal for XP farming anymore. Although Zwift won’t say it, they appear to have changed the way the bonuses are given out.

Yea, for most people I would think just riding with Coco is going to be better XP/min than doing the alpe at that same amount of power.

Now, I also feel the climb portal 250XP bonus went down a bit, but I don’t know. Initially it was about 10% of the XP arcs would give it, now it feels less.

When it was 10% the short climb portals at 50% would be better than both the alpe and coco for hourly XP.

I agree with your first point, but not your second point.

In general it’s silly that people doing the 50% route are getting more XP than people who are doing the 125% route at the same power. You would think the incentives would be to move up in difficulty to get more XP, and the XP structure here does not do this.

That said, the game gives you more XP per minute using 50% scaling, so if your goal is to get XP, then it’s a rational thing to jump into a climb portal at 50% to get more XP, so it’s not against the “spirit of Zwift”, it’s one way you can get XP in Zwift.

What is against the spirit of Zwift is modifying your weight, or height to make climbs easier for instance, but using in-game mechanics as they are designed by zwift is not wrong in my opinion.

That said, I think Zwift should have designed the climb portal XP in such a way that people who are doing 125% scaling get the most XP per for their effort in the climb portal etc. - I mentioned this the day they released it.

Problem is with that everyone doing 125% will suddenly be 39kg and 150CM height and will ride up those climbs at 8w/kg.

So that’s no use either.

Rather than worry about XP gains, fix up detection of bots.


Identical to the coffee stop thread


People likie to flex that because they can do a thing there should be diferentials to mere mortals so they know their place.

Zwift have attempted to make Climb Portal both accessable and have more use cases, as has been pointed out a 25% or 125% climb can fit a training slot or just have fun, which for Zwift, as a comercial emterprise, would very much like the most amount of people to do.

Maybe I should start a thread to say I should be an auto level 100, etc (there is a thread like this, it pushed 700 replies :slight_smile: )
or how unfair it is that 50kg riders are too fast on the flats (no idea if this is true, but you get the point :slight_smile: )

yes but those bots pay a subscription too !

I’m not a bot fan either, kinda spoils it for everyone else and joking aside for ever one bot sub, how many subs do Zwift lose ?

I had a screenshot yesterday of a bot account flying along the volcano for 12 hours and by chance the ADZ leaderboard was showing at same time, top time 32 minutes!

So fast even the world tour pros wouldn’t stand a chance. :roll_eyes:

One screenshot, two fake efforts. :frowning:


No — if you ride more, you get more XP. That’s the way the game is. If you climb more, you get more XP. If you do more workouts, more XP. If you complete more courses, more XP. If you have a longer ride streak, more XP.

Climb portal is the only exception. I doubt anyone @ Zwift HQ made a decision on this. It was just a side-effect of an attempt to make climbs more accessible. fine – make the climb more accessible, but scale the XP bonuses.

And by “spirit of Zwift” I mean the spirit of zwift is to reward riders for doing things (climbing, riding far). With the 50% rule you can get more XP for climbing less. Here you’re punishing riders for doing more, rewarding riders for doing less.

On the matter of 125%, well, at some point enough is enough and I see no reason to encourage that! These are IRL climbs and so completing the IRL climb should be the ultimate goal (if you want to do even more, that’s on you).

Yeah, bots are a problem as well. That’s irrelevant.

They could have for instance scaled the XP bonuses by the gradient scaling. 100% get 100% of the current XP bonuses, 50% get 50%, 125% gets 125%. Or, they could have given a boost to the big XP bonus based on how hard you’ve set the gradient.

That still wouldn’t solve the part of this which is distance based (20xp/km), folks at 50% would still get km XP faster, but at least it would be closer.

In general it’s nice for the XP incentives to line up with the effort where possible, when there’s an inverse relationship (as is the case with 50% vs.100% scaling) it’s odd.

Is the Spirit of Zwift something I should take more seriously than the Spirit of Gravel?