Garmin and Virtual Rides

I use zwift for riding and I bought a Garmin Fenix 6S as it was one of the models “compatible” with the zwift app.

Despite the above sentence, why is it so difficult / almost impossible to connect the Garmin to the zwift ride to detect heart rate?

Thank you

Did you put the garmin in broadcast mode.

The Garmin Fenix 6S is one of the watches that feature the Virtual Run feature which allows it to broadcast HR over Bluetooth (BLE). In order to take advantage of this BLE pairing you will need to begin a Virtual Run to activate the BLE broadcast of your HR, we have those steps in an article if you need them.

hi Gerrie thank you for your reply. I did try to use the Virtual Run, is that different from the “broadcast mode”? could you be so kind to tell me how to put it in that way if its different. many thanks

thank you Lucas, I allways tried with the Virtual Run:

  1. once I am in the virtual run screen, the watch doesnt allow me to “start” the activity but it just reflects the hearth rate in Zwift.
  2. that would be already amazing, but if I dont keep remembering clicking the “light” botton every 15 minutes, than the Fenix goes back to the home screen and doesnt send signal to zwift anymore

is there anything I did wrong? many thanks for helping out!

I use the Fenix 3HR that only broadcast in ANT+

ok, thank you, I just bought an ANT+ as before I was connecting via samsung smartphone.
Do you activate something on the Garmin in order to connect it on the laptop via ant?
thanks mate

My Garmin watch is an older ForeRunner that only supports the ANT+ HR so I don’t have any hands on experience with the Virtual Run but my understanding is that you’re supposed to be able to open the app on your watch, pair the watch in Zwift, then click the start button on the watch to start your watch’s activity timer which will keep the Virtual Run active. If you’re following these steps and the watch is still going to sleep and stopping the broadcast it might be something to ask Garmin about.

For the ANT+ HR broadcast mode, it’s something that you’ll want to turn on and off for every activity as it really puts a dent in your battery life compared to the passive HR checks the watch does all day. You can do this from the heart rate widget by holding MENU, then selecting Heart Rate Options > Broadcast Heart Rate. While the ANT+ broadcast is on, you should be able to pair it just like you would any other HR monitor.

The biggest difference between the two modes is obviously the BLE vs ANT+, but the other significant difference is that Virtual Run lets you use the watch’s motion detectors as pace and cadence sensors for running.

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Hey Francesco - I was about to go all out and type a big bunch of words to build on the note above from Lucas, but found this Garmin video on the Virtual Run functionality (initial setup, how to pair and then use with Zwift). Way better than I could explain!

Hope that helps if you havent already sorted with the advice provided above.

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Thank you all for your hints.
Unfortunately also the instructional video explains how to match the garmin with zwift for a virtual RUN.
if I do the same with the zwift RIDE activity, the Garmin icons never turn green and I cannot push the “PLAY” button on the garmin.
Leading to the “sleeping” problem I mentioned above.