Steering Gamification Community Testing // Repack Rush & Crit City Gamification [Nov 2023]

As you may have seen in This Season on Zwift, we have been working hard on new gamified ways for you to ride on Zwift with steering. We have now reached the point where we would like to open these experiences up to the broader Zwift community as part of testing as we look towards the next steps for gamified experiences with steering.

From Friday, November 10th we will have a number of regular events on Repack Rush and Crit City. Although part of the Zwift Play Beta experience, if you own a Zwift-compatible steering device, we think that you will love trying these events out and the new fun, competitive experiences they bring to Zwift. This phase 1 of testing will run through to December 10, 2023 with events available on a limited schedule however there may be some different events we add to assist with getting the feedback we require - all events can be found at

To keep this discussion timely and on-topic for phase 1, we will auto-lock this thread on December 11.

Repack Rush Event Races

You’ll race against others down a 2.8 km / 1.7 mile route while avoiding hazard pads, aiming for boost pads to get more speed and collect time deduction bonuses. At the end of the event, riders are ranked by their total race time with bonuses and penalties factored in.

Crit City Gamified Races

Gamification adds fun new ways to race in Crit City. With full road-width steering enabled, you can choose between taking the shortest racing line or choosing a line to hit boost pads and avoid hazard pads coming around the corner. The experience here in Crit City is a dynamic one, as some of the boost pads will swap to be hazards, while others will be sliding across the course, so make sure you keep your eyes open for changes and adapt fast!

Although the standard Power Ups won’t be available, we have added a new Boost Power Up, which you can deploy twice per lap with your normal Power Up button, which gets refreshed at the lap arch at the start of each lap.

We are excited to see you try out these events and see all the new ways Zwifters can get competitive, have fun and find new ways to ride where power is no longer the only input.

How do the gamification elements work?
There are a few elements in these experiences you will need to know about:

Boost Pads

These blue boost pads will give you a boost of acceleration, you can even link the boost pads together to increase your acceleration further! Each individual pad gives a speed increase of 10kph.

Hazard Pads

These red hazard pads will slow you down so make sure that you steer away from these to avoid having your momentum decreased. The effect on you as a rider is that your speed will decrease to 85% of the current speed.

Time Deductions (Repack Rush Only)

Collect these as you ride on Repack Rush, each one is worth 0.2 seconds and the total amount you collect will be removed from the time it takes you to complete the event from when it starts, the moment the event clock countdown hits zero to when you cross the finish line.

Check the results screen to see how you performed against others and look at what tactics worked best; go hard and fast to the finish or take time and collect time deductions.

Boost Power Up

This is a new Power Up for Crit City Gamification which gives you a speed boost of 10kph on each charge. Every time you pass the Lap arch at the start of a lap you will get two new charges as long as you used them both on the previous lap.

What you’ll need:

  • Zwift game version 1.52 or newer.
  • A supported steering device: Zwift Play controllers, Elite Sterzo Smart, Elite Rizer (if paired to a compatible Elite smart trainer), Jetblack Smart Turn Block, or Wahoo KICKR Bike.
  • Zwift Companion app is not required, but deploying Boost power-ups is quicker using its Action Bar.

When are the events?
Events will be available on a limited schedule starting from Friday, November 10, 2023 through to Saturday, December 10, 2023.

All events can be found at

We understand the number of available events is limited, but the experience for these gamified events is much better when you can ride with others. There should be multiple opportunities to suit most during the week for all time zones. We will be monitoring the size of the events, and once we see the need for more events, we will add more to the schedule.

The usage of this event functionality is limited to Zwift-owned events only for the foreseeable future.

Why can’t I join the event?
You can sign up for the events by logging into the Zwift Game, on the web or through Zwift Companion; however, you will not be able to join the events unless you have a steering device paired on the pairing screen.

Will there be more or longer events set up on Crit City?
We are looking to add events with more events and possibly longer events than 3 Laps in the future once we see a higher demand.

On launch, we want to ensure there are enough people in the events to ensure it is fun, and the events have been scheduled at times when we see people riding with steering devices paired currently.

We’d love to hear about your experiences in these events and a bit about how you normally Zwift. Please let us know below!

This seems overly punitive. :stuck_out_tongue:

I assume you mean decrease to 85% of current speed?

You are right, that is a bit harsh! Updated the post.

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Any chance all of the boosts pads could be on the left hand side of the road and hazard pads on the right?

You know, till you fix steering…

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I rode the Repack Rush route last week and I struggled going around curves where my avatar would cut the corner vs. staying on the same line of the road relative to the edge of the road. So if you are riding in the center of the road and come to a righthand curve, the avatar moves to the inside (right) edge of the road through the curve. This made it hard to judge how much to steer to get to the next reward. Especially if it was on the opposite side of the road from the curve direction.

It also felt like it was fighting me or not wanting to turn the opposite direction from a turn/curve. So if the road curves to the right and I want to move left to get to the next reward, it doesn’t seem to respond to my button pushes the same as it does on a straighter section of road.

I’ve only done the route once so maybe there is some learning on my end, but those are the things I noticed immediately.

I am using the buttons integrated into my Garmin/Tacx Neo Bike and their beta firmware that enabled steering.

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No, it isn’t intuitive at all; and what makes it far worse is roads like Repack Rush which is like a cooked spaghetti noodle. It’s hard to predict and understand where your avatar “wants” to go, and you have to fight it.

Steering in Zwift is bad in this instance because we indeed don’t have full control; it still has some base code underneath telling it to steering into some turns… and, as said, it’s quite unpredictable. More-so when we can’t see over a coming hill.

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Any tips on how to sign up for these events ??

When I go to the URL I can see the times for events but when click on one, there is only blank screen. Would love to try this

Hi Stuart, I am not sure why that would be the case. Are you logged in when you try to access the event?

The other option would be to look for the event within the Zwift Companion App to sign up also

I rode the Crit City event this evening. I used the steering on my Kickr Bike V1 and found it did not always respond, especially when wanting to go left. Steering seemed least responsive when going uphill. The moving and changing pads were fun to try to judge the best path to hit or avoid.

Did a race yesterday at 18:30; think there were 13 signed up (oddly, despite only there being an “A” category available on the above weblink, I saw there were other categories to join when I attempted to join the event from the zwift home screen - which evidently someone did do), about 8 or so joined the race.

I think 3 laps is “about right”, though with the wide power range of participants, I did find it was bascially a 8 minute test of “how much power can I put down, whilst still having enough wherewithal to correctly pick a decent line with the controllers”.

I think this sort of “everyone in together” gameplay would work well with a new race ranking/scoring system - I was using zwiftpower beforehand to have a vague idea of where I stacked up against my competitors, and where I could expect to finish - having some in-game idea of that in the pens, along with how well/badly I did in the post race screen would be a nice addition.

All in all, I had a good time (thankfully no steering disconnects to cause problems).

I did the Crit City race today and thought it was really fun! I would have preferred a few extra laps. With such a short course, one mistake can be decisive. Still, good fun. Love the concept.

Did Repack Rush several times with Zwift Play. Additionally to the points already mentioned by Sven_Setterdahl and Andrew_Nuse what I didn`t like is the indirect spongy feeling when steering. I would prefer if the turn stopped immediately once the button is released, rather than making this follow-up turning until the avatar has finished tilting towards the curve.

Could you please shift the event times by an hour from day to day, or something like that? Or just randomise the times?

As it works right now, I either need to race exactly when I put 3 kids to bed (7:30 pm), or after midnight (00:30am). Regardless of which day of the week… I wish I could ride such an event at 8:30pm or 9pm at least once per month.

Rode the crit city race today, it was great!! The only thing missing is banana peels and turtle shells haha
Yes, this is lots of fun. Motivating as well, going all out. 3 laps is enough, maybe 4.

Did repack ridge after, and while i like the idea a lot, i found it very hard to see where i rode and in which ‘lane’ the powerups were. Maybe paint a shadow on the road below the green clocks?


Rode the crit city three lap gamification race. Great idea.

-Schedule every hour.
-Other gaming races that are very popular have more boosts if you are in in the back of the pack and less if boosts if you are in first; could add new strategies and fun factor.
-If the race is more “gamified” A,B,C,D races could be broken out by number of laps (10-A, 8-B,6-C, 4-D). If a rider with 200 watts is getting more boosts in the back of the pack and a 400 watt rider is hitting more hazard pads; More races could come down to a sprint, luck and driving skills.
-Add bot racers with different abilities examples (poor steering, high power), (low power, amazing steering), Average…

  • (optional feature for some races) crashing if you try to ride through a rider you both will crash [slow down].

Participated in the gamification race at 17:30 this evening. Liked the format and having something extra to consider while racing. The mass start across classes was unexpected, maybe that could have been clearer (don’t get me wrong, I didn’t mind it - it was just a little unexpected at the end when the results were presented).

I didn’t notice it occurring; does the game engine only allow 1 rider at a time to use the boost pad (meaning that one needs to beat the next rider to it in order to use it). If not, that could be an interesting tweak to encourage surging to get to it first.

My initial thought is that I think this ought to remain isolated to crit races rather than expanded to road races. To me, crits feel like the right race type for this.

Appreciate the experiment! I’ll hopefully be able to try it again before the beta is over.

Did a Crit City steering race this weekend and a Repack Ridge race the week before. I like the format, and the races are the right length. As there are currently not enough participants it doesn’t feel like a real race yet, but it is great for a warm-up. The only issue I have is that my Sterzo doesn’t stay connected during the whole race. In Crit City it dropped connection halfway. It made me scream “nooooo!” at the red pads I couldn’t avoid anymore. Totally immersive :wink:
Last weeks the connection drops have been happening far more often than before, in all my rides. Hopefully there is a solution, but I’m not sure if its a Sterzo issue of something in Zwift


I was doing workout on Titans Grove today. At one point an instersetion menu appeared - I was able to select Repack Rush route. So I decided to select it to find out how it interacts with workout.

I was expecting it to be normal route in workout mode, but that was not what happened. First, tutorial screen appeared (that I was able to close quickly thanks to Zwift Play, not sure if I would be able to finish my intervals if not that). Then I was riding Repack Rush with all the gamification features on - time deductions and breake/accelerate pads as well. At the end I got results screen (also quickly closed with Zwift Play).

Not sure if that is a good behavior. I expect it either to:

  • not be able to ride Repack Rush when doing a workout
  • be albe to ride it, but with all gamifications features turned off


I’m using the steering on the wahoo kickr bike. Only tried repack ridge so far. Want to do the crit.but what is the E cat event?? Women? As no description offered just 0.5-5w/kg.

  1. Steering - the software does fight you, as others have said. It wants to throw you to the inside line hard, when entering a corner, Even when you steer hard the opp way, it doesn’t react much and is sticky.
    I do love the game ekement as does my kid who now wants to get on the bike to ride and play - which is great.
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