Steering Rollout - What's the plan from ZHQ?

I have posted similar previously but trying again…
It feels to me like steering rollout is increasingly poor as the disconnect continues between the hardware teams (yay buy this new thing!) and game/event teams (just let organisers turn it off if they want).

Without a clear direction from HQ it’s putting organisers in a difficult position where we are stuck between 2 groups of riders, those pissed off because steering is on and it gives an unfair advantage to those with it, and a group pissed off to have spent 100 bucks on a device that the organisers then block you from using. I’ve had to referee several heated debates on this already.

Further, with the rider pool for community events already impacted by the increased frequency of ZHQ events and ZRL being heavily promoted by HQ, it fragments that pool of riders further if we end up with a split between those wanting steering races and those wanting no steering races

Can HQ give a clear direction for their plans for steering in events, either that it’s the future direction for Zwift and therefore on for all, or that it’s not, in which case I think you need to say so, so any frustration from those who have spent money on controllers is directed at Zwift and not at the organisers stuck in the middle.


fully agree, it seems to be a case of here’s some new hardware to make the game more immersive/interactive but we aren’t going to do anything else with it once you have spent the money

1 Like

Totally agree. right now its an unfairadvantage. Not just the cost barrier the play controllers don’t ship to a lot of countries.

I’d be interested to hear what is being looked at to balance up the game dynamcis for those without and also future options to either get hold of controllers or simple allow other steering opetions. e.g keyboard entries. I already know of a couple big series that have it now disabled and this will continue to point tha steering could become mainly zhq events that still have it enbaled which would be a shame.

I’ve also seen comments to suggest that ZRL are looking at steering and non-steering leagues which sounds like a bad idea in terms of allowing teams to continue to ride together.

yeah that wouldn’t be the best idea having separate leagues, as how do you know if you will get enough to fill it? I think Zwift have gotten ahead of themselves with this and might not have prepared a proper road map for the future, with them now being available for over 7 weeks you would have thought that the user base would have sufficient numbers to put on steering only events

Feels a bit like a cop out, and from an organisational perspective is a logistical headache, but also something that probably only WTRL have the luxury of doing due to the numbers they have participating.

If ZHQ want adoption, they have to mandate it in events like ZRL.

They do provide a huge advantage but it wasnt long ago ZHQ were saying in the PD4 thread that steering would not & is not an advantage for racing. If that is the feedback from ZHQ then why would they need to disable the feature - Very much, left hand right hand out of sync.

Though, CE in its current format (Are zMap upgrades working?) will cause more noise than steering as there is simply no transparency.

Still Beta. I’d hope for wider roll-out and mandatory use once that’s complete.

Still no clear statement of direction on the use of both Sterzo (for steering) and Zwift Play for braking and buttons either.

Steering was enabled last year if I remember correctly in ZRL & other race series? Seems an odd position to launch a steering device then disable steering when it was previously turned on.

Its an interesting can of worms if ZHQ is gong to disable because it gives an unfair advantage.

Are they doing separate leagues for Elite trainers, or some Kickrs (other trainer brands available)?
Will there be a separate league for those who are under the watts floor as that is seen as an unfair advantage (especially in ZRL).


I’m pretty sure it was disabled in ZRL all along.

Perhaps it was and I mis-remembering… Or it was meant to be off by default and ended up on for some races as im sure it was on for one of the Makuri races up & down the temple climb. The anvil plus steering was unstoppable…

There wasnt this outcry when ATV users raised bike swaps being an issue and unfair advantage to other devices… There was a shrug of the shoulders from WTRL & ZHQ.

just let people draft steering users and all of the problems disappear, it’s clearly not intended to work like that. i can’t go up the road with a steering user because it’s not possible to work together with them in a breakaway since we just end up half wheeling eachother, which isn’t fun for the steering users either


To be fair - steering != zwift play, it exists as sterzo and wahoo bikes and even some diy stuff.

I also disagree that its a blanket advantage having it vs not having it - race a TTT with it and you have to spend a lot of focus staying in the right position to give your team draft or stay in the draft.
Not to mention in normal races it changes your line at every corner and you have to constantly adjust too.

I think there is too much of a “its an unfair advantage” from people who haven’t experienced it first hand. There are advantages and disadvantages. (Not to mention things like the wahoo bike steering bug where you have to unpair and use ANT+ if you don’t want to be cast out to the side of blobs when it is disabled in a race)

My feeling is that steering is here to stay - other platforms are also implementing or have implementations. If Zwift could open steering up a bit more - buttons in the companion app for example - whilst not brilliantly accessible - it would still allow some to try it for themselves without being impacted by cost / shipping.

The idea of hardware enforced leagues seems drastic and pretty bad.
For example Zwift allow you to specify HRM as a requirement for a race, but if your HRM dies mid race it gives you something like 5s to pair a new one or you get kicked. I think similar strict “throwing you out of races” if you accidentally paired a steering controller because its on your handlebars and you pressed it would be disastrous.


Wouldn’t it make sense for Zwift to license out the API/protocols (whatever it is) to open up possible 3rd party manufacture, support, shipping (yes, and to Canada too), to any of the likely many companies that make game controllers (just one random example being 8BitDo)?

As it is, anyone surprised that the likes of Garmin/Tacx, Wahoo etc don’t have offer any version of their own simple steering device (like the Sterzo, but perhaps different or refined)?

I’d agree with that having steering in small groups is actually quite mentally taxing you are constantly having to adjust as it does seem to autolock onto the best draft point like non steering users have.

I was definitely upgraded on zMAP.

Wahoo do - they have the steering “tray” :smiley:

Diy solutions have existed for a while too [GitHub - matandoocorpo/Zwift-Steer: Sterzo simulator with an ESP32 and joystick / Simulador de Sterzo con un ESP32 y un joystick]

Worth noting the downside of group rides allowing steering is sweepers can’t do their jobs when someone with steering enabled either gets stuck into a side of the road (which I guess is sort of a semi bug right now), where sweepers without steering can’t reach.

In those cases it feels like as a sweep I can’t do my job, and then when people during the group rides complain about how or why someone wasn’t swept (which… does happen more than it should), it’s a stupid response to end up having to say “sorry, they didn’t steer behind me and there’s nothing I can do about it…”

As for the main subject, I’d like to see Zwift expand more ideas into the gaming aspect of tying together Portal and Repack Rush, into some racing mode.

Personally, I don’t want to see ZRL or other large series allow steering.

I completely accept small series hosting steering specific races… but it shouldn’t be a mainstay in large, global series.

I would rather see ZHQ come up with a good fun reason to ride on Zwift, and make use of it (again, Portal type routes with Repack Rush style pickups, perhaps in a race), rather than shoehorn it into everything without any effort, and let it show.

1 Like

As were others

Although the algorithm ignores steering users when finding the best draft point for non steering users.

Not all though… You sure it is working for everyone?