Zwift Play disconnecting after several minutes

Hello all:

I received the Zwift Play a month ago and they were working correctly, but in the last two races, after several minutes, a message appears and “steering disabled”. The icon in the top part disapeared but in right part, the steering icon was still over my rider name.

Maybe the reason is that i am not using them because with so many riders in races, i prefer the normal draft. Is there an option in enery saving to let them working without touching for a longer period?

Thank you in advance.

I have the same since the last firmware update. They were working perfectly fine, but after the update I got the same issues you have.

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I just updated them to formware 1.2.0. I will report after race at 19:20 CET.

Still same issue. Even using it, steering decides to self shut down and even if you start it again, you lose controls and braking. I am going to contact zwfift support.

Until Zwift fully figures these issues out, here’s some of the things that I’ve done & have been suggested by other users to help.

Turn on the play controllers and then plug them into their power charging cord. Connect your devices as normal & this stopped the right controller from dropping. This was true for FW v1.19 and v.1.2 as well as Zwift v1.46 & v1.47.

You can use the companion app as the bridge to connect just the controllers. This seems to mitigate the dropping issues too.

Lastly, I am using a BT dongle on my PC. I got a USB extension cord that moved the dongle from 52" to 22" away from the controllers. That seems to have stopped the right controller from dropping as well.

Hope these suggestions might help you.

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Thank you Charles, i’ll try.

I tried that, but it will only pair both the Zwift Play and my HRM using the same method. If I connect one device to the PC, as soon as I revert to the companion app bridge, it disconnects that device (and vice versa). Unfortunately, my HRM through the phone gives a lousy connection vs direct to PC. So I have to choose more reliable HRM or Steering🤦🏻!!

Have you been able to make separate BT connections to the PC/ companion app? If so, how?

Sorry, I’ve only been able to either connect all devices via BT or all via companion app not both at the same time. So if using the companion app to connect devices like play controllers, you would also connect your trainer/bike via the companion app as well. If you switch to connect via BT, then all devices try connect via BT. I’ve not been able to split them using the Zwift devices menu.

That’s one reason I don’t like trying to connect via the companion app as everything must connect that way. I used the power cord plugin workaround for the play controllers for this reason.

If someone else has a method to split the way the devices menu connects, please feel free to reply.

Have you or @Od_Avinu resolved the issue?

I, too, had no problems with my Zwift Play controllers until last week when it prompted me to update my firmware to 1.2.1. (Which may or may not have been a coincidence.) Ever since then periodically controllers would stop working (typically only one at a time) and a “STEERING DEVICE DISABLED” message would appear. The controller would usually reconnect in a moment or two, but sometimes it can remain disconnected for minutes.

I use a MacBook for Zwift and I use the native Bluetooth connection on the laptop. The laptop is no more than 2 or 3 feet away from the controllers. (Plus recall I had no issues with the exact same setup for 2 months and 140 hours of Zwift.) I have kept the Bluetooth connections console open while I Zwift—even when Zwift says the controllers have been disabled, the Bluetooth connection console continues to show connection with the controllers.

I have also uploaded the log files to Zwiftanalyzer. Zwiftanalyzer says there were zero Bluetooth signal drops, corroborating with my observations.

I have been in touch with Zwift Support. It has asked me to follow the steps in Zwift Play Connection Issues and Resetting Your Game Preferences. Neither has worked.

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As of this morning, still having the same disconnection experience periodically during a ride. I see the steering device disconnection message in the HUD, controllers are unresponsive, then they buzz, message disappears and controllers start working again. I’m generally doing group and pacer rides, so not a huge problem, but can be irritating eg if I need to steer suddenly to stay in a draft and they happen to be disconnected at that exact moment.
Have tried all of the above several times, and resetting the controllers as suggested by Zwift support/ others. All firmware up to date as well.

Hi Tim,
My BT is connecting the controllers via a USB dongle on PC. Since I added an USB extension cord (about Zwift V47) and it is now less than 24" away from the play controllers, I haven’t had any continuous disconnect issues. The firmware on the controllers is the latest as well.

I still notice an occasional play controller disconnect while zwifting but it reconnects immediately and continues to work properly during the ride. So for me, the disconnect issue has improved to be fairly stable.

Sounds like you’ve tried most everything to resolve it & working with Zwift too. I suggest connecting the power cables to the controllers during your zwift session to see if that mitigates the problem, as it has for many others, at least until Zwift figures out the nuances of the disconnect problem. Not the best solution for a wireless device but may lower the frustration level until it’s fully resolved.

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Hi Tim,

I do have exact the same issue. But my controllers do not reconnect at all. I use an Samsung Android tablet and tried out the solution with connecting the charging USB cable - which only lead to disconnect after araound 2 1/2 minutes instead of 2 minutes. Thats really annoying. You said you talked to Zwift support - could you share an Email address?


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Short update - finally found the way to send an Email to Zwift support and reported the issue. Let’s see if they find a solution.

Regards Frank

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You beat me to it. I just went to the “Contact Us” page and talked to the chat bot until it let me write an email.

I am just now starting to experience this same issue. Any word from Zwift?

I went through multiple rounds of try-this. Eventually they send me a replacement and took back the malfunctioning one. I have not updated the firmware on the replacement controllers and they seem to be okay so far.

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I have had multiple disconnects - to the point of 3 minutes into a ride, already at least 10 disconnect messages.

They were properly charged. Today I did something different - connected the charging cable to them and had them connected to the USB port on the Kickr Bike - not a single disconnect at all, 25km done and fine.

The only reason to use Zwift Play is the unfair advantage for overtaking in group rides, you can steer around a big pack and zoom past them without much effort while everyone else has the “riding through mud” feeling and sticky draft unless they use big power.

Why is that unfair in a group ride, which by definition is not a race?

Zwift Play does more than steering too, and personally I enjoy being able to pick my line when free riding. But of course they won’t be for everyone.