Zwift avatars will no longer be dependent on athlete's profile gender in latest update

New faces for avatars will be available across this winter, along with updates to the Zwift Companion App and a return of the Tour de Zwift

Three riders on Zwift
(Image credit: Zwift)

Zwift users will soon be able to choose any gender of avatar to be displayed on the screen as they ride, as part of a series of updates to the indoor cycling software this winter, announced on Tuesday.

Riders will no longer be tied to the gender of their profile when riding around in Watopia, with any avatar able to be chosen when using the app. However, users will still only be allowed to enter events that match their gender.

All of the existing avatars will get a "new look" with a refresh in February, although it is unclear at present what the change will be.

"With Avatar Choice, you’ll be able to choose between all of Zwift’s available avatar types," a press release from Zwift read. "Zwifters will no longer only see the avatars that correlate to the gender selected in your profile. Instead, cyclists can choose any avatar. 

"While we’re excited to let Zwifters choose any avatar they’d like, event categories will still match the gender of the rider’s profile for social events and racing, no matter which avatar is selected. Male profiles will only be able to enter male and open events. Female profiles will be able to enter female and open events, even if a woman chooses a male-presenting avatar."

A spokesperson for Zwift said: "Zwift always takes community feedback on board when we're planning and designing new features to add to the game.

"However, the Avatar Selection feature was added to Zwift so that players can have similar avatar options to what other video games offer."

With inclement weather in December, it's a good thing that the best indoor training apps for cycling are being regularly updated with new features to keep you entertained and motivated. 

Other upcoming Zwift updates include the ability for Apple watches to be compatible with the app as heart rate monitors, while riders will be able to find and queue routes and workouts via the Companion app.

The Tour de Zwift will return in January, which will see users able to visit routes which are otherwise inaccessible, and the ability to win a bucket hat for your avatar, before the brand new Zwift Games comes to the platform in February to March.

"This new event will be the largest event of its kind and is designed to give any member of the community a chance to enjoy fun and challenging racing," the press release said.

There will be races for ordinary and elite participants. On the first three weekends of March, the world's best male and female Zwifters will take on the same courses as the community in a bid to be crowned the Zwift Games Elite Sprint, Epic, and Climb champions. The overall best male and female athletes will become the first Zwift Games All Round Champions.

As of last week, it has become easier to level up on Zwift, with the top level increased to 100, and the number of XP needed to progress at each level reduced. 

There is also a new 'ride streaks' feature, through which anyone who rides two or more times in a week will be rewarded with additional XP, which increases for each week in a streak, up to a bonus 500 points for every ride.

The Climb Portal, introduced in July to allow Zwifters to ride virtual 'real' climbs, also now features the ability to scale the difficulty of the route, whether you want it to be at 50%, 75%, 100%, or a monumental 125% of the original climb.

The indoor training app for cycling also recently released the Zwift Hub One, a first-of-its-kind smart trainer that uses a single sprocket instead of a cassette, enabling 8-12 speed bikes to easily partake in any of Zwift’s worlds and routes. 

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