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Bike Trainer Meets Playstation: Zwift Play Controllers Turn Training into Gaming

Zwift Play controllers mounted
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If you’re a rider that trains and races primarily inside, you want to stop what you’re doing — things are about to get interesting. Zwift’s newest offering to the indoor world, Zwift Play, has just dropped, and along with it, ease of use for all indoor riders. Zwift Play is the first game controller designed specifically for bike riding. The new controller lets users master their gaming and riding experience without leaving the bike.

Zwift Play controllers packaging

Game Controllers — What does that mean? 

Zwift Play takes the controls and actions riders use on the Companion App (Ride-on, FTP Adjustments, Skip Intervals – etc.), and puts them in your hands… or on your shifters to be more accurate. Now riders can control, steer, and brake from the controllers, giving laptops and tablets much-needed sweat breaks. 

Zwift Play controllers top view

How Does Zwift Play Work? 

The Zwift Play controllers are compatible with all shifter bodies and types. The controller body attaches similarly to a bike light with rubberized silicon straps. The controllers arrive with shims to make the installation and fitment sturdy and easy to access with just the thumb. Once they are mounted, the controllers will give Zwifters complete control — once you go through the video tutorial, that is. 

Zwift Play both controlers

The pads work very much like game controllers you’d find on an older Playstation, Nintendo, etc. On the left-hand side, there is a directional pad. This movement pad allows for navigation of game menus and enables Zwifters to select turns or perform U-Turns while exploring Zwift’s virtual worlds.

Zwift Play controllers mounted

On the right-hand controller, the buttons are laid out similarly but are not connected in the center. This separate yet together diamond shape design is easily navigable without looking down, so you don’t miss out on the action ( or push the wrong button). The right-hand controller buttons allow riders to make selections in menus when stationary. When riding, the buttons act as shortcuts to give Ride Ons, unleash PowerUps, skip workout blocks, teleport to Pacer Groups, and more.

Zwift Play controllers riding

How Do the Controllers Steer? 

The right and left controllers feature paddles that deliver steering and braking functionality. Zwift underwent extraordinary testing to determine how to incorporate starring and braking. They arrived at a simple movement; Rock the paddle inwards to brake and pull out to steer — simple, right?

Zwift Play controllers side

Will Steering and Braking Help Me Win Races? 

Yes — but it will take a while for those updates to take shape and make it to Zwift racing. From the launch, Zwifters can steer in events and while in freeride mode — allowing riders to test their skills and cut time off at every apex. 

New Zwift Track — Announcing Repack Rush

Zwift Play controllers will launch alongside a new Beta Zwift Play Game Experience. The first of these new experiences is the renewed Repack Rush (formerly Repack Ridge). Repack Rush showcases some of the new functionality of the new game controllers. The course tests Zwifters on a twisting segment where they need to dodge braking pads, snag boost pads and collect time bonuses to set a time. Like Mario Cart, but you get to call it training!

Zwift Play controllers navigation

If you’re an indoor rider using Zwift for most rides, expect to see new game experiences launched over the coming months. So be on the lookout for experience changes and some home screen updates. 

Availability and Pricing 

During this beta testing phase, Zwift Play Controllers will be available for a limited time at a discounted price of $99//£99//€99. The planned MSRP will be $149//£149//€149.

Zwift Play is available for purchase in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union zwift.com/play

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K T
K T
11 months ago

What a time to be alive.

Fake Namerton
Fake Namerton
11 months ago

Steering on two wheeled machines is achieved via countersteering induced lean. How on earth are they going to replicate that on a controller?

Chader
Chader
11 months ago
Reply to  Fake Namerton

The same way gaming consoles & gamepads have done for decades, buttons. This isn’t about “simulation” of bike riding. It’s about adding a new element of control for a range of uses in the game that is Zwift.

Fake Namerton
Fake Namerton
11 months ago
Reply to  Chader

Kind of dumb. No one does racing games or flight simulators with PlayStation style controller. Seems either too easy or annoying to use.

Frites and mayo forever
Frites and mayo forever
11 months ago
Reply to  Fake Namerton

Don’t worry yourself about it. No-one gives one anyway, it’s just a toy.

Kevin
Kevin
11 months ago

Stole my IP. Emailed them about my idea 4 years ago with no response. Should have patented it prior, lesson learned.

Greg
Greg
11 months ago

Lol

Frites and mayo forever
Frites and mayo forever
11 months ago

Perfect for our burned-out future world where the outdoors is a no-go wildfire zone, destroyed after years of consuming pointless tat

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