Family, couple or shared account… call it what you want, but the fact is it’s one of the most requested features on Zwift. So does Zwift have it?
Zwift does not currently offer a family or shared plan that allows multiple users to use one account. Each user must have their own account and pay a subscription for it. However, kids under the age of 16 can have a free account.
Netflix has it, and so does Spotify. Practically all apps with a subscription offer a family plan. Even some virtual cycling apps offer it. Will Zwift bow down eventually?
Can multiple users use one Zwift account?
For years, people have been asking Zwift to introduce a family plan. This is one of the most frequent requests, but users have yet to experience it.
Since Zwift was founded in 2014 and until today, it is still impossible for multiple users to use one account. Zwift does not offer a family account. Each user must have their own account, for which Zwift charges $15 each month.
This makes Zwift quite expensive if there are several cycling enthusiasts in a family. Paying $30 or even $45 for a monthly Zwift subscription is too much for many.
One subscription, one account, one user.
Many users are frustrated by Zwift’s stubbornness mainly because they know that Zwift hears their requests and choose to ignore them.
In fact, Eric Min, one of the founders of Zwift, has said many times that Zwift is considering introducing a family plan, but with every update, there is no sign of it.
Zwift users from the same household are therefore forced to continue paying multiple subscriptions, which people are fighting against in various ways. The most common way is for two users to use the same account. But people at Zwift are not stupid, so they make sure that doing this brings a lot of inconveniences.
Disadvantages of using the same account by two users
People don’t want to pay for (over)priced subscription, so they are constantly looking for ways to bring more users together on one subscription.
Several people can already use one account but only under one profile. This, however, brings some inconveniences, as it means that you’re missing out on some of the benefits of the game.
Achievements are recorded on only one account
Cyclists are always interested in our achievements and the records we set, and Zwift is well aware of this.
For quite some time now, Zwift has been handing out badges that the user receives when he or she has achieved a milestone. You can receive a badge for completing a route, reaching a record high speed or for an exceptional time on the Alpe d’Zwift.
The badge itself is worth nothing, but it has a special value for the rider. If two users share the same account, the badges no longer have the same value because, suddenly, they are no longer solely yours.
Some users may not care about the badges, but many more want to keep them for themselves. So they prefer to pay an extra subscription fee to ensure that the badges they earn are truly a reflection of their efforts.
Ride statistics are no longer relevant
Zwift records the statistics of each ride. We, cyclists, like to see how many kilometers we’ve ridden that week and how many vertical meters we’ve climbed this season.
All this data becomes useless if two riders use the same profile. The mileage of both riders is recorded in the same quota and it is difficult, if not impossible, to keep track of who has ridden how many kilometers and who has ridden more vertical meters.
Personal records are useless
Recording personal bests on individual segments is one of my favorite Zwift features. It encourages me to try harder the next time and try to break my record.
If multiple users use the same profile, personal records become worthless. This is especially true for the less prepared user, who will never be able to set or correct a personal record.
Of course, any user can keep track of their records outside the game, but I find it hard to believe that anyone really does. In this case, you have to say goodbye to personal record statistics or pay an additional subscription.
Uploading rides to training apps
Every Zwift user probably has at least one training app connected to the game. Most often it’s Strava, but it can also be one of the other options Zwift supports.
Having multiple users using one Zwift profile also means that rides are only uploaded to one connected training app.
So the wife’s ride is recorded on the husband’s Strava profile, whose stats are completely wiped out and the season is instantly ruined. A bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point.
Potential Zwift Power profile ban
The easiest way to use one account by multiple users is to keep changing weight and FTP values to reflect the current user.
This is a satisfactory solution for casual users, while the more avid cyclists will not be bothered by constantly changing data.
Changing the weight and FTP value before each ride is not a difficult process, but it is certainly tedious. In an age when we want everything to be personalized, the minute-long process of changing data makes us wonder whether it might not be better to pay for another subscription.
And there is another much worse consequence of constantly changing data.
If you participate in races on Zwift, you probably record your results via the Zwift Power page. This keeps a regular record of your weight and also your FTP value, and changing it constantly can lead to a ban.
Small shifts in weight that may reflect a person’s real weight fluctuations will go undetected. But if a husband’s ride is followed by a 20 kilograms lighter wife, Zwift Power’s alarms will go off. In this case, the site will flag your profile as fraudulent and you will no longer be able to record race results.
Kids can use Zwift for free
At Zwift, they don’t care just about the money (😉). They want to encourage as many kids as possible to become cyclists. That’s why they offer a free account for children aged 5 to 16.
Parents must fill in an application form to be approved for the free profile. This can be found here. Once submitted, the application is reviewed by a Zwift staff member, who then manually enables the kid’s free profile.
The application is valid for one year. A new application must be submitted each year. When the child turns 16, the Zwift account automatically becomes a paid profile with a regular $15 monthly subscription.
Zwift alternative with a family plan
Zwift is by far the biggest and most popular virtual cycling app. But plenty of other apps also want a piece of the pie.
Since they are smaller apps that have to fight for every user, they are much more receptive to their suggestions. Thus, some of them already offer the desired family plan.
Rouvy is Zwift’s most serious competitor. It’s not even close to its rival in terms of the number of users, but more and more cyclists are migrating from Zwift to Rouvy.
You can link up to three users to one Rouvy account.
The main reason cyclists are switching platforms is the graphics.
Many users criticize Zwift for being too graphically poor for the modern age. On the other hand, Rouvy does not offer a virtual world but real road footage, which some users prefer.
The two platforms also differ in price. The monthly subscription to Rouvy with an annual contract is $12, three dollars less than Zwift.
However, the price difference becomes much more apparent when several people cycle virtually in the same household. Rouvy allows up to three users to use one account. Each person can create their own profile and keep track of their achievements, but the price remains $12 per month.
With three cyclists in the family, the monthly price of a Rouvy is just $12, while three Zwift subscriptions are $45. So the difference is quite substantial.