After numerous test rides, Zwift has just opened up pack dynamics 3.0 to the public. This update to the pack dynamics is supposed to make the group roll smoother, and have less of the riding through other riders. This also helps with “sticky draft” but does not completely eliminate it. However, Zwift has only released the new pack dynamics in London, and the other worlds will eventually get it once Zwift verifies that this is bug free. To ensure that you are using the latest pack dynamics, make sure you are on the latest version of the app. As of 10/28/21, that is update 1.18.1. Update: Pack dynamics are activated in all worlds currently. For those interested in learning about how this affects your speed, draft efficiency, and TTT’s, head over to this article that Zwift Insider put together: https://zwiftinsider.com/speed-tests-ttt-pd3/.
The old pack dynamics
Here is a video of the “old” pack dynamics that are still being used in every world except London. See if you can notice the changes!
Today I hopped onto a group ride in London to see what the pack dynamics were like. This was my first time with the new pack dynamics because I missed the test rides due to school. Zwift is aiming to make the draft more realistic like “a school of fish.” So far the pack dynamics are much smoother than previously and there is much less sticky draft. I found that it was much easier to move through the group, and it was easier for me to have a position in the middle of the pack, rather than always being dangling at the back. The pack dynamics have improved a ton since a few months ago. The updates are also supposed to make rider positions more accurate, so that everyone sees each other in the same position. I look forward to trying the pack dynamics more! Here is a video recording of the ride. So far I have done 2 group rides with the new pack dynamics and they have both been great. I did try a race with the new pack dynamics and this may not be related to the pack dynamics, but it was very hard to get a position in the lead group. This could have very well been because I am a average cat B and it was a mass start race with 500+ riders. My group ride experience has been great. There have been a few issues regarding using steering with the new pack dynamics enabled. This is an issue that Zwift is looking into.
How you can test it
The best way to test the new pack dynamics is to join a group ride in any of the worlds and see how it feels. You will still see a difference when just free riding, but it will not be as noticeable when there aren’t as many riders to draft behind. The new pack dynamics are currently only in Makuri Islands, London, and Watopia, but expect them to be rolled out to the other worlds once Zwift makes sure there are no issues.
To stay updated on the new pack dynamics, head to this forums post where you can catch up on all the latest comments about the pack dynamics: https://forums.zwift.com/t/pack-dynamics-3-0-update-october-2021/560239. Notice any bugs? Leave a comment on the forums post to let Zwift know! Thanks for reading and enjoy the new pack dynamics!