Additional thread containing mental tricks and tips can be found here.
First of all I might as well get this out the way; there is no way that this thread will make you suddenly better at playing osu! It may help you improve over time but do NOT expect everything to become easier for you right away. This thread is filled with advice based on OTHER PEOPLE'S experiences, it is not the osu! holy bible. Some of the advice may not work for you; use what you feel comfortable with not what other people tell you is correct. Do be aware that you will not feel comfortable with the majority of suggestions to begin with. The greatest advice which I can offer is practice. You will improve even if you don't notice it- just keep going and eventually you will be wondering what you were struggling with.
Short summary of what each section is (find out what you need to know more about here).
Threads - A list of already existing useful topics. Check to see if your topic is here before you start a thread!
Jumps - Large gaps between circles relative to the amount of time between two beats (hard to reach notes).
Streams - Fast beats stacked relatively closed together that (for most people) require two fingers to be used.
Accuracy - The amount of 300s vs the amount of 100s/50s/misses you obtain.
Fast singles - Spaced notes that could be considered the borderline speed between a jump and a stream with the spacing of a small jump.
Squares - Jump patterns in the shape of a square (the difficulty with these becomes apparent when you experience them).
Triples - A "stream", or set of streams that are only 3 notes long.
Keyboard thread 2
Keyboard thread 3
Keyboard thread 4
Keyboard thread 5
Approach rate and streams
High beats per minute/approach rate
Approach rate 10
Upping your limits
Losing stream skill
Alternating vs Single tapping 1
Alternating vs Single tapping 2
Alternating vs Single tapping official news post
Easy mod and low approach rate official news post
Tablet: Hovering vs Dragging
From the osu! wiki:
osu! wiki wrote:
A jump is an advanced mapping technique where the mapper places two hit objects farther apart than the standard distance snap multiplier would allow. This is usually done by either temporarily changing the distance snap multiplier or temporarily turning off distance snap.
So basically they are a set of two notes set further apart than you would normally expect. The problem with jumps is that some times they can be hard to read; too fast to hit, or too far to reach. Advice for tablet and mouse users universally is to decrease your sensitivity/increase your area size and turn off mouse acceleration. Although lowering your sensitivity may sound like it's a terrible thing for long distance jumps you will be surprised how much it can actually help as there is a larger amount of space that will be registered as a successful hit. Let me illustrate:
Choose your preferred settings and stick with them to allow your muscle memory to develop. Most of your jump ability is based on how good your muscle memory is so I would recommend that you don't switch sensitivity every other day.
I thought I'd offer advice on mouse since it's my specialty. Don't shy away from high dpi, in the end it helps your mouse movement a lot more allowing you to do some of the more insane jumpy songs/ar11. I use high dpi and also manage to do tiny hardrock maps as well with little problem other than a bit of adjusting for snapping. I know low is good and all, but you gain much more of an advantage in the long run if it's higher. Below 2000 is generally a good rule to go by.
Some mouse essentials:
- http://donewmouseaccel.blogspot.co.nz/2 ... n-fix.html
- Windows acceleration set to 6/11
- Enhance pointer precision disabled
- osu x 1.0
ALSO Practicing hardrock to get better if you are a newer player is generally a bad idea due to it messing up your sight read.. you will gain permanent osu ADHD and only be able to play fast songs.. If you rush to get good generally your sight read and acc will get worse.. I am a living testament
- Taking breaks can sometimes improve your sight read and accuracy for some strange reason.
- The more you retry a song, the worse you will get at it DX
Others things to consider are how you hold the mouse/pen. If you chose to use a larger area with your tablet you may find that it's almost impossible to hit the far corners of the tablet; if this is the case then I would highly suggest changing to a grip which gives you more maneuverability (a typical grip used for writing is generally bad for large/full area players, you can find some images of other players grips here). As a tablet player I can't offer much first hand advice on mouse grips however from what I've read a claw grip apparently helps many players who use mouse/kb. People using mouse to click will find it very hard to click when holding the mouse like this.
When doing jumps you should try to relax your arm, tensing it will prevent you from keeping a consistent flow which (at least in my case) will make you far more shaky/rigid and much less consistent.
Tablet players should also consider checking out this thread http://osu.ppy.sh/forum/t/115233
List of jump beatmaps with additional information.
Yousei Teikoku - Wahrheit[Saten]
Team Nekokan - Can't Defeat Airman [Holy Shit! It's Airman!!]
StylipS - MIRACLE RUSH (TV Size) [Saten's Insane]
Tsukasa ft. 3L - Space Accelerator [Lunatic]
Evil Activities - Make a Wish [Insane]
Shihori - Day Breaker [Lunatic]
Yousei Teikoku - Senketsu no Chikai [Insanity]
Kozato - 45nen no Yukizakura [Another]
Meiko Nakamura - Dispel [Insane]
Noisestorm - Pulse [Another]
bibuko - Reizouko Mitara Pudding ga Nai [Jumpudding!]
Wotamin - Gigantic O.T.N [S.S]
Katakiri Rekka - Answer [Rejection]
Saiya - Remote Control [Insane]
Shin Hae Chul - Sticks and Stones [Madness]
This is the area which I can be of the most assistance in, quote from the wiki:
osu! wiki wrote:
A stream is a succession of hit circles at a quick, consistent pace from each other. When somebody refers to a "stream", they are usually referring to a stream of hit circles a fourth of a beat from each other. If a player wants to refer to a stream of hit objects half a beat apart from each other, they typically call it a "1/2 stream".
A stream is just a load of notes mashed together in rapid succession, simple! Streams are similar to stacks, the difference being that a stream moves around the map whilst a stack stays still. The difficulty of streams usually comes down to the fact that they require a lot of speed and stamina to perform, some maps however contain streams which are incredibly spaced, the notes are very far from each other making accurately hitting them extremely hard.
First of all let's get started on your preferred peripherals for streams. You can use keyboard, mouse, tablet or a combination of mouse/tablet + keyboard. Of these peripherals I would recommend keyboard or tablet/mouse+keyboard due to the increased amount of stamina and speed available when using them especially when using keyboard in addition to another device. Despite the positives, using combined input devices makes keeping a high accuracy harder as well as making it harder to keep your cursor on a stream and due to this reason. I prefer to used keyboard only because it's a great all round choice.
Using keyboard + another device is done by using your x key and your preferred input device, alternating between the two. For tablet users you will essentially be vibrating your pen at high speeds while tapping your x key to keep a rhythm going. Mouse+keyboard is similar, the only difference being it is harder to obtain the speed/stamina of tapping with a tablet while it is far easier to maintain a slower, constant speed as you have more control over your speed.
The rest of this section will be for keyboards only. Many people may think that all keyboards are the same however you will find that there are two distinctive types used by osu! players, mechanical and dome. The majority of players who use a mechanical (not all however) will tell you that it is far superior to a membrane keyboard for clicking fast; here is some information about the two types:
A mechanical keyboard has switches beneath the individual keys that recreate the experience of typing on a typewriter. Although there are different types of switches used in mechanical keyboards, they all have the same result: more accurate typing.
Dome-switch keyboards are a hybrid of flat-panel membrane and mechanical keyboards. They bring two circuit board traces together under a rubber or silicone keypad using either metal "dome" switches or polyester formed domes. The metal dome switches are formed pieces of stainless steel that, when compressed, give the user a crisp, positive tactile feedback. These metal types of dome switches are very common, are usually reliable to over 5 million cycles, and can be plated in either nickel, silver or gold. The rubber dome switches, most commonly referred to as polydomes, are formed polyester domes where the inside bubble is coated in graphite. While polydomes are typically cheaper than metal domes, they lack the crisp snap of the metal domes, and usually have a lower life specification. Polydomes are considered very quiet, but purists tend to find them "mushy" because the collapsing dome does not provide as much positive response as metal domes. For either metal or polydomes, when a key is pressed, it collapses the dome, which connects the two circuit traces and completes the connection to enter the character. The pattern on the PC board is often gold-plated.
Mechanical keyboards also have sub categories. The most commonly found are red, black, and blue keys; each with it's own advantages and disadvantages. Commonly, players will recommend red switch keyboards because they are a lighter version of blacks (lighter presses means you can make more presses with less strain). As I've only truly experienced black switches I can't confidently talk about red/blue switch keybaords however from general feedback it would appear that they are all fine for osu! I would personally recommend black switches after trying both red and black. I found that black switches allowed me to click faster and stamina could be built up faster using them.
Here is a more in depth guide for mechanical keyboards explaining the difference between switch types in more detail.
Down to actually streaming. I like to split streams into two categories, long and fast. A long stream for me is anywhere from 20 to 200 notes while a fast stream is any stream which you would consider hard to click from the start of the stream to the end. It helps to be able to recognize the two streams as it will allow you to approach them in different ways (I certainly do this).
Fast streams are generally the area you should practice to improve your general streaming ability, you can't stream for a long time if you can't stream for a short time. Personally I find that to clear streams of this speed I unconsciously tense my arm whilst lifting my fingers only as far as they need to go. To achieve speed you must practice speeds that are above your comfort level (but not to the point where you miss every single note), I would recommend using the doubletime mod to improve your streams. Another piece of advice that I have given to people (and the swear by it) is to hook your fingers when you stream fast. An easy way to get your hands into the "hook" position is to imagine that you're hanging from a ledge using those 2 fingers, the fingers will be tense and curved. Please note that it is critical that you maintain as much of the tension in your fingers as possible until you eventually learn where the comfortable area that yields the best results for you. When hook my fingers my hand looks like this:
When my hand is in the position that I stream in I move my pinky and ring finger back however that shouldn't matter as long as you have the claw shape in place, what happens to your other fingers is up to you. My hand looks like this when I stream:
On the opposite side of the spectrum, longer, slower streams require a very different approach for me; rather than tensing heavily you should be relaxing your hand to get comfortable with the speed of the map, if you aren't relaxed you will burn out a lot faster.
Don't forget to practice!
List of short stream beatmaps with additional information.
List of long steam beatmaps with additional information.
07th Expansion - Eiji Kuinbii [Collapse]
DJ Swan - Beautiful Angel [Another]
SHIKI - Pure Ruby [Another]
KIEN - La Grand Bleu [SHD]
Niko - Night of Fire [Insane]
Chata - Yuujou Pop [Ai]
xi - FREEDOM DiVE [Another]
kors k - Wuv U [dksslqj Style]
dj TAKA - AA [Another]
Toshiyuki O'mori - Justice [Divine]
dj TAKA with NAOKI - Kakumei [Another]
SHK - Identity Part 4 [Another]
Ryu* - Rondo Alla Turca (Ryu* Remix) [Challenging]
Makou - Fermion [Maximum]
Memme - Extreme Fantasy [Hard]
Mizuki Nana - Massive Wonders [Beyond]
Kitsune^2 - Rainbow Tylenol [lol201]
SHK - Weep Irish [Another]
Tatsh feat. Kanako Hoshino - Gekkou [Another]
07th Expansion - lixAxil [Another]
Last Note. - Setsuna Trip (Short Ver.) [Chew 'N Sane]
ChomuP - Gate of Steiner [Insane]
07th Expansion - rog-unlimitation [AngelHoney]
07th Expansion - Rougoku [Insane]
IOSYS - Kitto Mou Hatarakanai [Lunatic]
Camille Saint-saens & FIRST AID - D2 [Maximum]
SYNC.ART'S - Garasu no Kairou [Nightmare]
Comp - Kyoai [Insane]
xi - Parousia [Another]
Rche - Todestrieb [Another]
PokeRemixStudio - Primal Dialga Remix [Vs. Primal Dialga]
ZUN & Ryu* - Second Darkside [Lunatic]
Shounen Radio - neu [Platinum]
Memme - Extreme Fantasy [Insane]
Amane - Midsummer Festival [Lunatteke]
If you have really bad accuracy then just try to really look at the approach circles and really try to get acc that is above 97%, increase this minimum accuracy once you get better at it, capping out at 99%. Going for SS is useless for your general accuracy if you use a billion tries for it, so it's not worth the effort. Eventually something will click into place and accuracy will get easier.
First, please use hit-sounds. This is a rhythm game, and like taiko you need to match every beat or else it will sound bad. I strongly recommend everyone play some taiko (with hit-sounds, of course) to improve accuracy.
Second, practice slow streams. Playing too many fast streams will get you into bad habits (like mashing through slider-streams or fast parts you can't read) which is bad for accuracy. The only way to improve is to play these same streams/parts in a slower speed and read them perfectly and get 100% accuracy. You can use the edit-mode and pratice reading these streams/parts with slower speed. When you get comfortable you will read them at a faster speed. That is the real way to improve accuracy.
Demetori - Solar Sect of Mystic Wisdom ~ Nuclear Fusion [Atomic]
Demetori - Emotional Skyscraper ~ World's End [Extra Stage]
Demetori - Wind God Girl[Extra]
AU - Infinite of Nuclear Fusion [Regou's Extra]
Bring Me The Horizon - Anthem[Lucifer]
Amuro vs Killer - Mei[Another]
Blackhole - Lagomorphic[Lagamorph]
Memme - Plasma Gun[eXtra]
Comp - Gensou no Satellite[Extra]
ONE OK ROCK - Re:make[Remake]
Ikareru Kin no Shishi - G59[Another]
Singles are the counterpart of streams which can either be jumps or spaced normally. It is advised to only use your fingers for slow singles (singles that are about half as fast as your comfortable streaming speed) and to tense up your hand and use your whole arm for faster singles. That way one can easily exceed ones BPM limits in terms of streams.
The most efficient method of playing singles with your arm that I found is to
It can be very tiring and hurtful for your arm in the beginning if you are not used to it. But don't worry, it will stop after a few days.
Here is an example video:
List of single tap beatmaps with additional information.
LEAF XCEED Music Division - YuYu Metal[Doko]
Wotamin - Rubik's Cube[Puzzle]
Hatsune Miku - Kusaregedou to Chocolate[Insane]
Hatsune Miku - No,39[0108 style]
Hatsune Miku - With a Dance Number[0108 style]
Hazel - I Love Poland (Extended Dirty Mix)[Almost 0108]
HujuniseikouyuuP - Talent Shredder[0108 style]
HujuniseikouyuuP - Talent Shredder[Lesjuh style]
Lily - Scarlet Rose[0108 Style]
Megpoid GUMI - Carnival[Carnival0108]
Megpoid GUMI - Cosmos[Cosmos]
paraoka - boot[Shoe]
Yousei Teikoku - Asgard[Valhalla]
Chata - Remind[Overdrive!!]
utsuP - Adult's Toy[Desecration]
Squares are some of the hardest patterns you can find in osu!. Nearly every player has problems with properly doing them.
They can appear in any kind of spacing and rotation.
Some mappers even go a step further and map multiple squares in a row in the form of tornado jumps.
There are several methods that helped me succeed certain square patterns. The most important thing that all of those methods have in common is:
Don't look at the pattern as a whole. Ever.
However this can be quite hard. What really helps is trying to see the square as 2 lines instead of a square or alternatively 1 HitCircle, 1 line and another HitCircle. Another method is to sacrifice accuracy and hit the first 2 HitCircles of the square too early on purpose, this is not recommended unless you absolutely need to fc the pattern.
Here is some additional advice from kriers.
A technique I find to be extremely useful is analyze pieces of a beatmap I don't quite understand and split them up to make sense of them.
Usually when something is hard due to reading issues, it's because we're leaving too much of the reading to our subconsciousness. Consequently, if one is inexperienced, they might process the information wrongly, looking on the wrong circles at the wrong times, causing them to blank out and skip notes etc without understanding why. If you take some time to play any beatmap on Easy Mode, you will be encountering this issue constantly and you'll also see that the only way to solve your problem is to change the way you read maps depending on their approach rates. Try to be aware of- and analyze how you read and where you're looking as you play. Comprehending why you can do something makes your success rate higher.
Back on topic: In this case with these kinds of jumpy AR9 maps (that honestly could well be AR10), the trick is to make maximum use of hitsounds. Count the hits and keep track of your playing. Basically, you see a triangle, and you know this will make 3 x 1/2 hits which you will project how they will sound making you able to predict when the pattern is over and when you can start focusing on the next pattern. You can do this with pretty much any pattern or set of notes, but I recommend splitting patterns into 1, 2 or 3 notes at most. The rest is repetition and practice. You can learn to fully comprehend how to solve clusters by focusing on each set of notes at a time and eventually this processing becomes much easier. It's also the key to solving low approach rate issues for HR players. If you play a lot of AR10, looking at the next note is very comfortable since there's really nothing else to be looking at unlike with lower AR. Arguably by modern standards of "reading", AR10 is one of the easiest approach rates when mastered.
A little guideline on patterns I find helpful:
2 notes = 1 line. 1 line is 2 x 1/2 = 1/1. Kind of just think "one-two, one-two, one-two" for each line.
Example of ways to solve triangles:
Every triangle consists of 1 line and 1 note. I find this order of reading the easiest when preparing for several triangular patterns or other patterns following up. Count them as "one-two, one" and it's piss easy, seriously.
Squares: line + line ( second line is always going in the opposite direction. Pay NO attention to the transition between the 2nd and 3rd note in any triangle. The trick is to hit the first note of each line.
Stars are more like "one-two, one-two, one" due to the difficulty in counting three notes when they cut so rapidly + it's hard to differentiate patterns if they cover too much of the play field.
5-notes and pentagons: I have tried and failed so many times trying to solve how to deal with certain pentagons. The most efficient way seems to count the first 3 notes and then consider the last 2 to be a line, as in "one-two-three, one-two"
Example of 5-note pattern:
Triples are simply a set of three notes typically 1/4 beat apart. They can either be places as a stack or a very short three note stream.
There are a few ways to hit triples, each one again with advantages and disadvantages. The first way which is far more appropriate for a user who alternates each beat is the zxz xzx pattern, switching the key used to start each triple allowing for increased speed. Doing triples this way will benefit you in the long run albeit a little harder to learn than the zxz zxz technique. Using zxz xzx allows you to continue ploughing through triples for longer than you could hold a stream at that speed due the break each finger receives between each set of triples.
The other patten used is the zxz zxz pattern. Players who use this pattern may have an easier time in the short run however multiple consecutive triples may be hard to perform due to the fact that it is the equivalent of streaming constantly for your lead finger while the other receives rests between each set. Although this may sound worse in every feasible way, most people generally find it easier to keep a rhythm using this method as performing the pattern requires the same keyboard clicks as a stream would.
In generals triples should run far more naturally on your fingers than a stream would once you learn to read them. The patterns mentioned should also work for tap/mouse + keyboard or mouse only players.
Or maybe you could just... practice.
I found this map recently which is amazing for practicing triples however it's incredibly difficult (the level 1 difficulty).
~Thanks tom69 for squares and singles.
~Thanks RaneFire for the beatmap lists.
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