Kiai Time is defined by the mapper on a beatmap between 2 Timing Sections. You can recognize a Kiai time because the screen flashes and you will see a star fountain, afterwards all Hit Objects will flash at the rhythm of the main beat and stars will explode from the cursor when a Hit Circle is hit or will fall from the cursor when you follow a slider or a spinner.
Kiai Time on Beatmapping
The most common term for Kiai Time when editing beatmaps is the "strongest part of the song" this is normally the chorus of the song, however some songs don't have a chorus, but they do have a strong part for you that feels cool, so you could insert Kiai Time in that section. Be advised however that spamming kiai start sections will cause a spam in kiai fountains which is unrankable, and mostly hated by players.
Things to take into consideration when using Kiai
- On Taiko maps Kiai sections give double score, so if you're mapping a Taiko specific map, take into consideration that Kiai does affect gameplay.
- Be consistent; it's annoying when you have 3 Kiai sections in different spots on the same difficulty and all of them sound different. Additionally, it's good that all difficulties from the same mapper have the exact same Kiai times.
- Do not use pure white combo color (255,255,255); it makes Kiai blinding and hurts the eyes.
- It's normal that a Kiai section is slightly more challenging than the rest of the mapset, as Kiai time is also the strongest part of the map.
- Guest difficulties may have different Kiai. This is due to the fact that not everyone thinks the same spot is the "cool" spot of the beatmap; however Kiai should still be consistent.