This page will detail the various different ways in which players can choose to play standard osu!
This was once the only way to play standard osu! until developers added other methods. Also known as pure-mouse, mouse-only players navigate the in-game cursor with a mouse and also click beats, follow sliders and spin spinners with only mouse clicks. Widely considered the hardest method to play, mouse-only players who rank high in the overall rankings are usually greatly respected by the community.
Mouse + Keyboard
This is the most popular play style for standard osu! because it uses only the most basic computer hardware which are the mouse and keyboard. Mouse + Keyboard players play almost exactly the same way as mouse-only players with the only difference being that 2 keyboard keys (z and x by default) are used instead of the mouse itself to click. Some players use only the keyboard to click while others only switch to the keyboard when streaming (very fast string of beats) and use mouse clicks for other circumstances.
A play style for those who own a graphics tablet. Tablet-only players use a tablet pen instead of a mouse to navigate the in-game cursor but click beats by tapping the pen onto the surface of the graphics tablet itself without the need of a keyboard.
Tablet + Keyboard
A popular play style for those who own a graphics tablet. Tablet + Keyboard players use a tablet pen instead of a mouse to navigate the in-game cursor and click beats using the keyboard or the tablet buttons. Much like Mouse + Keyboard, some players also use only the keyboard to click while others will switch to keyboard when streaming.
Other less popular play styles
While being theoretically possible, most players prefer not to use a trackpad because of the extreme difficulty involved (specifically, controlling the cursor movement and limited space of the laptop touchpad/trackpad). The trackpad is used instead of a mouse to navigate the in-game cursor.
Tablet PC (Touchscreen PC)
While possible, the cost of the touchscreen PC monitor is quite expensive. User just have to touch the PC screen to play but depends on the touchscreen sensitivity, it may and may not take your input in account and the monitor may be a little bit heavy to put on the lap to be played.