Beatmappers can submit either Work-In-Progress (WIP) beatmaps or beatmaps they deem complete to the Beatmap Help and Pending Beatmaps subforums respectively, using the in-game Beatmap Submission System (BSS). Located in osu!'s Editor, the BSS automatically uploads the beatmap with all its elements (mp3, video, storyboarding, etc.) to osu!'s server and creates a thread with a download link in the relevant forum. Moderators and other forum members can then comment and offer feedback on the beatmap. Once a beatmap has the approval of at least two moderators, it is Ranked.
Ranked beatmaps are moved to the Ranked Beatmaps subforum, added to the Ranked Beatmap listing, included in the Ranked Beatmap packs, and appear in their beatmapper's profile. The scores achieved when playing them count towards a player's Total Ranked Score in the Player Rankings and the ratings players can give them count towards their beatmapper's Beatmapper Rank.
Before submitting a beatmap
Before submitting your beatmap, make sure you've tried to make it as good as your current experience allows. However, don't hesitate to submit your beatmap if you're new to beatmapping or if you believe there is still something wrong with it - everyone is here to help, it's just better if you show you've made some effort and took some care in creating your beatmap. Try reading the relevant help sections for tips on how to make a good beatmap.
Submitting a Beatmap
Open any difficulty version of your beatmap in the Editor, select File from the menu header and then select Upload Beatmap. The Beatmap Submission System dialog box appears. Make sure you select the appropriate submission method, and then click the Upload Files button. If you've changed your mind, select Cancel to exit the dialog box and return to the Editor.
Choose Standard Submission the first time you submit your beatmap or, after you've submitted it, when you've updated the beatmap's timing, object placement (in the grid and/or the timeline), combo colours, sound effects etc. Standard Submission is the submission method you'll most often use. The first Standard Submission of a beatmap takes longer than the ones after it, since it uploads the .osz file that contains everything that's in the beatmap, while subsequent Standard Submissions only upload new versions of the small-sized .osu files that contain the above information. Choose Full Submission if you have already submitted your beatmap and have since added, removed, or changed its mp3 file, video and/or storyboarding, if any. This submission method always takes some time, because it uploads the full .osz file to the server.
After you've clicked the Upload Files button, the Beatmap Submission System will start uploading your files according to the submission method you selected. The bar at the bottom illustrates the upload's progress. In this dialog box, you can edit the subject and first message of the forum topic the BSS automatically creates for your beatmap. You can also choose the subforum your beatmap's thread is submitted to. Changing your selection when updating your beatmap will simply move the entire topic to the other forum.
Choose Work In Progress/Help to post your beatmap's thread in the Beatmap Help forum. Choose this when you feel you need help with one or more specific aspects of your beatmap (such as timing) or just to share a partly finished version of your beatmap with the community and get general comments and feedback. Choose Complete Submission to post your beatmap's thread in the Completed Beatmaps forum. Choose this when you believe your beatmap more or less follows the basic approval criteria and you wish it to be reviewed by the moderators to get Ranked. You are strongly encouraged to have at least close to correct timing settings before submitting a beatmap to the Completed Beatmaps forum, and your beatmap must have at least two difficulties.
You can also select the following via checkboxes under the message input box: Load forum topic in browser after submission: if this box is checked, after the upload is complete and you click submit, your default Internet browser will attempt to display the page of your beatmap's forum thread. Bump this topic: If this box is checked, after the upload is complete and you click submit, your beatmap's topic will be bumped to the top of the relevant subforum's first page. This is to eliminate the need to post a message to your beatmap's thread in order to alert people that your beatmap has been updated. Therefore, bumping your thread both by this method and by posting in it at the same time is to be avoided. Furthermore, do not abuse this checkbox. Please be patient and only use it once every few days, preferably if your beatmap's thread is no longer visible in the subforum's first page. Receive email notification when someone replies to this map: When this box is checked, once someone replies to your beatmap's thread, you will receive a notification e-mails in the e-mail address you provided when you registered in osu. You will receive no further notifications for any more replies until you visit the thread.
The Beatmap Modding Process
After you submit your beatmap, it will be available for downloading by the osu! forum members and moderators, who may provide comments and feedback on it (commonly referred to as "modding" a beatmap). In Extended Chat, the status of someone who has opened another person's beatmap in the Editor is set as "Modding" and their panel turns green. Everyone is allowed - encouraged, in fact - to mod beatmaps, but only the modding of moderators determines how close a beatmap is to be Ranked.
Moderators can give a symbol to the beatmap's thread based on their evaluation of the beatmap. This symbol is displayed next to its subject in the subforum and next to the title of its first post. The possible symbols a beatmap can have are:
- No symbol
- Thought bubble (Bubble for short)
This symbol is given to beatmaps which fail to follow even the most basic of guidelines, such as having wildly incorrect timing or objects placed at random on the grid and/or timeline, and thus need a lot of improvement to even begin considering to Rank them.
A Nuke symbol on a beatmap does not mean the moderators disapprove of it in general. It just means they disapprove of its current condition. If your beatmap is marked with a Nuke, don't worry - you can usually turn this around if you're determined:
- Pay close attention to the moderator's comments and suggestions in the thread.
- Read the FAQ, Help pages, and/or watch tutorials on beatmapping.
- Open and view Ranked beatmaps in the Editor to see what they look and sound like.
- If you are new to beatmapping, it may be that the song you have chosen is challenging to time and/or map; in this case, you can also consider making a beatmap to an easier song. Try choosing songs with a constant, clear and steady rhythm to give yourself an easier time.
- Don't rush - as you keep trying, you'll constantly improve.
A very rare symbol, a Flame is given to beatmaps that don't have the technical problems that Nuked beatmaps have, but still can never be approved for Ranking because they are extremely difficult or quirky. "Flames" are usually made by skilled beatmappers as a fun exercise or to challenge one or more top players.
All beatmaps have no symbol assigned to them when they are first submitted. A moderator that thinks the beatmap has some issues that prevent him/her from giving it a Star, but still does not have the many serious problems for which the Nuke symbol is reserved, does not assign the beatmap a symbol when modding it. This state shouldn't worry you too much, as the beatmap can usually be marked with a Star or even a Thought Bubble after the moderator's suggestions are followed.
A Star is given to a beatmap a moderator judges to be on the right track but still needing a few more improvements before he approves of it with a Thought Bubble. Examples include fairly minor adjustments in timing, incorrect Beat Spacing in some areas, or needing to create additional difficulty versions. A Star may be removed by another moderator, regressing the beatmap to the No Symbol state, if he/she judges the beatmap to need a rather larger amount of improvements than initially thought.
This is NOT to be confused with a "Kudosu Star". A Kudosu Star is given out by modders to maps that they think are good. Kudosu Stars give out varying priority points depending on who gives them, but they can place a map higher in the priority list. Please see Kudosu for information more information on Kudosu.
Usually called "Bubble" for short, this symbol is given when a moderator is completely satisfied with every aspect of the beatmap and nominates it for ranking. Once a second moderator approves of the beatmap in the same way, it is Ranked. A Thought Bubble might be downgraded to a Star in case a second moderator detects an oversight on the first moderator's part, but no further downgrading can ever occur.
Once a second moderator approves a beatmap with a Thought Bubble symbol, he/she ranks it and it is automatically given this symbol when moved to the Ranked Beatmaps forum.
Moderators are only human. If a beatmap happens to be ranked and another moderator finds something that in his/her opinion prevents the beatmap from being officially approved, the beatmap can be temporarily deranked and any scores achieved on it wiped. The beatmap is immediately reranked once the issue has been resolved.
A beatmapper can also sometimes request temporary deranking of his/her beatmap to add something to it, since the Beatmap Submission System does not allow updates in ranked maps. Depending on the nature of the change, scores achieved on the beatmap so far can be retained.
The Beatmap Graveyard
Threads on the Completed Beatmaps and Beatmap Help forums that do not receive replies within 4 weeks since their last post are automatically moved to the Beatmap Graveyard subforum to prevent the other beatmap subforums from getting cluttered. To prevent this from happening, you can use the Beatmap Submission System to reupload your beatmap and bump its thread in the process. Please use this feature once every few days and only if you have followed all moderator suggestions so far.
Even if your beatmap gets sent to the graveyard, you can easily recover it from there if you wish to work on it again. Press the 'Resurrect' button on your profile.
Criteria for ranking
- Main article: Ranking Criteria.
It is very hard to list all possible issues that can prevent a beatmap for being ranked, since each beatmap is a unique creation. However, here are some general guidelines that a beatmap set should follow in order to be ranked:
Perfectly timed. This means that your BPM and offset are spot-on, sliders end when they should, and notes are generally following a rhythm which is comprehendable by a player. Beat placement generally follows the time-distance-equality rule (holding Alt while placing beats or turning the Distance Snap icon on enforces this). This means you shouldn't have some fast notes with huge distance between them and/or closely placed but slow notes. This gets really confusing if the player isn't the person who designed the beatmap! Having some logic to the placement should be one of your goals. In Insane difficulty maps, this guideline might be relaxed a bit more. At least two difficulties per song is highly recommended, especially if one of them is rated with 4 or more difficulty stars (in the song selection screen). It is very preferrable that you include an easier version with 3 or less stars. There are a lot of players who are not so skilled at rhythm games - and this is one of the more difficult ones to get used to, so we should look at providing beatmaps which are passable for even beginners! Make sure you can pass the song, or at least its easier difficulties. The song should not be too long! Aim for 2-3 minutes maximum. Anything longer could get tiring. If you need help editing a song down to length, feel free to ask in the Beatmap Help forum. Use TV versions of opening/ending themes where possible. Use breaks where possible. Even if they are only 5-10 seconds, it allows a bit of recovery and hand repositioning for the players. Try to keep osz files under 12mb, or 26mb if you include video.
Again, remember that there are can be many more possible problems with a beatmap. Pay attention to the tips when you open the Editor and the suggestions of the FAQ, Help pages and tutorial videos. You can also try viewing ranked beatmaps in the Editor to get an idea of what an approved beatmap can look and sound like.
Please see Ranking Criteria for further information on this.
My map's not getting modded/ranked...
There are far, far more beatmappers than moderators and, if they are sloppy, they can submit beatmaps faster than moderators can mod them. Furthermore, moderators do not only mod beatmaps as part of their duties - they also patrol the forums and chat, provide support to players, and (god forbid) make beatmaps and play themselves once in a while. This means that a key factor when submitting a beatmap is patience.
Moderators will mod any beatmap, but it helps if your beatmap shows you've taken some effort and care into its creation. You can also try bumping your beatmap's thread via the Beatmap Submission System (use once every few days only) or going to osu's irc channel and requesting for your beatmap to be modded.
After your beatmap receives initial suggestions, responding to them in a timely manner and showing that you are determined on improving your beatmap and getting it ranked will help keep the attention of moderators on your beatmap.
In case you receive comments and suggestions from users who are not moderators, you'd do well not to ignore them. While it's true that some of them may be incorrect, others could be just as useful as advice by moderators. In fact, such posts are ones that mark a user as a potential future moderator. Speaking of which, if you feel you can provide some feedback on beatmaps yourself, you'll indirectly help your own beatmap being modded, since you'll lighten the load on moderators.
For further information, see Modding.
How many maps may I upload?
All osu! users have a maximum number of unranked beatmaps in pending they are allowed to have.
Depending on how many ranked maps you have, you are allowed between 3 and 6 unranked maps. This number increases by one each time one of your maps is ranked. Only maps in Pending and Help forums are counted. The cap is in place to help control the flow of new beatmaps and to keep mappers more dedicated to their existing maps.
Subscribers have a larger cap and are allowed between 4 and 10 unranked maps.
Unranked beatmaps in the graveyard don't have a limit.