Jenny's Beatmapping Theorisms

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Topic Starter

(yes, people complained about the old introduction way too frequently)

Since the information contained in my userpage about common issues in mapping have become increasingly more popular and referred to as of late, I have decided to dedicate a thread to them to leave my profile a little less.. cramped.

Now, who am I to dare talk like I would be able to bring forth valuable arguments that you might or might not have heard of or seen in such an elaborate form and shoving my elitistic tendencies in your face? - Good thing you ask, for I am the destroyer of all manki- no not that one, ehh.. well, if you're asking what I have done so far, I guess that's a rather easy question to answer: I'm a mapper and modder, active over the past 3.5 years and having created over 400 beatmaps (yes, entire diffs, not just cancelled projects..) and permanently working to improve while doing so, I guess you could say I got a bit of experience after all. As for what I got ranked, I guess you could probably recall my name by the likes of Fallen World, Force of Wind, Heroes of Our Time or Moonlight Maiden, and while those names don't necessarily mean everything (specifically seing as I myself would change a thing or two about them after the fair bit of time that has passed since then), I guess it'll give you an idea about the variety of songs I'm spreading my maps upon.

While I do not believe that there is only one "correct" style to map, I am of the firm belief that certain guidelines ("rules", if you will) should at least always be considered and evaluated as for how much sense their logical consequences would for your map (beatpattern and pattern); as a rule of thumb, you should aim to always have a reason that you can relate to the music at any point in the future for anything you are mapping and if you ever see yourself (or anyone) resort to the likes of "it's just my style I am being an individual" without giving any song-related backup for their arguments, you'll probably smell something's not exactly as it should be (aimed towards being).

Quick Reference Links:

  1. Understanding osu! hitobjects
  2. Active/Passive Hitsounding aka Clicking/Gameplay Rhythm
  3. Stacking Offset - why Edit and Play can look so different
  4. Beatpairing and Patterning

If you would like something to be featured or talked about in here, please send me a forum PM.

Leaving a message behind if you found this to be helpful is also very much appreciated; if you don't, feel free to hit me up in game with an alternative argumentation based on which part of my elaborations you found flawed.
Topic Starter

osu! "hit"object understanding


an object you click once, does not last in any form as you will most likely instantly leave it after you made said click

therefore suited for short, jabby notes and beats in the music rather than echoing ones as opposed to sliders


an object you click once, then follow up to a certain point (preferably the end, though frequently slipped out of early due to mapping in different directions than where the slider is pointing.

features multiple hitsounds with just one click (-> passive hitsounds), resulting in pressure only on the first one (note: the longer the slider, the more the player switches from a "clicking mode" into a "hold mode", therefore the slider end gets more "powerful" in some cases; predominately used in easier difficulties, emphasizing strong beats with sliderends while keeping a simple clicking rhythm to naturally follow and introduce people to - personally, I find the threshold for this to be around 3/2 beat sliderlength but it greatly varies on the overall momentum and intensity of the song in question)

therefore, to emphasize multiple equally strong beats, you should not use one single slider (again, lower difficulties may be an exception due to beat density and more natural/easy clicking rhythms; note that in these cases, you should still make sure to respect beat patterning (-> start sliders on the first of such beats rather than the second as a 1-1-1-1 rhythm is much easier to note and follow than a 1-2-2-2 (-> you'd end up hitting every second beat then instead of every first, which in most cases is very quirky)))

ADDITIONAL HITSOUNDING (CAREFUL!! DANGEROUS!!): You may use a slider's end/reverse arrow/ticks to emphasize additional layers in the song which are not part of the front layer (which naturally, you should be mapping and always prioritize) - this is dangerous because it can be very hard to keep the actual clicking and playing rhythm/emphasis of the main beat and frontline if you are trying to emphasize and feature too many things at once, therefore you should always consider your priorities first before doing anyhting like this


no click required, which means no initial pressure from the player but a consistent, quick circular motion

therefore suited for windups and strong passages that do not have destinctly pressured or individual beats

NOT suited for soft outros or anything like that since, well, people will naturally try to spin them as fast as possible: super low volume outro != spinning 477SPM, wouldn't you think?
Topic Starter

Active/Passive Hitsounding aka Clicking/Gameplay Rhythm

Active Hitsounding refers to hitsounds that you actually take an active part in (-> click), therefore, this refers to circles and sliderstarts; active hitsounds generate pressure behind the notes played and therefore should predominantly be set on already existing beats (or extremely natural-feeling additive mapping, but that's a rare exception).

Passive Hitsounding refers to hitsounds that occur without you actively participating (-> hitting) on them, such as sliderticks, reverse arrows, slider- or spinnerends; these do not generate pressure in playing and therefore should be feeling natural when silenced to emphasize longer/stronger notes in the music.

Take this example: You see, we have two sliders, 1/2 each - this will just sound like 4*1/2 hitnormal but effectively, it's played as 2*1/1, so you have to consider, when does it fit? Given that you only click the starts of the sliders, it could fit when the white ticks are (significantly) stronger than the red ones, resulting in a 1-(2)-1-(2) rhythm (1 = active, strong beat, (2) = passive, weak beat/no beat).

To visualize it better, you may draw a line under every active hitsound and leave the passive ones empty:

tl;dr: An active hitsound is when you click and there comes a sound, a passive one is when the object just makes a sound "by itself"/without an impact (-> click) required - keep this in mind, because passive are effectively weaker than active ones even when they "sound the same".
Topic Starter

Stacking Offset - why Edit and Play can look so different

Stacking notes directly onto each other looks vastly different in editor and play mode, and many people seem to forget about this: As a rule of thumb, every note you stack onto another will appear 4|4 pixels more to the top-left corner of the editor, which equals one grid (size 4), so take this into consideration when you're mapping with structure and so forths, as this will result in your pattern being uneven and feeling offset.

As an example, you see that here (in the first image), there are three objects stacked on top of each other - while this looks like they are on the exact same spot in edit, effectively, it will look different in play mode (second image), so keep an eye for these things, especially if you're trying to make symmetric patterns and the likes, as the player will have to start hitting the stack at a position of x|y-(n*-4|-4), so in general, it may work better for you to use tighly spaced notes instead of absolute stacks if you want to have things aligned properly.

Care: This is significantly more important if you have notes spaced close to each other, such as in the following example.

You see that there are are about 3 grids size 4 of space between this sliderend and the stacked triple - the reason behind this is simple: I wanted to have the triple close to the sliderend (like about one grid size 4, so that it barely does not touch), but stacking it there directly would result in an ugly overlap; effectively, the triple will look fairly different in play than in edit (second example).

The exact stacking value varies with CS but it stays in the same relation to your circles; I don't really know exact values though, so always check that for yourself when using exotic sizes (which basically are not 3, 4 or 5).
Topic Starter

Beatpairing and Patterning

Fairly easy as an idea, this relates rather directly to the active and passive hitsounding mentioned above, basic concept being the following: If the song has a destinct group of alike-pressured or heightening beats of same or similar fashion, you will logically want accentuate all of these equally.

For reasons such as sheerly keeping it a bit more tame and able to more easily get a grasp of the idea of things, I won't be going into describing every sort of pattern individually – for more ideas in a less wordy fashion, feel free to browse the good old Mapping Techniques subforum (and think your part as to when the depicted techniques would make sense to apply).

Line-line combos / Beatpairings

Source: kors k – smooooch by Priti

While this would generally sound pretty simple, I am going to be an elitist about it anyways (as I generally am in this thread): What you see are three pairs of two circles each, played as combos of two, making this a switch of practically three "flowlines", if you would want to call it that – things like these emphasize the mini soundpatterns that two alike-sounding beats build and (depending on the song) can happen to occure more or less frequently.
Important to note is that in such scenarios where there is a destinct pairgrouping in the song, you will want to give your minicombos a destinct change in angle or direction between each pairing as to emphasize it is not just simply repeating over and to keep it fresh and shapy.

There are also cases where part of one or multiple pairings may be delayed or speeding up while keeping the same individual strength, so don't feel like it's all that static in the end – an example for this would be Lesjuh's Freestyler.

Oh, and obviously this isn't just limited to circles, though it can get a bit tricky to do properly when using sliders instead and only fit on very few occasions, i.e. when mapping a lot of wubs that happen to still fall into this category of musical pattern (please refer to the previous topic of hitobject gameplay and understanding for this).


Source: Tomoya Ohtani - Rooftop Run (Classic) by Kyshiro

Source: DragonForce – Cry for Eternity by Lesjuh

Triangles feel a little weird to me, actually – in lower spacing, they feel extremely smooth while the further they are upscaled, they get a lot more individually pressured; this is probably due to the fact that triangles are awfully nice to use a slider in an blanket a previous note (as in the first example), resulting in a much more even-looking map and pattern and easing the player into the finishing slider, therefore subconsciously establishing a more circular and rounded motion before the actual smooth slider is even starting.

As for the spaced ones, it seems rather clear: They're far apart, so playing them in a circular motion just seems unnecessarily confusing and not indicated nor encouraged by anything – therefore, they are individually snapped to in most cases (more or less stuttering, anyways).


Source: Hommarju feat. Latte – masterpiece by simplistiC

Say you have four beats that are the same pressure and each of them feels fairly impactful and individual, what would you come up with? - Most logically a square because it does exactly that: all of the angles are the same, it's a sharp geometrical shape and every note is played and snapped to individually; there's many examples for how awkwardly harsh squares can play, so this should be approached with caution, specifically if you are going to make it a tornado combo.

Pentagons / Star Shapes

Soure: REDALiCE - FLOWER REDALiCE Remix by me

Source: IOSYS – Poinsettia by Aakiha

The pentagon is the smoother variation of the five-beat (and equally accentuated) geometrical patterns we can do - unlike than the triangles before because the angles between the objects themselves have shrunk down to 72° from the previous overly sharp 120° and 90° (triangles and squares respectively); the pentagon is pretty much just a curved move through all of the objects after another. No big accentuation or anything on any individual notes, just one smooth circular motion – obviously that will get more choppy if you scale it up further and change the beatsnap and object density, but for the basic idea, this spaced stream will suffice (hue).

Stars are pretty much just that but.. well, with a little turn or two.. or three.. or four – snappy and more on a beat-per-beat basis rather than actual underlying rolls of five that the pentagon suits better.
Instead of the previously smooth circular motion you jump across the pattern between each note, covering a 144° angle rather than 72°, making this an even more snappy and individually accentuating pattern than a scaled square or a triangle.
Topic Starter
effective distance vs editor distance snap (to come);
sliderbody 'illusional' spacing & leniency (to come);
dimensional/directional flow & motion, horizontal (swishing-turning/angling) vs vertical (pushing-pulling) movement, snap/"flow" implications (to come) - mouse, tablet, touchscreen differences and specifics;
pressure versus spacing (to come)

a fair bit of slider leniency was covered in this post - check it out
Well put together thread, I am sure many people will be able to learn from these (I know I will be redirecting a few to here in the future)
ilu have my babies
edit: Why not General Questions subforum (considering most guides are there and not here as G&R is all about gameplay)
Looks well written and detailed, pity I have no interest in mapping. Would refer people here if they want mapping tips.
nice thread and good summaries of important stuff to think about when making a map, in my opinion. would be nice to see you cover more topics in the future !!

inverness wrote:

ilu have my babies
edit: Why not General Questions subforum (considering most guides are there and not here as G&R is all about gameplay)
There is a subforum in Gameplay & Rankings called mapping techniques, but seems that neither mods or OP are clever enough as to notice it and do something.
Topic Starter
Few things to note:

  1. The "Mapping Techniques" subforum is pretty much dead and unfrequented in this day and age and pretty much only saves as a library of sorts to send people to, so I posted in this one since it's a more general thing and going a bit further than just briefly introducing one way of (optical) patterning at once which is why I believe it'd be out of place in there
  2. I'd rather not have any unneeded passive-aggressive insults in my thread because that is what the previous post looks like to me - might be wrong, might be correct, but I'd rather not have it either way
  3. I would also much rather not have my (opening) posts edited without either being asked nor notified about it happening - if you feel like something is redundant, useless or just not contributing to anything, notify me; as long as there's no rule violation I would see no reason to change around within another person's post and thread like this - a poll is an easy way to check at least whether a few people/how many exactly have bothered giving a vote to it, presumably also reading the thread, so it's still serving as an indicator for me to see where I stand with this rather than just seing no posted responses and discontinuing the whole thing because of a lack of feedback in a time where people don't necessarily bother to explicitely state their opinion in an individual message and prefer the short option of just checking a box and clicking a button

Thanks for your understanding.
Then look how your topic's theme matches the stuff posted in this forum. People come here for advice regarding gameplay, settings, playstyle, peripherials.

This subforum is relatively lively and probably many people read your post, but the topic doesn't really aim at the "audience" you would (?) really want to. If you're really going for a large amount of people reading this without any will to use it then I'm really disappointed. I hope you're not because it's like "I made a good thing, praise me pls"

Mapping Techniques isn't really dead (though I think it deserves more attention) and people seeking advice such as yours will fail to do that because the topic is in the wrong section.

Everything in this world has a place where it's supposed to be, people too.
Just want to say that this is awesome. Thank you!
whoa interesting
D e s
hitsound for kiai time is usually louder than rest of the map ? or how do you determine volume of hitsound

*bad englsih sry yy

Desu_p wrote:

hitsound for kiai time is usually louder than rest of the map ? or how do you determine volume of hitsound

*bad englsih sry yy
Whatever sounds good is what you should choose

Not every kiai time gets louder, it could get quieter too.
Kaitou Kid
This is good maybe i can improve my map :3
Up up up
interesting ~
Kaguya Hourain
Hype hype hype
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