Not to be confused with Difficulties.
Beatmaps are made as part of beatmapsets. Beatmapsets group beatmaps together so that they can be submitted to the website and show up on the beatmap listing. They typically cover one song, where each beatmap of the set is a different difficulty.
Beatmaps submitted online are split into categories depending on their recent activity, nomination status, and popularity:
Graveyarded beatmaps are beatmaps that have been abandoned by their creator. Beatmaps are moved to the Graveyard category from the Work in Progress and Pending categories automatically once they haven't been updated for 4 weeks. Graveyarded beatmaps do not have leaderboards and will not affect user statistics. However, they can still be downloaded and played like normal. They use the question mark icon () in the song selection screen.
Work in Progress (commonly initialised as WIP) and Pending are the two categories beatmaps are put into on initial submission. Beatmaps in these categories can move to the Qualified category upon nomination by at least two Beatmap Nominators. This usually includes a great amount of feedback from modders through modding. Work in Progress and Pending beatmaps do not have leaderboards and will not affect user statistics. They use the question mark icon () in the song selection screen.
Inactive beatmaps that have been in this category for 4 weeks are automatically moved into the Graveyard category.
Qualified is last stage of the beatmap ranking procedure. These beatmaps have been nominated by at least two Beatmap Nominators who have made sure that the beatmap meets the standards of the ranking criteria. Beatmaps put into Qualified enter a ranking queue, and will eventually be Ranked if they aren't disqualified from the queue. This period serves as a last line of defense in which any flaws and mistakes that might have slipped through can be fixed.
Qualified beatmaps have leaderboards, but no performance points will be awarded and all scores will be deleted when it moves out of Qualified. They use the check icon () in the song selection screen.
Ranked beatmaps are endorsed as official content, in the sense that they have reached or surpassed the standards of the ranking criteria. They allow players to compete on leaderboards and gain performance points from setting scores. Once a beatmap has achieved Ranked status, its status cannot be altered again (except in extraordinary cases). Ranked beatmaps use the double upwards chevron icon () in the song selection screen.
For history of the Loved category, see: History of Loved
Loved beatmaps may not meet the ranking criteria, but are loved by the community and thus are regularly added based on community votes in Project Loved. They have leaderboards, but no performance points will be awarded and all scores will be deleted if it moves out of Loved (this usually only happens on the creator's request). Loved beatmaps use the heart icon () in the song selection screen.