Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan is a rhythm game for the Nintendo DS. The gameplay consists of only three elements: tapping circles on the touchscreen, dragging a ball across a fixed path and rotating a spinner very fast. All these elements are timed to (covers of) popular Japanese songs. It looks like this on the DS:
Gameplay example of Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan in Nintendo DS
The gameplay circles can be seen on the bottom screen, and the story on the top screen. Each stage is basically a self-contained story about a person in trouble. That is where the Ouendan (Cheer squad) comes in. Through the magical power of male cheerleading, the player have to help the people in trouble.
Full explanation: osu!
While most players may not have a touchscreen at their disposal, the game was made to be playable with a normal mouse in mind, as well as any creative variations of input devices usage. Different play styles can be found in the play styles page. There are some songs which will push the limits of the normal mouse and the player, but all the (ranked and approved) beatmaps have been tested and (most can be) passable using only a mouse.
Tutorial: osu! tutorial (new beginnings)
The gameplay puts emphasis on:
These are some of the vital skills to become an osu! rhythm master. The first step to begin the journey is to learn the basics (and theories) of the hittable objects (referred as hit objects from here onwards).
osu! hit circles
A thin, similarly-coloured approach circle on the outside of the hit circle will shrink over time. Tap on the note at the exact point when it touches the white border of the hit circle. A score burst will appear after tapping the hit circle, showing the score and health changes depending on timing of the tap to the beat. The hit circle will disappear after the score burst.
To understand the hidden charm of hit circles, do not rely on perception only; feel the beatmap's beats and rhythm. It will help in juggling some of the visually-complex hit circles patterns found in later difficulties.
First, tap on it at the right moment, however, it does not end there. A ball will begin to move across the path. Hold the mouse/keyboard-button (or keep the pen onto the tablet) and follow the ball within the thick orange circle, surrounding the ball, as it moves. The orange outer circle, called the follow circle, will appear if when holding onto the slider's ball, but will disappear when released.
Sometimes, as seen in the screenshot above, the ball may reverse its direction and the player must follow the ball back to the start of the path or vice versa. The visual cue is a reverse arrow at the ending/starting circle of the path.
Hold on the mouse/keyboard-button (or keep the pen onto the tablet). From there, use the mouse (or pen) and spin the spinner in a circular motion (in either direction) until the spinner circle grows outwards completely. A Clear notice will appear to indicate that the spinner was completed. If the spinner was cleared early, continue spinning to collect score bonus and gain some health back.
The outer white circle shows how much time left to complete the spinner. This circle will turn red to notify that time is almost out. Older beatmaps, using skin version 1.0, will have a meter/gauge to indicate how close to clearing the spinner.
The small box below the spinner shows spins per minute. The number inside that box translates to the number of spins possible, if to continue to spin the spinner at that speed for one minute. If mouse/keyboard-button was released (or pen did not touch the tablet) early during the spin, the spinner will stop reading the spin.
On the DS, this is a good way to scratch the touchscreen (or screen protector), especially on the higher difficulties. In osu!, spinners have been toned down as to not be such a nuisance to complete. The maximum number of spins per minute achievable is 477 which is also the rate at which the Auto game modifier spins while the Spun Out game modifier spins slower at 287 spins per minute.
In-game interface of osu!
The top-left bar is the health bar, which will decrease at a steady rate (depending on the beatmap's difficulty settings), but can be replenished by tapping notes at the right time or spinning the spinner. A perfectly timed hit (a 300 or Geki) will recover health more than a badly timed hit (50). A total miss will take a good chunk of health out of the health bar.
On the right of the health bar is the total score. Below that is the accuracy. The circle beside the accuracy (and below the score) is a timer for the duration of the beatmap. The number on the bottom left is the combo counter/score multiplier.
The default controls for osu! are:
|Left click(M1) / Right click(M2)||
||Touching the screen(M1)|
The hit objects in osu! will accept any input from the input device, as long as each hit objects was tapped in time.
If Relax game modifer was used, only the in-game cursor will work. Use the in-game cursor to follow the hit objects with automated tap. Spinners must still be completed.
Mode toolbox in Song Selection (Solo)
Click on the
Mode button to open up a list of gameplay modes available on osu!. Click on the desired gameplay mode, and osu! will switch to that gameplay mode style, along with relevant leaderboard change. Alternatively, press
Ctrl key and
1 ( osu!standard) /
2 ( osu!taiko) /
3 ( osu!catch) /
4 ( osu!mania) key on the keyboard to quickly switch to the desired gameplay mode.
Full explanation: osu!taiko
In-game interface of osu!taiko
Taiko no Tatsujin is a taiko drum rhythm game made by Namco (now Namco Bandai). The game involves the simulation of playing the taiko drum to the beat of the music. In osu!, beatmaps can be played in the styling of Taiko no Tatsujin through the use of osu!taiko game mode.
In-game playfield interface of osu!taiko
For players with prior Taiko no Tatsujin experience:
For newcomers of osu!taiko mode, the screen is split to two different sections; the upper section contains the gameplay elements while the lower section contains an image or video for the beatmap. At the upper section, there is the health bar, which unlike other game modes, starts off empty and must be filled up to at least 50% full or half-full to pass the difficulty. At the top-middle part below the health bar, a taiko drum is located at the left-side and a moving conveyor belt which carries the hit objects from right to left passing through a double white circles which serves as judgement circle near the taiko drum. Above the taiko drum is the animated taiko mascot which will react based on judgement received along with upper background colour changes. Lastly, there is the usual score, accuracy, and timer of the beatmap at the upper-right.
Please note that health drain is disabled in osu!taiko, so only the hit objects will affect the health bar. Combo will not break when playing on an empty field. Unlike osu!, the combo milestone celebration is every 50 consecutive hits. The base score will be boosted after obtaining a combo that is a multiple of 10, but stops at 100 (max combo limit for the boost). If the combo is broken, the boost resets back to the base score. During Kiai Time, every successful hit will give the player 20% more points over the current score amount. Score gained from a hit can be checked below the accuracy at the upper-right corner in red.
osu!taiko notes of various colour and size
Each taiko notes (or notes, for brevity) will appear as either a red or a pale-blue circle. Those coloured circles were named Don (red notes) and Katu (blue notes), respectively.
If it is a small red note, press the button bound to the inner portion of the taiko drum or hit the large flat area (center) of the TaTaCon. If it is a small blue note, press the button bound to the outer ring of the taiko drum or hit the sides of the TaTaCon. If the note is a LARGE circle, press or hit both of either inner or outer drum depending on the colour of the note for double point (a single correct hit will give single point instead).
The notes must be pressed or hit in the small white judgement circle next to the drum. Hitting the wrong colour, or both red and blue colours at the same time, will be considered a miss.
Hit the inner (or outer) drum continuously for points until the end of the drumroll. For LARGE note, hit both buttons on the inner (or outer) drum simultaneously and continuously until it is done. Do note that drumrolls hits were hardcapped and only counted when hitting on the tiny hit circles, rather than drumrolling as fast as possible as in Taiko no Tatsujin.
Drumrolls can be ignored with no health penalty, as it does not recover the health bar at all. However, it will cost possible points gained from the drumroll. Each successful hit on the tiny hit circle gives a static 300 score.
osu!taiko spinner (denden)
Hit the inner and outer drum in order (like red, blue, red, blue, red, blue, ...) until the denden counter reached 0. Starting colour does not matter (allowed to start with blue if desired), and failing to complete it will incur miss health penalty but no combo break. Hitting the same colour will not decrement the denden counter, until a different colour is hit instead.
It does not increment the combo counter, and does not recover the health bar in any way. Each successful denden hit only gives a static 300 score, and denden completion will give a perfect(GREAT) large note score.
The default controls for osu!taiko are:
||Flat surface of the drum|
||Outer surface of the drum|
The placement of in-game cursor does not matter when playing.
If Relax mod was used, the score judgement only account for hit timing only (automatically rectify wrong colour hit with correct colour).
TaTaCon drum controller were primarily made for the home ports of Taiko no Tatsujin and Taiko: Drum Master.
Full explanation: osu!catch
In-game interface of osu!catch
osu!catch (formerly known as Catch the Beat) is the second game mode added to osu!, after the osu!taiko game mode.
Instead of tapping circles to the beat, move the catcher at the bottom of the screen while the fruits fall from above.
osu!catch playfield difference based on CS
The zoom size of the playfield is based on CS (Circle Size) settings, with lower CS means much more zoomed in and smaller space, while higher CS means much more zoomed out and larger movement space.
The catcher can move from left to right, with the fruits falling from top to bottom. The catcher cannot move pass the left and right walls of the playfield.
All fruits will stay at the plate until its combo ends, which the fruits will bounce out of the plate. Timing and where it falls on the plate does not matter; either a full score for successful catch or miss.
To catch these fruits, make sure it falls to the plate and not over the plate. Collected fruits will always give 300 points each, increment combo by 1, and treated as 300 in result screen.
osu!catch fruit trails
A typical fruit trail will contains two fruits (start and end), droplets (slider path), juice drop (slider ticks), and more fruits for each reverse arrow points along with a reversed slider path. Droplet gives 10 points each and treated as 50 in result screen. Juice drop gives 30 points each, increment combo by 1, and treated as 100 in result screen.
Missing the juice drop will break the combo (as it is a slider tick), but missing the droplet will not break the combo. However, missed droplets will not be shown in the local result screen, but will be shown in the website's leaderboard as Miss Droplet, which notably affects accuracy (missed out the droplet, which is a 50) and score (10 points for each droplet missed).
Here, large bananas will rain down and shrink down to catch size as it falls down to the plate (or not). Each collected bananas will give a static score of 1,100 regardless of mod and combo multiplier.
The bananas can be ignored with no health penalty. However, it can cost the extra points and health recovery from collecting the bananas. Notably, Auto mod will go above and beyond to catch all of the bananas without fail.
Hyperfruits are special fruits that will appear to help the catcher to catch the next fruit when normal dash is considered impossible to catch it in a strict timespan allocated. All hyperfruits have a signature red colour surrounding the hyperfruit itself by default.
Collecting the hyperfruit will make the catcher's dash upgraded to hyperdash (just fast enough to catch the next fruit), glows red, and leaves a temporary red afterimage at the collection point, until the next one fruit was caught or dropped, which the catcher will then be back to normal.
<-(L) and right
->(R) arrow keys to move the catcher.
leftShift(D) key with one of the arrow keys will make the catcher dash in that direction at x2.0 speed (indicated with a bright glow from the catcher).
The placement of in-game cursor does not matter when playing normally. If Relax mod was enabled, the control of the catcher will be the in-game cursor instead. However, the play unrankable when Relax mod was enabled (as it defeats the only challenge of osu!catch; fixed catcher speed and catcher plate control).
Full explanation: osu!mania
In-game interface of osu!mania
osu!mania is the third game mode added to osu!, after osu!taiko and osu!catch game modes.
The mode has been widely used in almost all of the major rhythm games. It require good hand and/or leg coordination where the notes (with their quantity depending on BPM and difficulty) move on a conveyer. The player will have to press the correct key for that specific note in time. Though the game mode was originally made as an imitation of the Beatmania style of playing, osu!mania allows changing the number of keys or vertically flipping the orientation of the playfield (this means that it can be made to look more like Guitar Hero [5 keys] or Dance Dance Revolution [4 keys] and so on).
When converting a non-specific beatmap, the default key range would be around 4 to 7 keys.
With the xK game modifier, the player can manually set the number of keys from 1 to a total of 9 keys with a score multiplier reduction. However, the game modifier will not work with osu!mania-specific beatmaps.
With the Co-Op game modifier, the stage will be split in two, use Co-Op's control scheme, and will allows the player to play from 2 to a total of 18 keys with a score multiplier reduction. Do note that while the preset number of keys will not be doubled on osu!mania-specific beatmaps, it will split the stage in two (left stage priority if odd-numbered), use Co-Op's control scheme, and no score multiplier reduction.
In-game playfield interface of osu!mania
By default, the flow of the notes falls from top to bottom of the conveyor (the starting arrow will show where notes will flow to), with the key control at the bottom and the judgement line above the key control. To change the flow of the playfield from bottom-to-top instead, it can be changed in the
Options sidebar; click on
osu!mania layout button to set osu!mania keys settings and enable
Vertically flip playfield (DDR style) for this key setting manually.
Health bar is located at the right side of the conveyor belt. Please note that health drain is disabled in osu!mania, so only the hit objects will affect the health bar. Combo will not break when playing the keys on empty judgement line.
Scrolling speed of the beat notes can be changed by pressing
+ (faster) /
- (slower) or just
F3 (faster) /
Notes are the hit circles of osu!mania. The falling notes must be tapped on the judgement line, with correct key corresponding to each of the note it falls to. More keys corresponding to the falling notes must be tapped simultaneously if the notes fall simultaneously. A score burst will be given when tapped a correct key corresponding to the note in the judgement line.
osu!mania hold notes
Hold notes are the sliders and spinners of osu!mania. When the hold note reaches the judgement line, tap the starting note in time with correct key, hold, and release it at the ending note of the hold note.
Health bar regeneration occurs slowly while holding the hold note(s). Depending on the song and mapping quirks, it is possible that other notes or hold notes to appear while holding the previous hold note(s).
osu!mania key layout
There two different binding-styles, Symmetrical and Left to Right.
Spacebarto simulate a feeling of stepping the pedal similar to the arcade version.
Symmetrical key binding (For DJMAX style)
Spacebar. [odd numbered keys only]
|4K||K3, K4||-||K6, K7|
|5K||K3, K4||K5||K6, K7|
|6K||K2, K3, K4||-||K6, K7, K8|
|7K||K2, K3, K4||K5||K6, K7, K8|
|8K||K1, K2, K3, K4||-||K6, K7, K8, K9|
Left to Right key binding (For Beatmania IIDX style)
B[K9 is not used]
|4K||K1, K2, -, K4, K5|
|5K||K1, K2, K3, K4, K5|
|6K||K1, K2, K3, K4, K5, K6|
|7K||K1, K2, K3, K4, K5, K6, K7|
|8K||K1, K2, K3, K4, K5, K6, K7, K8|
Detailed explanation of scoring can be found at the game style's own respective page or the Score page).
Detailed explanation of accuracy calculation can be found at the game style's own respective page or the Accuracy page.
|S||Over 90% 300s, less than 1% 50s and no misses|
|A||Over 80% 300s and no misses OR over 90% 300s|
|B||Over 70% 300s and no misses OR over 80% 300s|
|C||Over 60% 300s|
|S||Over 95% Accuracy (90+% GREATs, or less than 1 GOOD for every 10 notes).|
|A||Over 90% Accuracy (80+% GREATs, or less than 1 GOOD for every 5 notes).|
|B||Over 80% Accuracy (70+% GREATs, or less than 1 GOOD for every 3.33 notes).|
|S||98.01% to 99.99% Accuracy (an 'S' rank is possible even with several misses, like in osu!mania).|
|A||94.01% to 98.00% Accuracy|
|B||90.01% to 94.00% Accuracy|
|C||85.01% to 90.00% Accuracy|
|D||Any other accuracy under 85.00%.|
|SS||100% Accuracy (only MAX and/or 300).|
|S||Over 95% Accuracy (an 'S' rank is possible even with several misses, like in osu!catch).|
|A||Over 90% Accuracy.|
|B||Over 80% Accuracy.|
|C||Over 70% Accuracy.|
Regarding the Ranks in profile page:
Full explanation: Performance Points
Performance points(pp) is a ranking metric aiming to be more contextually relevant to a continuous game like osu!. It aims to shift the focus from being on the amount of time played to the actual skill of the player. Performance points is heavily based on map difficulty, determined by a unique algorithm in every game mode. Based on this difficulty alone, each of the scores will be rated and assigned a pp value. Performance rank is predominantly based on performance on individual maps. The easiest way to improve it is to score high on difficult songs, and playing more songs. Do note that game modes are counted separately; playing osu!, osu!taiko, osu!catch, or osu!mania will raise the pp for the respective game mode.
For any questions regarding pp, please refer to the wiki page for pp first.
Detailed explanation of the beatmaps: Beatmaps
The main page, under the name Beatmaps. Just remember to login to the website with an osu!account beforehand to allow download of beatmaps from the site.
No, because unlike video, it is integrated to the game (as a part with the hit objects), thus cannot be disabled.
For osu!, Pokebis has compiled a set of beatmaps suitable for beginners to play. It can be found here.
For osu!taiko, OnosakiHito has compiled a set of beatmaps for beginners to learn osu!taiko. It can be found here.
For osu!catch, Kingkevin30 has compiled a nice list of osu!catch beatmaps and basic explanation about osu!catch. It can be found here.
For osu!mania, Entozer has compiled a decent list sorted by relative player's difficulties, with Drace providing an experienced gameplay insight for beginners starting out in osu!mania. Both of it can be found here (Entozer's beatmap guide), and here (Drace's improvement guide)
Alternatively, the website's beatmap searchbar has a feature to sort the ranked beatmap list by difficulty. The easiest maps are at the top of the list.
Lastly, Rivenation did a project for advanced beatmap searching named osu!search which not only has the same features as the official beatmap searchbar but also has some neat features to define a specific beatmap requirement. The unofficial beatmap searchbar can be found at this link.
Absolutely nothing. There is no difference in any way when comparing a Level 100 player against a Level 1 player except the player's own skills and experience of the game mode in question. There is no handicap for the lower level nor is there an advantage for the higher level (except personal experience and hardware used).
Level will be based on total score accumulated when online with account regardless of pass or fail on the beatmap. Formula given here.
Keep in mind that osu! has four game modes so you might be looking at the wrong game mode.
Profile mode buttons
Full explanation: Options
From the Input icon in the Options sidebar as shown above, under Keyboard section as shown below.
Options Input icon, Keyboard section
Full explanation: Replay
After failing a beatmap, press the
F1 key to replay the currently failed play. The replay ends when the screen darkens, with an osu!logo in the middle, rather than the game over screen. To rewatch the replay again, hold the custom default grave/tilde (`/~) key (can be changed in Options sidebar; inside Change keyboard bindings as Quick Retry (hold briefly)) or
R for a while.
Due to the non-standard replay screen, use the
Esc key to return to Song Selection. Retrying the play (as in, actual play) of the beatmap in this state is not possible. It currently works in Solo mode only when given the game over screen. As of 24 August 2020, players can save failed replays by pressing the
F2 key while at the death screen.
Full list: Shortcut key reference
Insert key (in default keyboard setting) will hide, pause (if playing) and mute osu! into the Windows sidebar. Find the osu!logo in the Windows sidebar, and click on it to return osu! to the state before pressing the key. It is called the Boss key, and can be modified in
Change keyboard bindings (in
Options, under Keyboard section), located at the end of the Universal section.
Another interesting shortcut is
Enter. The shortcut toggles the fullscreen mode button in
Options, but does not work during gameplay or in Multi.
osu! folder, including hidden files, is the short answer. On the new device after running
osu!install.exe and completing osu! installation successfully, copy the backup
osu! folder and merge to the new device's
osu! folder. If it ask for merging
.exe files, ignore it. Allow merging for everything else, including
Full list: Game Modes under External Ports section
The current osu! does not support any mobile platform.
However, there are other unofficial ports of osu! and a single official spin-off game for iOS which uses their own leaderboard and account system.
A few of the notable ports are:
Make sure that the smoke/skywriting key binding is not the same as the key binding used to tap with when playing.
Smoke in key bindings
Image showing a slider with slider ticks, with top part during Edit and bottom part during play
A slider was released early (meaning that the ball was released before it had finished the ending slider point).
A slider is composed of a starting circle point, spaced smaller circles known as slider ticks, reverse arrow points (if used, it will be treated as starting circle point instead; it is a proper slider in reverse), and an ending circle point. Each of those points on a slider will add one to the combo. Note that the starting circle point is worth 30 points, the slider ticks are worth 10 points each, the reverse arrow points are worth 30 points each, and the end circle point is worth 300 (or geki), 100 (or katu), or 50 points depending on how the slider was completed.
Slider ticks only appears inside its own slider path; if the slider ticks are too close to the start or end circle as shown in the image above, it will be hidden inside the start or end circle. Hidden slider ticks still counts into combo and score, so it must be collected along with the visible slider ticks. If the slider has one or more reverse arrow points, then the slider ticks will reappear at the same place to be collected in reverse.
If miss the timing to tap the starting circle point, miss the slider ticks, or miss the reverse arrow points, combo will break (it should trigger a combo break sound when the combo is high enough) but it is not considered a miss. However, if miss the ending circle point, combo does not break and does not increment by one. It is also not considered a miss; instead, a 100 (or katu for end of the combo) will be given for the entire slider, assuming at least the slider starting circle point done properly, and completed all the slider ticks/reverse arrow points when given. Notably, Sudden Death game mod will not trigger its effect of immediate game over when missing the ending circle point (since the combo did not break, the Sudden Death effect was not triggered).
These situations, caused by a slider, are collectively called sliderbreak. A max combo play can be known by checking the result screen for the Perfect notice on the performance graph; not having the Perfect notice, especially without any miss, usually means there is one or more sliderbreak occurred during play.
The button only works if a folder named
taiko (capitalisation does not matter) inside the
Skins folder of the
osu! file directory existed.
When enabled, it will use the
taiko folder's skin elements when playing in osu!taiko, regardless of current skin's taiko elements. If the
taiko folder was not found, or disabled, it will use the current skin's taiko elements when available; default if all/certain taiko skin element was not found.
Ancient trivia note:
taiko folder used to hold Taiko by LuiginHann skin, which could be downloaded from the now-deprecated
osume.exe (an osu! updater when osu! need to update) under Skin tab. As the button does not check whether the folder contains elements from LuigiHann's skin, it was quickly noted by the community and used as a personal global osu!taiko skin folder.
For unranked beatmaps only.
Example of an .osu file content
Please follow these steps:
.mp3does not start with numbers. Edit the filename in the
.osufiles if it does.
.osufiles with a text editor (Notepad will work)
/p/faq/which this page was based on; currently removed)