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Time-distance equality

The distance snap tool icon

Time-distance equality is an osu! mapping technique where spacing between hit objects on the playfield is proportional to the time between them. In the beatmap editor, it may be enforced by using the distance snap tool, which maintains the proportion according to the distance spacing multiplier.


The equality principle is built around the idea that visual density of hit objects should correspond to the song's structure: faster rhythm means that objects should be located near each other, and vice versa. Applying time-distance equality makes the beatmap more readable and often intuitive, since it provides consistent visual cues as to when hit objects should be clicked.

While on lower difficulties it is highly recommended,1 harder difficulties strictly following said principle gradually become less exciting for experienced players due to predictability. To counter that, mappers often create jumps of varying extremity to add extra movement opportunities and bring variety.


Although time-distance equality is rarely used in the exact sense throughout the whole difficulty, it may often prove useful:

  • Generally, the proportion improves readability of adjacent beats with different snapping, which is appreciated in sections with complex, alternating, or unintuitive rhythm.
  • Using the equality produces patterns that are visually balanced, for example, regular polygons, or regular stream sections.
  • The time-distance equality is recommended as a starting point for inexperienced mappers to help them develop a sense of consistency and rhythm.


  1. The time-distance equality is present as an osu! ranking criteria guideline for Easy and Normal.