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For tournament timers, see: Tournament management commands
For regulations around countdowns, see: Ranking criteria § General § Guidelines
See also: Offset (disambiguation)

A countdown may appear in the beginning of a beatmap. This is useful for songs that start quickly and/or abruptly, but most beatmaps do not need this enabled. Countdowns can be toggled on/off in the song setup menu under the Design tab, but are not allowed for osu!taiko beatmaps.

When enabled, the countdown animation can be controlled using the Countdown Speed buttons (Half, Normal, Double) and the Countdown Offset button. Countdown Speed buttons halve, double or keep the standard speed of the countdown animation. Countdown Offset sets the offset in beats before the first hit object. For example, a countdown with offset 2 has its animation start 2 beats earlier than normal. For maps with intros, skipping goes directly to the countdown.

The countdown animation can be skinned.