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Simplified ranking criteria

For the full ranking criteria, see: Ranking criteria

The full list of ranking criteria is complicated. It explains every rule and guideline required to create a beatmap worthy of being Ranked, including a lot of niche situations that the majority of mappers never encounter.

The simplified ranking criteria aims to give mappers a clearer perspective on what's required to create a rankable map through the following:

  • Simplified rules and guidelines that impact most beatmaps
  • Subjective criteria that mappers encounter when ranking their maps


Song progress percentage

  • Make sure everything in the map is cleared in terms of content usage permissions.
  • Maps must be at least 30 seconds long.
  • Maps should end around the 80% mark. If you want to end the map earlier, try cutting the song.


  • Difficulty names must have progression.
    • Easy -> Normal -> Hard -> Insane -> Expert is default.
    • Logical naming schemes like Seed -> Sprout -> Tree are okay too.
    • Exception: The hardest difficulty can use a custom name, like Normal -> Hard -> Melancholy.
  • Don't skip difficulties. For example, if you have Normal and Insane difficulties, you need a Hard too.
  • A guest mapper can't create more difficulties than the host.
  • Minimum requirement for lowest difficulty by mode and length:
Drain time osu! osu!taiko
0:30 to 3:30 Normal Futsuu
3:30 to 4:15 Hard Muzukashii
4:15 to 5:00 Insane Oni
Drain time osu!catch osu!mania
0:30 to 2:30 Salad Normal
2:30 to 3:15 Platter Hard
3:15 to 4:00 Rain Insane


  • Maps must be hitsounded, excluding osu!mania maps.
  • Every clickable object must have audible feedback.


Two objects on the same tick

  • Maps must be correctly timed. This includes BPM and time signatures.
  • All difficulties must use the same timing.
  • Do not change timing to adjust slider velocity.
  • Objects must be snapped to timeline ticks.
  • Only one object is allowed per tick, excluding osu!mania maps.



  • Add usernames of anyone who contributes to the map. This doesn't include modders.
  • Add the song's genre and language.
  • Add featured artist if the song is in the Featured Artist catalogue.
  • Other tags must be relevant to the song/map.


  • Songs shortened for TV must have (TV Size).
  • Replace game version markers with (Game Ver.).
  • Replace short version markers with (Short Ver.).
  • Use (Cut Ver.) to indicate an unofficial song cut.
  • Use (Extended Edit) to indicate an unofficial song extension.
  • Use (Sped Up Ver.) to indicate an unofficial song tempo increase. For some genres, (Nightcore Mix) is an okay alternative.


  • Use the Source field if the song is from another media source, like a game, movie, or event.



  • Use .mp3 or .ogg file formats.
    • At most 192 kbps for .mp3 files.
    • At most 208 kbps for .ogg files.
    • At least 128 kbps for any filetype.
  • One song file must be used for all difficulties.
  • Set a consistent preview point for all difficulties.


Hitsound file with delay

  • Hitsound files must be at least 25 ms long and use .wav or .ogg file formats.
    • Do not use .mp3.
    • Exception: Use this file for silent hitsounds.
  • Hitsounds must not be delayed.


  • Every difficulty must have a background adhering to the following:
    • Minimum width: 160 px
    • Minimum height: 120 px
    • Maximum width: 2560 px
    • Maximum height: 1440 px
    • Maximum file size: 2.5 MB
  • Link the source of the map's background in the description.


  • Videos must adhere to the following:
    • Maximum video resolution: 1280x720
    • Video encoding: H.264
  • The audio track must be removed from video files.


For full game mode–specific ranking criteria, see: osu!, osu!taiko, osu!catch, and osu!mania


Slightly offscreen slider in 1280x960

  • No offscreen objects in 4:3 aspect ratios.
  • The Auto mod must achieve bonus score on spinners. They're too short otherwise.
  • Use at least two combo colors.


  • Avoid covering essential parts of the background with the taiko playfield. You can edit the vertical offset of the background in the .osu file.
  • Avoid rapid kiai toggles.
  • On rhythms that are 1/4 or faster, use big notes only at the end of patterns.
  • Avoid slider velocity changes on lower difficulties.
  • Each difficulty should follow its respective break length guidelines:
Difficulty Break Chain length
Kantan 3/1 Break needed every 32–36 beats
Futsuu 2/1 Break needed every 32–36 beats
Muzukashii (option 1) 3/2 Break needed every 16–20 beats
Muzukashii (option 2) 3 consecutive 1/1 Break needed every 16–20 beats
Oni 1/1 Break needed every 16–20 beats



  • Spread rules apply to each key mode or playstyle separately. For example, if you have 4K and 7K difficulties, you need two difficulty spreads.
  • Beatmaps can only use 4–10, 12, 14, 16, or 18 keys. Key modes over 10 keys must use certain playstyles.
  • No column can be left empty.
  • No more than 6 notes can be pressed at the same time in Insane or lower difficulties.
  • Difficulties using an N+1 playstyle must enable the Use special style (N+1 style) for mania toggle.

Song interpretation

Note: This section is based on subjective mapping views, not the ranking criteria.

Every element of a map should represent the song.

This principle sounds simple, but it might be the most controversial part of ranking a map! There's no correct way to interpret a song, so each individual's interpretation varies, and Beatmap Nominators determine if your interpretation is valid for Ranked status.

While it's impossible to explain exactly how to interpret a song, these pointers may lead you in the right direction:

  • Correlate map and song intensity.
    • Rhythm: Intense parts have more rhythm density than calm parts.
    • Spacing: Intense parts have higher jump distance than calm parts.
    • Slider velocity: Intense parts have faster sliders than calm parts.
    • Design: Intense parts have more complex object composition than calm parts.
    • When the song gradually increases or decreases intensity, show a gradual progression of any elements above.
  • Show song variation through contrast.
    • Establish some core ideas for your mapping choices.
    • When the song enters a new section, shift those mapping ideas according to how different the song feels.
    • If a specific sound only occurs once or twice in a song, make it stand out by clearly deviating from your usual mapping choices.
  • Be consistent (within reason).
    • When a song repeats itself, it makes sense to repeat your map too.
    • Copying and pasting part of your map can be pretty boring though, so when a song repeats, vary your map in ways that don't drastically change how you previously interpreted the song.
  • Ask how your objects fit into the "every element of a map should represent the song" principle.
    • Example 1: "How does this object represent the sound it aligns with?"
    • Example 2: "How does this section of objects follow the general mood of this section of the song?"
  • Consider how other people will interpret your map. If your way of interpreting the song isn't clear, it'll feel like your map doesn't follow the song!