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Difficulty naming

The purpose of difficulty naming is to inform players how difficult a map is. This article lists common conventions as well as other alternatives that have been gathered throughout the years. However, as long as the set of difficulty names is descriptive and clearly indicates progression of difficulty, you may use any desired kind of scheme.

Default

These difficulty names are the most commonly used for each game mode.

Note: The special difficulty name Marathon historically allowed mappers to submit maps of longer songs, and thus became popular for single-difficulty mapsets. Today, the name has no special meaning and is typically only used for very long songs or song compilations.

osu!

  • Easy
  • Normal
  • Hard
  • Insane
  • Expert

osu!taiko

  • Kantan
  • Futsuu
  • Muzukashii
  • Oni
  • Inner/Ura Oni
  • Hell Oni

osu!catch

  • Cup
  • Salad
  • Platter
  • Rain
  • Overdose

osu!mania

  • Easy
  • Normal
  • Hard
  • Insane
  • Expert

Difficulty naming schemes from other games

Mapsets of songs that originated from other rhythm games often borrow that game's difficulty naming scheme. Usage of these difficulty names is acceptable for any song. Some of the common naming schemes that made their way into osu! are listed here:

Beatmania IIDX

  • Beginner
  • Normal
  • Hyper
  • Another
  • Black Another
  • Leggendaria

DanceDanceRevolution

  • Beginner
  • Basic
  • Difficult
  • Expert
  • Challenge

DJMAX

  • EZ
  • NM
  • HD
  • MX
  • SC

EZ2DJ, EZ2AC

  • EZ
  • NM
  • HD
  • SHD
  • EX

In The Groove

  • Novice
  • Easy
  • Medium
  • Hard
  • Expert

Pop'n Music

  • Easy
  • Normal
  • Hyper
  • EX

SOUND VOLTEX

Note: Large mapsets of SOUND VOLTEX songs often use difficulty names from multiple versions of the game, even if the song does not appear in all of them.

  • BASIC / BSC
  • NOVICE / NOV
  • ADVANCED / ADV
  • EXHAUST / EXH

SOUND VOLTEX II -infinite infection-

  • INFINITE / INF

SOUND VOLTEX III GRAVITY WARS

  • GRAVITY / GRV

SOUND VOLTEX IV HEAVENLY HAVEN

  • MAXIMUM / MXM
  • HEAVENLY / HVN

SOUND VOLTEX VIVID WAVE

  • MAXIMUM / MXM
  • VIVID / VVD

Arcaea

  • Past
  • Present
  • Future
  • Beyond

Lanota

  • Whisper
  • Acoustic
  • Ultra
  • Master

maimai, CHUNITHM, Ongeki

  • EASY
  • BASIC
  • ADVANCED
  • EXPERT
  • MASTER

maimai

  • Re:MASTER

CHUNITHM

  • WORLD'S END

Ongeki

  • LUNATIC

Cytus, Deemo, VOEZ

  • Easy
  • Normal
  • Hard
  • Insane

Cytus

  • Chaos

Deemo

  • Extra

VOEZ

  • Special

Touhou Project

  • Easy
  • Normal
  • Hard
  • Lunatic
  • Extra / Extra Stage / Phantasm

Widely accepted alternatives

The following difficulty names are common alternatives and additions to the default difficulty names:

  • Beginner: in a default Easy-Normal-Hard-Insane-Expert spread, it refers to the lowest level of difficulty, even below Easy.
  • Advanced: in a default Easy-Normal-Hard-Insane-Expert spread, it's a difficulty between Normal and Hard.
  • Hyper: in a default Easy-Normal-Hard-Insane-Expert spread, a difficulty between Hard and Insane.
  • Extra: it can used as a substitute for Expert.
  • Extreme: it can be used to represent a more difficult Expert.