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Project Loved

Project Loved is the voting platform that promotes beatmaps to the Loved category. It is run primarily by the Project Loved Team.

Moving a beatmap to Loved

Beatmaps are moved to Loved by a nomination and voting process.

Members of the Project Loved Team called captains regularly nominate beatmaps for a specific game mode. These almost always come from submissions from the osu! community.

To submit a beatmap for Loved, please visit the beatmap submission page of the Project Loved website and fill out the form. The submission may be viewed under the listing of its respective game mode along with the others. Below are the listings where these submissions can be viewed:

Nominated beatmaps are then posted to the Project Loved forum, where community members may vote whether they want the beatmap to be Loved or not. Maps reaching 80% "Yes" votes at their polls' end time will be moved to the Loved category.

Creators of said beatmaps are also able to request them to be removed from the Loved category by reaching out to a Project Loved Team member or by posting in #osu-loved channel of the osu! Discord server. The removal process will take a minimum of 1 week and creator will receive a follow-up when it is finished.


There are some very minimal criteria that need to be met for beatmaps to be nominated for Loved. Each game mode has its own specific criteria for Loved beatmap nomination and priority, but all modes follow these rules:

  • It abides by the beatmap submission rules
  • It is not in the Ranked, Approved, or Qualified categories
  • Its creator does not disapprove of it being Loved
    • If any guest contributors disapprove of their part being Loved, their part will be excluded from Loved by appropriate means. In some cases, such as collabs, this may make the entire beatmap ineligible for Loved.
  • Its creator is not restricted
  • At least one difficulty can be passed
  • Every nominated difficulty has a drain time of at least 20 seconds

Although many unranked beatmaps meet these criteria, few are voted into the Loved category due to the selective nature of the captains' picks, and the high community approval requirement by voting.

Updates prior to Loved

In some cases, beatmaps may be nominated despite breaking some of the criteria, as long as the mapper can update it to abide by the criteria prior to Loved. For example, a beatmap with an inappropriate background may be nominated as long as the background is later removed or replaced. An active contributor to Project Loved will usually post on the beatmap's discussion if any changes are required.

Additionally, contributors to Project Loved often make technical suggestions, such as improvements to audio quality, timing accuracy, or metadata standardisation as recommended by the ranking criteria. The mapper is strongly encouraged to apply these suggestions, but they are not required to.

osu!-specific criteria

Beatmaps of the osu! game mode considered for Loved follow the following categories as well as the rules and guidelines below, which are similar to the ranking criteria, but adapted for the more lenient process Project Loved is known for.


Every month, beatmaps are chosen according to 9 categories, with the goal of ensuring variety for every selection of beatmaps by the captains. This category system was implemented during the round of February 2023.

Category Explanation
Popular Playcounts Popular beatmaps in the community, with at least 100,000 playcount.
Outstanding Oldies Beatmaps submitted more than six years ago.
Small Spectacles Outstanding beatmaps as determined by the captains, with less than 5,000 playcount.
Daredevil Difficulties Beatmaps known for extreme difficulty, nominated with the goal of fostering competition among top players.
Ranked Rejects Beatmaps with full spreads that follow ranking criteria, yet never reached Ranked status.
Gameplay Gimmicks Beatmaps with unconventional gameplay gimmicks, such as via storyboards or Aspire-like mapping.
Meme Monstrosities Beatmaps popular for their humorous content, or with focus on local communities' subcultures.
Second Shots Beatmaps rejected in past Loved votings, receiving a second chance.
Chill Champions Beatmaps that are casual-friendly, with no difficulty above 5 stars.

Additionally, up to three wildcard beatmaps may be chosen from any category, adding to a total of twelve beatmaps per month.

For any questions regarding what goes in each category, contact the osu! Loved captains.


All rules are exactly that: rules. They are not guidelines and may not be broken under any circumstance.

  • The beatmap must be submitted at least 1 year before Loved nomination, except for beatmaps that break ranking criteria due to their concept. Submitting a beatmap solely for Loved is discouraged when Ranked might be a better option. Exceptions include sliderator usage, Aspire maps, storyboard gameplay gimmicks, etc.
  • The beatmap must have at least 30 favourites. This is a minimum threshold to indicate a positive and existing community reaction to the beatmap. Brigading for favourites is discouraged, although captains cannot verify whether that happens in most cases.
  • A beatmap must have at least some form of mapping contribution from the person submitting it. This specifically avoids "beatmap compilations" which, even with the original mappers' permissions, do not represent the kind of original work showcased in Loved.
  • Beatmap timing must not negatively impact gameplay. Unlike the ranking criteria, which requires near-millisecond-accurate timing for all beatmaps, there is some leeway for complex songs. If unsure whether the timing for a beatmap is appropriate, contact one of the osu! Loved captains.
  • Beatmaps with concepts relying on storyboards must not be easily abusable by players through file editing. This judged on a case-by-case basis to ensure fair competition for people who play the beatmap as intended. Issues may be mitigated by using approach rate 0, making invisible notes' timing windows more natural, and utilising difficulty-specific storyboarding via the .osu file instead of the .osb file.


Guidelines may be ignored under exceptional circumstances. These exceptional circumstances can be justified by an explanation as of why the guideline has been ignored and why not ignoring it will interfere with the overall quality of the creation.

  • All ranking criteria rules and guidelines not explicitly mentioned as rules here still apply as guidelines. Enforcement happens on a case-by-case basis during the Loved nomination process, and the mapper will be contacted about any required changes. Note, however, that full spreads are not required except for the Ranked Rejects category.
  • Beatmap metadata should be as accurate as possible. Beatmaps that are nominated for Loved voting go through a final metadata check by specialised members of the community. Correct metadata makes searching beatmaps easier when looking for a song. When in doubt, contact a Loved captain.
  • Uninherited timing points should be the same in every difficulty of a beatmap. This may be ignored for certain gimmicks involving changing BPM, slider velocity, or other factors that are not relevant in every difficulty.
  • All difficulties in the beatmap should be finished. This means reaching the start and end point of the song, excluding unmappable sections, intros, or outros. For example, in a 5-minute song with multiple difficulties, if the Extra and Hard difficulties are 4:30 in length, the Insane cannot be 1 minute long. If all difficulties have large amounts of the song left unmapped, the audio file should be cut accordingly.

Nomination priority

There are no strict rules governing which maps a captain must nominate for Loved, but generally the nominated maps are very well known and appreciated by the community (as the title "Loved" implies). Sometimes a beatmap will also be preferred if it is significantly older than others or contains beatmaps with unique and high-quality mapping styles.

Further information

Most of the organisation and planning for Project Loved is done in the #osu-loved channel of the osu! Discord server. Any questions, concerns, or suggestions may be directed there.

In addition to the discussion channels mentioned above, there are dedicated hubs for each game mode: