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Osu! logo
Original author(s)Dean "peppy" Herbert
Initial releaseSeptember 16, 2007; 11 years ago (2007-09-16)
Stable release
20190828.2 / September 2, 2019; 13 days ago (2019-09-02)
Preview release
2019.831.0[1] / August 31, 2019; 15 days ago (2019-08-31)
Written inC#
Operating systemMicrosoft Windows
iOS (beta)
Android (private beta)
Available in36 languages
TypeRhythm game
Alexa rankNegative increase 2,114 (September 2019)[2]

Osu! (stylized as osu!) is a free and open-source rhythm game primarily developed, published and created by Dean "peppy" Herbert. Originally released for Microsoft Windows on September 16, 2007, the game has also been ported to macOS. Its gameplay is based on titles including Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan, Elite Beat Agents, Taiko no Tatsujin, Beatmania IIDX, O2Jam, and DJMax. The game has an active esports community, and is also sometimes recommended by professional players of other games to practice or warm-up.[3]


There are four official game modes: "Osu!standard" (often just called "Osu!"), "Osu!taiko", "Osu!catch" (formally "Osu!ctb") and "Osu!mania".[4] These are played with beatmaps. Beatmaps consist of three main items – hit circles, sliders, and spinners. These objects are arranged in different positions on the screen and in different points of time. The beatmap is then played with accompanying music, simulating a sense of rhythm as the player interacts with the objects to the beat of the music. The game can be played using various peripherals, such as a computer mouse, graphics tablet, keyboard, or a touchscreen device.


Osu!, also known as Osu!standard, is the default game mode and consists of playing beatmaps by clicking circles, sliders, and spinners. Other gameplay modes add additional gameplay features or change the difficulty (e.g. Double Time, Hidden, Flashlight, Hard Rock). Inspiration for this mode was taken from Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan and Elite Beat Agents.


Osu!taiko is a game mode which consists of clicking notes to the beat on a drum-like interface, inspired by the Taiko no Tatsujin series.


Osu!catch, formerly known as Osu!ctb (catch the beat), is a game mode which consists of catching fruit to the beat by controlling a mini-character holding a plate.


Osu!mania is a game mode which consists of a piano-like style of clicking notes to the beat, similar to the Beatmania IIDX series. The number of keys ranges from 1 to 9, with 4 keys and 7 keys being more popular among players.


Osu! has five different beatmap categories:[5]

  • "Ranked & Approved" – type of beatmaps that were approved to be playable by Beatmap Nominators, or BNs. They give performance points (pp) that allow players to advance in the global players leaderboard.
  • "Qualified" – type of beatmaps which are on their way of becoming ranked. They will not award performance points.
  • "Loved" – type of beatmaps that have received a significant reception from the community and were approved to be playable. They only feature a beatmap leaderboard.
  • "Pending" – type of beatmaps which are either not fully done or waiting to be ranked. They do not have a leaderboard.
  • "Graveyard" – type of beatmaps which have not received an update in over 30 days. Just like pending beatmaps, they do not have a leaderboard.

Subscription service[edit]

The game offers a subscription-based service, Osu!supporter, that allows players to download beatmaps directly from inside the game, a heart icon beside the username on the official Osu! website, additional pending beatmap slots, faster download speeds, access to multiplayer on cutting edge build, friend and country-specific leaderboards, one free username change, and more customization on one's user page.[6]


Osu!lazer[7] is an upcoming free and open-source remake of the original game client that features a graphics framework built from the ground up with rhythm games in mind. This results in improved visuals, performance and more flexibility for future changes. Users are able to create their own game modes using this framework which can then be played in the Osu!lazer client. The Osu!standard game mode features various gameplay changes such as a new scoring system focused more on rhythm and the addition of more gameplay modifiers. The development of Osu!lazer started in 2016 and development versions of Osu!lazer are currently available for testing on Windows, macOS and iOS with upcoming releases for Linux and Android in the future.


Music from Osu!'s "featured artists" are selected by the community as being suitable for play, and for having a compatible copyright status.[8] Currently there are over 40 featured artists. Some featured artists have created tracks specifically for use in Osu!, such as Imperial Circus Dead Decadence.[citation needed] Some artists are also known for making music for other rhythm games, such as Camellia (Masaya Oya) and Cranky (Hiroshi Watanabe) who are known for their works in Konami's Sound Voltex and Beatmania IIDX series of games.


Jeuxvideo.com reviewed Osu! favorably with 18/20 points in 2015.[9] In 2010, MMOGames.com reviewer Daniel Ball said that while the game was very similar to Elite Beat Agents, it was differentiated by its community's large library of high-quality community made content and customization.[10]

Osu! has been used and recommended by e-sport players such as Ninja as a way to warm-up and practice their aim.[11][3]

Community and competitive play[edit]

An audience watches two top players compete at the Osu! Twitchcon Booth in 2018

Currently Osu! has over 14 million players worldwide.

Osu! contains three main facets for competition between players. In multiplayer lobbies, up to 16 users play a map simultaneously. On individual maps, players compete for high scores on various leaderboards. Players also compete with their ranks, which are calculated by accumulating "performance points" (pp). PP is based on a map's difficulty and the player's accuracy. [12] According to PC Gamer, most competitive Osu! players score between 100 and 400 pp on a map, with few ever exceeding 500. In July 2019, a player exceeded 1,000 pp for the first time, followed by another player less than twenty-four hours later.[3][13]

Since 2014, there have been five annual Osu! "World Cups", one for each game mode (Osu!mania having two for 4 key and 7 key). Teams for World Cups are country-based, with up to eight players per team.[14] There are also many different community-hosted tournaments, differing in rank range, types of maps played, and how the teams are composed.[15] Winners of tournaments typically receive prizes such as cash, merchandise, profile badges and/or Osu!supporter subscriptions.

Osu! also features different events, such as fanart and beatmapping contests. Unofficial events and conventions are also being held. One of the biggest unofficial events held in community is Osu!event[16] that was arranged three times since 2017.

Mobile ports[edit]


Osu!stream is an adaptation of Osu! for iOS devices running iOS 6 and later, also developed by Dean Herbert. The main difference between Osu! and Osu!stream is that Osu!stream beatmaps are not user created. The version also includes some new gameplay elements.[17] Osu!stream has not been updated since September 29, 2015.[18]


Osu!droid is a fan adaption of Osu! for Android devices. The official Osu!droid was released through the play store, though many players complained of problems. Since then, an unofficial release, titled Osu!evolution has been used as a substitute for Osu!droid. Osu!droid is no longer actively developed or supported, and is considered a dead project.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Releases". GitHub. Retrieved June 22, 2019.
  2. ^ "ppy.sh Competitive Analysis, Marketing Mix and Traffic - Alexa". www.alexa.com. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Carpenter, Nicole (July 16, 2019). "Gamers with godlike reflexes are racing to break world records in this rhythm game". PC Gamer. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  4. ^ "Game Modes". osu.ppy.sh. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  5. ^ "Beatmaps". osu.ppy.sh. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  6. ^ "Support the game". osu.ppy.sh. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  7. ^ rhythm is just a *click* away! Contribute to ppy/osu development by creating an account on GitHub, ppy, September 6, 2019, retrieved September 6, 2019
  8. ^ "Featured Artists". osu.ppy.sh. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  9. ^ "Test : osu!". jeuxvideo.com (in French). June 7, 2015. Archived from the original on June 21, 2017.
  10. ^ Ball, Daniel (April 27, 2010). "Online rhythm and music game Osu! reviewed - MMOGames.com". MMOGames.com. Archived from the original on October 22, 2018. Retrieved October 22, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  11. ^ Webb, Kevin (August 24, 2019). "Professional gamers like Ninja use this music game to practice their aim and improve their mouse skills — Here's how you can play for free". Business Insider. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  12. ^ "Performance Ranking". osu.ppy.sh. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
  13. ^ "osu! PP world record broken by 15-year-old". Dot Esports. July 25, 2019. Retrieved August 12, 2019. For instance, former Overwatch League pro Hyeon "EFFECT" Hwang said he plays the game for one hour before matches to warm up his hands.
  14. ^ Amos, Andrew (November 16, 2018). "Circle Work: A chat with Australia's Osu! World Cup team". Red Bull. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  15. ^ "Tournaments". osu.ppy.sh. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  16. ^ cavoeboy. "COE 2019". COE 2019. Retrieved September 6, 2019.
  17. ^ "osu!stream". osu.ppy.sh. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  18. ^ "osu!stream – Apple App Store Preview". apps.apple.com. Retrieved August 16, 2019.

External links[edit]