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osu! Logo
The osu! logo since 2016[1]
Osu!lazer screenshot.png
Screenshot of osu!lazer, the in-development stage of an open source version of osu!.
Original author(s)Dean "peppy" Herbert
Developer(s)osu! development team
Initial releaseSeptember 16, 2007; 14 years ago (2007-09-16)
Stable release20220424[2] (April 24, 2022; 3 months ago (2022-04-24)) [±]
Preview release2022.810.2[3][4] (August 10, 2022; 9 days ago (2022-08-10)) [±]
Written inC#
Operating systemMicrosoft Windows
Linux (open beta)
Android (open beta)
iOS (open beta)
  • osu! lazer
  • 150 MB
  • osu! stable
  • 120MB
Available in35 languages
List of languages
English, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Thai & 30 More
TypeRhythm Game
LicenseFreeware (stable build)
MIT (osu!lazer/preview build)
Websiteosu.ppy.sh Edit this on Wikidata

Osu![a] (stylized as osu!) is a free-to-play rhythm game primarily developed, published, and created by Dean "peppy" Herbert. Inspired by iNiS' rhythm game Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan, it was written in C# on the .NET Framework,[6] and was released for Microsoft Windows on 16 September 2007. The game has throughout the years been ported to macOS, Linux, Android and iOS.

Asides from Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan, the game has been inspired by titles such as Taiko no Tatsujin, Beatmania IIDX,[7] EZ2DJ(EZ2CATCH), Elite Beat Agents, O2Jam, StepMania and DJMax. All beatmaps in the game are community-made through the in-game map editor. Four different game modes exist, offering various ways to play a beatmap, which can also be combined with addable modifiers, increasing or decreasing the difficulty.

Gameplay and features[edit]

There are four official game modes: "osu!" (called "osu!standard"), "osu!taiko", "osu!catch", and "osu!mania".[8][9] The original osu!standard mode remains the most popular to date and as of March 2022, the game has over 19.3 million monthly active users according to the game's global country leaderboards.[10]

Each mode offers a variety of "beatmaps", which are game levels that are played to songs of different lengths, ranging from "TV sized" anime openings to "marathons" surpassing 7 minutes. In osu!standard, beatmaps consist of three items – hit circles, sliders, and spinners. The goal of the game is for the player to click on these items in time to the music. These items are collectively known as "hit objects" or "Circles", and are arranged in different positions on the screen (except for the spinner) at different points of time during a song. Taiko beatmaps have drumbeats and spinners. Catch beatmaps have fruits and spinners, which are arranged in a horizontally falling manner. Mania beatmaps consist of keys (depicted as a small bar) and holds. 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.[11][12] Each beatmap is accompanied by music and a background. The game can be played using various peripherals: the most common setup is a graphics tablet or computer mouse to control cursor movement, paired with a keyboard[13][7] or a mini keyboard with only two keys, while the game's auto function (where the game itself plays the beatmap as accurate as possible) uses only the mouse to play osu!standard beatmaps, and only the keyboard for osu!taiko, osu!catch, and osu!mania beatmaps.

The game offers a buyable service called osu!supporter, which grants extra features to the user.[14] osu!supporter does not affect the ranking system, or provide any in-game advantage. While osu!supporter itself is not a recurring service (meaning it is a one-off payment), it has a limited time validity ranging from 1 month to 2 years, at which point after this period, would require the player to purchase the tag again.

Community and competitive play[edit]

Community events[edit]

refer to caption
An audience watches players idke and RyuK compete at the Osu! TwitchCon booth in 2018.

Osu! and its players have organized different events, such as fanart and beatmapping contests, and conventions. The biggest unofficial event held in the community is "cavoe's osu! event"[15] (Usually referred to as "osu! event" or "COE"), held at The Brabanthallen[16] in 's Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands. The event has been arranged three times since 2017 yearly. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, COE 2020 was cancelled. There will be another COE event happening in 2022 that is taking place from 1 to 7 August. There were also official stands at TwitchCon and Anime Expo.[non-primary source needed]


Osu! contains three main facets of competition between players. In multiplayer lobbies, up to 16 users play a map simultaneously. On individual maps, players compete for highscores on global leaderboards or against highscores set by themselves and friends. 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 performance on it.[17] In July 2019, a player, Vaxei, exceeded 1,000pp for the first time, followed by another player, idke, less than twenty-four hours later.[18][19]

Starting in 2011, there have been twelve annual Osu! World Cups (usually abbreviated as OWC), one for each game mode (osu!mania having two for four key and seven key). Teams for World Cups are country-based, with up to eight players per team.[20] There are also very many different community-hosted tournaments, differing in rank range, types of maps played, and how the teams are composed.[21] Winners of larger official tournaments typically receive prizes such as cash, merchandise, profile badges and/or osu!supporter subscriptions. For this reason, large tournaments often attract high skill level players as well as large audiences on Twitch, this is in contrast to the smaller community tournaments which often have small or no prizes and are not watched by many people. These smaller tournaments comprise the vast majority of all Osu! tournaments, and through the usage of global rank entry restrictions where you may only compete against players in your own rank range, community tournaments provide a serious competitive environment for players who may not be highly skilled. Without these community tournaments, players would have to practice for years to have any shot at serious competitive play.



In 2011, Osu!stream was released as 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 and are instead made by the developers of Osu!stream. The version also includes some new gameplay elements.[22]

On 26 February 2020, Herbert announced that he released the source code and plans to halt development of the game, releasing one final update that made all the levels free to download.[23]


A list of Osu! beatmaps that contain detailed information about these songs and related statistics.
The Osu!lazer song selection screen.

Osu!lazer[24] is an open source remake of the original game client under heavy development. It was originally projected for the stable version to come out in 2017. However, as of December 2021, not all features were working.

The development of Osu!lazer started in 2015 and development versions of Osu!lazer are currently available for testing on Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. Osu!lazer is written entirely in .NET (formerly .NET Core).[25]

Related projects[edit]


Osu!framework is an open source game framework developed with Osu!lazer in mind. The goal of Osu!framework development is to create a versatile and accessible game framework that goes further than most, providing things out-of-the-box such as graphics, advanced input processing, and text rendering.[25]


McOsu is an open source game client designed to play osu!standard beatmaps, available on Windows, Linux, macOS, and the Nintendo Switch.[26]

The focus of McOsu is to provide an unofficial Osu! client for practice, featuring tools that allow players to retry specific parts of beatmaps. McOsu also offers virtual reality support.[27] This game client does not allow players to gain "performance points" or to increase their official ranking.


Opsu! is another unofficial open source game client for Osu!, written in Java using Slick2D and LWJGL (wrappers around OpenGL and OpenAL) designed to play Osu! beatmaps, available on Windows, Linux, and macOS. It is also available in the Google Play Store for Android devices.[28]


Osu!droid is a unofficial open source game client for the game Osu!, it is available on Android devices, as a different option to opsu!. It is not on the Play Store, but it is available as an APK which you can download from a website.[29]


Jeuxvideo.com reviewed Osu! favorably with 18/20 points in 2015.[30] 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.[31] The game has been used and recommended by esports players such as Ninja and EFFECT, as a way to warm-up and practice their aim.[32][11]


  1. ^ Pronounced variously: English: /ˈs/, /s/; IPA: [osː].


  1. ^ "Stable 20161029.3 · changelog | osu!". osu.ppy.sh. Archived from the original on 25 July 2022. Retrieved 25 July 2022.
  2. ^ "Stable Releases". ppy. Archived from the original on 17 March 2022. Retrieved 17 March 2022.
  3. ^ "Releases". GitHub. Archived from the original on 10 August 2022. Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  4. ^ "Lazer 2022.810.2 · changelog | osu!". osu.ppy.sh. Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  5. ^ "a long-overdue update". ppy blog. 30 June 2016. Archived from the original on 8 November 2020. Retrieved 20 August 2021. Until now we used some XNA code for input handling and low-level structs. These dependencies are almost compeletely removed from the project now, with OpenTK or similar open-source frameworks replacing them.
  6. ^ "Osu!'s programming language?". osu! Community Forum. Retrieved 27 July 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ a b Gonzáles, Mariela (5 September 2019). "Gaming Sounds: osu!, cuando el ritmo se convierte en nuestro séptimo sentido". The Objective (in Spanish). The Objective Media. Archived from the original on 7 January 2020. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  8. ^ Andika, Ferry (27 December 2019). "Osu!, Game Rhythm Terkenal di PC dengan Ribuan Pemain Harian" (in Indonesian). Jakarta: Indozone Media Indonesia. Archived from the original on 7 January 2020. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  9. ^ "Game Modes". osu.ppy.sh. Archived from the original on 21 November 2019. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  10. ^ "osu! leaderboards".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. ^ a b Rodrigues, Gabriela (19 September 2019). "Como baixar Osu! e treinar sua mira no Fortnite e CS:GO". TechTudo (in Brazilian Portuguese). Rio de Janeiro: Globo Comunicação e Participações S.A. Archived from the original on 7 January 2020. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  12. ^ Phúc, Thịnh (30 August 2019). "Bí quyết giúp game thủ có khả năng phản xạ chớp nhoáng". Zing.vn (in Vietnamese). Archived from the original on 7 January 2020. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  13. ^ Smart, Jibb (17 September 2019). "Why not just use thumbsticks?". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on 7 January 2020. Retrieved 7 January 2020. While there's debate among its fans as to whether playing with a mouse is as good as playing with a stylus, there's one thing everyone will agree on: thumbsticks are almost useless for this game.
  14. ^ "Support the game". osu.ppy.sh. Archived from the original on 12 August 2019. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  15. ^ cavoeboy. "COE2020". cavoeboy.com. Archived from the original on 7 January 2020. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  16. ^ "cavoe's osu! event 2020". Brabanthallen. Archived from the original on 3 February 2020. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  17. ^ "Performance Ranking". osu.ppy.sh. Archived from the original on 30 November 2018. Retrieved 1 September 2019.
  18. ^ Carpenter, Nicole (16 July 2019). "Gamers with godlike reflexes are racing to break world records in this rhythm game". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on 26 September 2019. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  19. ^ "osu! PP world record broken by 15-year-old". Dot Esports. 25 July 2019. Archived from the original on 12 August 2019. Retrieved 12 August 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.
  20. ^ Amos, Andrew (16 November 2018). "Circle Work: A chat with Australia's osu! World Cup team". Red Bull. Archived from the original on 30 July 2019. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  21. ^ "Tournaments". osu.ppy.sh. Archived from the original on 12 December 2017. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  22. ^ "osu!stream". osu.ppy.sh. Archived from the original on 6 May 2021. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  23. ^ blog, ppy. "osu!stream 2020 release". blog.ppy.sh. Archived from the original on 27 February 2020. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  24. ^ GitHub - ppy/osu: rhythm is just a *click* away!, ppy, 6 September 2019, archived from the original on 3 April 2017, retrieved 6 September 2019
  25. ^ a b ppy/osu-framework, ppy, 15 June 2021, archived from the original on 24 June 2021, retrieved 24 June 2021
  26. ^ G, Pascal (11 February 2019), McKay42/McOsu, archived from the original on 24 June 2021, retrieved 24 June 2021
  27. ^ "McOsu on Steam". store.steampowered.com. Archived from the original on 24 June 2021. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  28. ^ "Opsu!". GitHub. 28 July 2022.
  29. ^ "Home". ops.dgsrz.com.
  30. ^ "Test : Osu!". jeuxvideo.com (in French). 7 June 2015. Archived from the original on 21 June 2017.
  31. ^ Ball, Daniel (27 April 2010). "Online rhythm and music game Osu! reviewed - MMOGames.com". MMOGames.com. Archived from the original on 22 October 2018. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  32. ^ Webb, Kevin (24 August 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. Archived from the original on 2 December 2019. Retrieved 26 August 2019.

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