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osu! logo since 2015
Osu!lazer screenshot.png
Screenshot of osu!lazer, the upcoming open source version of osu!.
Original author(s)Dean "peppy" Herbert
Developer(s)Dean "peppy" Herbert
Initial releaseSeptember 16, 2007; 13 years ago (2007-09-16)
Stable release
20210423.2[1] / April 22, 2021; 12 days ago (2021-04-22)
Preview release
2021.424.0[2] / April 24, 2021; 10 days ago (2021-04-24)
Written inC#
Operating systemMicrosoft Windows
Linux (open beta)
Android (open beta)
iOS (open beta)
Available in36 languages
TypeRhythm game
LicenseFreeware (stable build)
MIT (osu!lazer/preview build)
Websiteosu.ppy.sh Edit this on Wikidata

osu! is a 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, Linux, Android and iOS. Its gameplay is inspired by titles such as Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan, Taiko no Tatsujin, Happy Feet (video game), Beatmania IIDX,[3] Elite Beat Agents, O2Jam, StepMania, and DJMax.

osu! has received generally positive reviews and has been recommended by professional gamers as a way of improving cursor aim and gaining advantage in games other than osu!.[4][5]

Gameplay and features[edit]

There are four official game modes: "osu!" (unofficially called osu!standard), "osu!taiko", "osu!catch" (formerly "osu!ctb"), and "osu!mania".[6][7] A level in any of these modes is called a "beatmap". In osu!standard, beatmaps consist of three items – hit circles, sliders, and spinners. These items are collectively known as "hit objects", and are arranged in different positions on the screen and in different points of time. Taiko beatmaps have drumbeats and spinners. Catch beatmaps have fruits and spinners, which are arranged in a horizontal 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.[8][9] Each beatmap is accompanied by a background. The game can be played using various peripherals, however the most common setup is a graphics tablet or computer mouse to control cursor movement, paired with a keyboard.[10][3]

The game offers a buyable service called osu!supporter, which grants many extra features to the user. Players are able to download beatmaps directly from inside the game, without the lengthy process of using browsers through a service called osu!direct. A heart icon beside the username on the official osu! website, additional pending beatmap slots, faster download speeds, access to multiplayer on cutting edge builds, friend and country-specific leaderboards, one free username change, more in-game customization, a yellow username in the in-game chat, and more customization on one's user page (the "me" tab).[11] osu!supporter does not affect the ranking system, or provide any in game advantage. osu!supporter is not a recurring service.

Community and competitive play[edit]

Community events[edit]

An audience watches two players compete at the osu! TwitchCon Booth in 2018

osu! also features different events, such as fanart and beatmapping contests. Unofficial events and conventions are also being held. The biggest unofficial event held in the community is "cavoe's osu! event"[12] (usually referred to as "osu! event" or "COE"), held at The Brabanthallen[13] 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.


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 accuracy.[14] According to PC Gamer, most competitive osu! players score between 100pp and 400pp on a map, with few ever exceeding 500pp. In July 2019, a player, Vaxei, exceeded 1,000pp for the first time, followed by another player, idke, less than twenty-four hours later.[4][15]

Since 2011, there have been eight 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.[16] There are also many different community-hosted tournaments, differing in rank range, types of maps played, and how the teams are composed.[17] Winners of tournaments typically receive prizes such as cash, merchandise, profile badges and/or osu!supporter subscriptions.



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.[18]

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.[19]


The osu!lazer song selection screen

osu!lazer[20] is a free and 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 February 2021, not all features were working.

It introduces a new graphics framework[21] that adds improved visuals, performance and more flexibility for future changes. This new framework that powers osu!lazer will allow users to create their own game modes which can then be played and modified in the osu!lazer client.[22][23]

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 Core.


Jeuxvideo.com reviewed osu! favorably with 18/20 points in 2015.[24] 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.[25] osu! has been used and recommended by esports players such as Ninja and EFFECT, as a way to warm-up and practice their aim.[5][8]


  1. ^ "Stable Releases". ppy. Retrieved 24 April 2021.
  2. ^ "Releases". GitHub. Retrieved 24 April 2021.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ a b Carpenter, Nicole (16 July 2019). "Gamers with godlike reflexes are racing to break world records in this rhythm game". PC Gamer. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  5. ^ a b 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. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "Game Modes". osu.ppy.sh. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  8. ^ a b Rodrigues, Gabriela (19 September 2019). "Como baixar osu! e treinar sua mira no Fortnite e CS:GO". TechTudo (in Portuguese). Rio de Janeiro: Globo Comunicação e Participações S.A. Archived from the original on 7 January 2020. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  9. ^ Phúc, Thịnh (30 August 2019). "Bí quyết giúp game thủ có khả năng phản xạ chớp nhoáng". Zing.vn (in Vietnamese). Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ "Support the game". osu.ppy.sh. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  12. ^ cavoeboy. "COE2020". cavoeboy.com. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  13. ^ "cavoe's osu! event 2020". Brabanthallen. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  14. ^ "Performance Ranking". osu.ppy.sh. Retrieved 1 September 2019.
  15. ^ "osu! PP world record broken by 15-year-old". Dot Esports. 25 July 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.
  16. ^ Amos, Andrew (16 November 2018). "Circle Work: A chat with Australia's osu! World Cup team". Red Bull. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  17. ^ "Tournaments". osu.ppy.sh. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  18. ^ "osu!stream". osu.ppy.sh. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  19. ^ blog, ppy. "osu!stream 2020 release". blog.ppy.sh. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  20. ^ GitHub - ppy/osu: rhythm is just a *click* away!, ppy, 6 September 2019, retrieved 6 September 2019
  21. ^ ppy/osu-framework, ppy, 11 November 2020, retrieved 11 November 2020
  22. ^ "Custom Rulesets Directory · Issue #5852 · ppy/osu". GitHub. Retrieved 11 November 2020.
  23. ^ ppy/osu-templates, ppy, 11 November 2020, retrieved 11 November 2020
  24. ^ "Test : osu!". jeuxvideo.com (in French). 7 June 2015. Archived from the original on 21 June 2017.
  25. ^ 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.

External links[edit]