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Screenshot of osu!lazer, the upcoming open source version of osu!.
|Original author(s)||Dean "peppy" Herbert|
|Developer(s)||Dean "peppy" Herbert|
|Initial release||September 16, 2007|
20200715 / July 15, 2020
2020.717.0 / July 17, 2020
|Operating system||Microsoft Windows|
Linux (open beta)
Android (open beta)
iOS (open beta)
|Available in||36 languages|
|License||Freeware (stable build)|
MIT (osu!lazer/preview build)
|Alexa rank||3,451 (March 2020[update])|
osu! is a rhythm game primarily developed, published and created by Dean 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 based on titles including Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan, Taiko no Tatsujin, Beatmania IIDX, Elite Beat Agents, O2Jam, StepMania, 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.
There are four official game modes: "osu!standard" (often just called "osu!"), "osu!taiko", "osu!catch" (formerly "osu!ctb"), and "osu!mania". These are played with beatmaps. For standard, 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. Catch beatmaps have fruits and spinners, which are arranged in a horizontal manner. Mania beatmaps consist of circles (depicted as one small bar in the default skin) 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. Each beatmap is accompanied by a background. The game can be played using various peripherals, but the most common is a graphics tablet or computer mouse, paired with a keyboard.
osu!standard, sometimes referred to as osu!std or just osu!, is the most played game mode and consists of playing beatmaps by clicking circles, holding sliders, and rotating spinners. Other gameplay modifiers (or often called mods) add additional gameplay features or change the difficulty by raising it (Double Time/Nightcore, Hidden, Flashlight, Hard Rock, Sudden Death/Perfect), or lowering it (Easy, Half Time, No Fail, Spun Out). 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 10 (2 to 20 with the use of dual stages), with 4 keys and 7 keys being more popular among players.
osu! has five different beatmap categories:
- "Ranked & Approved" – community-made beatmaps that are approved to be playable by Beatmap Nominators, or BNs. These maps give performance points (pp) that allow players to rise in the global player rankings. Ranked maps always feature a global top 50 leaderboard.
- "Qualified" – beatmaps which are on their way to becoming ranked. Beatmaps will remain in "Qualified" for 1 week, after which they will be ranked. Beatmaps in "Qualified" will be disqualified and have the beatmap status reset to "Pending" if any issues that do not pertain to osu!'s ranking criteria are found. They do not award performance points.
- "Loved" – beatmaps that have received a significant reception from the community and were approved to be playable. They only feature a beatmap leaderboard. This leaderboard can be reset by the beatmap author. Loved beatmaps do not award performance points.
- "Pending" and "WIP" – beatmaps which are either not fully done or waiting to be ranked. They do not have a leaderboard and do not award performance points.
- "Graveyard" – beatmaps which have not received an update in over 28 days. Just like pending beatmaps, they do not have a leaderboard and do not award performance points.
Subscription service (osu!supporter)
The game offers a subscription-based service, osu!supporter, that allows players 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 build, 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). osu!supporter does not affect ranking whatsoever and all funds are directed to the maintenance of osu!.
osu!lazer 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, Linux, Android, and iOS.
Since osu!lazer is written entirely in .NET Core, it is theoretically compatible with any operating environment that can run .NET Core programs.
Music from osu!'s "featured artists" are selected by the community as being suitable for play, and for having a compatible copyright status. Currently there are over 50 featured artists. Some featured artists have created tracks specifically for use in osu!, and 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. 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.
Community and competitive play
As of June 2020,[update] osu! has 17,400,851 players worldwide.
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 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. 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, Vaxei, exceeded 1,000 pp for the first time, followed by another player, idke, less than twenty-four hours later.
Since 2014, there have been five annual "osu! World Cups" (usually abbreviated and referred to as "o!wc" or "owc"), 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. There are also many different community-hosted tournaments, differing in rank range, types of maps played, and how the teams are composed. 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. The biggest unofficial event held in the community is "cavoe's osu! event" (usually referred to as "osu! event" or "COE"), held at The Brabanthallen 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!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 and are instead made by the developers of osu!stream. The version also includes some new gameplay elements. 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.
osu!droid is a fan client 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.
opsu! is a client available on Android devices and contains a port to be played on a PC, but is no longer being serviced as of 2019. However, the servers for this service are still online, so this game is still available to play. Its main feature was an osu!direct-like system for downloading beatmaps from within the game.
It is possible to play the beta of osu!lazer on Android devices using an APK.
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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.
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For instance, former Overwatch League pro Hyeon "EFFECT" Hwang said he plays the game for one hour before matches to warm up his hands.
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