How to Play Osu!

"The Rhythm Game"

Osu! is a rhythm game that combines the task of moving a cursor around the screen to certain positions with tapping to a beat. Osu has grown worldwide to one of the most popular rhythm games out there although mostly played in asia. Osu can be very daunting to start playing speaking on how not many beginner maps exist. The game is community centered with only a few maps being made by the developers and almost every map made by players of the game.

Cursor Control

There is five ways to play osu each getting more complicated than the last so lets start with the basics.

Mouse - The first type of control is using the mouse to move the cursor around the screen. This option is very optimal and is simple to pick up since the mouse is how you navigate the computer.

Drawing Tablet - more of an advanced play using the action of writing on a drawing tablet to move the cursor on the screen.

Since this is a begineer course we are going to assume you are using the mouse.


Osu has 2 different options for clicking. One option is infinitely better than the last and it is recommended to start with the harder one as using the easier one will result in muscle cramps and poor rhythm.

Mouse Buttons - sounding simple using the mouse buttons to click on the circles at the right time. Combined with the mouse movement it is one handed play.

Keyboard Buttons - The default settings are z and x you tap these keys as you hover over the circle with the cursor.


Single Tapping - the beginner type of tapping where you only press the z key to the beat. This helps people get more used to tapping to the beat at lower levels.

Double Tapping - A more advanced type that becomes required at some higher difficulties requires alternating between the z and x key while playing the song. It takes some getting used to but once you get it it will help you play longer and increase endurance.

Hybrid Tapping - a hybrid of the last two that uses double tapping for every beat except for jumps which you single tap. This is a highly advanced technique.

Do Not Use Hybrid Tapping Until You Are Used To Both Tapping Styles

Note Types

Tap Notes - This is the basic type of note. These notes are single circles that appear on the screen. To hit them time the click of the mouse with the closing of the bigger circle around the note while your cursur is over it.

Slider Notes - The slider note is a note that requires you to HOLD down the click button while following the path that the circle makes. There will be a bigger circle that acts as a grace area for you movements.

Spinner - This type of note is special and you will mostly see this type at the end of a section or song. This note requires you to click and HOLD inside the huge circle that appears on screen and spin the cursor around in a circle motion till it says clear. For every extra full rotation you make around the circle you will be awarded 1000 points.

Getting Started

The game should come with a tutorial map that will describe the basics.

The prefered control method for beginners getting into Osu! is Single Tapping with the z key while using the Mouse to move the cursor. This will provide the most stability in movement without confusing the player with one hand moving everything.

Hitting Notes

As your first note appears it will be a circle labeled 1. Another bigger circle will start closing in around the circle and once the two circles meet you click. Saying it might get a little confusing but trying it out you will see it is very simple. A line will shoot out of the circle to another circle labeled 2 that will appear. Click on this note and it will complete the group.

The Health Bar

The health bar is a mechanic that is always pushing against you while playing the song. The bar will always be going down and the more accurate you are with note presses the higher it will go. Normally the bar stays near the top but if you miss a note the bar will fly down. It is your job to keep hitting the notes as accurate as possibly as to not reach zero. When the bar depletes completely, you will fail the song.

Points System

As you keep hitting notes in a row you will gain a combo. Unlike other rhythm games the combo can go as high as you can get. It can go from 30x to as far as 880x. Your score will increase with each correct note hit. Normally for every note press you will get 300 points. Less accurate presses will yield 100 or 50 points. Your score will increase forever and get to around millions in the end despite only being 300 because of the combo increase.