Play Osu! It's a neat game. Watch me write a essay about a game that has no story and very simple gameplay. What is Osu? If you're the kind of person who just wants a video instead of a bunch of words: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EufUR6Hz2yo That's the game. It's more or less a PC port of the nintendo DS games "osu tatakae ouendan" also known as "Elite Beat Agents". The gameplay concept are the same in Osu! except there's a lot less stories being told in the background. If you've never heard of any of the nintendo DS games, then the simplest way to put it is: It's a rhythm game where you point your cursor at objects on the screen and then click on them along with the beat. It's very competitive and the ranking system is accurate enough to value real skill over just 'play time'. You have no team mates to blame, it's all you, and you're terrible at osu, just like everyone else. You can't win in this game, just suck slightly less compared to all the rest. That's the goal. But those times when you get a sick full combo, it's a good feeling. You're free to use any input device you want that can move the cursor and any button to click the objects. The most common setup by far is mouse+keyboard. drawingtablet+keyboard is widely seen as the "best". But playing with mouse-only is also very possible (not many people do it, it's hard), touchscreen is also a thing but even more rare, and not great. It takes 5 seconds to start, and then 5 more seconds to be inside playing a map. It's incredibly easy to just start up between things. Whenever you have some downtime, just play. Just make a shortcut somewhere visible and click it whenever you feel bored. Get the game http://osu.ppy.sh/p/download It's free. Get Maps This is the hardest part. And I really wish the devs made some improvements here, but for now... it's pretty tedious and difficult to find what you want to/can play. The main page for downloading beatmaps http://osu.ppy.sh/p/beatmaplist click the images to hear a preview. If you're totally allergic to japanese music and don't even want to see it http://osu.ppy.sh/p/beatmaplist?m=0&r=0&g=0&la=5 for instrumental only. Install .osz beatmap files by using Windows "Open with..." Osu!.exe and the maps auto installs. You can also just drag the file into to osu! window to install the map. (This works for .osk files as well, .osk is for skins). But it's more efficient to get the packs http://osu.ppy.sh/p/packlist start downloading the most recent packs, avoid the oldest. But since you're downloading a pack you're gonna get a lot of songs you don't want. Deal with it. Just install them all and then delete them in client if you dislike them (right click them in song selection and choose delete). Best way to get decent maps: play multiplayer, and Sharing among friends. Getting beatmaps you enjoy is the hardest thing and it does take some time to find em. [Good music] [Well mapped] [At your difficulty level] Pick two. That's basically how it goes when hunting for maps. Here's one I like: Feint - Time Bomb it has 4 difficulties, so it's a good starting point I guess. I want to know more about Osu (non gameplay stuff) Spoiler Osu is made by a Australian dude who calls himself "Peppy", he lives in Japan and works on the game full time as I understand it. The game has been around since 2007 and has been growing ever since. At daily peak hours it has about 12,000 users online at once (if it was on Steam it would be hovering around #15 for daily peak user stats). A large chunk of users are from east Asia, probably close to half the total users are from Japan+Korea+China+Taiwan, while the other half is the rest of the world (obviously). The game is English though. The client, forums, devs, and other staff are largely English centered. But a large majority of songs are Japanese becaaaause... All the beatmaps are community made. There are no 'official' maps. Japan has always been big on rhythm games, and the way their language is sung/spoken, lends itself well to these games. And Japan has the most users in osu. So a lot of the music in the game is in Japanese, NOT ALL, but a lot. The client comes with one default "official" skin/theme, but users can customize the look of the game quite a bit. Tell me about the gameplay Spoiler There's 3 kinds of objects that will appear on the screen while playing a beatmap. Circles - You click on them. Sliders - You click on them, keep holding it pressed and slide your cursor along the shape of the slider all the way to the end. Spinners - You click anywhere on the screen, keep holding and spin your cursor around the center point of the spinner/screen (any direction is fine). And that's it, that is literally all the things you'll have to deal with. Tell me about the music Spoiler All beatmaps are community-made, and then volunteer moderators go through and select maps for 'ranked' status. Ranked maps have some degree of quality assurance, they've been deemed good enough for people to compete on so they get global leaderboards and players can get performance points by playing them. Here's the bit where most of you will probably go "eeeeh I dunno about this". A lot of the music in Osu is Japanese, and a significant chunk of those Japanese songs are from anime, or sounds like it could be from anime. I don't/rarely watch anime so personally I'm not a big fan of all these cutesy pop anime beatmaps. Frankly I find the majority of them kind of embarrassing. But great news for me; there's literally thousands of other beatmaps that I can play instead. When I first started playing Osu I really kept away from most japanese maps, but over time my tolerance for it has definitely gone up, these days I'll only refuse to play things that reaallly make me uncomfortable. There are levels of cute-anime-voices I cannot take, I can't handle it. I feel I got sidetracked, the bottom line is: Japanese music has the quantity advantage. But there's no shortage of other music, instrumental, english, finnish, whatever you want. All categories come with their own spectrum of Great-Good-Decent-Bad-Awful Tell me about the difficulty, this looks really hard! (helpful video clips here) Spoiler This game is hard, and IT NEVER BECOMES EASY, not ever. Nope. I'm joking of course, but what I mean is there is always harder things to play, always. You never beat the game. And that's a good thing, it makes it so you set your own goals, and not chasing pointless milestones some developer put in to measure success. The charm of this game is that it pushes you to become better, and you see improvements very quickly! And that is dangerously addictive. If you look back at how you played a week earlier in your first few months of play you will actually see drastic improvements, it's almost scary, but also extremely fun. However, it starts accessible for everyone. The easiest maps are super easy. I've compiled a small videolist to show difficulty progression. Each clip is about 13 seconds, played by me except the last two: Column 1 Column 2 Column 3 Difficulty Link Comment Easy http://puu.sh/8EnjH.webm There's things easier than this too! Easy http://puu.sh/8EnnF.webm Normal http://puu.sh/8Enq7.webm Hard http://puu.sh/8EntM.webm Hard http://puu.sh/8EnvN.webm Insane http://puu.sh/8Enyz.webm Insane http://puu.sh/8EnBY.webm Extra http://puu.sh/8EnJf.webm Played by rrtyui. Currently the best player in the world Beyond Extra http://puu.sh/8EnZz.webm Played by Happystick. This is basically inhuman. There's lots of things in between these, but that would make the list unfeasibly long. Other Useful things, information. Spoiler Have a look in the options menu before playing. My recommendations are to turn off "Combo Bursts". And turn off "Background Video". Set the "Background Dim" to 95% or more. At 100% dim all kind of hype flashing from combos are disabled. You WANT to dim the background for sure. Turn on the hit error "score metre type", this puts a colored bar at the bottom of your screen telling you if you're clicking too early or too late. Turn on "Ignore all beatmap skins", "use skin's sound samples" and "always use skin cursor" if they aren't on already. If you're playing with mouse, make sure you don't have any mouse acceleration active. Windows has it by default, so if you've never done a registry edit to remove it, you have mouse acceleration. It's absolutely impossible to build a muscle memory with that shit on. http://donewmouseaccel.blogspot.se/2010/03/markc-windows-7-mouse-acceleration-fix.html just get the file at the top of this blog, the first link. If you want to use a custom skin (you do) here are some suggestions: shameless plug- my own homemade skin https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1281220/osuskin/Ravidge Skin HD - v4.4.osk (seen in the videos in this post) Black 2014 http://osu.ppy.sh/forum/t/194902 Aesthetic Skin https://osu.ppy.sh/forum/t/189843 You can mix elements from any skin and Frankenstein your own creation, or draw them yourself, making skins is easy. Hotkeys: z, x - click on objects with your keyboard. c - smoke, basically you get to draw on the screen in glorious mspaint quality. spacebar - skips the intro of songs. Scrollwheel - adjust Universal Volume Scrollwheel+shift+ctrl - adjust Universal Volume in song selection F7 - cycles through FPS limiters. F8 - brings up chat and all chat tabs (stay away from #osu, it's cancer) F9 - brings up chat and the list of users. F12 - Screenshot Shift + F12 - Screenshot and auto upload to puush. Do you need to be a musician or rhythm master to play this game? Absolutely not. That's a lot of text huh. Anyway, get more info and content at http://osu.ppy.sh/wiki/Main_Page http://www.twitch.tv/directory/game/Osu! http://www.reddit.com/r/osugame/ I put a lot of effort into this post, probably more than I should have. I wonder if anyone is even gonna read it. Or even try/play the game.