.osu (file format)

.osu is a human-readable file format containing information about a beatmap.


The first line of the file specifies the file format version. For example, osu file format v14 is the latest version.

The following content is separated into sections, indicated by section titles in square brackets.

Section Description Content type
[General] General information about the beatmap key: value pairs
[Editor] Saved settings for the beatmap editor key: value pairs
[Metadata] Information used to identify the beatmap key:value pairs
[Difficulty] Difficulty settings key:value pairs
[Events] Beatmap and storyboard graphic events Comma-separated lists
[TimingPoints] Timing and control points Comma-separated lists
[Colours] Combo and skin colours key : value pairs
[HitObjects] Hit objects Comma-separated lists


Option Value type Description Default value
AudioFilename String Location of the audio file relative to the current folder
AudioLeadIn Integer Milliseconds of silence before the audio starts playing 0
AudioHash String Deprecated
PreviewTime Integer Time in milliseconds when the audio preview should start -1
Countdown Integer Speed of the countdown before the first hit object (0 = no countdown, 1 = normal, 2 = half, 3 = double) 1
SampleSet String Sample set that will be used if timing points do not override it (Normal, Soft, Drum) Normal
StackLeniency Decimal Multiplier for the threshold in time where hit objects placed close together stack (0–1) 0.7
Mode Integer Game mode (0 = osu!, 1 = osu!taiko, 2 = osu!catch, 3 = osu!mania) 0
LetterboxInBreaks 0 or 1 Whether or not breaks have a letterboxing effect 0
StoryFireInFront 0 or 1 Deprecated 1
UseSkinSprites 0 or 1 Whether or not the storyboard can use the user's skin images 0
AlwaysShowPlayfield 0 or 1 Deprecated 0
OverlayPosition String Draw order of hit circle overlays compared to hit numbers (NoChange = use skin setting, Below = draw overlays under numbers, Above = draw overlays on top of numbers) NoChange
SkinPreference String Preferred skin to use during gameplay
EpilepsyWarning 0 or 1 Whether or not a warning about flashing colours should be shown at the beginning of the map 0
CountdownOffset Integer Time in beats that the countdown starts before the first hit object 0
SpecialStyle 0 or 1 Whether or not the "N+1" style key layout is used for osu!mania 0
WidescreenStoryboard 0 or 1 Whether or not the storyboard allows widescreen viewing 0
SamplesMatchPlaybackRate 0 or 1 Whether or not sound samples will change rate when playing with speed-changing mods 0


These options are only relevant when opening maps in the beatmap editor. They do not affect gameplay.

Option Value type Description
Bookmarks Comma-separated list of integers Time in milliseconds of bookmarks
DistanceSpacing Decimal Distance snap multiplier
BeatDivisor Integer Beat snap divisor
GridSize Integer Grid size
TimelineZoom Decimal Scale factor for the object timeline


Option Value type Description
Title String Romanised song title
TitleUnicode String Song title
Artist String Romanised song artist
ArtistUnicode String Song artist
Creator String Beatmap creator
Version String Difficulty name
Source String Original media the song was produced for
Tags Space-separated list of strings Search terms
BeatmapID Integer Difficulty ID
BeatmapSetID Integer Beatmap ID


Option Value type Description
HPDrainRate Decimal HP setting (0–10)
CircleSize Decimal CS setting (0–10)
OverallDifficulty Decimal OD setting (0–10)
ApproachRate Decimal AR setting (0–10)
SliderMultiplier Decimal Base slider velocity in hundreds of osu! pixels per beat
SliderTickRate Decimal Amount of slider ticks per beat


Event syntax: eventType,startTime,eventParams

  • eventType (String or Integer): Type of the event. Some events may be referred to by either a name or a number.
  • startTime (Integer): Start time of the event, in milliseconds from the beginning of the beatmap's audio. For events that do not use a start time, the default is 0.
  • eventParams (Comma-separated list): Extra parameters specific to the event's type.


Background syntax: 0,0,filename,xOffset,yOffset

  • filename (String): Location of the background image relative to the beatmap directory. Double quotes are usually included surrounding the filename, but they are not required.
  • xOffset (Integer) and yOffset (Integer): Offset in osu! pixels from the centre of the screen. For example, an offset of 50,100 would have the background shown 50 osu! pixels to the right and 100 osu! pixels down from the centre of the screen. If the offset is 0,0, writing it is optional.


Video syntax: Video,startTime,filename,xOffset,yOffset

Video may be replaced by 1.

  • filename (String), xOffset (Integer), and yOffset (Integer) behave exactly as in backgrounds.


Break syntax: 2,startTime,endTime

2 may be replaced by Break.

  • endTime (Integer): End time of the break, in milliseconds from the beginning of the beatmap's audio.


For information about storyboard syntax, see Storyboard Scripting.

Storyboards can be defined in a separate optional storyboard file with the .osb extension. External storyboards are shared between all difficulties in a beatmap.

Each beatmap may contain its own difficulty-specific storyboard, either in conjunction with the external storyboard or by itself.

Timing points

Each timing point influences a specified portion of the map, commonly called a "timing section". The .osu file format requires these to be sorted in chronological order.

Timing point syntax: time,beatLength,meter,sampleSet,sampleIndex,volume,uninherited,effects

  • time (Integer): Start time of the timing section, in milliseconds from the beginning of the beatmap's audio. The end of the timing section is the next timing point's time (or never, if this is the last timing point).
  • beatLength (Decimal): This property has two meanings:
    • For uninherited timing points, the duration of a beat, in milliseconds.
    • For inherited timing points, a negative inverse slider velocity multiplier, as a percentage. For example, -50 would make all sliders in this timing section twice as fast as SliderMultiplier.
  • meter (Integer): Amount of beats in a measure. Inherited timing points ignore this property.
  • sampleSet (Integer): Default sample set for hit objects (0 = beatmap default, 1 = normal, 2 = soft, 3 = drum).
  • sampleIndex (Integer): Custom sample index for hit objects. 0 indicates osu!'s default hitsounds.
  • volume (Integer): Volume percentage for hit objects.
  • uninherited (0 or 1): Whether or not the timing point is uninherited.
  • effects (Integer): Bit flags that give the timing point extra effects. See the effects section.


Timing points have two extra effects that can be toggled using bits 0 and 3 (from least to most significant) in the effects integer:

  • 0: Whether or not kiai time is enabled
  • 3: Whether or not the first barline is omitted in osu!taiko and osu!mania

The rest of the bits are unused.



The first timing point at 10 seconds is uninherited, and sets:

  • BPM to 180 (1 / 333.33 * 1000 * 60)
  • Time signature to 4/4
  • Sample set to the beatmap default
  • Sample index to osu!'s default hitsounds
  • Volume to 100%
  • Kiai time

The second timing point at 12 seconds is inherited, changing the slider velocity to 4x and the sample set to drum.


All options in this section represent colours. They are comma-separated triplets of integers 0–255, representing the red, green, and blue components of the colours.

Option Description
Combo#, where # is an integer Additive combo colours
SliderTrackOverride Additive slider track colour
SliderBorder Slider border colour

Hit objects

Hit object syntax: x,y,time,type,hitSound,objectParams,hitSample

  • x (Integer) and y (Integer): Position in osu! pixels of the object.
  • time (Integer): Time when the object is to be hit, in milliseconds from the beginning of the beatmap's audio.
  • type (Integer): Bit flags indicating the type of the object. See the type section.
  • hitSound (Integer): Bit flags indicating the hitsound applied to the object. See the hitsound section.
  • objectParams (Comma-separated list): Extra parameters specific to the object's type.
  • hitSample (Colon-separated list): Information about which samples are played when the object is hit. It is closely related to hitSound; see the hitsounds section. If it is not written, it defaults to 0:0:0:0:.


The hit object's type parameter is an 8-bit integer where each bit is a flag with special meaning.

Bit index Meaning
0 Marks the object as a hit circle
1 Marks the object as a slider
2 Marks the start of a new combo
3 Marks the object as a spinner
4, 5, 6 A 3-bit integer specifying how many combo colours to skip, a practice referred to as "colour hax". Only relevant if the object starts a new combo.
7 Marks the object as an osu!mania hold note.


The hitSound bit flags determine which sounds will play when the object is hit:

Bit index Meaning
0 Normal
1 Whistle
2 Finish
3 Clap

If no bits are set, the normal hitsound is used by default.

In every mode except osu!mania, the LayeredHitSounds skin property forces the normal sound to be included regardless of bit 0's setting. It is enabled by default.

Custom hit samples

Usage of hitSample can further customise the sounds that play. It defaults to 0:0:0:0: if it is not written.

Hit sample syntax: normalSet:additionSet:index:volume:filename

  • normalSet (Integer): Sample set of the normal sound.
  • additionSet (Integer): Sample set of the whistle, finish, and clap sounds.
  • index (Integer): Index of the sample. If this is 0, the timing point's sample index will be used instead.
  • volume (Integer): Volume of the sample from 1 to 100. If this is 0, the timing point's volume will be used instead.
  • filename (String): Custom filename of the addition sound.

normalSet and additionSet can be any of the following:

  • 0: No custom sample set
    • For normal sounds, the set is determined by the timing point's sample set.
    • For additions, the set is determined by the normal sound's sample set.
  • 1: Normal set
  • 2: Soft set
  • 3: Drum set

All of these options (besides volume) are used to determine which sound file to play for a given hitsound. The filename is <sampleSet>-hit<hitSound><index>.wav, where:

  • sampleSet is normal, soft, or drum, determined by either normalSet or additionSet depending on which hitsound is playing
  • hitSound is normal, whistle, finish, or clap
  • index is the same index as above, except it is not written if the value is 0 or 1

The sound file is loaded from the first of the following directories that contains a matching filename:

  • Beatmap, if index is not 0
  • Skin, with the index removed
  • Default osu! resources, with the index removed

When filename is given, no addition sounds will be played, and this file in the beatmap directory is played instead.

Hit circles

Hit circles do not have additional objectParams.


Slider syntax: x,y,time,type,hitSound,curveType|curvePoints,slides,length,edgeSounds,edgeSets,hitSample

  • curveType (Character): Type of curve used to construct this slider (B = bézier, C = centripetal catmull-rom, L = linear, P = perfect circle)
  • curvePoints (Pipe-separated list of strings): Anchor points used to construct the slider. Each point is in the format x:y.
  • slides (Integer): Amount of times the player has to follow the slider's curve back-and-forth before the slider is complete. It can also be interpreted as the repeat count plus one.
  • length (Decimal): Visual length in osu! pixels of the slider.
  • edgeSounds (Pipe-separated list of integers): Hitsounds that play when hitting edges of the slider's curve. The first sound is the one that plays when the slider is first clicked, and the last sound is the one that plays when the slider's end is hit.
  • edgeSets (Pipe-separated list of strings): Sample sets used for the edgeSounds. Each set is in the format normalSet:additionSet, with the same meaning as in the hitsounds section.

Slider curves

When constructing curves for a slider, x and y are used for the first point, and curvePoints supply the rest.

There are four types of slider curves in osu!:

  • Bézier (B): Bézier curves of arbitrary degree can be made. Multiple bézier curves can be joined into a single slider by repeating their points of intersection.
  • Centripetal catmull-rom (C): Catmull curves are an interpolating alternative to bézier curves. They are rarely used today due to their lack of visual appeal.
  • Linear (L): These curves form a straight path between all of their points.
  • Perfect circle (P): Perfect circle curves are limited to three points (including the hit object's position) that define the boundary of a circle. Using more than three points will result in the curve type being switched to bézier.

If the slider's length is longer than the defined curve, the slider will extend in a straight line from the end of the curve until it reaches the target length.

Notice: The slider's length can be used to determine the time it takes to complete the slider. length / (SliderMultiplier * 100 * SV) * beatLength tells how many milliseconds it takes to complete one slide of the slider (where SV is the slider velocity multiplier given by the effective inherited timing point, or 1 if there is none).

Slider hitsounds

Apart from edge hitsounds, sliders also have an ongoing hitsound whenever the player is in range of the slider's follow circle. The sound file is looped for as long as it is active.

This hitsound uses the hit object's hitSound and hitSample properties, but only the normal and whistle sounds are supported. Its filename is <sampleSet>-slider<hitSound><index>.wav, where hitSound is either slide for normal or whistle for whistle.


Spinner syntax: x,y,time,type,hitSound,endTime,hitSample

  • endTime (Integer): End time of the spinner, in milliseconds from the beginning of the beatmap's audio.
  • x and y do not affect spinners. They default to the centre of the playfield, 256,192.

Holds (osu!mania only)

Hold syntax: x,y,time,type,hitSound,endTime:hitSample

  • endTime (Integer): End time of the hold, in milliseconds from the beginning of the beatmap's audio.
  • x determines the index of the column that the hold will be in. It is computed by floor(x * columnCount / 512) and clamped between 0 and columnCount - 1.
  • y does not affect holds. It defaults to the centre of the playfield, 192.



The first object is a hit circle:

  • In the centre of the screen
  • At 11 seconds
  • Starting a new combo, and skipping one extra combo colour
  • With a whistle hitsound

The second object is a spinner:

  • At 11.2 seconds
  • Ending at 12 seconds
  • With finish and clap hitsounds, playing at 80% volume
  • With the normal hitsound playing with the drum set, at 80% volume

The third object is a slider:

  • At the position (100,100)
  • At 12.6 seconds
  • Starting a new combo
  • With a compound bézier curve slider body, where the first curve's control points are (100,100), (200,200), and (250,200), and the second curve's control points are (250,200), and (300,150). The duplicated control points denote a red anchor point.
  • Repeating once
  • 310.123 osu! pixels long
  • With a whistle hitsound at the beginning, and a whistle hitsound playing with the soft set at the end


osu!taiko's hit objects only use time to determine how they are placed on the play field, so x and y are ignored. Likewise, the only significant part of slider curves is length; curveType and curvePoints are only relevant when opening the map in the editor. Combo colours and new combos are ignored, and mode-specific hitsounds are used.

  • Hit circles with whistle or clap hitsounds become kats, and other hit circles become dons. Adding the finish hitsound changes these into their large variants.
  • Sliders become drum rolls.
  • Spinners become denden notes.


osu!catch's play field only uses the x-axis, so y is not relevant. Slider curves may utilise vertical space to achieve horizontal acceleration when they are flattened to a one-dimensional play field.

  • Hit circles become fruits.
  • Sliders become juice streams, with fruits on each edge.
  • Spinners become banana showers


Similarly to osu!catch, osu!mania hit objects do not use y. x is used to determine the column; see the Holds section.

  • Hit circles become normal notes.
  • Sliders and spinners are not used in osu!mania.