Explicit content

Screenshot of a beatmap that contains explicit contentAn example of a beatmap that is being marked with the 'explicit' tag.

Mappers are able to declare whether the content of their beatmap is explicit by ticking the Explicit Content checkbox found in the genre and language popup menu on the corresponding beatmap's web listing. This feature has a few expectations and rules governing its use.

Regardless of the nature of the audio, make sure it also complies with the general song content rules.

What counts as explicit content?

Explicit content refers primarily to the audio content of a beatmap, mostly in theme, subject matter, or heavy use of explicit language. It does not apply to visual elements of a beatmap — those must adhere to the Visual Content Considerations, or to any other user-alterable aspects of a beatmap (such as tags or beatmap difficulty names) which must abide by the osu! community rules as normal.

As a general rule of thumb, the explicit content provision creates exceptions only for content that a user cannot reasonably edit with the tools provided to them by the game, and may also be revoked on a per-track basis at the discretion of the osu! support team.

Generally speaking, most forms of music are acceptable to use in beatmaps with very few exceptions, so long as they are marked appropriately.

What counts as heavy use of explicit language?

Mild (or single) use of any common profanity is not enough to qualify a beatmap for the explicit content marker. Beatmaps with this kind of language can safely be left without being tagged as explicit — so long as the language is what one would reasonably expect from something classified as requiring "parental guidance" (PG-13). If any arguments break out over whether this is relevant for a given track, assume that it is not.

Profanity use must be sustained, significant, heavily inflammatory, or highly repetitive in order to count as explicit.

In addition, vivid and sustained discussion of controversial topics or anything that a reasonable person would consider as "heavy" should be considered as explicit. Some (but not all) examples are:

  • Imagery, impact, or consequences of suicide
  • Heavily implied violence
  • Depiction/discussion of violent consequences in gory detail
  • Extremely overt sexual references or allusions to sexual acts

A good way of discerning if something should be tagged as explicit or not is if any major audio streaming services have it listed as such on their own platforms. Spotify is an excellent place to start.