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Mapping Taiko Difficulties

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Recently I have noticed that the way of Taiko Mapping becomes harder and harder which effects Kantan and Futsuu as well and can become to a problem. They show up too many different spacings which confuses players or are mapped to a songs beat constantly without any break. In general it is no problem to map to a songs beat, many mappers do this. But at some point it makes the difficulty harder as it should be because, the mapping to the beat becomes too literal. As a result of this, new players can't find enough maps which fit to their level. Thus, our community becomes smaller.

This guide will show you how to map a certain difficulty and how it effects other difficulties in a set. Contact OnosakiHito or another Taiko BAT if you don't understand something; think the guide is too complicated/confusing, or have suggestions for improvement.

Last Update: 2013.08.29

Recheck: aquabluu, tetsutaro, Taiko BATs

Language check: coming

Searching for Translation in 日本語、中文, ...



A Kantan is in general the entry for new players who come for the first time with the game Taiko in touch. That means, these people are not familiar with the game and need to learn the basics of it: How to hit the notes and facing for the first time easy pattern constellations. To achieve this, you have to map mostly(not only) independently of the songs beat or vocal, since these are often used uneven which the beginner can't handle well enough. In that meaning: Typical for a Kantan is the usage of 1/1 notes and 2/1 spaces or above, which gives the new player the possibility to prepare himself for the next patterns.

Icon idea.gif Examples

Kaori Nishina - Kaze no Naka ni Su wo Kufu Kotori (Kantan) (tetsutaro)

  • Mostly a usage of dons with an addition of kats in the kiai.
  • Longer sliders to give beginners time to get used to it.
  • As 1/1, no pattern is longer than 5 notes.

PON & Makino Mizuta - WO AI NI (Kantan) (MMzz)

  • Mostly a usage of monotonically patterns.
  • Easy beat-wise mapping at 00:02:951 (4) - with a big space afterwards.
  • Many spacings

Star.gif Conclusion

A Kantan contains not many notes, and even the 1/1 are not frequently used.


A Futsuu is for players who understood the very basics in Taiko and are ready to go one step forward. Here for the first time, the player is getting confronted with 1/2 notes and different spacings, which are the basic entry to Muzukashii and Oni. Together with 2/1 patterns, there can be also an usage of 1/4 and even 1/2, depending on the song. But even so, 1/2 should be used sparingly and only in songs which are intended to be the hardest level of Futsuu. So mapping to the beat becomes more significant at this point but shouldn't be overtaken. That means, a Futsuu can follow a songs beat or vocal but should contain enough 2/1 spacings to give the player the possibility to prepare themself for the upcoming patterns. Also Note: 1/4 notes are still meant for Muzukashii, but can be used in Futsuu for example when the BPM of a song is really low.

Icon idea.gif Examples

Motteke! Sailor-fuku (Futsuu) (lepidopodus)

  • Usage of 1/2 notes
  • 2/1 spacings available
  • 01:14:305 (8) - Long slider.

Halozy - Serenade of Love (Futsuu) (OnosakiHito)

  • Usage of 1/2 notes
  • 2/1 spacings available
  • Appereance of 1/4 notes in form of doublets(on very low BPMs this can be allowed)
  • Beat-wise mapping

Star.gif Conclusion

Even if a Futsuu can carry 1/2 notes, they should not be overused. Avoid too long patterns and have enough breaks and 1/1 notes.


A Muzukashii is now for those who got used to the game; who know how to handle basic patterns and different spacings. These properties from Kantan and Futsuu appear in a Muzukashii as well, but in a large amount. - Patterns can become longer and spacings more infrequent. Additional to this, a Muzukashii can also provide short 1/4, 1/3 and 1/6 patterns which structure is preferable monotonically and short. The rule of thumb is the following one:

  • Stick to simple 1/4 patterns like ddd / kkk, ddk / kkd and do not overuse them.
  • kdk /dkd are acceptable as long as they're not coupled with triplets of other kinds.
  • 1/4 dd / kk and dddd / kkkk should be used sparingly and only when it suits the rhythm of the song.
  • Same applies for 1/4 ddddd / kkkkk , but these should stand rather alone.
  • 1/6s are in songs of 3/4 signatures or bouncy rhythm allowed, just no suddenly slipping in 1/6s between 1/2 or 1/4 parts.

Icon idea.gif Examples

Takamitsu Yoko - Angel Dream (Muzukashi) (Ra-s)

  • Short 1/2 patterns
  • 4/1 spacings
  • Appearance of 1/4 leads to more spacings .
  • Mostly alone standing 1/4 5-plet notes.

Nakagawa - DON'T CUT (Muzukashii) (lepidopodus)

  • Maximum of three consecutive 1/4 triplets
  • Mostly alone standing 1/4 5-plet notes.

Star.gif Conclusion

It should be noted that the more 1/4 are in use, the more breaks/spaings should appear to give the player the possibility to prepare themself for the upcoming patterns. Also keep in mind that a pattern should not be longer than 5 notes and cheap tricks such as sudden increase in scroll speed or excessive large notes should be prevented. And remember: Less is more . Try to keep 1/2 patterns small.


An Oni is for experienced players. It is in most cases the last difficulty in Taiko which is mostly mapped to a songs significant soundings and contains all the properties from the previous difficulties at once, with the difference, that the note density is higher . In that meaning, the usage of longer pattern constellations; more 1/4 notes and for the first time 1/6 is allowed.

Icon idea.gif Examples

>>You can check out the Onis which are mapped by various mappers in osu-taiko<<

Star.gif Conclusion

In general you are allowed to do what ever you want as long as it is fair to the song, but also here: Less is more. Have some spacings to give players a little rest moment or to emphasize certain parts/patterns.

Inner Oni / Ura Oni

Inner Oni and Ura Oni are just an extra Oni and equal to it. In most cases these difficulties are harder as the common Oni and appear when a Taiko-Set is able to carry a harder difficulty. In such cases, the Ura/Inner is the real "Oni" while the Oni is just a filler for having a better spread. The word Inner and Ura means "Hidden", which are the Hidden Onis in the arcarde game.

Icon idea.gif Examples

Zeami - Music Revolver (Inner Oni) (KanaRin)

  • The Inner Oni is the "real" Oni in this map-set.
  • The Oni is only an addition for lower players.

Hatsune Miku - Hatsune Miku no Shoushitsu -Gekijouban- (Inner Oni)(mint_ong89)

  • The Inner Oni is the "real" Oni in this map-set.
  • The Oni is only an addition for lower players.

Star.gif Conclusion

In general it is a modified, harder version of Oni. Not all songs require one.

Taiko.gif Taiko-Sets

Now it is known how to map a certain difficulty, but it is also important to know when to use them in a Taiko-Set.

A common set contains all the difficulties together, Kantan , Futsuu , Muzukashii and Oni which difficulty-spread between them should be kept the same . That means for example, having not an Oni which is mostly mapped with 1/4 beats while the Muzukashii has only 1/2 notes. If something like that happens, you are able to move to another type of set which contains additional an Inner Oni and sometimes even an Ura Oni .

Inner and Ura Oni can be used as filler in a map-set too keep a consistent diff-spread in it. Also in this way, an Oni can be mapped easier for people who are still not familiar with harder once, while Inner/Ura serves as harder Oni.

Icon idea.gif Examples

Click here to watch video!

Star.gif Conclusion



Icon exclaim.gif If you have such set, make sure that your Oni fits to the overall difficulty spread. Don't make it too hard.

Icon idea.gif If it should happen that one of your difficulties turns to be too hard or too easy for the set, ...


...use such one and add an additional difficulty into it. If this isn't enough, add one more Ura.

Icon exclaim.gif Keep in mind , you can always make the difficulties easier as they actually could be, but never make them harder as they normally should be.

Icon idea.gif Even easy Onis can be interesting for good players since the mod Double Time exist.

Taiko Guest Difficulties (Mapper = M)

Hard-t.pngInsane-t.pngInsane-t.png(M1,M1,M2) Icon arrow.gif Hard-t.pngInsane-t.pngExpert-t.png (M1,M1,M2)

Icon idea.gif As second mapper, always think about what difficulty could fit better to the GD-Set. Instead of another Oni which is mapped similar to the previous one, you could add a Futsuu or Inner Oni to the set.

Hard-t.pngInsane-t.pngInsane-t.png(M1,M1,M2) Icon arrow.gif Normal-t.pngHard-t.pngInsane-t.png (M1,M1,M2)

Icon exclaim.gif Think about lower/new players. They are the future for our community , so give them easy difficulties to get used to Taiko .

Hard-t.pngInsane-t.png Icon arrow.gif Normal-t.pngHard-t.png

Icon exclaim.gif A song doesn't always require an Oni. Think about mapping lower difficulties.

Icon idea.gif Make lower players happy by giving them easier difficulties. Experienced players can use several mods to make the map harder for themself.

Guide created by OnosakiHito, original thread here

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