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Skinning Tutorial

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Osu!sys os.png

Skinning Skin.ini
Tutorial » Interface Standard Taiko Catch the Beat Mania Sounds
Skin elements » Interface Standard Taiko Catch the Beat Mania Sounds

These Skinning Tutorial articles are to serve as a general how to on skinning; this is achieved by showing multiple examples on how one should paint their images.


Introduction: "I want to make a skin!"

Well nice decision, but remember skinning can be little hard for a newbie. In the beginning of making any skin, you should have:

  • Beginner skills with any photo editing program (that supports transparency) like Photoshop, GIMP, Paint.NET, etc. (MS paint will not work!)
  • Patience (skinning takes time)
  • An idea! Yes, this is very important. Try be clever when making your skin.
  • And of course, you need something with you can start skinning… Below are links to the skin templates.
ST 002.png or ST 003.png
  • (New skin template is a little incomplete and mixed with old one to fill all missing files, but should be enough to make new style skin).
  • The new skin template will be out of date due to cutting edge updates.
    • To ensure you have all/most/some/or whatever elements you need, check out Skinning (and its subpages).

About Mature Content


You must add warning that your skin have these.

Probably some of you perverts would like to make a skin that will contain mature content. All cases are simple, if you are going to post a skin that have it, you are only allowed to post R-15 "ecchi" (suggestive, visible underwear, swimsuits/bikini, etc.) and you need to avoid adding characters with really skimpy clothing.


You are NOT allowed to post skins that contains any R-18 (nudity, pornography, etc.) in skinning subforum. Period.

If you post it somewhere else in the osu!community, be aware that you might be punished for that. (On the other hand, if you release it outside the osu!community walls nobody will hunt you down).

Skinning Basics

What is skinning? Do I need some magical powers to skin?

Skinning is a simple picture changing mechanism that osu will load upon selecting certain skin. Creating skins is easy (creating elements is a little more difficult thing to achieve). First you need to find your "Skins" folder that must be inside your osu! directory. To start creating new skin, install template (download it and just open, osu! will do the rest) rename template folder to your skin name and start editing it. (or copy template skin if you will need it for something).

Actually we have skinning elements for all four game modes:

Together there will be more than 200 elements to edit (without animations). But don’t be scared with the amount of files. You are not forced to change everything.

What should my skinning folder contain?

Generally - skin elements and skin.ini with is important part of your skin. What is skin.ini I will explain later in "skin.ini" part. Which parts you are going to add it’s completely up to you. Every part that you won’t change, will be taken from default skin.

You are free to add different folders with alternative parts into your skin, osu! won’t care if they are there or not.

What is new and old style skinning?

Old style skinning is a style that was used by old default skin (before March 2013). With "March 2013 update" peppy introduced new default skin and its new behaviours and parts. There were few important changes like new spinner, countdown, hitbursts, ranking-panel behaviour. More about these parts you can read about later.

To active new skin behaviour select this in skin options:

  • Add to skin.ini (under general):
    • Version:1 to force old behaviour
    • Version:2 (or older) to force new behaviour.
    • See skin.ini on how to do this

Using elements from other skins

This is important rule of skinning. Never use other users elements without permission. If you got permission or user is no longer active and it’s impossible to contact with them, remember to credit them properly. (Something like: Elements xxx from <name of user>’s <skin/beatmap link/name>). Especially DON’T USE parts that come from skin mixes and "creator" of mix doesn’t know where he get these elements. If you can’t find original creator of skin part (you asked some people already, searched in skinning subforum), you shouldn't use it, but as long as there will be note that you are still looking for author of xxx.png, it’s fine.

If you are going to make "skin mix" keep it for yourself or post it on your profile page. We don’t need them in skinning subforum.

Parts that can be animated

For a list of animatable elements, please go to Skinning and check out its subpages!

osu! allows to create animations for some elements. To create animation all you will need to do is creating frame by frame and naming them by <name of part>-0.png, <name of part>-1.png, <name of part>-2.png etc. You are not limited to amount of frames. Exception is only sliderb with is named sliderb0, sliderb1, sliderb2 etc.

If your animation is too fast, you can fix that in 2 ways. First, try to make them longer by doubling frames. For example frame 0 and 1 are the same picture (so picture will last 2 frames), frame 2 and 3 are second picture, etc. This will make animation slightly slower. But it won’t work on menu-back and hitbursts. In that case you need to use "AnimationFramerate" option. Read more about it in skin.ini part.

Important information about game mode skins


See Skinning Tutorial (Interface) for more details.


See Skinning Tutorial (Standard) for more details.

Normal - Kind of skin, that skinner creates as he/she wish. Follow or don't follow template sizes. These are often colourful and creative. May contains many different animations. Typical skin for casual player.

Simplified - This kind of skin is directed to a players who dislike distractions, but like to see some things. Skins like this often have minimized size of hitbursts (300,100, 50 etc.), size of parts aren't larger than template's, less colourful, less animations.

"PRO" skins - This kind of skin it totally focused on removing any distractions that skin can provide. Skins like this contains transparent hitbursts, no animations, reduced amount of colours used in it, larger "followpoint.png", semi-transparent hit circle.

Catch the Beat

See Skinning Tutorial (Catch the Beat) for more details.

Keep droplets large (but not huge) and visible. These are small and is easy to miss.

Be careful with the catcher's plate size! If you make it too short, player won’t be able to play correctly with it since "catching" area is wider. In other hand making it too wide will mislead player and will often miss since catching area is shorter than plate.


See Skinning Tutorial (Taiko) for more details.

VERY IMPORTANT (in taiko skinning) that you must make Don (red notes) and Katsu (Blue notes) visible at all costs! Taiko is dynamic game mode and you don’t have time to think if it’s a Don or Katsu!!


See Skinning Tutorial (Mania) for more details.

This article/section is a stub. You can help the osu!wiki by expanding it.

When skinning Mania, it is important that the keys are aligned properly. This will ensure that the user will not press the key too early or too late.


See Skinning Tutorial (Sounds) for more details.

This article/section is a stub. You can help the osu!wiki by expanding it.

What is a skin.ini?

The skin.ini file allows you to define specific behaviors on how osu! will display your skin. List includes (but isn't limited to): creator name and name of a skin that show up in osu!

For the list of possible skin.ini commands, please check out: skin.ini

Creating .osk files

All that the user will need to do is open the file with osu!. You need to create .osk (osu! skin) file. You can create one from the skin selection screen, or manually with the steps below.

Modern How-To

Open to osu! > Options > Load your skin > Click the button that says Export as .osk

From there osu! will open a explorer/finder/whatchamacallit to your exported skin.

Ancient How-To

In short: You need to create *.zip archive and simply change extension to *.osk


ST 136.png


ST 137.png

Sharing your skin

Of course, this is the <optional> last step to skinning!

First, delete all non-skinned parts (You shouldn't include them!). Next, create the *.osk file (follow steps from above) and upload it somewhere. Most people prefer a direct download, so you can use upppy! or puush. Mediafire is fine too (of course you aren't limited to the ones listed).

Skinning Thread Template

If you don't know how to make friendly looking thread use this template.

by Dragvon
[b]Skin Name[/b]: Your skin name will go here.
[b]Creator[/b]: Name(s) of who made it.
[b]Theme[/b]: Tell us what theme your skin is based at.
[b]Version[/b]: Self-explanatory
[b]Tags[/b]: This can make finding your skin easier.
[b]Download[/b]: Put download link here.

[b]Size[/b]: Approx. size of your skin
[b]Is it fully skinned? Yes/No.[/b] (Gameplay/Menu/Taiko/Catch the Beat/cursor - only?)
[b]Screenshots[/b]: Screenshots go here. (Adding a spoilerbox is useful for people with slow connections)
[b]Video preview[/b]: (Optional, if you have one)

[b]Creator's comment[/b]: Self-explanatory.
[b]Updates[/b]: Leave your updates here (Again, a spoilerbox could be very useful here)
[b]Requests[/b]: Since no one is perfect, you can use this to request help to your skin :)

Don't forget about screenshots. (people wants to see your skin before downloading). You can use upppy or puush to upload them.

List of Guides in osu!
FAQ/Ranking Guidelines
General Mapping Guides What is a beatmap? How do I beatmap? How do beatmaps get ranked? Difficulty appropriate gameplay elements How to time songs Song Setup Mapping Taiko Difficulties Fitting the Size-limit
Modding Aides AIBat
Mapping Techniques Mapping Techniques Making Good Sliders How to do 15° Patterns
Modding Info How do I mod?
Skinning/Hitsound Guides
Skinning Skinning Tutorial » Interface Standard Taiko Catch the Beat Mania Sounds

Cropping with Complex Backgrounds Cropping with Simple Backgrounds Making Properly Centered Spinners What are Custom Sample Overrides? Custom Hitsound Library Adding custom hitsounds

Storyboarding Guides Storyboard Scripting Storyboard Scripting (Cheat Sheet) SGL Tool Reducing SB Load
Audio Editing Guides Audio editing Basic MP3 modifications Getting songs from Video Games
Video Editing Guides Compressing Videos Videos from YouTube
Gameplay Guides Play Styles How to increase your rank Making nice recording for Youtube Live streaming osu! How do I use the Chat Console?
Common Mistakes Changing the Map's Artist or Title
osu!forums Guides BBCode Starting a Beatmap Project How to not Embarrass Yourself in the Projects Subforum How to not Embarrass Yourself in the Modding Queues Subforum
Miscellaneous BanchoBot Changing Title Text Music Theory Setting the Offset on the Correct Beat Collab Information Shortcut Key Reference GL Support Issues What is Internet Relay Chat? How to Run osu! on Your Mac without using Boot Camp

Contents of
Getting Started Registration Installation Newbie's guide Game Interface Options Hit Objects
osu! Game Styles Basic explanation Multi-play
External ports » osu!stream osu!droid opsu! osu!wp T-Aiko Beats
External clients » osu!tourney osu!MapDownloader
World of osu!
Miscellaneous » Mascots osu!academy osu!talk
Beatmap Editor Compose / Design (Scripting) / Timing / Song Setup

Beatmapping Beat Snap Divisor / Distance Snap Custom Sample Overrides Kiai Time Mapping Techniques Skinning Skin.ini Storyboarding

Online Editing
and Ranking
Beatmap forum Submission Beatmap Approval (How to Get Your Map Ranked) Modding (Getting Your Map Modded) Music Theory Audio Editing Kudosu / Star Priority
People The Team Administrators/Global Moderation Team Quality Assurance Team Beatmap Nomination Group Language Moderators osu! Alumni Support Team Community Contributors List of notable people