Osu! How to Improve Guide

Osu! How to Improve Guide by gadrinz

Are you stuck? Feel like you hit a wall and you can’t seem to progress any more? Do you feel like gaining ranks is becoming a very hard task? Do you want to be a #1 player and rek everyone with your amazing jumping and streaming skill? Worry not, help is here!

First of all, let me talk about the concept of “play for fun”. It is true that it is a game, and it is meant to be enjoyed. I mean, if you are not enjoying it, there is no point in trying to get better, but if you want to improve you should also sort of treat this game as a sport. You will not get better if you find playing easy maps you can easily ss fun. Different people can find different aspects of the games fun.

Playing for fun may help you get the rind mindset of the game and give it your best indeed, but it will not always make you a better player. In fact, if you want to improve, you will have to step out of your comfort zone and work a bit harder in order to improve that skill.

Are you the type of player that can complete really hard maps but has a difficulty in maintaining a combo and accuracy on easier maps?

Alright Mr/Mrs Speed freak. Here is what you have to do. Ar10.3 and Ar10 may be fun, and Ar9 may seem like a slow circle fest for scrubs. Hell, you might even think you are the next osu pro who is simply unable to show off his skill because you “can’t be bothered retrying maps just for ranks”. If you do think so, let me just tell you. Nope. If you don’t think so, at least you are not too ahead of yourself.

Now, this may vary depending on your rank, but if you are not at least a three digit rank then not being able to read ar9 is pretty bad. It might be the reason why you are not ranking up, you stepped too ahead and you forgot about the basics. If that is the case, please step off the hard maps and spend a lot of time practicing ar9. You may do this by either playing ar9 itself, or even playing ar8 maps which are quite consistent in notes to improve your reading at a faster rate. Another thing you might also want to work on is your accuracy and consistency this mainly applies to people who can read ar9, yet are still inconsistent. Working on those two can be a bit troubling and frustrating. When training consistency I suggest two things.

  1. Play long marathon maps and try to maintain the highest combo you can, then playing it again some time later and trying to beat the combo.
  2. Play easy maps and try to fc them first try. Gradually go up in difficulty.

Basically, you want to try to beat your combo and accuracy in maps instead of trying to beat hard maps.

*Are you the type of player that can easily acc maps, get ss’s quite often but is completely unable to play more challenging maps? *

I know a lot of people like this. They played for 4-5 years and are still stuck in the five digit area. The reason being is that you are not challenging yourself at all. You simply do what you can already do and you are not learning anything new. If you really want to improve you need to put those extra hours towards maps which are really challenging for you. Find the right balance between maps which you find challenging to fc, and maps which you find challenging to pass. If you put in enough effort you will soon improve. Chances are that you are also unable to read high ar. Do not rush with it, ar9 is fine for a long time. When you start to reach 3 digits, ar10 might be useful to learn, ar10.3 might be useful too later on depending on your route, whether you want to be a hr or a dt player, or anything else creative that you can come up with. Try to evaluate what skills you need and work towards them.

Let me give you a few tips that I have used to help me improve at certain things on osu.

Reading low ar:

Learning to read low ar might be really really frustrating because you miss at random places and it seems like the improvement is rather slow. You then get tempted to play that one more high ar map, and it is all gone again. Here is what you should do.

When you truly want to learn low ar, sacrifice a day, or a week towards low ar only. Forget about high ar completly. My tip is to play 1 ar lower than the ar you actually want to learn. For e.g. if you are trying to learn ar9, i suggest you play heavily consistent ar8 maps. You could for e.g. change a few of your ar9 maps into ar8 and play them that way. This will help you read the patterns which will improve your ar9 reading.

Reading high ar:

Reading high ar is hard, because the speed of the approach rate simply overwhelms you, and although you want to learn it, it feels too hard. The thing is, you should take is slow. Dont go mad from ar9 to ar11 immediately, because this is not going to help. If you for e.g. want to learn ar10.3 play a lot of ar10 first in advance. This will help you adjust to the slight difference in ar in comparison to ar9 and make ar10.3 more bearable. Learning high ar might take a while, and it usually works that way: You play it for a long time with no progress, then one day you wake up and you can suddenly read it.


Streaming is a physical exercise. It also takes a lot of time to actually grasp and improve on. If you want to increase the speed of your streaming focus on short bursts. Find fast maps with really fast, but rather short bursts of streams and try to do as many of them as you can without missing notes. If you miss, try again and again until you succeed.

When it comes to training stamina, well there is no other way around it but to play long streams. There are a lot of stream practice maps out there which you might find useful. You want to really try you best on the map and get as much combo and as high acc as possible, take a short break to let your fingers rest and try to beat the score. Keep doing that and moving on to faster/longer streams.


Speed similar to streaming is a physical exercise and is rather hard to learn. Bare in mind that you should avoid maps which could be completed by simply mashing keys randomly. Play really fast maps, perhaps on dt (remember that higher ar does not help speed, if you can’t keep up with the ar don’t bother with it) and play maps that you find really hard to complete. Retry and retry until you complete the map. Once you completed it, try to improve your combo on it. Also try to find the balance between maps that you can barely complete, and maps that you can barely fc in order to still keep your consistency.


One of the best ways to learn aim in my experience is by increasing the cs of the maps or playing hr. If you can’t keep up with ar10, simply change the cs of the maps to something that you find yourself often missing at randomly. Try to play the maps over and over until the rate of your misses decreases and you can maintain a higher combo on the map. When that happens, move on to a harder map and do the same. Playing jumpy maps can also help with bigger/cross screen jumps.

A few other tips:

  • Improving on osu will not happen in a week. It will take a long time and you have to be patient. The improvement is usually slow and you will not notice it. You will be convinced that you are not improving at all, but the truth is you are, and you will eventually feel the effects of it.
  • When training try to forget about gaining pp. When you get into pp farming you might indeed train consistency, depending on the difficulty of the maps you try to farm. But you are forgetting about all the other parts of training. Take a week or two, or a whole month off pp farming and just focus on training to really feel the improvement. Once you start pp farming, its hard to stop.
  • When training a certain category, for e.g. ar9 or streams try to spend at least a whole day on it. By saying whole day i don’t mean 24 hours of course. What I mean is, don’t play ar9 for 1 hour and then switch back to ar10 again. This will not help. Play ar9 this day only, and nothing else. Then perhaps the next day switch to something else. I personally currently dedicate 1 week towards ar10.3 training, and 1 week toward hr training with a few breaks for ar9. Since I have been playing ar9 for a long time, and I have not moved on to ar10 until I was rank 500 I can play ar9 very well and a lot of high ar will not change this by a lot as long as I keep coming back to it from time to time. So this is also a thing to consider. Things that you played a lot of will stick around for a while.
  • Don’t give up, and take breaks to actually play the game for relax and fun. If you overdo the training, and dont find any fun in the game anymore you will simply not be bothered anymore.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others. You will set barriers on yourself and get into a wrong mental state which physically makes you worse at the game.
  • Ranks don’t matter that much. If you want to be good. Be good. Not high ranked.

Tip from DodefMaw:

“Something I think is worth mentioning regarding streams is that keeping your fingers lower can help some players and give an instant boost to speed. If your fingers can move at (x)m/s and they move a distance of y we can then say that their streaming speed is a product of x and y. So to become faster you must press a key to it’s actuation point faster, the two ways to do that are to increase you finger’s speed (x) which takes a lot of time and/or to decrease the distance traveled (y). I believe that regarding low AR it can help to be more focused on individual objects. Oh, and another thing to try is using your ring and index finger rather than middle and index finger, the tendons for the ring and index finger are linked and can create a ‘pivot’ which means that the energy of one finger returning can be channeled into the other finger’s beginning movement more easily. This might make no sense to some people, but consider that when humans run we move our arms, the momentum of our arms actually reduces that effort needed to run by something like 20% (I forget the number). This isn’t scientifically factual as I’ve assumed a lot and done no testing and it doesn’t work for some people, but for other people it does, I believe Doomsday uses ring and index finger for example.”

Tip from Zinkon:

Remember to play a variety of maps, Zinkon said that he improves the most by playing a new map he never played and practicing to read it and react to the patterns he didn’t see before, rather than playing the same map over and over.

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3 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    This was helpful. Thanks.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I helped me a lot, thanks!!

  3. Tociart says:

    Good glob I wish I saw this sooner! awesome guide, thanks!

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