Osu! Tapx Beginner’s Guide

by m4ttm4n

It has been around 3 years since I started playing tapx, and I wanted to write up a guide as an introduction to players that are interested in learning this playstyle, or for players that would like to know more about this playstyle. 

What is tapx?

Tapx is a playstyle in osu! in which that the player’s two inputs are 1 key on the keyboard (almost always K2 in game), and tapping with the tablet pen, hence tapx (Using m1 on the mouse is called clickX, which is basically the same playstyle).The playstyle was pioneered by players such as TTTL, black sheep, lesjuh and more. It is a relatively unpopular playstyle due to limitations that it has, but today in 2019 there are still a few players who play with this playstyle, players like Emilia, moffo, TheOmyNomy and myself come to mind.

Variations of tapx?

Unlike ZX, where the main difference between players are either singletapping or alternating (or somewhere in between), there are many different variations to tapx, here’s a list of them that I know of, if you have any other varients that you personally use, feel free to post it in the comments!

Tobe:

Pen tapping for singletaps, and alternating between tap and x for streams.

Here’s an example of me playing

Reverse Tobe:

As the name suggests, it’s tobe, but reverse, keyboard for singletaps, and tapx for streams, moffo is well known for this playstyle.

Here’s a liveplay from moffo!

Azuki/tapzx/emilia style

Instead of playing tapx on streams, players who use this playstyle plays zx on the streams, but still singletaps with the pen, as the name suggests, emilia is the most well-known for this playstyle.

Here’s an example from emilia!

Mayoler/reverse azuki

ZX on singletaps, tapx on streams, pioneered by mayoler.

Here’s a video of him playing!

Tapx alt/black sheep/lesjuh

Perhaps the hardest variant of tapx to learn, this playstyle requires players to fully alternating between pen tap and k2 on both streams and singletaps, requiring insane amounts of coordination. This playstyle was pioneered by players like TTTL, black sheep and lesjuh. The most well-known player with this playstyle is obviously oxycodone/yamemasita, hitting top 10 back in 2015.

Here’s a liveplay from oxycodone himself!

Here’s score from a clickx alt user!

Benefits of tapx:

Most obviously, the main benefit for tapx is the highly increased speed. Playing with tapx gives the player a massive speed boost, often players can surpass their speed on keyboard with a very short amount of time. Besides, many find tapping with the tablet pen more intuitive to learn and aim with. Making tapx generally fairly easy to pick up. Giving it the illusion that it is also very easy to master as well, but this is not the case! Here’s why:

Disadvantages of tapx:

While being able to stream 270+ bpm on tapx sounds cool, it is often very difficult for players to stream a low BPM such as 180-200, as the player is tapping with both hands, the amount of coordination needed is already high, and even higher at such low BPMs, besides, due to the how human hands work, all tapx players would have some sort of shakiness to their aim, making spaced streams MUCH harder. However TheOmyNomy actually manages to almost FC honesty with tapx when it can be considered an achievement just passing it. Absolutely astonishing.

Another disadvantage of the playstyle is that it is often much harder to have good acc on tapx due to players tapping with their pen AND aiming at the same time, making having a tight control over accuracy more difficult.

Lastly, mastering tapx at a high level is VERY difficult (much harder than ZX in my opinion), learning how to control the playstyle PROPERLY is a very demanding task. It is not hard to pick up tapx and just mash your way through 280BPM streams, but actually controlling and coordinating between your hands at this speed is very hard to learn, and players often have to spend a LOT of time learning how to do so. For example, oxycodone has nearly 200k playcount, while moffo has almost 250k playcount, the effort needed to master the playstyle is very high.

Yea that sounds cool and all but how do I learn it?

The first step to learning how to play tapx is finding out a grip that is suitable for you, a grip where you don’t shake a lot and can tap with without having your pen slip from your hands. Having a larger area is also recommended as it can minimize the amount of shakes. Once you are comfortable with controlling the shakes, you can play on a smaller area, or whatever area that suits you!

Something else that is very important in learning tapx is that you should learn how to control and coordinate between the two hands, so start from a lower BPM, and slowly work your way up, similar to how one would learn how to increase streaming speed on ZX, doing the opposite and playing high BPM maps from the get go is NOT recommended. (That’s what I did and I think we can all agree that it’s not the best way to learn tapx.) This process could be quite difficult as it is very easy to lose rhythm and start doubletapping.

Also another tip, try out the different variations to tapx! Play whatever you are comfortable with, maybe you are comfortable with tapx alt and we can see another oxycodone in the future!

TL;DR: start slow, learn control, don’t mash.

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