Mapping Glossary

From Arrow Block to Wrist Reset and everything in between. Learn mapping lingo here!

Many thanks to contributors from across the mapping community who have made this expanded wiki possible!

This glossary is a living, breathing, growing work in progress. If there's a term you've come across not listed, let us know in #mapping-discussion!

Please pardon our appearance while we get content and formatting transferred!

#A

3-Wide Wall: A wall that spans 3 lanes, requiring the player to move out of the center of the track to avoid. Interchangeably used with any wall requiring the player to move out of the center of the track. Never considered okay to use.
4-Wide Wall: A wall that spans all four lanes and three rows of the standard track, usually causing the player to fail the level unless it is thin. Never considered okay to use.
Arrow Block: A block with an arrow on it indicating the direction in which it must be hit. Also known as Arrow Note. See also Block, Note, Dot Block/Note
Arrow Vortex: The name of a free third party tool that can analyze song BPM and calculate offset.

B

Beats per Minute: Defines the tempo (speed) of a song. The number of beats that occur in one minute. Abbreviated BPM
BeatSaver: The repository for all custom songs in Beat Saber. Songs uploaded here feed automatically to Beast Saber.
Block: A cube with either an arrow or dot on it. The primary element of gameplay. By default, blocks are red or blue. Also known as Note
BPM: Acronym for Beats per Minute.
Bomb: A block that looks like a spiky circle and that damages the player if their saber touches it. It is safe for a bomb to pass through the player’s body. Also known as Mine
Bomb Reset: A pattern of bombs placed to forcibly reset the player’s arms. See also Reset
Bomb Spiral/Helix: A pattern of bombs placed in a spiral or helical pattern, intended to force the player to move their arms in a large circle.

C

Chroma: A mod that makes custom lighting events available to mappers, most notably allowing for full RGB color mapping. Chroma lights can be viewed with both the core Chroma mod and the smaller ChromaLite mod.
Columns: Horizontal divisions across the track down which blocks travel. The default track has four columns. Also known as Lane. See also: Row, Layer
Controller Clash/Smash: Any pattern that directs the players hands inward at each other on the same beat, often leading to the player smashing their hands together. Higher skilled players can sometimes avoid these but they’re still highly discouraged at all levels of mapping. Also known as Handclap
Corner Crouch: The combination of a dodge wall and a crouch wall leave the player a small gap to squeeze into.
Cover Image: The square image associated with the song loaded into the song browser. Must be a minimum of 256x256 pixels but not recommended to be more than 512x512 pixels.
Crouch Wall: A wall blocking the upper portion of the playspace which forces the player to crouch to avoid.
Crossover: A block placed on its opposite-handed side. Example: A blue block placed in lanes one or two, or a red block placed in lanes three or four, primarily when the pattern forces the players’ arms to “cross over” to play.
Cursor Precision: The musical duration of the spacing between notes. Typically 1/1 (one note per beat), 1/2 (one note per half beat), or 1/4 (one note per quarter beat). Also known as Precision

D

.dat File: The text file containing most content for that difficulty or song info in the new 2.0 song format. Contains json format with different structure to 1.0, and a different file extension. File format is used for both song info and for map content. See also Info File, Difficulty File
Difficulty File: The .dat text file containing most content for that difficulty. In the old, obsolete song format this was a .json file.
Dodge Wall: A vertical wall that forces the player to move out of the way to avoid taking damage. See also Groove Wall, Crouch Wall
Dot Block/Note: A block that can be hit from any direction. Often used as top notes in lower difficulty maps or in sliders. Also known as Dot Notes
Dot Spam: Overuse of dot blocks, typically due to inexperience. See also Dot Block/Note
Double Directionals (DD): Two sequential same colored blocks with the same or close orientations. Typically considered for blocks within angles of 45 degrees of each other. The playability of this pattern depends on the amount of time given to players to reset. Discouraged within 1.5 beats (longer in higher BPM songs). Also known as Drumsticking (dated)
Doubles: Two different colored notes on the same timing, hit simultaneously. Can also refer to towers or stacks of two same color notes in any orientation (vertical, horizontal, diagonal).
Drumsticking: Two sequential same colored blocks with the same or close orientations. Dated term for Double Directionals
Drifting BPM: An unintentionally shifting song BPM as a result of live performance without a metronome. Also known as Variable BPM, Multiple BPM

E

Editor: A generic name for any of the map editors available.
.egg File: A version of an .ogg song file used by BeatSaver. Mappers do not need to worry about this.
Environment: The in-game play area and associated platform, track, and lights. Also known as Platform.
Error Checker: A feature in Mediocre Mapper that allows mappers to check for the presence of double directionals, vision blocks, and stacked notes.
Escape: The notes following a block. Complex crossovers or obstacle patterns require carefully considered escape patterns to feel comfortable.
Event: Any lighting element occurrence processed by the game.

F

Face Bombs: Bombs placed in the center two positions of the track. Very easily hit by the hilt of the saber even when the player has arms outstretched.
Face Note: Blocks placed in the center two positions of the track (lanes/columns two and three, middle layer/row). These blocks will be at the player’s head/face level if their height is set correctly and are highly discouraged. Also known as Vision Blocks.
Face Puncher: A pattern that consists of one or two diagonal up blocks crossed over into the extreme opposite lane. Many players will overswing trying to reach and end up punching their HMD.
Face Wall: Wall occupying one of the two center lanes. Also known as dodge walls.
Fake Wall: Wall with a negative width value, making it harmless to the player.
Fast Walls: Wall with a negative duration value that appears to move past the player at super speed. Also known as Hyper Walls.
First Person Flying Control: A launch option available to SteamVR and Oculus users to launch Beat Saber and have limited keyboard and mouse control over the game in a first person view. Abbreviated FPFC
Fixed BPM: A song with a consistent BPM from start to finish with no variation. Also known as Single BPM. See also Variable BPM
FPFC: Acronym for First Person Flying Control

G

Gallops: A rapid pattern of two singles followed by a double. Significantly difficult to play and discouraged at high tempos and high precision. Can also add unintended emphasis.
Groove Wall: A wall that is paired with a note that creates a motion involving both arms and body. See also Dodge Wall, Crouch Wall

H

Half Jump Duration: The distance down the track where the blocks and obstacles spawn. Measured in beats; therefore varies in “spatial” distance by BPM . Also known as Spawn Distance. See also Spawn Point, NJS, BPM, and Spawn Offset.
Hammer Hit: A pattern composed of an arrow block pointing at a bomb, forcing the player to swing their saber at the block but stop short to avoid the bomb and making it impossible to get full points. Highly discouraged pattern.
Handclap: Any pattern that directs the players hands inward at each other on the same beat, often leading to the player smashing their hands together. Higher skilled players can sometimes avoid these but they’re still highly discouraged at all levels of mapping. Also known as Controller Clash, Controller Smash
Hitbox: The region where the saber collides with an object. Note hitboxes are larger than they visually appear, bomb hitboxes are smaller than they appear, and wall hitboxes are exact
Hook: A pattern of two sequential up/down blocks of the same color with usually one lane in between. The players arm makes a hook motion to play the pattern.
Hot Start: When the first notes of a map appear within two seconds of the beginning of the song.
Hyper Walls: Wall with a negative duration value that appears to move past the player at super speed. Also known as Fast Walls.

I

Info File: The primary map file that includes information and metadata for all difficulties of a map. In 2.0 song format this file is a .dat file. In 1.0 song format this was a .json file. See also Difficulty File
Inline: Patterns that remain in one column/lane and row/layer for 2 or more blocks in a row. Typically refers to two alternating colors, but not always.
Inner Ring: A small ring around the track found in some in-game environments.

JK

.json File: The text file containing most content for that difficulty or song info in the old 1.0 song format. Contains same format but different structure to .dat files, with a different file extension. File format is used for both song info and for map content. See also Info File, Difficulty File
JSON Wall: A style of mapping requiring Mapping Extensions in which the mapper can be extremely creative with non-standard wall types and sizes. Not recommended for novice mappers.
Jump: A pattern that moves across multiple lanes/columns (horizontally) or layers/rows (vertically) in rapid succession. Not recommended below 1/2 precision, especially at high tempo. The faster the jumps are, the more difficult they are to execute. See also Jump Stream
Jump Stream: A style of mapping that includes jumps within a stream.

L

Lane: Horizontal divisions across the track down which blocks travel. The default track has four lanes. Also known as Column. See also: Row, Layer
Layer: Vertical divisions above the track, down which blocks travel. The default track has three layers (bottom, middle, top). Also known as Row. See also: Lane, Column
Lighting: A collective term for all of the lighting events and options available to mappers. A map is not considered complete without some form of lighting. See also Event
Lighting Track: The area in most map editors where lighting events are placed. See also Track
Loloppe Notes: Two same direction blocks placed side-by-side such that hitting both requires abusing the block hitbox. Named after the mapper who made them famous.

M

Mapping Extensions: A mod developed by Kyle1314 that allows mappers access to a number of unique utilities for advanced mapping. See also Precision Placement, Precision Rotation, JSON Walls
Mediocre Mapper: The most popular community mapper. Developed by squeaksies as a fork of the original EditSaber editor by Ikiewa. No longer in development or supported by its author
Mine: A block that looks like a spiky circle and that damages the player if their saber touches it. It is safe for a mine to pass through the player’s body. Also known as Bomb
Mismap: A mistake, incorrect, or faulty choice in a map.
Modding: A derivative of “Moderation.” The act of thoroughly reviewing and providing feedback on a map to check for adherence to ranking criteria or for general improvement. Originates from the rhythm game osu! A map should be modded prior to submitting a rank request. Unrelated to game mods that alter the UI or gameplay of Beat Saber.
Multiple BPM: A song with one or more BPM changes as intended by the song’s composer. Also known as Variable BPM

N

NJS: Abbreviation of Note Jump Speed.
NPS: Abbreviation of Notes Per Second.
Note: A cube with either an arrow or dot on it. The primary element of gameplay. By default, notes are red or blue. Also known as Block
Note Jump Speed: The speed that objects approach the player in-game. Labeled in info.dat as "noteJumpMovementSpeed”. Abbreviated NJS
Notes Per Second: A measure of map density. The number of notes that pass the player within one second. A very rough approximate measure of difficulty. Abbreviated NPS

O

Obstacle: A generic term for both walls (all types) and bombs. See also: Wall, Fake Wall
Offset: A value in milliseconds (ms) used in the map editor to perfectly align the track beat markers with the beat of the music. Song files set up correctly with the BPM aligned in an audio editor do not usually need an offset value.
.ogg File: The OGG Vorbis audio file format
osu!: Another popular rhythm game with a large library of custom maps. Converters exist to translate timings from osu! maps into Beat Saber maps.

P

Parity: The mathematical term describing the ‘group’ a block belongs to- within the context of Beat Saber, this refers to the up/down nature of a block.
Pattern: A generic name for a sequence of blocks.
Piano Stream: A sequence of alternating color and direction blocks that progresses horizontally across lanes on the track.
Playtest: The act of playing a WIP map to check for errors and improvements. Highly recommended for a quality product.
Performance Points: The metric determining ranking on the Scoresaber leaderboards. Abbreviated PP.
Platform: The in-game play area and associated track and lights. Also known as Environment
PP: Abbreviation of Performance Points.
Precision: The division of a beat in an editor; used to place notes consistently. Typically 1/1 (one note per beat), 1/2 (one note per half beat), or 1/4 (one note per quarter beat). Also known as Cursor Precision
Precision Placement: A style of mapping that requires Mapping Extensions which allows the mapper to place blocks outside of the standard 4 x 3 grid. Not recommended for novice mappers.
Precision Rotation: A style of mapping that requires Mapping Extensions which allows the mapper to freely rotate blocks (vs. the standard 45 degree rotation). Not recommended for novice mappers.

Q

Quads: A horizontal pattern of four horizontal blocks of the same color across the track. Almost impossible to score well on the entire hit and highly discouraged. This pattern can easily be replaced with a slider, though 4-wide sliders are not considered rankable.

R

Ranked: Indicating that the map has been Modded and approved by the Scoresaber ranking team as of a quality appropriate of contributing to the PP leaderboard. Maps should be modded prior to submitting a rank request.
Release: The act of publishing a finished map on BeatSaver. Once a map is released it can be downloaded and played by anyone. Do not release unfinished or untested maps
Reset: The action of bringing your arms back to their “ready” position, as if no blocks have been hit recently. Mappers can also attempt to reset the player by using bombs to force arm movement. See also Bomb Reset
RGB: A style of lighting that requires Chroma and allows lighting events to be any color and often uses more than two colors.
Row: Vertical divisions above the track, down which blocks travel. The default track has three rows (bottom, middle, top). Also known as Layer. See also: Lane, Column

S

Scoresaber: The organization responsible for managing the ranked Beat Saber leaderboards.
Setup: The process of maneuvering the players arms into position for a pattern via appropriate placement of the preceding blocks.
Single: A single block hit with one saber. Typically makes up the majority of patterns in a map. See also Double
Single BPM: A song with a consistent BPM from start to finish with no variation. Also known as Fixed BPM. See also Variable BPM
Sliders: A series of same-colored dots or arrow blocks spaced close enough together for the player to sweep the saber through in one motion. Placed at ⅛ or closer precision.
Spawn Distance: The distance down the track where the blocks and obstacles spawn. Measured in beats; therefore varies in “spatial” distance by BPM . See also Spawn Point, NJS, BPM, and Spawn Offset. Also known as Half Jump Duration.
Spawn Offset: A variable denoted as “noteJumpStartBeatOffset” in the map’s Info File that modifies the spawn distance. Can be a floating value, typically between 0.0 and 1.0. Also known as Spawn Distance Modifier
Spawn Point: The location on the track where blocks and obstacles first appear, accompanied by a flash of light. See also Spawn Distance
Spiral: A slider whose path traces a rotation long enough to return to its original direction or further. See also Bomb Spiral
Stack: Two or three same-colored, same-direction blocks placed in a line on the same beat. Results in the player swinging a larger, faster hit. Also known as Tower, Double
Staggers: Sliders placed with spacing too large for the player to hit in one motion, considered a mismap. Occurs when sliders are placed slower than ⅛ precision.
Stream: A steady, sustained pattern of notes, typically at 1/4 precision.
Strobe: 1) n. A rapidly flashing on/off light 2) v. To cause a light to flash on/off or on/flash when lighting a map.

T

Tangle: A pattern that results in arm paths preventing the next motion from occurring without resetting. Occurs commonly in incorrect crossovers.
Tempo: A musical term for the speed of music. Can change throughout the duration of a song. Also known as Speed
Thin Wall: A wall that is only a tiny fraction of a beat thick that doesn’t tick any damage on the player. Created in Mediocre Mapper by clicking to add a wall then immediately clicking to “drop” it, without scrolling for any time duration. See also Wall, Fake Wall
Tower: Two or three same-colored, same-direction blocks placed in a line on the same beat. Results in the player swinging a larger, faster hit. Two-block towers may also be referred to as doubles. Also known as Stack
Track: The area in an editor where blocks are placed and the are in-game where blocks spawn and move toward the player. In most editors there is a track for notes/blocks and a separate track for lighting. See also Lighting Track
Triangle: Three or more notes forming a “triangle” pattern with position and orientation. Causes a Wrist Reset, especially if used in high precision (under 1/1).

UV

Variable BPM: 1) A song with an intentionally shifting BPM as intended by its composer 2) A song with irregular, unintentionally shifting BPM as a result of fluctuations; for example, a live performance without a metronome. (from Ranking Criteria) Also known as Drifting BPM, See also Fixed BPM, Multiple BPM
Vibro: An extremely high speed stream of a pace requiring small wrist motions to hit, typically 1/8. Note that this does NOT apply to dots. Also known as Vibro Stream
Vision Block: A sequence of blocks, typically using the middle row, that blocks the player’s vision of the following notes. The most common form of vision blocks are Face Notes but blocks outside of the center two squares can also block line of sight to later blocks. Abbreviated VB.

WXYZ

Wall: A translucent barrier that damages the player if they put their body in it. It is safe for players to rest their sabers in walls. Also known as Obstacle. See also: Fake Walls
Window: A 3-block or larger tower containing a gap allowing for vision through the tower.
WIP: Work-In-Progress; not yet finished. WIP maps must be played in either party mode or practice mode until released to prevent stray Scoresaber leaderboards from being created for each revision.
Wrist Reset: The action of resetting only your wrist due to a sequence of notes that requires a large twist of the wrist.