How to play osu! with a keyboard

Players can play osu! using a keyboard by utilising the ‘X’ and ‘Z’ keys, though they may wear down quicker due to the tapping.


Players are invited to test their rhythmic abilities and reaction times in this thrilling game, osu! You have to press buttons and perform certain tasks to the beat of the music to receive points. How many points you gain will determine your ranking on the leaderboard.

To play the game, players have to download it from the official website. The game can be enjoyed on most devices, including tablets, touchscreens or mobiles, personal computers (PC), and laptops.

This means that the game’s controls will differ with each device used, as you cannot use the touchscreen input while playing the game on a PC.

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Advantages and disadvantages of each input

It is worth noting that each varying input method has its own advantages and disadvantages. The following table highlights the different methods’ advantages and disadvantages:

Input type Advantages Disadvantages
Mouse ·   The mouse is very stable and can aim well

·   It can perform jumping actions in straight or right angles

·   It jumps back-and-forth in succession
Tablet ·   Tablets allow players to make precise movements

·   It has no cursor drift

·   The tablet may jump in right angles
Touchscreen ·   Players can jump long distances

·   It streams long periods of stamina

·   Touchscreen players may struggle with their aim
Keyboard ·   None as it is usually paired with a mouse, touchscreens, and tablets ·   None, as it is generally paired with tablets, touchscreens, and a mouse

How to play osu! with a keyboard

As previously stated, players can combine their keyboard with a mouse, touchscreen, or a tablet. However, the most popular method with which to play osu! is with a mouse and keyboard. This is because they are the most basic computer peripherals and using them puts less strain on your hand.

When you are using both the keyboard and mouse, you will use the ‘Z’ and ‘X’ keys to click on the circles, while you will use your mouse to aim at specific things. Moreover, the mouse will also be used to select options in the menu.

osu keyboard binding
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Some players only use the keyboard to tap while others use it for streaming, which is the action of tapping a very fast string of hit objects in rapid succession. They will then use the mouse to click on everything else.

While tablets and keyboards are quite similar, many players will use a tablet pen instead of a mouse.

Is osu! hard to play with just a mouse?

Many players believe that osu! is much more difficult to play with only a mouse. The game’s developers recommend that players try a combination of their mouse and keyboard to increase their chances of hitting the buttons to the rhythm of the music.

Subsequently, they will get higher scores which can increase their rank on the leaderboard.

Is playing osu! bad for a keyboard?

It is important to note that playing osu! with a keyboard requires hard and numerous taps on certain keys. Unfortunately, this will likely quickly wear down the keycaps and presses, which means that the ‘Z’ and ‘X’ keys will soon feel more worn out than the rest of the keyboard.

For this reason, it is recommended that you use a mechanical keyboard to play osu! on. Mechanical keyboards are built to withstand several thousands of keypresses, which makes them highly resistant to wear and tear.

Keep in mind that a mechanical keyboard is not essential, and you can still enjoy the game with any other keyboard.

osu input
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Is a laptop keyboard good enough for osu?

Many players feel that laptops are not as durable as PCs, that is to say that some laptops have flimsy keyboards that can be destroyed when a player presses their keys too hard. Furthermore, the keycaps can wear off more easily with time.

From this we can deduce that laptop keyboards are not ideal for osu! Instead, players are advised to get an external, mechanical keyboard that they can plug into their laptop.

Alternatively, you will have to press the buttons on the laptop keyboard softly to prevent them from breaking or wearing down too soon.

Final thoughts

Osu! is a thrilling game that puts players’ reaction times and rhythmic abilities to the test. In this game, you need to perform certain tasks and press certain keys to the rhythm of the music to receive points.

The points you earn determine your ranking on the leaderboard, which is unique to each beatmap. There are various ways to play the game, one of which is by using a keyboard. You can combine the use of your keyboard with a mouse or with a tablet pen.

It is worth noting that you will primarily use the ‘X’ and ‘Z’ keys to play the game. As such, these keys might wear down quicker after playing the game quite frequently for a long period of time.

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