wiki/Ranking_Criteria/en.md CHANGED
@@ -30,6 +30,7 @@ Important to understand before using:
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  ### Rules
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  - **No two hit objects can be placed on the same tick.** This includes hit circles and the durations of sliders and spinners. osu!mania difficulties are exempt from this.
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+ - **There must be at least 10 milliseconds between a hit circle and the next object, and at least 20 milliseconds between the end of a slider and the next object.** osu!mania and osu!catch difficulties are exempt from this.
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  - **There must not be any obscene imagery in the [background](/wiki/Beatmap/Background)/storyboard/video content.** This includes nudity, near-nudity, sexual references, violence, drug abuse, etc. See [Visual Content Considerations](/wiki/Rules/Visual_Content_Considerations) for more detailed rules.
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  - **Difficulties that contain repetitive strobes, pulsing images, or rapid changes in contrast, brightness or colour in the storyboard or video must use an epilepsy warning.** If the warning interferes with gameplay, audio lead-in must be made longer. Strobing effects at 3 Hz (i.e. 3 flashes per second) and below are unlikely to cause concern. When in doubt, add the warning and confirm its necessity during the modding process.
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  - **There must not be any unused files or 0-byte files in the beatmap's folder.** 0-byte files prevent other files in a beatmap's folder from properly uploading. Automatically generated `thumbs.db` files are the only exceptions.
@@ -52,10 +53,10 @@ Important to understand before using:
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  ### Rules
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- - **All game modes within a beatmap must form a spread starting from the lowest difficulty level dictated by the song's [drain time](/wiki/Gameplay/Drain_time).** For difficulties above the lowest required difficulty level, the spread cannot skip any difficulty levels and there cannot be any drastically large difficulty gaps between any two difficulties.
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+ - **All game modes within a beatmap must form a spread starting from the lowest difficulty level dictated by the song's [drain time](/wiki/Beatmap/Drain_time).** For difficulties above the lowest required difficulty level, the spread cannot skip any difficulty levels and there cannot be any drastically large difficulty gaps between any two difficulties.
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  - **Each difficulty must comply with its mode's difficulty-specific ranking criteria.** See the [osu!](osu!), [osu!taiko](osu!taiko), [osu!catch](osu!catch), and [osu!mania](/wiki/Ranking_Criteria/osu!mania) ranking criteria for more information.
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- - **Every difficulty of a beatmap must have a minimum [drain time](/wiki/Gameplay/Drain_time) of 30 seconds.**
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- - **If the [drain time](/wiki/Gameplay/Drain_time) of each difficulty is...**
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+ - **Every difficulty of a beatmap must have a minimum [drain time](/wiki/Beatmap/Drain_time) of 30 seconds.**
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+ - **If the [drain time](/wiki/Beatmap/Drain_time) of each difficulty is...**
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  - **...lower than 3:30**, the lowest difficulty of each included game mode cannot be harder than a Normal.
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  - **...between 3:30 and 4:15**, the lowest difficulty of each included game mode cannot be harder than a Hard.
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  - **...between 4:15 and 5:00**, the lowest difficulty of each included game mode cannot be harder than an Insane.
@@ -67,7 +68,7 @@ Important to understand before using:
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  - **A beatmap's custom difficulty naming must follow a common theme or pattern related to the song or difficulty and must not be misrepresentative.** A difficulty name is misrepresentative if it implies a different difficulty level (e.g. naming an "Expert" difficulty as "Normal").
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  - **A difficulty's name must not solely consist of one or more usernames.** Words that happen to be usernames are acceptable within difficulty names as long as they relate to the song.
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  - **A [beatmap host](/wiki/Beatmap/Beatmap_host) cannot indicate possession in a difficulty's name.** (e.g. Beatmap Host's Insane). Conflicts caused by beatmapping multiple songs with the same metadata and [collaborative difficulties](/wiki/Beatmap/Beatmap_collaborations) are the only exceptions. [Guest difficulties](/wiki/Beatmap/Guest_difficulty), however, may indicate possession with its creators' username or nickname.
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- - **A [beatmap host](/wiki/Beatmap/Beatmap_host) must have beatmapped equal or more difficulties than any [guest difficulty](/wiki/Beatmap/Guest_difficulty) creator.** This is to provide credit where credit is due. [Collaborative difficulties](/wiki/Beatmap/Beatmap_collaborations) are only considered partial difficulties, and [drain time](/wiki/Gameplay/Drain_time) will be used to determine the amount of contribution when a guest has beatmapped significantly more than the host.
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+ - **A [beatmap host](/wiki/Beatmap/Beatmap_host) must have beatmapped equal or more difficulties than any [guest difficulty](/wiki/Beatmap/Guest_difficulty) creator.** This is to provide credit where credit is due. [Collaborative difficulties](/wiki/Beatmap/Beatmap_collaborations) are only considered partial difficulties, and [drain time](/wiki/Beatmap/Drain_time) will be used to determine the amount of contribution when a guest has beatmapped significantly more than the host.
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  - **A [beatmap host](/wiki/Beatmap/Beatmap_host) and [guest difficulty](/wiki/Beatmap/Guest_difficulty) creators can make changes to their respective difficulties as they wish.** If there is a disagreement between both, the beatmap host must delete the guest contribution upon request. If a guest difficulty creator cannot be contacted for a month, they will be assumed to agree with any changes.
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  - **Beatmaps cannot contain significant portions of difficulties belonging to other users without their explicit involvement or permission.**
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@@ -77,7 +78,7 @@ Important to understand before using:
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  - **Avoid incomprehensible username combinations to indicate possession of a [collaborative difficulty](/wiki/Beatmap/Beatmap_collaborations).** If it's unclear whose usernames are combined, simplification is recommended.
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  - **Avoid difficulty names with descriptive elements not clearly related to a [guest difficulty](/wiki/Beatmap/Guest_difficulty) creator or a level of difficulty.** (e.g. Beatmap Creator's Tragic Love Extra)
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  - **Usernames indicating possession of a [guest difficulty](/wiki/Beatmap/Guest_difficulty) should be consistent between multiple beatmaps.** Varying nicknames for one user makes interpreting who created a difficulty ambiguous or misleading.
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- - **Avoid non-alphanumeric unicode characters in a difficulty's name.** These can cause errors with the [beatmap submission system](/wiki/Submission) and problems for certain users when appearing in chat.
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+ - **Avoid non-alphanumeric unicode characters in a difficulty's name.** These can cause errors with the [beatmap submission system](/wiki/Beatmapping/Beatmap_submission) and problems for certain users when appearing in chat.
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  ## Metadata
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@@ -89,15 +90,16 @@ Important to understand before using:
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  - **[Guest difficulty](/wiki/Beatmap/Guest_difficulty) creators, storyboarders, skinners and hitsounders must be added to the tags of a beatmap.** Guest difficulty creators must be set as difficulty owners for their respective difficulties in addition to being added to tags. This is to give credit where credit is due and help others identify the main contributors of any given beatmap. Usernames in tags containing single characters separated by spaces must have the spaces replaced with underscores.
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  - **[Primary metadata sources](/wiki/Beatmap/Primary_metadata_source) must be used as references for metadata.** Do not modify metadata from primary sources except to comply with formatting and standardisation rules below. If no sources are available, use what is most common and recognisable.
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  - **The artists of a song must be traceable to existing people.** If there is no existing person recorded to be the artist, then `Unknown Artist` is to be used. A song's sole artist cannot be a fictional character or program unless it is the artist's alias.
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- - **You must use the Source field if the song comes from or is directly tied to another media such as a video game, movie, series, event, etc.** This also applies if the song was featured or tied to a media after it was released, but is primarily known due to that source. If a song has multiple potential sources, any option is valid.
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+ - **You must use the Source field if the song comes from or is directly tied to another media such as a video game, movie, series, event, etc.** This also applies if the song was featured or tied to a media after it was released, but is primarily known due to that source. If a song has multiple potential sources, any option is valid.
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  - For remixes, arrangements, or covers based upon the original song, the source of the original song should be used.
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  - Website names may be used as sources when the song is tied to specific cultural phenomena related to the platform, or the song is composed as a website theme/background song.
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- - In cases where a [song compilation](/wiki/Beatmapping/Song_compilation)/remix/medley/etc. has songs without a common source, the sources must be put in the tags instead of the source field (unless the compilation is prominently tied to a source itself).
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+ - In cases where a [song compilation](/wiki/Beatmap/Song_compilation)/remix/medley/etc. has songs without a common source, the sources must be put in the tags instead of the source field (unless the compilation is prominently tied to a source itself).
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  - `osu!` itself should never be used in the source field except in cases where the track was specifically created for osu! (also known as an osu! original), such as commissioned tournament tiebreaker tracks.
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  - **Metadata that exceeds the field's limits (81 characters) must be shortened.** Start by dropping additional markers and if this still is not sufficient, indicate that the title has been shortened using `...` in a sensible place.
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  - **If the artist or title fields were shortened to fit in field limits, the omitted information must be added to the tags.**
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  - **If the song mapped is a licensed one in the [Featured Artist](/wiki/Featured_Artists) library, `featured artist` must be added to tags.**
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  - **Tags must be related to the beatmap and not misleading for search results.** Tags describing the beatmap's style, song, storyboard, video, or background content are considered to be related to the beatmap.
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+ - **Song [genre and language](/wiki/Beatmap/Genre_and_language) must be added to the tags of a beatmap.** This is to enable users to search using these terms in-game like they do on the website. For instrumental tracks, "instrumental" is considered the language tag. Exceptions would be when language and/or genre are not clear, or multiple apply. In case of the latter, one fitting tag for each may be applied.
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  #### Standardisation
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@@ -106,7 +108,7 @@ Important to understand before using:
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  - **Commas, `vs.`, `feat.`, `CV:` and any other symbols linking or designating artists must include a trailing space.** Excluding commas, a leading space is also required if the marker is preceded by a word.
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  - **Any form of `vs.`, `VS`, etc. must be written as `vs.` when used as an indicator for collaboration between two or more artists.** Alternative casing may be used to match the rest of the field.
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  - **Any form of `feat.`, `feat`, `ft.`, etc. must be written as `feat.` when used as an indicator for an artist featured in the song.** Alternative casing may be used to match the rest of the field.
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- - **When a fictional character is credited as the singer of a song, their credit is to be formatted in a `Character (CV: Voice Actor)` format.** For live action, credit the voice actor only.
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+ - **When a fictional character is credited as the singer of a song, their credit is to be formatted in a `Character (CV: Voice Actor)` or `Character (VO: Voice Actor)`[^character-voice-actor] format.** For live action, credit the voice actor only.
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  - **If a song is used in a television program, web series, or direct-to-video series, such as an opening/ending/insert song, use a `(TV Size)` marker at the end of the current title.** If there is an existing TV size marker in the title, replace it with `(TV Size)`.
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  - **If a song title contains short or game version markers, the markers must be standardised to `(Short Ver.)` and `(Game Ver.)` respectively.**
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  - **Unofficial cut versions of songs must add a `(Cut Ver.)` marker at the end of the current title.** If a length marker is already in the title of the track, `(Cut Ver.)` would replace it. This is to distinguish unofficial cuts of a song from full length versions. Songs that are shortened in ways that nearly match their official versions, and songs that are a full loop of a looping track will not be considered cut.
@@ -116,7 +118,7 @@ Important to understand before using:
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  - **Special unicode characters must be filtered to their nearest standard equivalent or removed from the romanised fields within a `.osu` file.** `★ ☆ ⚝ ✪` and the likes are substituted to an asterisk (`*`). Other special characters are to be romanised or dropped on case-by-case basis.
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  - **If a beatmap's track is composed of two or more songs, list the song titles clearly with a dividing symbol inbetween or use a title descriptive of its contents.** If the title becomes too long as a result, a descriptive title must be used instead.
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  - **If a symbol is used to group parts of a title, a space must be used before and after the group, but not directly before or after the symbols within the groups.**
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- - **If a series applicable as a source contains sub-series, the most precise label must be used as the source.** If a song has multiple applicable sub-series, the main series/franchise may be used instead.
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+ - **If media applicable to the source field contains sub-series, the most precise label must be used as the source.** If a song has multiple applicable sub-series, the main media source may be used instead.
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  #### Romanisation
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@@ -144,9 +146,8 @@ Important to understand before using:
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  - **If the creator of the beatmap has remixed or covered the song, they are free to name it appropriately to signal that this song is a special version.** In this case the original songs should still be clearly indicated in the title or tags in order for players to be able to search for the original songs.
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  - **In the case of compilations or remixes, the original song title(s) and artist(s) should be included in tags.** This is to ensure that players can find all beatmaps of one song by searching the same thing without getting vastly different results.
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- - **Songs with metadata that contains ambiguous or hard to write unicode characters should add easily searchable variations or romanisations of these words to the beatmap's tags.**
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+ - **Any metadata that contains ambiguous or hard-to-write unicode characters should be accompanied by easily searchable variations or romanisations of these words in the beatmap's tags.**
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  - **If the source of the song is available in both unicode and romanised formats, the option not used in the source field should be added to tags.**
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- - **Song [genre and language](/wiki/Beatmap/Genre_and_language) should be added to the tags of a beatmap.** This is to enable users to search using these terms in-game like they do on the website. For instrumental tracks, "instrumental" is considered the language tag. Exceptions would be when language and/or genre are not clear, or multiple apply. In case of the latter, one fitting tag for each may be applied.
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  - **Tags should be added for related artists, alternate names for the artist, title, or source, contractions in any part of the metadata with the apostrophe removed, and whatever else may aid a player in finding the beatmap.**
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  #### Standardisation
@@ -177,7 +178,7 @@ This category contains explicit allowance statements of concepts and rules that
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  - **[Uninherited timing points](/wiki/Client/Beatmap_editor/Timing#uninherited-timing-point) must be used to accurately beatmap the song's time signatures.** If an incorrect time signature lasts for more than one bar, an uninherited timing point must be added on the next downbeat to reset the time signature. For #/4-signatures unsupported by the editor, metronome resets or editing of the `.osu` file are acceptable. For other unsupported time signatures, refer to this [exemplary chart](/wiki/shared/timing/Timing_signature_reference_chart.png), and see the [Timing songs with #/8-signatures](/wiki/Guides/Timing_Songs_With_8-Signatures) guide for further information.
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  - **Beatmaps must be perfectly timed.** This means [BPM](/wiki/Beatmapping/Beats_per_minute) and [offset](/wiki/Beatmapping/Offset) are exactly synchronised with the song. Beatmaps with constantly changing BPM may be impossible to perfectly time and should instead be as accurate as possible without negatively affecting gameplay. Complex timing during breaks or spinners is optional.
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  - **[Uninherited timing points](/wiki/Client/Beatmap_editor/Timing#uninherited-timing-point) must be the same in every difficulty of a beatmap.** Each point must have the same [BPM](/wiki/Beatmapping/Beats_per_minute) and [offset](/wiki/Beatmapping/Offset) in each difficulty.
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- - **There must not be extra [uninherited timing points](/wiki/Client/Beatmap_editor/Timing#uninherited-timing-point) in any difficulty.** These may accidentally affect main-menu pulsing, add unwanted sounds to the [Nightcore mod](/wiki/Game_modifier/Nightcore), or cause timing to shift. Acceptable uses include:
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+ - **[Uninherited timing points](/wiki/Client/Beatmap_editor/Timing#uninherited-timing-point) should only be used when required for timing purposes.** Unnecessary timing points may unintentionally affect main-menu pulsing, add unwanted sounds to the [Nightcore mod](/wiki/Gameplay/Game_modifier/Nightcore), or cause timing to shift. Acceptable uses include:
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  - Aligning beats of the Nightcore mod with the start of musical sections.
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  - Accommodating for objects in musical sections requiring unsupported beat snap divisors (e.g. 1/11).
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  - **No two [uninherited](/wiki/Client/Beatmap_editor/Timing#uninherited-timing-point) or two [inherited timing points](/wiki/Client/Beatmap_editor/Timing#inherited-timing-point) can be placed at the same point.** Having two uninherited or two inherited timing points on top of each other will cause unintended behaviour for slider velocity and volume settings.
@@ -198,8 +199,8 @@ This category contains explicit allowance statements of concepts and rules that
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  - **...have an average bit rate no lower than 128 kbps**, if such a source exists. Otherwise, use the highest quality available.
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  - **...not be encoded upwards from a lower bitrate.**
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  - **A beatmap may only contain one song file used by all difficulties.** Multiple song files within a single beatmap are unsupported and result in unexpected behaviour with preview times, metadata, etc.
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- - **Beatmaps must be [hitsounded](/wiki/Beatmapping/Hitsound).** Hitnormals give feedback to the player, and additions (whistles, claps, and finishes) accent the most important parts of the music.
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- - **osu!mania beatmaps do not require hitsound additions.** This is to allow for easier approachability to osu!mania mappers of different upbringings. It is still highly recommended to add hitsounds to improve the feel of your beatmaps.
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+ - **Beatmaps must be [hitsounded](/wiki/Beatmapping/Hitsound).** Hitnormals give feedback to the player, and additions (whistles, claps, and finishes) accent the most important parts of the music.[^normal-vs-addition]
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+ - **osu!mania beatmaps do not require hitsound additions.**[^normal-vs-addition] This is to allow for easier approachability to osu!mania mappers of different upbringings. It is still highly recommended to use hitsound additions to improve the feel of your beatmaps.
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  - **All clicked parts of objects must have at least one hitsound which both...**
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  - **...has a clear impact, whose peak is delayed no more than 5 milliseconds.** `normal-hitfinish.wav` from the default skin is exempt from this.
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  - **...uses the `.wav` or `.ogg` file format.** `.mp3` should not be used here as it is inherently delayed.
@@ -213,10 +214,10 @@ This category contains explicit allowance statements of concepts and rules that
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  ### Guidelines
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  - **The audio file and hitsound files of a beatmap should not feature any audible and unwarranted sound distortions**, like clipping, muffling, or crackling that is clearly not intended by the artist or part of the song's identity. This is best determined by listening to the audio, rather than using software on its own.
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- - **The audio file of a song should not be artificially extended in order to meet a time limitation in the beatmap section of this criteria.** This can include (but is not limited to) looping sections of the audio file, lowering the [BPM](/wiki/Beatmapping/Beats_per_minute) of the song or section of the song, or adding small amounts of music to the song without incorporating it throughout the entire song. This does not apply to [song compilations](/wiki/Beatmapping/Song_compilation) or audio files less than the minimum rankable beatmap length.
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+ - **The audio file of a song should not be artificially extended in order to meet a time limitation in the beatmap section of this criteria.** This can include (but is not limited to) looping sections of the audio file, lowering the [BPM](/wiki/Beatmapping/Beats_per_minute) of the song or section of the song, or adding small amounts of music to the song without incorporating it throughout the entire song. This does not apply to [song compilations](/wiki/Beatmap/Song_compilation) or audio files less than the minimum rankable beatmap length.
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  - **If you do not beatmap the last 20% of your beatmap's audio file, it should be cut.** The intro time is not included. This does not apply if more than 20% of the outro is occupied by a storyboard/video, or if more than 20% of the song's audio is not able to be mapped due to fade-out or timing issues.
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- - **[Song compilations](/wiki/Beatmapping/Song_compilation) should incorporate 3 or more songs.** Using only 2 songs in a compilation is a lacklustre experience for players, and should be broken up into separate beatmaps. Exceptions can be made for songs that were exclusively released together.
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- - **[Song compilations](/wiki/Beatmapping/Song_compilation) or other medley-style tracks should aim to be cleanly mixed with proper transitions, and should not include abrupt breaks or long fades between different songs.** The songs used for the compilation should be similar in audio quality, volume and length. This is to ensure compilations achieve the same cohesive gameplay experience as other beatmaps. Cross-faded transitions are acceptable, but should be used sparingly and generally be no longer than 5 seconds. Beat-matched and well-planned transitions are always a better option than cross-fading.
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+ - **[Song compilations](/wiki/Beatmap/Song_compilation) should incorporate 3 or more songs.** Using only 2 songs in a compilation is a lacklustre experience for players, and should be broken up into separate beatmaps. Exceptions can be made for songs that were exclusively released together.
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+ - **[Song compilations](/wiki/Beatmap/Song_compilation) or other medley-style tracks should aim to be cleanly mixed with proper transitions, and should not include abrupt breaks or long fades between different songs.** The songs used for the compilation should be similar in audio quality, volume and length. This is to ensure compilations achieve the same cohesive gameplay experience as other beatmaps. Cross-faded transitions are acceptable, but should be used sparingly and generally be no longer than 5 seconds. Beat-matched and well-planned transitions are always a better option than cross-fading.
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  - **Cut songs should maintain the general impression and intensity of the full song.** Cuts that change the structure of the full song (such as excluding or rearranging a song's intro/verse/chorus/outro) can lead to misrepresentation of it and often cause unsatisfying playing experiences. This does not apply to official cuts or recreations of official cuts.
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  - **[Gameplay sounds](/wiki/Skinning/Sounds#gameplay) excluding [active hitsounds](/wiki/Beatmapping/Hitsound#active-hitsound) should use the `.mp3` or `.ogg` file formats.** These files usually have long durations and `.wav` files are unnecessarily large in comparison, however `.wav` should be used when it results in a smaller file size.
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  - **Avoid replacing the hit finish in soft/normal samplesets with frequently used custom hitsound samples.** Using these finishes to represent snare/bass drums or a song's melody can sound obnoxious for anyone disabling beatmap hitsounds. Replacing hit whistles/claps is recommended because those samples are used more often. osu!taiko beatmaps are exempt from this guideline and have their own mode-specific hitsound sample guideline.
@@ -229,13 +230,13 @@ This category contains explicit allowance statements of concepts and rules that
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  - **The following are requirements for background images:**
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  - **Minimum width:** 160px
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  - **Minimum height:** 120px
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- - **Maximum width:** 2560px
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- - **Maximum height:** 1440px
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+ - **Maximum width:** 2560px[^maximum-dimensions]
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+ - **Maximum height:** 1440px[^maximum-dimensions]
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  - **Maximum file size:** 2.5MB
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  - **A video's dimensions must not exceed a width of 1280 and a height of 720 pixels.** Additionally, upscaling lower resolution video to a higher resolution should be avoided. This ensures video files do not become excessively large or resource intensive.
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  - **A video must be encoded in H.264.**
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  - **A video's [offset](/wiki/Beatmapping/Offset) must be correct if it synchronizes with the song.** An incorrect offset can result in a misleading visual representation of the song. If the same video appears in multiple difficulties, it must always have the same offset(s).
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- - **A video's audio track must be removed from the video file.** The audio track in video is not used in osu!, so removing it reduces that file size of the beatmap. This includes videos with muted audio tracks.
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+ - **A video's audio track must be removed from the video file.** The audio track in a video is not used in osu!, and removing it reduces the file size of the beatmap. This includes videos with muted audio tracks.
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  - *See [Compressing files § Video](/wiki/Guides/Compressing_files#video) for guidance.*
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  ### Guidelines
@@ -294,3 +295,9 @@ This category contains explicit allowance statements of concepts and rules that
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  - **Refrain from having multiple sprites active while not rendered.** Active sprites will still process commands regardless of whether they are visible or not. Should this be the case for longer periods of time, instantiate new sprites instead, for when visibility is regained.
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  - **When using many commands of the same type on a sprite, try leaving at least 16 ms between their start times.** 60 commands per second is often more than enough for any sprite to make smooth transitions on an average setup. This is for the sake of reducing file size and loading times.
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  - **Fade out sprites activated from triggers after usage.** Triggers will activate from their first possible command and stay active until the end of the difficulty, which is why fading these out when done is preferable.
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+
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+ ## Notes
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+
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+ [^character-voice-actor]: `CV` (Character Voice) is used when song is sung in character by the character's voice actor. `VO` (Voice Over) is used when a song is sung in character by someone other than the character's voice actor.
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+ [^maximum-dimensions]: Backgrounds which are also used as storyboard images may follow [the storyboard images rule for maximum dimensions](/wiki/Ranking_Criteria#rules.7) instead.
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+ [^normal-vs-addition]: [Hitsounds](/wiki/Beatmapping/Hitsound) consist of an always-present *hitnormal* sample, and any combination of whistle, finish, or clap sample *additions*.