Curation Guidelines

The Curation Team

Meet the Team

Curators (You!)
Reviews, rates, and recommends new maps

Senior Curators
A curator with some extra responsibilities

Moderators
Help the admins keep the site & server orderly

Admins
Manage the site, server, and community relations

Curator Expectations

  • Join the BeastSaber discord server.
  • Have a solid understanding of curation criteria and rating definitions.
  • Keep an open mind about new mappers, artists, genres, and mapping styles (though we know that everyone has their preferences)
  • Curate at least one map a week, ideally, and stay active with the team. Inactivity cutoffs are up to the discretion of Curator Management.
  • Be as objective as possible and avoid the appearance of bias when reviewing and recommending maps.
  • Behave and respond professionally in both reviews and in interactions with the curation team and the community.
  • Keep your BeastSaber account credentials private and secure. We recommend using a password manager like Bitwarden or 1password.

Curation Guidelines

Last updated August 2021

Curation “Do’s”

What should be curated?

Here’s where you have a fair amount of leeway! Curating a map, at its core, means that you would recommend that other players like you give it a try. Playing within your comfortable skill level will make it easier to identify things that stick out as inappropriate. We have a whole team of curators at different skill levels to cover a variety of maps.

It’s important to try your best to serve the community by not sticking to just a handful of mappers. Try to keep any one mapper to <50% of your overall curation. You can really make someone’s week by curating a relatively unknown mapper that deserves the spotlight!

When in doubt if a map is of curation quality (especially when you’re new) ask your teammates!

Where do I find maps to curate?

  • Check the #curation-request channel on the BeastSaber discord
  • Look through the “Latest” map feed on BeastSaber.
  • Explore different mapping communities like the Beat Saber Modding Group, Beat Saber Mapping Discord, genre discords, etc. Check out the Community Hub on the BSMG discord for ideas!
  • If you have the time, try doing some pre-release playtests to find rising stars or ask the other Curators for suggestions on mappers to look out for. 
  • Expand your musical horizons! Some mappers stick to different genres you’ve never listened to before, and you may enjoy their maps more than you might think. 
  • Review a variety of maps ranging from perfect 5/5s to maps that need a lot of improvement. You can really help a mapper to hone their skills with constructive criticism!

Curation “Don’ts”

What definitely shouldn’t be curated?
While curation guidelines are often subjective, you may see some things in maps that should definitely disqualify them from curation. Examples include:

  • Off-time notes. Beat Saber is a rhythm game so if the rhythm is off, even a little, it shows. Audibly off-time maps are a no-go (even if the lights or walls are magnificent).
  • Dangerous patterns. Any patterns that can potentially injure or damage the equipment of the average player shouldn’t be highlighted. Need an idea of what dangerous patterns are? Check out the BSMG Mapping Wiki “Forbidden Patterns” list. You can also view the Glossary for definitions and images.
    • Vision blocks with 400ms or less to react (that’s less than half a second!)
    • Hard handclaps (blocks pointing at each other)
    • Hammer hits (blocks pointing directly at bombs)
    • Hidden blocks (stacked notes, bombs in notes, notes/bombs in walls, etc.)
    • Excessive hitbox abuse (when the hitboxes for blocks overlap)
    • Disembodied notes (blocks on both sides of a wall during a wall segment)
    • Danger dash walls (walls that take up the center two lanes, or 3-wide- walls)
    • Rapid dodge walls (full height walls the player has to move to avoid within an unsafe amount of time)
    • Face-punchers (cross-body top row patterns on the same beat)
    • Challenge patterns (pauls, poodles, loloppes, vibro, etc., ok to have in a lawless difficulty if the rest of the map is normal)
  • No lighting. Not everyone enjoys making 100,000 event masterpiece lightshows but the map shouldn’t be a dark cave either. Maps need to have basic lighting – even from an autolighter.
  • NSFW content. If a map has an NSFW cover, title, or description it shouldn’t be curated until the mapper changes the cover (requires reupload) or updates the title/description.
  • “Cyborg” content. Cyborg maps were initially generated by an auto-mapping program like Beat Sage or Lolighter (robot) and then tweaked (human) (robot + human = cyborg… we’re nerds). These maps shouldn’t be syncing to BeastSaber but mistakes happen. Think a map is suspect? You can run it through the public Beat Sage Validator to check.
  • Senior Curator-uncurated content. If curator management has uncurated a map with cause it shouldn’t be re-curated without approval.

Maps with objective issues will be marked with an ❌ reaction and will not be looked at by other curators.

The Curation Grey Area…

Once a curator has verified that a map doesn’t violate any of the curation “don’ts,” whether they choose to curate the map or not becomes subjective and really up to the individual curator’s personal difficulty, style, genre, and technical accuracy preferences.

It’s important to consider the target audience for the map. A slow tempo dance map is aimed at a different type of player than an uptempo, note-dense map. Patterns that are inappropriate for a map aimed at newer players might be acceptable for maps aimed at high-skill players and vice versa.

Maps that don’t have any objective issues but just don’t float that particular curator’s boat will be marked with 👀 and other curators may choose to take a look for themselves.

Have you found a curator whose picks you enjoy? Bookmark their feed! We are growing our curation team with all kinds of players from all levels of play and one of them almost certainly selects maps that you also enjoy!

Map Ratings

The curation team uses the same six factors used on public reviews. Curators can choose to leave an elevated “Curator Review,” a standard public review, or no review at all (but if you have the time, the mappers really love the feedback! A “0” is the worst rating and a “5” is a perfect rating on each factor.

Fun Factor

The most subjective rating, but also the most, well, fun! Evaluate this while playing or shortly thereafter. The map should have you fully engaged and wanting to play it again, not frustrated or bored. This is the kind of thing  you know as soon as the fireworks go off at the end of a map.

Flow You don’t need to be a mapper to know when a map “feels good” to play. A map with good flow should allow you to ‘zone-out’ and be guided along by the music with each swing feeling natural. For a more nuanced take on “flow,” you can read the Basic and Intermediate parts of the BSMG Mapping Wiki.
Readability This refers to how straightforward the map is to sight read. Factors like vision blocking notes, custom note color choices, and sensible map speed (how fast the blocks move at you and how close or far away the blocks spawn) can factor in. Skill-level is an important consideration here. 
Rhythm Timing is everything! Map audio should be on-time with good rhythm choices and natural feeling changes in rhythm in the mapped patterns. Over-mapping (blocks placed where there are no sounds) or odd under-mapping (sections that feel “empty” for the skill level) can factor into ratings.
Pattern Quality Pattern quality can apply to many different aspects of a map. This is where you’d rate any patterns that can damage equipment/injure players. You can also evaluate how well the patterns fit with and emphasize the music. A map that is 90% simple up/down patterns is likely not appropriate for curation. 
Level Quality Level Quality is essentially lighting and good use of obstacles. Auto-lights should never be a perfect score, and the map should be truly stellar in other areas if it is to be curated. 

 

Categorization

All curated maps are to be tagged and categorized according to the Style and Difficulty tags. Music genres are optional but very helpful for the community to browse and search maps.

Style

Style categories identify the overall style of a map and can help to flag them for their target audience.

Balanced Balanced maps are the generic category, and are for maps that do not fit into a more specific style. They should generally be acceptable for all types of players.
Dance Dance maps are categorized by a lot of player movement, are best played with big arm swings, and typically have a slower, groovier tempo. These maps tend to be enjoyed by the more casual player base.
Tech Tech maps tend to include a lot of complex patterns and unconventional hits that persist throughout the entire map. They should still play well and have good flow, but they can be intimidating to the average player. Tech maps can present a unique challenge that should be reflected in the difficulty tag.
Speed Speed maps traditionally have simpler patterns but feature very high note density and/or many big jumps across rows.
Challenge Challenge maps require a lot of stamina or have extremely complex patterns, even sometimes pushing intended game mechanics. They are almost always ExpertPlus and will not be passable for the majority of players.

Difficulty

Difficulty tags are judged by the top difficulty unless the spread as a whole is exceptionally difficult or simple. Will the average player of the top difficulty find the map to be easy, normal, hard, or really hard to play?

Novice Novice maps are easy to pass, but may only be accessible to new players on lower difficulties
Intermediate Intermediate is the standard; the difficulty is what you would expect of the genre and mapper’s label.
Advanced Advanced maps are quite difficult for what they are labeled.
Master Master maps are on the extreme end of the spectrum and are likely to fail the average player in their respective difficulty without practice.

 

Genres, Effects, and Languages

  • Genres. Musical genres were recently collapsed down from 120 to a more manageable 40. Select the genre(s) that best fit the map. If you’re looking for a niche genre you may have to roll up to a parent genre.

  • Effects. This primarily relates to required or suggested mods such as Chroma or Cinema and map types like Wall Art or Modchart/Noodle Maps.

  • Languages. If a song’s vocals are in a non-English language and you’d like to highlight that for users you can tag with a language category. Ask site management to add additional languages if needed.

  • Characteristics. Categories for 360/90, OneSaber, and NoArrows exist and are automatically applied based on map metadata.

Playlists & Map Packs

Playlists are collections of songs that players can create through available mods. Playlists made by *any* user can be shared as .bplist files in the #playlist-promotion channel on Discord without curator review.

Map Packs are coordinated collections of maps, often released all at once, that follow a common theme and can potentially be added as a page on BeastSaber and even potentially featured on the front page.

Whether a map pack is eligible to be featured is determined by a point system managed by the Senior Curators. Curators can assist in screening maps for packs in which they were not involved, but the ultimate page creation and featuring system lies with the Senior Curators.

Curation FAQs

How do I become a curator?
Read this page thoroughly and then complete our Curator Application Form.  Due to a high volume of requests, we will only contact those we feel would be a good fit for the team. While you should have an understanding on the basic principles of mapping, we do recruit people with a variety of skills and backgrounds, and we are willing to train.

Can I curate my own maps if they meet quality standards?
No. You can add your maps to the #curation-request channel to be reviewed by another curator. This also applies to maps on which you were a collaborator, or maps you commissioned. Curating your own maps will result in a discussion with Curator Management and possible removal from the team.

Can I curate my friends’ maps if they meet the quality standards?
Yes, though you should strive to be as objective as possible and treat it just like a map by any other mapper. Ensure that 5/5 ratings are earned and don’t be afraid to take off rating points if a facet of the map is not fully up to snuff. If you feel pressured by a mapper to curate their maps, please contact a Senior Curator, Moderator, or Admin.

Can I curate older maps?
If you’ve found a gem of a map from 2019 that was missed, you can absolutely curate it, as long as it meets current criteria.

I reviewed a map that really needs a lot of improvement. How do I send constructive feedback to the mapper without making them feel bad?
You have multiple tools at your disposal to send feedback. If you want to leave a review without the prominence of a curator review, you can leave a standard public review. You can attempt to send the user a message through the site or, if you have their contact information you can try to privately DM them. Best practices for constructive criticism still apply and you should always keep your interactions professional.

How do I get my map curated?
You can:
  1. upload your map and hope a curator spots and plays it, or
  2. submit your map to #curation-request to guarantee your map will at least be looked at.
Why was my map not curated?
Make sure your map follows, at the very least, the basic mapping principles. However, the curation feed is not a list of all maps that meet a minimum standard of quality; the curation criteria is not a checklist held up against every map. To be recommended, the curator has to enjoy your map and find that it stands above the crowd in one way or another. This is subjective, to some extent. Curation always has, and always will, entail some level of personal taste.
 
Why does it seem that the same people are always curated?
There are certainly some mappers that are curated more than others, but those mappers tend to be exceptional in their craft and their style directly appeals to someone on the team. We do try our best to watch for up-and-coming mappers, and we have introduced #curation-request on Discord as a direct avenue to be noticed.
 
I don’t agree with a curated map/a curated map has blatant issues.
Curators are only human, and sometimes they makes mistakes. You can report questionable curation to our Senior Curators in #map-discussion on Discord. Keep in mind that tastes don’t always align, and we have curators at different skill levels.
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