Beat Saber Guide To Scoring, Modifiers, The Rank System And More

A guide for a better understanding of the ranking system, scoring, modifiers and more.

Written by TeknozFR

Big thanks to Flee for correcting some of my grammar mistakes and providing some extra information.

Disclaimer : This guide was made on February 7th, 2019. I will try to keep it updated but some information can be inaccurate or missing. It was made to link people that want to understand better the ranking system and other aspects of the game and is totally not a full guide to understand the game and the rest surrounding it. Hopefully you find it useful !

Table of content

  1. Accuracy and Scoring

  2. The Ranking Process

  3. The Ranking System (PP System)

  4. Modifiers

  5. Grips

  6. Useful Tips & Links


Accuracy and Scoring

Score Multiplier :

Your score multiplier can be seen on the right, being surrounded by a outer ring. As said in the name, the multiplier has an effect on your score. You start the song with a multiplier of 1x and the outer ring shows the progression to the next multiplier. When you hit the note that brings you up to the next multiplier, that note is affected by the new multiplier and not the old one. The different multipliers are : 1x, 2x, 4x and 8x. Everytime you lose combo which involves missing a note, cutting in the wrong direction or the with the wrong saber, hitting a bomb or going through an obstacle, your multiplier will be cut in half.

Scoring :

Scoring well in Beat Saber isn’t as simple as keeping a high combo and not missing notes, it is also determined by your score per block. The maximum score possible to achieve while slicing a block is 115 (without counting the score multiplier). While cutting a block, you must achieve the correct swing angles and you must slice it in the center to achieve the best score for that cut. Here is how score is calculated for a cut :

100° approach

70 points

60° follow through

30 points

cutting in half

15 points


This shows how important it is to do proper swings to get the right angles and the best score possible. Remember, it’s better to get a bad cut than a miss since a miss counts as 0 points and breaks your combo.

Hitboxes :

A common misconception in Beat Saber would be that most people think that the hitboxes for the notes are the the blocks themselves. While that used to be the case, the hitboxes have changed quite a few times through the different versions of the game and a lot of the pictures out there are mistaken. Here is an image showing the current hitbox. As you can see, the hitbox is pretty big and extends a lot on the sides and the front. With this information, it is recommended to hit with the tip of saber to maximize the angle and get the best cut possible.

A “Pro Modifier” is said to be added in a future update. The modifier would make the hitbox to the size of the block itself.

Accuracy :

Accuracy is shown on the left after enabling the Advanced HUD option in the Player Settings. Accuracy is shown by a percentage and a letter. Because accuracy is a percentage, the best “possible” accuracy is 100% or named a SSS. While such accuracy is practically impossible (since it would require no combo break and 110 cuts on every block), accuracy is still a great way to measure performance on a map and one’s ability to score properly and avoid missing notes. Accuracy is calculated using information such as the scores per hit, the score multiplier and the amount of miss. Here are a few examples of how accuracy is shown with letters :

















The Ranking Process

Ranked / Unranked :

A lot of people (like I did) will spend dozens and dozens of hours without knowing the difference between ranked and unranked maps when they start. While a map being ranked doesn’t make it better for any reason, it’s great for new players to learn what the difference is, especially if they ever decide to try ranking up.

Ranked : A ranked map is assigned a certain difficulty level measured in stars () and is worth a certain amount of PP (performance points) for that difficulty. An amount of that PP can be earned by a player for completing the map. More PP will be rewarded for a player that got a higher accuracy. Ranked maps mostly respect criterias and are considered as “good maps”. They are the only way to climb the global leaderboard.

Unranked : An unranked map is any map that has been published on BeatSaver. It does not need to be actually possible to pass and maps can be made by anybody using the a mapping editor like Mediocre Mapper by squeaksies. Also, it is not possble to know the difficulty level of an unranked map except by looking at the difficulty name which is not always an accurate measure of the difficulty since the mapper chooses it.

Criterias and the Ranking Process :

Since the ScoreSaber Discord Server has been created, a ranking team was put together to apply and enforce the ranking criterias that were created at about the same time. This now ensures the quality and rankability of new ranked maps which is a lot better then when maps were manually ranked without any specific guidelines. Also, old maps need to respect these criterias now so it leads to a lot of old ranked maps to be remapped or simply unranked. The process is quite simple, a member of the ranking team will put a map in a queue for it to be judged as to whether or not it should be unranked/ranked. Rankers will often take requests made on the Discord Server but not always. After that, there will be a period where other rankers will review that map and will often send a file to the mapper stating what needs to be changed for it to be rankable. Then, there will be a vote where all the members of the ranking team can choose to vote for or against the map being unranked or ranked and, if accepted, the request will be approved and put in action by an Admin such as Klouder or Umbranox.

Never forget to show your gratitude toward the ranking team if you ever see them as they spend a lot of their own personal time to do this work. They often get way too criticised for no reason so send them some love <3

The Ranking System (PP System)

The PP system is probably one of the most misunderstood things when it comes to ranking in the game. Personally, I find it that people misunderstand it so often that I ended up writing a message about it and pinned it on the Beat Saber Canadian Discord so I wouldn’t need to explain it anymore, so here is “all” you need to know about it.

How can I earn PP and how does the global ranking work?

You can find your global ranking on ScoreSaber by typing your username in the search bar. Your ScoreSaber profile is tied to your Steam/Oculus profile on which you play the game.

As said earlier, you can earn PP (performance points) by playing ranked maps. The amount of PP a map is worth is determined when the map is ran through a secret algorithm developed by Umbranox, the one and only Panda God. The algorithm is kept secret to prevent mappers from trying to intentionally make songs to only be worth a lot of PP (to avoid breaking the system basically). The exact amount of PP gained by a player is determined by their accuracy on that map and the curve it represents compared to the max amount of PP that map is worth (here is a spreadsheet by DuoVR to find out how much songs are worth).

How does the PP system work and what is weighted PP?

To prevent skilled players from grinding hundreds of easier maps worth less PP to rank up, a curve is applied to your plays. This curve is 0.965^(x-1) where x is the position of that score on your ranked map list which can be found on your profile.

You might have noticed that in your list, there are 2 numbers which end with PP. One of these numbers is blue and represents the raw amount of PP you get from that play, before the curve is applied. The second number is (grey) and shows the actual weighted amount of PP you are getting from that play after the curve is applied.

As said before, the amount of weighted PP you will receive is determined by the curve and the placement of that song in your list. As an example, if your top play is a 260 raw PP play, you will be rewarded 260 weighted PP which is a 100% of the raw PP of that play. If your second top play is 247 raw PP, you will be rewarded 238 weighted PP which is the actual amount of PP you get after the curve is applied on it. Here is a list of 4 of my old top plays where raw PP is in italic while weighted PP is bold to demonstrate the curve :

260 pp -> 260 pp

100% of raw PP

247 pp -> 238 pp

96.5% of raw PP

246 pp -> 229 pp

93.1% of raw PP

244 pp -> 219 pp

89.9% of raw PP

Why is my total PP not increasing as much as the weighted PP I got on my new score?

A common question people seem to have when they get a new score worth, for example, 100 weighted PP is why they are not getting +100 pp on their total amount of performance points. As explained earlier, since the effect of the curve on your plays increases the further you go down your list, when you make a new play, it takes the place of an older play which makes all the plays that are under go down 1 place in the list. Even if you are getting +100 pp from this new play, all your lower plays are weighed down even more then before so you lose a certain amount of PP on them. This is why when getting a new play or making a better play on a map, you will never (one exception) get the same amount of PP on your total amount of performance points.

The only exception to this is if you get a better accuracy on your current top play. Since your top play is not affected by the curve, meaning that none of your songs will change places in your list, there will be no lost of PP on your other plays. An example would be if your top play is on Avalanche with 250 pp and you manage to get a better accuracy and that play is now worth 260 pp, you will then get +10 pp on your total amount of PP.

How can I improve and get more PP?

To improve and get a better rank in the global ranking, there are quite a few tools you can use to find ranked songs that fit your skill level. First, it’s always good to go see your own ScoreSaber profile to see songs that you haven’t played in a while or that you could improve on and to know what your top scores look like. Once you know that, you can go and use DuoVR’s spreadsheet to find songs that are worth about as much or more then your top scores and try to improve from there. Another tool that can be useful but mainly for players in higher ranks is the DuoVR PP Enhancement Tool that you can use to see the songs you haven’t played or that you could improve on and that could get you a lot of PP. For more precise tips and tricks, go refer to the Useful Tips & Links chapter.


Modifiers & Ranked Songs :

Since the v12.0p1 update, a lot of modifiers got added and some already existing ones have a different effect. When it comes to ranked maps, all the Negative Modifiers apply on the score. This means Negative Modifiers can be used on any ranked map but they will obviously penalise your score and reward less PP. As for the Positive Modifiers, they only take effect on two ranked maps as of now ; Overkill mapped by Nuketime and Overkill mapped by Kry. They are used to test the effects of Positive Modifiers on ranked maps and to find a way to integrate them on all the other ranked maps. You can obviously play any other map (including ranked ones) and the modifiers will all work but they will only increase your score and PP on the two versions of Overkill. The modifiers used on any score on the leaderboards can be seen to the right of the score. With this said, here is a list of all the modifiers in the game, their effects on score and how they affect gameplay :

No Fail (-0.50)

Removes the health bar which makes it impossible to fail. Contrary to older versions of the game, No Fail will now submit scores on the leaderboard unless used on the Practice Mode.

No Obstacles (-0.05)

Removes all of the obstacles (walls) from the map.

No Bombs (-0.10)

Removes all of the bombs from the map.

Slower Song (-0.30)

Slows down the song to 85% of the original speed.

Insta Fail (0.00)

Makes you fail on the first miss you make.

Battery Energy (0.00)

Stops the health bar from replenishing. This limits the total amount of misses and bad cuts you can have before failing.

Disappearing Arrows (+0.07)

Makes the arrows disappear from the note as they approach you. You still need to remember the direction as you need to cut in the correct direction as always.

Faster Song (+0.08)

Speeds up the song to 120% of the original speed.

Ghost Notes (+0.11)

Notes are invisible and the arrows disappear shortly before you hit them, similarly to Disappearing Arrows.


Why should I use a grip?

No matter what VR system you use, if you play on an HTC Vive, Oculus Rift or WMR, grips are always something important to consider as they can help a lot with improving as a player (especially for Vive players). When playing, the default grip can be totally enough to improve for a while but will later cause some issues when getting to songs with fast streams or jumps. For example, the Vive controllers are quite unbalanced and heavy so the regular grip needs a lot of force and arm movement to play stream patterns and could end up being painful and damaging for you. It is much better to use your wrists to play then your arms so this is why I recommend any player to find themselves a comfortable grip that they enjoy. You can even experiment and try to create a new grip! After all, that’s how the currently known grips were created in the first place. For inspiration, here is a pretty good list of Oculus and Vive grips made by Emperor of the Internet. This list is far from complete as many variants of all grips exist, but it is still pretty good and shows the most used and basic grips.

Vive :

Oculus :

Useful Tips & Links

Tips & Tricks :

After all this time playing Beat Saber, I’ve hit many walls. Hitting a wall can be really annoying since it can take time to figure out what to do to keep improving. Here is a small list of tips to improve as a player.

Challenge yourself

While it sounds obvious, many players never try to improve and play harder maps and simply play the same maps over and over again. Extend your song list and push yourself to learn the things you are the worst at.

Don’t only play ranked

While ranked maps seem to be the way to go to improve, they aren’t always the best option. There are a ton of challenge maps that will push you to your limits and make you achieve things you never would have seen yourself do. Ranked songs are great to improve your rank but challenge maps are great to improve your skill.

Record yourself playing.

Recording yourself is great to see where you could improve, whichever it’s only your gameplay or it is with a webcam. Analyzing yourself play can be really useful to see your common mistakes.

Watch better players play and ask them tips

If you have an opportunity, try to watch better players and use some of their techniques to improve. Copying everything about a pro player won’t make you one but can surely help you improve. Also if you ever have the opportunity, always ask for tips (just don’t be annoying or disrespectful).

Don’t overthink it

If you can’t finish a map or can’t achieve a higher score, don’t overthink it. I made the mistake of getting angry over this way too many times and it will create a mental wall. Simply play another song and come back to it another day.

Practice hard patterns

Some patterns are common and some are hard and really specific. If you are struggling with the pattern in a certain map (for example, the complex streams of Kero 9 Destiny), I recommend practicing them by playing them on a slower speed using the practice mode. With this you can single out a pattern and learn it by heart.

Have fun

At the end of the day, this is a game. The important part is that you have fun and enjoy playing it. If you hate playing this “one ranked map that sucks but is worth so much PP”, then simply don’t play it. Don’t try to force yourself to play songs you dislike and play however you want. It’s when you have fun that you’ll see the time fly by and you’ll improve the most. If you don’t care about rank, it’s all good, just have fun 🙂

Links :

Comments (25)
  1. YayapReturns says:

    “An example would be if your top play is on Avalanche with 250 pp”
    Literally finished Avalanche for the first time 1 hour ago.

    its my highest scoring song…
    at 250PP

    are you a wizard?

    1. TeknozFR says:

      Maybe I am… who knows O_O

  2. MoistWilly says:

    This guide is amazing. I have been looking for something like this for a while now. Thank you.

    1. TeknozFR says:

      Glad to see you enjoy it!

  3. PastaAivo says:

    What a brilliant article. I just today stumbled on the actual ScoreSaber website and got interested in how the rankings work (PP in particular). This article pretty much answers all the questions I had, and some extra too. Thank you!

    1. TeknozFR says:

      No problem, was made for this purpose! 😀

  4. kebab says:

    On Oculus Quest the hitbox doesn’t seem to be bigger than the block, it is a tad wider but not deeper, tested on all difficulties, is this exclusive to the Quest or did this change since the article was written?

    1. TeknozFR says:

      Hey! I wrote this before the Oculus Quest was release or even announced. The hitbox seems to change every few updates and the game has been updated quite a few times since I’ve last updated this article 🙂 I don’t think the game would have different hitboxes only on Quest, it wouldn’t make much sense to make the game different just because the player is on a different HMD. I’ll try to find out what’s up with that and if there are new hitboxes, thanks for the info! 😀

  5. mark says:

    Yo thanks so much!! I really didn’t know much about PP and ranked songs besides the fact that they exist until now. This really helped out. Good luck to you!!

    1. TeknozFR says:

      Glad to know my guide was helpful!

  6. 144hZ says:

    this guide helped me alot on my hits and how i play the game thinks

  7. Vio says:

    Can I translate it into Chinese and publish it?Many Chinese players need this guide,i will mark the original writer
    and the original URL. Orz

    1. TeknozFR says:

      No problem!
      I am bilingual as well so I made it both in French and English. I don’t see a problem with translating it in Chinese as long as you credit me and link this! I’m sure it’s gonna help a lot of Chinese players!

  8. Pikminiman says:

    Why does the campaign contain levels that fail the player for reaching a certain combo? It feels lousy to be failed for doing well.

    1. TeknozFR says:

      I so not know which campaign you are talking about but I have definitely heard about it a couple of times. To be honest, I have no idea as to why a campaign would be set up that way.

  9. BeepDuck123 says:

    is there any way of finding out how many people are actually on the global leaderboard? i’m ranked in the top 8,000 and i’m not sure how good that is.

    1. TeknozFR says:

      The short answer is that you are ranked 8 000th out of about 150 000 players who have played at least one ranked map. In my opinion, any player in top 10 000 clearly has started understanding the game’s mechanics and are starting to learn how to cut accurately and play more difficult patterns, I find that to be a good start.

      The long answer is that Score Saber has a feature in place that removes player’s profile from the global leaderboards if they have not submitted a score in 3 months or more. Also, there are way more players than 150 000 registered on Score Saber but not all of them have even played on rank map. This means there are a lot of players with a total of 0.00pp. The 150 000 players is the approximate amount of players with 0.75pp or more. Finally, all I’m trying to say is that there are many reasons why it isn’t as simple as games like osu! to see how you place out of everyone. From inactive players to players who don’t play ranked or even players on devices like the Oculus Quest who can’t upload scores on Score Saber even if they can play custom songs.

      You really shouldn’t focus too much on that side of leaderboards, try to focus more on your self improvement. Set yourself some goals, try to pass maps you haven’t done before or get new high scores. At the end of the day, the important is to have fun! With that said, have a good one 😀

  10. Hi! This article is so helpful, thank you so much!

    I have one question. I just got the Oculus Quest and wanted to try to get on the leader board. Right now I have ranked songs on Beat saber that I got through bookmarking them and using bmbf to sync them to the quest. But my oculus username doesn’t show up on scoresaber. Is there a different way I have to download songs or a step I am missing to register or sign up to score saber?

    1. TeknozFR says:

      First of, thank you! Glad my guide could help you!

      Secondly, sadly, last ai heard, ScoreSaber is not available on the Quest. You don’t have to register on ScoreSaber, it automatically creates a profile for you based on your Steam/Oculus name the first time you set a score while having it downloaded. Like I said, ScoreSaber is not yet available for Quest but there is a possibility it will one day. If you don’t want to wait for that possibility, you could buy the Quest Link. I am not an Oculus user so I don’t know much about it but from what I know, it’s a cable that allows you to connect your Quest to your PC and make it act like a normal VR headset. This means you would be able to download ScoreSaber and use it. Try doing some research on the Link cable or ask some questions in the #support channel of BSMG.

      Hope this helped you!

      1. harrv says:

        “ScoreSaber is not yet available for Quest but there is a possibility it will one day.”

        That day was yesterday!


        1. TeknozFR says:

          Yep! Saw it as well. Hopefully it will actually stick around and not go away when the next update happens!

  11. Amin says:

    Hahhah jzgxgchjc oajsjs

  12. Great article! It’s really great and easy to understand.

    The only thing is under “Accuracy:” it says “While such accuracy is practically impossible (since it would require no combo break and 110 cuts on every block.” Shouldn’t that be 115?

    Not trying to be rude. Hope you have a great day!

  13. TheSpaceCat says:

    Does anyone think there is a way to know the least played song on beat saber? I have been trying to get the achievement that requires SS rank on a expert song, and I have done some simple calculations to help me figure out what I need to do. But I have yet to find the best song to play to get a SS rank, so if there is any way to see the least played song I would love to know.

  14. Make the stars that you get in multiplayer be able to buy you custom sabers so you can get more than just the standard saber

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