AC General Info

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This information should be generally correct for styles back to IIDX RED. There is currently a lack of detail for newer games, especially tricoro and later.

The Basics

The beatmania IIDX arcade experience is relatively similar to playing at home, in most respects. There are a few key differences, however, that you will likely notice:

  1. The presence of a number of sliders on a control panel below the screen
  2. The presence of "EFFECT ON/OFF" (subsequently referred to as EFFECT) and "VEFX CHANGE" (subsequently referred to as VEFX) buttons to the left of the sliders
  3. A bass-shaker platform for you to stand on
  4. eAMUSEMENT PASS readers and numeric keypads, one set for each player

Other minor differences such as a widescreen display and a nine-speaker setup are present, too, but aren't as important to this guide.

Getting Started

To start a game, you'll obviously want to insert some coins. Typically, singles play takes one credit, doubles play takes two credits (until tricoro, where double play was changed to only needing one credit) , and two-player play takes one credit per player.

In older styles, before DistorteD, once you have inserted your coins, you can press the VEFX button (NOT the Start button) to bring up the Options menu. If you want to play Battle or Double in these styles, you need to select it at this time, before you press the Start button to begin the game. Additionally, you can set the other game options here as well (high speed, random, autoscratch, etc.) to save yourself some time when picking your first song, but it's not necessary.

Styles after HAPPY SKY do not allow you to access the options menu from the title screen. Instead, you are able to select Single or Double mode at a separate screen after the player entry screen.

Beginning in Resort Anthem, you can insert your eAMUSEMENT PASS and log in before you insert your coins. You can also pay for your game using PASELI instead of coins. The actual deduction of credits or PASELI does not take effect until you choose a game mode.

Selecting a Mode

Rather self-explanatory. Once you pick your desired play type (single, double, battle, or 2P non-battle), you are presented with the Mode Select screen. You can pick from a variety of modes.

On older styles (RED and prior)

  • BEGINNER Mode (introduced in 9th style)
    • 3 songs maximum.
    • The groove gauge never falls when you perform poorly.
    • Easier note charts are available.
  • 4KEYS Mode (introduced in 1st style, removed in 3rd style)
    • Mode aimed towards beginner players where only the white keys are used. Charts are identical to their 7KEYS version, minus the black keys.
    • Replaced by LIGHT7 mode.
  • 5KEYS Mode (introduced in 1st style, removed in 7th style)
    • Mode where keys 6 and 7 are played automatically. Aimed at beginners and people transitioning from the 5-key beatmania games.
    • Available as a modifier from 7th style onward.
  • LIGHT7/LIGHT14 Mode (introduced in 3rd style)
    • LIGHT7/LIGHT14 charts are shown by default.
    • You are allowed to continue on even if you fail your first song (so you get at least two stages).
    • You can play 7KEYS/14KEYS note charts by holding down the VEFX button when you select the song.
  • 7KEYS/14KEYS Mode (introduced in 1st style)
    • Normal gameplay mode
    • You can play LIGHT7/LIGHT14 note charts by holding down the EFFECT button when you select the song.
    • You can play ANOTHER(7)/ANOTHER(14) note charts by holding down the VEFX button when you select the song (if the song has an Another notechart; if not, you will be given the 7KEYS/14KEYS notechart).
  • EXPERT Mode (introduced in 1st style)
    • Pick from a selection of five-song Expert courses.
    • See if you can last all the way to the end! You lose if your life bar reaches zero at any point (it should be noted that the Expert groove gauge falls slower than a normal one).
    • Holding the following buttons while selecting a course perform the following actions:
      • EFFECT
        • Internet Ranking course: 7KEYS/14KEYS songs become LIGHT7/LIGHT14, ANOTHER(7)/ANOTHER(14) songs become 7KEYS/14KEYS
        • Ranking course: All songs become LIGHT7/LIGHT14
        • Original course: All songs become LIGHT7/LIGHT14
      • VEFX
        • Internet Ranking course: Allows you to play the course's corresponding "backside" course
        • Ranking course: All songs become ANOTHER(7)/ANOTHER(14) (if present)
        • Original course: All songs become ANOTHER(7)/ANOTHER(14) (if present)
      • EFFECT+VEFX
        • Internet ranking course: Allows you to play the course's corresponding "backside" course, but all 7KEYS/14KEYS songs become LIGHT7/LIGHT14, ANOTHER(7)/ANOTHER(14) songs become 7KEYS/14KEYS
        • Ranking course: All songs become LIGHT7/LIGHT14
        • Original course: All songs become LIGHT7/LIGHT14
  • CLASS Mode (introduced in 7th style)
    • Play preset four-song courses (with an Expert gauge) to see what level of player you are
    • Courses are organized by difficulty, from 7-kyu (the easiest) through Kaiden (the hardest)
    • No options are selectable except for HI-SPEED settings
  • FREE Mode (introduced in 3rd style)
    • Two songs total, extra stage is not possible to obtain
    • All unlocked songs are selectable for each stage
    • You get to play both stages even if you fail

Recent releases (HAPPY SKY and beyond)

  • TUTORIAL Mode (removed in SIRIUS)
    • This mode teaches you how to play the game through a series of tutorials.
    • From SIRIUS onwards, the tutorial is accessed via a pop-up after choosing the play mode. Only available for players without an eAMUSEMENT PASS and first time eAMUSEMENT players.
  • STEP UP Mode (introduced in Lincle)
    • Lincle:
      • Choose from one of four different difficulty tiers, each corresponding to a particular dan rank range.
      • You start with a single month folder, with a pool of songs from a specific difficulty range.
      • Clear three songs from the current month folder to advance to the next month and unlock more songs.
      • You are guaranteed three songs, even if you fail your first two.
    • tricoro onwards adds some significant changes:
      • You are given a dynamic songlist that changes as you clear and fail songs. Clearing songs will change the songlist to have more difficult charts, while failing songs will result in less difficult charts.
      • You may earn stamps to unlock Q-Pro parts.
      • Beginning in SPADA, the difficulty tier list is gone; your Dan rank dictates the initial songlist.
  • STANDARD Mode
    • As the name implies, this is the standard gameplay mode in which you pick songs and play them. Most machines are set to three stages, plus Extra Stage if the player qualifies.
    • To open up the mod menu, hold your START button.
    • To switch difficulties, hit the VEFX button. Beginning in SPADA, you may also press 1 on the numeric keypad to change difficulties.
    • In SPADA onwards, you may switch between Single Play and Double Play during the song select screen by pressing 3 on the numeric keypad.
    • Unlike prior games, you can pick any song; however, chart availability is limited by what your Class rank is.
      • On Single Play, if you are...
        • 5th dan and lower: You can pick charts up to Lv8 on first stage and Lv10 on your second.
        • 6th dan: Lv9 for first stage; Lv10 for second stage.
        • 7th dan and above: Lv10 for first and second stages.
        • 8th dan and above, plus 100 plays on the card: Lv11 for first and second stages.
      • On Double Play, if you are...
        • 6th dan and lower: You can pick charts up to Lv9 on first stage and Lv11 on your second.
        • 7th dan and above: Lv10 for first stage; Lv11 for second stage.
        • 8th dan and above, plus 100 plays on the card: Lv11 for first and second stages.
      • Lincle and beyond: You can purchase a DJ VIP Pass for your game using PASELI points, if you have a PASELI account.
        • DJ VIP PASS GOLD: Allows you to play three songs guaranteed, regardless of whether you fail.
        • DJ VIP PASS PLATINUM: Allows you to play three songs guaranteed, without difficulty limits.
    • If EXTRA STAGE is enabled, you may earn an EXTRA STAGE on your FINAL STAGE by fulfilling one of the following requirements:
      • On non-Japanese releases of SPADA onwards, and in earlier versions:
        • Single Play:
          • Achieve a PERFECT COMBO (all Greats or Perfect Greats) on a Level 4 chart or lower
          • Achieve a FULL COMBO on a Level 5 or 6 chart
          • Finish with 100% Groove Gauge on a Level 7 chart (even if using HARD or EX-HARD)
          • Clear the song on a Level 8 chart or higher
        • Double Play:
          • Achieve a PERFECT COMBO (all Greats or Perfect Greats) on a Level 4 chart or lower
          • Achieve a FULL COMBO on a Level 5 chart
          • Finish with 100% Groove Gauge on a Level 6 chart
          • Clear the song on a Level 7 chart or higher
      • On Japanese releases of SPADA onwards, you must be using PASELI (premium start for copula and onwards). If you do not meet the above requirements, you can still access the Extra Stage simply by using 7 V-Discs.
    • Note that you can't choose the same song more than once per game.
  • EXPERT Mode (not present in tricoro or SPADA)
    • Pick from a selection of courses. Through Lincle, each course had five songs, but this was changed to four songs when EXPERT mode was reintroduced in PENDUAL.
    • See if you can last all the way to the end! You lose if your life bar reaches zero at any point (it should be noted that the Expert groove gauge falls slower than a normal one).
    • From PENDUAL onwards, EXPERT mode is not available at launch, but is added later as an update.
  • CLASS Mode
    • Play preset four-song courses (with an Expert gauge) to see what level of player you are
    • Courses are organized by difficulty, from 7-kyu (the easiest) through Kaiden (the hardest)
      • Prior to DistorteD, 10th Dan was the highest level.
    • No options are selectable except for HI-SPEED and HIDDEN/SUDDEN/LIFT settings. MIRROR and EX GAUGE are available from copula onward.
      • In PENDUAL, playing CLASS Mode in FUTURE Phase will trigger the MIRROR modifier.
  • FREE Mode
    • Two songs total, EXTRA STAGE is not accessible
    • All unlocked songs are selectable for each stage
    • You get to play both stages even if you fail the first
  • FREE PLUS Mode (introduced in Lincle)
    • Available when two players are present.
    • Similar to FREE Mode, but with three stages instead of two.
  • HAZARD Mode (introduced in EMPRESS)
    • Hidden mode; select FREE Mode and press the three black keys; FREE will change to HAZARD and you will hear a sound effect.
    • Similar to FREE Mode, but:
      • If you break combo, you fail the song instantly!
      • You get four stages instead of two.
      • The CLEAR RATE window will instead show FULLCOMBO RATE.
  • PREMIUM FREE Mode (PASELI only)
    • Play as much as you'd like for a set amount of time! Six-minute, eight-minute, and ten-minute modes are available.
    • You can quit a song by pushing the EFFECT and VEFX buttons.

Selecting a Song

Just like playing at home, with a few differences:

  1. You cannot freely toggle between difficulties before IIDX RED, or play styles (Single, Double) before SPADA.
  2. In HAPPY SKY and later, you can press the VEFX button to switch difficulty. Pressing VEFX switches to a harder difficulty, and then wraps back around to NORMAL after the hardest available difficulty.
    • In IIDX RED and earlier, you must do the following to change difficulties:
    1. To play a song at a harder level than you currently have selected (that is, to play 7KEYS/14KEYS songs during LIGHT7/LIGHT14 mode or to play ANOTHER(7)/ANOTHER(14) songs during 7KEYS/14KEYS mode), hold the VEFX button down as you select the song.
    2. To play a song at an easier level than you currently have selected (that is, to play LIGHT7/LIGHT14 songs during 7KEYS/14KEYS mode), hold down the EFFECT button as you select your song.
  3. To change difficulty only on your side in a 2-player BATTLE game (GOLD and onwards only), hold VEFX and press your corresponding START button, or simply press 1 on your corresponding keypad.
  4. To switch between SINGLE and DOUBLE, press 3 on the keypad. This feature is only available in SPADA onwards.
  5. Just like Arcade mode at home, not all songs are available during each stage. Only easy songs are available at first, then the harder songs begin to become available during subsequent stages.
  6. To choose gameplay options, hold down your Start button (1P Start for left side, 2P Start for right side). The options menu will stay up as long as you keep the button held down.
    • Since tricoro, it is possible to keep the window up by just pressing START.
  7. If you're browsing a sorting category (style, alphabet, etc.), you can close the current category and return to the master list by pressing the VEFX and EFFECT buttons simultaneously.

Effector Usage

9th style does not include effector support.

To use the effector in the arcade, there are a few different things that you have to understand.

  • The EFFECT button
    • Press the EFFECT button to switch between the effector and "EQ ONLY" mode.
  • The VEFX slider
    • Move the VEFX slider up and down to select your desired effector. In IIDX RED through DistorteD, the effector settings are (from top to bottom on the slider):
      • ECHO 5
      • ECHO 4
      • ECHO 3
      • ECHO 2
      • ECHO 1
      • REVERB 1
      • REVERB 2
      • REVERB 3
  • The EQ sliders
    • Just like on a stereo, you can adjust the relative volumes of low- and high-frequency sounds by moving the low-EQ and hi-EQ sliders.
  • The Filter slider
    • According to KONAMI, the Filter slider functions as an adjustable lowpass filter. Moving the slider down will cut out some of the low-frequency sounds, while putting the slider at max ensures that you hear everything the machine's sound system can throw at you.
  • The Play Volume slider
    • Self-explanatory. Adjusts the overall sound volume.

Gameplay

Things are more or less the same as at home. The main differences are that to change your current effector, simply move the VEFX slider, and that if you recieve more than 50 Poors in a row without pressing any keys, you get an automatic GAME OVER. In later styles, a "RETIRE?" notice will be displayed on the screen shortly before this happens to give you a chance to press keys again.

Don't give up, even if it looks impossible!

Secrets

EXTRA STAGE

For information on how to obtain each style's special EXTRA STAGE song, consult the corresponding arcade style's IIDXicon page.

Additional options

NOTE: Since tricoro, most of these options are available in the advanced options menu.

Judge Mode

In 10th style and later, you can bring up a small display that shows a running total of all of your note counts (PGREAT, GREAT, GOOD, BAD, POOR) at the bottom of the video display. To do so, at the title screen (before you press Start), hold the EFFECT button and press the following button sequence:

  • 7, 6, 9, 8

In more recent releases:

  • 1P: 7-6-2-1
  • 2P: 14-13-9-8

RANDOM+

In IIDX RED, to enable the RANDOM+ option, hold the EFFECT button and perform the following button sequence at the title screen:

  • 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Expert View

In IIDX RED, to view the first three songs in an Expert course, go to the Expert course selection screen, hold the Start button, and press the following button sequence:

  • 2, 2, 1, 1, 3, 5, 3, 5, 7, 6 (for 1P side)
  • 9, 9, 8, 8, 10, 12, 10, 12, 14, 13 (for 2P side)

In later styles, this has been simplified to 2-2-1-1 on the left side, or 9-9-8-8 on the 2P side.

When you do this, however, since you're holding down the Start button, your play options will be changed! Be sure to verify that you're using the options that you want to before you select a course!

REGUL-SPEED

Introduced in GOLD; this will cause songs to run at a regulated BPM of 150, and will avoid all BPM changes in the song. However, doing this will cause all scores to become invalid, as if you were using 5-keys or Auto-Scratch, so keep that in mind.

But if you still wish to apply REGUL-SPEED, hold the Start button at the title screen, and input the code below.

  • 2, 3, 5, 7, 4, 6 (for 1P side)
  • 9, 10, 12, 14, 11, 13 (for 2P side)

H-RANDOM (Samurai S-Random)

Introduced in GOLD, this is a S-random where the notes will be scattered around the chart but will be less likely to be clustered on an individual key. All scores played in this mode will be invalid.

To access this mode (as of EMPRESS):

  • During mode select, using the e-amusement keypad on the side of the machine, type in 7, 0, 4, 6, 9, □.

ALL-SCRATCH

Introduced in DJ TROOPERS, this causes most of the notes of the song to be mapped to the turntable column. Chords will have their extra notes mapped to their regular column. All scores in this mode are invalid.

To access this mode (as of EMPRESS):

  • During mode select, using the e-amusement keypad on the side of the machine, type in 8, 0, 8, □, 2.

GAMBOL HYPER & ANOTHER Timing

To access GAMBOL HYPER timing mode (as of EMPRESS):

  • During mode select, using the e-amusement keypad on the side of the machine, type in 9, 7, 0, □, 3, 2.

To access GAMBOL ANOTHER timing mode (as of EMPRESS):

  • During mode select, using the e-amusement keypad on the side of the machine, type in 7, 9, □, 0, 1, 2.

Window Hold

  • When Window Hold is enabled, when you press the Start button in-game to open up your Hi-Speed setting popup, it stays open!! This way, with every key you press/every scratch you do, your HS settings and Sudden+ settings change!

To access Window Hold within Resort Anthem, using either the keyboard or the e-amusement keypad, type in 1-2-3-4-5.

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