Pop'n music AC General Info

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pop'n music Arcade General Information

General Arcade Gameplay

pop'n music has a very straightforward menu layout and playing screen. The first screen encountered is of course the credit screen. Insert coins to activate the buttons. On most arcade versions, codes are entered at this point, before pressing the red button to start. On eAMUSEMENT enabled consoles, your card should be inserted now. Navigation through menus is very simple:

  • Red button makes selections and advances menus
  • White buttons cancel selections when available
  • Blue buttons scroll left and right or up and down through all menus
  • Green buttons scroll horizontally through the song select screen
  • Yellow buttons, when held down, advance a large distance through the song select screen

The first menu will be the game mode select screen. Here you can pick between NORMAL MODE, BATTLE MODE, EASY MODE, NAVIGATE MODE, and the like. Before pop'n music Sunny Park, you needed to select the number of buttons you wish to play with, 5 or 9 (instead, in pop'n music Sunny Park you can select your player character now.) This will bring you to the song select screen. Once you've chosen a song, gameplay will start. This is when you would select modifiers and ojamas (also known as normas) to go with your song. After the song, your play will be judged, and you will be returned to the song select screen. After the final song, a rundown of all your songs will be shown, and if you qualify, the name entry screen will be displayed.

Game Modes

pop'n music currently consists of two modes:

    • The main pop'n music mode. You can play any of the available songs, using all 9 buttons.
    • EASY difficulty is available for some songs, which use less than 9 buttons.
    • Tallies EXTRA POINTS based on song difficulty and ojama modifiers.
    • EXTRA STAGE can be accessed if a certain amount of points is accumulated.
    • 3-Buttons mode for two players.
    • After a certain amount of gameplay, players can launch their attacks by pressing the blue button. The attack puts a modifier on your opponent if successful.
    • Winner is determined best 2 out of 3 songs.

A variety of modes have existed throughout the pop'n music series. Some modes have been removed, renamed, or integrated into other modes.
Former modes include:

    • Focused for beginners.
    • A songlist containing a limited number of songs that can be played from, and a simplified difficulty scale.
    • No modifiers are present in this mode.
    • No grades. A point system is used instead, starting with 100, and 1 point is deducted per MISS.
    • Guarantees two out of three songs.
  • 5 BUTTON MODE (pop'n music 5 to 20 fantasia)
    • Introduced as 5 LINE in pop'n music 5.
    • Originally its own mode, but can be played on the same credit as 9-button charts in later games.
    • Replaced with EASY difficulty in pop'n music Sunny Park.
  • CHALLENGE MODE (pop'n music 5 to 19 TUNE STREET)
    • Much like NORMAL MODE, except there's no COOL judgment.
  • EXPERT MODE (pop'n music 6 to 17 THE MOVIE)
  • NET TAISEN MODE (pop'n music 12 いろは to 19 TUNE STREET)
    • NET TAISEN has been integrated into NORMAL MODE as of pop'n music 20 fantasia.
  • LOCAL MODE (pop'n music ラピストリア to éclale)
  • OSUSUME MODE (pop'n music 9 to pop'n music 11)
  • PARTY MODE (pop'n music 2 to pop'n music 5)
  • EXCITE MODE (pop'n music to pop'n music 4)
  • HITASURA MODE (pop'n music 9)
  • NAVIGATE MODE (pop'n music 20 fantasia)

Song Select

Throughout the pop'n music series, it has undergone numerous changes of the song select screen.

From pop'n music éclale, sorting options are placed in a separate menu, which is brought up using either green button. From that menu, songs can be sorted by level, song title, artist name, version, and BEMANI series. From pop'n music うさぎと猫と少年の夢, if sorting by level, levels can be adjusted to a higher or lower level using the yellow buttons.

From pop'n music Sunny Park to pop'n music ラピストリア, the song select screen is divided in folders on the song wheel, similar to the beatmania IIDX series. Opening folders are done using the red or right green button, and closing folders are done using the left green button. All difficulty levels and ratings are displayed under the banner, and difficulty selection changed to using the yellow buttons to highlight the difficulty. Difficulty selection is still done this way in current versions of pop'n music.

From pop'n music 10 to pop'n music 20 fantasia, the song select screen looked similar across different versions. In these later versions, songs are scrolled vertically with the blue buttons, and versions or sorts are scrolled horizontally with the green buttons. There is typically a section that sorts all songs by level, and another alphabetically (by genre, of course). Earlier mixes, like pop'n music 8 do not have such luxuries. To change difficulty, press both yellow buttons simultaneously. This will cycle you up from NORMAL to HYPER, and on to EX if available. In 5 key mode, you will only cycle from 5 to 9 key, then back to 5.


To access gameplay options in all versions (except ANIMELO 2 and versions before pop'n 4), press both yellow buttons at the same time during the song loading or Option Select screen.

As of pop'n music ラピストリア, options are arranged into a menu by category, where navigation is similar to song select. Options are categorized into HI-SPEED, POP-KUN, GAUGE TYPE, and GUIDE SE as basic options.

  • HI-SPEEDs range from x1 up to x10 in increments of 0.1
  • POP-KUN changes the appearance of the notes, replacing the pop-kun graphic with the face of your character [CHARA-POP(YOU)], the stage's character [CHARA-POP(RIVAL)], or a beatmania IIDX bar (BEAT-POP).
  • GAUGE TYPE changes the difficulty to build the groove gauge during gameplay. NORMAL, EASY, HARD, or DANGER can be selected. HARD and DANGER are not selectable when the basic options are on.
  • GUIDE SE during gameplay can be toggled on or off. This is not available in versions before pop'n music うさぎと猫と少年の夢.

More advanced option categories can be brought up by pressing 0 on the keypad, which contain RANDOM, JUDGE+, HIDDEN, SUDDEN, and OJAMA 1 and 2.

  • RANDOM contains the options RANDOM, MIRROR, and S-RANDOM. RANDOM randomizes the order of the columns in which the notes, or pop-kuns, drop. MIRROR reverses the order of the columns from right to left. S-RANDOM randomizes the pop-kun into different columns, causing repetitive pop-kun patterns to be entirely random, unlike RANDOM.
  • JUDGE+, available in pop'n music éclale and later, changes how the judgement and combo are displayed . TIMING adds Fast/Slow above judgements worse than COOL, LOST shows no judgement (except BADs) nor combo, and PANIC displays a false judgement and combo.
  • HIDDEN and SUDDEN do just what you would expect, either hide the pop-kuns when they get to the bottom of the screen, or make them appear more suddenly by hiding them at the top. HIDDEN and SUDDEN have their own categories to toggle on/off and set the amount of HIDDEN or SUDDEN, similar in function to HIDDEN+/SUDDEN+ on other BEMANI titles.
  • OJAMA 1 and OJAMA 2 are two separate option categories to set ojamas independently of each other. Either category can be used to set an ojama throughout gameplay or intermittently during gameplay.

In versions Sunny Park and earlier, options are divided into four categories: HI-SPEED, RANDOM/MIRROR, HIDDEN/SUDDEN, and pop-kun. Depending on the mode and version, OJAMAs are selectable separately by pressing both white buttons instead of both yellow buttons.

  • HI-SPEEDs range from x1 to x6, but may have 0.5 or 1.0 increments depending on the version.
  • RANDOM contains MIRROR, RANDOM, and S-RANDOM, the latter of which is unlockable in some versions.
  • HIDDEN and SUDDEN are selectable, but not adjustable. HIDDEN+SUDDEN makes the notes appear for a short time where the HIDDEN and SUDDEN curtains do not overlap.
  • The pop-kun modifier changes the appearance of the notes, replacing the pop-kun graphic with the face of your character (CHARA-POP), the stage's character, or a beatmania IIDX bar (BEAT-POP).

Scoring and grading

As like most rhythm games, players are scored based on their judgement for hitting pop-kuns, with a maximum score of 100,000. There are four judgements: COOL, GREAT, GOOD and BAD, in descending order. The points given for each note is 100,000 divided by the total number of notes rounded to the next number. Getting lower judgements awards less points. The table below displays the percentage of points that can be obtained for a note:

Series/Mode Judgement
(TUNE STREET or earlier)
N/A 100% 50% 0%
(Sunny Park or earlier)
100% 50% 10%
(ラピストリア and later)
70% 40%

Beginning in pop'n music うさぎと猫と少年の夢, a clear rank is given to players for achieving certain scores. The scoring was grouped into eight levels:

Rank Score Range
S > 98,000
AAA 95,000 - 97,999
AA 90,000 - 94,999
A 82,000 - 89,999
B 72,000 - 81,999
C 62,000 - 71,999
D 50,000 - 61,999
E < 49,999

As an additional requirement, AA grade or higher requires a stage clear. If the player fails the stage but scored more than 90,000, the player will instead be awarded an A grade.

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