step banner

Often called "DDR clone on PC", it's easy to use: install it on your hard drive, add the songs you want in the adequate directory, then launch! By default, the 4 cursor arrows activate the arrows in the game, but you can setup the input to your liking. If you have a mat with a good USB adapter (I recommend EMS Trio Linkers), you can play just like in a DDR game.

StepMania's fun doesn't end there. You can not only put tunes from other BEMANI games, but also from every possible origin. You can even create your own stepcharts from any MP3 or OGG tune. The task is far from easy though: you need to determine with great accuracy the BPM (beat per minute) parameters and synchronize the song with the arrows by adjusting the gap, or offset. A good experience in rhythm-gaming will help you a lot in creating your own stepfiles, however there exists many tutorials that can assist you at first. This shouldn't be without a piece of starter advice from me: get Audacity to shorten the music files you wish to use and determine the gap. It's free software so go ahead!

New players should learn the following file structure:
\Stepmania: created as you install it
\Stepmania\Songs: stepfile catalog should go there. Unzip files from there, but respect the following substructure:
\Stepmania\Songs\group name\song name\stepfile files

\Stepmania\Songs\DDR 6th Mix -MAX-\MAX 300\{MAX 300 soundfile + banner + background + either *.SM or *.DWI stepfile}

Only soundfiles (*.MP3 or *.OGG being the most common) and stepsfiles (*.SM for StepMania or *.DWI for Dance With Intensity) are mandatory.

I am also creator of my very own series of "stepfiles", taking from BEMANI games as well as anime, retro music or electronica. I consider the variety of genres as primordial to make a great mix: even unknown songs or unconventional styles deserve a chance on StepMania. Want to know more and step along? Check the J-Files, the link is on the top-right.


kobo - "PATRIOTISM", from beatmania IIDX 12 HAPPY SKY,
part of the J-Files (AREA 3) simfile collection