Joshua's Docs - Beat Saber - Troubleshooting, Mods, and Creating Custom Songs - Notes

My Collected Playing Tips

  • For better tracking (especially WMR)
    • Cut down on sunlight, glare / reflective surfaces, dynamic light sources, etc.
      • Get blackout curtains if you are serious about playing and your room gets a lot of sunlight
    • Try using more wrist action instead of moving your arm (you'll notice this if you watch "pro" Beat Saber players stream)
    • If your headset uses HMD cameras for tracking, try to keep your arms in front of you as much as possible, as opposed to letting them rest at your sides.
    • Keep batteries topped up; some VR models show degraded tracking ability if the voltage drops
  • For a more enjoyable play experience (personal preferences):
    • I find the hit noises annoying (especially if they fall off-beat), so I turn them off.
    • Tweak "room adjust" and other advanced settings till things feel right
  • Don't look directly at the blocks
    • I find that if I try to focus on each block and anticipate it, I end up overthinking and screwing up. If I focus my eyes on the center of the playfield, and use my peripheral vision to try to absorb all the incoming blocks, I do much better.
    • This is similar to a lot of other activities, where hyper-focusing on something actually hurts your performance

WMR for Beat Saber

  • Good Reddit thread on the topic.
  • My main complaints are:
    • Tracking is just slightly sub-par compared with expensive tracking systems (e.g. Vive or Index).
      • You can make it better by following recommendations and tweaking stuff, but the out-of-the-box experience might be a little annoying if you frequently play on Expert or Expert+.
    • Some WMR models have wands / hand controllers that are slippery, which is a big problem with Beat Saber, given how often you are making wild movements
      • Buy extra wrist straps!!!
        • They don't have to be specific to your model, just do a search for wii wrist strap or something like that.
      • Since there are so many WMR models out there, finding grip covers specific to your model might be difficult and/or expensive
      • You can always modify the controllers yourself to add gripping power. Common recommendations are:
        • Rubber bands
        • Self-adhering wrap (bandage / medical, aka "cohesive bandage") (like this)
        • Duct tape
        • "grip tape" or "friction tape" (often sold for guns or sporting equipment)
        • Gloves with grip material (work gloves, sports gloves, etc.)
        • Moldable material (Sugru, moldable plastic, etc.)
      • Changing up how your grip the controller often also helps, but can make accidental button presses an issue.
  • If you are having lots of issues with tracking and glitches, and you are using extension cables, check out my PSA about the topic.



Finding Songs

  • Beast Saber -
    • If you want to view newest, but with pagination (no endless scroll, so you don't lose your place / crash your browser) - go to /songs/page/#/ instead of /newest. Here is page 1 of the paginated view.

Prolific Mappers

Hardcore Mod Re-Install

In Steam/steamapps/common/Beat Saber:

  • Delete the /IPA folder
  • Clear out /Plugins folder
  • Clear out /Libs folder
  • Optional:
    • Clear out /Incompatible Plugins folder

Run the Steam file validator

  1. Find game, right click, select Properties
  2. Go to Local Files tab
  3. Verify Integrity of Game Files
  4. Wait for downloads to finish

Launch game once before doing anything with mods

  • Verify that, at this stage, it opens without issue
  • Exit game, and wait for it to fully close

Open mod assistant / modder of choice

  • At this point, if you successfully cleared out everything, it should show all mods as uninstalled, except maybe for BSIPA
  • Install the mods you want.
  • Launch game

Common Issues


You might see something like System.TypeLoadException ... IPA Logging ... harmony

  • Delete the harmony .dll file from Beat Saber_data\Managed (mentioned on discord)

Creating Songs

Where to Start?

I would recommend looking at any of these:

The Ultimate Guide

Once you start getting into actually building out your map, you will definitely want to look at the aptly named "The Ultimate Beat Saber Mapping Guide" by Skyler Wallace

Best Practices

Follow the best practices section in the ultimate guide mentioned above.

BeastSaber user Awfulnaut also put together an excellent list of best practices:

My own notes:

  • I can't find this conclusively documented anywhere, but I would recommend staying above about 150 ms between blocks, unless the consecutive blocks are extremely easy to swing between (e.g. same color and position), or building for Expert+ and higher.
    • The general consensus on average human reaction time is around 200 ms for visual stimuli. However:
      • In Beat Saber, you usually see blocks ahead of when you need to strike them
      • You also receive audio stimuli (the beat of the music playing), and most humans have a faster reaction time to audio stimuli, around 160 ms (citation)
    • For frame of reference, this means that for a song at 120 BPM, blocks placed every...
      • 1/4 of a beat: Slightly too fast - that's 125 ms between blocks
      • 1/8 of a beat: Too fast - that's only 62.5 ms between blocks!

Warning on Picking Songs

A word of warning: Mapping variable BPM songs for Beat Saber is hard. Especially for a beginner.

Let me elaborate. In all the map editors, and I believe in the BS system itself, you specify the BPM as a setting for the entire song. However, in many songs the BPM is not a constant rate throughout the song. Those that know music composition are familiar with this; pieces can switch time signatures dozens of time, from 4/4 time to 3/4 to 5/4, to 6/8, and so on.

However, since BS only allows for a song-level BPM, you end up with sections of the song where the alignment markers and snap-points on the track editor are not going to line up with the audio, unless you manually adjust. You have to carefully place each note by hand in those spots, often making the "Snap To" setting very small, so you can adjust to the variation in BPM.

This is in comparison to a song with a constant BPM (and time signature) throughout, such as many pieces of electronic music, where you can leave the settings alone through the entire track and sort-of indiscriminately drop blocks.

Before I looked into map making, I was wondering about (and annoyed by) the fact that so many of the custom maps out there fall into the same genres; Electronic, Synth, etc. Now it makes sense - these genres typically have a consistent BPM, often even backed by a distinctive audible rhythm track. This also explains why you don't see much classical music (highly variable time signatures), indie, jazz, etc.

Online Tools

Offline Tools

Common Patterns

To "spice things up", especially on Expert and above, you will want to introduce variety into your maps. To help myself with a "mappers block" (get it?) - I'm jotting down some common patterns I've noticed that introduce some extra spice.

There is already a comprehensive list of common patterns (both good and bad) in Skyler Wallace's "The Ultimate Beat Saber Mapping Guide", but here are a few more I wanted to record:

  • Beating the Drum
    • Beat Saber - Beating the Drum - Move
    • I'm calling this "beating the drum", because that is kind of what it looks like you are doing when you hit these - one arm goes down while the other goes up
  • Finger Spin
    • Beat Saber - Finger Spin
    • You end up moving your arms in a circle while keeping them together, the motion of which reminds me of this meme
  • Cross-Arm Cross-Side Swap
    • Cross-Arm Cross-Side Swap
    • You swap the side and which block is on top, at the same time, which forces the user to cross arms during the transition
    • This looks worse than it is; it actually ends up feeling natural. Just make sure you give enough time between blocks so that the user doesn't slam their arms together while crossing
    • CAUTION: Recommendation is to always have red on top when on left side, and blue on top on right side. See "incorrect crossover position" under Beast Saber Best Practices

How to Test

Testing in Beat Saber VR

I found conflicting documentation on this part of the process. Some sites (including the official SongCore readme) say that you can stick .zip files in the Beat Saber_Data/CustomWIPLevels folder, and SongCore will automatically extract the contents; I did not find this to be the case.

What worked for me was to have the unzipped custom song folder in either CustomWIPLevels or CustomLevels.

Testing Online

If you just want to preview your song in an environment other than your map editor, there is an awesome online preview tool that you can use - bs-viewer by +1 Rabbit. It is actually integrated into BeastSaber, but you can use it as a standalone tool too.

Either put in a link to a hosted .zip file, or load a local .zip file with the choose map file option.

Markdown Source Last Updated:
Sun Jun 25 2023 03:29:16 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
Markdown Source Created:
Wed Apr 15 2020 00:12:25 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
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