This article describes the basic gameplay of Arcaea.


Selecting a Song and LevelEdit

Selecting a Song and Level
  • The three difficulty modes in this game are Past (or PST for short, often for beginners), Present (or PRS, for all kinds of players), and Future (or FTR, for experienced or good players), which you can choose from the icons in the upper-left. Swipe the song list at the right up and down to scroll through the songs.
  • You can sort the songs by Name, Grade, Date (date added to the game), and Difficulty. You can have songs from all the packs list by going into the Packs screen and pressing the "All Songs" button on the bottom.
  • By tapping the artwork for the song, you can change the rankings in the lower-left to display several rankings, including a friends ranking.

The Play Screen Edit

The Play Screen
  • On the bottom of the screen, there will be a solid, purple line spanning the track. Tap one of the four columns when a note in that column hits the line. If the note extends into the distance, hold it down.
  • The striped line in the middle of the screen is used for arc notes and sky notes.
  • On the left, you'll see your Recollection Rate gauge. It will start with 0% (for Easy and Normal Recollection Rate) or 100% (for Hard Recollection Rate). As you hit more notes, this will go up, and if you lose notes, it will go down. To clear a song, this needs to be 70% or higher at the end of the song (for Easy and Normal Recollection Rate) or do not let it be 0% (for Hard Recollection Rate).

Types of NotesEdit

  • Floor notes: These notes appear on the bottom and require a single button tap when they come to the purple bar.
  • Long notes: These notes are the same as floor notes, but require you to hold your tap for the note's duration. You can pick up these notes in the middle if you miss the beginning. There is no FAR timing for these notes.
  • Arc notes: These are the solid, curving lines that appear in the top part. Drag your thumb or finger along them as they move. In Past difficulty, these will stay on the upper part of the screen, but in Present and Future, they will go left, right, down, and up. In Present, if there is an upcoming arc note that will be traveling down to the lower section, it will warn you with an icon in the corner of the screen.
    • There are blue and purple arc notes, which should be assigned to one hand each. If you try to switch fingers in the middle of an arc note, it will turn red and you'll drop the combo.
    • There's also no timing for when you hit the note, so you can actually hold your finger there beforehand and still get PURE timing.
    • Like long notes, you can "pick up" arc notes in the middle.
    • If your finger slides away from the note, you can still pull it back in some cases before losing your combo. If you let go entirely in the middle, though, you'll lose the note, causing the arc to turn red.
    • While you're holding an arc note, the track will tilt in one direction.
    • Sometimes a gray curving line will follow an arc note when it ends; these don't need to be touched. (They appear on Present and Future only, save for Babaroque's Past chart.) These lead to sky notes.
  • Sky notes: Only appear in Present and Future. These notes appear when an arc note ends in traces. You have to tap them as they come up. In some songs, they may not appear on the striped line; they may appear below that. Be sure to follow these lines when you see them, since they frequently mean sky notes will appear.


Main article: Scoring

Unlocking Songs and LevelsEdit

All players are able to play every song in the Arcaea pack for free. Other songs can be bought through Memories, which are purchased with real money (see Currency). Some songs are part of song packs, which you pay 500 Memories for to get every song in the pack; other songs can be purchased on an individual basis for 100 Memories each. To see the cost for each song pack, see the Songs by Pack page.

However, some songs--even free songs--on higher difficulties may be locked. There are three ways to unlock songs:

  1. By playing World Mode. The songs you need to unlock through this mode are listed in bold on the Songs by Pack page.
  2. By paying Fragments (currency gained from playing songs or progressing in World Mode). The cost varies based on the song.
  3. By clearing other songs, sometimes with high ratings. For example, to unlock GOODTEK (Arcaea Edit)'s Present difficulty, you first need to clear Harutopia ~Utopia of Spring~ on Present. To unlock Sheriruth's Future difficulty, you have to clear Essence of Twilight's Future difficulty with a grade of A or higher.

These requirements are generally displayed on the song selection screen. Certain songs may require you to clear several other songs first; these will scroll by every second or so, excluding the ones you've already cleared.

The only song unlocked through a different method is Grievous Lady; please see that song's page for details.


In order to play online, you need to register a user by providing an email address and password. You also need to have the latest version of the game downloaded. You can still play free songs without registering.

Once you've registered, you can buy Memories and new packs, add friends, and play World Mode. You can also sync your data to the cloud so you can play across devices.

Cloud SyncEdit

This option is available from the Network button on the main menu and on the top-left of the scoring screen. This lets you upload and download your data across devices.

Adding FriendsEdit

To add a friend, tap Network on the main menu, then Add Friends. Input the Friend ID of the person you want to register to your friends list and tap Add. You can add up to ten friends (five prior to 1.1.3)

Currently, the usages for friends includes friend-only rankings in the song selection list, the friends' recent play including the song, the difficulty, and his/her grade for the play. You can also see your friends' Potential.

Methods of GameplayEdit

There are several methods you can use to play Arcaea. The most important rule, however, is to remain consistent: if you want to play with thumbs, stick with thumbs, and if you want to use all your fingers, do it all the time. Note that, save for a few charts on the highest difficulty, you will only ever *need* two fingers/thumbs to clear songs.

  • Thumb play - Playing with your thumbs only. Works best on smaller devices such as phones. Regarded as somewhat more difficult than using fingers, but at least one player can get a Pure Memory on Grievous Lady with thumbs. Benefits include being able to hold the phone the way you want without having to set up a playing surface.
  • Index finger play - Playing with your index fingers only. Works on any device, although phones may slide around depending on the surface you're playing on. You may need to hold the phone steady with other fingers; be careful not to let them creep on to the screen, however, as it may screw up your arc notes. Works better on heavier, less mobile devices such as tablets.
  • Full hand play - Playing with anything you can, whether it's thumbs or fingers. Harder to learn, but makes many difficult patterns easier. Mainly adds middle fingers for a total of 4 fingers.

You can mix and match for certain situations if it makes songs easier. For example, certain floor note+sky note combos might be easier by using the thumb and index finger of one hand; quick sequences of double floor notes might benefit from using your middle fingers in addition to your index fingers. However, take these on a case-by-case basis and stick mostly to your chosen method of play.