This article describes the basic gameplay of Arcaea.
Selecting a Song and LevelEdit
- 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 "RANDOM" button at the end of the song list will highlight a random song without choosing it to play.
The Play ScreenEdit
- 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, of which there are various types. For more details on these, see here.
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. They are officially called "traces" and 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 traces; they may appear below that. Be sure to follow these lines when you see them, since they frequently mean sky notes will appear.
- When a sky note and a floor note appear at the same time, there is a line connecting the two notes. This was first introduced in 1.0.10, but it could be disabled. Since 1.1, it is no longer disabled.
Recollection Rate, also known as Recollection Gauge or simply "gauge", is a gauge displayed on the left side of the screen during a song. This refills with each note hit, and depletes with each note lost.
There are several different types of gauge that depend on which partner you choose that behave differently:
- Normal (default) - The default gauge you play with when selecting a Balance type partner, or when you seal your partner's skill. It displays as a purple gauge that begins at 0% and has a 70% checkpoint. When the Recollection Rate reaches 70%, its color changes from purple to sky blue. In order to clear the song, you need to be at or above 70% at the end. Each note hit increases the gauge by a different amount depending on the chart. It appears to depend on how many notes are in the song. However, missing a note depletes it by a default amount of 2%. With Hikari (Zero)'s skill, missing a note depletes the whole gauge. In the end, if you have your Recollection Rate of at or above 70%, you will be given a "Track Complete" title (except when you meet the Full Recall requirement or the Pure Memory one) for the play. This marks the song with a purple C, and counts as a clear in the profile card and the requirement to unlock certain songs.
- Easy - A type of gauge similar to the normal one, but displays in blue and turns to green at 70%. Instead of a 2% loss when you miss a note, it's only 1.5%, and the loss for many notes missed in a short time is also lower. It is available when you select a Support type partner. Completing a song like this will give a green Track Complete, which won't technically count as a clear in your profile card, but it will be sufficient to unlock songs that require clears.
- Hard - Hard gauge is played with when selecting a partner with the HARD skill. Unlike the other two gauges, this one begins at 100%. Each missed note depletes the gauge by 8.5% (4.5% when under 30%, causing flashing red lights to appear around the floor input), and if you hit 0%, the song immediately ends and you lose. If you survive the whole song, it counts as a completed track. If you complete a song this way, you will be given a "Track Complete" title (except when you meet the Full Recall requirement or the Pure Memory one) for the play, plus a red C mark which counts as a clear in the profile card and the requirement to unlock some songs.
- Overflow - This starts as an Easy gauge, but turns into a Hard gauge upon reaching 100% Recollection Rate. Because Overflow starts as an Easy gauge, using a Partner with this gauge will give you a green Track Complete.
|Recollection Rate Display|
|Below 70%||Above 70%||Below 70%||Above 70%||Below 70%||Above 70%|
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 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, or see a pack's page.
However, some songs--even free songs--on higher difficulties may be locked. There are three ways to unlock songs:
- By playing World Mode. The songs you need to unlock through this mode are listed in bold on the Songs by Pack page, and there's a difference in the song list background on the right from other songs.
- By paying Fragments (currency gained from playing songs or progressing in World Mode). The cost varies based on the song. γuarδina is the only song to have a Past chart that also requires Fragments to unlock. The cost for Present charts are around 20-80 Fragments, while for the Future ones are 150-280. γuarδina's Future chart costs most Fragments, with 360.
- By clearing other songs in the same difficulty, 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 (more than one) other songs first; these will scroll by every second or so, excluding the ones you've already cleared.
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.
Added in 1.1.2, 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. Since 1.6.1, the button is also available from the song result screen.
To add a friend, tap Network on the main menu, then Add Friends. Input the 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, in version 1.7 there are additional slots that cost Fragments). Note that you can't enter a user's ID when they are already a friend, there is no user with that ID, or you enter yours.
Currently, the uses for friends include friend-only rankings in the song selection list, being able to see your friends' most recently played song, the difficulty, and their grade. You can also see your friends' Potential.
Added in 1.6.0, this option is available from the Network button on the main menu. This lets you to show your username, Potential, selected Partner, and the total number of cleared songs in Past difficulty. Tap the "PST" button on the bottom left to show the total number of cleared songs in Present, and do it once again to show Future. Tapping it once more will display Past again.
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.
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// Full Recall on Grievous Lady [FTR] with thumbs. Benefits include being able to hold the phone the way you want without having to set up a playing surface.
Index finger playEdit
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 playEdit
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. Note that this doesn't includes "freestyle" methods.