Guide to Modifiers

Want your arrows to dance around to the music (as seen in Pump it Up PRO 2 and the StepMania/ITG Modfile Community)?

Well, if you’re a fan of modifiers and attacks, this guide is for you!

What are Mods/Attacks?

Modifiers (or Mods) apply all kinds of effects to the notes in a song - they can make the notes scroll in different directions, bounce to the beat, and many, many more things!

You can manually turn on modifiers on any song by entering the player options menu (press start twice when you pick a song to play), and choosing Modifiers then Exit at the bottom. Mods in the Acceleration, Effects, Appearance, and Scroll categories work best for attacks - feel free to play around!

The Modifiers menu

Attacks are one of the easiest ways to add Modifiers to your simfile - Attacks will apply whatever mods you want at specific times you set in the song!

For StepMania 5/Outfox-based arcade cabinets (and SM5-based games like PIU Infinity), Attacks can even be used in USB custom songs and charts (if enabled)!

Adding Attacks to a Simfile

We’ll assume you’ve already created a simfile, and know a bit about how to use the editor here.

First off:

  1. Open a Simfile in the Outfox editor (Title Screen > Edit/Share > Edit Songs/Steps). Pick a song, then pick a difficulty (chart).

  2. When editing the chart, press Enter where you want the Modifier to start.

  3. Choose Modifiy attacks at current beat at the bottom of the menu.

The Enter key menu

  1. Choose Add Attack

  2. Here, you’ll enter a Modifier to get applied:

    • Many modifiers from the Player Options menu will work (Beat, Drunk, etc), for now just type Beat and press Enter.
    • Any attacks you add will show up to the right of the notes, both when editing and playing a simfile in the editor. Prompting to enter an attack’s modifier
  3. Press P to play your song - you should see the attack you added scroll up the screen with the notes.

    • When the attack with your Beat modifier scrolls to the top of the screen, the arrows will start bouncing to the beat!

The beat modifier in gameplay

Editing/Removing Attacks

Attacks only last a few seconds by default - to make it last longer you’ll need to edit the attack’s length.

Edit an Attack

  1. In the editor, go to the beat where the Attack you want to edit is, and press Enter.

  2. All Attacks on that beat are listed - pick the one you want to edit (arrow keys/enter).

    • If you don’t see the attack you just added, make sure you’re lined up to the Exact time the Attack is at!
  3. From here, press Enter on any of these options to change them:

    • Starting time: When this attack starts. It’s better to remove/re-add an attack if you want to change when it starts.
    • Seconds Remaining: How long the attack lasts (defalt: 5 seconds)
    • Attack 1: The mod you just added - press enter to change
    • Add Mod: Pick this to add another mod to this attack

The Attack edit menu

Remove an Attack

  1. In the editor, go to the beat the Attack is on and press Enter.

  2. Pick the attack you want to remove and press Enter.

  3. Pick the Mod you want to remove and press Enter.

  4. When asked for a new Mod, backspace all the letters in the mod and press Enter.

    • When all Mods in an attack are removed, the Attack is auto-removed.

Mod Strength/Approach Rate

Mod Strength

Is Beat too wild? Not wild enough? You can fix that!

To change how strong a mod is, add a percentage before it, like 50% Beat

By default, any mods you add default to 100%. You can dial this down if you don’t want a mod to be as strong.

Percentages above 100% are a-ok if you want really strong mods! Negative percentages like -50% Beat work too if you want to totally invert an effect (it might not be obvious on all mods, but it does work).

Finally: No means the same thing as 0%. Say, if you have a Beat attack earlier in the song, you can turn it off with 0% Beat or No Beat - either works!

In the above video - Left = 40% Beat, Right = 125% Beat


Mod Approach Rate

Want a mod to slowly fade in over time, or instantly go to max strength? You can change that too!

To change how fast/slow a mod is applied, add a * and a number before the mod, like *2 Beat

Higher numbers apply mods faster, lower numbers (decimals included!) make mods apply slower.

*0.5 = Half as fast, *2 = Twice as fast.

(The default *1 applies at a rate of 100% of a mod over 1 second)

Mod approach rate can also combine with any strength, including 0%! If you want to get rid of a mod really fast, you can use an attack like *50 0% Beat.

In the above video - Left = *0.5 Beat (fades in half as fast), Right = *10 Beat (fades in 10x as fast!). They both get to the same strength at the end, but the left side takes longer to do so.

Resources/What’s Next

Next up is to play around with Modifiers! Experiment with what effects you can get, and discover what you do/don’t like!


What Mods Can I Use?

Lots, actually!

Check out the Guide to Mods in the sidebar for a list of mods you can use!


Mods Resources

  • FMS Cat’s Flip-Invert site helps give you combinations of various mods to move the note columns across the screen. Just drag the receptors where you want them on-screen!

    • (You can alternatively use the MoveX/Y/Zn mods to move single note columns, like MoveX1, MoveX2, etc)
  • Check out WinDEU’s Marathon Tutorial series - it focuses on older versions of StepMania (where some mods, like Drunk and Tipsy, have different names), but a lot of the info still applies to SM5/Outfox. The later videos in the series dive really deep into how some mods behave!

    • How to set up Mods in Courses in also covered in earlier videos in the series (though again, focusing on older versions of StepMania)
  • You can join Project Outfox’s Discord server for more help from the community - feel free to ask mods/attacks-related questions in channels like #mods-coding-help.


My Mods Don’t Work!

  • Double check you’ve spelled your Mod name right - mods from older versions of the game (like OpenITG) may have different names in SM5/Outfox!
  • You may get strange behavior if you add new attacks into a simfile before the last attack in the file.

Mod Behaviors Across Different Themes

Some mods you add (like Drunk, Tornado, Boomerang) may change behavior depending on the theme you’re currently using.

In older versions (like Stepmania 5.0/5.1), the theme’s internal resolution (HD vs non-HD themes, specifically SCREEN_HEIGHT) is used in calculations for certain mods. On these versions, these mods will behave differently on themes with different internal resolutions.

In Outfox, these calculations are performed based on a completely separate theme metric instead, ModifierHeight. If the theme changes this value, it will affect those calculations (and therefore mod behaviors, and is noted as doing so).

Plan accordingly if you plan on playing your simfiles/chart edits on different versions/themes!


Other Notes

  • Mods obey stops and BPM changes in songs. If your song stops while a mod like Beat is in effect, the notes will freeze in the middle of Beat’s animation, skewed to the sides.
  • Earlier versions of StepMania can round the time a mod starts at if you save and exit a simfile in the editor, making it harder/impossible to edit in the future. If this happens, you’ll need to manually edit the mod lines under the #ATTACKS tag in your simfile’s .sm/.ssc files.