This article describes the basic gameplay of Arcaea.

Song Selection

Selecting a Song and Level
  • There are three difficulty modes in this game:
    • Past (PST): for beginners.
    • Present (PRS): for all kinds of players.
    • Future (FTR): for experienced or good players
  • The difficulty can be selected from the icons on the upper-left.
  • The song list at the right can be scrolled by sliding it up or down.
  • The songs can be sorted by Name, Grade, Date (when the song was added to the game), and Difficulty.
  • The song pack list can be accessed by selecting the current pack at the top-middle of the screen.
  • A list of songs from all packs can be accessed by entering the pack list and selecting the "All Songs" button on the bottom.
  • By selecting the artwork for the song, you can set a different filter for the rankings on the lower-left, such as a filter for Friends.
  • The "RANDOM" button at the end of the song list directs to a random song without selecting it to play.

Play Screen

The Play Screen
  • There are 4 lanes forming a vertical plane, referred to as the track.
  • Floor Input: The solid purple horizontal line, spanning the track near the bottom, is the lower bound for notes.
  • Sky Input: The striped horizontal line, cutting across the middle of the screen, is the upper bound for notes.
  • On the top-left corner is the Recollection Rate gauge, of which there are various types.

Note Types

Name Description Image
Floor Note These notes appear on the bottom.

They only appear on lanes.

They require a single button tap when they reach the floor input.

Floor Note
Long Note These notes appear on the bottom.

They require you to keep your finger held on the same spot until it ends.

There is no FAR timing for these notes.

You can hit these notes in the middle if you miss the beginning.

If your finger is released before the note ends, there is a short time window to place it back without incurring a LOST.

Long Note
Arc Note These notes are thick, curving lines that appear above the track.

Drag your thumb or finger along them as they move.

In Past difficulty, they will only appear along the sky input and can only go left or right.

In Present and Future difficulties, they can appear anywhere within the input region and can go in any direction.

In Present difficulty, if there is an upcoming arc note that goes downwards, you will be forewarned via an icon on the corner of the screen.

  • There are blue and purple arc notes, which should be assigned to one hand each. If you attempt to switch fingers in the middle of an arc note, it will turn red and the combo ends.
  • 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 drifts away from the note, you can still pull it back in some cases before losing your combo.
  • If your finger is released before the note ends, you'll lose the note, causing the arc to turn red. Placing your finger back is still recommended to prevent further LOST notes.
  • Holding an arc note on the left of the screen causes the track to tilt slightly anticlockwise, and on the right causes the track to tilt slightly clockwise.
Arc Note
Sky Note These notes appear above the track.

They only appear on Present and Future difficulties.

They typically appear on traces (see below), but there are exceptions (e.g. DX Choseinou Full Metal Shojo).

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 can no longer be disabled.
Sky Note
Trace These are thin lines which can move in any direction within the input region.

They are technically not notes, and thus do not need to be held.

Holding them does not award any bonus.

Sky notes typically appear on or at the end of traces.

They only appear on Present and Future difficulties, save for Babaroque's Past chart.

In the game's tutorial, they are described to only appear after arc notes. However, this is not always true (e.g. Illegal Paradise).


Recollection Rate

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:


  • The default gauge you play with when selecting a Balance type partner, or when your partner's skill is sealed.
  • Displays as a purple gauge that begins at 0% and has a checkpoint at 70%.
  • 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 70% or above at the end.
  • Each note hit increases the gauge by a different amount depending on the chart.
  • The increase in gauge depends on how many notes are in the song.
  • Missing a note depletes it by a fixed amount of 2%.
  • If a song is cleared successfully, you will be given a "Track Complete" title (except if the Full Recall or Pure Memory requirement is met).
  • A "Track Complete" marks the song with a purple C, and counts as a clear in the profile card and the requirement to unlock certain songs.
  • With Hikari (Zero)'s skill, missing a note depletes the whole gauge to 0%.


  • Similar to the Normal gauge, but is blue and turns green at 70%.
  • Instead of a 2% loss upon a LOST note, there is only a 1.5% loss.
  • The penalty for losing many notes in a short time is also reduced.
  • Available when selecting a Support type partner.
  • A "Track Complete" marks the song with a green C, and does not count as a clear on the profile card, but is sufficient to unlock songs that require clears.


  • Enabled when selecting a partner with a HARD skill.
  • Unlike the other two gauges, this gauge begins at 100%, and is red throughout.
  • There is no % requirement to clear songs.
  • Each LOST note depletes the gauge by 8.5%.
  • While under 30%, flashing red lights appear around the floor input, and the penalty for LOST notes is reduced to 4.5%.
  • Upon reaching 0%, the song immediately ends and the track is lost.
  • A "Track Complete" marks the song with a red C, and counts as a clear in the profile card and the requirement to unlock certain songs.


  • Hybrid of Easy and Hard gauges.
  • Starts off as an Easy gauge, but turns into a Hard gauge upon reaching 100% Recollection Rate.
  • A song can be cleared without the gauge turning into a Hard gauge, if it is above 70%.
  • A "Track Complete" marks the song with a green C, and does not count as a clear on the profile card, but is sufficient to unlock songs that require clears.
Recollection Rate Display
Below 70% Above 70% Below 70% Above 70% Below 70%   Above 70%
Recollection gague - Easy below 70
Recollection gague - Easy above 70
Recollection gague - Normal below 70
Recollection gague - Normal above 70
Recollection gague - Overflow below 70
Recollection gague - Overflow above 70
Recollection gague - Hard above 30


Main article: Scoring


All players are able to play every song in the Arcaea pack for free. Songs in Memory Archive and song packs can be bought with Memories, which are purchasable with real money. To see the cost for each song pack, access the song pack's page from Songs by Pack.

Certain songs, free or paid, have locked higher difficulties. There are four ways to unlock songs:

  1. Reaching milestones in World Mode maps. Songs unlocked this way are listed in the Songs by Pack page (in bold), These songs have a different background on the song list compared to other songs.
  2. Paying Fragments. The cost varies based on the song.
    • The cost for Present charts are around 20-80 Fragments, while for the Future ones are 150-280. γuarδina's Future chart requires the most Fragments (360).
    • γuarδina is the only song to have a Past chart that requires Fragments to unlock.
  3. Clearing certain other songs on the same difficulty. These songs may come with rating requirements, Fragment requirements, or both as well.
  4. Completing the corresponding Anomaly. This currently only applies to Grievous Lady (Axium Crisis Anomaly) and Fracture Ray (Ether Strike Anomaly).

These requirements are generally displayed on the song selection screen. The various requirements flash by every second or so, excluding the ones already cleared.

Play Styles

There are several methods usable when playing Arcaea. An important rule to improve, however, is to remain consistent: if you wish to play with thumbs, stick with thumbs, and if you wish to use all your fingers, do it all the time. Note that, save for a few charts on Future difficulty, you only need two fingers/ thumbs to clear songs.

Thumb Play

Play with your thumbs only. Works best on smaller devices such as phones. Regarded as somewhat more difficult than using fingers. Benefits include being able to hold the device any way desired without having to place it on a proper surface.

Index Finger Play

Play with your index fingers only. Works on any device, although phones tend to slip, depending on the surface they are on. The device might need to be held steady with other fingers, but having them creep onto the screen usually causes arc notes to be LOST. Works better on heavier, less mobile devices such as tablets.

Full Hand Play

Play with anything you can, be it thumbs or fingers. Harder to learn, but makes certain difficult patterns easier. Typically less accurate than only using index fingers. 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 when using the thumb and index finger of one hand; close double floor notes might benefit from using your middle fingers with your index fingers. However, discretion is advised; stick mainly to your usual method of play. Note that this does not include "freestyle" methods.