Watch this incredible StepMania player hit 30 notes per second

AGDQ StepMania

Awesome Games Done Quick is a speedrunning showcase that raises money for cancer prevention, and it's going on right now on Twitch. StepMania is an open source rhythm game which supports dance pads and keyboard input, and lots of customization. The two, together, today, were incredible.

All of the AGDQ speedruns are impressive—the skill in the Mirror's Edge run today was especially cool—but StepMania presents a clear, raw expression of speed and accuracy that makes it singularly mesmerizing. According to the commentators, the notes that receive a 'marvelous' rating (most of them) are being hit within a 45 ms window, and this is sometimes at BPMs over 250.

Start this VOD at around 16:07:00 to watch. For the short version, I've grabbed a few gifs below. Here's what happened first, as Staiain warmed up...

Notice how he has to avoid hitting mines. It gets better—here's where he hits 30 notes per second:

On Staiain's last song, the keyboard camera was shaking, adding to the impression that he'd entered the stratosphere:

And then Staiain introduced another high-level player, who took his seat, made the arrows spin around and go in two directions, and did this:

You can presumably learn more about StepMania on the official site, but it's currently down due to traffic sent its way by today's performances. Awesome Games Done Quick runs through Saturday, and is accepting donations for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. For more of Staiain's videos, check out his YouTube channel.

Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley during the '80s and '90s, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on early PCs. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now, and PS1 classic Bushido Blade (that's right: he had Bleem!). Tyler joined PC Gamer in 2011, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. His hobbies include amateur boxing and adding to his 1,200-plus hours in Rocket League.