This page is dedicated to documenting all the resources the Etterna community has available in 1 tidy place for charters to access without needing to jump through any hoops.
This page is exclusively for Etterna-related resources.
There are currently only 2 editors people in the community often use to make charts:
The first and most widely used is ArrowVortex.
The second, clunkier editor that people use is DDreamStudioBETA5 (or BETA6 if you prefer).
Both of these editors are viable, but it’s widely recommended to start with ArrowVortex, as it is significantly easier to pick up and learn for the majority of people.
As a side note, ArrowVortex also supports .osu files, which means you can open a .osu file in AV, and save it as a .sm for converting, but functionality for this feature is a little buggy, and can cause severe desync, so be careful with it.
Basic editor setup guides
This sub-section is dedicated to guides explaining how to control or use specific editors.
ArrowVortex’s official site has a guide on how to use the software. It lists the basic keybinds as well as some other useful information for someone opening the software for the first time, such as how to create a file in the first place.
DDreamstudio’s developers also wrote a guide, though since the website is dead, the guide has been archived as a forum post. It goes over how to control/use DDream studio and some other basics. The forum post is just copied directly from the website the software used to be hosted on.
Patashu has a guide from 2011 that has some very useful information, however this guide is mainly focused on DDreamStudio. If you’re using ArrowVortex, it likely won’t be as much use as you’re hoping. A lot of the older resources use Stepmania 3.9’s editor or DDreamstudio for their guides. It goes over some absolute basics of how to set up and get used to the editor, and is a “start from absolute scratch” type of guide.
Patashu also made a much smaller miniguide on the same topic, explaining how to control DDreamStudio
Puwa98kamai made a video going over the different snaps people use in charts, as well as a number of patterns and terminology. It’s incredibly basic, but a good video to explain what people might be talking about if you know absolutely nothing. Worth watching if you’re brand new to charting!
Ryger Maps made a tutorial on how to sync in Arrow Vortex, though since its for beat saber, not all of the info in the video is something to pay attention to. Despite that though, it does show you how to use Arrow Vortex’s auto-sync feature, which works for all single bpm songs. It’s worth checking out nonetheless, despite it being for a different game.
Tachyon made a video guide on the basics of using ArrowVortex, where he goes over a lot of what’s mentioned on the official guide in video format. Since its spoken from the perspective of an osu player, there’s a few comments here and there that are safe to be ignored if you’re learning how to use it for Etterna, but it doesn’t detract from the information given.
John Reactor made a polish video on how to sync a song on DDreamStudio, the video goes into how to set the BPM of charts and how to edit the offset using the software.
This section is dedicated to listing resources for getting feedback from other charters and/or playtests from players.
This sheet has a list of charters who are happy to give feedback if contacted, along with their charting style, contact details, and past releases. It’s an excellent place to find people to get feedback from, it also has a second page for playtesters who have added their name to playtest files you contact them about.
The Etterna Online Discord has a couple of channels dedicated to feedback/charting improvement. You can use these channels to ask for feedback from other charters in the community.
Submitting a file to a pack and getting rejected is the single best way to get reliable advice. Most people are super welcoming when a new charter is learning the basics and submits to packs. Even if a file isn’t very good, it’s worth sometimes submitting it to a pack for the feedback you’ll be provided.
This section is dedicated to external websites that host charting guides/support. Blogs will also go here.
Stargroup’s charting guide website is useful, goes into a lot of depth on various key topics and provides examples for almost everything. It’s slightly long winded, but it still has a lot of value and is worth reading through if you’re looking to learn some stuff. Even some experienced steppers might learn a few things they never considered.
There is a massive multi-part guide to charting in Chinese by XingRen over on their bilibili account. He goes in depth on a lot of aspects and actively talks about what other charters in the community do to push the meta and how to build your own style among other things. The link in question is to part 1 of the guide, the rest of the parts are on his account.
This site lets you see what the closest way to represent certain speeds/snaps would be using 192nds only. It’s often used for more accurate and technical charting where the base snaps aren’t enough to properly work with. It’s also very useful for people learning how to dump, since these unusual snaps tend to let you control the speed of a chart very presicely.
This section is dedicated to tools or software made for various aspects of stepping.
This tool does exactly what it says on the tin, it generates a songlist for a pack in the form of a .png, and also lets you produce a graph based on the notes per second of specific files.
This tool lets you work out colour theory for certain snaps/charts. It’s fairly clunky, but it does work once you figure out how to use it.
There’s also this archive of every tool for Stepmania (the game Etterna is a fork of) in 1 convenient place. A lot of things on here are a bit outdated but its worth looking at nontheless.
There’s a tool written by Cosmovibe that previews charts for you, though it isn’t super intuitive to use initially, it could be helpful still! To use it, you must provide a URL link to both your .sm and .mp3 hosted on a different platform (Discord, custom upload api, etc). It also Requires CORS enabled in order for the preview page to function.
Forum posts, tweets, documents, etc. will go here.
April made a document discussing how she approaches stepping herself, which is a good read for anyone looking to learn about how patterns and notes can flow between eachother in a way that feels intuitive. It requires some basic knowledge as well already since it expects you to know certain things, but it hits a lot of key points that are still useful to a lot of charters.
Samctuary made a document discussing density management within Chordjacks specifically. The document goes over how they approaches the subject in their own files and goes over examples of it, explaining along the way how it intergrates with various things. Since this is about a specific style of chart, it already assumes you have some pre-existing knowledge on basic charting principles, but it still has some important information for people who feel like that type of charting is too limiting.
Mina made a document discussing a lot of what goes into dumping (a style of chart people in the community make) that’s been passed around for a few years now. It has some useful information but is written in a somewhat obtuse way, so it may be a little hard to follow unless you already have a basic understanding of charting.
Samctuary made a series of tweets about what they consider the most important aspect of stepping, along with just general advice for newer charters. It’s a long thread talking about multiple different topics pertaining to charting but the information in it is still worth reading.
There’s an admittedly dated guide from Ducky on FlashFlashRevolution that goes over some of the absolute basics. It has some useful about how to go about finding what you enjoy about charting. I say it’s dated because it has a few quirky views that aren’t quiet echoed in modern charting (for example, talking about Pitch Relevancy not being important which is misleading for newer charters) but is still worth a read nontheless.
If there’s any resources missed please let me know here or on discord (Samctuary#2917)