Game Modes (AC CastHour)

Table of contents
  1. Standard
    1. Level Limitations
    2. Extra Stage
    3. Event Extra Stage / One More Extra stage
  2. Free Modes
    1. Free
    2. Free Plus
    3. Time Free / Time Free Plus
    4. Hazard
    5. Time Hazard
    6. Time Hell
  3. Premium Free
  4. Step-Up
    1. Tasks folder
    2. Alternate Tasks folder (Ura)
    3. Review folder(s)
    4. Practice match folder
  5. Class Mode
  6. Arena
  7. BPL Battle
  8. Daily bonuses
    1. V-Disc bonus
  9. References

This is an archive of Game Modes page at the end of CastHour.


This is the most commonly played game mode on AC.

You can play three songs, plus a potential 4th song in Extra Stage, plus a potential 5th song in One More Extra Stage.

mode select

song select

Same song cannot be chosen more than once.

Level Limitations

There are limitations to what difficulty charts you can pick in Standard play. The table below shows the highest difficulty chart you can pick under certain conditions.

DAN Class Play Count 1st STAGE 2nd STAGE FINAL STAGE
None - 5th Dan - LEVEL 8 LEVEL 10 No restrictions
6th Dan LEVEL 9
7th Dan LEVEL 10
8th Dan and above Under 100 LEVEL 10 LEVEL 11
100 or more LEVEL 11
10th Dan and above 1000 or more No restrictions
Kiwami Kaiden 800 or more

Extra Stage

To enter Extra Stage, certain conditions must be met in the final stage. These are the requirements that hold true since Happy Sky.

Level SP Requirement DP Requirement
1 ALL GREAT clear ALL GREAT clear
4 FULL COMBO clear
5 FULL COMBO clear
6 Clear with 100% gauge
7 Clear with 100% gauge Clear (Assist Easy gauge or above)
8 Clear (Assist Easy gauge or above)

There are important regional differences to note:

  • In Japan region, PASELI must be used as the form of payment when entering Standard (Premium) mode in order to enter extra stage. (In other words, coin play cannot enter extra stage)
    • This includes old IIDX cabs at American Round 1, which are on the Japanese eamuse network and PASELI cannot be used.
  • In Asia region and America region (including Lightning Model cabs at American Round 1), Extra Stage can be entered even on coin play Standard mode, as PASELI is unavailable.

Additional notes:

  • Any option can be used - assist options like EXPAND JUDGE or H-RANDOM.
  • If two people are playing at the same time, only one player needs to meet the requirement.

Event Extra Stage / One More Extra stage

Special Extra stage and One More Extra stage can also be accessed during events. The requirements depend on the active event.

Free Modes

Free mode is visually similar to Standard mode, but is less restrictive when it comes to what songs you can play, at higher cost to you (or fewer songs).

Notable differences from Standard:

  • Same song can be chosen multiple times.
  • No restrictions on the difficulty level.
  • Extra Stage events cannot be accessed.

There are many variations:


Selectable from Mode Select. Two songs are guaranteed.

Free Plus

Selectable from Mode Select if two players are active. Three songs are guaranteed.

Time Free / Time Free Plus

Only active on certain day of the week - replaces Free / Free Plus. Instead of guaranteed song count, you are given a time limit of 5 minutes (7 on Plus).



In Mode Select, while Free Mode is in focus, if you press all three black keys, you can switch to Hazard mode. You are guaranteed four songs, but you play on Hazard gauge which immediately fails you out if you lose a combo. EXPAND JUDGE is disabled.

Time Hazard

Only active on certain day of the week - replaces Hazard with a 8 minute timer.

Time Hell

Only active on certain day of the week - similar to Time Hazard (8 minute timer), but you play on Time Hell guage, which is a hard or ex-hard gauge that never refills during a song.

Premium Free


PASELI only mode. You are given a time limit, but you can play any number of songs without restrictions. This tends to be the most expensive option, but the most flexible way to play.


Three songs are guaranteed, but sometimes you can play four. This is a “training” mode that also has a story.

step up

Tasks folder

20 random charts are provided in this folder that matches your current step-up skill level. Step-up skill level determines what level of songs show up in this folder. The skill level isn’t shown to you, it is a decimal number that is stored on your profile. This number determines what level of charts are given to you in this folder.

The step-up level is carried over from the previous version, but with an upper limit (level 9s). If you play class mode before entering Step Up mode for the first time, you will get an appropriate initial placement. If you play Step Up without doing that, you will start on level 1s.

Depending on your result, your step-up level will change. The most impactful factor is your DJ level. Getting a higher rating (AAA) will result in a greater increase.

The gauge type acts as a modifier. ASSIST-EASY or EASY gauge clear will result in a smaller increase, but failing will result in a large decrease (compared to normal gauge).

HARD and EX-HARD gauge clears will result in a slightly larger increase, but fails will have less impact than a normal gauge; however, this is negated if you fail out early in a song and end up with a very low DJ LEVEL (E or F). FULL COMBO clear will greatly increase the level.

There is no penalty of any kind for using EXPAND-JUDGE.

Normally, new songs from the current versions do not show up in this folder. Once you complete the entire step-up story and see the ending, then you will start to see new songs show up.

Alternate Tasks folder (Ura)

A new folder will appear once you beat the entire “story” for step-up mode. This is similar to the regular Tasks folder, except that new songs from the current version will also show up.

Review folder(s)

step up review

There are up to twelve folders for each level. You can only open folders that are 1 level below the current step-up level. It contains songs that you have already played in other modes, with the following restrictions:

  • New songs from the current version will not show up.
  • You must have EX-SCORE greater than 0 on it already.
  • You must have the song unlocked, if it’s part of an unlock event.
  • Songs played in class mode does not count as they save as “NO PLAY”, even if you have greater than 0 EX-SCORE.
  • LEGGENDARIA charts may show up, but only if you are able to spend V-DISCs.

Regional differences to note:

  • On Japanese network using coin play, or on old J-region cabs at American Round 1, you are limited to [current level - 2] folders. In other words, review level 11 and 12 folders will not be available.
  • On PASELI play, or in Asia / America region cabs, this restriction does not exist.

Practice match folder

Once you fail a class in class mode, a new folder will show up to practice four songs from that course. Class mode gauge (expert gauge) is used instead; it starts at 100% in the beginning of each song, but it can be changed by holding the VEFX + EFFECT button and pressing number on the number pad.

This doesn’t show up until Chapter 2 of the story.

Class Mode

dan mode

Class mode (dan-i-nintei) measures your skill level by playing through a pre-defined course of four songs, and awards you with a badge of honor.

Check out the page on class mode for courses in recent versions; also Remywiki has a very good explanation of the mode and the songs in each version.



Online battle mode, or local matching (within the same store) are available. Four stages are guaranteed.

You enter a lobby with up to four players - if there are fewer than four, you are matched up with bots. Each player picks a song, and the lobby plays through four songs.

If you are not matched at least one person, you are given the option to enter TIME FREE instead.

Based on your arena tier, song selection is limited to the following levels (- column is for regular beginner/normal/hyper/another charts, LEG is for leggendaria charts)

A Level B Level C Level D Level
A1 12 12 B1 12 11 C1 10 10 D1 9 9
A2 B2 C2 D2
A3 B3 11 C3 D3 8 ×
A4 B4 C4 D4
A5 B5 C5 D5 7

(table from bemaniwiki)

BPL Battle

bpl match

1:1 battle mode, lightning model exclusive. Added to BISTROVER on July 1st, 2021.

Online private matching (uses an 8-digit password to match) and local matching are available.

If you time out during online matching, you are given a choice between CPU battle or TIME FREE. If you time out during local matching, you are forced to play the CPU.

You are guaranteed two or three songs – one of the players gets to choose. Each player selects one song; third song is random. The option to play four songs is greyed out on Asia / American cabs, as they require both players to start with PASELI.

Daily bonuses

Each day of the week provides a bonus. All time is based on Japan time.

1 ticket for DJ VIP PASS BLACK. See below for details.
1 additional minute for PREMIUM FREE
HAZARD replaced by TIME HAZARD (8 minutes)
FREE/FREE PLUS replaced by TIME FREE (5 minutes) / TIME FREE PLUS (7 minutes)
HAZARD replaced by TIME HELL (8 minutes)
V-Disc Bonus - see section below for more on V-Discs.
Removes level restrictions in STEP UP review folders

V-Disc bonus

In this section, we will focus on Asia and American region cabinets for simplicity. For Japanese cabs, refer to the official site. Remember that at American Round 1 locations, Lightning Model cabs are American region, while the legacy cabs are Japan region.

Normally, in Japan region, V-Disc is premium feature only available when playing with PASELI; however, PASELI is unavailable outside of Japan, which means you cannot normally access V-Discs in Asia and America regions.

That being said - when Friday bonus is active, Asia and America cabs are able to obtain and spend V-Discs. On Fridays, when you start a game mode, you are given three V-Discs at the start.

In Standard mode:

  • If you fail in the 1st or 2nd stage, 1 V-Disc will be automatically spent to advance to the next stage.
  • If you cleared final stage but did not meet the requirements for extra stage, 1 V-Disc will be spent to advance to extra stage. (It should be noted failing final stage will still end your credit)

In Step Up and Standard, and Free modes:

  • LEGGENDARIA charts can be played; 1 V-Disc will be spent for each LEGGENDARIA chart played.

At the end of the credit:

  • Remaining unused V-Discs are saved to your profile. Once you collect 100 unused V-Discs, the game will forcibly exchange 100 V-Discs for one DJ VIP PASS BLACK.
  • It should however be noted that unused V-Discs do not carry over to the next credit, you are only able to spend the three given to you at the start of each credit (i.e., you can’t spend previously unused V-Discs).


black pass

If you have one – either from unused V-Disc bonus or from Sunday bonus – you can choose it before going into Standard mode. DJ VIP PASS BLACK gives you all V-Disc bonuses for free – guarantees three stages, removes level restrictions in all stages, advances you to Extra Stage if you clear final stage without needing to meet the requirements, allows you to pick the same song more than once, and allows you to play LEGGENDARIA charts.


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