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Playstyles for SP

Table of contents
  1. Introduction
  2. 3/4 split - left hand (S+123)
    1. 1048 style
      1. Variable / Transitional 1048
      2. Fixed 1048 (aka god pinky)
      3. Wrist scratch 1048
    2. Middle-index-thumb (aka “Dolce style”)
    3. Symmetric
    4. Ring-middle-index (aka the claw)
    5. Thumb-index-thumb (aka 3/5 or thumb slide)
    6. Becha press (aka TAKA.S)
  3. 3/4 split - right hand (4567)
    1. Index-thumb-middle-ring (ring on 7)
    2. Index-thumb-middle-pinky (pinky on 7)
    3. Others
  4. 2/5 split (S+12 / 34567)
    1. Left hand (S+12)
    2. Right hand (34567)
      1. 3/5 transitional
      2. 1:1
  5. Others
    1. Hokuto (北斗)
    2. Freeform (?)
    3. One hand
  6. References


This page will cover some of the most common playstyles in IIDX. There are plenty of styles in active use by high-level players that are not covered here.

If you are a beginner, please read Tips for Beginners page first for suggestions.

3/4 split - left hand (S+123)

1048 style

This is currently the most used playstyle; it was popularized by former top ranker 1048 (Toshiya).


The advantage is that this gives your pinky close to the turntable, and it is easy to switch to a 2:5 formation when there are lots of scratches. The downside is that it is difficult to learn initially.

Variable / Transitional 1048

In this variation of 1048, you normally have three fingers on buttons 1-3. When you need to hit the turntable, you temporarily switch to another playstyle (usually 2:5 formation – thumb on 1, index on 2 – and then switch back.

You naturally put your left hand at a 45-degree angle, so that you hit button 1 with bottom of your thumb, and use the index finger to hit the top part of button 3 – as shown above in the picture.

Occasionally you’ll need to hit button 3 with your right thumb, and rarely, hit button 4 with your left hand.

Example: LICHT playing 1048 and transitioning into 3/5

Example: KKM playing transitional 1048, occasionally switching to wrist or 3/5

Example: NORI with transitional 1048

Fixed 1048 (aka god pinky)

In this variation of 1048, you keep your three fingers static on buttons 1-3, but stretch out your pinky to move the turntable (without really moving away from button 3). This is only possible if you have large hands and/or long fingers – hence the name god pinky!

Example: Myousuke

Example: EBEBEBY with god pinky, with a very unique and unconventional right hand playstyle

Wrist scratch 1048

In this variation of 1048, you use your wrist for the turntable.


It was not a major playstyle in the past, but more IIDX players started to adopt it when more high density charts were added (perhaps around Spada when Leggendaria was introduced). It was initially popularized by insane BMS players who played with this style on the original JKOC controller, where the turntable distance is shorter.

Most players shift their entire body slightly to the side, so that you can place your scratch arm almost perpendicular to the cabinet.

Wristing has been a controversial among traditional players in the past, but as U*TAKA and RAG have shown, it is a competitive playstyle that is becoming less divisive.

Example: U*TAKA

Example: RAG*

Example: CHEPY

Middle-index-thumb (aka “Dolce style”)

In the past, this was one of the popular playstyles. While this is known as Dolce style, it is a bit of a misnomer, as he uses a variety of playstyles.

dolce style

The issue with this playstyle is that you need to bend your middle finger a lot, since it’s much longer than your thumb. For this reason, it may be difficult to time on buttons 1 and 2, and you may have difficulties hitting 1-2 trills or denim patterns.

Example: DOLCE, especially around 30 second mark. Compare to more recent video of him playing the same chart where he’s mostly using 1048.


This was also one the most popular playstyles long ago – but has since fallen out of favor. Technically this is not a 3:5 style as you will often hit buttons 4 with your left hand.

symmetric style

The (severe) downside to this playstyle is that you cannot possibly hit the turntable with your hand fixed in symmetric position, so you would need to temporarily switch to 2:5 or TAKA.S formation.

Example - TOTORO playing One More Lovely with mostly symmetric

Example - TOTORO playing Symmetric and transitioning into TAKA.S

Example - FINE*; starts at 9:30

Ring-middle-index (aka the claw)

Many people who started out playing rhythm games on a keyboard naturally transition to this playstyle, since it matches “S D F space J K L” layout used in other games.

claw style

This style was frequently used in the past as well, but it is considered less than ideal.

This also has a severe downside that you cannot hit the turntable, so you must temporarily switch to a different playstyle when you see scratches.

Example - KUREI

Thumb-index-thumb (aka 3/5 or thumb slide)

Your left thumb is responsible for both button 1 and 3. Japanese players call this “thumb slide”.

three five

Since two fingers are responsible for three buttons, there are issues when dealing with patterns with heavy 1/3 notes.

To overcome this:

  1. you can bring the right thumb over to hit button 3, sharing the responsibility of button 3 with your left thumb. This is called 3/5.
  2. just use this in conjunction with other playstyles like TAKA.s or 1048.

Example: LICHT playing 1048 and transitioning into 3/5

Example: RIOO

Becha press (aka TAKA.S)

taka-s style

This is popularized by top ranker TAKA.S. While it is not as popular as 1048, it is still one of the major playstyles that remain among high-level players.

The difference between the style above and this – is that the thumb can simultaneously hit both 1 and 3. You use the tip of your left thumb to hit button 3. For button 1, you either use the bottom part of your thumb or part of the palm that connects to your thumb.

Like 3/5, this style has a severe disadvantage when the pattern is heavy on 1/3 notes. To overcome this, you use this with other styles like 1048.

Example - TAKA.S playing reunion

Example - TAKA.S playing Mendes black

Example - NEON playing Troopers CS Kaiden

Example - nsi playing Insane Kaiden

3/4 split - right hand (4567)

The first two styles - ring on 7 and pinky on 7 - are the two popular choices. Others, not so much.

Index-thumb-middle-ring (ring on 7)

ring on 7

Index-thumb-middle-pinky (pinky on 7)

pinky on 7

A variant of this style is called flat pinky; here, you use the blade of your pinky instead of the tip to hit 7.


Other combinations are rarely sighted but they do exist (index-thumb-ring-pinky, index-middle-ring-pinky).

A special case is middle-index-ring-thumb - DJ EBY

2/5 split (S+12 / 34567)

It’s worth noting here that most players use one of the 3/4 split playstyles above as their primary style, and 2/5 as a secondary option for heavy scratch-sections. There are not many players who who use a 2/5 playstyle as their primary one. The videos below are shown only to illustrate the respective styles.

Left hand (S+12)

two five

This is your only choice in 2/5 basically.

Right hand (34567)

3/5 transitional

three five A

three five B

three five C

These are just examples of how you could cover buttons 3-7 with your right hand. There are no hard rules; the only common thing is that

  • Thumb is responsible for button 3
  • Ring or pinky is responsible for button 7, mostly dependent on your 3/4 style.

Example - MACAO6 playing Plan 8 with mostly 2:5, with one-hand and 1048 mixed in


one to one mapping

You use all of your fingers to hit buttons 3-7. Not as common as it is not very comfortable.

Example - LiA

Example - SHD playing MENDES


Hokuto (北斗)

Hokuto is a style that does not have a static assignment of fingers to buttons, instead moving the hands around to hit buttons as the chart demands. Hokuto players tend to use a limited set of fingers (usually index and middle, sometimes thumb).

Example - DJ MASA

Freeform (?)

While this isn’t strictly a playstyle, it’s worth highlighting here. Before the difficulty spiked through the roof in IIDX – perhaps before Spada - it was not uncommon to see high level players use unconventional playstyles. These days, this technique is seen less often but still used by some players to handle certain patterns – like denims and rapid jacks.

Dolce was well known for this; if you watch his old videos this is evident. The difference between this “freeform” vs. hokuto is that freeform players still have some sort of a primary playstyle that is more conventional.

Example - Scripted Connection A mix by KAME

Example - Second Heaven by DOLCE which was taken on SIRIUS. Compare this to more recent example taken during Cannon Ballers.

One hand

Two types of one hand players:

  1. players who choose to play SP one-handed exclusively
  2. players who use one hand technique for things like scratch-heavy charts

Example of one-hand only players:

One-handed Copula SP Kaiden by MESO - their newer videos are also worth a watch.

Examples of one-hand technique used in scratch-heavy songs:

灼熱Beach Side Bunny by DJ BY

Samurai Scramble SPL by SILON


License for this page: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 KR

This page is based a translation of this page on

Another video on playstyles.

Also see the blog entry from the-safari on playstyles.

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