Thanks to XxDemonxX for starting the thread this topic is based on, as well as everyone who has contributed questions and answers to it.
How can I increase my playing speed/skill?
Play things just a bit harder than you can pass normally, and move on to harder stuff once you can get better than a C.
How do you disable mines?
Press Start TWICE when you select your song. Go through the big list of Modifiers in the Modifier menu and look for the Mines row. Set that to Off. If your theme does not have the Mines row, you will have to edit the metrics or hope that the theme author has included a way to have StepMania-style options menus.
Is it against copyrights or anything else to build a DDR arcade cabinet and put StepMania on it and put in a public place?
That depends on what you have on it.
If you are using songs which you don't have the license for (this includes songs from DDR, Pump it Up, and other music games), then you're breaking copyright law, at least in the United States. Laws may vary in other countries, check to make sure.
How can I rename songs to the original (Japanese, Korean, etc.) characters?
You must use an editor that allows for UTF-8 support (such as Notepad), copy the original characters in place, then when saving, use Save As... and change the encoding to UTF-8.
Sometimes, though, StepMania won't have the characters you need in its font list. For the best results, I recommend using a theme made by Japanese people, as they tend to include more kanji than the StepMania default theme, which most themes fall back to.
How do I add a pause in the editor?
F9/F10 in the editor to decrease or increase the length of a pause.
How do I remove the "Select Group" screen or MusicWheel sections?
To remove Select Group: In Appearance Options, Song Group > All Music.
To remove MusicWheel sections: Appearance Options, Wheel Sections > Never.
How do I add negative BPMs to a song?
There is a lengthy guide here.
How do I make my keyboard be able to press 4 buttons at once?
1) Get a new keyboard. This will likely be your best option.
2) Use different keys. What will work for you may be different for someone else.
3) Using keys in the same row, a.k.a. "spread" play. (example: sd jk)
Who is the American StepMania Champion?
There aren't any champions, just fan-made rankings. As of 2007, there is no official tournament or league for StepMania players in North America that I know of.
Where's my hidden songs?
Try turning on Event Mode (Coin Options; shows Long/Marathon songs) and disabling Hidden Songs (Gameplay Options; shows songs with Challenge steps only).
How do I play Couple, Versus (2 Players), or Double?
You need to press the Start button for Player 2 (usually mapped to the numpad Enter key) on the Select Style screen.
What tools can I use to make good graphics for my songs?
SplashUp, Photoshop, Paint.net, The GIMP. Be warned that skill is required, and it's not what you use, it's how you use it.
Are there any free music creation tools?
FL Studio (demo), Anvil Studio, OpenMPT.
Professional quality music creation tools will set you back quite a bit, such as Propellerheads Reason, Steinberg Cubase, and others.
How do I change the scrolling direction of the arrows?
Go into the Player Options (press Start again after choosing song), choose the modifier Scroll: Reverse.
How do I disable Start and Select during gameplay?
There is no good way to do this, as after you clear out the mappings, you may need to re-map the keys, but...
Options -> Configure Key/Joy Mappings.
In the dance pad mappings column, clear "Start" and "Back" (press Spacebar).
How do I remove the warning animation?
In the main Options, go to Background Options, and set Danger to "Hide".
Where can I get BGAnimations and random videos?
Right here. For the ones used in commercial dancing games, you'll have to look elsewhere.
How can I remove/change the song's background picture or video?
Go to the song's folder and replace the files with your new ones.
How do I change Coin Mode? (for example, if you're stuck in a mode that's not Home)
Press Scroll Lock to access the Options Menu, go to Coin Options, and then set Coin Mode. In StepMania 3.9, you can also press F3 to cycle through each option.
How do I get StepMania Tools?
It comes with StepMania, check the Start Menu folder for StepMania, or alternatively the Program folder in your StepMania directory.
How do I delete SM completely?
Windows: First, run the uninstaller located in the Start Menu folder for StepMania. If it's not there, look for uninstall.exe and run that. From there, perform the instructions for Linux and Mac.
Linux and Mac:
Find your StepMania folder and delete it. There may be a lingering .stepmania on Linux systems, however, I am not sure as I have not used StepMania on Linux before.
How do I fix lag on Windows Vista?
Try switching your 3D renderer from opengl to d3d or vise-versa. Use StepMania Tools to do it, or if you're brave, you can change StepMania.ini/Preferences.ini.
What is this anime character that comes out and say a weird voice? How do I get rid of it?
That anime character is currently Charmy, and she currently says "Toasty!" It appears when you hit 250 Marvelous/Perfects in a row.
This is a reference to Mortal Kombat II, which started the tradition of Toasty in a number of games, mostly made by Midway.
In order to turn it off, go to Gameplay Options and turn off Easter Eggs.
How do I change difficulty?
In a number of ways:
On Select Music, you can tap Up or Down twice to Lower and Raise the difficulty accordingly.
By hitting Start a second time after selecting your song, you can access the Player Options menu, which has a row for Difficulty.
How do I play StepMania Online?
1) Register an account at the SMO Forums.
2) Get a build of StepMania that supports SMOnline.
This includes "3.95" 6/19/2005 and every recently released CVS version of StepMania.
3) Create a profile in StepMania (Options -> Profile Options) that uses your forum name on SMO.
4) Connect to the server. This will be different depending on which version you use, but the point is to find Network Options and connect to smonline.us.
5) When faced with the login screen, enter your password.
6) Now that you're in, you need to realize that you must hold Control while pressing Enter in order to do anything.
To play on a server other than SMO's, you will follow the same basic instructions, except your account will be made on a different server and you will connect to a different server.
How do I get a screenshot of StepMania?
Press the Print Screen key (sometimes labeled as PrtScr). This can be done anywhere in StepMania.
My image is off slightly, how do I fix it?
Go to Options -> Center Image and use the arrow keys to adjust your image.
Can I get arthritis or carpel tunnel by playing (keyboard) SM?
Supposedly there is a very VERY low chance since it stimulates your finger muscles, but anything is possible. It might be a risk, especially if you play songs with lots of arrows coming at you at rapid speed.
I REMAPPED THE ENTER KEY, NOW IT DOESN'T WORK!!!
In SM 3.9: Delete (SM folder)/Data/KeyMaps.ini
In SM 4.0:
Windows - delete (my documents)\StepMania CVS\Saves\KeyMaps.ini
Linux - delete ~/.stepmania cvs/Saves/KeyMaps.ini
Mac - delete ~/Library/Preferences/StepMania CVS/KeyMaps.ini
How can I get the music from the simfile?
Go to the song's folder (StepMania/Songs/group folder/song folder/) and look for the music file (either MP3 or OGG format).
How do I cancel all mods?
Hit Left, Right, Left, Right, Left, Right on Select Music.
This may be theme-dependent, but most (if not all) of the themes out there use this as the default.
How do I use a dance pad on the computer?
These days, mats with USB connectors are common. However, if you already have a pad for another system, you will need to get a converter in order for it to be recognized on your computer.
A list of converters that have been tested with StepMania is available here.
How do I change the resolution?
Head to Options -> Graphic Options and change Display Resolution. Be warned, most themes are developed for 640(x480) and may become blurry after you change the resolution.
How do I convert themes so they work with 4.0?
You don't, you find someone who will try to do it for you. The "Convert Theme" option in StepMania Tools does not do anything useful.
How do I put a copyright on my theme?
See this section of the Copyright article on Wikipedia for more information.
The general idea is that anything you make (in the United States at least) is automatically copyrighted. Just be careful if you use content from other companies, as they may sue for wrongful usage. (This tends to only happen if you sell your work, however, as you would be using their work to create gain for yourself, which the original company would not normally get.)
How do I "get" those notes I keep missing?
Practice, practice, practice. Eventually, you'll get better and be able to hit all the notes.
Is there a tutorial for making simfiles?
I get a blank screen upon starting StepMania
Open your StepMania folder, go into Data, open StepMania.ini with a text editor, then find VideoRenderers= and switch the order.
How do I get to Nonstop, Endless, Magic Dance, or Challenge mode?
For most themes, keep pressing right on the Select Difficulty screen and you'll find it.
Some other themes start you off by choosing a mode (including Nonstop, Challenge, etc.), which is where you'll find those.
On other themes, there may be no easy way to get to some of the options. You may have to look in the title menu for alternate ways to start the game. If you don't find it after searching, then the theme does not really support any of the modes.
It's also common for a theme to not support Endless or Magic Dance.
How do I play more than three stages?/How do I play without stages?
In Coin Options, you'll see a setting for number of stages; change this to change the number of stages you can play.
To play without stages, go into Coin Options and turn on Event Mode.
Again, thanks to XxDemonxX and all the contributors in the other thread.
If this thread doesn't answer your question, please ask it in this thread.