Manually creating beat maps for your favorite songs in Beat Saber (2018) requires a bit of know-how and time. If you’re looking for a quick and surprisingly effective solution to automatically creating beat maps for any song, look no further than the fan-built service called ‘Beat Sage’.

Beat Sage is an AI which creates custom beat maps with any song on YouTube, or any mp3 in your possession. Simply navigate to the Beat Sage website, plug in the song’s YouTube URL (or upload your own mp3), tick a few boxes for level difficulty, game modes, and song events, and you’ll have a brand new mess of levels for Beat Saber on SteamVR headsets and Oculus Quest. And it’s free.

Created by Beat Saber fans Chris Donahue and Abhay Agarwal, Beat Sage is said to use two neural networks to map an audio file into what the team calls “a plausible Beat Saber level.”

Image captured by Road to VR

“These neural networks were trained on Beat Saber levels created by humans,” the team explains. “The first neural network listens to the audio and predicts at what points in time blocks should be placed. The second neural network looks at the predicted timings and maps each to a timestamp to a block type (e.g. red up, blue down, red up + blue down).”

Check out the promo below to see some of the results, timestamped showing Ariana Grande’s song ‘thank u, next’.

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Installing the songs is fairly straightforward on PC, as it doesn’t require any modding. Find the ‘CustomLevels’ subfolder in your directory either via Steam or Oculus Home—depending on where you bought Beat Saber. Here’s the default locations.

  • Steam VR: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Beat Saber\Beat Saber_Data\CustomLevels
  • Oculus Home: C:\Program Files (x86)\Oculus Apps\Software\hyperbolic-magnetism-beat-saber\Beat Saber_Data\CustomLevels

From there you unzip the downloaded folder into CustomLevels and you’re off to the races.

Installing for Oculus Quest is a bit more involved, as it requires modding through the unofficial sideloading app SideQuest. Check out the full instructions on how to install the custom songs on Quest.

Beat Sage is free, however the team is taking donations through its Patreon, which they say will help keep the service free moving forward.

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  • alboradasa

    This will probably eat into any potential dlc profit, so I’d expect to see them get shut down soon enough :(

    • James Cobalt

      Nope and nope. Custom songs are a bigger threat and those are going strong. There’s nothing illegal about this AI program, while many custom songs are clear copyright violations (albeit, arguably harmless to the rights holders… if anything, these custom songs have significantly increased my own music purchases…).

    • ComfyWolf

      This will never be perfect enough to be a threat, hand crafted maps will always be preferred.

      • LoneWuff326

        thats what microsoft,blackberry,nokia said when apple came out without the iphone, know who stills usess a window phone or a blackberry

        • doug

          But if the iphone had been designed by AI which had been trained on the cellular phones of the time, it would have been nonthreatening garbage.

  • dogtato

    I expect outcry from the beat saber community which holds that automatically generated rhythm game content is heresy.

  • Rosko

    Maybe this will be enough for me to play the game as i hate the songs that come with it.

    • James Cobalt

      ? There’s dozens of official DLC songs across multiple genres plus thousands of community contributed songs you can access.

      • Rosko

        DLC is just more of the same to me. I don’t like comercial pop music.

        • James Cobalt

          Oh man – I really don’t follow. “Pop music” is basically a meaningless term. Can you please share some examples of music you like? That would probably help me understand what you’re looking for. Maybe I can help.

          • gothicvillas

            What’s so hard to follow? Current pop music is a complete trash and bad for ears. There is no DLC with a decent music. All seems to be targeted at 12yr olds or crowds who dont have good music taste. Yep, that’s what I think.

          • James Cobalt

            What’s hard to follow is the term pop music doesn’t mean much on its own. If it’s “music that’s popular”, well, becoming popular doesn’t change anything about the music. If you like a song and it becomes popular, do you no longer like it? A rose by any other name smells just as sweet.

            Musical taste is subjective, but if you use its appeal as a gauge for whether or not it’s “good”, then your taste isn’t so much about the music but how you try to define yourself in relation to others.

            If you’re referring to “pop music” as a style of music, can you please define what pop music sounds like? I’m very curious how you’d define it while keeping in mind that pop music spans many genres and sounds pretty different in 2020 compared to 2000… and 1970, 1960, 1940…

            Is your issue that it tends to be around 3 minutes per track? That it tends to use the 32-bar form? That it’s grounded in rhythm? The use of choruses?

            Or is it that it doesn’t sound like the music you heard during your most formative years?

  • Ratm

    Cant see any connections besides speed, its not far for perfect,its not there. Iooks like a randomizer that shoot blocks based on the music frequency nothing else.

    • TheOrangeMatty

      No

  • I’ve heard it works very well with pop/electronic songs and less well with other genres