How to Get the Maximum Score in Beat Saber
With Beat Saber leaving Early Access this week, the v1.0.0 patch included a sneaky change to the scoring system. Some of Beat Saber’s campaign levels were already devilishly difficult to complete thanks to minimum score requirements — I'm looking at you, Level 29. So what’s changed, and how do you get the most points per swing in Beat Saber?
First of all, the new scoring system is actually a buff; you can now get a maximum of 115 points per block, rather than the old 110. This might not sound like a big difference, but with an 8x multiplier, 40 extra points per swing can rack up quickly.
It’s worth returning to the tricky minimum score levels to see if this alone can nudge you over the edge into victory. Assuming that alone isn’t enough, though, here are some tips to help maximize your Beat Saber score.
Learn the Technique
To get things started, it helps if you watch Beat Saber's official tutorial on their Facebook page. It's outdated now, and it uses degrees which aren't the easiest way to conceptualize 3D space, but it gives a good gist of the technique we need to use.
We'll call the first step the "pre-swing", as it's the angle — or how far — we need to swing before cutting the block. In the video example, we see an example of a downwards arrow swing.
So for the pre-swing, we need to start with our arm in a vertical position. This means if we start the swing with our arm directly above our heads before a down arrow, we can get the full 70 points for the pre-swing.
The video describes this as moving through 90°, though the in-game instruction now lists 100° as the recommended angle to move your arm through.
Next is what we'll call the "follow through". This is the angle — or how far — we need to swing after cutting the block. The video describes this as moving 60° after the cut.
So for the follow through example on a down arrow, we need to end with our arm almost angled directly at the floor. If we do this correctly, we can get the full 30 points for the follow-through.
The final 15 points are allocated for how close to the centre of the block our cut was. The video says 10 additional points, but the recent patch increased this to 15.
Execute the Technique
Knowing the technique is great and all, but how do we actually execute it? Especially on the faster songs or the higher difficulties, it just isn't practical to start every swing at a 100° angle to each note. Hell, following through by 60° will usually mean you don't have time to react to the next note.
Fortunately, we have these handy things called wrists. Rather than swinging our entire arms for each note and ending up looking like a death metal drummer, we can get the maximum score just by flicking our wrists.
As the score only cares about how far the saber moves, not our actual arm, we can still move a saber through 160° by flexing and extending the wrist. Jump into a practice song and give it a try.
Rather than using your entire arm to cut through each note, move only your wrists to flick the sabers to and fro. There's no harm in adding some extra momentum from your arms to get the full angle, but you may find swinging with your wrists instead of your arms increases your score — and decreases your sore.
If you're struggling with this, rotating your hands inwards by 90° can help make vertical notes easier. Turn your hands so your palms are facing downwards, and your wrists can move through a greater range of motion.
Obviously for horizontal notes, we need to keep our palms facing inwards for the same reason. This method allows you to recover from each note far quicker, so a full 160° swing is possible in time for the next note.
Calibrate the Environment
So you’re performing the technique as best as you can, but you’re still not getting maximum points, what else could be wrong? The accuracy of your VR controllers’ tracking is absolutely vital to getting the points you need, so here are some general tips to improve the tracking.
- Make sure you have adequate lighting
- The more light you have, the easier it is for your headset and sensors to pick up the controllers’ locations.
- Just make sure the headset isn’t in direct sunlight, as it can damage the cameras.
- Keep your playing space clean but not empty
- You’re going to swing your arms a lot, so it makes sense to move furniture and debris out of the way, but you still need your space to have characteristics that your headset can pick up.
- A lamp or a plant, or something similar will prevent your headset from seeing your walls and floor as one incoherent blob.
- Re-calibrate your playing space
- This one’s simple, sometimes the camera-centering can be a little wonky after a few play sessions, so it’s always worth setting up your boundaries again.
- Calibrate your height inside Beat Saber
- From the main menu of Beat Saber, go to Player Settings and you'll see an icon for Player Height.
- Clicking this will calibrate your VR height.
Cheat the Height
Finally, there are some cheeky tactics to give you an extra edge. Most people find that they can get 100+ points for most notes, but struggle to score highly with up swings, especially if the notes are low to the ground.
A simple way to improve your chances of scoring the maximum points is to go into the Options Menu, find the Room Adjust panel, and toy with the settings.
Moving the Y offset up a little will give you more of an angle to swing up from, while pushing the note chart back with the Z axis offset gives you a little longer to react to the incoming notes.
If you're still struggling with those pesky up swings, try adopting a slight squat so you'll have a greater angle for the upwards notes. This will eventually take its toll on your legs, so it isn't recommended for long play sessions, but it just might tip your score over the edge on the troublesome Campaign levels.
Let's end with a quick recap of the tactics to improve our score:
- Swing the saber through at least 100° before cutting the block
- Swing the saber through at least 60° after cutting the block
- Swing through the centre of the block for up to 15 bonus points
- Use your wrists to swing, rather than your entire arms
If improving the technique isn't enough and you're still having trouble:
- Re-calibrate your environment and in-game height
- Adjust the Y and Z-axis offsets in-game
- Squat slightly for the low up swings
Have your own method for racking up high scores that works for you? Or do you maybe just want to brag about finishing Beat Saber's grueling campaign? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.