DDR Beginner Tutorial

If you are reading this, you probably have either recently started playing Dance Dance Revolution, or are thinking about playing it.

You might have friends that play it in their house, or you may have seen someone play it at an arcade. It looks like you might be curious about how to play! Perhaps you are looking for something to lose weight, or maybe you are looking for a fun exercise you can do in your free time – perhaps something that involves the Wii.

If you are curious about Dance Dance Revolution, and are a newbie to it – this is the guide for you. I have included several images that will make my explanations easier to understand.

If you are looking for something a little more advanced, you can find it here:

How to Play DDR

OK – Let’s get started!

There are two different ways to enjoy Dance Dance Revolution

1. The arcade version:

DDR Arcade Machine

2. The home version:

If you are looking to play at home, I would recommend buying from this website:


Their products are all dance game related, so they are bundled together at a discount – also you can pick out a good dance pad to start out on, which is better than learning on dance pads sold at stores.  Actually, I can tell you exactly what pad would be good to learn on.  Follow that link and when you get there, select the *DDR Energy Dance Pad* link from the *Shop-Dance Pads* section (from the list on the left).

Once you get to the DDRGame website, I recommend choosing the 3rd item down in the left column.  It looks like this:

DDR X and Pad Kit

It’s compatible with the PS2 and costs $70 for the whole kit.  This is a pretty slammin’ deal considering you get a good no-slip pad and the latest game. You can also get kits for the PS3 and Wii there as well. I would highly recommend you stick with that pad though, because its inexpensive enough that you can use it as a beginner, but its well made enough that it doesn’t slip around all over the place.


How the game works:

The objective of the game is to step to the beat of the song.  The arrows that scroll up the screen during the game are used to represent those beats.  To beat a song, you have to hit the correct arrow as it passes through the arrow targets.  So, timing is very important.

DDR Screen

The arrows with the white border at the top of the screen are the arrow targets.  The colored arrows are the “beats”.  Depending on how good your timing is when you step, you will receive a “grade”, shown in the image below:

Grading System

*Marvelous* is the best grade you can receive for stepping on time.  *Boo* is the grade you receive when you do not hit the correct arrow on time.


Learning the *beat*

A simple way to get how the timing works is to listen to the song and clap your hands to it.  When you listen to a song, and you clap to it, you are clapping to the bass beat.  When you first start playing – and you select a song from beginner – all the arrows are timed to the bass beat.

When you go to step to the beat, you will actually *step to the beat*.  So, if a down arrow starts coming up the screen, just listen to the bass beat, and hit the down arrow like you are keeping that beat.  If you are having trouble, try clapping your hands to the beat – and I am sure you will get it!

DDRgame - Where exercise gets fun!


One Response to “DDR Beginner Tutorial”

  1. […] you are a beginner, please view my beginner guide.  It serves as an “introduction” to dance gaming.  If you have played a couple games, […]

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