SOUND VOLTEX (or “SDVX”) is a rhythm game produced by KONAMI since 2012. The game features six buttons and two knobs which you need to tap and turn in time with the music. There are 20 difficulty levels in total—here is what a level 17 looks like:

Passing or failing a song is based on the colored bar to the right of the screen. At the end of a song, the bar being orange means “Hard Clear”, pink means “Clear”, and blue means “Fail”. The score is based on how in time your inputs are to the music.

How can I play the game?

You can either find a local arcade with a SOUND VOLTEX cabinet, set up the official PC version for 1,628 yen per month, or follow a guide here to set up one of the two free simulators, K⁠-⁠Shoot MANIA (KSM) and Unnamed SDVX Clone (USC). I would recommend one of the first two—the simulators don’t yet provide an experience comparable to the official game.

You don’t need a dedicated controller to play the game at home—both the official PC version and simulators support keyboard play.

What controller would you recommend?

As of December 2022, I’d recommend the FAUCETWO by GAMO2 with the following options:

The controller comes in two designs. You can see video reviews of both here:

What is the tier list?

The tier list is this unofficial tier list for levels 16–20 maintained by the Japanese community.

Each level is divided into tiers from F (easiest) through to S (hardest). There is also a tier called 超個人差 (“Large individual differences”) for charts with too much individual variation to assign them a tier.

Each chart is labeled according to the following key:

Balanced chart
Button-focused chart
Laser-focused chart
Removed song
※Some individual differences
【Chart is difficult to sight-read】
Newly-added song
Recently changed tier

What is “insane KSM”?

The simulator K⁠-⁠Shoot MANIA (KSM) has a small community whose members make original content for the game, including charts, music and art. “Insane KSM” refers to a subset of these original charts which are much more difficult than anything in the official game. For example:

Are there any other useful resources?