Pad Buying Guide

A lot of people have questions when buying a dance pad for StepMania or Dance Dance Revolution, so we are here to help with a Pad Buying Guide. The guide is arranged by cost to help you when buying a pad at any price point.

Soft Pad $30-$40

USB Soft Pad for StepMania, DDR

 

Your average soft pad, sometimes referred to as dance mat, cost about $30-$40 dollars including shipping. These entry level dance pads are for beginner to intermediate level players. They are a soft foldable pad made of foam and plastic. They are a good option for those who want to play the game, but don't want to invest a lot of money into a pad. For more advanced players you can modify the pad, visit our DIY and Repair Guide for more info on how to mod soft pads. Click here to purchase a USB Soft Pad for StepMania.

Pros

Cons

  • Low cost
  • Easily available
  • Easy to transport and store
  • Compatible with StepMania
  • Intended for beginners 
  • Relatively low quality when compared to hard pads
  • Soft pads can wrinkle or move during play

 

 

Soft Pad with Foam Insert $60-$70

Thick foram soft pad for StepMania USB connection Step Mania 

These are a better version of the standard soft pad. Including shipping they cost about $60-$70. Like all soft pads they are intended for beginner to intermediate level players. They have a 3/4" foam insert which gives the pad more stability and prevents it from wrinkling and moving around during play. These are a good option for people who don't want to spend a lot of money on a pad but want an improvement over the standard soft pad. Click here to purchase Soft Pad with Foam Insert for StepMania. 

Pros

Cons

  • Relatively low cost
  • Easily available
  • Includes foam insert for additional stability
  • Easy to transport and store
  • Compatible with StepMania
  • Intended for beginner to intermediate players
  • Relatively low quality when compared to hard pads

 

 

 

DIY Pad $150+

DIY Dance Dance Revolution DDR pad

 

We sell a wide variety of parts that can be used to build a DIY pad. From our Cobalt Flux Style DIY Pad Kit to our FSR Sensor - Mod Kit. Many of our arcade parts can also be used when building DIY pads. The cost to build a DIY pad can range anywhere from $150-$1500+ depending on the quality, style, and materials that are used. 

Pros

Cons

  • Suitable for players at all levels
  • Wide range of customizable options
  • Wide range of price points
  • DIY kits available
  • Some DIY knowledge and skills are needed
  • Requires you to invest time
  • May require tools

 

 

Cobalt Flux Pad $250-$500+

Cobalt Flux pad for DDR StepMania PIU

 

These are hard pads made of metal, wood, and polycarbonate. They are not currently available new, but they can be purchased used for around $250-$500+. For those who want to build a DIY pad we offer a Cobalt Flux Style DIY Pad Kit. We also sell a wide variety of replacement parts for fixing and modifying Cobalt Flux pads.

Pros

Cons

  • Suitable for players at all levels
  • High quality
  • Very durable
  • Easy to transport and store
  • All 9 panels can be used for StepMania, DDR, and PIU
  • Compatible with video game systems like PlayStation, Xbox, and Wii
  • Currently only available used or as a DIY kit
  • Can be difficult to find used
  • Prices vary
  • Used pads may need maintenance or parts

 

L-TEK Pad $385+

L-TEK Dance Dance Revolution pad, mat, USB, StepMania, Step Mania, Computer, PC

  

L-TEK pads are the most popular option for hard pads. They are made of a wood base with metal sensors and hard plastic panels. If you want an ultra sensitive pad we offer a mod that will increase the sensitivity of L-TEK pads. For those who want to play DDR on PlayStation or other video game systems we offer a DIY Mod Kit for the L-TEK. Click Here to purchase the L-TEK EX PRO 2.

Pros

Cons

  • Suitable for players at all levels
  • Easily available
  • High quality
  • Easy to transport and store
  • Compatible with StepMania
  • May need modded for improved sensitivity
  • Not compatible with PlayStation or other video game systems without modification. 

 

Arcade Pads $2500-$8500+

Dance Dance Revolution Arcade pad dance stage

Arcade pads are not available new and used pads are hard to come by. Prices vary a lot depending on demand, version, quality, and location. A rough estimate for full arcade cabinets is $2500-$8500+. We sell a wide variety of replacement parts and modifications for Dance Dance Revolution (DDR), In The Groove (ITG), and Pump It Up (PIU) arcade pads. Many of these parts can also be used to build a DIY arcade style pad.

Pros

Cons

  • Suitable for players at all levels
  • High quality
  • Very durable
  • Authentic arcade feel
  • High cost
  • Very limited availability
  • Large size not easy to transport or store
  • May require maintenance and parts