Pad Buying Guide

A lot of people have questions when buying a dance pad, 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 $20-$30 

USB Soft pad for DDR StepMania

 

 

 

Your average soft pad, sometimes referred to as dance mat, cost about $20-$30 dollars. These entry level dance pads are for beginner to intermediate level players. They are are 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 better performance we recommend attaching it to a wood base and covering it with a plastic sheet. Modifying a soft pad will greatly improve its playability.

Pros

Cons

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

 

 

DIY Pad $100+

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 $100-$1000+ 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
  • Requires you to invest time
  • May require tools
  • Some knowledge and skills are needed

 

 

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 repair

 

L-TEK Pad $350-$600

L-TEK Dance Dance Revolution DDR, StepMania dance pad

  

These are one of the most popular options for hard pads. The pad is a wood base with metal sensors and plastic panels. The primary complaint is lack of sensitivity. We offer a mod that will greatly increase the sensitivity of L-TEK pads. The panels on L-TEK pads sometimes break, so we offer higher quality replacement panels. L-TEK pads poll at 125hz which works fine for most people. For more advance players we offer a DIY Arduino PCB that can be used to modify L-TEK pads to poll at 1000hz. For those who want to play DDR on PlayStation or other video game systems we offer a DIY Mod Kit for the L-TEK.

Pros

Cons

  • Suitable for players at all levels
  • Easily available
  • High quality
  • Easy to transport and store
  • 4 and 5 panel versions available
  • Compatible with StepMania
  • Low sensitivity
  • Panels can break
  • Built in 125hz control box
  • Not compatible with PlayStation or other video game systems

 

StepManiaX SMX Pad $1800-$2000

 

These are arcade style pads that use FSR sensors. The pad is a metal frame with polycarbonate panels and a metal bar. The company only releases new pads every few months and they sell out within seconds.

 

Pros

Cons

  • Suitable for players at all levels
  • High quality
  • Very durable
  • Uses FSR sensors
  • All 9 panels can be used for StepMania, DDR, and PIU
  • High cost
  • Very limited availability
  • Large size not easy to transport or store

 

 

 

Arcade Pad $1000-$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 a single pad is $1000-$1400+, and full arcade cabinets can go anywhere from $2000-$8500+. We sell a wide variety of replacement parts and modification 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 repairs