The basic gameplay, which takes place on a touchscreen, is as follows: An octagonal target zone is shown at the center of the screen, and notes come from one of eight directions towards this area; the object is to hit these notes as close to the lines of the target zone as possible. While most of these notes must simply be tapped, there are also green notes that must be swiped across rather than merely tapped. There are additionally six circular targets around the screen arranged in a hexagonal pattern, and when notes appear in these targets, they must be hit in time with the visual cues. Lastly, there are "Stream" notes that can appear anywhere on the screen and must be dragged across in time.
The game is additionally known for its focus on unique videos for songs: In order to better showcase them, there is a second screen on the cabinet, positioned above the touchscreen, that shows off these videos unobstructed to spectators.
Sadly, this game was not too long for this world. In early 2017, Konami announced that service for BeatStream would be terminated after August 31, 2017; the game ran on Konami's eAMUSEMENT network and required an online connection to start the game up. Beginning in March of that year, arcades were given the option to convert BeatStream cabinets into ones for Nostalgia. Unlike Miraidagakki FutureTomTom and DanceEvolution Arcade (both also BEMANI games that are online-required), this game did not receive an offline-enabling kit, after August 31, the game was finally taken off of the eAMUSEMENT network after a little over three years of service, ensuring that it can never be played again.
Games in the series:
- BeatStream (July 17, 2014 - December 21, 2015)
- BeatStream AnimTribe (December 21, 2015 - August 31, 2017)
BeatStream provides examples of the following:
- Animal Motifs: Cats. The cabinet's speakers, placed along the top corners of the touchscreen, form a distinct cat ears shape. BisCo wears a headband in the style of those speakers. There's additionally two sub-mascots that look like box-shaped kittens.
- Defunct Online Video Games: The game was put to rest in 2017 without a way to play it offline. Normally, when BEMANI games produced beyond 2012 are retired, they are given "offline kits" that allow them to be played offline with all songs unlocked (barring licensing restrictions), but no such kit was granted for BeatStream. This is due to the game relying heavily on big-name licenses, and going through the red tape for that to make them offline-available would be too much of a hassle, so the game was simply canned completely.
- Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Light, Medium, Beast, Nightmare.
- Nintendo Hard: The game's notes are very difficult to read by rhythm game standards, as they come from all sides and you have to judge the order in which you have to hit them. Speed modifiers and notes being color-coded sometimes help, but not by much. It doesn't help that some notes can come from below, with your arms potentially blocking the view; there are small guide arrows in the target zone that indicate when you have to hit these notes, but they are easy to miss.
- Pun: "Beast" difficulty. BeatStream.
- Required Spinoff Crossover: It wouldn't be a BEMANI game without the track "FLOWER" being added to it at some point.
- Series Mascot: BisCo, an orange-haired girl with a pink cat-ears headband.