The gameplay consists of notes appearing on the screen in time to the music. Each note has two perpendicular lines that reach to the edges of the screen, with two arrows coming into the screen towards the note. When the arrows hit the note, the player must tap the note with their finger to get points for it. In addition to basic "tap" notes, there are also "flick" notes that require the player to slide their finger in the indicated direction, as well as "hold" notes that must be held down until they disappear.
The game uses a payment model similar to various "free-to-play" mobile games: the player is given a stock of 10 Tickets, playing a song costs 5 Tickets (or 3 on select songs), and Tickets take 20 minutes to recharge each. If the player is out of tickets, they can use Premium Tickets that can be obtained through clearing in-game missions or purchasing them with real cash.
There is a spinoff for arcades, crossbeats REV., that was released in 2015, that follows the standard arcade rhythm game structure, granting the player 3 stages per credit. Players can create accounts for the game with a SEGA Aime card or a BanaPassport cardnote to save their records, complete unlocks and missions, and participate in in-game events. In addition to a number of songs from CROSS×BEATS, it also has a large variety of new songs, including, most notably, songs from and arranges of songs from other Capcom series, such as Street Fighter, Ace Attorney, and Monster Hunter. A sequel, crossbeats REV. SUNRISE, was released in 2016.
Both C×B and REV. have Japan-only releases; however, the former simply requires a Japan-region iTunes account (except to purchase in-game currency, which requires a Japanese credit card or Japanese iTunes card) and the latter can be found in select Round 1 locations in the United States. The game was tested in South Korea and Taiwan, in partnership with Andamiro, the makers of the Pump It Up series, but a release in those countries never happened.
In 2018, Capcom announced that both games' services would be terminated. CROSS×BEATS became completely unplayable after June 25, 2018, while crossbeats REV. SUNRISE received a final patch that removed the network services and unlocked all songs for regular play.
In October 2019, a Spiritual Successor known as SEVEN's CODE was released as a mobile game, whose "Chaos" game mode is pretty much identical in gameplay, except with more of a cyberpunk motif, and a focus on battles with Interface Screw attacks. It also contains a "Simple" mode which uses a more typical "highway" style of gameplay. It later got a worldwide release in January 2020.
Games in the series:
- CROSS×BEATS (2013-2018)
- crossbeats REV. series:
- crossbeats REV. (2015-2016)
- crossbeats REV.SUNRISE (2016-) — current and final version
The game received a major interface update in June 2017. However, it is officially still the same game. As of June 2018, the game can be played offline with most content available.
This rhythm game series provides examples of the following:
- Allegedly Free Game: The Ticket system in C×B. Most songs cost 5 Tickets to play each, and you recover 1 Ticket every 20 minutes; in other words, if you don't use or get Premium Tickets, you can play one song every 1 hour and 40 minutes. Oh, and your non-Premium Ticket capacity of 10 never increases. Fortunately, the game features many early sources of Premium Tickets, and if you also play crossbeats REV. you can play it to earn five Premium Tickets for every two credits you play (free play tickets don't count).
- Anti-Frustration Features: In crossbeats REV.SUNRISE, you can retry a song up to FOUR times if you want to go for a full combo or 100% rate. Do note though, the feature is only available in premium mode, which involves inserting two credits instead of one.
- Bonus Boss: Do well enough in REV. and you'll play an Extra Stage song, "MEGALOMAN[i]A".
- Call a Hit Point a "Smeerp": It can get a little too obvious that this game is trying to stand out from BEMANI:
- The worst note judgement obtained by outright missing the note is called "Fail" rather than the more conventional "Miss".
- BEMANI games refer to players bookmarked for score comparison as "Rivals", but crossbeats REV. calls them "Adversaries".
- Chromatic Arrangement: The difficulty level colors: Easy (blue), Standard (green), Hard (yellow), Master (red), Unlimited (purple).
- Critical Annoyance: In CROSS×BEATS, the bottom of the screen starts flashing red if you're playing with an Ultimate gauge and close to failure. In crossbeats REV. while low on a non-standard lifebar, "EMERGENCY" warnings appear on the top and bottom of the screen.
- Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: In Music Play and Local Battle in REV., you will always get 3 stages, even if you fail your first one. Averted in Challenge Mode, which is locked on a Survival gauge and will instantly end your game on stage failure.
- Difficulty Spike: Some songs have some absurd differences in difficulty level between two adjacent charts; two of the biggest offenders are "Devil's Classic" (Hard Lv. 40, Master Lv. 80) and "EVERYTHING" (Hard Lv. 30, Master Lv. 74).
- Double Unlock: When you receive a song in CROSS×BEATS, you most often must unlock each chart difficulty as well via an Unlock Challenge.
- Earn Your Fun: Until August 2017 in CROSS×BEATS, almost every new song that was added had to be received through clearing a mission, reaching a set high score or amount of points in a High Score Attack, or obtaining it by chance in a Random Select Festival. Averted since then, as some new songs ported from crossbeats REV. were given at login about once a month.
- Flawless Victory: If you complete the song without a single combo break (that is, no Fail, Fast^2, or Slow^2 judgements), when the last note is hit the screen will flash and a "FULL COMBO!" graphic will appear.
- Gameplay Grading: Based on your percentage of COOL-and-above hits. The highest is an S++ (requiring all COOLs and above), the lowest passing grade is an E. Failing will get you an F no matter how many points you got.
- Hard Mode Perks:
- Playing with a harder gauge type will give you a bonus to your Rank Points if you clear the song; 10% for Survival and 20% for Ultimate.
- Playing an Unlimited chart and earning more RP on it than on the same song's Master chart will net you a small RP bonus that will be added even if the Unlimited chart doesn't give you enough RP to get it into your "20 songs with most RP" list.
- Harder Than Hard: Master difficulty, which is above Hard. crossbeats REV. introduces the Unlimited difficulty above Master, only available on select songs. In order to unlock a song's Unlimited chart, you need to fulfill conditions on the Master chart (either an S rank, S+ rank, or a full combo, depending on song difficulty and whether it's a licensed song or not).
- Interface Spoiler: CROSS×BEATS downloads songs individually and displays a pop-up notice for each download. This could be exploited in Random Select Festivals to show that you opened a New Music Unlock Challenge seconds before the glowing lock symbol cut-in appears on-screen.
- Life Meter:
- Downplayed with the standard life meter, which can be fully drained but won't cause a Game Over, and as long as you have any life remaining you'll clear the song. Do note, however, that it does take a small combo to get out of an empty meter.
- Played straight with the Survival and Ultimate gauges, survival-type meter where you get an instant failure if your gauge ever hits zero. Ultimate is especially harsh; only Flawless ratings will recover life (0.1% to be specific), and anything below that, even a Super, will drop the meter. It is possible to fail without missing a note! Survival is used in Challenge Mode in crossbeats REV..
- Lucky Charms Title: That's not an 'x' between "CROSS" and "BEATS", that's a times sign (×).note
- Number of the Beast: "MEGALOMAN[i]A" on Hard has exactly 666 notes.
- Play Every Day: In REV.:
- Well, more like Play Every Month. You get a free play coupon every month.
- Sunrise changes it up to (as of this edit) Play Every Week. However, you only have access to one song on the default song list.
- You also get a bonus of revchips for every week that you play.
- Production Throwback: "NEXT FRONTIER" borrows a few notes from "Ignition∞Break", a song NAOKI produced for REFLEC BEAT limelight.
- Purple Is Powerful:
- Unlimited, the hardest chart difficulty, is color-coded as purple.
- Ultimate, the most difficult gauge type, is colored purple in crossbeats REV.
- Scoring Points:
- 100 points for a Flawless, 50 points for a Super, 10 points for a Cool. Everything below—Fast/Slow, Fast^2/Slow^2, and Fail—is worth 0 points.
- Clear Rate is a form of this, using your max combo and the number of Cool, Super, and Flawless judgements you got, with Super and Flawless being weighed the same. None of this will be relevant if you fail the song; you'll instead get a 0%. Clear Rate multiplies with the chart level and your gauge bonus (if any) to produce Rank Points.
- Sequel Song: Several artists who made their Rhythm Game debut in the BEMANI series have these:
- For Naoki, "Blue Destiny Blue" and "DYNAMITE SENSATION" (especially its "REV." version) are this to DDR songs "DESTINY" and "DYNAMITE RAVE", respectively. And then there's "MEGALOMAN[i]A", which is a "Fascination MAXX" sequel in all but name.
- For jun, "DAZZLING♡SEASON", "EMERALD♡KISS", and "HONEY♡SUNRISE" continue her series of Lucky Charms Title songs that began in DDR, complete with all three having two different "Sides", one in Japanese sung by her and one in English sung by someone who natively speaks English.
- Series Mascot: C×B has KANATA, the white-haired girl who briefs you on various in-game interface elements. REV. has Akatsuki, the purple-haired girl seen on the title screen. REV. Sunrise adds Sun and Cro-nya, the latter being the new default support character for starting players of Sunrise.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: jun's songs are all cute and cheerful, but much like with her DDR songs, don't let that fool you. They have some of the most difficult charts in the game; "HONEY♡SUNRISE" in particular has a Master chart that is the highest-rated chart on the default songlist, at level 88!
- Viral Unlockable: The song "Blue Destiny Blue Eternal" can only be unlocked by playing a multiplayer session with someone who has the song unlocked, and then playing the song in said session.
- Yet Another Stupid Death: Did you just come out of a song with the Ultimate gauge turned on? You might want to turn it back off immediately if you aren't gonna use it again. It's common for players to forget to do so, fail hard early into the song, and waste Tickets (in C×B) or a stage (in REV.) as a result.