StepMania's directory structure contains multiple folders used to store content and user data. By default, versions of most of these folders are also created in your user directory (including %appdata% on Windows and a home directory folder on Linux), along with folders for storing user data. If portable mode is enabled, user data folders are instead placed in the installation directory.
The Appearance folder is used to store content used for customizing StepMania. Prior to 5.3, the Appearance subdirectories were top-level directories in the StepMania installation folder.
- Themes change the user interface of StepMania.
- NoteSkins change the appearance of notes in-game. They are divided into folders for noteskins specific to individual game types (such as dance), as well as "global" noteskins that can be used for any game type.
- Toasties are combinations of sounds and graphic animations that can be displayed for specific combo milestones in-game.
- Avatars is used to store profile-specific avatars that can be used in supported themes. Currently, they are used by placing images matching a profile's name in this folder.
- Judgments contains images that can be displayed for judgments in supported themes. They are titled with hints to specify their functionality, including [ECFA] or [Pro] to mark them as being used for ECFA and "advanced" timing window settings (which use more than 6 judgment tiers), and [double] to mark judgment font graphics that contain specific frames to denote early and late timing.
Announcers is used to store sets of audio files that can be played on specific events in the user interface and gameplay.
BackgroundEffects is used to store preset effects that can be used by background sequences in song files.
BackgroundTransitions is self-explanatory, and also used by background sequences in song files.
BGAnimations is used to store animation scripts that can be used by background sequences in song files, such as the "flash" effects (commonly used in In the Groove 2 background videos).
Characters that can be rendered in the background as dancers.
Courses are used to define playlists of songs for the nonstop modes.
Without Songs there isn't really a point to the game. The songs folder contains folders for each "group" of songs (also sometimes referred to as a "pack"), which in turn contain individual folders for each song.
System and user data directories
Song files and graphics are cached on startup to improve performance and speed up subsequent startups.
This folder contains other configuration files used by StepMania
This folder contains various logs and other information generated while StepMania is running.
Most user data is stored in this directory, including the preferences and configuration files, and local profiles (including high scores, etc.)