Since In The Groove is based on the free and open source StepMania, once you have access to the arcade machine, it isn't hard to modify it exactly how you want. Most importantly, this means that it is possible to add custom songs and step charts. ITG already offered more challenging songs than DDR, but with the addition of thousands of fan-made charts, the difficulty has continued to increase over the years as players keep improving. Getting 100% on a song is even harder than most rhythm games since each step is graded based on timing. To perfect a song, you need to hit every arrow with perfect timing, as opposed to Guitar Hero, where all you need to do is hit every note.
It leaves a lot of room for improvement and for competition, which is why there are several major tournaments every year. At the end of 2012, there was "Bearpocalypse", an invite-only tournament where the best of the best competed to get the best scores they could on certain songs within a certain time period. Just this past weekend was the less serious, but still incredibly difficult, D.O.W.N.S..
|Players came from far and wide to compete in D.O.W.N.S..|