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The Dance Mat is a type of controller used in conjuction with the Dance Dance Revolution series along with its similar dancing games. Although the Dance Dance Revolution series can be played with a regular controller, players of DDR prefer the dance mat.
The dance mat is usually composed of four arrow markings pointing outward from the center. When depressed with the feet, the buttons act like the directional buttons on a regular controller. A majority of other dance mats also hold the different face buttons of the controller, usually used to make navigation easier. For example, a PS2 dance mat will usually have an X, O, triangle, and square button for menu navigation.
Dance mats come in many different forms, though the cheapest and most widely used are made of plastic. DDR fans also tend to prefer dance mats made of metal, mostly to emulate the feel of playing the game in the arcade.
A majority of dance mats are compatible with other DDR-style games, with the exception of Pump It Up! Exceed, where the dance mat is composed of four diagonal buttons and a single center button.