NXT is a rhythm game where you play a sequence of beats on a LEGO drum kit with snare and bass drums and a cymbal. It was built using a single LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 kit.

How to Play

In each level, a certain beat will be played repeatedly by the NXT. You will need to play the exact same beat correctly four times in a row using the drum kit. Simply start playing anytime. If you stop playing, after a while the NXT will resume playing the current beat, in case you need to refresh your memory.

The flag shows how many times you have played the current beat correctly. If the flag returns to the start position, it means you have played the beat incorrectly.

The most accurate you play the beat, the most points you will earn. If you manage to finish all 15 beats, your score may be added to the rankings if it is high enough. You can enter a 3-letter abbreviation of your name (like old-school arcades) so other persons can play and compare their scores.

Instruction and Program

First, get everything you need:

  1. Download program, source, instructions and resources
  2. Extract the zip file you have downloaded in the link above (if you need, check this help on uncompressing zip files in Windows 7).
  3. The files will be extracted to a folder name “nxtdrums”. All files are inside this folder.

Build the model:

  1. Open the Instructions.pdf file (you will need a PDF viewer such as Adobe Reader).
  2. Follow the instructions!

Download the program and resources to the NXT:

  1. Turn on your NXT and connect it to your PC using the USB cable.
  2. Open the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT sofware.
  3. Near “Create new program”, click “Go >>”.
  4. Open the NXT window (click the upper left button above the “Play” button).
  5. Click on the “memory” tab.
  6. Click “Download”. Go to folder you have extracted in Step 2, select the first file and Click OK. Click “Download” again, select the second file, click OK, and so on for all files (sorry, I don’t know any easier way to do this). If you want to be sure, the following files need to be downloaded:
    • ! Applause.rso
    • bass.rso
    • cymbal.rso
    • Drums.rxe
    • font10v_arrows.ric
    • snare.rso
  7. In your NXT, go to “My Files”, “Software Files”, then “Drums”.
  8. Play!

NXT Drums does not work in very bright ambients (outdoors). If the bass drum is not working, try stopping the program (press the gray button), moving to a darker place (indoors with lights on is fine), and starting the program again.

To adjust the NXT Drums volume, adjust the volume of the NXT brick. Go to “Settings”, “Volume”, press the arrow buttons to adjust, and confirm.

The program is coded in NXC, you can use the Bricx Command Center if you want to make changes to the code. The source code is in the DrumsSource.nxc file.

Custom Mode

In custom mode, you can create your own beats to play in the NXT. Follow this steps:

  1. Edit the file nxtdrums.txt and insert your beats. The file is already filled with many example beats, you can edit them, or just leave them alone to test. Each beat is a line in the file, and the beat is described by the characters “.” (a rest), “B” (bass drum), “S” (snare drum) and “C” (cymbal). Each line should have at most 32 characters (“.”s do not count). Make sure there is an empty line after the last line.
  2. Download the nxtdrums.txt file to the NXT. Follow the steps above for downloading files to the NXT, but after you click “Download”, in the dialog you will need to choose “All Files” in the “Type” dropdown box. This will make the “nxtdrums.txt” file appear; select it and click OK.
  3. Start NXT Drums and select “Custom”.


This game was inspired by a mini game in Rhythm Tengoku. Bass drum sound by Minorr Grafitti Studio. Snare drum sound by KEVOY. Cymbal sound by irjames.

Categorized as NXT


  1. Hi Conrado
    This one is a very cute project, i want to make it, but the rxe file is not working on my NXT brick, please can you send me the .rbt file or some solution.

    1. Hi Sayli, thanks!

      I’m sorry it’s not working. Can you be more clear on what’s happening? Can you find the program in the NXT, but when you run it, nothing happens?

      (You can try downloading the program Bricx Command Center, opening the file DrumsSource.nxc, and running it.)

      1. Hi Conrado

        i am able to download the program, it is running but not showing any output, it has happened for the Tripod program also which has the .rxe file, i will try the bricx command center in the mean time, thanks a lot for the reply…

        1. Can you make sure that you have downloaded all the other files to the NXT?

          ! Applause.rso

          1. i think i forgot the font10v_arrows file, i will check it today. Is it possible for you to send the .rbt for the above program, it will be really greatful….

          2. Sorry, there is no .rbt file since I’ve used NXC/Bricx to write the program instead of the regular NXT software.

      1. What exactly you can’t do? You can’t download the zip from the site to your PC, or you can’t download the program to the NXT? In the second case, it doesn’t matter if it’s a Mac, just open the LEGO NXT software and follow the instructions.

  2. Вы можете сделать инструкцию и программу для набора EV3.
    Если сделаете буду очень благодарен.

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