Playing ITG requires a dance pad. A good dance pad can be hard to come by. This page outlines some options for getting a dance pad for ITG.
This video is a bit old but it outlines many of the options.
L-Tek dance pads (also sometimes called "Polish pads") are a great option for those looking to get into the game, no matter if you want to play stamina content or tech content. These pads use contact sensors. For $400 brand new including shipping to the US (less if you're in Europe!), these are a great option.
The current generation pads feature a 1000hz polling rate, which is great for those who play for FA. Older generation pads poll at 125hz, but guides exist that explain how to increase this. For higher level play, these pads are usually penny-modded. At the time of writing, people have passed ITG 27s and quadded ITG 14s on these.
Notable possible downsides include the thin and flexible 2.5mm polycarbonate panels being more prone to cracking than thicker panels, wood screws becoming loose over time (fixed by upgrading to threaded inserts), penny modding performed with coins causing damage to the sensor plates over time (addressed by instead using copper tape, strips, or any other conductive material with a flat surface and no hard raised edges), and the fibreboard base of the pad warping slightly in high humidity environments.
Note for those interested in LTEKs: the bar kit they sell is not very good, as it's excessively low in height and wobbly compared to arcade bars. Bar players usually make their own bar out of plumbing pipe.
StepManiaX (SMX) stages are about the closest thing to buying a new arcade pad you can find. While they aren't as bulletproof as real DDR/ITG pads, they are similar in construction. Older models use load cells and newer models (generations 4+) use force sensing resistors (FSRs) as their sensor technology. SMX pads also come with a bar that is very wide and comfortable for taller players. The cost for these pads new is roughly $1900 with shipping and taxes included (to the US), but they sometimes trade hands used as well. SMX pads are always in demand and they have very limited runs, so buying one can be a tedious process (they sometimes sell out in seconds).
FSR Mini Pad is a travel-sized pad that's made in Europe. Like SMX, it's made and sold in batches, so you need to get on a waitlist if you want one. They cost about $650 euros and they also have lights.
Arcade pads can be found with a cabinet or separate from it. These pads usually require the cabinet to operate but devices exist that can convert a pad's I/O to USB so it can plug into a regular computer, no longer requiring the cabinet.
Since these pads come from real arcade machines that are designed for arcade use, they are extremely robust and they are essentially overbuilt for home-use. They use arcade sensors but it's very common to see people upgrading them to FSRs, since it's very easy to do so and it's a "non destructive upgrade" (the FSRs can just sit on top of the existing parts without removing anything).
Arcade pads have literally been around the longest, so much is known about how to mod them.
Depending on what you use to connect your arcade pad(s) to your computer, you might run into USB polling issues. If your pad is only polling at 125hz, you can check out this guide if you're using Windows or this guide if you're using Linux.
Since the pandemic, the price of real arcade pads has skyrocketed. Lots of folks in the community bought full cabinets for under or around $1000, or single pads for $400 or less. But in recent years the demand for them has dramatically increased.
Blueshark pads came out in the mid 2000s and provided one of the best home pads at the time. It uses 2 DDR-style rubber sensors per panel that were located in the center of the pad. The Blueshark uses real 3/4 inch thick acrylic with designs printed on the back. Just like real DDR acrylic panels, the art tended to rub off at the contact points. All components are stapled onto a large sheet of MDF making it possible to move the sensors to the edges of each panel for better sensitivity. The pad itself came with a thin aluminum bar which is wobbly and unstable. The pad has select two contact-based buttons similar to old console pads.
Cobalt Flux (CF) pads were some of the best in-home pads you could buy back in the day. They aren't currently made anymore, but the word is a new Cobalt Flux Pro is in the works. These are similar in construction to L-Teks, and can be penny-modded the same way.
CF pads require a control box to work with USB or other gaming consoles. Luckily, some parts can still be purchased new from Cobalt Flux directly.
DDRPad.com sells a kit for making your own "Cobalt Flux Style Pad", shown below under the “Options To Build” header.
As of 2022, it appears Precision Dance Pads are no longer being sold new.
Previously named "Impulse Pads", Rhythm Horizon Platforms are a load-cell based pad that has been in development for years. It now is being run by the folks behind Rhythm Horizon (a 9-panel dance game similar to ITG). Not a lot is known about these pads as the project has gone on so long, but it's expected that they will ship without a bar, without lights, will use load cells, and the panels are slightly smaller than normal arcade pads.
For the latest news on this pad, you should check our Rhythm Horizon Discord's #rhythm-horizon-platform channel.
Josh at Cobalt Flux mentioned they are working on a new version of their pad:
Thanks for reaching out. We are in fact working on releasing a new Cobalt Flux Platform! As you can probably imagine getting everything set up to manufacture pads at scale again is quite a long process. We know many people were hoping for the pads to be available this year, but unfortunately they won't be widely available until sometime in 2021.
It was slated to be a re-work of their original design, using similar contact sensors. They are aware of FSRs but had concerns about the software being too complicated for normal users, so they stuck with contact sensors. This pad was supposed to come out in 2021 but it has been delayed.
Plenty of small companies (usually who do business on Facebook) import used cabinets from Japan in large containers.
Game Saru is a company based out of Reno, Nevada in the United States and sells imported rhythm game cabinets. This includes DDR machines which can be converted into ITG.
The Mystic Steps pad is a DIY pad that uses arcade sensors.
Dom made an 11 part video series showing the process of creating a full size FSR pad with arcade parts. The pad has a flat steel base with SMX prototype bars and uses real arcade switch frames.
RE:Flex is an open source spec for a full-size dance pad based on load-cell sensor technology. All of the required components have part lists that can be ordered from local suppliers, and the PCBs have a step-by-step tutorial on how to order them. Most of the difficulty in the build is sourcing parts, assembly of the pad is straight-forward.
The aluminum extrusion frame provides a good base for building a sturdy pad. Some builds have swapped the sensors/PCBs with standard FSRs, which can be a good alternative during chip shortages or difficulties with sourcing.
The current version (version 2) has been built by multiple people, and version 3 is under development.
Puzzle pad is kinda like full sized pad, but the idea is that you can quickly and easily assemble and disassemble it for traveling or for any other reason. The original design uses spare arcade parts, but the concept can be done without any of them. There is no proper guide for building one at this date, but the idea can be seen and copied from the announcement video.
This is a fullsized pad made from wood and giant 200kg load cell beams. The design files and components are available on github. As with any load cell design (i.e. StepmaniaX Gen1-3) mounting the sensors themselves prove complicated as they require height for clearance and a type of actuation point that has mounting holes. As documented here, the sensors are also very localized and so, multiple load cells are desirable for coverage, which adds to complexity and costs.
Travel pads are pads that can be built using any material, and usually feature an arcade-sized center panel with long rectangular shaped panels. The very first Travel pad was build by Renbrandt in 2018, but the design was quickly iterated and improved by other players. Below are some great options and build guides for some travel pads.
The Teejusb pad is a low cost travel pad that is very lightweight (<10lbs) and requires 0 tools for maintenance, however they are needed to build. Check out the build guide if you want to build this yourself.
Bandit's travel pad is built off of a 2x2 plywood board, and acrylic (or polycarbonate) panels held down by velcro. If you have very little electronics experience, a tight budget, or no access to tools but want a smaller sized pad, this is the pad for you.
Widgetpad is an FSR mini pad with lights made by Widget.
Nato also made a travel pad based on very cheap Ikea cutting boards. This pad does not need to be disassembled to fit in a carry-on suitcase.
Nabulator's mini pad is an FSR pad made of wood. Requires woodworking tools. Not a guide but more a reference build. This pad uses the long FSR strips with popsicle stick-like shims to help actuate the sensors. Because the actuation area is very narrow, the popsicle sticks need strict tolerance its thickness and length. square FSRs are more reliable when make adjustments and are easier to work with.