The NES Max features turbo "A" and "B" buttons in addition to the standard action buttons.There is no adjustment for the turbo rate as there is on the more famous NES Advantage, and the NES Max was known to fail to exceed the NES Advantage's maximum turbo setting. The Max also replaces the D-pad found on standard NES controllers with small button-shaped pad called a cycloid. The middle ring of the cyloid floated freely, and acted as a carriage for the user's thumb. Their thumb could be dragged from one side of the cycloid, to the other, in a relatively friction-free manner. This was marketed as being superior to the typical 4-direction button on the standard controller. Though the performance gain had little effect, and most users preferred the basic button operation anyway.
The controller is smaller in width than a standard NES controller and is slightly thinner. Unlike the standard controller the NES Max has handles to allow for additional grip. The Max's official Nintendo part number is NES-027.