With select supporting games, the Satellite allows up to four players to play the NES, potentially simultaneously. Additionally, it acts as a wireless range extender adaptor for all wired controllers, with the use of portable, battery-powered, infrared technology. While a normal controller has a range of 3 feet, the NES Satellite expands the usable range to 15 feet. A small infrared receiver plugs into the two controller ports on the front of the NES. The main Satellite unit is powered by six C-cell batteries and must have a line of sight to the receiver. The unit has four controller ports which accommodate any type of wired NES controllers. The unit provides "Turbo" selectors for both the A and B buttons.
There are not many four-player games for the NES that take full advantage of the Satellite's capabilities, so it may be most useful for its wireless function.
A similar four-player adaptor called the NES Four Score was released a year later, although it does not allow wireless play.