DJ MAX Portable is a music/rhythm game from Korean developer Pentavision. It’s the first entry in the now-popular Portable franchise, laying the foundation for some of the series’ reoccurring artists, songs and bonuses. DJ MAX Portable was released in South Korea on January 16th, 2008 with the International version releasing in October of 2008.

Game Modes

DJ MAX Portable plays akin to games like

Beatmania, Pop’n Music or Rock Band. Rectangular shaped (with the default Note effector) notes scroll down from the top of the screen onto a red line across the note field where the player must hit each corresponding note in time to the beat. DJ MAX Portable is comprised of 3 different control schemes, represented as follows.

Rookie DJing

Rookie DJ Mode Controls

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Rookie DJing is essentially the ‘beginner mode’. Uses only 4 inputs (Left, Up, Triangle and Circle) and consists of a 3-song set.

Pro DJ Mode ControlsPro DJing

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Pro DJing is the normal difficulty. Uses 6 inputs (Left, Up, Right, Square, Triangle and Circle) and consists of a 3-song set.

Master DJing

Master DJ Mode Controls

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Master DJing is the advanced difficulty. Uses 8 inputs (Left, Up, Right, Square, Triangle, Circle and both triggers) and consists of a 3-song set. Master DJing is locked from the get-go, requiring several hours of playtime before unlocking.

Freestyle DJing

Freestyle Mode can be played at any of the 3 available difficulties and does not have a set song list. All the songs unlocked are available to play and combo points carry over from song to song. Certain unlockables, such as songs and UI skins, are unlocked after reaching a specific combo (ex.: 8000).

Club Mode

Club Mode is played at all 3 difficulty levels. Club mode consists of different ‘clubs’ that each have multiple set lists dedicated to one music genre or style. Difficulty varies from each set list, going from the easiest to the hardest.


The Gallery is the area in which you can view all the images, movies and Discs you’ve unlocked throughout playing the game.

Ranking Chart

Ranking Chart is the area where you can view your high scores obtained in each mode.

Main Menu options

The game opens on a Main Menu, the first option being “Portable”. This is the main game. Here are the two other options:


This is, essentially, a music player that allows you to listen to the game’s soundtrack. Full version of songs can be unlocked within the game by achieving certain challenges.

M/V Clips

This allows you to watch the background animation/videos for each song in the game.


Effectors, Notes and Gears

DJ MAX Portable has an Effector Setting screen, available during song selection by pressing either trigger. Gears are the note track and Notes are the notes themselves. As you play through the game, hitting certain score targets or going past a certain combo score, you’ll unlock new Gears and Notes which each have separate effects, like HP 20 or MAX 20%, for example. Effectors can also be added on top, throwing in changes like the scrolling speed, note fader, mirroring tracks, etc.


Combos have been a large part of DJ MAX games, going to lengths of having new tracks, images, music videos or OST tracks unlock as you hit a certain combo number. Combos carry over from song to song in regular gameplay modes that, in modes like Free Mode, can allow players to reach combos of 10,000, 80,000, 100,000 notes.

Song List

Song Title Composer Genre Visualizer
바람에게 부탁해 (Ask the Wind) Forte Escape Fantasy Pop Tako Ashin
End of the Moonlight Forte Escape Techno Pop US
Enemy Storm Croove Hardcore Jay
Extreme Z4 Forte Escape Break Beat Kinys
Light House xxdbxx Happycore ECO
Luv Flow 3rd Coast RnB Medium Ayamy
Never Say ND Lee Jungle Pop Eyehead
Out Law Croove Nu Skool D
Ray of Illuminati ESTi Euro Dance Eter, Tari, ECO
Save My Dream Forte Escape Acid Dance Napa
Sunny Side Croove Bright RnB Tiv
One The Love xxdbxx Beer House Eyehead
Long Vacation ESTi School House Tari
Can We Talk Forte Escape Acid Jazz Aqualix
JBG Croove Yellow Hiphop Eyehead
Eternal Memory ~소녀의 꿈~ M2U Fantasy Pop NG
Masai Croove New Wave ECO
NB Ranger M2U Scream Punk NG, ECO, Tari
SIN ESTi Drum n Bass Ress
Funky Chups Forte Escape Funky Electro Eyehead
Fever GJ xxdbxx Nu HnS Eyehead
Futurism Forte Escape Electro Fusion NG
아침형 인간 ND Lee 80’s 8bit D-myo
Astro Fight Forte Escape Funky Stomp ECO
FTR 슈퍼꼬마 Supbaby Electro House Tari & Eter
ON ND Lee 2step Slow RB
Let’s go Baby 3rd Coast Hiphop Miyu
Jupiter Driving xxdbxx Techno Stock Eyehead
Elastic Star Forte Escape Acid House Eyehead
KUDA GonZo Techno Core NG
Bright Dream M2U Anime House Tari
Catch Me Forte Escape Alternative Rock Arms
Red Croove RnB Tari & Eter
복수혈전 Revenge ND Lee Hardcore ECO
Para-Q Forte Escape Drum n Bass ECO
Temptation S-TRO 2step Garage Eyehead
Oblivion ESTi Dramatic Trance D-myo
Rock or Die Nien Hardcore BS
차이코프스키 피아노협주곡 1번
(Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1)
Wavfactory (Remix) Classic ECO
Triple ZOE Forte Escape Progressive Rock ECO
Ya! Party! Forte Escape Candy Pop Tari & Eter
Minimal Life Earbreaker Techno ECO & Tina
Road of Death Nien Hardcore Necobus
A.I. Forte Escape Techno Kinys
Fear 슈퍼꼬마 Supbaby Drum n Bass Tina
레모네이드 (Lemonade) M2U Lounge DnB Tari
Chrono Breakers Nien Ani Pop Ress
Memory of Beach M2U Dance Pop Apple
Dreadnought Earbreaker Big Beat ECO
River Flow Planetboom Groovy Pop Ayamy
Hamsin makou Trance Ache
Sunny Side ~deepn’soul mix~ Croove, Mixed by makou Soul Tiv
Oblivion ~Rockin’ Night Style~ ESTi, Mixed by Nien Fusion Rock D-Myo
SIN ~The Last Scene~ ESTi Drum n Bass Ress
Blythe M2U Synth DnB D
CnP CrooFE Electro Funk None

DJ MAX Portable International Version

Later after the game’s original release, an Internation Version was released including a host of changes. The biggest change was the inclusion of Japanese and English language options, making the International Version of the game an incredibly import-friendly title. Some songs were also removed due to content deemed unfit for international audiences, biggest on in particular being the song “Dreadnought” due to it’s video depiction of President George W. Bush.

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