The three pillars of the Call of Duty franchise, at least since World at War, have been the campaign, multiplayer, and zombies modes. Between these, multiplayer and zombies have always been designed for multiple people to play at once. The campaigns have stuck to being solo experiences meant to take you on a fairly short but bombastic and thrilling adventure through whatever setting that particular game is set in. In Call of Duty: Vanguard’s case, we’re back to good old World War 2. While that’s all well and good, it’s the other modes that keep people playing these games for months on end.
Split-screen play has almost disappeared over the last generation. While it was almost a staple for any multiplayer game, Call of Duty included, to allow at least two players on the same console to share a screen for some local fun, it has quickly fallen away in favor of purely online multiplayer. For anyone who wants to team up with or compete against a friend on the same console, you’re probably curious as to whether this game will even let you do so. If you’re holding out on jumping into Call of Duty: Vanguard until you know if it supports split-screen play and how it works, here’s what you need to know.
The short answer to this question is yes, but with a few caveats. The first and most important being that you can’t play every mode in Call of Duty: Vanguard in split-screen. Obviously, the campaign is designed for just one player, so don’t expect that to change with this title. That leaves the Zombies and multiplayer modes, of which you can only play multiplayer via split-screen. That’s right, the co-op-focused mode that almost begs to be played split-screen does not support that feature. However, this was true of the mode for last year’s Call of Duty and was thankfully added in a later update. Hopefully the same is true for Call of Duty: Vanguard, but for now, you will have to party up with friends online in this mode.
The other major caveat for split-screen is somewhat obvious, but worth mentioning either way. There’s no split-screen support of any kind for PC players and is only available to those playing on PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One, or Xbox Series X or S. PC players typically never get split-screen options, so most don’t expect it, but it is nice when available.
Setting up a split-screen game is as simple as it was in any past Call of Duty title. All you need to do is enter the multiplayer mode, which you’ll remember is the only mode you can play in split-screen, and turn on a second controller. This will make a prompt appear where the second player can hit either X or A depending on if they’re on a PlayStation or Xbox console to sign in either on a second account or as a guest. Once done, you’re free to go ahead and start either playing against one another or playing together in any team-based modes online.