How to Play Split-Screen on Modern Warfare 2

Modern Warfare 2 (MW2), the latest instalment in Activision’s blockbuster Call of Duty franchise, has finally arrived. MW2 offers an action-packed single-player campaign, expansive multiplayer modes, and the new DMZ mode. One classic Call of Duty feature making a return is split-screen multiplayer, allowing two players to team up or face off on the same screen.

Split-screen support provides a nostalgic couch co-op experience in the living room. While the early Call of Duty games supported up to four players in split-screen, MW2 is limited to two players. Still, battling side-by-side with a friend or family member significantly increases the fun factor.

Here is everything you need to know about playing split-screen multiplayer in Modern Warfare 2:

Requirements for Split-Screen

To access the split-screen in MW2, you need to fulfil a couple of requirements:

  • Two controllers – Each player needs their controller, whether it’s a gamepad, keyboard & mouse, etc. MW2 does not support a split-screen with a single controller.
  • Activision account – Both players must have their own Activision ID account to log in. This allows you to track stats and progression for each profile separately.
  • Multiplayer mode – Split-screen is only available in MP, not the campaign or Spec Ops modes.

How to Set Up Split-Screen

Once you meet the requirements above, setting up a split-screen is straightforward:

  1. Turn on your console and launch Modern Warfare 2.
  2. Connect both controllers and sign into each player’s Activision account when prompted.
  3. Navigate to the Multiplayer menu from the Main Menu.
  4. Look for the split-screen prompt in the top right corner and press the button shown – X on PlayStation, A on Xbox, or Space on the keyboard & mouse.
  5. The second player can now join the lobby by signing in to their Activision ID.

You should see the horizontal split-screen layout activate, with the leading player on top and the second player on the bottom. Now, you’re ready to start matchmaking!

How to Play Split-Screen on Modern Warfare 2

Split-Screen Compatible Game Modes

While split-screen is available in MP, it does not support all modes. Split-screen can only be accessed in specific game types:

  • Team Deathmatch
  • Kill Confirmed
  • Domination
  • Hardpoint
  • Headquarters
  • Search and Destroy
  • Prisoner Rescue
  • Knock Out
  • Third-Person Moshpit
  • Private Match

Some notable modes like Ground War, Invasion, and Free-For-All do not allow split-screen. The excellent news is fan favourites like Team DM and Domination Cut.

Playing Split-Screen Multiplayer

Once split-screen is enabled, the gameplay itself functions like regular multiplayer. Both players share the same profile level and progression.

Here are some tips to get the best experience playing split-screen:

  • Use the Ping system to mark objectives, enemies, and loot for your teammate. Clear communication is critical.
  • Pick complimentary Loadouts – e.g. one sniper and one SMG rush class. Coordinate your roles.
  • Stick together instead of flanking separately. Teamwork is powerful in close quarters.
  • Consider turning off the Mini-map Rotation if it’s disorienting. Have it fixed North permanently.
  • Adjust the Horizontal Split option to expand Player 1 or Player 2’s screen.
  • Try out the Co-Op Filter to find other split-screeners to match with.

Split-screen inherently makes MW2 more challenging with the limited field of view. But overcoming that as a tight-knit team is extremely rewarding – and most importantly, fun.

Limitations of Split-Screen

While split-screen multiplayer enhances the classic MW2 experience, there are some limitations to note:

  • Limited modes – As outlined above, not all MP modes are compatible with split-screen.
  • Two players only – Unlike 4-player split-screen in older CoD games, MW2 is capped at two players per screen.
  • Horizontal split only – There is no option for vertical or 4-way split-screen.
  • No AI bots – Cannot add bots to fill empty player slots like solo MP.
  • Progression carries over – Stats and unlocks are shared across both profiles.
  • Limited field of view – Each player has less visual area than solo play.
  • No campaign/Spec Ops – Split-screen is MP only.
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While minor drawbacks, these limitations should not outweigh the fun of playing together in person. Embrace the split-screen challenge for some quality couch co-op!

Tips for Competing Against Solo Players

If you queue up split-screen for matchmaking, you will often compete against solo players who have the advantage of complete individual-screen real estate.

To help level the playing field, here are tips when battling solo gamers:

  • Leverage your communication – Coordinate attacks and callouts.
  • Stick together and watch each other’s blind spots.
  • Play the objective since you can more easily coordinate.
  • Flank intelligently without straying too far from a teammate.
  • Use the Ping system constantly to mark enemies and objectives.
  • Equip Target Finder scope to highlight enemies at a distance.
  • Run Radar Perk to expand mini-map visibility.
  • Have fun – Don’t worry about K/D; focus on enjoying quality time gaming.

Practice makes perfect – the more you play split-screen, the more natural it will feel. Let the close-knit teamwork bring you together and overcome the solo players.

The Future of Split-Screen

Split-screen multiplayer has become increasingly rare in recent years, especially in AAA shooters. Fortnite completely lacks split-screen capability. Halo and Call of Duty ditched four-player split-screen after a long-time staple.

MW2 marking the return of even 2-player split-screen multiplayer is fresh air. Playing couch co-op creates bonding memories and provides a unique challenge for duos. The 4-player split-screen will likely return, but the 2-player is better than nothing.

Hopefully, MW2’s split-screen support ushers in a renaissance for the classic feature in leading franchises. For now, squad up with a partner and enjoy quality split-screen time in Modern Warfare 2. Cherish these moments of true cooperative, in-person multiplayer before the era permanently disappears.


Split-screen multiplayer is a beloved way to play Call of Duty, granting immersive cooperative action in the living room. MW2 allows two players to team up in various competitive and quick play modes for double the fun.

To access the split-screen, ensure you have two controllers and Activision accounts, and select the split-screen prompt in the MP menu. Stick together, leverage voice comms, and flank intelligently to overcome the limited field of view.

Split-screen does have some drawbacks, like 2-player only and limited mode support. But the shared experience outweighs these limits. MW2’s split-screen feature reinstates the cherished direct cooperation fading in modern gaming.

Team up with a fellow MW2 player, lock in those Loadouts, and battle side-by-side in split-screen. The nostalgic couch co-op action offers an irreplaceable way to squad up and make memories together.