Not immediately obvious, but one of the cool features available in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is the availability of multiplayer services in split screen mode. This means you can share your TV with your friends and dive into Cold War multiplayer while relaxing on the same sofa.
However, while it’s nice to have split-screen options other than private matches, it’s not clear to enable local split-screen in the Cold War. There are also some caveats when using modes on the console. Specifically, you’ll need two Xbox Live Gold accounts or two PlayStation Network accounts to play split screen online. Don’t expect split screen to be a workaround for forking online subscription fees to console makers.
Here’s everything you need to know to set up split screen for both online and local play on the console in all modes of Cold War.
Step 1: Sign in to the second controller
You’ll need a second controller before you enter the Cold War. On the second controller, sign in to your console account. You can sign in with a guest account on either the PlayStation or the Xbox console family, rather than the account associated with PSN or Xbox Live. This works for some variations of multiplayer, but keep in mind that you can’t play online using a guest account. If you use a guest account, you will be restricted to local play.
If you play online, be sure to sign in to your Xbox Live or PSN account with a second controller. Also, keep in mind that you need a separate Activision account to play online. This account can be set up or signed in when you load Cold War.
Step 2: Set the orientation
With Cold War, you can adjust the split screen settings to arrange the splits horizontally (stack two screens) or vertically (place them side by side). You can adjust between the two in the graphics settings menu, so check it before committing to a multiplayer game and notice the confusion.
Step 3: Switch between online and offline
Accessing the Cold War main menu gives you options for playing campaigns, multiplayer, zombies, and dead ops arcades. At the bottom of the screen is the information you are looking for. It is a setting to switch between online playback and offline playback. You should be able to switch this with the touch of a button on your controller.
Switching to offline mode allows you to load from the internet into selected multiplayer lobbies that cannot be filled by other players. In offline mode, you can use the console guest account to play split screen to another player.
Step 4: Head to the lobby
In either case, once you’re in the multiplayer lobby, look for the prompt on the right side of the screen to learn how to sign in to split screen. Similar to switching between online and offline, you can switch to split screen with the push of a button. This will also automatically add the player for the second controller to the in-game party.
If you’re searching for online games, choosing what type of match you want to play (in zombies, when you start a scenario) will fill the rest of the lobby as usual. In local play, it loads directly into the game, but of course it’s a bit empty.