By Cody Perez
December 23, 2019
Fortnite battle royale is the game that has made Epic Games the powerhouse that it is today. World-renowned and one of the biggest games around the world on all its platforms. Much of this fame and success comes from how the developer treats the game.
Whereas other multiplayer games follow trends of other big titles and slightly modify them, Fortnite has taken what makes online multiplayer, shooting games and battle royale titles great. They transitioned it into something all its own.
Fortnite is the trendsetter that brought us the more accessible battle royale game with a popular seasonal battle pass system, live experiences like concerts, excellent collaboration events and more. But this latest addition to the game is not one that breaks new ground.
Instead, it is something that takes what used to make multiplayer shooting games tremendous and brought it back, seemingly from the dead. In that way, it is one of the most surprising additions that no one saw coming, which says something considering how often things leak for battle royale.
Players can now play the battle royale experience online in splitscreen mode. This is nothing new to multiplayer. It is something we haven’t seen in a long time for a major online multiplayer game like this, outside of a few exceptions like Call of Duty titles. Mainstream online games abandoned splitscreen multiplayer.
With the advent of services like Xbox Live and Steam, there is no need to play with a friend in person on the same system. You can just send them a quick invite to join you instantly. But, thankfully, Epic Games has not let this stop them from giving it a comeback.
Epic Games released the latest downloadable update for the game in the form of patch version 11.30. In the official patch notes, the first thing noted is the new splitscreen feature in the game. Players can enjoy playing together with a friend or family member in real life in the same room and on the same screen.
This is extremely surprising for a game that is all about connecting players from around the world to battle it out in large-scale matches of 100 players each. But somehow Epic Games made this feature work with restrictions involved, of course.
Our Fortnite splitscreen guide covers some restrictions that you should keep in mind. The biggest one is the actual systems where you can use the Fortnite splitscreen mode while playing battle royale.
The Fortnite splitscreen mode is not available on every platform. Part of what makes the game so popular is the fact that it is available free-to-play on every modern platform out there from PS4 to Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, Mac, Android and iOS.
However, the Fortnite splitscreen mode is only available on the PS4 and Xbox One systems. It isn’t available on Nintendo Switch currently, which is a bummer for those who play battle royale on there.
If you want to take advantage of this feature, you need your PS4 or Xbox One console connected to your TV.
The platforms that allow splitscreen aren’t the only restrictions. There are some more restrictions like which game modes you can play splitscreen multiplayer on.
One restriction is that you need another controller. You won’t accomplish this feature with just one controller on your system. Be sure to have at least two PS4 or Xbox One controllers available.
It also wouldn’t make sense for you use it on all the modes anyways. For instance, solo mode is for players who are by themselves and are trying to survive, so you would be giving players using splitscreen an unfair advantage if they had access to it.
There are some game modes where you would potentially have issues like the online ranked modes of Arena and the tournament playlists. As such, the splitscreen feature is currently only available in the standard playlists of duos and squads.
Duos allow the player to team up with one other person and battle it out against 49 other teams of two players each. On the other hand, the squads mode is one of the staples in battle royale where you have a full team of four players, each battling it out against other squads to see who comes out on top.
With those two modes only, you can play with the splitscreen feature turned on. One thing to watch out for, though, even if you use it is the chance that bugs might appear. Splitscreen is in an early release phase right now, so there could be a chance of issues with it.
Players may experience strange bugs that wouldn’t happen if you were playing solo. Also, you could run into performance problems that could occur for various reasons. There could be a possibility of frame rate drops where the game slows down due to two players on the same system.
You could even run into issues of lag as the game is trying to keep up with both players on the same internet connection and platform with two screens splitting your TV in half. There is no telling what issues could crop up from this feature, so be aware of that as you use it.
Our Fortnite splitscreen guide details how you can take full advantage of the new Fortnite splitscreen mode. First, connect your second controller to the console of your choosing: PS4 or Xbox One. When you do so, be sure to open the game.
In the main battle royale lobby with a second controller attached to it, the game prompts you to play splitscreen mode. It asks the second player to interact with the game using a specific button, depending on which platform you are on.
When the second player follows the in-game prompt, they should appear in the main lobby for battle royale. From there, the first player selects the duos or the squads modes.
After that, you can enjoy the splitscreen mode and play along with someone visiting for the holidays or who doesn’t have their own system. This is also an excellent of playing with your kids or loved one, bonding and having a good competitive time along the way.
But we would be lying if we didn’t say that there are some changes that we would like to see come to the splitscreen mode for the game. It is in the most basic state right now, with plenty of room for improvements and additions soon.
The first and most important one to us is the expansion of the platform availability for the splitscreen feature. We aren’t asking to use this on mobile, but it would be nice if you could do it on PC or Nintendo Switch. PC is good because one player could be on keyboard and mouse and the other on a controller.
Or, both players could use a controller hooked up to the PC wirelessly. As for Nintendo Switch, this is a no-brainer. The Switch is one of the few platforms that is revitalizing the local cooperative multiplayer experience. It feels wrong not to have this option.
We could see the Nintendo Switch implementation requiring both players to have a full set of Joy-Cons or a Pro Controller, but even that would be better than no support at all. The game did come to that platform after PS4 and Xbox One, so we suspect that this is just a case of when it will come rather than if it will.
Another addition that we would like to see is the chance for up to four players to split the TV screen and play together. This would, of course, be restricted to squads only for more than two players, but the option to have a whole squad of friends playing together would be great.
This is likely a case of performance concerns as to why it isn’t available just yet. Once the two-player splitscreen mode has been optimized well, we imagine the four-player option will arrive soon after that. Which brings us to our next point.
This is an obvious one as well, but we want to see general stability and other improvements for the feature. This is something that will likely happen over time. It would be great to see the feature optimized so that it runs rather smoothly so long as you have a stable internet connection.
The final improvement that we want to see is the expansion of the splitscreen feature to other game modes in battle royale. We aren’t asking for it to be available in the competitive modes as we think that would be too complicated and certainly not for solo modes either.
But we would like to see it become available in Team Rumble first. It is a large team mode where players are split into squads of four that make up two bigger teams. There is no reason for the splitscreen to not be available in this mode.
Also, we would like to see it become available in the Creative and Playgrounds modes, too, so that players can sit on the couch together and plan out various maps and game modes of their own to create. Lastly, it would make sense for event modes to have this as well so long as they are special team ones like the Avengers: Endgame crossover event.