How to play Fortnite split-screen on PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch, and PC - Dot Esports

How to play Fortnite split-screen on PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch, and PC

Prepare for trouble, and make it double.

Image via Epic Games

Though multiplayer gaming has made major progress over the last decade, things weren’t always as easy as they are now. Back in the early days of gaming, playing a multiplayer game meant playing a co-op with a friend on a split-screen setup. The need for split-screen compatibility has decreased significantly since almost everyone owns either a console, smartphone, or PC. Still, nothing beats that shoulder-to-shoulder thrill of a gaming experience you’ll get while playing on a split screen.

Fortnite is one of the most competitive battle royale games on the market, and it gets even more exciting when you play side by side with a friend. Fortnite is split-screen compatible and you’ll only need a spare controller to jump into the action with your duo partner. There are a couple of steps you’ll need to go through, however, but the whole process shouldn’t take longer than 10 minutes to set up for the first time.

After completing all the steps for the first time, you should be able to hop into a match with split screen almost instantaneously, meaning this is also an excellent time investment for the next time you have guests over.

Here’s everything you need to know to play Fortnite on split screen.

How to play Fortnite split screen on PlayStation 4

You’ll need a spare controller and a secondary PlayStation Network account saved on your system to initiate the split screen mode in Fortnite

  • Launch the game with your primary PlayStation Network account and create either a duo or squad lobby since these are the only two modes you’ll be able to play on split screen.
  • Once you set up the lobby, turn on the second controller, and select your spare PlayStation Network account when the system asks you, “Who is using this controller?” 
  • After you select your user, a small menu item should appear on your screen’s bottom right corner. The option should prompt you to press and hold “X” to log in as player two. Doing so will launch Fortnite once again, and the game will ask you to link an account if you haven’t already.
  • If the second player has a Fortnite account of their own, they’ll need to enter the code that appears on your screen by navigating to Epic Games’ activation page and logging into their account. We recommend completing this process via a phone or tablet since it can be hard to navigate around PlayStation’s browser.

In any circumstances where the second player doesn’t have a Fortnite account or doesn’t want to complete the linking process, you’ll need to create a separate Epic account to link with your console. 

You’ll need to head over to the sign-up page of Fortnite and create a new account either with an email or your secondary PlayStation Network account. Creating a new Fortnite account for your second PlayStation Network account can be more beneficial in the long term since you won’t have to go through the linking process again and everyone will be able to log in with your guest account instantly.

The second player can become the party leader and take control by holding down “X” in the lobby. Both players will need to ready up by pressing the triangle button while they’re in control to start the game.

The game will automatically load into split screen mode and both screens will be marked with players’ avatar to indicate which side of the screen you’ll need to focus on.

How to play Fortnite split screen on PlayStation 5

  • Press the PlayStation Home button on your DualSense controller.
  • You’ll get a prompt to sign in a new user.
  • You can choose Add User and then Quick Play.
  • After doing so, you’ll see an option to Log In with your secondary controller on the bottom of your screen by pressing Triangle.
  • Once you press Triangle, a new screen will pop up where you or your friend will need to sign in by either entering their login details or using the PlayStation App.
  • Upon logging into the secondary account, Fortnite will start loading again and you should be able to see two characters waiting in the lobby after a short delay.

How to play Fortnite split screen on Xbox One

Setting up a split screen on an Xbox in Fortnite is almost identical to the process on PlayStation.

  • You’ll need to log into Fortnite with your main account, and set up a duo or a squad lobby. Once the lobby is ready to go, take out your second Xbox controller and press or hold the Xbox button until the side menu appears.
  • Sign in with a separate Xbox account through “Switch Profile” or create one before logging in. After completing the login process, a new menu item on the bottom right corner of your screen should appear. Pressing and holding the button “A” will let the second player log into Fortnite, but the game may ask you to link a Fortnite account first.
  • If you already have a Fortnite account that you play on PC or any other device, you can link it with your Xbox account by entering the code that’ll appear on your screen through Epic’s activation page. We recommend creating a separate Epic account for split-screen purposes so new guests won’t have to link their accounts all the time. 
  • Once you have both accounts in a lobby, you’ll need to ready up on both of them to start a game. You’ll need to take over as the secondary player to complete the ready up process 

How to play Fortnite split screen on Xbox Series X/S

  • Launch Fortnite with your main account.
  • Once you get to the lobby, turn on the second controller.
  • A new option will pop up on the bottom of your screen, and you’ll be able to log in with a secondary account by pressing and holding Y.
  • Xbox will then ask who’ll be playing with the secondary controller, and you’ll be able to log in with a secondary Microsoft account.
  • Upon logging in with a secondary account, Fortnite will start loading again and the secondary account will appear in the lobby after a brief delay.

Can you play Fortnite split screen on Switch or PC?

Image via Epic Games

The split screen feature is only available on PlayStation and Xbox for now. The main reason why it isn’t available on Nintendo Switch is that the device isn’t powerful enough to run two instances of Fortnite side by side.

While most gaming PCs will be powerful enough to run three instances of Fortnite, Epic has no way of identifying different users as it can on consoles. The separate accounts that you can assign to other players on consoles allow Epic to tell the difference between player one and two.

At the time of writing, Epic Games has no plans to introduce split screen to PC and Nintendo Switch, meaning the feature continues to be a console exclusive.

You can still use other devices to squad up with your friends thanks to the crossplay feature of Fortnite, however.

Are there any disadvantages to playing Fortnite on split screen?

If you have a competitive spirit, you should know that the split screen feature significantly reduces your screen’s real estate per player. This makes it harder to spot enemies and can make building fights more challenging.

You can make up for this by communicating with your split-screen partner or squadmates, however, since callouts will help you find enemies that you otherwise might not be able to see. 

Since your system will be powering two instances of Fortnite, the usual frames-per-second (FPS) values will suffer as well. The average FPS you should get while playing on split screen will range between 30 and 45.

Which Fortnite game modes can you play in split screen? 

Despite featuring many different game modes, the number of ways you can play Fortnite in a split-screen setup will be limited. Solo, Creative, and Team Rumble game modes will be disabled when you activate the split-screen feature.

The Duos and Squads game modes will be the only available modes to split-screen users in most cases. Regardless of the game mode, both players will have their separate inventories and won’t be able to share looted items automatically unless they manually do it themselves.

If you can’t seem to enable the split-screen function by using the recommended method for your console, chances are Epic may have disabled the feature due to a bug or anomaly. In such situations, Epic generally lets the players know through its social media channels. The feature becomes available once again when Epic fixes the underlying errors and bugs. The time it takes for split screen to return, when it’s down, depends on Epic’s schedule.