Screenshot by GameSkinny

CoD MW3: How to Play Split Screen Multiplayer

Here's how to play split screen multiplayer in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

Playing any game with friends is always a better time than squadding up with randoms. While you can do so online in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, you may be wondering if you can team up on the same console or platform. Here’s how to play CoD MW3 split screen multiplayer.

Recommended Videos

How to Play Split Screen Multiplayer in CoD MW3

Here’s what you’ll need to play multiplayer with a friend on the same TV or monitor:

  • Two controllers.
  • Two separate PlayStation accounts/Xbox profiles.
  • Two separate Activision accounts.

While you can play split screen multiplayer with two keyboards and two mice, I don’t recommend it for obvious reasons. It’s a chaotic setup that will simply turn into a mess. Further, I’m playing Modern Warfare 3 on PS5, and I haven’t been able to independently confirm whether you also need two Steam or accounts to play split screen on PC — though, I’d hazard to say you likely will.

Screenshot by GameSkinny

Next, follow these steps:

  • Go to CoD HQ.
  • Turn on your second controller.
  • Sign into a separate account from Player 1.
  • Press X (PlayStation) or A (Xbox) to join split screen.
  • If the second profile doesn’t have an Activision account, you’ll be prompted to make one.
  • You can then change your display name if you choose.

After that’s complete, you’ll return to the Call of Duty HQ screen, and you’ll see two circles/avatars in the top right corner. You can press R3 to see your party, which should have two Operators.

How to Play Online Matches in Split Screen

  • Select a multiplayer playlist that appears at the bottom of the HQ screen. Alternatively, scroll down one page and select multiplayer, then a playlist mode.
  • Stay in the lobby to play with other players.
  • Leave the lobby to choose a different multiplayer mode.

Related: All MW3 Multiplayer Game Modes Explained

How to Make Private Split Screen Matches

Screenshot by GameSkinny
  • After adding a second player, scroll down one page on the Call of Duty HQ screen.
  • Tab all the way to the right to find the Private Match/Custom Match option.
  • Choose “Create Private Match.”

After loading into the lobby, you can select “Game Setup” to change the game type, map, and rules. You can also invite other players on the right side, as well as add bots by clicking the plus symbol (+) underneath your names on the right side. Each player can add up to 15 bots each.

Other game modes not available in online split screen multiplayer are available here, such as Free-for-All, Hardpoint, Kill Confirmed, and Gun Game.

What Online Modes Support Split Screen Multiplayer?

Not every mode in Modern Warfare 3 supports split screen multiplayer. For example, you won’t be able to play the campaign or Zombies in split screen with a friend on the same console or PC. Those modes are only available to play with friends in online multiplayer. Further, not every multiplayer mode supports split screen either, including online Free-for-All. Here are the ones that do:

  • War Mode
  • Cutthroat
  • Team Deathmatch

How to Fix Connection Failed Travis Shipton

Screenshot by GameSkinny

Playing split screen multiplayer requires that both profiles be logged into their respective online systems. For example, any second account must be logged into the PlayStation Network to play split screen on PS5. It appears when pressing X or A to join split screen after logging in.

I ran into this error message testing split screen for this guide since I had to make a new account on my console. Logging into PSN with my second profile fixed the issue.

That’s how to play split screen multiplayer in CoD MW3. For more tips and tricks, such as the best loadouts, how to check your K/D, and all mastery camos, and much more, click the links or head over to our Modern Warfare 3 guides hub.

GameSkinny is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Jonathan Moore
Jonathan Moore
Jonathan Moore is the Editor-in-Chief of GameSkinny and has been writing about games since 2010. With over 1,200 published articles, he's written about almost every genre, from city builders and ARPGs to third-person shooters and sports titles. While patiently awaiting anything Dino Crisis, he consumes all things Star Wars. He has a BFA in Creative Writing and an MFA in Creative Writing focused on games writing and narrative design. He's previously been a newspaper copy editor, ad writer, and book editor. In his spare time, he enjoys playing music, watching football, and walking his three dogs. He lives on Earth and believes in aliens, thanks to Fox Mulder.