The Best Local Co-Op & Split-Screen Games You Can Play On The PS5

There was once a time when almost every home console game on the market featured split-screen multiplayer gameplay. As the popularity of online gaming has increased, however, those looking for the perfect couch co-op title to enjoy with friends or loved ones now find their options severely limited. Thankfully, though, there are still some developers who see the value in local split-screen and co-op multiplayer.

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Although still in its infancy, the PS5 already has a fairly decent selection of local multiplayer games; thanks in large to the console’s backward compatibility with PS4 titles. Many of these games, like Sackboy: A Big Adventure and FIFA 22 confine their action to a single shared screen, but there are plenty of other titles with split-screen options included as well.

ARK: Survival Evolved


Split-screen in Arc: Survival Evolved

  • Number of Players: 1-2
  • Orientation: Horizontal Only

ARK: Survival Evolved can at times feel like a cross between Minecraft and Jurassic Park, with dinosaurs and crafting playing a huge role in Studio Wildcard’s action-adventure survival game. It’s a little rough around the edges in places, but those looking for a decent game that allows them to ride dinosaurs may find that their options are fairly limited beyond the title.


After a somewhat underwhelming launch, ARK: Survival Evolved has come on leaps and bounds over the past few years, with many new features and mechanics added into the game. Sadly, while two-player local co-op is one of them, it currently only works locally or on non-dedicated servers. This shouldn’t be an issue for most players, although those who have already sunk a lot of time into the game on a particular server may find these limitations frustrating.

Borderlands 3


Split-screen in Borderlands 3

  • Number of Players: 1-4
  • Orientation: Vertical or Horizontal

Gearbox Software’s Borderlands series hasn’t changed all that much since making its debut back in late 2009. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though, with the latest entry providing all of the same carnage and loot-oriented gameplay that made earlier entries so enjoyable. It looks great too, and while some may bemoan the lack of innovation, they can at least be thankful that loot drops remain free rather than being locked behind aggressive and predatory microtransactions.


The Borderlands games have always done an excellent job of incorporating split-screen and this is once again the case in Borderlands 3. The game features both horizontal and vertical options and, exclusively on next-gen consoles, as many as four players can get involved at once. While playing online, it’s also possible for additional players to drop into the session, although the maximum number of players at any given time is four.

Call of Duty: Vanguard


call-of-duty-vanguard-horizontal-split-screen

  • Number of Players: 1-2
  • Orientation: Horizontal Only

Call of Duty: Vanguard picks up right where its predecessors left off, providing high octane gunplay and one of the best FPS multiplayer experiences around. The single-player campaign is pretty decent too, but, as seems to be tradition at this point, it finds itself playing second fiddle to the multiplayer madness. With more maps being added on a somewhat regular basis, Vanguard is slowly shaping up to be one of the series’ best entries in years.


Thankfully, split-screen in Call of Duty: Vanguard looks a lot better than it did in Black Ops Cold War, but this does come at the expense of a vertical split-screen option. Couch co-op works for both off and online multiplayer, though both players will need a PS Plus account for the latter. Sadly, couch co-op does not extend to Call of Duty: Vanguard‘s zombies mode, much to the ire of many players.

Dirt 5


Split-screen in Dirt 5

  • Number of Players: 1-4
  • Orientation: Vertical or Horizontal

Dirt 5 is arguably one of the best multiplayer racing games released in the past few years and a great one to enjoy with friends or family on the couch. It features a plethora of cars, carried and challenging courses, and a wide variety of game modes and challenges to keep players busy for hours at a time.


Racing games have always done a fantastic job of implementing split-screen and Dirt 5 is no exception. The game features a plethora of different screen options and, unlike many other split-screen titles, adjusts the field of view accordingly rather than simply maintaining the original aspect ratio and filling the excess space with black bars.

FIFA 22


fifa-22-local-co-op

  • Number of Players: 1-4
  • Orientation: N/A (Shared Screen)

Like many other long-running sports sims, EA’s FIFA franchise is often criticized for its lack of innovation, and for good reason. For years it has felt like the franchise has been treading water, though that’s not really the case with the series’ latest entry. FIFA 22‘s HyperMotion technology helps the game to feel like a true next-gen title and makes it one of the most realistic football games ever made, both in terms of its mechanics and its visuals.

Up to four local players can play the game offline, while two can play together while connected to PSN. Unlink some other co-op games with online multiplayer, only one of these players will need to have a PS Plus account, with the other able to join as a guest by pressing the Triangle button. Local co-op works in just about every game mode, including Volta, Kick Off, and the microtransaction-heavy, FIFA Ultimate Team.

Fortnite


Split-screen in Fortnite

  • Number of Players: 1-2
  • Orientation: Horizontal Only

Having helped to spark the battle royale trend that just doesn’t seem to want to go away, Fortnite has grown from strength to strength. It’s now one of the most popular and most profitable video games of all time, having generated billions of dollars in revenue for its developer and publisher, Epic Games.

Fortnite‘s split-screen mode is beautifully presented, although some may have preferred having a slightly wider field of view rather than character images. That said, it’s arguably a far better solution than simply having black or empty space on the screen as many other developers opt for. Both players are able to take part in the battle royale insanity online and it’s even possible for one player to leave midway through the match without it affecting the other.

Guacamelee! 2


Guacamelee 2 4 Player Coop

  • Number of Players: 1-4
  • Orientation: N/A (Shared Screen)

Players that are seeking high-octane platforming action and a challenging game filled with some great humor should definitely check out Guacamelee! 2. The sequel to 2013’s smash indie hit, this time the release gives players a chance to play cooperatively with a friend.


Set on a single screen, the couch-coop feels smooth and works well, giving players a chance to conquer platforming sections and puzzles together while simultaneously beating down the opposition with a flurry of flashy wrestling moves. Guacamelee! 2 makes the already exciting life of a luchador look even more awe-inspiring thanks to its humorous storyline and fantastic gameplay.

Haven


haven promo art

  • Number of Players: 1-2
  • Orientation: N/A (Shared Screen)

There are a lot of great cooperative games out there that may appeal to couples. Playing a game together can be a fun, easy, and entertaining way to strengthen a relationship. Although most cooperative games feel great with friends, titles like Haven make the experience feel even more fulfilling for couples.

The story follows a pair of lovers that have ended up on a mysterious planet and must co-exist with the alien life found there. It’s relaxing, engaging, and has moments of excitement sprinkled in via exploration and battles. The storyline is engaging and feels realistic. There’s a lot to enjoy with Haven and it looks beautiful on the PS5.

Human: Fall Flat


Human Fall Flat Splitscreen

  • Number of Players: 1-2
  • Orientation: Vertical Only

Those looking for something a little more relaxing and a lot more comedic will definitely want to check out Human: Fall Flat. This hilarious ragdoll-physics-based game is pure fun, featuring a wide array of levels, outfits, and more.

The basic premise sees players trying to make it through hazard-filled levels, or simply trying to get from point A to point B using their less-than-reliable characters. With physics similar to titles like Gang Beasts and Party Animals, Human: Fall Flat is a great game for families. It never takes itself too seriously and can actually be quite challenging in later levels, requiring players to work together to make it to the goal.

It Takes Two


Split-screen in It Takes Two

  • Number of Players: 1-2
  • Orientation: Vertical Only

Games designed specifically with co-op gameplay in mind can often be something of a mixed bag, but, for the most part, at least, It Takes Two manages to hit all the right notes. It looks great, requires a fair amount of critical thinking, and promotes teamwork and cooperation among its players. Perhaps most importantly though, it’s a lot of fun.


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Given that It Takes Two requires two players to complete, it should come as no surprise that it features a local split-screen mode, although for a game centered around co-op gameplay, the lack of a horizontal option is perhaps a little disappointing. Thankfully, that’s just about the only thing about the game that could be described as such. Just about everything seems to have been designed with a two-player experience in mind and the subsequent results really do speak for themselves.

Minecraft


Split-screen in Minecraft

  • Number of Players: 1-4
  • Orientation: Vertical or Horizontal

Despite its advancing years, Minecraft remains just as fresh today as it was when it was first released. The game continues to receive regular updates and, when it comes to visuals, has never looked better thanks to the raw power of modern gaming hardware. It even has support for real-time raytracing and VR, although the latter won’t be much use to those looking to play with a friend.

Couch co-op has been a staple of console versions of the game since day one and allows for up to four players at any given time. The screen can also be split horizontally or vertically, although players may need to tinker with the field of view settings a little to really get the best out of the experience. On a large enough screen, it can feel just like playing solo.


Overcooked 2


overcooked 2 two players

  • Number of Players: 1-4
  • Orientation: N/A (Shared Screen)

While Overcooked 2 isn’t traditionally a “split-screen” game, it’s still one of the best local co-op titles available on the PS5. This release is an absolute blast and an ideal family game thanks to its wholesome yet hectic theme. The action all takes place on one screen, but each player is free to control their own character.

To succeed in Overcooked 2, Players will need to work together to overcome a hazardous kitchen while simultaneously balancing a variety of foods and recipes to cook a spectacular dish. It’s a ton of fun in a group and can be pretty challenging to boot, particularly if not everybody is on the same page.

Rocket League


Split-screen in Rocket League

  • Number of Players: 1-4
  • Orientation: Vertical or Horizontal

Rocket League became an instant success when it was released back in 2015 and, like a fine wine, has only gotten better with age. It’s now completely free to play on all platforms and receives new content updates on a regular basis. For anybody looking for a cross between Forza and FIFA, this is definitely the game for them.

Despite being more than half a decade old, Rocket League remains one of the best local multiplayer experiences out there. The game supports up to four players and allows for either a vertical or horizontal screen split. It’s also possible to play split-screen online against other players, although each player will need their own PSN account to do so. Considering the game supports crossplay, this opens up quite a few possibilities when it comes to playing with or against friends.

Stardew Valley


Split-screen in Stardew Valley

  • Number of Players: 1-4
  • Orientation: Vertical or Horizontal

The success of games like Stardew Valley serves as a true testament to the importance of the indie game scene. Much of the title was developed by just one man, Eric Barone, with the young developer hoping to provide a viable alternative to the Harvest Moon series. Half a decade on from the game’s release, and it seems safe to say that he managed to achieve exactly that – and a whole lot more.

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Split-screen co-op was added to Stardew Valley as part of its 1.5 Update and completely changes the way that the game is played. In order to get started, existing players will first need to ask Robin to build them a cabin, which will set them back 100 gold as well as some resources. As soon as it’s built though, split-screen co-op can be enabled from within the game’s menu. New players can instead enable the setting by default from the “Advanced Options” menu before starting up a new game.

WRC 9


Split-screen in WRC 9

  • Number of Players: 1-2
  • Orientation: Vertical Only

The World Rally Championship series has never quite reached the same heights as some of the more established racing game franchises, although WRC 9 arguably comes pretty close. The game looks great and, much like many of its predecessors, supports both online and local multiplayer.

Despite split-screen functionality being included, however, the inability to alter the orientation of the split in the screen may frustrate some players, as too might the two-player limit. Those only wishing to play with a single friend or family member should be fairly satisfied with the experience that’s on offer though, particularly if they prefer a more rugged driving experience.


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