How to Activate Split-Screen Local Co Op Mode in Minecraft

Playing Minecraft with friends on the same screen is a fun and social experience. With split-screen functionality, up to 4 players can join in on the block-building action on a single device.

As a long-time Minecraft player on multiple platforms including Java and Bedrock editions, I will provide a step-by-step guide on how to activate local split-screen co-op mode. Whether you play on console or PC, this guide has you covered.

On Consoles

Activating local co-op mode on consoles like PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo Switch is straightforward.

What You Need

  • A console connected to a TV via HDMI cable
  • Enough controllers for each player, up to 4
  • A Minecraft game that supports split screen mode
  • Multiplayer settings enabled


  1. Connect your console to your TV display via an HDMI cable. Ensure your TV resolution is at least 720p.
  2. Launch Minecraft on your console. For Legacy console editions, go to Play Game > Load/Create. For Bedrock editions, select Create New or an existing save.
  3. Adjust game settings to your preference and launch the world. For Bedrock editions, enable Multiplayer Game in settings first.
  4. Press a button on the additional controllers to automatically connect them. Each player will be prompted to join.
  5. Once all players have joined, the screen will split into sections for each player. You’re now ready to play co-op!

The steps are mostly similar across PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo Switch. Simply ensure you have the necessary hardware and launch local multiplayer mode.

On PC (Java Edition)

Enabling split screen on the Java Edition Minecraft requires additional software. Here’s what you need:

What You Need

  • 2 or more keyboards, mice and monitors
  • Minecraft Java Edition
  • Minecraft Forge Mod Loader
  • Controllable Mod
  • Nucleus Coop


  1. Download and install Forge for your Minecraft version. Launch the Forge profile once.
  2. Install the Controllable mod into your Forge instance. This lets you control a player with different inputs.
  3. Download Nucleus Coop. This will launch multiple Minecraft instances with separate controls.
  4. Open the first Minecraft instance through Nucleus Coop and start a world.
  5. Open the second instance. Join the first player’s world opened to LAN.
  6. Repeat for additional players. Use Controllable mod to configure controls for each instance.

With the correct mods and software setup, you can play local co-op even on multiple monitors. This does require more hardware than consoles, but enables flexible split screen configurations.

On PC (Bedrock Edition)

Unfortunately the Bedrock Edition of Minecraft does not officially support split screen play on PC. The developers have stated technical limitations prevent this feature from being implemented.

Some players have managed split screen through unofficial means, but this requires advanced configuration. I do not recommend pursuing this method unless you have extensive technical knowledge.

For easy local co-op on PC, the Java Edition with mods is the best approach.

Troubleshooting Issues

Here are some common issues and solutions for getting split screen working:

Second player gets stuck loading

  • Reset the world or device
  • Check console accounts and permissions
  • Disable Multiplayer Game setting (Bedrock)

Can’t connect additional controllers

  • Update console and game to latest versions
  • Check controller connections and batteries
  • Use registered accounts for all players

Black bars on split screen

  • TV resolution may be too low – use 720p HDMI
  • Adjust screen bounds in Settings (Java Edition)

Controls not working properly

  • Configure controls properly in Controllable mod (Java Edition)
  • Assign different controllers to each player

Split screen too small

  • Ensure console is docked if playing on Nintendo Switch
  • TV may be too small – a larger display is ideal

Can’t join friend’s world

  • Check Multiplayer Game is ON (Bedrock)
  • Ensure multiplayer settings allow join requests
  • Have friend invite you directly to their world

If issues persist, seeking help on Minecraft community forums can help troubleshoot unusual cases.

Tips for Playing Split Screen

Here are some tips from my experience for enjoying smooth local co-op with friends:

  • Coordinate goals – Decide on group objectives to avoid getting separated
  • Share resources – Pool materials so everyone can contribute
  • Specialize roles – Divide jobs like mining, crafting and building
  • Communicate – Constantly talk so everyone knows what’s happening
  • Take turns – Switch which player leads the way each session
  • Have fun! – Most importantly, play together and make memories!

Playing couch co-op encourages teamwork and makes achievements feel more rewarding. I hope this guide covered everything you need to start playing local multiplayer. Let me know if you have any other questions!