How to Use the Fortnite Split Screen

Play the game with friends who don't even have a console

Is there split screen in Fortnite? Absolutely. Fortnite may have the reputation of being an online multiplayer video game played by solo gamers on a single device but the title actually supports a hidden split screen mode that allows two separate players to play online together, on the same screen, and at the same time.

The option to use Fortnite’s split screen feature is only available on Xbox and PlayStation consoles. Split screen is not supported on mobile, PC, or the Nintendo Switch.

It's completely understandable to ask if split screen still exists in Fortnite as the option doesn't appear in any menu and is turned on automatically when a second player is detected.

Here’s everything you need to know about how to get split screen on Fortnite on Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS4, or PS5 consoles.

What You Need to Play Fortnite in Split Screen

Unlike most local multiplayer games, there’s a bit of preparation that needs to be done before you can do a split screen Fortnite game on a single console. The good news is that if the two people playing already have their own separate Epic Games accounts set up, you won’t need to do much.

Two male friends sitting on a blue couch playing the Fortnite video game on Xbox One in split screen mode.
Westend61/GettyImages

Here’s what you’ll need to get split screen working in Fortnite:

  • An Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS4, or PS5 video game console.
  • An active internet connection.
  • Two controllers for your video game console.
  • Two separate Epic Games accounts linked to two separate Xbox or PSN accounts.

Why You Need 2 Accounts for Fortnite Split Screen

Even though you’ll have two people playing Fortnite on the same console, separate Epic Games accounts are needed to track and save the progress of each player and store any items they may unlock or purchase.

Epic Games is the company behind Fortnite. Epic Games accounts sync save data between devices so the one Epic Games account can be used to play Fortnite on console, PC, and mobile.

If you’re going to be playing Fortnite on either an Xbox One or Xbox Series X console, you’ll need an Xbox account for the same reason. Similarly, if you’re playing on a PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5, you’ll need a separate PSN account for each player.

The following steps will walk you through setting up accounts, connecting them correctly, and then how to do split screen on Fortnite Xbox and PlayStation style.

How to Do Split Screen on Fortnite

The first thing you’ll need to do is set up your accounts for each player. If both players already have their Epic Games accounts created and they’ve linked them to their Xbox or PSN accounts for their relevant consoles, you can jump to Step 4.

  1. Open a web browser on your computer or smart device and, if you have an Xbox console, create a new Xbox account on the official Xbox website.

    Xbox website.
    Microsoft

    If you have a PS4 or PS5 console, create a new PSN account on the official PlayStation website instead.

    The PlayStation website.
    Sony
  2. Next, go to the official Epic Games website and click Sign In.

    Epic Games website.
    Epic Games
  3. Click Sign In With Xbox Live if you’re using an Xbox account or Sign In With Play Station Network if you’re using a PSN account. Your console account will now be linked with your Epic Games account. Repeat these steps to set up a second account if you need one.

    Epic Games website account connection screen.
    Epic Games

    You don't need to stress about linking your Epic Games and console accounts as they can be unlinked at any time. You can also delete your Epic Games account if you wish.

  4. Turn on your Xbox or PlayStation console and have each player sign in with a controller as per usual.

    Do not share the one controller as this will confuse the system.

  5. Have one player open the Fortnite video game and select Battle Royale.

    Fortnite video game title screen.
    Epic Games

    The name of the primary player, or Player 1, will be shown in the lower-left corner. This user will get to choose the game settings and menus.

  6. First-time Fortnite players may be asked to agree to terms of use. If this happens, click Accept to proceed.

  7. The Fortnite lobby should load as per usual with Player 1 already present on-screen. Instructions will appear along the bottom of the screen, prompting Player 2 to join Player 1's party by holding A on Xbox or X on PlayStation.

    Fortnite lobby with Groot.
    Epic Games

    Hold the requested button for several seconds. If done correctly, the game should begin logging in Player 2. This may take several minutes depending on your internet speed and Epic Games' servers.

    Fortnite video game on Xbox One.
    Epic Games
  8. Player 2 should appear within the lobby behind Player 1. At this point, Player 1 can select game modes, check out the Item Store, and perform other functions as usual.

    Fortnite video game.
    Epic Games

    Note Ready will display above both players' characters but this is normal and will change as soon as the match starts.

  9. If Player 2 needs to access their Locker or other areas, they can gain control by holding down the A button on Xbox or the X button on PlayStation. A menu screen that's slightly smaller than the regular one will appear.

    Player 1 can gain control of the menus again by holding down A or X.

    Player 2 using the menu in Fortnite.
    Epic Games
  10. Once you're both ready, head back to the main screen and begin a match as you usually would. The words Ready should appear above your heads as the game searches for a server.

    Beginning a split screen match in Fortnite.
     Epic Games
  11. Your split screen Fortnite match will now begin with Player 1 on the top and Player 2 on the bottom.

    2-player Fortnite split screen game on Xbox One.
    Epic Games

Is Fortnite Split Screen Disabled?

Epic Games has been known to disable minor and major features in Fortnite due to technical bugs or a conflict with another feature that’s being tested. If the local multiplayer feature has been temporarily disabled, there’s unfortunately no way to get around this and use Fortnite split screen during this period.

A notification will usually tell you when a feature has been disabled when you start the Fortnite game on your console. You can also check the official Fortnite Status Twitter account for up-to-date announcements on features.

An alternative to local split screen Fortnite matches is to have the second player use another device such as a smartphone, computer, tablet, Xbox, PlayStation, or Nintendo Switch.

How to Do Split Screen on Fortnite: Nintendo Switch

Unfortunately, two-player split screen is only supported on Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5 consoles and can’t be activated on a Nintendo Switch. The reason for this is the Nintendo Switch simply isn’t powerful enough to run two games of Fortnite on the one screen at the same time.

This may change in the future but for now you’ll need to use an Xbox or PlayStation for local multiplayer Fortnite matches.