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Halo 5: Guardians has been out for nearly a week, but fans of the game are a bit peeved by the lack of split-screen multiplayer still.

In a recent video interview with Gamesradar, Halo 5 director Frank O’Connor stated that split-screen co-op play will not be coming out for Halo 5: Guardians at all. “Realistically for Halo 5, it’s not something we can just throw in a patch.” states O’Connor. “The simulation the game runs at is 60 frames per second…it’s just not feasible with the engine works.”

O’Connor goes onto say that even if split-screen were possible, it is just not worth the effort due to the number of fans who would utilize it. O’Connor claims that the real numbers for fans would also be low.

However, O’Connor is open to having future games in the Halo franchise in having split-screen, fully admiting that the response to removing it from the game was overwhelming. “So we’ll talk about it for the next and we’ll talk about it for the future,” states O’Connor. “But it really is a giant technical hurdle and not a trivial thing.” 

The lack of split-screen in Halo 5 was first announced back in June by O’ Connor, who stated that the split-screen co-op play was scrapped to keep the games framerate down to 60 FPS. Other graphical compromises were made to also keep the framerate from dipping, but the backlash over the lack of split-screen was large. The forums were filled with complaints over this, including a change.org petition requesting 343 Industries to add split-screen back into the game.

Split-screen co-op has been a part of the Halo franchise since Halo: Combat Evolved for the original Xbox back in 2001. This is the first time a split-screen mode has been removed from the franchise, although 343 Industries has added several new multiplayer modes into the mix of Halo 5, including the new warzones and fight for the core modes. 

Currently, Halo 5: Guardians is available for the Xbox One, and has been getting good reviews across the board, including our own Andrew Stretch

So what do you think about this news? Do you think the next Halo game will have split-screen? Leave your comments below. 


Robert Grosso

Staff Writer

A game playing, college teaching, erudite-minded scholar who happens to write some articles every so often. Have worked as a journalist, critic, educator and blogger for over five years now, with articles published (as user editorials) on Game Revolution and Giant Bomb as well as a contributor for the websites Angry Bananas and Blistered Thumbs. Now making TechRaptor my home.



  • BurntToShreds

    So if Halo 6 does split screen, will they have give to up 60fps to do it or can they further degrade graphical quality to keep it running well?

    Because if they have to sacrifice 60fps to appease the tiny (but incredibly loud) number of people who want split screen, then I don’t think it’s worth it.

  • Robert Grosso

    No idea. Maybe they will solve the issue by then? Maybe it’s for the best that it’s gone?

    It is an interesting question though.

  • Zepherdog

    Does split screen really tax the consoles all that much anymore? I’ve played Left 4 Dead 2 on an older machine on split screen and it totally worked without issue, not to mention countless other games running on decades-old hardware.

    It sounds to me like an excuse to try and force Halo fans to get dedicated xbones and live subscriptions instead of just gathering for a few matches on a single console for the weekend.

  • GrimFate

    I’ve held multiple LAN parties with my friends in the past for Halo games – a Halo 3 one as recently as last year – so the lack of split screen in Halo 5 is annoying. I do not have 8+ friends with Xbox Ones (I have just one), nor do I see that happening any time soon. Plus expecting everyone to bring along a TV and a copy of the game.

    That’s not a huge thing because it happens rarely, but the lack of split screen for co-op is more annoying, because that is something I’d actually want to do in the near future if I could. The game is built around 4 player co-op, but I need 4 separate consoles and copies of the game to achieve this?!

  • GrimFate

    Game engines usually get refined over time, which is why games that launch with consoles usually look a lot worse than games that come out several years later on the same console. By the time Halo 6 comes out, they may have figured out how to achieve split screen at 60FPS without sacrificing too much quality. But I’m not in the know, so I have no idea why they can’t patch it in later.

    Wouldn’t be surprised if Zepherdog was right about it being used to force sales of consoles. If you really, really want to play the game with friends, you’re going to need you own xbox, copy of the game and Live subscription.

  • Wisdomcube2000

    It can definitely be an issue depending on how close they are playing it in terms of optimization and sh!t. Gotta remember this is a console game so there are clear limits to what it’s capable of.

    (Somewhat) Recent memory with Halo 4, playing splitscreen in that dropped the draw distance/quality a TON in campaign, and made seeing active grenades a massive pain in the ass. In single player it was fine, but splitscreen in that was almost unbearable on my xbox (I used a launch xbox not one of the newer/better models).

    Though like he kinda mentioned above, when they spend the extra time working on the sequel, they may likely refine the games performance/handling and such to a point where splitscreen becomes possible again. These things have a tendency to get rushed a bit after all, so this is kinda expected imo. Not that this excuses it for not being in Halo 5 (I love me some splitscreen lol), just that I can understand it a bit as to why it’s absent.

  • SevTheBear

    And maybe a longer campaign? 5 hours is weak + the lame reuse of the same boss i H5 is lazy

  • Lepito

    It’s all about optimization. Adding in split-screen should not reduce the framerate of the single-player campaign, but for the same level of visual fidelity you obviously cannot expect the same level of performance if your engine is rendering four scenes at once. In other words, they’d probably have to degrade graphics quality when split-screen rendering but not during single-player/non-split-screen multiplayer.

    I bet they could do it with Halo 5’s engine, which seems pretty robust — IIRC it dynamically scales the rendering resolution like Killzone Shadow Fall’s does. I think the biggest reason why they probably didn’t do it with Halo 5 was due to budget/time constraints. Microsoft needed a flagship title on their system sooner rather than later.