Some Call of Duty: Modern Warfare players that are trying to experience the split-screen mode and play couch co-op are reporting that the feature is completely broken for them. Upon the second player tries to log in the game freezes before eventually restarting,
We’ve investigated this particular issue thoroughly and we figured out that there are actually multiple causes why you can expect this issue to occur. Here’s a list of verified causes that might end up breaking the split-screen functionality in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare:
- The second person is signed in – As it turns out, the majority of the time, this problem occurs on Xbox and Playstation consoles where the second person that should participate in the split-screen session is also signed in with the console. Several affected users dealing with the same kind of issue have confirmed that the problem was finally fixed after they ensured that the second player is signed in at the same time when they’re added to the split-screen lobby.
- Game startup glitch – Keep in mind that according to a lot of users, this problem can also be rooted in some kind of glitch affecting the startup sequence. Several users that were also dealing with this problem have managed to fix it simply by restarting the game a couple of times.
- Temporary data induced risk – According to some affected users, this type of issue can also be attributed to some kind of problem caused by temporary data accumulation on your console. If you’re experiencing this problem when launching the game from last-gen or current-gen consoles (Xbox or Playstation), you should be able to fix the problem by initiating a power-cycle procedure.
- Corrupted multiplayer packs – Under some circumstances, you can expect this error to occur due to some type of corruption affecting the multiplayer packs accompanying the main game on consoles. The fix, in this case, is to just uninstall the multiplayer packs before reinstalling them.
- Game installation inconsistency – If you’re experiencing this issue on consoles, chances are you’re dealing with a game installation inconsistency. Several users dealing with this problem have confirmed that the problem was finally fixed after reinstalling the game conventionally on their consoles.
- Conflicting MAC address – As it turns out, you can also put the blame on a conflicting MAC address if you’re launching the game on an Xbox console. Several users that were also dealing with this problem when launching split-screen co-op sessions have managed to fix it by clearing the currently stored MAC address from the Advanced Settings menu.
- Platform update broke the game – According to a lot of users playing the game on Xbox, this problem started to occur from them immediately after a game update specific to Xbox consoles was installed. In this case, there is not a fix yet. All you can do at this point is open a support ticket with Activision to raise awareness about this issue and hope they’ll end up fixing it as soon as possible.
- Crossplay is enabled on both accounts – As it turns out, one other reason why you can expect to deal with this problem is when crossplay is enabled on both accounts that are trying to play split-screen mode. Some users have reportedly been able to bypass this error by ensuring that crossplay is disabled on both accounts.
Now that we went over every potential cause that might be responsible for this issue, let’s go over every fix that other users have successfully used to fix the problem and play the split-screen mode of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
1. Make sure the second person is not logged in (if applicable)
Before you move on to the other potential fixes below, you should start by deploying the most commonly used fix to resolve the split-screen issues with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. This involves measuring that the second account that’s to participate in the split-screen gaming session is logged out when launching the game.
This fix has been reportedly been successful for a lot of users experiencing this error, particularly people facing the issue on Xbox consoles (Xbox One and Xbox Series S and X).
Note: You can attempt to replicate this fix on Playstation consoles too, but we haven’t been able to verify its effectiveness on Sony’s consoles.
Here’s a quick step-by-step guide that will help you enforce this verified fix:
- First things first, ensure that the second player (not the one that’s launching COD: Modern Warfare) is not signed in. Ensure that the second controller is also turned off.
- Next, ensure that you are logged in with the main account (the one that holds ownership of the game) and launch Call of Duty: Modern Warfare normally. Also, ensure that the 2nd player controller is turned off.
- Before you launch a map, take the time to filter out the playlists that are not compatible with the split screenplay.
- Now, turn the player 2 controller and select the Xbox profile that you want to use for the second player that’s joining the split-screen session.
Note: The second player cannot be the same Xbox profile as the one that’s being used for player 1.
- Launch the map and see if this allowed you to fix the problem.
In case the same kind of issue is still occurring, move down to the next potential fix below.
2. Restart console or PC
In case the fix above didn’t work in your case, you should proceed by troubleshooting against a potential issue facilitated by a startup inconsistency.
If you’re dealing with this kind of issue, rebooting your console or PC along with the game should fix it, as it’s been reported by a lot of affected users.
Note: Keep in mind that this is only a temporary fix and you should expect the issue to return at a later point in time.
Follow one of the sub-guides below to perform a system reboot of your platform of choice before re-launching Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and seeing if the split-screen problem has been fixed.
- If you’re on PC, click on the Start icon, then click on the power icon to bring up the power menu. Then, select Restart from the cluster of options available.
- If you’re playing in an Xbox console, press and hold on to the box button (on the center of your Xbox controller to open up the Power center). From the power menu, highlight the Restart console and confirm your choice by hitting the Restart button.
Note: This operation will work on both Xbox One and Xbox Series S/X consoles.
- In case you have this issue on PS4, press and hold on to the PS button (on your controller) before selecting power from the context menu that just appeared. From the power menu, select Restart PS4 and wait until the operation is complete.
Note: The steps above will only work on Playstation 4. If you’re on PS5, follow the steps below.
- If you’re playing on Playstation 5, press the PS button on your controller. Next, from the Options Menu, access the underlying power menu. Finally, from the list of available options, select Restart PS5.
Once you manage to restart the platform that you’re attempting to play COD: Modern Warfare on, launch the game again and see if the split-screen issues have stopped occurring.
In case the same kind of issue is still ongoing, move down to the next potential fix below.
3. Power-cycle console
As the developers confirmed themselves, this split-screen issue can also be ultimately cached by a cache issue. IN most cases, you can blame the temporary files generated by this game version. Most likely, these files are preventing your console or PC from whitelisting the connection with the game server.
You should be able to fix the issue by power-cycling your console or by clearing the cache of the game launcher on PC.
Note: The steps that will help you do this will be different depending on which console you’re using or if you’re on PC using Steam or Battle.Net.
To make things clearer for you, we’ve put together a series of sub-guides that will walk you through the entire process of power-cycling your console (or clearing the cache of the Steam launcher).
Just follow the sub-guide that treats the platform where you’re currently playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare on:
Power-cycle Xbox One
If you’re having trouble facilitating split-screen gameplay on Xbox One, you can use this method to clear the system cache and hopefully resolve the issue:
Note: The steps below will help you go into the ‘no-power mode before unplugging the power cord in order to clear the currently stored cached data.
Here’s what you need to do to power cycle your Xbox One:
- Ensure that your Xbox One console is powered on and not in hibernation mode.
- Press and hold the power button (on your console).
Note: Keep it pressed until the LED on the front of your console turns itself off.
- Once your console no longer shows any signs of life, unplug the power cable from your Xbox console.
- Wait for 30 seconds or more before unplugging the power cable – This will give the power capacitors enough time to clear themselves which will serve the purpose of clearing the cached data.
- Once this process is complete, go ahead and plug the power brick back into your Xbox One console before you turn it back on.
- After the operation is complete, launch COD: Modern Warfare and see if the split-screen issues have been fixed.
Power-cycle Xbox Series S/X
If you’re among the lucky ones that manage to get their hands on the latest iteration of Microsoft’s console, you’ll be pleased to know there’s an easier way to clear your console’s cache. Microsoft implemented a software-based method of clearing the system cache.
Follow the instructions below to power-cycle your cached data on your Xbox Series console:
- First things first, make sure your console is idle and not actively rendering a game in the background.
- Next, press the glowing Xbox button in the middle of your controller.
- Inside the guide men, scroll to the right to the Profile & System.
- From the next tab (Profile & System), choose Settings, then press the A button to access them.
- Inside the Settings menu, go to the Device & Connections tab, then select Blu-Ray from the list of available options.
- From the Blu-Ray dedicate menu, go to Persistent Storage. Next, use the Clear Persistent Storage button to get rid of your current cache cluster.
- Reboot your console and see if the problem is fixed by attempting to launch the split-screen component of COD: Modern Warfare.
Power cycle Playstation 4
Opposite from Xbox Series X and S, the PlayStation ecosystem doesn’t have a specific menu that will allow you to clear the cache of your console.
So to clean your console’s system cache, you’ll need to do a power-cycling procedure instead to ensure that the power capacitors are drained and that temporary data files are let go.
Here’s what you have to do to get this done:
- Turn on your Playstation 4 console and make sure you are on the home screen.
- Next, press and hold on to the power button on your console and keep it pressed until you hear a sound queue.
Note: Turn your console off and ensure that you DON’T put it into Rest Mode (Hibernation Mode) instead. If you do this, the following steps will fail.
- After you hear the sound queues and you see the light indicator on the Playstation 4 console no longer blinking, unplug the power code from the back of your console.
- Wat for at least 30 seconds before plugging it back in. This is important because it gives the power capacitors enough time to drain themselves.
Note: By doing this, the temporary data that is currently cached will be cleared.
- Start your console normally and see if you are able to launch Call of Duty Modern Warfare’s split-screen mode.
Power Cycle Playstation 5
Just like it is on PS4, the PlayStation 5 also doesn’t have a specific menu that will allow you to clear the cache.
Just like the guide above, you’ll have to do it manually (by unplugging the cord from the back of your Playstation 5) after deploying a power-cycle procedure.
However, on Ps4 the procedure is slightly different as you’ll see below:
- Start by making sure that your Playstation 5 console is fully turned ON.
- Long press the power button on your console until you hear a beep. After you hear the sound queue, release the button wait until your console powers down completely.
Note: Don’t short press the button because you’ll enter rest mode instead which will invalidate the remaining steps below.
- Next, unplug the power cord from the back of your console.
- Wait for 2 minutes or more to ensure that you give enough time for the power capacitors to clear themselves.
Note: This is what actually makes your console ‘forget’ the cached data.
- Finally, plug the power code back into your Playstation 5 console hit the power button.
- Wait until the next startup sequence is complete, then launch Call of Duty Modern Warfare once again and see if you can access the split-screen maps without the game restarting.
3.5. Clear cached data on Steam (PC)
If you’re experiencing these split-screen issues while launching the game through Steam, chances are it’s probably due to an issue affecting the locally cached data.
Most likely, Steam might have trouble recognizing that you actually have ownership of the game.
To fix this issue, you’ll need to verify the integrity of the game files.
Here’s how to clear the cached data of Battlefield 2042 on Steam:
Note: Don’t start with the step below unless you’ve ensured that your system doesn’t perform another intensive task in the background (such as virus scanning, rendering, or defragmenting).
- Make sure you are signed with the account that you’re having issues with.
- Next, select Library from the horizontal menu at the top.
- Locate the icon related to COD: Modern Warfare inside the vertical menu on the left and right-click on it.
- From the context menu that just appeared, click on Properties from the context menu.
- From the Properties Menu of Call of Duty Modern Warfare, choose Local files from the vertical menu on the left.
- Next, initiate an integrity check by clicking on the Verify integrity of game cache button.
- Once you see the confirmation prompt, click Yes and wait until the task finishes.
Note: It’s not that unusual for one or more files to fail once this scan is initiated, so don’t freak out. This is normal for most games.
- Finally, reboot your PC and see if the issue is fixed once the next startup is complete.
If this method didn’t work for you, move down to the next potential fix below.
4. Reinstall multiplayer packs (Consoles ONLY)
If none of the potential fixes above have worked for you, the next thing you should do is ensure that you’re not actually dealing with the bundle glitch affecting MultiPlayer Pack 2 and MultiPlayer Pack 3 content.
This is very common on Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X, and PS5. (Consoles that allow you to partially install games)
Usually, one of those Multiplayer packs (or both) becomes corrupted when a new update is installed and up interfering with the stability of the game.
In this case, you can try to fix the issue by temporarily uninstalling these 2 problematic Multiplayer packs from your Playstation or Xbox console before installing them back.
We’ve put together two potential sub-guides that will help you treat the issue regardless of your console of choice:
Reinstall COD Multiplayer packs on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S
If you’re playing the game on Xbox Series S or Series S, you can enforce this fix by accessing the dedicated Manage game and add-ons menu associated with Call of Duty Modern Warfare and uninstalling only the multiplayer components from the Add-ons menu.
Here’s how to do this:
- Start by ensuring you are on the main dashboard of your Xbox console.
- Access the Settings menu (either via the Xbox button or directly from selecting the gearbox icon on your screen).
- Next, select My Apps & Games from the list of available options and press A (on your controller) to access it.
- From the dedicated menu, select Apps and wait until your library of available games is fully loaded.
- At this point, it’s important to ensure that Games is selected from the vertical menu on the left.
- After you do this, move over to the right-hand side pane and access the entry associated with your Call of Duty Modern Warfare installation.
- From the next menu, go ahead and access the Manage game and add-ons menu.
- From the dedicated COD: Modern Warfare menu, select the main interface at the top of the screen to get an overview of all the game pieces.
- Start by unselecting everything first to make sure you’re not deleting anything by mistake.
- Check the boxes associated with Call of Duty Modern Warfare – Multiplayer Pack 1 and Call of Duty Modern Warfare – Multiplayer Pack 2.
- After you select the two packages, follow the prompts to uninstall them from your console.
- Restart your console as well, then launch the game normally and install the missing multiplayer packs when prompted to do so.
- Initiate another attempt at launching a split-screen mode and see if the problem is now fixed.
Reinstall COD Multiplayer packs on Playstation 5
If you’re experiencing this issue on a Playstation 5 console, you can reinstall the packages potentially responsible for this issue from the Games and Apps menu (under Storage).
Here’s how to do it:
- Start by accessing the gearbox icon (Settings) in the top-right corner of the screen.
- Inside the Settings menu of your PlayStation 5 system, access the Storage submenu.
- From the Storage sub-menu, choose Console Storage from the menu on the left.
- Next, access the Games and Apps menu from the right-hand section of the screen.
- Inside the Games and Apps menu, scroll down through the list of installed applications and locate the entry associated with Call of Duty.
- When you locate the correct entry, access the Manage menu associated with the game (select it, then press X to access it).
- Inside the Manage menu of COD: Modern Warfare, select Multiplayer Pack 2 and Multiplayer Pack 3 before clicking Ok to schedule them for deletion.
- Highlight Ok to confirm the uninstallation of the problematic Multiplayer packs, then press X to initiate your procedure.
- After this operation is finished, reboot your PS5 console and see if the split-screen issue is resolved once the next startup is complete.
5. Reinstall the entire game on PC or consoles
If none of the methods above have worked for you, the next troubleshooting avenue you should explore is to take some measures against a potential corruption issue that is affecting the game files.
Several users that we’re also unable to engage in split-screen gameplay have confirmed that reinstalling the game on their platform of choice has fixed the issue.
Keep in mind that the steps of reinstalling the game will depend on the platform that you’re playing the game on.
To guide you regardless of where you’re playing the game, we’ve created a series of sub-guides that will guide you through the process of reinstalling the game.
Follow the applicable sub-guide below to reinstall Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and resolve an issue related to game-file corruption:
Reinstall the game on Playstation 4
If you’re experiencing this issue on a Ps4 system, the way to go is to uninstall the game from the Library menu. After you do this, you should do the reinstallation from the same location (but from a different tab).
Here are the instructions on doing this:
- Ensure that you are on the home screen of your PlayStation 4 system.
- Next, swipe through the games that you have installed and select Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
- From the next menu, press the Options button on your controller, then select Delete from the context menu that just appeared.
- After the game is uninstalled, go back to the home screen of your PlayStation 4 system and use the left thumbstick on your controller to swipe left to the Library menu.
- With Library highlighted, press the X button.
- Inside the Library menu, use the vertical menu on the left to select Purchased.
- Next, move over to the right-hand menu and locate the game that you want to reinstall.
- From this menu, select Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, then press the Options key and select Download from the context menu.
- Wait until the game is uninstalled, then launch it once again and see if the problem is now resolved.
Reinstall the game on Playstation 5
You should know that Sony has revamped the operating system for Playstation 5, so the instructions for reinstalling COD: Modern Warfare will be different than on PS4.
Here’s how to reinstall Call of Duty: Modern Warfare on PS4:
- Start by making sure you are on the home screen of your PlayStation 5 system.
- Next, use the left thumbstick (or the arrow keys) to select Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and press the Options button on your controller.
- From the context menu that just appeared, highlight Delete and confirm your choice.
- Wait until the game gets uninstalled, then access the Game Library from the home screen of your PS5 system.
- From the Your Collection menu, find and select Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, then press the Options button once again.
- Use the context menu that just appeared to select Download.
- After you you do this, the game will begin installing automatically.
- Launch COD: Modern Warfare once again and see if the split-screen problem is now fixed.
Reinstall the game on Xbox One or Xbox Series S / X
Xbox One and Xbox Series X pretty much share an identical OS. This means that you can follow the steps below to reinstall Call of Duty: Modern Warfare regardless of the Xbox console that you’re on.
Here’s what you need to do:
- From your Xbox controller, press the Xbox button and use the menu on the left-hand side.
- Next, select My games & apps from the context menu that just appeared.
- Select the Games tab from the menu on the left, then scroll down through your library until you find the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare installation.
- With the game is selected, click the menu button on your controller to bring up the context menu.
- Next, access the Manage game and add-ons menu.
- From the next menu, highlight Uninstall all from the list of options on the left.
- Confirm the operation, then wait until the operation is complete.
- Finally, access your Library from the home screen, then access the All owned games section and re-download Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
- Launch the game once again and see if the problem is now fixed.
Reinstall the game on PC
If you play on PC, you need to start by uninstalling the game from the Programs and Features menu. This method should be preferred instead of doing an integrity check from the game launcher because it will also disregard any temporary files that might be contributing to this issue.
Follow the instructions below to reinstall Call of Duty: Vanguard on PC:
- Start by pressing Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box.
- Next, type ‘appwiz.cpl’ and press Enter to open up the Programs and Features menu (on Windows 10 or older) or Installed apps (on Windows 11).
- Inside the Programs and Features or Installed Apps menu, look for the entry associated with the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare installation.
- Once you found it, right-click on it (or click on the action icon) then click on Uninstall to uninstall the game.
- Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the installation, then reboot your PC and wait for the next startup to complete.
- Open the game launcher where you currently hold ownership of the game and reinstall COD: Modern Warfare by following the official channels.
- Launch the game and see if the problem is now fixed.
6. Clear your MAC address (Xbox Consoles)
As it turns out, we can confirm that your inability to host split-screen sessions on your Xbox console can also occur due to an improper alternate MAC address. This sort of network inconsistency might prevent your console from communicating with the Xbox servers, which might trigger issues when COD: Modern Warfare needs to create a local game server.
This problem is much more common in instances where the ISP is providing dynamic IPs. Some users that struggled with this problem have reported that they managed to bypass the situation by accessing the Network menu of their console and clearing the alternate MAC address.
Here’s a quick guide on clearing the alternate MAC address from the settings menu of your Xbox:
Note: The instructions below will work for both Xbox One and Xbox Series S / X sessions:
- Start by ensuring you are on the home screen of your Xbox menu.
- Next, press the Xbox button (on your controller) to open the guide menu.
- Next, navigate to the Settings icon and access the All Settings menu.
- Inside the Settings screen, go down to the Network tab and choose Network settings.
- Once you are inside the Network menu, access the Advanced settings menu from the cluster of sub-menus.
- Once you’re finally inside the Advanced settings menu, go to the Alternate Mac address.
- From the Alternate Wired/Wireless MAC address menu, select Clear and then choose Restart to apply the changes.
- After you manage to successfully clear the MAC address, launch COD: Modern Warfare once again and see if the problem is now fixed.
If you’re still unable to initiate split-screen game modes from within the game, move down to the next method below.
7. Open an Activision support ticket
As it turns out, Xbox consoles have a specific issue where a platform update ended up breaking some game functionality. This type of issue only seems to affect Xbox consoles.
As of now, the problem is still not resolved as a lot of Xbox players (particularly Xbox One players) report that the problem is still not fixed as players attempt to initiate split-screen sessions in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
Unfortunately, there is no proper fix for this particular issue. All you can do at this point is to help raise awareness about the issue by opening a support ticket with Activision.
If you’re looking for specific instructions on how to do this, follow the instructions below:
- Start by opening up your favorite browser and accessing the home page of Activision support.
- Once you’re inside the correct page, ensure that you sign in with the same account that you’re using when playing COD: Modern Warfare on your Xbox console.
- Next, click on Support Options from the menu at the top.
- Under Support Options, click on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare from the list of games available below.
- Next, from the new menu that just appeared, click on the platform that you’re currently playing the game on.
- From the Topic section, choose Multiplayer from the list of available options.
- In the Issue section, choose My games crashes or freezes from the list of options.
- Once you get redirected to the following menu, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on Submit a ticket.
- Finally, add an email where you want to be contacted and write a detailed message explaining the issue before clicking on Submit.
If this method is not applicable to your particular scenario, move down to the final potential fix below.
8. Disable Crossplay
According to a lot of users experiencing this weird issue (particularly console gamers), this problem can also be ultimately caused by the cross-play feature that Activision is pushing so hard. As it turns out, cross-play might inhibit the split-screen feature as long as you keep it enabled within your game.
If you don’t care for cross-play because you play by yourself or all your friends play on the same platform as you, you should probably be able to prevent the ‘Failed to Join Party (Error Code 3)’ from appearing again by disabling cross-play connections altogether from the in-game menu.
If you have no issues disabling cross-play, follow the instructions below to learn how to do so:
- Start by loading COD: Modern Warfare (on console or PC) and wait until you pass the initial loading screen.
- Once you’re at the initial home screen of the game, click on the Settings menu in the top-right corner of the screen.
- Inside the Settings menu, select the Account & Network tab from the ribbon menu at the top.
- Inside the Account & Network menu, go under Activision Account and set the toggle associated with Crossplay to OFF.
- After cross-play has been successfully disabled, go ahead and initiate a party once again (or join on) and see if the error is now fixed.