Games are not cheap, especially when you have more than one kid at home all wanting to play the same game on the computer. You bought one copy of Minecraft for your kids to share but it’s more fun when playing together, isn’t it?
Universal Split Screen is an open-source free tool that directs Windows input to enable local multiplayer in PC games with keyboards, mouse, and gaming controllers. That’s right. Just like on gaming consoles, it lets you play co-op games on the same computer with one game copy.
You can download the tool and run it without the local admin rights. The installation quick start guide is pretty straightforward. But setting it up takes quite a few steps and each game requires probably slightly different setups. The good thing is, their documentation is top-notch and easy to follow.
Take Minecraft as an example,
First of all, Minecraft on PC doesn’t support controllers so in order to play co-op you will need different sets of keyboards and mouses.
Then, there is Minecraft setup on how to launch two separate Minecraft instances using a launcher called MultiMC.
And there is split screen setup using Universal Split Screen.
And there is a video tutorial for you to follow if you prefer.
Not all games are supported in this setup. Here is the list of games that have been tested with a detailed guide to guide you through the process.
- Borderlands 3
- Borderlands 2
- Don’t Starve Together
- Left 4 Dead 2
- Counter Strike: Global Offensive
- Team Fortress 2
- Garry’s Mod
- Stardew Valley
- Nuclear Throne
- Prison Architect
- Sven Co-op
- Endless Space
If the game you want to play is not on the list, there is a guide for untested game setup as well.
Personally, this is the tool I haven’t personally tested but based on what I read, it seems to be an interesting option to try if you are interested in playing local co-op PC Games on one computer with only one game copy.