Splatoon 2’s Lack of Split-Screen Multiplayer is Surprising

With the release of Splatoon 2, my wife and I finally decided to get a Nintendo Switch. We wanted to get the console since its release but waited for enough games to play together to justify the purchase. We lucked out and bought the last neon console available, purchasing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Splatoon 2 with it. But what we didn’t know was that Splatoon 2 was lacking a basic feature that would lead us to partially regret our decision.

Unlike Mario Kart, Splatoon 2 does not support split-screen multiplayer. Instead, you will need two Switch systems if you want to play local multiplayer. Learning this left me speechless. Honestly, how can a game with a strong multiplayer focus not support split-screen multiplayer at all?

Splatoon 2 Combat.
The combat can be pretty hectic, but it’s always fun.

It’s truly an odd situation. By all accounts, the game should be able to support some sort of local multiplayer. In the first Splatoon, you were able to have one player use the Wii U pad and another use the TV. True it wasn’t split-screen, but it was acceptable. This version offers nothing in comparison, which is odd because Splatoon 2 is the perfect title for it. The game is cartoonish, fast paced, and all about teamwork. Even its main feature is online multiplayer, so why shouldn’t it support split-screen?

It’s not like it’s a controller issue. The game is surprisingly simple and could easily be configured to run with one joy-con. This is especially true if you enable motion control support. I’d be fine with it if the game required two joy-cons per person even, but that too is not an option. The issue is definitely not a system one either. Several games already run local multiplayer on the Switch quite well, including Mario Kart, Fast RMX, and ARMS.

Splatoon 2 cats.
I hate these cats, they haunt me so. Probably because I usually lose.

Of course part of the fault lies with me as well. I picked up the game and purchased it without examining the back panel. The back panel clearly states that the game only supports single player on the TV or in tablet mode. Still, I can’t help but think Nintendo is missing a big opportunity here.

For whatever reason, the fact remains that Nintendo decided not to include this feature in the game. If they ever decide to patch it in I’m sure it will be a welcomed addition by millions across the globe. Until then we must be content to ink up our enemies alone…unless you have friends online that is.