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Local FOUR player "splitscreen" LZDoom

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Dude, that is awesome! You gotta tell us how you managed it. For me, one screen always seems to take full priority (well, last time I tried it anyway which was ages ago now)

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It's all in the video description.   3 certain console commands are vital.   Whichever one is your real current active window is controlled by mouse & keyboard so you make sure the host player window is the active one.   The console commands allow the gamepads to still control the others, updates the displays of noncurrent windows, and plays their sound (so disable or mute music in all but the host window).

Edited by Gokuma

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7 minutes ago, Doomkid said:

Dude, that is awesome! You gotta tell us how you managed it. For me, one screen always seems to take full priority (well, last time I tried it anyway which was ages ago now)

From here (note this actually only works in LZDoom, GZDoom doesn't actually support this atm iirc):

  • Fake splitscreen support: you need to enable the 'vid_activeinbackground', 'i_soundinbackground' and the new 'joy_background' cvars.
  • Start two copies of LZDoom from different folders (e.g. with ZDL), one with -host 2 and another one with '-join'. You need a dual core CPU, you'll probably get the best results using software D3D and setting 'r_multithreaded' to 0. Set player two to use the gamepad (left stick to move, right one to look around) and give the focus to player one, works for DInput and SDL.

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I found out those console commands thanks to TDRR on the Zandronum.com forum as noted in the vid description.   But that original post about the LZDoom update adds the info about the r_multithreaded command.   I just took this a little further with 3 player so far.   You can also do something like this with Chocolate Doom and I linked to a video of that.


(Been repeatedly editing the description for accuracy and more details in getting it set up)

Edited by Gokuma

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Interesting! I messed around with Split Screen ZDoom (SSZDoom) so its nice to have this option as well :) . Now just to get someone to come over and play some Doom!

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You need to set axes to none for each controller in the other instances. There's support for 4 (due to limited buttons) DInput controllers and XInput too in the next release (but they already worked as DInput disabling XInput support).

 You need to setup the buttons for each player of course. And disable music for all but one.

 It's a bit tricky, also works in RUDE but it's way more limited (and easy to setup) due to viewport not being resizeable (but there's widescreen now). There you need to set different controllers in setup. And being lightweight requires less horsepower.

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UPDATE: It is released!

Latest version isn't released yet but here:



Edited by Gokuma

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Got four players working easily!   See top post for video of a Doomguy totem pole.


Unfortunately player 1 has to use keyboard only until I get a good USB hub to use the mouse with this many players.

Still would be nice to use two of these PS3 style ZD controllers instead of one and the N64 controller.

At time of video I had the turning sensitivity set way too high for the N64 though.

Player 4 is using a PS2 controller and my one Radioshack adapter that still works (other one went defective).

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Looks like as of some hours ago, controller support just got better in LZDoom:



So now I'll probably be able to use both my ZD controllers, and with them and the PS2, I'll have PS2/3 style controllers for three of the players!


Here's the configuration I use:

Left stick = forward/back + strafing movement (Default)

Right stick = turning + freelook (Default)

R1 = Fire

R2 = AltFire

L1 = Next Weap

L2 = Jump

Select = Open Menu (like Esc) *

Start = Pause


In the four button layout:

Bottom/X/A = Use/open

Left/Square/X = Center view

Top/Triangle/Y = Previous Weap

Right/Circle/B = back out of menu *



Down = 180 turn

Left = Scoreboard

Right = Chasecam (Works in Coop. Disabled in DM)

Up = Map


* These are set for player 2 / the first ZD PS3 compat controller, probably default joy settings,

but I couldn't find how to set them for player 4 / the PS2 controller.

They're not important since you can just alt+tab to whichever window to configure things using the keyboard.


Of course this means 4 player Heretic, Hexen, Strife, etc. too!   The other games require additional buttons but there's plenty to work with and you can swap out some unnecessary stuff.

Edited by Gokuma

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Posted (edited)

@Gokuma I was actually able to get this thing running tonight! Played like 10 hours of splitscreen deathmatch w/ my brother. This was a lot of fun, so thanks for the information and the tutorials.


Edit - Apologies for the necro (I thought the last post was from March 2021, not March 2020) - just wanted to show appreciation!

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