How to play co-op multiplayer in Gears 5

A look at what co-op multiplayer options are available in Gears 5 and how to set them up.

With Gears 5 releasing on September 6, the question of how to play co-op multiplayer is bound to crop up. Whether you’re already familiar with how co-op works in the Gears series, or are returning to Gears for the first time in a while, familiarizing yourself with the multiplayer options in Gears 5 is strongly recommended. To help, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide that explains how to play all co-op multiplayer options in Gears 5!

How to play co-op multiplayer in Gears

How to play co-op multiplayer in Gears 5
Gears 5 offers local and online co-op settings for modes like Campaign, Horde, Escape, and Versus. Of course, setting up local co-op for some of these can be a bit tricky! 
© The Coalition

Gears 5 offers a few different co-op multiplayer choices depending on what your preferences are. First, there’s local split screen co-op that you can play with up to two friends in close proximity. If your friends are too far away, there are also online multiplayer available which can be played with familiar, or random players.

Not only can you play the Campaign in co-op, there are other modes like Horde and Escape available to help you quench your thirst for Gears 5 combat. Starting with the Campaign, you’ll need to work through a key steps in order to play co-op, which we’ve bulleted below.

  • Campaign Menu.
  • Load current save or start New Game.
  • From the Lobby, press Menu on your controller to fill an open character slot.
  • OR tap “A” to “Invite Player” into an open character slot.

Starting from the campaign menu, you can either load a current save or start a New Game save file. When you reach the Lobby, you’ll see yourself in the Player 1 slot. Next to Player 1, you have two open slots for local co-op. To fill these, have your friends press the Menu button on their controllers, then select their preferred character settings.

Alternatively, you can play with people online by tapping A and selecting “Invite Player” from the open character slots. You can invite people directly from your friends list to join you in campaign co-op. You can also play modes like Horde and Escape using both local and online co-op.

Some players have experienced issues setting up local co-op for modes like Horde and Escape in Gears 5.
Some players have experienced issues setting up local co-op for modes like Horde and Escape in Gears 5.
© The Coalition
  • Choose “Horde” or “Escape” from the Gears 5 menu.
  • Select “Custom Game” then begin “Host Match” process.
  • Invite people by tapping “A” over open player slots.
  • For local co-op, you’ll need to set the controllers up in Campaign, back out, then return to the Horde or Escape menus and you should see your friends in the other player slots.

To play Horde or Escape in co-op, you’ll first need to choose “Horde” or “Escape” from the Gears 5 menu. After that, jump into a “Custom Game” and then begin the “Host Match” process. When hosting a match, you’ll be able to invite people by tapping “A” over an open player slot. Again, you can invite them directly from your friends list.

If you’re having trouble playing Horde or Escape in local co-op, you’re not alone. The best workaround for some of the clunkiness is to set your friends’ controllers up in the Campaign menu (instructions listed above), then back out and open the Horde or Escape menus again. Finally, Gears 5 also offers a Versus mode.

Unlike the Campaign or modes like Horde and Escape though, Versus is a bit more limited in that Ranked and Arcade are based around online co-op. To play locally, you’ll need to host a Custom game for Versus. By selecting “Custom” from the Versus menu, you’ll find a similar setup to the ones for Escape and Horde.

Again, you’ll be able to Host Match, then invite people online by tapping “A” over the open player slots. For local co-op, you may need to set your controllers up in Campaign by pressing Menu over an available character slot, confirming, then backing out and returning to the Versus menus.

Now that you know how to play co-op multiplayer in Gears 5, we’re eager to hear your thoughts. Are you liking the co-op settings in Gears 5, or are you struggling with the process of setting up local co-op in modes like Horde? Let us know down in the comments below!

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