# How to play Left 4 Dead (and Left 4 Dead 2) in split screen mode on PC

Although this has been documented elsewhere (see here and here), the instructions are mostly geared towards people who want to use a gamepad for one player and a keyboard/mouse for another player. If you are fortunate enough to have two gamepads for your PC, then playing Left 4 Dead in split screen mode is surprisingly easy to set up.

Step 1: Download this Xbox 360 controller emulator by Evaldas Jocys. The file you want is named something like x360ce.App-2.0.2.158.zip, give or take the version number. (Sound familiar? This is the same thing we did for Dead Rising 2.)

Step 2: Extract the zip archive to your Left 4 Dead executable directory, which will be something like C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\left 4 dead.

Step 3: Run the x360ce executable file. When the program launches, it will prompt you to create the x360ce.ini file. This is the file that holds the configuration settings for the program. It will also prompt you to create the xinput1_3.dll file. This is the library file that gets compiled along with the configuration settings and will enable your gamepad to work with the game. Click Yes on both of these prompts to create the files.

Step 4: At this point, you should be looking at a new window that says “New Device Detected.” Leave the first radio button checked – the one that says “Search automatically for settings” – along with the checkbox that says “Search the Internet” and click “Next” at the bottom of the window. Finally, click Finish at the bottom of the next window to import the settings. If the program displays a green box on the tab for the controller you have selected, then you can continue to step 5. If it displays a red box on the tab, then see the troubleshooting section below.

If you’re using two gamepads, repeat this step for the second one.

Step 5: Click Save at the bottom-right corner of the window and close the program.

Step 6: Go to your Left 4 Dead bin directory, which will be something like C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\left 4 dead\bin. Rename the xinput1_3.dll file to xinput1_3.dll.old.

Step 7: Launch the game. Click on Options, then on Keyboard/Mouse. Make sure “Allow Developer Console” and “Gamepad” are both enabled. Then click Done.

Step 8: Hit the tilde key (~) on your keyboard to open the console and type:

ss_map mapname


Replace mapname with the actual name of a map. Auto-completion in the console should help you out here.

That’s it! You’re done. Unless you are playing Left 4 Dead 2. In that case, enter this command in the console once the map has finished loading:

connect_splitscreen localhost 2


When you’re done using a controller and want to use your keyboard/mouse again, go back into Options, Keyboard/Mouse, and disable the gamepad.

Have fun!

What if x360ce doesn’t recognize my gamepad?

Since I normally use a fairly ubiquitous gamepad (Logitech Wireless Gamepad F710), I had never encountered this problem until I tried my other one (PS3 Afterglow Controller by PDP). If x360ce doesn’t recognize your gamepad, it will display a red box on the tab for that controller and the controller diagram will be all grayed out:

Go to the Settings Database tab on the top row of tabs. Under Controller/Device, select the gamepad that’s having problems. Then click on the Global Settings tab to get a list of available configurations from the internet:

I have my list sorted by the Users column. I think that, by default, x360ce will use the highest ranked configuration for your gamepad settings. In my case, it was using the top one in the list, with 5C1EA9F1 under SID and 11 Users. To use a different configuration, double click on another entry in the list. Then click Yes to import the settings. A couple of seconds after that, if you picked the right one, the red box on the controller tab should change to a green box:

At this point, you should be able to push the buttons on your controller and see the corresponding buttons light up in the diagram on the controller tab. This will tell you for sure if your gamepad settings are working. Do the same for the joysticks to make sure those are working too.

If everything checks out, then you can resume from step 5 above.

This was an issue that bothered me to no end when I bought Dead Rising 2 for PC last  year. I put the game aside for several months because, no matter how many supposed fixes I tried, my wireless gamepad simply would not cooperate. Most PC games, especially ones that are labelled with the “Games for Windows Live” logo, come with gamepad support right out of the box. For whatever reason, Capcom or Blue Castle or whoever was supposed to test this functionality didn’t. As a result, hundreds of PC gamers feel that they were ripped off and are unable to properly enjoy the game. I don’t blame them.

Well, I’m happy to tell you that I finally found a solution and even happier to tell you that the game is buckets of murderous fun – once the gamepad works, that is. The keyboard and mouse controls are horrendous. Some games just don’t feel right without a gamepad or controller in hand. Here’s how I got my gamepad to play nicely with Dead Rising 2:

Step 1: Download this Xbox 360 controller emulator by Evaldas Jocys. The file you want is named something like x360ce.App-2.0.2.158.zip, give or take the version number.

Step 2: Extract the zip archive to your Dead Rising 2 executable directory, which will be something like C:\Program Files (x86)\Capcom\Dead Rising 2. It’s important that the x360ce.exe file is in the same directory as the deadrising2.exe file. This is because executable (.exe) files will look for library (.dll) files in the same directory that they reside in first before going to the system directory. This is true for any program running under Windows, at least. I’m not sure how it works under other operating systems. When you run the x360ce.exe file, it will create the missing library files for us in this directory.

Step 3: Double click the x360ce.exe file and confirm that you want to open it by clicking “Run” when the Windows security warning dialog pops up. When the program launches, you should get two additional warning dialogues. The first one will prompt you to create the x360ce.ini file. This is the file that holds the configuration settings for the program. The second one will prompt you to create the xinput1_3.dll file. This is the library file that gets compiled along with the configuration settings and will enable your gamepad to work with the game. Click “Yes” on both of these prompts to have the files created.

Step 4: At this point, you should be looking at a new window that says “New Device Detected.” Leave the first radio button checked – the one that says “Search automatically for settings” – along with the checkbox that says “Search the Internet” and click “Next” at the bottom of the window. Finally, click “Finish” at the bottom of the next window. If the program displays a green box on the tab for the controller you have selected, then you can continue to step 5. If it displays a red box on the tab, then see the troubleshooting section of this post.

Step 5: Click the “Options” tab near the top-center of the main program window and change the hook mode to “Compatibility.”

Step 6: Click “Save” at the bottom-right corner of the window. Close the program and launch the game.

Step 7: One the game has launched, go to Options, then go to PC Settings. Hopefully, you will have the option to enable the gamepad.

If this method doesn’t work for you, try experimenting with the other hook mode settings. I hope this helps someone else enjoy the game.