With all the mini-games and activities in Shenmue 3, co-op, split-screen multiplayer could be a lot of fun. Imagine competing against each other in a forklift race, or fighting alongside each other. However, given that the first two games didn’t have multiplayer, there wasn’t much of a chance of Shenmue 3 getting co-op or split-screen.
Does Shenmue 3 have multiplayer and is it co-op or split-screen?
Shenmue 3 doesn’t have multiplayer. There are no co-op activities, and split-screen is unavailable. The series has always focused on being single-player centric. The latest entry is no different, and you’ll unfortunately have to go it alone as you continue Ryo Hazuki’s adventure.
While many games these days find somewhere to shoehorn in some semblance of multiplayer, Shenmue 3 walks to the beat of its own drum. The title is very anachronistic, at times to a fault, so you can’t expect any concessions to be made.
The only “multiplayer” options that Shenmue has ever offered was as part of the Shenmue Passport Disc. This disc of additional content had some social tools that are unfortunately no longer accessible (and haven’t been for almost two decades).
There’s no game like Shenmue that offers multiplayer either. There are some very light options available in the Yakuza series, but nothing that lets you go on an eccentric Japanese adventure with a friend. Maybe this is an untapped market just waiting for a developer to step in and rake in the cash.
As for whether Shenmue 3 will receive multiplayer in a future update, it’s unlikely. While it hasn’t been directly ruled out, the developer has expressed no interest in making co-op or split-screen available in any capacity. For now, you’ll just have to enjoy the single-player to the fullest and keep your fingers crossed.