Here’s how to play Football Manager 2020 for free on Steam as coronavirus keeps gamers indoors

For the next week, Football Manager 2020 will be free to download via the gaming distribution platform Steam.

This will come as good news to all the sports fans cooped up at home with no real-life events to watch for the foreseeable future.

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Where is Football Manager available for free?

Sports Interactive, the developer behind the highly popular football management simulator, have announced that the most recent edition of their game on PC and Mac will be free to download via Steam for the next week.

If you already have a Steam account, all you have to do is go to the Football Manager 2020 page and hit the “Play Game” button.

The game will then be moved into your library and will be all yours until the free weekends.

If you don’t have a Steam account, just go to the website, set one up and select the “Install Steam” option.

The process is quick, easy and completely free, giving you access to hundreds of games and hosts of great deals.

Many football fans have been turning to videogames to scratch the itch left by the professional game’s cancellation.

In Spain, two players from Real Betis and Sevilla took to Fifa 20 to play the match between their sides that was supposed to go ahead that weekend, with over 60,000 tuning in to watch online.

How long will the game be free to play for?

Football Manager will be free to play from 3pm on Wednesday 18 March until 3pm on Wednesday 25 March.

The good news is that all the progress you make during the free trial will be saved, either in your computer’s documents folder or on the Steam Cloud. This means that, should you choose to purchase the game at any point in the future, you’ll be able to pick up right where you left off.

Given Football Manager’s reputation for being highly addictive, it seems likely that more than a few won’t feel finished once the free week is up.

How have videogames been affected by the coronavirus pandemic?

As more and more people are forced to work from home, practise social distancing or self-isolate altogether, videogames have seen huge uptick in business as people seek out home entertainment and online social interaction.

Popular online games like Fortnite and Call of Duty have reported a surge in the number of people logging on to play together, helping people to remain connected.

Activision’s free-to-play Call of Duty spin-off, Warzone, drew in 15 million users in only three days following its launch on 10 March.

As the most popular platform for digital sales of PC games, Steam has also seen a surge in popularity as a result.

Valve Corporation, the company behind Steam, announced on 15 March that it had recorded over 20 million players online on the platform at the same time for the first time in its history.

One of Steam’s most successful games, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, has also set a new record during the outbreak with 1,023,2290 recorded playing online at the same time.

This article originally appeared on our sister site, The i.