All the Free Games You Can Play Right Now Because of the Coronavirus

You might be quarantined, but you can still get free (or darn near close to free) video games.

The coronavirus is changing the way we live daily life, and that includes keeping us stuck at home for a long time. So, what do you do when you're quarantined because of the coronavirus? You find free video games and play them, of course.

While most retailers and online platforms aren't exactly climbing over each other to offer free games, there are some out there with free games up for grabs if you look in the right places.

Epic Games Store's Free PC Games

The Epic Games Store, a software platform and launcher, offers a handful of free games every week, no strings attached. All you need to do is have an EGS account, and you're good to go. The games remain in your account forever, so it's a darn good deal.

This week's free games are:

  • Anodyne 2: Return to Dust
  • A Short Hike
  • Mutazione

These are some top-notch indie games, but the week ends Friday at 11 a.m. If you miss out on those, the free games for the week of 3/19 through 3/26 are:

  • The Stanley Parable
  • Watch Dogs

Free Steam Games

Football Manager

Steam normally doesn't give games away for free. However, there's a bit of a difference this week. From now until March 25, Football Manager 2020 is completely free. It's exactly what it sounds like as well: a simulation game where you start a football (read: soccer) club and manage every aspect of your team. Note, this isn't free forever. The deal ends on 3/24.

Goat of Duty

There's also the fantastically over-the-top Goat of Duty free on Steam — and free to keep — if you download it before March 31. It's basically what it sounds like: goats at war. Goat of Duty is an intense, first-person shooter full of outrageous weapons and plenty of goat-themed violence to keep your mind off being on lockdown.

Tomb Raider, Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris

Starting today, 3/20, Square Enix is making Tomb Raider as well as Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris free on Steam until March 24. These are each free to keep as well, if you download before the 24th.

Tomb Raider is Lara Croft's origin story, taking place before the original game. Temple of Osiris is the first four-player co-op game in the Tomb Raider series. Even though it does have some issues, you can't beat free.

Free Games from Good Old Games (GOG)

GOG is offering Mable & The Wood for free from now (3/20) until 3/22 at 10 a.m. EST. Mable is a retro-styled Metroidvania where you absorb the powers of the massive bosses you destroy.

What's more, these and the various forms you can assume are the only way to access abilities, even basic ones like movement. It's a giveaway, which means Mable & The Wood is free to keep if you get it during the giveaway period.

PlayStation Plus Free Games

Sony also isn't in the habit of dishing out free games — unless you're a PlayStation Plus subscriber, that is. If you are, you get access to a growing library of free games, with new ones added each month. This month's titles are Sonic Forces and Shadow of the Colossus. Like with the Epic Games Store, your PS Plus free games stay on your system as long as you continue subscribing.

Xbox Game Pass

The crown jewel of free games to check out during the coronavirus quarantine, though, has to be Xbox's Game Pass. For a monthly subscription cost that varies depending on your plan, you get access to hundreds of games plus exclusive deals. It goes without saying, but you need an Xbox One of some variety or a Windows 10 PC.

These aren't just obscure titles either. For instance, basically every Final Fantasy game is on Game Pass, alongside newcomers like the acclaimed Yakuza 0, Kingdom Hearts 3, Ori and the Blind Forest and so many more.

Assassin's Creed Odyssey Free Weekend

Ubisoft announced it's making the acclaimed Assassin's Creed Odyssey free from March 19 through March 23 on Steam, the EGS, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It's the full, 40+ hour base game, but not the two major DLC packs. If you like what you see, the game's also on sale until March 23 too.

On Steam and EGS, you'll find the trial in your Library.

For PS4, you'll choose the demo, then under demo options, select full trial.

You'll need Xbox Live Gold (Xbox's online subscription) if you're playing ASO on Xbox. Just search under the Free Play Days section of the main menu, and you'll find it there.

Free Indie Games on Itch

A number of indie developers have also made their games free on Itch to encourage staying inside and help retain sanity while doing so. There's the "Games to Help Stay Inside" list, plus the "Self-Isolation on a Budget" one. For now, "on a budget" means "100% free," though that might change in a few days or so.

Either way, there's a ton of indie games for free to choose from. These range from well-known ones like Where the Water Tastes Like Wine to lesser-known titles including Super Radish Witch and A Good Snowman is Hard to Build.

Free Games on Good Old Games

GOG also has a catalog of free games in their Stay at Home collection. Titles include Alder's Blood: Prologue, CAYNE, GWENT, Hello Neighbor Alpha, Postal: Classic and Uncut, Shadow Warrior Classic Complete, Ultima 4, and more.  

Heroes of the Storm

[Update: 3/21] Blizzard announced via Heroes of the Storm's official Twitter page that all heroes in the massively popular MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) are free from now, 3/21, through April 2. Heroes of the Storm is free-to-play anyway, but its heroes come in packs with tiered prices based on basically how good the characters are. In other words, it's the best time to give it a try, since it's absolutely risk free.

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So there you have it. We might all be stuck inside for a while, but there are at least some options for free video games to help deal with the coronavirus isolation.  

Contributor

Josh Broadwell started gaming in the early '90s. But it wasn't until 2017 he started writing about them, after finishing two history degrees and deciding a career in academia just wasn't the best way forward. You'll usually find him playing RPGs, strategy games, or platformers, but he's up for almost anything that seems interesting.

Published Jun. 9th 2020

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