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All the video game holiday events to help you stay festive at home in 2020

Sea of Thieves
(Image credit: Rare)

Video game holiday events are here to save the day and make the most wonderful time of the year actually feel at least somewhat wonderful despite the state of the world. Like pretty much everything in 2020, the holidays this year will probably feel a little different for most people. In fact, there's no need for innuendo here - we're all stuck at home still, looking toward video game holiday events to fill the void. Fear not, we've got you covered.

Video games have been a lifeline for so many of us this year, and we'll need them during the holidays more than ever. Lights and decorations can only go so far to disguise the fact that we've all been staring at the same few walls for the last nine months. But home is still the safest place to spend the holidays, so of course we turn to video games for a virtual escape into a festive world not at all our own. So without further ado, here are some video game holiday events to keep you busy over Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year's Eve, and any other holidays you usually celebrate but can't in any normal way this year.

Fortnite Operation Snowdown

Fortnite Holiday Trees locations

(Image credit: Epic Games)

Ah, the ever-reliable Fortnite. The battle royale sensation is on virtually every modern platform, it's free, and matches don't last that long, so Fortnite's holiday event, or Fortnite Operation Snowdown as it's now called, is a quick and easy way for anyone to take part in the virtual festivities.

The new in-game event includes a bunch of seasonal quests to complete, outfits to earn, a fresh selection of LTMs to play, and even the return of X-4 Stormwing planes (don't worry, they're just visiting this time). And of course, it wouldn't be Christmas without a thick blanket of snow draped over the map. Also, keep an eye out for Fortnite Snowmando outposts and Fortnite Holiday trees.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Toy Day

Animal Crossing: New Horizons snowboy

(Image credit: Nintendo)

What better place to spend the holidays than Animal Crossing: New Horizons? Run around and build snow men, buy gifts for your villagers, catch snowflakes and make decorations for your home and island, and lastly take part in the main event, Toy Day on December 24.

It's undoubtedly the most wholesome holiday event on this list, and Animal Crossing is utterly gorgeous during this time of year. Islands literally sparkle with glimmering snow, trees adorned with lights are scattered all around, and you can add tons of cheerful decorations if you take the time to craft them. And you should, because it's hard not to smile when you're simply wandering around an Animal Crossing town during the holidays. And the best part is you can invite your friends and family over or visit their islands to celebrate the season together virtually.

Sea of Thieves Festival of Giving

Sea of Thieves

(Image credit: Rare)

If you'd rather drink and pillage than catch snowflakes and give gifts, Sea of Thieves is your destination this holiday season. There isn't a whole lot of snow, but there are lights and decorations around the outposts, and Rare has added a few different festivities to Sea of Thieves to celebrate the holidays.

First and foremost, you can have ice pets now, which should be enough to sell you on the Sea of Thieves Festival of Giving update alone. Elsewhere, Plundered Presents runs until January 20 and offers 5,000 gold for every treasure chest (up to five) that you gift to another crew, challenging your scallywag instincts. 

But if you really want to celebrate, the 12 Deeds of Giving event is a new Challenge track that rewards players with gleaming Eastern Winds rewards. Complete all 12 challenges and you'll be given the title "Master of Festivities," which is more than you get spending Christmas away from home.

Fall Guys Season 3: Winter Knockout

Fall Guys

(Image credit: Mediatonic)

What better way to celebrate the holidays in 2020 than with one of the year's biggest gaming sensations, which is currently all dressed up for the occasion. Fall Guys Season 3, which is titled Winter Knockout, is letting you dress up as Santa and play, err, fall through some new festive levels. 

There's Ski Fall, Tundra Run, Freezy Peak, Snowy Scrap, Pegwin Pursuit, and Thin Ice. Then there's the new Icy Adventure costume pack you can get for $5. But first, be sure to grab the free Santa costume before it disappears after December 25.

The Elder Scrolls Online New Life Festival

The Elder Scrolls Online

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Despite the dragons and vampires and werewolves and evil mad scientists, Tamriel can be a pretty festive place this time of year. The New Life Festival returns for 2020 with seasonal daily quests and gifts. Just head to the Crown store and snag the New Life Festival intro quest for free to kick off the festivities, with 10 special New Life-themed daily quests taking you all over Tamriel. 

Complete daily quests to earn gift boxes with Skinchanger Motif chapters, themed recipes and collectibles, decorations for your house, Draughts of Stealth and Escape, and possibly the Deep Winter Charity Writs or the new Imperial Charity Writs.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla Yule Festival

Assassin's Creed Valhalla

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Remember how I mentioned Animal Crossing having the most wholesome holiday event on the list? Well, this is the exact opposite of that. Get drunk, punch some people, shoot down targets with your bow and arrow, and forget the whole thing happened by the next day in Assassin's Creed Valhalla's Yule Festival.

In reality, the Yule Tokens you'll earn from taking part in the festivities will be a reminder. You can use the tokens at the local Festival shop to unlock Mōdraniht-themed items, including an armor set, tattoo set, shield, altar, tree ornaments, fire pit, and a bunch more. Basically, grab your drinking horn, lock away your axe for the night, and party like it's AD 873. Huzzah!


Too busy playing games to shop? Fear not, we've rounded up the best gifts for gamers to give you some ideas.

Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked in - *shudders* - content management while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG. Now, as GamesRadar's Arizona-based Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.