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Football Manager 2020 beta is live now, here's how to get in and start playing

(Image credit: Sega)

The Football Manager 2020 beta is live, and if you start playing now you can keep going with the same save all the way up through the game's full launch on November 19. The Football Manager 2020 beta was initially planned to arrive by November 5, but the developers say the game's new long-term play features pushed them to give beta players an extra weekend. Just to make sure everything's smooth, you understand.

All you need to do to play the beta is pre-order Football Manager 2020 on Steam or through another participating retailer, then input the code. Restart Steam if necessary and you'll see the Football 2020 Manager beta should be ready to install in your library. It includes access to the Online Career Mode, Create-a-Club, and Fantasy Draft, which should be plenty to keep you busy while you wait for the full version of the game to arrive. You can even play the choose-your-own-adventure style launch trailer while you wait for the download to complete.

If you've never played Football Manager, staring at the screenshots full of tables and spreadsheets and buttons probably won't make you want to play very much. But Sports Interactive studio director Miles Jacobson made an argument for how it could be the RPG you didn't know you've been waiting for in a recent interview with GR+.

"A lot of people don't realise that it's always been an RPG; they think of it as this management simulation," Jacobson said. "But there are quite a lot of books that people have released, and lots of blogs of people who have released their Football Manager stories, and what's gone on in their career, because every story is unique. I don't want to define how people play the game, but if you think about any of the footballers in the game, you're interacting with them regularly. Every decision you make affects their career as well."

While you're making good deals for virtual players in the beta, keep an eye on our Black Friday game deals to save some IRL cash.

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.