As someone who’s been playing The Sims since high school and locked in more than 2,000 hours of gameplay, it seemed like the perfect time for me to share a beginner’s guide to the game. I’m certainly not the most knowledgeable person on the planet, but I feel like I’ve picked up a few handy tips and tricks for people who are just getting into the game. There are so many little things to learn, so here are some things I wish I knew when I started playing myself!
In short, The Sims is a life simulation game that depicts what you may call a normal, suburban life. There is no endgame to The Sims or goal you have to reach; it’s just about building a life for your sims and letting them live their lives. In general, I’m a pretty boring simmer in that I want my characters to live an average, happy life. They go to school, they get jobs, they buy houses, and they start families. Occasionally I’ll throw in a messy divorce or something, but it’s usually pretty vanilla.
No matter what kind of simmer you are, you’ll probably want to utilize custom content (cc) and mods after you start to get a feel for the game. Custom content is exactly what it sounds like- content uniquely made by the players to improve the gameplay and aesthetic. For example, a lot of cc creators will make new hair, clothing items, and game objects like furniture for other players to download into their games. I would say about 80 percent of my sims’ wardrobes and furniture is cc, because I just prefer the style much more than regular EA features. Mods are a little bit different, they are alterations to the actual game that tend to add more aspects of interesting gameplay. For example, you can add new career mods to your game if you’re tired of the traditional options that come with your game. You can also add some more risque mods in, such as Wickedwhims and Basemental Drugs. Both of these features can make your game feel much more realistic, if that’s something you’re into.
For me personally, I like to get my cc from The Sims Resource, and my mods from Mod the Sims. You’ll need to learn how to install the custom content yourself, which is actually pretty easy, and there are lots of YouTube videos and tutorials to help you along the way.
Another way to spice up the gameplay of The Sims, or usually just make it easier is to use cheats within the game. One of the most popular cheats used by simmers is Motherlode, which automatically deposits $50,000 into your household funds. This can be really helpful if you want to immediately start out in an expensive home, without having to spend generations upon generations saving up your simoleons. I used to use motherlode all the time, but now that my sim’s lineage is so far along, I have enough money saved up that I don’t really need it anymore. I’ve been playing the same legacy for months now, so the simoleons tend to add up fast. You can also use a teleportation cheat to manually move your sims from one location to another, which is really helpful if your sim starts glitching or you have a toddler living in your house. I swear it takes my toddler sims 5 hours to walk across the house, so I usually save time by just teleporting them everywhere instead. You can turn on cheats by holding down Ctrl + shift + T, and from there, it’s smooth sailing.
Expansion packs and game packs are “extras” that you can add onto your game, and are essentially fun bonuses that cost absurd amounts of money. I don’t own every single expansion pack and game pack, because that would literally cost me hundreds of dollars, but I do own about 4-5 of them. If you are thinking about buying your first expansion pack, I HIGHLY recommend getting Seasons first. It is by far the most realistic, enjoyable pack, and it really adds to the realistic nature of the gameplay. Seasons allows you to celebrate holidays and traditions, and dress your sims according to the appropriate weather. You can also create your own holidays for your Sims calendar, which is a lot of fun to play around with. After Seasons, I would probably say City Living is my second favorite expansion pack, because the added world of San Myshuno is absolutely beautiful and full of exciting opportunities. However, to each their own, so buy whatever feels right to you! These are just my personal recommendations, in regards to getting your money’s worth.
Another tip I recommend to new simmers is to join some kind of a Sims 4 forum, such as Carl’s Sims 4 Guide or the official Sims 4 subreddit. They’re both a great way to have a general question answered, share your work with other simmers, or pick up some inspiration for a new game build. The Sims 4 subreddit is also a great place to swap some memes and have a good laugh, so that’s another reason I frequent these forums.
Lastly and certainly not least, I want to touch on the rewards store your sims can visit after they earn enough points for completing goals. There are tons of rewards to choose from, depending on how many points you have, but my personal favorites are the Moodlet Solver and the Money Tree. The Moodlet Solver costs 500 points and will clear your sim of any negative moodlets they may have, while also resetting all of their needs. This can be really helpful if your sim gets a pesky negative moodlet that takes a lot of time to go away, like the “mourning period” when another sim dies. This function gets annoying if an NPC sim you hardly knew dies and essentially creates a dark cloud over your sims that last for days, so I like to speed it up by using the Moodlet Solver. What I usually do is wait until my sim is dying of old age, when they have 8,000 points or so banked up, and then spend all the points on either Moodlet Solvers or Money Trees. Because of that, I now have about 17 Moodlet Solver potions just chilling in my sims’ fridge, ready when I need them.
That brings me onto my second favorite reward, the money tree, because it’s really the gift that keeps on giving. Basically, your sim can plant it and sell its “money fruit” for more than 8,000 simoleons a day. This is really helpful for raising up your household funds fast, and you can transport the trees from household to household so you never have to leave them behind. It’s overall just a great perk, and I love starting a field of money trees behind my sims’ home. You’ll be a millionaire in no time!
Anyway, those are my top tips for playing The Sims 4 and maximizing your resources. Like I said, there are tons of online resources that explain mods and cheats way better than I can, so check those out! Let me know if you’ve tried any of these tips, and leave your own thoughts and suggestions in the comments below.
Coming up next: Giving my Friend a Vintage Makeover