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.

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CC is a great way to make your sims look more personalized and life-like!

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. 

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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. 

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Stunning views from San Myshuno

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.

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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

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I’ve been an avid Sims fan since I started playing it in high school. Now that I’m going into my senior year of college, I’ve locked in well over 2,000 hours (and the end is nowhere in sight!). The Sims definitely is a detail-oriented game, and I love all the little fun touches that the developers included (and continue to include) in the game play. One thing that I really enjoy about The Sims is that you can create vegetarian-specific dishes in the game – like vegetarian chili or “tofu stir fry.” And thus this blog idea was born- I want to make the “tofu tacos” that are featured in the game, including all the ingredients and steps for preparation. Do I think they will taste decent enough? It’s hard to say. I mean, it’s a simulation video game, these tacos only have about 4 ingredients.

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Even though this digital recipe clearly isn’t formulated for practical application, I’m up for the challenge. So without further adieu, let’s make some tacos.

To learn the preparation of said tacos, I went into the “sim cam” mode in the game so I could have a realistic view. It looks like the first thing I need to do is get my vegetables, which looks like bell peppers, tomato, onion, and…lettuce? What is that vegetable?

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Now that I have chopped all my vegetables, it’s time to figure out what I want to use as a vegan fish replacement. This “recipe” is obviously meant to be a replacement for fish tacos, so I’m going to need to use some type of vegan fish replacement to fry. Firm tofu has a similar consistency to fish, and a very mild taste, making it perfect for this recipe. I actually own some vegan “fish sticks” (made from tofu and some sort of vegetable oil), so that’s what I’m going to be using for this. 

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I was immediately worried that these tacos would suck because it just feels so…lackluster. Actually, just the 3 vegetables are lackluster, and the vegan “fish” sticks are way on the other side of the spectrum- too powerful and flavorful to go with the bland veggies. Obviously I KNOW it’s just a video game and not supposed to be hyper-realistic at all, but I ended up being right. These tacos were NASTY. You poor vegan sims, I’m sorry y’all have to settle for these vegan tacos.

First of all, I was right about the flavors not meshing at all. I’m not saying the vegan fish sticks are bad, but they definitely would have tasted better paired with ketchup and fries, rather than in a cold taco shell with some veggies. I just couldn’t do this recipe justice, and I tried.

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Maybe vegan fish tacos just don’t work in general. There is something about meatless fish that I can understand being sketchy, and that probably contributed to why I hated the recipe so much. If you want to give it a whirl, by all means go for it! Maybe you’ll be able to revamp this recipe into something delicious. However, don’t replicate this recipe unless you want to waste a whole lot of food. Trust me on this one!

Next Tuesday I’m going to be making vegan spicy beef tacos, and I have much higher hopes for that than I did for this recipe (and the cursed spaghetti tacos). I look forward to sharing more food adventures with all of you!

Coming up next: Taco Tuesday: Vegan Spicy Beef Tacos

*REPOST*: I accidentally deleted this!

The Sims is a very addicting game. That’s indisputable. But today, I’m interested in exploring the why of the game. Why is The Sims so addicting? Why has it aged so well? Why do we enjoy controlling tiny, pixelated computer people that can’t communicate with us or give us anything in return?

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The short answer, I think, is that humans are interested in playing the role of “God” to give themselves a sense of power and control. Which, I know, may sound dark, but I think there’s a lot of truth in that. Also, when I say we like to play the role of “God”, I don’t mean so in a theological sense. I just truly think that we, as humans, enjoy being the ultimate controller of our environment. If we have the choice to make things our way, we jump at the chance, and quickly organize ourselves into a natural rhythm.

My rhythm, actually, is one of the more mundane, conventional uses of the game. I like my sims to wake up at the same time every day, use the bathroom, take a shower, and eat breakfast, in that order. Then, it’s off to work, or school, for the majority of the day, until the sims return home, go to bed, and repeat the same cycle the next day. Does it sound boring? Yes, it absolutely does. But, for some inexplicable reason, I am absolutely obsessed with it.

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I think that part of the reason I want to give my sims a happy, normal life is because I want to replicate the life I’m dreaming of for myself. I love to imagine myself in a life filled with order, organization, and repetition, and my sims are a perfect embodiment of the lifestyle that makes me happy. When everything goes to plan in my sims’ neighborhood, I feel extremely at peace.

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/fantasy_escapism.png

There’s something called “escapism”, which I think really sums up the obsession people have with The Sims. Essentially, escapism refers to the idea that humans need to escape from the overbearing tensions of life, especially through the form of digital media. Maybe for you and your friends, it’s logging onto Netflix watching an adventurous television show, or taking a break to scroll through your phone, but for me, it’s The Sims. The game is a digital escape from reality- a place for me to create my own universe and fully immerse myself in it. Escapism, when used in a healthy amount, helps us to recharge our emotional batteries and give us a break from the toil of everyday life. It’s completely normal, and it’s something all of us do at some point in our day.
I’m curious if my diagnosed ADHD and OCD plays a role in my obsession with the sims, but then again, I know plenty of other people without those conditions who love The Sims as much as I do. Some people love to play the game conventionally as well- with a nuclear family, a family pet, a big, beautiful house, and a steady income. Other people enjoy the game for its interesting and even slightly humorous approach to death. Sims can die by old age, drowning, and electrocution, among other things, and are subsequently visited by the Grim Reaper to take their souls. Similarly to how a ten year-old girl might enjoy destroying her barbies for fun, teenagers and young adults alike find entertainment in killing off their sims. It’s just the element of shock and inappropriateness, I think, that draws gamers to giving their sims such horrible fates. To somebody who has never played The Sims, that might sound terrifying, but again, it’s all relative to the euphoria of being “God.”

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Additionally, The Sims has an element of storytelling that makes the gameplay appealing for writers, artists, and other creative minds. As someone who used to pick berries and flowers from my garden and pretend they were people living in a fantasy world, I liked the idea that you can be anything you want in The Sims. There are tons of expansion packs that introduce characters such as vampires, aliens, werewolves, and witches. The more expansion packs you purchase, the more intricate the game will become. I myself haven’t spent too much money on additional content, mostly due to the fact that they’re quite expensive, but I admire the appeal and purpose of these game enhancers.

There’s a deep reason The Sims franchise is so timeless and successful. It’s versatile, it’s creative, and it’s the perfect opportunity for both young and old gamers to explore their dream life. I am eager to see where The Sims 5 will bring us, assuming there is a 5, but I’m confident that it will continue to delight its fans with innovative, creative content. Now, I’m curious to hear your thoughts and experiences with The Sims. Do you prefer playing the game conventionally, or finding completely outrageous ways to (most likely) torture your sims? The possibilities are endless.

Escapism picture: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Escapism

Coming up next: The Movie Tag

The Sims is a very addicting game. That’s indisputable. But today, I’m interested in exploring the why of the game. Why is The Sims so addicting? Why has it aged so well? Why do we enjoy controlling tiny, pixelated computer people that can’t communicate with us or give us anything in return?

12-30-18_5-07-12 pm

The short answer, I think, is that humans are interested in playing the role of “God” to give themselves a sense of power and control. Which, I know, may sound dark, but I think there’s a lot of truth in that. Also, when I say we like to play the role of “God”, I don’t mean so in a theological sense. I just truly think that we, as humans, enjoy being the ultimate controller of our environment. If we have the choice to make things our way, we jump at the chance, and quickly organize ourselves into a natural rhythm.

My rhythm, actually, is one of the more mundane, conventional uses of the game. I like my sims to wake up at the same time every day, use the bathroom, take a shower, and eat breakfast, in that order. Then, it’s off to work, or school, for the majority of the day, until the sims return home, go to bed, and repeat the same cycle the next day. Does it sound boring? Yes, it absolutely does. But, for some inexplicable reason, I am absolutely obsessed with it.

01-27-19_3-11-24 pm

I think that part of the reason I want to give my sims a happy, normal life is because I want to replicate the life I’m dreaming of for myself. I love to imagine myself in a life filled with order, organization, and repetition, and my sims are a perfect embodiment of the lifestyle that makes me happy. When everything goes to plan in my sims’ neighborhood, I feel extremely at peace.

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/fantasy_escapism.png

There’s something called “escapism”, which I think really sums up the obsession people have with The Sims. Essentially, escapism refers to the idea that humans need to escape from the overbearing tensions of life, especially through the form of digital media. Maybe for you and your friends, it’s logging onto Netflix watching an adventurous television show, or taking a break to scroll through your phone, but for me, it’s The Sims. The game is a digital escape from reality- a place for me to create my own universe and fully immerse myself in it. Escapism, when used in a healthy amount, helps us to recharge our emotional batteries and give us a break from the toil of everyday life. It’s completely normal, and it’s something all of us do at some point in our day.
I’m curious if my diagnosed ADHD and OCD plays a role in my obsession with the sims, but then again, I know plenty of other people without those conditions who love The Sims as much as I do. Some people love to play the game conventionally as well- with a nuclear family, a family pet, a big, beautiful house, and a steady income. Other people enjoy the game for its interesting and even slightly humorous approach to death. Sims can die by old age, drowning, and electrocution, among other things, and are subsequently visited by the Grim Reaper to take their souls. Similarly to how a ten year-old girl might enjoy destroying her barbies for fun, teenagers and young adults alike find entertainment in killing off their sims. It’s just the element of shock and inappropriateness, I think, that draws gamers to giving their sims such horrible fates. To somebody who has never played The Sims, that might sound terrifying, but again, it’s all relative to the euphoria of being “God.”

01-28-19_9-30-58 pm

Additionally, The Sims has an element of storytelling that makes the gameplay appealing for writers, artists, and other creative minds. As someone who used to pick berries and flowers from my garden and pretend they were people living in a fantasy world, I liked the idea that you can be anything you want in The Sims. There are tons of expansion packs that introduce characters such as vampires, aliens, werewolves, and witches. The more expansion packs you purchase, the more intricate the game will become. I myself haven’t spent too much money on additional content, mostly due to the fact that they’re quite expensive, but I admire the appeal and purpose of these game enhancers.

There’s a deep reason The Sims franchise is so timeless and successful. It’s versatile, it’s creative, and it’s the perfect opportunity for both young and old gamers to explore their dream life. I am eager to see where The Sims 5 will bring us, assuming there is a 5, but I’m confident that it will continue to delight its fans with innovative, creative content. Now, I’m curious to hear your thoughts and experiences with The Sims. Do you prefer playing the game conventionally, or finding completely outrageous ways to (most likely) torture your sims? The possibilities are endless.

Escapism picture: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Escapism

Coming up next: The Movie Tag