Like most modern games, The Sims 4 frequently receives patches and updates. Sometimes they're simply a handful of bug fixes, but other times they add a surprising amount of content to the base game. They've even introduced a brand new feature in the form of a First-Person Camera Mode, which allows players to see the game through the eyes of their Sim and several dark skin tones to make it easier for black simmers to create themselves.
The most recent content-bringing update was on September 9, in celebration of the game's fifth anniversary. It added several CAS items that were inspired by Muslim fashion, and tons of different buy mode items including lounge chairs and a table, and of course, lots of build mode items - the most noteworthy of which was probably the new possibilities with stairs!
However, even before September 9, The Sims 4 has added a ton of important, game-changing content through free updates. This list features some of the strongest ones.
10 Holiday Celebrations
In a patch that predates the introduction of actual holidays in The Sims 4: Seasons, the Holiday Celebration patch first released in December 2014. It started off focusing on the winter celebrations like Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, but over the years, it's expanded considerably. For example, there have been items for Diwali and the Lunar New Year.
Diversity is an important part of any life simulator, and The Sims 4 has done a great thing by recognizing non-Western holidays. Something as simple as representation and the ability to see their own traditions carried out in a game can be a life-changing experience for some people.
9 LGBTQ+ Pride
Representation for LGBTQ+ people has always been a part of The Sims franchise. As far back as the debut base game, players have been able to have two same-sex Sims enter into a romantic relationship, get married or enter into a domestic partnership, and adopt a child together.
It comes as no surprise that in Pride Month (June) of 2019, The Sims 4 released an update that was packed full of loud and proud queer content. There were pride flags for all kinds of gender identities and sexualities, as well as a collection of rainbow CAS items for all ages. The items were part of a collaborative project with It Gets Better, a movement dedicated to supporting LGBTQ+ youth as they grow into themselves, and a shirt bearing the movement's slogan was also included.
Ever since social media started taking on the world, influencers started to become the internet's go-to place for fashion trends. So, it's no surprise that The Sims 4 chose to include them in their November 2018 update.
Style-Influencer is an official career path available to Sims with two different branches, Trend Setter and Stylist. Joining it makes Sims into full-on fashionistas and gives them the ability to give style, interview, and makeovers to other Sims. Even beginning Style-Influencers can use the Trending Style-board, a new object added with the patch, to further their careers by filling it up with things that inspire them.
7 Freelance Careers
Ever since The Sims 4: City Living introduced the opportunity to pursue a career in Social Media, career paths added into the game have been leaning more towards modern than traditional. In the age of the internet, freelancing has become increasingly popular, since it provides flexibility with scheduling and allows the opportunity to work from home.
As of the April 2019 update, Sims will be able to enjoy those advantages, too. There are three different Freelance paths: Artist, Programmer, and Writer. Their skill level will have an effect on how much the gigs available to them pay, as well as how quickly they're able to complete their tasks.
As a Freelancer, Sims are met with no actual expectations other than meeting the requirements of each individual gig, which means that they can take off an entire week with no consequences, as long as they're financially able to.
6 Lot Traits
Lot traits were introduced in the October 2016 update that came just before The Sims 4: City Living. There were several added into the base game, which influenced skill-gaining for Sims whenever they were on the lot, as well as having an impact on what types of Sims would spawn there. They can be used on Residential and Community lots, with some traits only being available for one or the other.
There are many traits that help with the majority of base game skills, and there's one to encourage teen visitors, while another discourages visitors altogether. In a June 2019 update, two more were added: Off-the-Grid disables running water and electricity, leaving only certain things functional, and Clothing Optional encourages Sims to strip down to their natural state in a judgment-free zone.
The Sims 4: City Living added a few other lot traits and they've been a part of several other packs ever since, including The Sims 4: Island Living.
5 Swimming Pools
Unlike literally every other title in The Sims series, The Sims 4 didn't include pools in the base game. It was a pretty controversial move, but luckily for simmers and devs alike, it was remedied in the November 2014 patch, which added swimming pools and decorations for them.
Sims of all ages received swimsuits and accessories like sunglasses, necklaces, and sunscreen, all perfect for a day by the pool.
4 Terrain Tools
Terrain tools are a builder's best friend... Or at least they were in previous The Sims titles. Unfortunately for The Sims 4 players, it took until the November 2018 patch for terrain tools to be added into the game.
In the very same patch, there were updates to foundations, basements, and half walls, so it was basically a builder's paradise and allowed for some pretty great builds.
3 Gender Customization
The Sims 4 decided to break down the barriers of gender roles in a June 2016 patch. CAS received a major revamp that replaced the binary of Male and Female with Masculine and Feminine, allowing any Sim to wear a skirt or a suit. All walk styles and voices were unlocked, too... But it didn't stop there!
The most impactful part of the patch allowed Sims to change their physique. Sims with he/his pronouns could have a feminine frame and vice versa. It was possible to choose whether or not Sims would sit down in the bathroom, as well as whether they were able to get others pregnant or become pregnant. It literally opened the world for trans representation, which was previously unheard of in The Sims without mods.
While there's an argument to be made for the inclusion of they/them pronouns as well, this was a big step in the right direction for the LGBTQ+ community.
2 CAS Story Mode
The Create-A-Sim (or CAS) Story Mode patch came on July 16, 2019. It's a unique feature for a Sims title that presents players with a series of personality and hobby-related questions. Their answers will influence their Sims' traits, aspiration, and even give them boosts to skills and careers, as well as potentially awarding them some skill points and placing them at a level of a career.
Their name, gender, and appearance aren't strictly defined by Story Mode, so they can be edited immediately after the quiz is finished. It's also a completely optional feature and can be easily skipped over altogether.
In The Sims 2, aging was introduced, and with it, life states. Sims could now grow from a baby to an elder, which was an upgrade from the eternal children of The Sims. The Sims 3 added a young adult life state between adult and elder, further enhancing the realism of age progression.
When The Sims 4 released, simmers were sorely disappointed to learn that there were no toddlers. Sims went directly from being a baby to being a child. It took away from the overall experience for several players, especially since family-based gameplay is one of the most popular styles.
Luckily, in January 2017, The Sims 4 dropped a surprise update that featured none other than toddlers. They came with their own personality traits, CAS items, and of course objects, like potties, high chairs, toddler beds, and toys.
They were definitely the missing piece of the puzzle for The Sims 4, and now that they're in the game, it's hard to imagine that they ever weren't.