Launching just 17 years ago, The Sims series has since sold over 200 million copies worldwide, with numbers not slowing any time soon. Since launching, The Sims series has taken the world by storm and has managed to release on almost every modern platform available–ranging from PS3, PS2, PSP, Xbox 360, DS, PC, and even Mac.
With over 200 million copies sold–enough to fill an entire country–it is no secret that the series has hit the status of a worldwide phenomenon. With its player base growing each and every day, there are always people looking to find handy tips and tricks to make their experience just that much easier. Let’s face it though, while The Sims may look easy, there is a certain degree of skill that is needed to be able to run a successful Sim household – when households start getting large than two, you’ll soon understand just how hard the game can be.
Don’t worry though, as whether you’re a veteran Sims player or simply playing the series for the first time, we will be able to help guide you and your Sim through the game. To help with this process, we have compiled a lengthy list of tips and tricks to make your playing experience not only smooth but also as enjoyable as possible–because we all know just how frustrating The Sims can be.
Don’t forget though, if you happen to know of any other tips or tricks that we haven’t mentioned in our list, be sure to post them in the comments section!
25 Adjust How Hard Your Sim Works
We all understand the struggles of working, and whether it’s the long hours or frustrating customers, there are just days that you–let’s face it–don’t feel like giving it your all. So in typical Sims fashion, they have implemented a realistic work system that allows players to alter exactly how hard they want their Sims to work each and every day.
The Sims offers a range of realistic options for the player to choose from–whether it be working hard, slacking off, sucking up to the boss, or even socializing with co-workers, The Sims includes an option for just about everyone. In order to obtain promotions, the player will want to ensure–despite the risks of stressing out your Sim–that you are working hard. The harder your Sim works, the faster they’ll be promoted.
Children are also offered this feature when attending school.
24 Influence Your Chance Of Having Multiple Babies
In most cases, your typical pregnancy in The Sims will produce just one baby. However, little do most players know that you can actually influence your chances of having twins or even triplets during your Sims pregnancy. While this may differ between The Sims 4 and The Sims 3, each game still follows the same premise of performing a specific activity.
In The Sims 3, players can greatly influence their chances of having twins or triplets by watching the kids' channel on TV or listening to the kids' music station. You can also significantly increase your chances by doing both of these activities simultaneously.
The process in The Sims 4 is a little different, as your Sim can purchase the Fertile reward from the Rewards Store for 3,000 satisfaction points. Alternatively, if you own the Spa Day game pack your Sim can receive a fertility massage to further increase your chances.
23 Uncover Secret Locations That Hold Unexpected Surprises
Hidden within The Sims 4 is a range of locations just waiting to be uncovered; many players don’t even know that there are secret areas spread among each different town. Quite a lot of these locations come as a surprise as they are usually hidden in places that players have frequented before.
The hidden locations will usually have a set requirement that is needed to enter the areas–in most cases, they require a specific skill level to enter. An example of this is the Forgotten Grotto as it requires a level 10 handiness skill. While these hidden areas may hold some fairly steep requirements to enter, they do provide some pretty cool features such as new Sims, items, and fish that are only available in that one location.
22 Import Tons Of Community Created Items Into Your Game
The Gallery–which is very similar to the Exchange that was available in The Sims 3–allows you to import community created lots, individual rooms, or Sims straight into your game. This feature is not only easy to use, but it is also a great tool for those that aren’t artistically creative or interior designers, because let’s face it, while you may have a great idea and vision for your design, nothing ever pans out exactly how you had planned.
To access this feature in The Sims 4, simply press the Gallery button in the top right corner of the screen; from there, you can import any community created content that you want.
21 Make Use Of Objects That Give You Mood Enhancers
Things are a little bit different in The Sims 4, as a regular old shower just doesn’t cut it anymore unless you just want to be left feeling happy. Instead, The Sims 4 brings a new range of options that have the potential to change your Sim’s entire mood. Your Sim can take a thoughtful shower to get inspired, a steamy shower to get flirty, a brisk shower to get energized, or a bubble bath to feel playful. The best thing about these options is that they take exactly the same amount of time as a regular shower.
Other objects can also provide the same effects, as a Sim can brush their teeth or psych themselves up in a mirror to get a boost of confidence. On the other hand, freshening up and trying on clothes in a mirror can leave your Sim feeling flirty.
20 The Sims 4 Is All About Multitasking
We are all too familiar with the challenges of getting your Sims ready for work and, because of this, Maxis has finally incorporated multitasking into The Sims 4. Multitasking has proven to be an effective and efficient method to get ready for work, while also preparing your Sims' mood for the day ahead.
By multitasking, you will find that your Sim can watch TV while also eating–meaning they will gain both fun and hunger. If you intend on making your Sim read while using the toilet or having a drink while taking a bath, you will need to ensure that you use the correct order of interactions as your Sim cannot leave the bath or toilet to grab another object.
You will also find that when combining talking with another task, some things will take longer as the activity process is stopped when talking commences.
19 Earn Quick And Easy Money By Recycling
We can all understand the struggle of trying to make ends meet, as sometimes the bills and other unexpected expenses can quickly pile up and leave you with little to no money at all.
By purchasing the NanoCan Touchless Trash Can, your entire Sim household can quickly begin earning some quick and easy cash. Every time your Sim throws something out, you’ll earn $10 per household member! Don’t worry if your Sims happen to be lazy, as you can click and drag dirty plates into the trash can yourself to not waste your Sims' time.
Even cooking can become profitable if you're cooking for multiple household members and are eating low budget meals. Who would have thought that cooking could ever be profitable?
18 Cheats Can Completely Change The Way You Play The Game
Let's be honest, no matter how many times you have played The Sims, using cheats always get the better of you and you'll always resort back to them. Whether it’s to gain money, to fill your needs, or to simply edit your Sim, we're all guilty of using cheats at least once in our Sims career.
While many know that The Sims 4 has the option to use cheats, not everyone knows how to correctly use them. In order to use cheats on the PC, the command window will need to be opened by pressing the Control, Shift and C keys on the keyboard. There are countless cheats available for the game, but the most commonly used cheat is ‘motherlode’ as it provides the player with 50,000 Simoleans, and can be used over and over.
17 Sell Paintings For Easy Money
While many may dub it the career with no future, entering the Painter career can help generate quite a lot of money as you gain more skills as a painter–better yet, you’ll get more money for each painting you sell. Many players have even been known to set up painting farms, where they make their entire Sim family create paintings in order to make a living.
However, selling a painting while not pursuing the Painter career can lose you 20% of the painting’s face value as the Art Gallery–only accessible through the Painters career–offers quite a significant jump in price when it comes to selling pieces of art. While it may not make you rich, having painting as a hobby can provide your Sim's family with a little extra cash.
16 Don’t Stick To Just One Aspiration
Why stick to just one aspiration when you can have multiple? While this is one of the main features of The Sims series, many players don’t realize that you can swap between them and complete multiple aspirations at once.
By swapping and changing aspirations, if you happen to get stuck at one specific stage that you are struggling to finish you can easily switch to something else. This is a great method that you can use to switch between aspirations as you can continually swap when you are doing a particular activity or skill that is associated with an aspiration.
It seems like a waste of time and effort completing just one aspiration when you can have multiple aspirations started (and almost completed) in the same amount of time it takes to do just one.
15 Don’t Ignore Your Whims
Generally, most people will complete a set of whims but eventually give up, as they claim they are too tired and exhausted to keep with all of the new whims being added on a constant basis. Each time you successfully complete a whim, your Sim will earn Satisfaction Points that can be spent on purchasing special items and potions to help boost your Sim.
Normally, each whim will be color coded and based upon the emotional state and the activities that your Sim has done in the past 24 hours. In most cases, players will be prompted with one whim that is based heavily around your Sim's mood, whereas the other two are far more generic.
Don’t feel as if you are forced to complete your whims though, as each whim can be canceled by simply clicking on it.
14 Grow A Death Flower
Losing your favourite Sim is always hard, especially when it’s from unexpected events such as fire, electrocution or even the Cow Plant. But what would you say if you could actually prevent your loved ones from dying without the help of any cheats? Well, that's actually what you can do! A plant called the ‘Death Flower’ can save your Sims life, and this is one of those features that many players don’t even know exists.
The Death Flower was first introduced in The Sims 3 and can be obtained by grafting a pomegranate to an orchid. Unfortunately, your Sim cannot use the Death Flower on themselves. To use the flower, another Sim must give it to the Grim Reaper in order to bring the dead Sim back to life.
13 Gain Extra Life By Drinking The Cow Plant's Milk
The Cow Plant is often considered to be one of the most unknown features in The Sims 4, as many players have found it very difficult to track down and also grow. In order to find a Cow Plant, your Sim will need to be feeling pretty adventurous as it can only be found through fishing, space exploration, digging for treasure, or from harvesting a dragonfruit that has been grafted with a snapdragon.
Thankfully though, if you are interested in owning a Cow Plant, you don’t have to have a green thumb as it does not need any special requirements.
Let’s be honest, though: having a Cow Plant is mighty dangerous to not only your Sim, but also their family and friends. But who could simply pass up the chance to have a Cow Plant growing in their lot? Because of this, it remains one of the coolest features to ever exist in The Sims series.
12 A Book Of Life Is A Must Have Item
The Book of Life is often referred to as one of the must-have items in The Sims 4, as the book literally contains the power of life or death.
The Book of Life is given as a reward to the Poetic trait, which allows Sims to write the Book of Life and bind it to a Sim of your choosing. The book cannot be self-bound, so it requires someone else in the household to bind it to them instead. Once the book has been bound, it can be used to refill their needs when they read it.
It can also be helpful when trying to bring a certain Sim back to life once they become a ghost.
11 Choose Your Traits Wisely As Some Are More Useful Than Others
Selecting traits to give to your Sim is always a challenging task. Little do most players know that some traits are much more useful to your Sim and their families than any other. When selecting your traits you want to ensure that you are picking traits that offer the most bang for the buck and are helpful towards your Sim’s emotional well-being.
Some of the most useful traits that give the best possible outcomes are Active, Self-Assured, Ambitious, and Romantic. The Active trait allows your Sim to be not only frequently energized and able to pump up other Sims, but also able to grow their fitness skill much faster than other Sims. The Ambitious trait is great for those that aren’t looking to use instant money cheats, as this trait gives Sims the ability to gain job promotions at a much higher and faster rate.
10 Be Efficient In The Way You Play
There is nothing worse than managing a full household of Sims that require constant care and attention to ensure they head to work and school not only happy, but also in a timely manner. Little do most players realize that the layout of their house may be causing their Sims to run inefficiently and at a much slower pace.
Thankfully, house layouts are easy to fix. It should be a general rule of thumb that common areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, lounge rooms, and bedrooms should all be built closely together as it prevents each Sim from having to walk excessive lengths between a bathroom and a kitchen.
Ideally, if you want to save ample time, your kitchen should be arranged by having a fridge, followed by a countertop, and finally, a stove, as this setup requires the least amount of movement. We're already frustrated enough watching our Sims move around.
9 Splurge And Buy Good Furniture
After purchasing your brand new home, it is quite common that you are more often than not left with a very small budget to furnish your house. Kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms are not cheap and can quickly leave you with little to no money to buy the better quality, more essential items that will drastically improve the gaming experience.
I can almost guarantee that everyone who has played The Sims at least once is guilty of purchasing the worst possible items just to save a few dollars. But little do most players know that purchasing the low-end furniture and appliances can significantly affect your Sim’s emotions and overall needs.
This is one of those rare occasions where purchasing the best items at the very start of the game can actually come in handy and save you from a bunch of unnecessary headaches.
8 Paintings Have Emotional Auras
Emotional auras on paintings are one of the more unknown features that many of the game's players don’t know about. While this feature may be less popular, it still remains as one of the most useful features created in the series.
With just a canvas and easel, your Sim is able to channel their emotions through the painting skill in order to create paintings that emit emotional auras when enabled. When this is done, any Sims within 10 tiles–or the same room–will feel the emotion that was used to create the painting.
These particular paintings are most useful in common areas that your Sims frequent, whether it be the kitchen, lounge room, or bedroom. Ideally, you will only want to hang paintings that provide strong and positive vibes.
7 Automatically Fix Your Needs
Quite possibly one of the most helpful things in The Sims series is a feature that many players don’t even know exists. When managing a large household of people, this feature really does come in handy.
We all know just how hard it is to maintain and keep up with all of your Sims' needs and wants. Well, you’ll be glad to know there is an easier way to manage these needs with just one click of a button. When clicking on a need–the round icon, not the actual bar–it will make your Sim do whatever is needed to fulfill their need.
This feature isn’t always reliable though, and should only be used if you are in dire need of help, as this handy little feature can literally save your Sim's life.
6 No Need To Empty Your Bladder Before Work
There is nothing more challenging than trying to ensure that your Sim is ready for work as showering, eating, and going to the toilet all take up a significant chunk of your morning. Thankfully though, Maxis takes pride in creating the most realistic experience possible, as just like in real life, your Sims are able to take bathroom breaks while at work.
That means you no longer have to rush to the toilet to empty your bladder before you head out the door to work. Instead, you can now utilize your time more wisely and spend the extra few minutes doing something that will boost your Sim's mood to help ensure they are going to work not only healthy but also happy.
5 Use Your Emotions To Unlock Hidden Interactions
If you have ever played The Sims 4, you will have probably noticed that from time to time, some interactions will appear in bright colors. Well, these colors are not just put there to look pretty, as they actually allow your Sim to perform a unique interaction that is made only available by a specific mood or emotion.
While we have already covered the different emotions that become available when performing certain activities, such as showering or brushing your teeth, these color-coded interactions that appear can provide further help to get that emotion to the next level. When your Sim has activated one of these, they will unlock unique content such as cooking gummy bear pancakes when Playful or cooking heart cookies when feeling Flirty.
4 Make Use Of Handy Shortcuts
I think we can all agree that the controls within The Sims series–especially The Sims 4–are far from perfect. Simply put, if you aren’t struggling to make use of The Sims controls, people would be quick to begin questioning you, as even the most skilled builders struggle with the game's controls sometimes.
To make the process easier, Maxis has created a whole range of different hotkeys to help make playing the game that much easier. Some of the most useful hotkeys that most players utilize are the arrow keys, which will essentially move the player around the game. The player can also use both of the square bracket keys to increase or decrease the size of household objects, and pressing G can toggle the grid while in Build Mode.
3 Import Your Own Music
While many real life songs have been rerecorded in Simlish–Katy Perry even recorded her hit song ‘Last Friday Night’ into the official Sims language–sometimes, listening to gibberish can be quite annoying. Thankfully, Maxis has given players the option from the very beginning of the series to change and alter the music that is played on the radio stations.
The process that is used to add your own custom music into the game differs slightly between each entry in the series, but the premise still remains the same. To add your own music to the pre-existing radio stations, simply copy and paste your selected music into the ‘Custom Music’ folder that is generally located in the C: drive under Documents/Electronic Arts/The Sims 4/Custom Music. From there, place your songs in their allocated genre folder.
Now just turn on your in-game radio, and you and your Sim will be able to listen to all your favourite songs.
2 Influence Your Baby's Gender By Eating Certain Fruits
Having a baby, whether it’s in real life or in game, is always an exciting experience. While many won’t admit to it, most parents have a specific gender preference for their new bundle of joy. Fortunately, unlike real life, The Sims allows you to influence your baby’s gender before it is born.
In The Sims 3, eating three apples during pregnancy will increase your odds of having a boy, while eating three watermelons will increase your chances of having a girl. Eating carrots and listening to alternative music increases your chances of having a boy in The Sims 4, and eating strawberries and listening to pop music will increase your chances of a baby girl.
Don’t forget to keep your pregnant Sim happy though, as the happier they are the more likely they’ll be to have a chance to select their baby’s traits.
1 Never Empty The Trash Can Again
We all hate taking out the trash: not only does it smell funky but it also is one of the worst possible chores you could be tasked with as a kid.
Surprisingly though, taking out the trash in The Sims actually proves to be quite fun and rather easy, as it was one of the first major exploits that players found within the original game of the series. Fortunately, Maxis was still trying to iron out the kinks after the release of the original game, and players found a neat little trick that will save your lazy Sims from actually doing any work. Players discovered that if you sell a full trash can, you can make back all of your money and get it replaced with a brand new one that has never been used before.