The Sims 4 has recently celebrated its 4th birthday. It was released on 2nd September 2014 and has been expanding ever since through additional free and chargeable content.
The 4th game in The Sims franchise currently boasts 5 expansion packs, 6 game packs, and 14 stuff packs. These, alongside free updates and patches, have added a great deal to the game. There are now 9 worlds to explore and a number of new careers and hobbies. They also add new clothes and items, reflecting different cultures and worlds.
Something I’ve always loved about The Sims franchise is the incredible attention to detail that goes into each aspect of the game. There are so many tiny intricate details that can easily pass you by but which help to make the experience of playing so immersive. From aspects of the background to tiny elements of the soundtrack, the attention to detail makes the franchise stand out.
While many of these details come with new content many more are added to the base game through the reasonably frequent free content updates, the most recent of which gave players a selection of Caribbean themed build buy items and clothing.
When you stop to examine the different areas of the game and take time to pay attention to the background you will find a huge number of tiny touches that you’ve likely missed before. While it would take all day to list all the intricacies of this game here are 30 hidden details I found in The Sims 4.
Have you ever noticed that Sims can be either left or right-handed? I certainly didn’t but I think this is one of my favorite tiny details. In real life, while the majority of people are right-handed there are obviously also left-handed people in the world.
The Sims seems to reflect this accurately, with most Sims defaulting to right handed but a section of them preferring to eat with their left hands.
For those who would love to change this as far as I’m aware there is no cheat code for it, but the hidden trait can be set in some mods.
If you are a parent then you will find an option under friendly interactions to give your teen a woohoo talk. This is an amusing interaction and you can expect a great reaction from your teen.
Make sure you watch your teens reactions as you educate them about the world.
As in real life, the parent looks slightly awkward as they deliver an impassioned speech to a teen rolling their eyes. It also lasts much longer than is comfortable, until everyone is embarrassed.
If you start doing weird things expect other Sims to react to you. For instance, if you take photos of other Sims they will be annoyed. Expect to get some interesting looks and for Sims to walk off in a huff in response to you invading their space and privacy.
Gone are the days when all your weird habits were ignored. Expect shock if you decide to shower in the rain and embarrassment if you make a fool of yourself. Sims in the town will react to your actions, even if you aren’t controlling them.
You may expect a musical Sim to randomly burst into song, and in fact, they do, but did you know all Sims are prone to musical interludes?
No matter what your Sim’s skills or traits the vast majority of them will sing in the shower. Maybe not very often but it seems the temptation is just too much for most.
I’ve rarely had a Sim who can resist belting out a tune in the safety of the shower. However, the tunefulness will vary. Singing is a skill so if you don’t have it expect your Sim’s bathroom boogie to fall flat.
For a while now there has been the ability to have child Sims create drawings via the creativity table. You can choose the subject and your child will produce you a loving masterpiece in crayon. These can then be placed on the wall through build and buy mode.
However, the family organizer object from Parenthood takes out the hassle of this process. Photos and artwork will autonomously appear on the board, lovingly placed there by your Sim child’s parents or older siblings.
City Living brought not just the city of San Myshuno but also the snow globe collection. Hidden in boxes around the city these snow globes are beautiful collector's items.
As they are so tiny you would be forgiven for assuming they are a static collectible.
However, as with many similar items, this is not the case. Each snow globe has it’s only tiny animations. From the love hearts which fall over the freezer bunny to the meteor which falls next to the dinosaur. Each reflects different aspects of the game in intricate detail.
The doctor career has some great detail and quirks. When patients are being examined there are subtle clues to show their condition.
Sparks fly when you take the temperature of someone with a fever and if you look in someone’s ears the light shines out the other side of their head. You can also see stars if your patient is dizzy.
The hospital itself is not short of detail either, with moving x-ray machines and intricate machines, the most worrying of which is the machine which pregnant women are put into.
I actually went out to the Bluffs to spot this one as I’d never noticed it before. Although you may need to angle the camera so it’s close to ground level, if you look out you can see beautiful boats.
I even caught a glimpse of a distinct sea monster shaped creature.
The shores are Windenburg are far from boring. As well as the boats and the occasional lurking visitor there is also a seaplane. These seem to rotate with different patterned sailboats coming and going along the shore.
Different traits will affect your Sims as they go about their day. These are very detailed and far more in-depth than you may realize.
Examples include a sad mood-let if a family oriented Sim is away from their partner and kids at work. Materialistic Sims get frustrated if they haven’t bought anything recently while loner Sims get anxious around strangers.
These traits are very detailed, affecting moods as well as behavior, meaning Sims react realistically to situations they encounter.
The mood your Sim is in will affect how they do things. Cooking angrily often results in a mess and a bad quality meal, while being in a happy mood will boost the quality of your dish.
If your Sim has a negative mood, like being angry, sad, or uncomfortable it will have a negative effect on any items you are producing. Sometimes a Sim can be too uncomfortable to perform certain tasks at all. It’s a nice reflection of being too tired, hungry or sad to be able to be creative.
Every popular city has tourists and The Sims 4 city of San Myshuno is no exception. If you wander the streets you’ll run into some very stereotypical visitors to the city.
Keep an eye out for cameras, baseball caps, shorts, and Hawaiian shirts as you play spot the tourist.
A long-term bug means some visiting Sims have even more bizarre outfits, mixing and matching random accessories with glorious abandon. The stereotypical tourists, however, are 100% deliberate and a perfect addition to the city. You may even spot some familiar faces.
Vampires in The Sims 4 are the most detailed of the franchise so far. They can show off their powers, with detailed animations and interactions. Even if you aren’t playing them you will still feel their presence as they are known to sneak into houses at night to feed.
My favorite part is when they go out in sunlight. They start off slowly singeing and the animations get more intense as the effects of the daylight become more permanent. Since the introduction of Seasons, however, they can now protect themselves with umbrellas which is a nice added touch.
A patch added to base game has increased the lighting details in The Sims 4 incredibly. As well as light changing to reflect the different times of day it also takes into account weather and window placement.
A cloudy sky will dull the natural light coming through your windows and a thunderstorm will mean a very dark and grey day.
The shadows have also been changed and all the items in your buildings will affect any shadows from both natural light and lighting fixtures.
Children and teens have their issues. Teens are prone to mood swings, rendering them sullen and grumpy. They can also spontaneously burst into tears. You can spot the mood swings by the way your teen will walk round swinging their arms and looking exasperated.
They can also go through phases which include becoming distant, rebellious and mean.
Children aren’t much better. They can become picky eaters and take against random dishes. As well as this they may become loud, clingy or refuse to wear anything except a bear outfit.
If you explore Windenburg you can find an array of wildlife. The ponds have fish in them and if you watch you can see them swimming below the water. Occasionally they will even jump up and splash back down into the lake.
As well as fish there are also ducks in the pond. Not only do they swim but you can see their legs below the water. This attention to detail means that the wildlife adds huge realism
Have you ever stopped to listen to the games background sounds? If you haven’t then you should. Not only are they incredibly accurate but they are also very detailed.
The city contains train noises, traffic sounds and all the other sounds of the city.
From normal chattering to tiny flickering sounds, all aspects of the city have a soundtrack. It’s not just out and about either. Shoes make different noises depending on the floor type and forks will scrape against plates when you eat.
Another nice realistic touch is the ability for Sims trying for a baby to take a pregnancy test. If it’s positive then they can then choose “share big news” to inform other Sims of this exciting news.
Don’t expect everything to go well, however. This is The Sims and realism is paramount. This means Sims can react in different ways. They can get excited but not always. Your Sims existing children may not be quite so enamored with the idea and can pout or sulk when told of the baby brother or sister that they “did not ask for”.
If you have a Sim just starting out you can put them in a “needs TLC” apartment. The attention to detail that went into these is just incredible.
Firstly you can furnish them with grungy looking carpets and wallpaper, with a background of faded fridge and battered kitchen units. They even have cheap looking plastic chairs.
Not only that but the “needs TLC” trait will add a fuse box which randomly sparks and dodgy looking pipes which intermittently drip. You will also find an occasional roach issue.
Oasis Springs is a beautiful world and the attention to detail is phenomenal. Not only does it contain plants which are appropriate for the environment but it also boasts several other tiny details you may well miss at first glance.
If you hang around in the park and take a look at the scenery you will notice tiny swirling dust clouds that spring up occasionally, especially around rocks. There are also a number of tiny insects which can be seen dotted across the area.
Get To Work brought us the scientist career, my favorite of the interactive careers. One of the reasons I love it so much is not just the ability to invent a freeze ray and cause chaos, but also the tiny details in the labs.
The Invention Constructor is my friend and if you pay close attention you’ll see why.
Every time I ask him to invent things he checks in with me. He nods and seems to ask for my approval throughout the process. My Sim also rewards him by patting him when he is done. They’ve built up quite a relationship.I'm hoping he will protect me if the robot uprising happens.
Less a detail, more a feature that’s easily overlooked, the ability add Sims from the gallery into Create A Sim was introduced in a recent patch.
When you enter Create A Sim check the bottom of the screen and you will see a small photo icon. Clicking this will display a random Sim from the Gallery, rather than clicking the die, which gives you a random Sim from the ones made by the development team.
This feature is a real time saver for those of you who, like me, are terrible at creating Sims that look good.
City Living also gave us festivals. Each festival is unique and tiny touches add something special to each one.
The geek festival is frequently attended by cosplayers. Not only that but they get cross if you take photos without asking, forcing you to comply to proper convention etiquette. The spice festival has a hidden skill, meaning Sims who eat spicy foods more frequently will build up a tolerance and fare better in the curry eating challenge. Even the flea market has little touches, displaying a range of items that definitely look pre-loved.
The Sim’s TV channels are incredibly detailed. There a range of channels to cover different moods and offer emotional boosts. Each channel also offers at least 2 programs and some of them are perfect parodies of our TV shows.
On your Sim’s TV, you can find Top Chef and The Tonight Show With Tony Clifton.
There are others as well, alongside those which feature footage from MySims and The Sims 4 games. You can even see Sims in the news and playing sports.
San Myshuno is an often underappreciated city but personally, I’m a huge fan. I could probably find 30 tiny details just about this one area. Every aspect of it has been carefully constructed. The most standout of which is the square outside the gym.
If you angle your camera correctly you can look down a pentagon shape in the middle of the area and see an array of activity on different levels. Sims appear to scale on the different floors and all the way down at the bottom there are cars, which even have lights and move.
If you’ve never read the item descriptions for the build buy items then you need to start. Every single one has incredible attention to detail.
You can find all kinds of jokes, pop culture references and cheeky references in the carefully crafted words.
If you ever read the patch notes then you will have a preview of the level of humor in the descriptions. They are so amusing there are even videos dedicated to reading them out.
The scouting tree is available as an after-school activity and the details are incredible. They meet at weekends and you can progress up the ranks as you complete challenges and earn badges.
Each activity is based in a different area or uses a different skill. They all reflect real scouting badges.
It’s available to children and teens and once they join they will even get their own scouting uniform. There is also a scouting board which can be used to track badge progress.
On the main world menus, the icons for different households will change color depending on their status. A bright green means a played household, pale green means unplayed but favorited household and Gray is and unplayed and unfavorited household.
This seemingly minor detail can be incredibly useful for identifying the households you places, ones in-game already and those which you have already begun to explore.
Households you add are automatically favorited, unless you swap them into the other list. This nice feature allows you to fully control several different households in any game save at any given time.
If you want to make a cake for your Sims then there are several choices in game. As well as traditional white or chocolate cakes you can also make sum gems as the hamburger cake.
My favorite part of the hamburger cake is that not only does it look amazing but you can make it fit for any occasion. Add candles for birthday fun or a wedding topper to make your newlywed dreams come true.
That’s right, hamburger-shaped wedding cake. Quite frankly its everything I’ve ever wanted from a cake.
In several areas, you can see tiny wind turbines in the background of the various worlds. It may seem insignificant but these tiny details add a huge degree of realism.
They aren’t just static turbines either, each one turns as it presumably generates power for your Sims.
We may not have got that off the grid living pack but it doesn’t mean our Sims are not being energy efficient. Tiny details like this are what makes this game so amazing. I love that the team took the time to think about things like this.
Another subtle but nice evolution is the way bills are paid. Back in the early days of the franchise, those pesky bills arrived in the post. Your Sim had to collect them then click them to go back to the mailbox and pay them.
Nowadays The Sims has moved with the times. Although your bills will still arrive by post you can now use either your mobile or computer to pay them. A nice nod to the modern ways of the internet and phone banking.