The Sims franchise has been delighting its fans for almost 20 years now. These games have taken a simple concept—playing deity—and turned it into a worldwide phenomenon! Millions of players worldwide spend their time creating families, building houses, and acting out life stories, and we wouldn't have it any other way. With each title in the franchise, gameplay has got more and more advanced—and the graphics have improved enormously! Sure, the original Sims wins in terms of pure nostalgia factor, but The Sims 4 is a pretty amazing game too.
One of the best things about Sims games is their sheer level of detail. There are dozens and dozens of tricks and secrets hidden among normal gameplay, from secret areas to unusual social interactions. If you tend to play the game "traditionally"—imply making a family, building them a house, and playing them from birth until passing—there's a high chance you've missed out on a lot of Sims goodness without even realizing it. The Sims 4 is the ultimate Sims game for this. As more worlds and gameplay elements have been added, the developers have hidden so many more easter eggs in their work.
As The Sims 4 has become more and more detailed, it's become more complicated to play. It's hard to keep things simple when there are so many gameplay features to keep track of! This leads to players taking shortcuts and potentially doing things wrong without even realizing! Here are just some of the times that this might have been the case.
One of the most frustrating parts of house-building in The Sims 4 is getting the roof right. The auto-roofing tool from previous games didn't make it into the newest Sims title, so we've been left to struggle with gables and hipped roofs alone. It's not all bad, though: there are a few roofing tips and tricks out there! For example, it's easy to miss the small, rounded arrows that appear on the corners of gabled rooves. These can be used to either lengthen or shorten the roof's eaves, depending on your preference!
The Sims 4: Vampires didn't just provide us with a whole host of Victorian-style Build and Buy Mode items. As its name suggests, this pack also allowed players to create vampire Sims! Looking after vampires can be a bit of a nightmare. They need to feed off other Sims from time to time to sate their thirst for blood. Rather than hunting hapless Sims for this purpose, it's easier to just create one human Sim and make them best pals with your vampire. The Sim will then happily donate plasma whenever it's required!
Have you ever wished that a potted plant could be bigger, or an annoying light fitting in your Sim's house smaller? Well, there's a cheat for that! If you press Ctrl + Shift + C and type in "bb.moveobjects on", you'll now have the power to resize objects—amongst other abilities! While you're moving a piece of furniture, use the Shift button plus your square brackets keys to toggle its size. The left bracket will make the object smaller, and the right one will make it bigger!
The Sims 4 isn’t just about building houses, filling them with families, and letting chaos ensue. It’s about exploration and discovery too. There are secret lots dotted about the in-game worlds, many of which require your Sim to have certain skills before they can be found.
An exception to this is Sylvan Glade in Willow Creek.
If you travel to the lot Crick Cabana, you’ll notice a huge, pretty interesting-looking tree nearby. If you view this tree, water it, and then talk to it enough, the “Explore” option will pop up. Select it, and you’ll find yourself in Sylvan Glade!
If you don’t have much experience building houses in The Sims 4, it can be difficult to know where to start. A lot of us – myself included – frequently fall into the trap of drawing out a giant box with the wall tool and leaving the house at that. However, that often just doesn’t look very realistic! Adding extra rooms that jut out, multiple levels, and a bit of landscaping can make all the difference. But how do you make landscaping look natural and not like you just plonked a few trees here and there? We’ll get to that later!
Another of The Sims 4’s hidden areas is the alien planet of Sixam, which was added to the game in the Get To Work expansion pack. Unlike Sylvan Glade, Sixam requires your Sims to jump through a few hoops before they’re allowed to visit! There are two methods of unlocking Sixam. Your Sim either has to progress through the Scientist career until they can build the Electroflux Wormhole Generator, or build an upgraded rocket ship that also has the generator. If they manage either of these feats, they can travel to Sixam and have a look around!
If you love decorating houses in The Sims 4, the Alt button is the best friend you didn’t even know you had. I certainly didn’t realize what this button did for quite some time, and I still kick myself! If you hold down Alt while placing an object in your Sims’ home, you’ll no longer have to conform to the grid system that’s imposed on the game. You can freely place that chair, toilet, or statue anywhere! This isn’t even a cheat: it’s just a built-in feature of the game that a lot of people have missed.
Another building trick that a lot of Simmers don’t realize exists in The Sims 4 is the half floor tile tool. Have you ever wished that you could place triangle tiles instead of squares and create an intricate floor pattern for your Sims to enjoy?
Well, turns out you can!
If you hold down the Ctrl and F buttons while placing a floor tile, it’ll half and become the triangle of your dreams. You now have some extra versatility! Go create crazy patterns and mosaics!
If you’ve ever felt that sense of dread when the Grim Reaper turns up on the lot of your favorite Sim, this trick is for you. Even if the Grim Reaper is poised to take your Sim to the afterlife, you can convince him to relent using a Death Flower. This plant can be unlocked through a lengthy process of grafting different fruits and flowers together. Graft a cherry and apple to get a pomegranate; graft a Lily to a Snapdragon to make an Orchid; then graft the Orchid and Pomegranate together to get your Death Flower!
A lot of Sims players don’t realize that it’s possible to influence the outcome of Sim pregnancies.
You don’t even have to use cheats, either!
You can control the gender of the unborn baby by getting the mother to listen to or eat certain things. If you want the baby to be female, your Sim should eat some strawberries or jam out to some pop music. For a boy, eat some carrots and listen to the alternative music radio station.
If you’ve got a bit sick of listening to Simlish music while your Sims dance the night away, fear not: there’s a fix for that. You can actually put your own music into the game using the Custom Music feature! The tracks have to be in MP3 format for this to work, though. Simply copy the MP3 files and paste them into the Custom Music folder that’s in your computer’s Sims 4 folder. This is usually found in “My Documents” under “EA Games”. Happy listening!
When The Sims 4 was first released, one of the fans’ main criticisms of the game was that the camera style seemed much less user-friendly than its The Sims 3 counterpart. If you’re still struggling to get your head wrapped around how it works, it might be worth switching to The Sims 4’s other camera mode. In Game Options, you can check a box that reverts the in-game camera to Sims 3 style. It’s almost like the game’s developers expected people to struggle with the new setup!
The Design Tool is a very handy little gadget for builders and decorators in The Sims 4. If you select this control and click on a piece of furniture, all of its different color options will appear for your designing pleasure!
However, there’s one thing about this tool that a lot of players don’t realize.
You don’t have to use your mouse to click between each color: there’s a button for that! Press R to toggle between Design Tool options. It’s a lot quicker and easier than clicking on them all individually.
There are so many secrets in The Sims 4 that you’d only uncover if you’re in the right area at the right time. An example of this is the monster-hunting you can engage in while taking a trip to Windenburg! Emily the Sea Monster is a play on the Loch Ness Monster, and she dwells in the sea around this popular The Sims 4: Get Together neighborhood. If you gaze at the water for long enough, she’s bound to appear!
Earlier on, we mentioned that landscaping can make a Sims 4 house look a whole lot more realistic. But what do we mean by that? Well, in Sims terms, landscaping means adding trees, bushes, flowers, and paths to your Sim’s lot – but in a realistic way. Don’t just plonk a tree down here and there and expect your Sim’s home to look like a woodland paradise! Landscaping turns out a whole lot better if you think about how and where plants would naturally grow. Don’t be afraid to add some overgrown grass or ivy up the walls.
Split level rooms can be a really stylish and modern addition to your Sims’ houses. However, they can be a bit fiddly to perfect in The Sims 4! The game’s default is to put everything on one level, and it’s hard to override that. However, all hope is not lost! Basements are a great tool if you’re looking to add some split-level goodness to your ground floor. By adding in a staircase and replacing a couple of walls with fences, you can live out your multi-level dreams. Maybe one day, we Simmers will get an actual split-level tool…
The Sims 4: Get Together introduced the club mechanic. Groups of Sims with similar interests could now form an official club, have scheduled meet-ups, and terrorize any rival groups.
Paragons vs Renegades, anyone?
Thing is, clubs can be used for so much more than just organized fun. You can use them to create a vampire coven, a cult, or even just a family hangout group for those Sims who love their relatives. The possibilities are truly endless! Just get some Sims together, decide what their weird cult-like obsession will be, and you’re sorted!
Before you get excited, we’re not talking about a Little Mermaid-esque “Under the Sea” situation here. You can’t live beneath the ocean waves in The Sims 4! However, you can create the illusion of living underwater using basements and the pool tool. The actual water of a pool sits on the same level as a basement. If you add windows to your basement walls, all you’ll see outside is water! Besides anything else, it’s a great way to let natural light into your underground room.
If you’ve ever played a Sims 4 legacy challenge, you’ll know that after a few generations, the pool of townies available for your Sims to meet gets worryingly shallow. On top of that, as you create a bigger and bigger family, you become related to almost everyone in town.
Not great for the gene pool!
If you are planning on playing a long-term game like this, it’s an idea to top up available townies from time to time. You can either move Sims of your own creation into your neighborhoods or use pre-made families from the Gallery!
If you thought the Mischief skill was just designed for your Sims to play pranks on their friends and family, you were wrong! If you build this skill to a high enough level, it actually takes on a pretty sinister undertone. You can use it to practice voodoo on your enemies (or your friends, if you’re a bit messed up)! It doesn’t even take much skill building to unlock the voodoo doll: you can buy it online after your Sim reaches Mischief level three.
The Sims 4: Cats and Dogs is a popular pack amongst the Simmers of the world. Who doesn’t love adding furry friends to their Sims’ households? What a lot of people don’t realize, though, is that owning a female cat or dog could be the start of a very profitable unofficial “career” for your Sims. You can encourage your female pet to mate with other animals of the same species, in the hope of breeding some puppies or kittens. You can keep these baby furballs if you want, or make a lot of money selling them!
The Satisfaction Points mechanic is a fairly easy one to ignore in The Sims 4. Your Sims get points if you complete their Aspiration goals or fulfill their whims. However, unless you click the Rewards Store button in the Aspiration menu, you might go through the game blissfully unaware of how important those points can be! You can use them to buy traits and potions for your Sim that often have incredibly useful effects. You can make them gain Skills faster, never feel hungry again, or even renew their youth.
In the Sims franchise’s early games, getting your Sims to multitask was basically impossible. Want to chat with your wife while you’re making dinner? Sorry, cooking takes up all of your attention. Does your Sim fancy watching TV while running on the treadmill? You can only do one! Well, that used to be the case, anyway. In The Sims 4, your Sims can actually do more than one thing at once without the game totally crashing! So much time efficiency!
Fire has always been a bit of a problem in Sims games. It can destroy entire houses and end entire families, just because one Sim had a slightly low Cooking skill. In previous Sims games, owning a smoke detector would minimize the risk of fire somewhat – one sound of the alarm would bring the fire brigade to sort things out. However, this is no longer the case in The Sims 4! Just let your Sims just stand there because you think a fire crew is on its way – make them put the flames out themselves before it’s too late!
Emotions are both a blessing and a curse in The Sims 4. If your Sim is doing well, their happy emotional state can bring all sorts of benefits. However, if they start to feel uncomfortable or upset, it can seriously impact your game.
Luckily, there’s a quick-fix solution to get rid of any unwanted feelings!
The Tea Magic Personal Brewer serves lots of types of tea to your Sim, each of which triggers a different emotion. We’ll leave it to you to work out which tea sparks which kind of feeling!