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Navigation of Sims 4 Guide

Introduction and Release

Created by Electronic Arts Maxis and the Sims Studio, while being published by the massive gaming company Electronic Arts, The Sims 4 is a stylized life simulation video game for microsoft windows PC. As of yet, there is no other version available for the Mac and Linux. Though not a part of its main genre, The Sims fanchise is known for its wandering, nonlinear gameplay that offers the player a great deal of freedom in a seemingly endless world where the player controls their own created characters, known as Sims, that lead their own lives by pursuing a medley of activities. Unlike most video games, there is not a pervasive sense of danger to the player’s character or characters, and so while the player’s character or characters can perish, often by sheer age or by an intentional, persistent action by the player, it is not as widespread of a occurrence as it would be in say an MMORPG or an FPS whose mechanics rely on the ever present threat of demise as a means of balance. Instead the Sims 4 theme is one of leading one’s own life and legacy, through prosperity, exploration, socializing, and enjoyment. It can be considered a casual game by the forgiving, mild nature of the gameplay, as there the gameplay is not fast paced nor overly critical of mistakes. There is just about an entire lack of twitchy reactions needed by the player, and so the Sims series itself appeals to a wider selection of gamers than a genre like the general FPS would.

The Sims 4 is the long awaited, most recent installment of the fan beloved, cash cow of a video game franchise that was released in September of 2014. Though it was slated for release in early spring of that year, it was pushed back several months due to the ambiguous need of quality control, such as bug fixing and polishing game features, even the addition of more that just could not have made it into the game as of that spring. And yet despite the delayed launch date, when Sims 4 was released it still lacked several features that was released in the previous incarnation of the Sims, which was the Sims 3. This was met with a great deal of criticism and outcry from the devoted fanbase that had been waiting nearly a few years for this long awaited game.

While The Sims 4 is a complicated beast of a whimsical simulation video game, and so would be features that were yet to be added to the game that the only developers who could implement them were unable to without taking away from some other piece of content, the fanbase’s concerns and complaints were not without their merit. There was about a five year gap between the release dates of the Sims 3 and the Sims 4, and usually, if not typically with subsequent installments of a well funded, highly renowned game series features that were present in previous versions are nearly assumed to also be present in the newest release, and if not then in some kind of advanced or upgraded format. While the Sims 4 is a very different game than the Sims 3, its inner makeup is similar enough for such a direct comparison to be made, and such analogy was quicker to make by the massive fanbase when the Sims 4 had yet to even be released. Such missing features were the ability to create pools, and the swimming skill directly associated with them, but pools specifically were not a feature that was always released upon launch date for previous installments. Regarding pools, it was a complaint that this was a basic and needed feature for the world of the Sims, and that being several years in the making, it should not need an expansion pack to be added.

There was also some rumblings of vexation and disquiet that yet again Electronic Arts would be gatelocking game features and a wealth of content through a lineup of expansion packs. Unfortunately this would just be considered a general complaint against the umbrella company itself, and perhaps not truly Maxis, but only an employee of Maxis could say with any certainty, as it is a business habit of Electronic Arts to pack together additional content, even just costumes under the term DLC, or otherwise known as downloadable content.

The Sims 4 lacks even the game feature of weather, and so whatever town the player starts at, will always have the same weather, although there are transitions between day and night. To someone unfamiliar with the practice of the Sims games, and as well Electronic Arts, this would seem to be a sorely missing feature that is questionable to be missing from the main game. It is probable the fans of the Sims 4 would not have such a great number of overwhelming complaints if the price of the game was not set to such an exobirant level for the lack of features and content, as the price was not any lower than any other typical triple A game. But that is the nature of the gaming market, in that Electronic Arts was most likely well aware that with the high demand, the long since estabilished fanbase of the Sims series, and their marketing capabilities that gamers would purchase the Sims 4 regardless of what its price tag was. It is unlikely that this was not the case, except for some outliers who may not even have known about the drama surrounding its lack of features, and perhaps just did not purchase it based on its exorbitant price tag and went towards less than moral, and certainly not legal means.

Compared to its predecessor the Sims 3

To make matters worse for the Sims 4, it is caught into a similar curse that newly released MMORPGs fall prey to, in that recently released MMORPGs are compared to every other MMORPG on the market, and as such they fall incredibly short in the diversity and wealth of content other, already long since estabilished and developed for years MMORPGs possess. It is unrealistic and impossible to expect an MMORPG that had just been released two months ago to have the staggering amount of content an MMORPG that has been live and running for several years to have, and yet that is the comparison a gamer is going to make anyway. Because they either have to choose from an MMORPG with a great deal of things to achieve and explore or else a newer, likely less polished but graphically and potentially gameplay superior MMORPG.

This is a strikingly similar case for the Sims 4 when placed in comparison to its still relevant, still playable predessor the Sims 3. Although the Sims 3 was released several years ago, it has been receiving downloadable content packages, patches, and an assortment of expansion packs that add to the game objects, create a sim parts, clothing, town worlds, and even new skills over many years, even as recent as 2014 with the final expansion pack named Into the Future. The kind of content that expansion packs embellish the Sims franchise with is likely a considerable reason as to why any of the Sims games are released as bare as they are, with the Sims 4 being a prominent and glaring example, as it happens to fall short of the bar its predecessors did.

And so by the diverse content the Sims 3 has over its several expansion packs, the Sims 4 was caught in to a trap to look to be in an even worser light. A potential gamer would have to choose from a game that was much older but had much more content to engage in, while it would have a rather high price tag with all those expansion packs bundled together, they still are set at a lower price because of the Sims 3’s age, or else a the next step in the evolution of the Sims franchise with stylized graphics and an overlaying mechanic called Emotions.

However, it is professed by the developers of the Sims themselves that the sheer groundwork for the Sims 4 was crafted new and upgraded so that the engine would be running as something entirely else. It is no secret that the Sims 3 suffered from haphazard glitches and crippling lag that accumulated the longer the player kept to the same save file, and was plagued so harshly by these afflictions it was like a curse. Though player made fixes were made available on the internet, known as the nras mod, it was only a bandage to a permanently festering wound. To be more accurate, it was like a bandage dispenser that would continually re-apply the bandage at nightly intervals. The underlying problem wasn’t solved, but it was managed, and only to a degree. It would seem it was not an issue any modder could address, and neither would nor possibly could the developers themselves, as it was an inherent fault of the engine itself.

The Sims 3’s direction took its gameplay to allow for an open world, where the player and their Sim family could explore anywhere in their town, and should they wish also travel to other towns like university or france. Traveling to another world involved the ordeal of a lengthy loading screen however, which would only take longer the larger the player’s save file was. The fanbase of the Sims often create legacies, which are generations upon generations of Sims often with an aspect focused on like a certain hair color or only female heirs, and so legacy families were hampered by this. Relationships are quite the important part of a Sim’s life, and yet relationships did not carry over between towns should the player’s family move. They also did not function much at all between vacation towns, as while a Sim from the hometown could call a Sim from france, the feature was buggy and often the only available option would be only to call them, with no other recourse. Attempting to bring them as a roommate, that if possible, ended up to be a nightmare in its tangled difficulty.

Returning back to the open world focus of the Sims 3’s direction however, is that every Sim in the town was living their lives, going to work, visiting bars and parks. All of this is being calculated by the game, and the player’s computer of course, and so this takes up a large amount of resources. Should glitches occur, or even what some may call a mechanic where a Sim cannot go somewhere, called a routing issue, what appears to happen at the surface is that the game continually attempts to process that routing, but it cannot proceed, so it is stuck at a loop. Even in Sims 3 games modded with nras that will reset those Sims unable to route, the game will still accumulate lag from all this processing and cluttering going around across the whole town.

While there is nothing truly stopping the player from easily visiting their neighbor, the player just is not looking at everything at once, and so while a player is usually focusing on just their Sim family, it causes even simple interactions with the fridge to have delays of a few seconds, to even the whole game freezing for minutes at a time. There were again certain fixes to mitigate these issues, like the fps limiter that would assuage frame lag to a degree, these were all third party additions that were both hard to find and did not fix the problem as a whole.

The Sims 4 took a much different direction, likely in response to the encumbering lag that plagued the Sims 3, turning an otherwise enjoyable experience into a bout of frustration. Instead of having an open world, the game just focuses on a specific area, such as the player’s house, and places loading screens in between anywhere else. Visiting the gym, the park, or even neighbors on different screens will bring up a loading screen. However unlike the Sims 3, these loading screens take only a fraction of the time, as much less needs to be processed and brought into memory. Because of this, while the player’s Sim family is staying at home, the only thing that needs to be processed and rendered is the Sim family’s home and the few other neighbors on the street.

This may seem like a narrowing of the experience, but it only segments part of the game’s world into pieces that are easier for the game to manage, and thus reduce lag and glitches by a considerable amount. That is not to say that the Sims 4 is not without its fair share of glitches, but what the Sims 4 developers endeavored to achieve was successful in most ways. Players are as well free to move their family anywhere across any of the worlds available to them without loss of relationships or data, unlike the Sims 3 predecessor.

Gameplay

The name of the Sims 4 is after the characters themselves, the Sims. As you may have guessed, it was once short for the word simulation, and the franchise turned it into a noun specifically for these loony, needy, but determined characters. The game is a simulation about life, the adventure and thrill of it, along with the struggles and woes of it, even the rotten luck of it, through a Sim’s eyes. Well, not literally through a sim’s eyes, or even just one pair of them too. The player can take control of more than just one Sim, but technically one one Sim at a time. You see there is only one playable household at a time, and multiple Sims can be a part of that household. They do not have to be genetically related either, and neither adopted too. They could all be roommmates, or even all be strangers, but technically the game engine will consider them roommates anyway, as they would be living in the same building.

And though a player can only control a single active household at a time, they are free to switch to another one should they choose, either by selecting one already living at a home at another lot, or by creating a new one and purchasing a home through their funds. Most players just stick with the single household, and continue to play it through generations upon generations. Such a manner of playstyle is called a Legacy, and usually those legacies have goals and challenges to make things more interesting for players, or to push players to engage in activities and requirements that through normal gameplay they just would not do, such as having a heir that only has skin as blue as cotton candy does.

The game begins from the main menu, where the player chooses to start a new game. From there, the Create a Sim mode opens up with a completely randomly generated Sim that is just a placeholder for what the player will end up creating. The player can choose just about anything about their Sim, with the only thing that comes to mind that the player cannot is the height which is set per age. Customization and personal creation is the point of the Create a Sim mode, which can be accessed later on in the game, although in a more limited fashion that prohibits altering the Sim’s genetics and physical features. The player can choose anything from the Sim’s hair style, hair color, the shape of their jaw, the protrusion of their eyes, to the way the Sim walks, to what kind of traits they have that make them the Sim that they are. So Create a Sim lets a player shape both how the Sim looks, how the Sim dresses, and who the Sim is by crafting their personality from their aspiration and traits, along with what kind of relationships they have with Sims a part of their household.

What Sims the player creates in the Create a Sim to begin with will dictate what Sims, and how many Sims, will be a part of the player’s household once the game begins proper. Although the player is not presented with potential career path that the Sim, or Sims will take, it is generally kept in mind when selecting their aspiration and their traits as that alters how much they excel at certain skills, how they enjoy themselves, and what sort of needs they have.

In the predecessor Sims 3, what is now aspiration in the Sims 4 was called the lifetime wish, which was a goal set for their life that either required that they reach the maximum level (or near maixmum level) of their career, or achieve some other outstanding goal. These lifetime wishes would grant happiness points, or rather the equivalent of it, which could then be spent on lifetime rewards that would either give the Sim a special object or imbue them with special traits, like the ability to never have to use the toilet again. Although that did alter the gameplay mechanics, it was at the cost and reward of earning enough points to be able to lower the maintenance required for that Sim, and it did not pass from Sim to Sim either, it was unique to just that Sim. That is not to say that other Sims could not also earn that trait, but they had to do that on their own. In the Sims 4, aspirations grant aspiration points that can purchase a similar set of traits, but that nessitates a more in depth explanation that can be found on the Creating a Sim page of this guide.

There are two towns to choose from when selecting a home for the Sim household, with one being a forested land with lakes and rivers in a balmy environment where fluffy white clouds scuttle by with little to no agenda, named Willow Creek, or the other being a place of a resort-like desert with swaths of green and glittering springs, where the heat bears down on the populace but nobody seems to notice, aptly named Oasis Springs. Choosing a home, or lot, in either town has no lasting effects, as the player is free to move their Sim household to the other town with no reprocussions other than the sheer cost of moving, or affording a larger lot or greater home. This is a feature much unlike the previous games, where towns were their own self inclosed worlds that relationships struggled to pass over the barriers, as if each one existed on another plane of existence. In the Sims 4, it is as if the towns are right by each other, and the Sims freely and easily mingle with one another. If anything, the addition of another town to the Sims 4 would just increase the world that the Sims know, as if discovering another continent, just on a much, much smaller scale.

The sim household starts out with a predetermined amount of money, or as the game calls the currency simoleons after the humankind that inhabits the world, that is increased by the number of Sims in the household when it first begins. When purchasing a home, the Sim household is either purchasing just the lot itself, or the already designed home ontop of the lot. Needless to say, a lot with a home already built ontop of it is going to cost more than just the lot itself, but the Sim household is going to need to build a home anyway in order to live a proper life that is not a teteering equivalent to hoboing it. There is also the choice to purchase the home furnished or not, which does decorate the interior of the home, but does not leave the selection of furniture and appliances up to the player’s likely more frugal expenditure of simoleons. So the more that is spent, such as having a prebuilt home that is already furnished, the less the Sim household will be left with when they begin their new lives. However the less that is purchased before moving onto a lot, the less amemmities and necessities the Sim household will have until those things are built and purchased. The Sims 4 is far from a simulation that is anchored in realistic timelines of the mythical plane of existence called the real world, so there is no such thing as construction times. Everything that is built is done right in that moment, and once the player transitions back over from build mode into live mode, whatever was built will be there, able to be used and enjoyed by the Sims of that household.

The Sims 4 is a game about freedom in telling the story of your Sims, by choosing each step they take, and guiding them through it, protecting them even. It is entirely up to the player whether they pick a prebuilt home atop a lot, or start with a blank slate of a lot ready to design their own home, even if it looks far worse and much duller than their neighbors. There is a great deal of value in something that the player creates themselves, as there is much more personal connection to it, and it is also allowing the player to partake of the experience themselves, one that may otherwise be excluded if they chose prebuilt homes. But not every player enjoys the same thing, and so they may rather plop down a home created by another player who spent several hours toiling away to fashion a masterpiece, provided the Sim household has the funds. Afterall, the larger the lot is, the more expensive it is going to be. However the most expensive lot in the game currently, the fifty by fifty lot, is only going to be ten thousand simoleons when it has been recently demolished and thus has nothing of a structure on top of it.

Although this all does sound like a lot of preparation in order to actually play the game, creating one’s own Sims and selecting, or building the Sim household’s home, is just a natural part of the game; and yet despite that, in the beginning, there is only so much that can be chosen from or picked with the limited funds the Sim household starts out with. Even with a fully packed Sim household, at the unmodded limit of eight, there is only so much that can be afforded. In the beginning stages of the game, there is a strong element of scarcity, which makes earning anything quite the achievement, and the challenge too. The Sims must work hard in order to get that giant plasma TV, or even that opulent bathtub instead of that dingy, rusted thing that they get negative moodlets from cleaning themselves in. So while technically the Sim household could afford the largest lot in the game, they will not be able to build much of a house beyond a few lightly furnished rooms with some sparse light fixtures. Fortunately there are not negative moodlets associated with lack of tile and paint, or else early legacy families would have quite the challenge. It is almost too bad that is not an option that can be toggled, as it would make sense to receive negative moodlets from being in an unfurnished home like it was in the Sims 3, but it did prevent players from incorporating nature indoors without receiving those unfurnished negative moodlets.

But the player does not need to have the largest lot in the game in the very beginning, as that can be moved to at any time without any detriment to the Sim household, and so they can start out with more managable accomodations at a smaller lot with a home already built ontop of it. They are not going to be able to afford much of a home though, if the player chooses a prebuilt one, because of the combined cost of a home and a lot is quite steep, especially one that is already furnished with beds, ovens, fridges, lights, and even dressers. All the more reason to start out with a career quick, so that your Sims can start living the glamorous life.

From there your Sims will begin their lives, building relationships and climbing through the ranks of their careers, while they ride a rollercoaster of a emotion as they strive to flourish their talents by mastering skills. The Sims 4 has an open ended form of storytelling, where player decides where it goes, and if it does indeed ever end.

Graphics and Style

The detail of the textures in Sims 4 is not as intricate as some of what is found in its predecessor, the Sims 3, specifically those of the surrounding environment, but with the lack of detail that some of the environment has in the Sims 4 it makes up for it in aesthetic style with depth of field and bloom combined to make a dreamy scene with the cell shaded-like graphics.

That is just a single screenshot of the winding road by the water beyond the backyard of a large lot. The forested scene is fairly unique amongst the landscape, so much of what is viewed beyond the lot that is owned by the household is appealing to the eye without striking on dull repetition of assets. It’s clear that quite a lot of effort was put into the atmosphere of the town, the one pictured being Willow Creek, one of the only two that are available with the release of the game. Presumably more will be added to Sims 4 with the release of expansion packs.

The dreamy, cell shaded style of the graphics meshes well with the whimsical nature of the game, as despite being a simulation of life, it is none too serious with the expressiveness of the Sims themselves, and the rollercoaster of emotions that they are thrown along, riding wave after wave, some being far worse than others (such as Sims with the insane trait). The Sims themselves, while perhaps not having textures as high on detail count, are more appealing to the eye because of the stylized graphics that match more of what actual people of different ethnicities across the globe look like. The Sims in the Sims 3 were notorious for their faces that resembled a rounded cup of pudding more than a person, especially with the oddly contrasting, too orange complexion that stepped closely on uncanny valley, the phenomenon where a model or an android starts to look so similar to an actual human being that it becomes creepy because of the subtle differences. The Sim models in the Sims 3 was once quite the advancement from the Sims 2, with realistic styled graphics that had noticeable angular flat planes for a body and face, with a level of graphics similar to Half-Life 1. Of course with mods the Sims in Sims 2 were much more immersive in their likeness to actual people, but the same can be said for the Sims 3, just to not as drastic as a degree as can be said for the Sims 2.

That is not to say that the whole of the game is submerged within the bleary fog of depth of field and bloom, but those two special effects are most prominent upon the background of the lot, which would be the surrounding forest, the glinting streams that course by, and the steam boat that sleepily puffs by. And yet for as pleasing to the eye as that all can be, the majority of the background cannot be interacted with. Some of it the Sim can physically walk towards, but there is next to no reason to do so, as there is nothing around there to interact with. The forested background of canopy trees and a cloud strewn sky of the willow creek and the craggy expanse with the winding roads is just for atmosphere, and would be quite the immersive one that blends in well with the environment in the game if it did not predominantly feature structures that cannot be interacted with for regular gameplay.

For example in the Oasis Springs, the desert-like town with grasshoppers incessantly buzzing in the background to suggest a heavy heat, past the largest lot that is fifty by fifty is a thin and winding road that passes just by what appears to be a bistro just like the ones so commonly and fondly found in the Sims 3. This bistro was a type of dinning that was found in a number of worlds in the Sims 3, and yet despite being clearly in the background, fully modeled as if it were actually a part of the town, in Oasis Springs there is no bistro to be found. There is not even a single restaurant either, although there is something like a bar that has dinner tables scattered around the inside, with two chairs a piece, as if Sims can sit there and dine. Alas they cannot, although they can purchase a bar snack from the bar itself, a feature that is just a part of the bar object regardless.

This does hail back to the release of the Sims 4 with its sparse and lackluster features, where the game does not seem to hold its own against the initial release of the other Sim games in the franchise and especially not towards those with an arsenal of fully loaded expansions, as it was questionable by the fan base that if there is a steam boat chugging along in the background, why cannot Sims use it for transportation? The reasoning was that the developers who could make the special effects like that, models, were not the same ones that could implement gameplay content or mechanics. So the load was uneven, apparently.

So for as pleasant as the atmospheric background is in the Sims 4, it can stir feelings of frustration in a player to see structures and environment that can only be looked at, and nothing more, that it reminds the player sharply of what is missing from the game, and so sours the enjoyment of a beautiful horizon.

Most things can be interacted with though that are not a part of the background, specifically whatever is located on the lot of the Sim household. The bloom is far less prominent on what there is in the foreground, which is to say the interactable plane, but it is more noticeable on the dirt streets where there are park-like elements that are used mostly for jogging or searching for collectibles amongst the lumpy rocks with protruding pieces of gemstone.

Though as described the graphics are whimsical and dreamy, the modeling takes a realistic leaning on the cell shaded style. The cell shaded style of graphics is rather commonly put to use for a placeholder of animation, as is seen in the Naruto Ultimate Ninja games, and so the appearance can be cartoonish and short of detail seen on a model that would otherwise be attempting to create a lifelike appearance. With the advanced Create a Sim mode, where Sims can take on the likeness of multiple ethnicities with an assortment of mixing of distinguishing features, it comes as little surprise that the Sims in the Sims 4 do take on a lifelike likeness even with the cell shaded graphics. Making them too cartoony would be too stark of a departure from the rest of the franchise that has already well established itself in holding to some realism in terms of appearance of the Sims themselves. However modeling the Sims in a graphics engine that is deeply mired in realism, like the Cryengine 3 for a random example, would either be exceptionally demanding on the player’s PC or disrupt the intended mood and feel of the game.

It would perhaps be jarring for the player if the graphical style of the game took on too much realism, as the Sims themselves are quite expressive and eccentric, from their snooty gates to their portraits that take on a pose of the picture of that emotion, even sleeping where they fold their hands over one another and rest their head onto them, as if miming the act of sleeping. The Sims can both be adorable and amusing, all while holding onto their personalities.

The Sims 4’s strength is that it does appear to run smoother than the Sims 3, and with less requirements for the modern computer, making the game accessible to a wider player base, but some of the general fan base cares little for that. It is rather plain that for all the special effects that are overlaid onto the graphics, the detail is less, and the customization of the appearance of objects is even less. It is even difficult and cumbersome for the general modder and player to add non-default color palettes to both Create a Sim parts and objects, and so for the majority of the time, there are only a few color palette swaps per object or part. There just is not as much freedom with the absence of the Create a Style tool, but apparently its exclusion was necessary for the Sims 4’s new engine to run as smoothly as it does.

Controls

For whatever reason the Sims games have never been known to be forthcoming, except in their archaic manuals, as to what exactly the controls are. And because of that, there is neither any customization available to remap the keys, and so the players are stuck with whatever the keybinds are already set to. There are some ways to deal with that though that involve using a gaming mouse with multiple buttons over the side, as the end user is able to designate what each button on the side is mapped to. Mice that would be capable of such functionality would be the corsair vengeance or the Logitech g600 that use their own software to be able to configure the buttons. Typically these gaming mice have the greatest utility in MMORPGs with their copious amount of abilities for the player to quickly trigger, and although the Sims 4 is not a fast paced game, with its high use of the mouse already it is a certainly comfortable way to interact with the game, and much less clumsy than having to reach across the keyboard to press page up and page down to shift between floor levels of a building.

Knowing what the key bound controls are, and actually employing them during regular gameplay can significantly facilitate immersive interaction with the UI and your Sims, and reduce excessive stress on the right hand’s wrist from moving the mouse everywhere about the screen. Without using the keybinds, the player is just about reduced to clicking on a multitude of UI elements, and will even struggle with smooth control over the camera, dampening the enjoyment out of the gaming experience.

  • Time Manipulation: A much needed facet, even gameplay mechanic to the Sims 4, the player is able to adjust the passing speed of time on a whim, either pausing, regulating, or accelerating its pace. Controlling the flow of time is not a control to be overlooked, and neither one to be left unchecked, as allowing the game to speed along at the cheetah pace can quickly skip past queued actions and cause your Sims to wander about, making just about little to no progress or engaging in interactions you just do not want them to.

i.imgur.com_kq7jrkh.jpg

Aside from the sped up animations playing on the game window, the state of the game’s present time flow can be seen on the UI element on the bottom part of the screen, at the approximate middle, shown with white buttons styled like a stereotypical music player. As with a current glitch still embedded in the game even after a couple months’ worth of updates, when first loading a game it is possible that the keybinds that operate the time controls may not trigger the time manipulation. In order to actually be able to, the player must click on the UI elements pictured above to be able to manipulate time while that glitch is in effect. The glitch is rather temporary though, simply traveling somewhere else, and traveling back will most likely wipe out the presence of the glitch, or waiting until your Sims leave for work and then return home will also dissipate the glitch.

  • P or 0: Pauses the game.
  • 1: Normal Speed of Time.
  • 2: Faster Speed of Time.
  • 3: Ultra Speed of Time.
  • Camera Manipulation: Yet another integral interactive control over the game, the player can either phase between locking their camera to hover over a specific Sim by right clicking their portrait, manipulate their camera to float and swivel without being bound to anything, or even wipe away all UI elements to enter a cinema mode and view the game world without any obstructions. Controlling the camera without knowing the keybinds can be cumbersome, and even frustrating, so it important to either map them to a multi button gaming mouse or memorize them.

There is an option in the configuration settings that does change the camera to operate more closely to that of Sims 3’s camera, which is turned off by default. This will for the most part alter the functionality of the mouse, changing when right click is held to gliding the camera instead of swiveling it on the mouse point. With the Sims 3’s camera controls toggled on, holding down the scroll mouse button, or the third mouse button, will allow the player to alter the tilting pitch of the camera and also swivel on the point. Swiveling with the scroll button pressed is not as fluid with the default camera controls, but the ability to tilt the camera without the Sims 3’s controls is all but absent with default. The player can, should they wish, change between the two camera mode styles on the fly without entering into the configuration menu by pressing these three keys simultaneously: TAB, SHIFT, and CTRL.

It really is up to player preference as to how they control and interact with their camera, but most players will likely prefer the camera style hailing from Sims 3, as being unable to alter the pitch does severely diminish the flexibility of viewing the game world and the Sims within. Without possessing active control over the tilt, in default camera mode, the viewing angle will gradually pitch depending on how zoomed in, or zoomed out, the camera is. The closer the player is zoomed into their Sim, the more level the camera becomes with the ground, and the farther the player is zoomed out, the greater the pitch of the camera is in order to accommodate visibility of the Sims. Attempting to alter the viewing angle will not keep the adjustment should it be attempted through the cinema mode by pressing TAB.

  • Move and glide the camera left and right: Left Arrow and Right Arrow, located to the left of the number pad on full sized keyboards. A and D, located on the home row.
  • Move and glide the camera upwards and downwards: Up Arrow and Down Arrow. W and S.
  • Accelerate speed of gliding and movement of the camera: Hold shift while also pressing any of the camera movement keys.
  • Zoom in and out: Z and X, or + and -. The latter keys can either be on the middle of the keyboard, or be the ones on the number pad.
  • Rotate and swivel the camera: < and >. Also known as “, and .”, there are no alternative keybinds for rotating the camera aside from using the mouse itself by right clicking with default controls or holding down the scroll button with Sims 3 controls. This will also rotate any held objects in build mode, which does prevent the player from rotating the camera while holding an object since they are unfortunately bound to the same exact keys.
  • Go to next higher floor: Page Up. In the Sims 4, only one floor can be visible at a time with any form of transparency. Zooming in and out will not transition the player’s camera and ergo their interactive abilities from floor to floor, so the keybinds or UI element to shift between floors is necessary. Zooming out with the walls up will just block view of every floor, although technically they will be in apparent view. There is not a problem with above floors in the game since they will be invisible when viewing any lower floors.
  • Go to next lower floor: Page Down.
  • Turn wall visibility on: Home. There is three modes to wall visibility that affects the loaded, focused building. It doesn’t actually remove the walls, it just alters how the player can see them. The first is that all walls are visible, none of them are transparent nor translucent. While this sounds fine in theory, the large number of walls that are a part of any regular home can block view from anywhere but the ceiling when they are completely visible. This either forces the player to zoom quite closely to the Sim, or try to angle their camera into a top down. While there is a literal top down mode in build mode, in live mode there is not, although it can be somewhat achieved by tilting the camera at a sharp angle.

So the second and middle mode is to partially cut away the walls, so that only the exterior walls are visible, provided they are not interceding with the viewing angle of the camera. This creates a mode that is a direct in-between from full visibility of the walls and no visibility of walls, but is not complete as the mode offered in the Sims 3, much to the aggravation of the fan base. Literally the only walls the player will see in the middle, partial cut away mode, is the exterior walls of the building, and not that of the room the Sim being viewed is presently within. While the Sim can be viewable from a decent distance, unlike the full visibility wall mode, the atmosphere of their room is lost as the walls cannot be seen but for a few inches near the floor to detonate the literal border of the room. Anything adorning the walls is either free floating or simply invisible, from paintings to lights. In the Sims 3, the player would still be able to see the walls of the room their focused Sim is presently within, a feature players hope to see return to Sims 4.

The third mode is simply that all the walls are cut away, from exterior to interior walls. There will be no obstruction of the camera’s viewing, but the house of the Sim will not appear to be a house any longer, as can be seen in the picture below. Doors will not even be visible. i.imgur.com_akghlbc.jpg

  • Turn Wall visibility off: End.
  • Top down view toggle: T. Unfortunately top down is only accessible while in build mode, which does enable easy view of a room’s layout, and the building’s layout as well, without any obstruction from objects and walls seen at an angle. This camera angle will persist when switching back to live mode, but the camera will not be locked into place, so it will likely gravitate to a less fixed position.
  • Center the camera on focused Sim: Enter, or right click their portrait. This isn’t zooming, and won’t do anything if the camera has already shifted to that Sim, which can be common if right clicking is how the player selects their Sims. Right clicking will lock the camera onto the Sim however, whereas centering the camera with enter will not force the camera to follow wherever the Sim goes.
  • Switch to the next Sim in the household: N, or space bar. A common enough keybind to know with the space bar, the N is less so. This will have no function if the player only has one Sim under their control, having two or more will enable it though. This is pretty much an alternative to left or right clicking the portraits, pulling the mouse pointer away from the central screen. Being as the key N is located on the right portion of the keyboard, should the mouse be in use, space bar is the more natural choice for the left hand.
  • Hotkeys for Build Mode: Although many controls carry over from live mode to build mode, some hotkeys are exclusive to the objects in build mode, and the functions of it altogether. Unlike the Sims 3, where there was a separate build mode and buy mode, in the Sims 4 build mode contains both its namesake and buy mode into one. Most of the UI on the left is dominated by the buy mode functions, but the button representing a house is what brings the player into the build mode, where walls, fountains, doors, and much more can be brought into existence and plopped down wherever - almost anywhere - the player wishes. The cheat that used to let players in the Sims 3 place objects anywhere, even if they intersected into another object, or didn’t meet the requirements in order to be placed like a toilet against a wall (since it has plumbing). It did cause glitches, but it has yet to be successfully implemented into the official game of Sims 4, without a downloaded third party mod, that requires even additional mods to function and cannot guaranteed functionality in future, inevitable updates and patches.

i.imgur.com_dh6z4or.jpg

  • Rotate object: , or . When holding an object from build mode or buy mode, pressing those keys will turn it in one of several possible directions. Usually this is for swiveling the camera, but the camera will not be swiveled in this instance.
  • Gridless placement: Hold alt while holding an object. A hotkey players could pass over without ever realizing it, and be sorely missing out on the freedom it grants on the design and creativity of room and house layouts. Objects summoned before being placed will snap to each line that is a part of the grid that covers the floor in their natural state. However while pressing alt and moving an object around, it will no longer snap to the grid lines, and the player will be free to place objects wherever they wish so long as they do not intercede with the spatial requirements of another object.
  • Place held object into family inventory: backspace. An uncommonly used, but useful enough hotkey, pressing backspace while holding an object will place it automatically into the Sim household’s inventory. This will not work with yet to be purchased objects, and so it is only applicable to objects that were either already placed down in the building, or originated to begin with from the household inventory. To access the household inventory, click on the box with the folded open flaps to the left on the UI, the bottom most icon out of the four.
  • Automatically copy held object after placement: Shift. Holding shift while placing an object down, which usually literally purchases the item, will automatically copy it and another will be in the cursor’s hands. This functions similarly to the eyedropper tool, except its use and purpose is to facilitate quick placement of an identical object, such as multiple planter beds that would otherwise require triple the amount of clicking or even more to get the same amount.
  • Delete held object: Delete, located below the INSERT key and beside HOME and END. A similar function to just hitting the ESC button, whether or not the object or item being held by the cursor is purchased, pressing the DELETE key will remove that item from existence. This acts as selling it to the game, which will offer some amount of money. To see how much simoleons will be received from selling the item prior to actually doing so, upon picking up the item, a coin symbol will be visible to the lower portion of the screen. Should this be mistakenly done, just hitting CRTL Z will reverse the sale and deletion.
  • Undo last action: CTRL Z. Simultaneously pressing CRTL and Z, the almost universal macro for reversing an action will undo whatever was last done in the game, if anything at all was. This could be as simple as moving an easel from one part of the room to the other, to as complicated as laying down the border of a whole room. The game actually saves a whole succession of actions, and so multiple presses of CRTL Z will work. Every time the mouse is released, or something is placed down, will count as an action, whether that is a several tile long wall, or a single tile long wall. CRTL Z does not break it down into pieces, it follows the actions undertaken by the player, and not the building blocks of the game itself.
  • Redo last action: CTRL Y. Perhaps a bit less commonly known as CTRL Z, simultaneously holding CRTL and Y will redo whatever action was last taken, should it have been undone by CRTL Z. This is useful when the player has spontaneously changed their minds, or attempted to create something better and failed, and would rather have what they originally made. It cannot pursue multiple paths of creation however, so it is generally all linear, with the paths overwriting themselves depending on the direction taken. It should be clear enough how it works after experimenting with it for a short while, but this should be a function most fans of the Sims franchise are already familiar with, if perhaps just not by the hotkey of CTRL Y and instead the clickable UI element.
  • Eyedropper Tool: E. A hotkey not novel to the Sims 4, pressing E or the associated eyedropper UI element will change the build mode’s cursor to an eye dropper which will clone anything clicked on, from objects to wall paint. This can be a very useful, time saving feature, particularly for expanding houses and rooms. The eyedropper feature is a toggle, so pressing it again will revert the cursor to the hand tool.
  • Hand Tool: H. Not hard to guess that it would be the H key, the hand tool is just the interactive cursor that the pointer reverts to by default when toggling between other tools and when generally picking up, holding, and moving things around. When the mouse hovers over an item it will change to a literal white hand, suggesting the ability to grab the object.
  • Sledgehammer Tool: K. This tool toggles like the eyedropper, but has a very different function. It is used to basically bulldoze anything selected or highlighted, hovering the sledgehammer cursor over an object like a wall will highlight a section that will be designated to be broken down and deleted. It is a lot like a universal delete tool, and is the primary way to get rid of things from the build mode. Pressing K again after the sledgehammer was already toggled on will just revert the cursor to the hand tool, the same effect as pressing H, even if the cursor was a different type like the eyedropper.
  • Design Tool: R. Much to the fan base’s great dismay, the design tool is absolutely not the Create a Style mode, where in Sims 3 players could change the texture and colors with a massive degree of customization. Paintings could have a metal sheen with violet hues, and carpets could look like shiny rubber crisscrossed with yellow and pink. Unfortunately it is incredibly unlikely the Create a Style function will ever be seen in the Sims 4 because of supposed inherent design incompatibility that contributed to the game’s glitches and mounting lag. Instead the design tool, in the Sims 4, will allow the player to select between pre-created - already in the game - hues in the game for selected object, should that object even have any. Some things don’t like wallpapers and stairs, but most have at least a few choices to pick from. The freedom in how objects appear is limited, and disappointingly this does carry over into Create a Sim with apparel colors and hair colors. There aren’t even highlights, a feature that should not be too complex to include into the game, and hopefully will be made available in a future update, or at worst an expansion.
  • Build Wall Tool: B. Not too commonly used as when a player is building a house, or expanding one, they either click onto the pre-existing rooms or the actual wall icon in order to start building a wall. The wall tool won’t let a player adjust the height of the walls either, that also is done by either clicking on the wall or through the UI elsewhere.
  • Change simulated time of day: L. This hotkey adjusts the simulated time in the build mode between morning, afternoon, noon and night. This will dramatically change the light levels and the appearance of the lot, especially with the presence of a great number of windows. Without any windows at all, there will be little to no effect of the interior of a house, or even just a single room closed off, whether it has a door or not. Although the Sims 4 is an actual simulation, this action is called a simulated time of day because it does not in any way alter the actual in game time. If the time is 1:00 AM, and the player changes it to afternoon in build mode, after exiting build mode it will change back to the dead of night.
  • Toggle Grid: G. The dotted, straight lines crossing through the solid white lines form a grid that appears when the player transitions into either build or buy mode. These help to give a sense of measurement within rooms, and objects even snap to the grid lines. That can be turned off temporarily by holding ALT while carrying an object, but pressing G will turn off visibility of the grid altogether. However even if the grid is not visible, objects will still naturally snap to the different segments of the grid, as it is mechanically still there. Holding ALT will prevent that.
  • Flood Fill a whole entity for paint and textures: Shift. Most of the time this will cause paint and textures, for walls and flooring, to cover the entire connecting entity, like the inside of a room. This usually doesn’t work as completely for the exterior paneling of a house, likely because of the interruptions windows offer and the sharp exterior corners. Regardless using this hotkey will made it an easier and quicker job to paint an entire room, or wall, without having to drag the texture tile by tile over.
  • Flood fill a single side for paint and textures: ALT. A middle point between covering a whole room’s walls in paint, and just painting a single tile worth, pressing ALT while using a texture will paint just a single wall. When the filling texture meets a corner, it will stop. Painting and texturing rooms with the style this hotkey facilitates helps to create a complementary style that makes do with the limited amount of shades for the available wallpapers, by having two opposing walls painted over with say white and the other two opposing walls painted over with a black tile. This is a method rather often seen by the premade rooms that are made available to begin with in the game.
  • Toggle a quarter size fill for floor paint and texture: CTRL F. Particularly useful for creating unique designs and filling slanted corners, pressing CTRL F when using textures will turn the painting tile into one quarter of its original side, like a triangle. This can be changed to a half of the original tile by pressing F5, in order to toggle between the two states.
  • Move the entire house: U. It makes sense why this CAN be a hotkey, but not really why it is. It is not a common thing for a player to even desire to do, and it is readily available at the top portion of the UI when in build mode. Moving the entire house is a sluggish ordeal. Accidently pressing U while in build mode would just be annoying, but it is on the right side of the keyboard so that is less likely to happen. The function itself is useful to reposition the home on the lot, and is basically the core of how easy it is to move an entire building onto another lot, so long as it is large enough to accommodate its size. Most players will end up wanting to bulldoze the 50 by 50 lot that exists in each town, so that they can move their own house there and partake of the massive lot size. Too bad there is no longer any 64 by 64 lot sizes, or even customizable lot sizes, that there were in Sims 3. For as archaic of a game Sims 3 is, it does seem to have more moddability than Sims 4 presently does.

Game Cheats and Controls

Like a variety of PC games, such as Don’t Starve and Half-Life 2 from steam, in the Sims 4 there is a cheat console that allows the player to input an assortment of commands, most that are literal cheats should cheat mode be enabled, while others offer basic debugging solutions. In the Sims 3, the well-known NRAAS industries mod based much of its glitch clean up utilities on the resetsim feature. Unfortunately there has yet to be a mod that offers such utility as the NRAAS did for the Sims 3, but there may be in the future.

  • Console: CTRL SHIFT C. This will bring up a command prompt-like window where a field of text can be typed in. When entering in invalid commands or cheats, nothing detrimental will happen. Commands both require specific spelling and are sensitive to capitalization. Cheats can add anything from stacks of simoleons to the family’s bank, turn every Sim immortal, to resetting objects, Sims, and granting access to the Create a Sim mode for an already designed Sim.
  • Help: Typing help into the command prompt will list all available commands and cheats that are valid for the game. This can be quite the list though, so it will flood the screen. The window for the console will disappear when closed however, so it is only a temporary annoyance.
  • resetSim (FirstName LastName): Since Sims 4 grants the player the ability to reset any Sim in the scope of the game that are still in some way living, even if they are ghosts, it is necessary to type in both the first name and the last name of the Sim with the correct spelling. It is all on one line, so enter resetSim before the first name and last name as indicated by the parenthesize. Aside from closing down the game, or traveling to another lot and area of town, this is the player’s primary defense and tool against glitches and bugs that are severe enough to stop a Sim from operating normally, most particularly when they no longer respond to any commanded interactions or other outside influences. A Sim left alone like this will, most likely, inevitably die as they cannot function to be able to take care of their needs. The Sims 4 game engine will not stop a Sim’s needs from decaying just because they are essentially frozen solid, as that in itself is indicative of a glitch and not an intended function. Without any conflicting expansions and stuff packs as of yet, the prevalence of a Sim freezing up such as from being unable to route is relatively minor.

Unlike most games, a Sim essentially locking up is just one part of the game, usually video games when there is a significant error the whole screen will lock up and the player will be forced to close down the game. Although it can be a rather frequent occurrence, just a Sim freezing is better than the whole game doing so, as it is of significant loss to lose even a few minutes of game time because of the number of interactions and progress that can be undergone in even such a short span of time.

Should the Sim be glitched in some other way, whether the player has direct control over them or not, using the resetSim command will likely alleviate the issue, particularly in graphical cases such as when a plate gets stuck to a Sim’s hand, despite that they have long since been finished eating, and usually plates do not physically intersect the model of a Sim’s hand either.

  • headlineeffects[on/off]: Enter this command with no spaces, and either on or off depending on what mode is desired. Using this command with the off setting will cause the faceted crystals floating over Sims’ heads to disappear that represent their mood, whether they are feeling awful or exuberant. A healthy, happy Sim is going to have a green plumbob, whereas an uncomfortable Sim is going to have a stark red one. Regardless of their mood, that floating plumbob is going to be ever present, and as well over the heads of other Sims that are being interacted with. Usually they are less noticeable though.

This command does affect more than just plumbobs however. Pretty much any non-literal elements that pop up over Sims heads, such as icons when they are speaking about food or other topics with one another, will no longer appear when this command is input with the off setting. Although this is a part of the experience of the game, and helps to convey the topics they are speaking about, it can distract from the aesthetic and realistic value of the game, as these are graphical elements that are not physically a part of the world. This is analogous to viewing a game without a HUD visible, or a UI.

The presence of plumbobs and dialog icons are not necessary nor integral information in order to play the game and understand the state of the player’s Sims, so it is purely up to player preference as to whether this feature is turned off or turned on. It is of course not a permanent deactivation either, so it is more like a toggle.

  • Death.toggle: Entering this command into the prompt will render all Sims effectively immortal. Sources of death can no longer touch Sims, and so should they be on fire, they will burn for as long as it takes for the fire to go out. They will still receive the negative moodlets that come from being set on fire, still scream about, but they will not end up perishing from it should the fire not be properly dowsed, such as hopping into the shower or diving into a pool, or even being saved from the hands of another Sim. Usually though the most prevalence source of death is just from natural age, which is a separate feature that can just be disabled in the game settings, and so for a Sim to die an unnatural death, it would likely have to be more on the player’s guidance than by mere happenstance. Sims in the Sims 4 do not attract danger and harm as much as they did in the predecessor games, being somewhat notorious for lacking some crucial survival instincts, such as remaining to freak out in a room that a fire is raging in, rather than putting it out or running outside until firemen arrive. This is basically just a cheat that turns off one of the only hazards, but can be activated to much comical effect.
  • FreeRealEstate [on/off]: Typing this out in the command console will shift the prices of lots and houses either on, or off. By default, and with intended, realistic game balance, the prices of lots and homes cost many thousands depending on the size of the lot and the layout of the home, along with what included furnishings there are. Considering that simoleons is one of the primary mechanics of game difficulty and progression, turning this off even temporarily will forever alter the balance of the player’s save game, and should it be a legacy family, it will have ripples down through the generations. There is of course at a certain point of affluence that little of anything is an obstacle, whether a several story home, or a pool that spans the whole breadth of a fifty lot yard, but that certain point takes quite awhile to get to along with at least a few very successful Sims, particularly those that chose the writing profession. In early games though there is a strong element of scarcity, and while it may not seem so initially, toggling this cheat and using it to purchase a manor may sour the reward and challenge offered from earning high amounts of simoleons to afford a whole slew of things.

This cheat can be entered as well from the map menu, or otherwise known as the world and neighborhood menu. Though it does turn lots and homes free, it will not render building and objects free. Typing on or off after FreeRealEstate will shift it between free or not, on being free.

  • motherlode: As pure as cheats get in the Sims 4, motherlode will fork over fifty thousand simoleons directly into the Sim family’s bank. A single Sim could go from the beginning level of a career, to the tenth and final promotion without accruing this much simoleons. Of course eventually that will happen with raises and the high amount of simoleons earned per hour at the tenth level of a career, along with any other simoleon earning activities the Career has to offer during out of ‘office’ times. But not every Sims 4 player has the time for the traditional sort of gameplay, and some even are designers that want free reign when creating homes to upload for others to share and enjoy. Fifty thousand simoleons will by no means cover the full cost of a home, but entering motherlode as many times as the player needs into the command console will rack up simoleons quick, as there is pretty much no limit as to how much can be gained from this cheat.

Be warned that on a legit game, this will have an even worse affect than FreeRealEstate will, so use it with caution.

  • kaching: Emulating the sound of a cash register opening with coins heaped in its slots, kaching will materialize one thousand simoleons into the Sim family’s bank counter. Entering it into the command console multiple times will accumulate additional one thousands for as many times as the cheat is entered. Should the player desire a higher yield of simoleons at once, motherlode is the superior cheat in that regard, as it hands over fifty thousand simoleons.
  • rosebud: Entering this cheat into the command console will grant one thousand simoleons, the same amount as kaching does.
  • Shift + or - : When holding an object, pressing shift and + or shift and - will either increase or reduce the size of the object accordingly. Objects can be turned into really ridiculous sizes, or incredibly miniscule sizes, but this has little change but an aesthetic one. The objects actually will not complain as much about being in another’s space, so it is not as useless as it would seem at a glance.
  • testingcheats [true/false]]: By default, this command is off, despite it having a toggle. While it has no direct evidence of causing problems with a game save, in the past games of the Sims it could gradually contribute to lag and glitches, but usually only when using a cheat the enabled objects to go anywhere, even into other objects. Entering in this cheat is necessary in order to be able to actually use most cheats, as for whatever reason entering them in without this prompt will not have any affect. The largest use that comes out of testingcheats true is the ability to shift click onto Sims and access additional, interactive commands, like freezing a Sim’s need so it no longer decays, or shift clicking an object so that it becomes clean instead of dirty, like a shower or toilet for example.
  • Shift clicking the ground will bring up an interactive choice to teleport the active Sim to that spot, nearly instantaneously. This shift click cheat previously had much more use in the Sims 3 due to its open world and routing problems, as getting to one side of town from the other would often take an unnecessary and excessive amount of time. The use for teleporting a Sim is much less in the Sims 4 since the zones the Sim can move around in before having to load the next area is small, and it is not possible to teleport into another zone without first traveling to it, as they would pretty much be the same thing anyway.
  • Shift clicking an object will let the player reset the object, should it be disfunctioning in some way, like a small silver stereo that will not play any music despite that it is not broken. This can be useful for debugging, but usually doesn’t solve the underlying problem that a full game restart may require, or else a zone change. This works on the majority of objects, even mailboxes.
  • Shift clicking an object that can become dirty will turn certain objects into their overused, filthy state, like a toilet or a sink that will stink with filth.
  • Shift clicking an object that is already dirty will do the opposite, automatically and instantaneously cleaning the object, so that your Sims do not have to do the work for it.
  • Shift clicking on a Sim will bring up a variety of options under three main interactions. The first is reset object (debug), which will reset the Sim like an object. The second is cheat need which will bring up further interactions to make the Sim happy, disable the decay of all of that Sim’s needs, or to enable the decay of all their needs, should the disabling of need decay have been previously chosen for that specific Sim. The third is to modify the Sim in the Create a Sim, which without an additional cheat code will let the player change the outfits of the Sim, along with the hair and makeup, but nothing too physical about the Sim. Changing their physical appearance, such as their bone structure and features of their face, along with their traits will not be able to be changed.
  • cas.fulleditmode: Entering in this line of text after entering in testingcheats true will upgrade the editing options in the Create a Sim mode on an already created, already played Sim to a near equivalent level when starting a new game or creating a new household from the main menu of Sims 4. Relationships can also be altered amongst the Sim family, although should there be some prickly glitches where some Sims are siblings with one another when they used to be just housemates will not be solved by such a method. A more extensive series of commands needs to be entered in order to solve that, while also potentially starting a new game with the household saved from the previous one. The family inventory and all relationships will be lost though, even relationships between Sims in the player controlled family, but not their career level and skills.

Entering into Create a Sim mode with cas.fulleditmode enabled can potentially bring glitches into the game, such as those aforementioned relationship alterations that can be resistant to ridding a household of, let alone a save game, but with recent patches this should be less likely, and many players will end up being able to use cas.fulleditmode without ever being aware of any possible repercussions that could alter some minor, yet important data of their Sims.

  • sims.get_sim_id_by_name [first name last name]: A command that is intrusive enough into the game’s code that it requires the testing cheats to be enabled, and one that is especially sensitive to precise key input with the underscores and periods. Although it is not possible to copy and paste from the text returned by the command console within Sims 4, it is possible to paste text copied from outside of the game window into the command console. So it would be easier just to copy the above minus the first name and last name and paste it into the command console, and then enter the first name and the last name of the Sim you need the unique ID of.

The purpose of this individual command is to retrieve the unique ID for the entered Sim, so that the unique ID can be entered for other commands that will precisely alter some aspect of the Sim in question. The first name and the last name of that Sim is not enough of an identification for the Sim and the commands as those can be potentially shared between two or more Sims. Even bringing the same exact Sim into the same game, and taking out the first one, will produce a different unique ID, and the similar case will also happen should a new game be created.

Once the command console is closed, even for a second, the text given from the command console will disappear, and will continue to be gone even when the command console is brought up again. Should the unique ID for the Sim be needed past the first exit of the command console, it would be ideal to type it out somewhere else, and then simply copy and paste the long string of numbers when it is to be put to use. This will also prevent any typos being made when entering in commands that use the unique ID, provided the first transcription is not typed incorrectly.

  • relationship.add_bit [chosen Sim’s ID] [target Sim’s ID] relationshipBit: This is one of the major commands that need the unique ID of a Sim that is retrieved from the prior command, sims.get_sim_id_by_name [first name last name]. The unique ID command will need to be entered twice, one for each of the affected Sims. Once those are retrieved, typing out that whole line with spaces in between the ID’s of the two Sims, followed by relationshipBit and then the chosen relationship status will alter their relationship. Now this doesn’t work as smoothly as it should, but in most cases it should overwrite whatever relationship status they shared into what is input by the player.

The following are the possible relationships that can be set to:

  • romantic-Married
  • family_husband_wife
  • family_parent
  • family_grandparent
  • family_brother_sister
  • family_son_daughter
  • family_grandchild

If for whatever reason there are still some remnants from the previous relationship, an additional code can also be entered, but the most complete solution is found from combining the two commands, along with starting a new game with the household saved from the previous.

  • relationship.destroy [chosen Sim’s ID] [target Sim’s ID]: Entering this command in correctly will eradicate the existence of the two Sims’ relationship, causing the result to be tantamount to the two of them having never been met. And that will certainly be so if they never interact with one another ever again, so this command in particular can be useful for removing relationships from deceased or deleted Sims that has a relationship status that should no longer be possible, such as a male Sim still being married to his significant other, despite that she had passed over a Sim week ago. For relationships that will reconcile, that is start up again, it is important to enter the command mentioned above, relationship.add_bit [chosen Sim’s ID] [target Sim’s ID] relationshipBit and then the designated relationship such as romantic-Married. If the problematic relationship status is still re-emerging after entering in relationship.destroy [chosen Sim’s ID] [target Sim’s ID], then after only one attempt should relationship.add_bit [chosen Sim’s ID] [target Sim’s ID] relationshipBit be entered with the desired relationship status.
  • Money [number amount]: Another cheat that was discovered by combing through the game’s source code by TwistedMexi, this is an alternative cheat code to using kaching or motherlode, except it works to a precise amount. This is the equivalent of the family funds cheat found in the Sims 3, where typing in money and the desired amount will automatically adjust the Sim household’s funds to the exact number. This quantity of simoleons can be more or less than what the player’s household presently has, so if it is desired this can be a simple avenue of deducting simoleons, even if the player just wants to ramp up the difficulty of their game to make things more interesting. Testing cheats should be enabled for this to actually work.

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