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The Sims 4

The Sims 4 – Best mods in 2020

A couple of weeks ago I made a post on COVID-19’s new symptom: Playing The Sims 4. After 7 years of development, The Sims 4 is now a mature game with a solid modding community that has worked to expand and optimize their mods over the years.

As you might have guessed, I too have been playing this game for quite a few hours during this lockdown. As you might also know, I truly love using mods in my games.

Please note: in this article I won’t delve into any Custom Content (CC) – just mods.

In The Sims 4, some people prefer to avoid using mods altogether.

While it is true that mods can affect the game in ways that are detrimental to the game’s vibe or performance, it is also true that mods can add a lot to The Sims experience. They expand the base content and improve gameplay, which adds replayability and fun.

I’m using several mods in my current 2020 The Sims 4 build. They all seem to work together without any conflicts and greatly expanded my game.
I’ll be sharing a list of the top mods in my current build:

One mod to rule them all

The Sims 4

This mod should be at the top of our list, due to the vast array of features and integration with other mods.
It doesn’t add gameplay features, but it allows you to customize almost every aspect of the game and its characters. It also helps to track down issues with in-game notifications and detailed logs.
We’re talking about MC Command Center by Deaderpool (MCCC). A common, must-have, mod.

LittleMsSam’s plethora of juicy mods

Whether you’re a newbie to modding The Sims 4 or an expert family planner, there’s no avoiding LittleMsSam’s vast collection of mods.

Most of LittleMsSam’s mods are actually really small and simple, but the huge collection of useful mods available that actually affect gameplay is astounding. It’s like picking free candy from a candy shop.

Some of LittleMsSam’s mods fix base game bugs and issues, while others expand the game by adding small bits of gameplay mechanics.

When used together, these mods become even more interesting – like adding layers and filling to a cake. And then a cherry on top.

All mods are very well documented, although sometimes the language used to describe them lacks some clearing up. If you’re new to modding The Sims 4 however, this is definitely the place to start.

Some of LittleMsSam’s most interesting mods:

The Sims 4
  • LittleMsSam’s Live in Business – This is my favorite mod in this article. Live in Business allows you to run your own little shop on the same lot where your family lives. Using LittleMsSam’s Live in Business, you won’t have those pesky loading screens, or Sims splitting away for work. Build your own family bakery or art gallery on the same lot where your family lives!
  • LittleMsSam’s Live in Services – A great addon to Live In Business – you’re able to hire services by providing rooms for your maid, gardener, or a nanny. They’ll work harder, better …and you get to spy on them when they’re not working.
  • LittleMsSam’s Roommates – This mod allows you to invite people to live with your household on the same lot. They will pay rent and you get to watch their lives unfold. Useful if you wish to build a small active neighborhood in a single lot. Just don’t forget to lock your doors! (there’s also a mod to help you with that!)
  • LittleMsSam’s More Buyable Venues and new Venue Types – Customize your lot and make it whatever you want it to be! You’ll be able to build prisons, motels, movie theatres, gyms, museums, etc. The astonishing part is that they actually work well and feature some interesting gameplay loops. I built a haunted hotel where my character actually has to use a computer to check-in guests, collect payments, and assign bedrooms. Immersive and fun!

Making money in The Sims 4 is a bit too easy.

Satira’s Lower Salaries and LittleMsSam’s (Zooroo’s) ATM mods make The Sims 4’s finances a bit more interesting, by lowering your job payouts and allowing you to go for a credit loan instead of selling your TV when things go bad. Staying at home picking up collectibles still earns you more than most jobs though.

I haven’t yet found a mod to make your financial life more challenging by adding cool new events. SacrificialMod’s Life Tragedies does add armed robberies, ransoms for kidnappings, and disease treatment costs, but it also adds a ton of non-essential death mechanics, violence, and other unnecessary stuff that kind of breaks The Sim’s happy vibe.

I’m looking for mods that boost this financial aspect of the game. Let me know your suggestions in the comments section below!

Add personality and life to your Sims

A few years ago, I ranted on my Twitch channel that Sims are too flexible with their emotions. They may feel very upset but that doesn’t prevent them from doing certain activities that drastically shift their mood to the exact opposite.
Here’s a list of mods that not only help balance emotions but also add cool new lifestyle mechanics to the game:

The Sims 4
  • RoBurky’s Meaningful Stories – it makes your Sim’s emotional state veer more like a cruise ship rather than a mosquito. It aims to make emotional states more natural and flow through intermediate states. The events in your Sim’s life will feel more important.
  • Simsmodelsimmer’s Realistic Reactions – This modder’s webpage features a bunch of interesting mods to explore, including Set Family Relationships, which adds family degrees to Sims. However, Realistic Reactions is on this list because it adds reactions to cheating between couples and how children react to their parents fighting.
  • Have Some Personality Please! by PolarBearSims – Default Sims are too quick to jump into a relationship. This mod makes romance a bit more challenging and progressive by restricting the number and type of interactions available. It also cuts idle chat and adds additional autonomy to your Sims.
  • KawaiiStacie’s Slice of Life – bring a new level of realism to your The Sims 4 mods with SoL. Your character will blush when embarrassed, cry when sad, or even bruised from a fight. It includes a personality system that acts as traits do. You will experience sicknesses, menstrual cycles, and body insecurities. Also, pimples!
  • Wicked Whims (+18) – This is a very extensive and very graphic mod that adds a ton of sexual interactions and animations. However, if you feel it breaks The Sims 4’s vibe, you are able to disable or tone it down and instead value the other aspects of the mod, such as nudity, pregnancy, STDs, window peeping, emotional reactions or pubic hair.

Quality of life mods

Some mods aim to make things easier to play or to fix small annoying bugs.

The Sims 4
  • Don’t Wash Dishes Where You Angry Poop by Scumbumbo – The very visual name of the mod is actually very accurate. It prevents Sims from washing dishes in bathroom sinks.
  • Nisa’s Lot Trait Extender – Because we always need more lot traits! (especially with other mods that require you to add lot traits)
  • LittleMsSam’s No Auto Food Grab – If you’re planning on setting up a custom bakery or a restaurant, this is a must-have mod. It prevents your Sim from taking a bite out of each cake he bakes for his customers.
  • LittleMsSam’s No Inventory Sharing – This mod prevents stuff that’s in a fridge or chest from being accessible in every other fridge or chest in the lot. Very useful if you’re using LittleMsSam’s Roommates, as it prevents your neighbors from eating your stored food!
  • LittleMsSam’s Force to Leave & Lock Door – Tired of those annoying neighbors dancing all night in your living room? Expel everyone from your house immediately! Then lock the door and sleep comfortably.
  • Scumbumbo’s Unlisted Phone Number – Sims can be kind of creepy, but mostly irritating by regularly calling you in the middle of the night. This mod prevents other Sims from calling you unless you give them your number (which also adds some fun RP to it).

Refresh your game!

When you really like a game, but you’ve explored most of the game’s options, mods are the way to refresh it.

Besides fixing bugs or adding content, mods are able to enable new gameplay mechanics that can be very fun to explore. Being able to play your favorite game as if it was the first time is well worth the time investment of finding the right mods.

So go ahead and push the boundaries of The Sims 4 now!

What are your favorite mods? What mod ideas would you like to see added to The Sims 5? Let me know in the comments section below!

Also, don’t forget to support your mod developers on Patreon!

See you in Strangerville,
-ViLa4480

The Sims 4

COVID-19’s new symptom: Playing The Sims 4

The 7-year old game is apparently making a comeback. Why are people playing it again? What changed in The Sims 4 and how come that this dinosaur is not yet a fossil? What led to this resurgence of the stale-genre game? Who plays it and how?

The rise of an oldie

7-year-old games are considered old by videogame market standards.

A sequel was due for some time now, but it never came. Instead, Maxis and Electronic Arts opted to keep releasing mostly cosmetic but expensive DLCs.

The Sims is pretty much alone in its own market, there’s not much of a competition to worry about (until now with the upcoming Paralives). They’ve always controlled the Life Simulation genre they’ve created and aren’t going anywhere, anytime soon.

Instead of releasing a new game every two years (like most AAA game sequels), they were keying on setting solid foundations with a solid base game and then update and add new content with expansive (and expensive) DLCs. EA has released 9 large expansions already, yet 12 are expected until the end of The Sims 4 lifecycle.

Even though this strategy keeps current users feeding them with each DLC, it doesn’t do much in the way of attracting new ones.

In March 2020, things were about to change – but not in the way they were expected to.

Trying times

The Sims 4

Nowadays, every social media platform talks about The Sims, plays videos about The Sims, links to podcasts about The Sims, and, like me, people are blogging about The Sims. It almost feels like The Sims 4 had just been released. Also, Animal Crossing.

COVID-19 is the root-solution to our question.
COVID-19, the coronavirus that won the game by putting the world on pause. No more lines at the Post Office, traffic jams, crowded malls, delayed flights, air pollution, noise pollution. Was it not for the sad side-effects of social distancing, this would sound more like a blessing.

However, this horrible virus had an unexpected super-power. It managed to lock most of us in our own homes, afraid to go outside – waiting for it to leave us alone and abandon our doorstep.

Influencer lockdown

Self-isolation caused a huge number of social influencers to stay indoors. It was fun for a while – plenty of exciting chitchat about the situation filled their blogs and vlogs.
…But after a week or two, these fashion and travel influencers were still stuck at home with nothing new and exciting to report about their awesome way of life. No new clothes or makeup to show, no restaurants to try and no foreign places to explore. Their blogs and vlogs were running dry.

Some turned to cooking – but apparently, their cooking skills were not that great… or they just couldn’t make it captivating enough for their audience to enjoy.

Then they turned to gaming – a sensible marketing decision since gaming ranks high in social media projection. Even though these fashion vlogger’s streaming/gaming rigs were pretty much non-existant (as were their games list or gaming skills altogether), they still had their hordes of loyal fans thirsty for content and stuck at home with nothing to watch.

Some of these (mostly female) vloggers, in their early 30’s, went through their early years in an age where The Sims 1 and 2 were all the rage. So they naturally leaned towards The Sims 4.

The fact that it is a non-competitive sandbox game that features endless fashion and decoration customization options, that requires no skills at all and that supports a Mac version, and low computer specs certainly did help those fashion and lifestyle vloggers to take the leap.

The fact is that the stuff that made their Youtube channels popular was all there. In The Sims 4, there were new clothes to try, new makeup to show, new restaurants to experience and plenty of virtual foreign places to explore.

A cringy reality

I noticed some really sad streams, where the host used an uncomfortable wall shelf instead of a desk for gaming/streaming. Where they were unaware that their camera was on or that their microphone was off, that their lighting was terrible or their FPS were lame. Then some of them didn’t know how to handle the controls or built very large concrete boxes instead of real homes for their Sims. Naturally, none of them knew how to interact with the audience properly.

Even though this was a sad thing to watch, what truly frustrated me was the huge numbers of viewers watching. There are plenty of interesting, well-performed streams on Twitch, Mixer, or Youtube that don’t get half the views they deserve.

Some of these streams and videos drew quite a crowd and lead other vloggers to follow their example. Nowadays, Youtube is flooded every day with The Sims 4 videos by popular non-gamer influencers. This drives ads and posts on Twitter, Reddit and Youtube/Google results.

Nowadays, The Sims 4 seems to be everywhere.

The Sims 5 and sharp marketing pencils

In a typically sad EA move, they did once threaten The Sims fanbase by stating that The Sims 5 would never happen if The Sims 4 wasn’t successful. However, and even though it had a rough start with mediocre reviews, The Sims 4 turned out to be a very successful investment. But with 4 DLC expansions to go, EA isn’t going to stop milking its cow and replacing it with a new one anytime soon. The Sims 5 is, for now, just a marketing ploy.

When it comes to marketing, timing is critical …and EA has sharp pencils and minds.
EA cashed-in on the coronavirus unexpected wave of new users and influencers by starting to drip some bits of info regarding The Sims 5, which seems to be in the early stages of development.
In order to cause the most impact, they even started with one of the most anticipated and controversial features: Multiplayer.

There were several Twitter posts that caused some sensation. We’re likely to get more juicy info on The Sims 5 over the coming months.

How has the game changed and how are people playing it today?

Going back to playing The Sims 4 in 2020. I noticed that there’s a surprising amount of new content out there. Not just the official 32 downloadable content packs and expansions, but also the absurd amount of Custom Content created by users.
These mods didn’t just grow in quantity. They also improved their quality significantly over the many years of updates that a stable build of the game provided for.

As a dedicated PC gamer, I love modding my games.
More than adding customization options to my characters, I really enjoy adding new gameplay elements that make the game more realistic, immersive, or complex.

The Sims 4 is fertile ground for great Custom Content.

Some of the best Custom Content like Slice of Life, Meaningful Stories, Live in Business, or even Wicked Whims (18+), truly add a host of new features and allow you to explore multiple new ways of playing the base game.

A new look

I’ve recently started a brand new The Sims 4 household. I’m trying to create a small neighborhood with multiple families living on the same lot (thank you Roommates mod). I’ve also got my own bakery business on the same lot (thank you Live in Business and ATMs). It’s just awesome seeing an empty lot turning into a small venue and meeting new Sims. My Sims have interesting personality traits and awesome jobs, there are gangs, drugs, and violence on my streets and I’ve got a ton of furniture to decorate my house with.

7 years past, the game is fresher and more polished than ever with many many new ways to explore.

The Sims 5 isn’t really around the corner. When it finally gets released, it will likely lack the depth and polish that The Sims 4 offers right now.
The upcoming life simulation contender, Paralives, will be interesting to explore, given the type of customization it provides. But Paralives’s success will be limited by the lower amount of gameplay content provided by years of development and mods currently available in The Sims 4.

Give The Sims 4 a new try!
There has never been a better time to explore this green gem of a game.

If instead, you’re looking to play something fun in multiplayer, check out the awesome Sea of Thieves.

See you in San Myshuno,
-ViLa4480