Looking through the Sims 4 mods available on Mod The Sims (which has been the place to go for mods since The Sims 2), I noticed that an awful lot of them are for relatively tiny tweaks that make the game either more realistic or closer to previous games in the series.
It was fascinating to see the same modders’ names come up again and again, and see what aspects of the game they choose to mod. “DrChillgood”, for instance, makes mods that stop Sims from taking autonomous selfies, mods that lower the threshold for the bladder need that makes Sims poop instead of pee, and even mods that enable child death (it’s seen as preferable to have a ghost of your child Sim than to have Social Services effectively delete them from existence). Modder “scumbumbo”, on the other hand, has an eye for realism, with mods that make medicine cabinets actually dispense medicine, let your Sims call people at night, and make divorce more traumatic for the kids.
From the tiny to the virtual life-changing, I’ve collected ten of these Sims 4 mods for you to check out. To install them once downloaded, move the .package file to the Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 4\Mods folder. Make sure you backup your data first, and read the mod description for info on any expansion pack requirements and/or potential conflicts with other mods.
New personality traits
A prolific modder known as Zerbu made a program called The Sims 4 Buff and Trait Factory that allows those with very little modding ability to make their own custom personality traits for the game.
The Hipster trait, by zombiefodder, makes Sims gain creative skills faster, especially photography, and makes them more likely to be bored and have whims like “listen deeply to music”. The Gamer trait, from pastel-sims, lets Sims more quickly improve their gaming and programming skills. Modder sweetrolls’ Prototype AI trait reduces the speed at which several needs decay. It makes Sims faster at learning skills but does leave them susceptible to seven different kinds of malfunction.
Want to try out several new traits at once? Check out Embyr311’s mod that lets you add more than three traits in Create-a-Sim.
Get to College
We’ve mentioned simmythesim’s Get to College mod before, but it’s worth repeating since it fills a gap that those who played The Sims 2 and The Sims 3 will keenly feel. Maybe one day we’ll get an official university expansion for The Sims 4, but for now this mod will let you pick one of three majors, carry out related activities and attend lectures, and study to get a good grade.
Those interested in the academic lives of their younger Sims may also want to check out Zerbu’s Go to School mod.
Less ‘Musical Chairs’
This sounds boring, but Sims’ seating habits are so weird that Chris mentioned them in his review. Particularly annoying is the way they move around mid-conversation; when there are several Sims involved normal conversation can look like an elaborate game of Musical Chairs. Shimrod101 has made a mod that fixes that, making it far more likely that Sims will just stay put.
Another one from Zerbu, the Turbo Careers mod makes all adult (and two teen) careers work like the active careers from the Get to Work expansion. You can download work venues from the Gallery, including ones with a combined function, or make your own as long as you make sure they have the right objects for Sims to do their work. The necessary activities for career progression are naturally related to the career—programming, cooking, exercising—and sometimes Sims will receive fieldwork. An athlete might have to go to the gym and show off her muscles. A Sim who works in business might have to offer career advice to those running retail venues.
MC Command Center
The Master Controller mod gives you more godlike over your Sims and others in their world. MC lets you blacklist certain clothing items so that you won’t have to see them, even on Sims you aren’t controlling. You can set employment rates for Sims of different ages, scan Sims to find out if they’re pregnant, or even terminate the pregnancy. There are also lots of automatic settings that enable non-controlled Sims to live full lives without you, getting married and having babies of their own volition.
With the new Create-a-Sim tool in The Sims 4, you can create Sims of many different widths, but you can't alter how tall they are. This height slider from simmythesim lets you adjust the height of your Sims so that the world looks more naturally varied.
I’m currently playing an artist Sim, so I really get the motivation behind this one. After you’ve had your artist churn out five paintings a day for a week you start to see the same images coming up again and again. This mod, from DaisyTighfield, replaces those default paintings for categories like abstract and classic with images from around the web, featuring lots of fanart from popular movies and video games. If you like what you see, you can follow the links provided to find the original images on the likes of Deviantart.
Time Speed Changer
Modder IceM expresses a problem that lots of players have with The Sims: because of the way their time naturally moves much faster than ours here in the real world, it can often take Sims a long time to carry out simple activities, and soon enough they’ve wasted half their day just on having a shower and eating breakfast. This mod lets you slow down the in-game clock so that Sims will literally have more time in their day.
Gender Preference Commands
The name of this mod from scumbumbo sounds ominous, but what is impossible in the real world is possible in The Sims: you can change the preferences Sims have for romantic partners of particular genders (in The Sims 4, currently, that’s just two: female and male). You can adjust the numbers to set your Sims to prefer one gender to the exclusion of the other, to prefer one but also like the other, or to like both equally.
Finally, another mod that brings The Sims closer to real life is one from scarletqueenkat that introduces a chance that female Sims who WooHoo rather than explicitly Try for Baby will still fall pregnant. Interestingly, even female Sims with female partners will have a chance of getting pregnant, though male Sims cannot (if you want to have male pregnancies, try the Same Sex Pregnancy mod). The mod comes in five varieties with different percentage risks: 2%, 5%, 10%, 20%, and 30%.
Those with an interest in turning their Sims into baby-making machines may want to combine this mod with one that allows for households of more than 8 Sims and one that lets Sims have quadruplets, quintuplets, or even sextuplets.