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A Sims 4 bug is making Sims speedrun the aging process

Elder Sims character
(Image credit: EA)
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Here's a warning for anyone dashing back to The Sims 4 after yesterday's free update (opens in new tab). The patch apparently shipped with a bug that can make your beloved Sims abruptly auto-age into the next phase of their life after just a few minutes of playing, even if it's not their birthdays. Toddlers suddenly become kids, teens skip the awkward years and turn into adults, and adults blast right into their midlife crises. 

It's like everyone in The Sims 4 is passing around the incorrect Holy Grail from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and chugging hard. We know time flies when you're having fun, but it shouldn't reach supersonic speeds. 

According to player reports rounded up by the Sims Community website (opens in new tab), players using the "short" and "long" lifespan options for their households may experience the bug after just a few minutes of playtime. (Players using the "normal" lifespan option don't seem to be affected.) 

"I opened up a household and played for about 10 minutes and when I got back to my household everyone is aged up. Kids are teens and Young adults are almost elders," reported one player.

"After this update all of my sims keep on aging up multiple times although it isn't their birthday and I have left the game several times without saving it and it keep on doing it," said another player.

The Sims 4 characters talking on a couch

My Sims kid the day after creating her. (Image credit: EA)

I was able to replicate this bug in my game as well. I created two sims, an adult and a kid, set their lifespans to "long," stuck them in a random house, and played for a bit. Dad aged up within five minutes, and the kid turned into a teen after coming home from her first day of school shortly after. With aging speeds like that, I feel like dad should stop cooking breakfast and start digging graves next to the pool.

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On the plus side, EA is aware of the bug and is looking into it. "We are currently investigating instances involving Sims auto-aging up in saves using the Short or Long lifespan. We recommend temporarily playing in or creating new saves with the default/“normal” lifespan, as we work towards a solution." 

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.