The Sims 4 is giving NPC households the ability to make major decisions

The Sims 4
(Image credit: EA, The Sims Studio)

The Sims 4 has updated the Neighborhood Stories system to give your neighbours and other inactive sims more autonomy to make world-changing decisions.

One of my biggest gripes with The Sims 4 is that any sim who isn't part of your active household is utterly devoid of any personality or autonomy. They'll age and die but they largely do little to contribute to and change the world around them. EA tried to make things a little more dynamic with the Neighborhood Stories update, which lets you influence Sims into making major life decisions without directly taking control of them. It still requires a certain level of micromanagement that I don't always want, though.

Now a new update to the system will allow inactive sims to make big life changes without making you meddle in their lives first. They'll be able to do major things like adopting pets and babies, becoming pregnant, changing careers, retiring and moving house. They'll also be able to die in a variety of accidents which will change depending on the sim's age, traits and career. It won't matter whether or not your neighbour sims have any relationship to the active household, they'll be able to make all these choices regardless.

Of course, if you prefer having a little more control over how your saves go, EA has also added a variety of options to tweak what choices NPCs can make. As well as being able to globally toggle the entire system on or off, individual choices can be disabled. There's also the option to configure the options per household if you only want some of your neighbours to be autonomous.

It's nice to know that I'm able to vary the level of chaos across each household. Sometimes I want meticulously crafted storylines where I've already planned out each sim's role, but it's also nice to have things happening around me while I only focus on a single household. I've largely fallen off The Sims 4 lately—though I did come back to try the painfully broken My Wedding Stories pack—but I know an update like this will have me saying "sul sul" all over again.


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Mollie Taylor
Features Producer

Mollie spent her early childhood deeply invested in games like Killer Instinct, Toontown and Audition Online, which continue to form the pillars of her personality today. She joined PC Gamer in 2020 as a news writer and now lends her expertise to write a wealth of features, guides and reviews with a dash of chaos. She can often be found causing mischief in Final Fantasy 14, using those experiences to write neat things about her favourite MMO. When she's not staring at her bunny girl she can be found sweating out rhythm games, pretending to be good at fighting games or spending far too much money at her local arcade.