The Sims 5: What we want from the inevitable sequel

The Sims 4 - A woman makes an "ah hah!" face while holding a finger in the air.
(Image credit: Maxis, Electronic Arts)

For several years, Electronic Arts was talking around the concept of The Sims 5, referencing "The Sims for a new generation" without quite confirming plans to slap a big new number on the series. We may not know exactly when it's coming, or what to expect from the next major Sims game, but we sure have a wishlist for what we think the series needs next.

Any actual details about the next version of the Sims are currently pretty scarce. We got only a crumb of a clue about where Electronic Arts thinks it's headed from the initial reveal for the project that EA is only referring to as "Project Rene". It may not be officially titled "The Sims 5" but it definitely seems to be the next mainline Sims series game.

Knowing all that, here's what we want from The Sims 5:

An open world

Chris Livingston, Features Producer: I won't shriek and wail if The Sims 5 doesn't have an open world, and I'm sure it would be a big technical challenge for a game where you can carefully place hundreds of items in each home. But something about all the loading screens in The Sims 4 prevents it from feeling like a real place instead of a bunch of discrete levels. I think it would add some real immersion if my Sims could get in a car or on a bike or even just take a stroll and travel in real-time between the different neighborhoods and areas, instead of poking a button on their smartphones and appearing there after a loading screen. 

Bring back Create-A-Style 

(Image credit: Maxis, Electronic Arts)

Lauren Morton, Associate Editor: I recently picked up Sims 3 for the first time and I will never forgive myself for skipping the one game in the series with the Create-A-Style tool. Almost every piece of furniture, fixtures, doors, windows, and clothing can all be edited in extreme detail by applying any of the game's texture swatches to their different parts. You even get to use a color picker or hex code to determine the color. 

I've always been a builder, not a Live Mode-er, but I don't think I've ever enjoyed building as much as I did while tossing upholstery on my walls, designing windows with wood swatches that actually matched, and customizing rugs. When the The Sims 5 rolls around, I want to have the freedom to dig myself deep into the design hole again.

Lucky for me, the Project Rene reveal that happened months after this story was first published did show off the return of Create-A-Style.

Rounded walls and the ability to rotate items on the X, Y, and Z axis without mods 

Katie Wickens, Hardware Writer: I just want to be able to make a cosy lighthouse home for a grumpy old keeper and his cat. Failing that, I don't know if any of you have tried using mods to rotate or reposition objects in the Sims… it's a ballache. Please make it a vanilla feature.

Lauren Morton, Associate Editor: Yes, please, I'll give anything for rounded walls. Unleash the circles. The more gameplay demonstrations I see of the currently in development Sims throne contender Paralives, the more I think that EA simply cannot miss the trick on this one.

Since this story was originally published, The Sims 4 has gotten curved walls in its base game. They're quite finicky, but it sure gives us hope that this will be a launch day feature in base game Sims 5.

Big new ways to share experiences 

Lauren Morton, Associate Editor: There are plenty of requests I could make about improving the way that The Sims 4's gallery works, but I'm going to take those as a given. In the current gallery, players can share families, houses, and individual rooms, but there are so many other things that Simmers create and share with one another. EA has started dipping into areas like challenges, which Simmers already share with one another informally through things like the 100 Baby Challenge or Rags To Riches.

I want the power to create rulesets or game states and the ability to share them in The Sims 5's iteration of the gallery. Not just that, but in a world where Create-A-Style returns, players could share their recolors of clothing and objects on the galley too. Remember how creative everyone got with Animal Crossing: New Horizons' pattern tools? These are the same players who will go bananas with shareable swatches if we aren't relegated to installing them as custom content mods.

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Lauren Morton
Associate Editor

Lauren started writing for PC Gamer as a freelancer in 2017 while chasing the Dark Souls fashion police and accepted her role as Associate Editor in 2021, now serving as the self-appointed chief cozy games enjoyer. She originally started her career in game development and is still fascinated by how games tick in the modding and speedrunning scenes. She likes long books, longer RPGs, has strong feelings about farmlife sims, and can't stop playing co-op crafting games.