You'll soon be able to play The Sims 4 for free

best Sims 4 expansion
(Image credit: EA)

The Sims 4 is a financial monster of a game to get into, but it looks like EA is trying to make the entry point a little smoother. The publisher has just revealed that the base game is shedding its price tag and going free-to-play from October 18.

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The Sims 4 - A woman makes an "ah hah!" face while holding a finger in the air.

(Image credit: Maxis, Electronic Arts)

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Hours before the official announcement word had already been going around—the game's Origin store page was already displaying a big ol' banner proclaiming "The Sims 4 will be free to play starting October 18." Instant Gaming also managed to get its hands on two screenshots advertising that the base game was free, which have been circulating on Twitter for most of the day.

It's worth emphasising that it is just the base game that's becoming free—something that has pretty regularly gone on sale for around $5 to $10 for the last few years now and received a permanent price cut back in April. The main moneymaker continues to lie in The Sims 4's countless expansion packs, but this is also the first time I can recall that EA has made any of its Sims games free while it was still current. Those who've already given their cold hard cash away for the base game will receive the Desert Luxe Kit for free which is a nice touch, but if you already own that too then you won't be entitled to any additional goodies. That's valid up until October 17, so if for any reason you feel spurred to buy the base game, now's the time to do it.

I can't help but speculate on why EA is actually doing this, especially when the base game is already so consistently cheap. It definitely feels like a great way to lure over curious simmers to try out the game, realise how many cool gameplay mechanics are locked behind expansions and then hope they drop a few bucks on them. Hell, it's basically how I ended up dropping heaps of money on the game. It could also spell a transition towards a more live-service model, drip-feeding content on a more seasonal basis. My copium would like to think that it means a Sims 5 announcement is imminent. After all, The Sims 4 is the longest-running entry in the series, celebrating its eighth anniversary earlier this month. There's been a noticeable winding down on larger packs as of late and with the base game so old by now, an upcoming sequel announcement just makes sense.

Regardless of the reasoning behind it, I'm sure we'll find out soon enough with a stream titled Behind The Sims Summit also happening on October 18. EA says it'll be "sharing more about what's in the works" for the game. That stream will be happening at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET / 6 PM BST over on The Sims YouTube and Twitch.

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.