How to Change Traits in Sims 4: Our Full Guide

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They’re the core of the personality system in the Sims 4, and knowing how to change traits can make for a better playing experience, be helpful for storytelling, and even impact what challenges or careers you might pursue.

Two weeks ago, the Sims 4 announced the last expansion pack of 2020: Sims 4 Snowy Escape. The new expansion features a Japanese inspired world, cultural traditions, and, as the name implies, a chance for Sims to take advantage of snowy activities, like skiing, snowboarding, rock climbing, and even a hike to the summit of Mount Komorebi.

And while many were excited for a stunning new world and adventure, other players had something in mind: what traits does the new pack include? As it so happens, the new Sims 4 expansion comes with just two new traits: modest and adventurous, meant to complement the new world but also tie into the innovative lifestyles and sentiments being introduced with the pack.

In this guide, I’ll explain what traits are, how they function in the Sims 4, and how to change traits to enhance your gameplay.

What are Traits?

If you’re new to the Sims 4, or the Sims in general, you may not be aware of how important traits are. Traits influence how sims socialize, react to even, build skills, and ideally, serve as a way to make Sim have a distinct personality from another.

Think of traits as the main characteristics that shape who you Sim is, how they will act, and as a storytelling element. Tied deeply to the AI, the traits you select for a Sim may very well impact what decisions you make in the game.

The traits system was first introduced in Sims 3, as a departure from personality points used in the Sims 2. While the Sims 4 traits system works similarly, in theory, as traits do in the Sims 3, there are some notable differences.

What are the Differences Between Sims 3 vs Sims 4 Traits?

Sims 3 vs Sims 4 is a common debate in the Sims community and includes everything from the value of expansion packs, to graphics, open vs closed world, and even major differences in life stages, like Sims 3 vs Sims 2 babies. Another hot topic? Sims 3 vs Sims 4 traits.

Sims 3 Traits

I won’t go into depth here, but Sims 3 allows you to give you five trait slots for every adult Sim. Rather than relying on the points system from previous Sims games, the traits in Sims 3 were meant to provide more distinct personalities.

Based upon those traits, the game will recommend an aspiration, or focus on goals for their life, though you may choose to select the aspiration you wish.

You can see the impact of traits from how easily Sims keep and maintain relationships, wishes, how easily they take up careers and a good amount of autonomous actions. For example, a Sim with the brave trait will put out fires, while other Sims cower and wait for a firefighter to arrive.

Sims 4 Traits

The first thing you’ll notice between Sims 3 vs Sims 4 traits is that there are less–both less traits to choose from, and fewer traits you can assign while making your Sim.

Instead of the standard five trait slots from Sims 3, Sims 4 gives you three trait slots for adults (1 for toddlers; 2 for teens), with the ability to earn, as is the case with Sims 3, some additional traits through career and skill accomplishments in the game.

In Sims 4, traits are heavily tied to the emotions system, meaning that, depending on the traits you select, Sims are more likely to get certain emotions (sad/ angry/ happy) for different events and interactions. This is especially true of personality, or emotion-based traits.

Compared with Sims 3 traits, Sims 4 traits also tend to either be more general (good vs airhead, for instance) or tied directly to a career, though some newer Sims 4 packs have started to include more specific traits, as is the case of the culturally tied ‘modest’ trait being introduced in Sims 4 Snowy Escape.

What Traits Come With the Sims 4 Base Game?

While the Sims 4 base game comes with fewer traits than the Sims 3 base game, the good news is that there are still a number to choose from. Traits in the Sims 4 fall under the following categories.

Personality Traits

As the name implies, these traits impact how Sims in the Sims 4 impact their reactions and tie into the emotional system. Personality traits tend to be more general in nature and include:

Active; Cheerful; Creative; Genius; Gloomy; Goofball; Hot-Headed; Romantic; Self-Assured, and Unflirty.

Lifestyle Traits

Lifestyle traits impact the emotional buffs Sims get based upon everyday activities, like cleaning, going outside, eating, or pursuing a career. They also have the potential to influence how easily that Sim gets along with another person, especially if the lifestyles are opposing.

Base game lifestyle traits include Lazy; Neat; Ambitious; Childish; Clumsy; Erratic; Glutton; Kleptomaniac; Lazy; Loves Outdoors; Materialistic; Slob and Snob.

Hobby/ Activity Traits

Similar to lifestyle traits, hobbies, or activities traits are linked to moods that Sims will get based upon activities they pursue. Rather than daily living activities, however, hobby traits are all about specific types of leisure activities. They also have a more direct tie to certain careers.

Base game hobby traits include Art Lover; Bookworm; Foodie; Geek; Music Lover and Perfectionist.

Relationship Traits

Relationship traits impact your Sims’ social interactions, and how they feel around other Sims. For some social/ relationship traits in Sims 4, Sims will have unique interactions with other Sims (for example, the Bro trait means your Sim will greet others with a special fist bump).

Base game relationship traits include Bro; Evil; Family-Oriented; Good; Hates Children; Jealous; Loner; Mean; Noncommittal; and Outgoing.

Other Traits

There are toddler specific traits, which include Angelic; Charmer; Clingy; Fussy; Independent; Inquisitive; Silly, and Wild. Bonus traits, which your Sim can obtain by completing an aspiration, mean that your Sim will now have more than three main traits.

Why Should you Change Traits in Sims 4?

Whether or not you change traits is up to you, but there are a few advantages. For both storytelling and challenge purposes, you may find it advantageous to change your Sims’ traits. Here are my main reasons for changing my own Sim’s traits.

Aspiration Change

Unlike the lifetime aspirations in Sims 2, Sims 4 aspirations can be changed and also completed. When this happens, you might find that the traits you initially selected aren’t suitable for their new aspiration. You may also find that it makes sense that a Sim would have a slight personality change after satisfying an aspiration.

Career Change

In the Sims 4, just as was the case in the Sims 2 and the Sims 3, you can quit and start a new career at any time. If you do this, you may want to take a look at changing traits. Though traits are not a determining factor, certain traits in the Sims 4 will make it easier to acquire skills.

Growing Up

One thing I’d love to see in Sims 4 is the option for traits to change based on life events and experiences more, especially as you grow up. While Sims do acquire more traits as they age (teens get an additional trait and then a third as they become a young adult), it would be neat to see some traits determined based on growing up, as they are in life. Until then, if you have traits as a child that do not suit your Sim as a teen, you may want to change them.

Let’s Plays and Machinimas

Finally, one of the top reasons I change traits in the Sims 4 is for content creation. Whether you’re an aspiring streamer, YouTuber, or just want to create content for yourself, changing traits might be a must for storytelling purposes or even popular Sims 4 Challenges like the 100 Baby Challenge.

How to Change Traits in Sims 4

There are several ways to change traits in Sims 4, and the good news is that they are all easy and will have you back to your latest Sims 4 Challenge, video, or whatever you’re up to in no time. Here are the best ways to change traits in Sims 4.

Easy Cheat For PC and Mac

The easiest way to change traits in the Sims 4 is to use a simple cheat, which works whether you’re playing on PC, or Mac. This is my go-to.

  1. Press CTRL+Shift+C
  2. The Cheat Box will open at the top of your screen
  3. Enter “testingcheats on” (no quotation marks; space between testingcheats and on)
  4. Enter “cas.fulleditmode” no quotation marks
  5. Hit Escape to close the cheat box
  6. Shift+ Click on any Sim
  7. Select, “Modify in CAS”
  8. From there, you’ll be taken to the original create a sim mode, and can change traits.

Easy Cheat for Console Players

If you want to change traits but are playing Sims 4 on PS4 or Xbox One, the good news is that it pretty much works the same way.

  1. For PS4, press X+O; For Xbox One, press A+B to bring up the cheat box
  2. Enter “testingcheats on”
  3. Enter “cas.fulleditmode”
  4. Escape
  5. Shift+ Click any Sim
  6. Select “Modify in CAS”

Without Cheats

A little known fact is that you can change traits in Sims 4 without cheats. Added as a free update to Sims 4 in 2018, you’ll need to use the “Re-Training Potion” from the Rewards Store.

It costs 5,000 satisfaction points, so it may take a while to get. Satisfaction points in the Sims 4 by fulfilling whims (which you can see in the game above your sims’ icon in the UI). Each whim has a certain amount of satisfaction points. You access the Rewards Store by clicking on your Sim’s aspiration in-game.

The Re-Traiting Potion allows you to change traits at will after you drink. I recommend this option if you want to change traits in Sims 4 but like a challenge.


Question: What traits should I give my Sim?

Answer: You’ll want to consider a number of factors when you’re selecting traits in Sims 4. The first thing I recommend is asking yourself what you plan to do with your Sim, especially if that is for a specific challenge or storyline. Hover over traits in Create A Sim to get a definition for each trait and how it’ll impact your sim.
Certain traits will be natural picks for developing skills or following different careers. I prefer to give my Sims a mix of traits with imperfections, such as a Sim that may be Romantic but is also a Kleptomaniac. This helps develop the personality more.
Since Sims in Sims 4 tend to get along fairly well, I personally find that traits like “Good” don’t do much to flesh out their personality. Finally, consider unique combinations. An elder sim who is evil; a teenage Sim who is Evil but also Cheerful can all make more interesting gameplay.

Question: What are the best Sims 4 traits?

Answer: The best Sims 4 traits definitely depend on your perspective and your goals for what you want to do with them. In my opinion, I find that the best Sims 4 traits influence how Sims interact with other Sims. In the base game, some of my favorites include Self Assured; Evil; and Childish.
However, I also find that custom Sims 4 traits, made by the modding community tend to add more personality. While you also download mods at your own risk, custom traits expand possibilities and can be another war for Sims to feel at least a little different from another.
My favorite custom traits come from the talented modder Kawaii Stacie. She also makes additional mods for gameplay and personality updates, including the very popular Slice of Life Mod, which adds features like functional acne, mood buffs, and even rabbit holes for shopping, skincare, and more.

Question: How do you get more than 3 traits in Sims 4?

Answer: Whether you played Sims 3 in the past or are new to the Sims franchise and long to have more than 3 traits, the good news is that there are ways around the 3 trait slot limit. There are two main ways: bonus traits and mods.
Bonus traits are earned when they fulfill goals through aspiration and require quite a bit of gameplay. Examples of bonus traits include things like High Metabolism; Domestic and Dastardly, as well as pack specific traits such as Eco Master from Eco Lifestyle and Home Turf from Island Living.
The other option is through mods. A few mods to add additional CAS traits exist, but you’ll want to be careful as some are outdated and no longer work. You’ll want to select the most updated one, preferably from Mod the Sims. All mods need to be correctly installed and placed in a folder labeled Mods under your game file. While some mods work and allow you to add several more traits, be aware that console players cannot download mods, and mods are always at your own risk.

Question: Can you remove rewards traits in Sims 4?

While I personally love that you can obtain rewards traits, sometimes you want a way to remove them or may find they simply don’t suit your Sim. To remove rewards, or bonus traits, in The Sims 4, you’ll have to use a cheat.
1. Pull up the cheats bar by using Shift+CTRL C, or For PS4, press X+O; For Xbox One, press A+B to bring up the cheat box
2. Enter “testingcheats on” (no quotation marks)
3. Enter traits.remove_trait TraitName to remove the trait.
4. You can also add traits this way, by substituting remove with add. Make sure you follow this format (capitalization, spacing) exactly.

Question: Can you remove rewards traits in Sims 4?

While I personally love that you can obtain rewards traits, sometimes you want a way to remove them or may find they simply don’t suit your Sim. To remove rewards, or bonus traits, in The Sims 4, you’ll have to use a cheat.
Pull up the cheats bar by using Shift+CTRL C, or For PS4, press X+O; For Xbox One, press A+B to bring up the cheat box
Enter “testingcheats on” (no quotation marks)
Enter traits.remove_trait TraitName to remove the trait.
You can also add traits this way, by substituting remove with add. Make sure you follow this format (capitalization, spacing) exactly.

Final Thoughts

Traits are core to the personality system in the Sims 4 and have the potential to impact aspirations, relationships, careers, and more. Changing traits is one of my favorite ways to mix up Sims 4 gameplay, especially when it means adding some custom traits from my favorite modders.

Play around with changing traits in the Sims 4. You may be surprised.

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