Complete Guide to Sims 4 Gameplay Mastery

The Sims 4 is a simulation game that revolves around creating and controlling virtual people called Sims, players can allow their sims to experience various life events, build a perfect home for them or even just cause pure chaos.

Sims 4 is the fourth game in the franchise and builds upon its predecessors to create an in-depth video game for casual and hardcore gamers alike.

When Mastering the Sims 4 gameplay there is a lot to cover, from understanding how building works to create the perfect life for your Sim it can all be a little overwhelming luckily this handy guide will help you understand each element that goes into making Sims lives a little easier.


Sims 4 Gameplay Mastery

Building is a core part of Sims 4, it allows players to unleash their creativity on the homes their sims will live in and the places their Sims will visit. Players can build their Sims a home and furnish it with all the things they will need to be happy and live a productive life.

However, it is important to remember that a Sim family generally only starts with 20,000 dollars, as this Sim works and brings home more money they can buy nicer objects with more bonuses and faster skill-building. Build mode is quite simple; there are 23 different areas of build mode.

These include creating rooms using the wall or room tool, playing windows and doors, using the foundation tool to create rooms or outdoor spaces, stairs, wall and floor patterns, roofing which includes room patterns, roof trims, and of course roofs themselves.

There are also many different ways to decorate the lot by using friezes and exterior trims, fences, gates, stair railing, columns, spandrels, creating a pool, using outdoor plants, creating a fountain, changing the terrain of the lot, changing how the terrain looks. There are also wall and roof sculptures that can be added to houses for decoration.

Lastly, build mode also includes rooms that are already styled and furnished so players can easily create a house without needing to pick out everything themselves.

In addition to building a house, players can also assign lot traits to the lot. These traits give certain bonuses or allow for a certain event to occur in the game, each lot can be assigned 3 different traits and there are a total of 52 lot traits to choose from.

Buy mode is similar to build mode, except that it allows players to buy and place objects. Players can place objects either by room or by function. Rooms include kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, living room, dining room, study, kid’s room, and outdoor.

Functions are comfort, surfaces, plumbing, activities and skills, decoration, pets, kids, lighting. electronics, appliances, and storage. Each function category has separate subcategories that separate the objects into types.

For example, comfort includes chairs, sofa, loveseat, beds, and outdoor seating. Some items are put into awkward categories, for example, trash cans are included under appliances and not under say storage or decoration.

In addition to the normal categories each family also has a family inventory, this is where career, objects that players don’t want to sell end up. These items can be taken out of the inventory and placed free of charge for Sim’s use.


sims 4

Life Span and Age

When creating a sim players need to pay attention to the age of the Sim. There are seven different life spans and three different life span settings for the games. The seven different life spans are baby, toddler, child, teen, young adult, adult, and elder.

The three different age settings are long, normal, and short. The long setting gives babies 12 days, toddlers 28 days, children and teens get 52 days, and young adults and adults get 96 days. How many days each sim has an elder depends on the Sim.

The normal setting gives babies 3 days, toddlers 7 days, children and teens 13 days, young adults 24 days, and adults 24 days. The short setting gives babies 1.5 days, toddlers 4 days, children and teens 7 days, and young adults and adults 12 days. Generally playing on short is not recommended.

Additionally, Sims can be aged up prematurely by using a birthday cake. This is great if you find a Sim has completed what you want them to complete within a given life-span.


Aspirations are essentially life goals that Sims can select to complete. Each aspiration has its own checklist of activities that need to be completed in order to earn satisfaction points and move on to the next level of satisfying that aspiration.

For example, The Best Selling Author Aspiration Has four milestones to complete. The first is the Fledge linguist which asks Sim to write two books and to write for an hour. The second milestone is called Competent Wordsmith and asks sims to achieve a level 4 in the writing skills, write for a total of 15 hours, and write 5 good books.

Milestone 3: Novelist Novelist asks sims to achieve a level 6 in the writing skills, publish 10 books and write 5 excellent books. The last Milestone asks Sims to max out the writing skill, complete 3 bestsellers, and earn 25,000 dollars in book royalties.

Satisfaction points vary by which level you are on and which aspiration the Sim has. Satisfaction points can be used towards various rewards that can make the Sims life easier. These rewards can grant small things, such as a one-time use potion for energy, or big things like a permanent reduction in bills.

After completing an aspiration sims are given a bonus trait based on the aspiration, this trait does not change if another aspiration is completed. For example, the Best Selling Author Aspiration gives Sims the trait of poetic and allows them to write the Book of Life, which will allow the player to resurrect the Sim that the book was written about.

They can now select another aspiration to complete. Aspirations can also be changed without being completed. There are a total of 37 aspirations available in Sims, with all of the DLC. Expansion and game packs tend to come with an aspiration that ties into the theme of the pack.

For example, the Parenthood pack gave sims the option of choosing a super parent aspiration. Children have the option of choosing between four aspirations: artistic prodigy, rambunctious scamp, social butterfly, and whiz kid.


Traits are what helps to determine Sim’s behavior, animations, and gameplay bonuses or penalties. Sims are given three traits upon aging up to young adult, most often the player is able to choose these traits. Additionally, these traits can be chosen in create-a-sim young adults and older.

There are over 50 traits to choose from for young adults and adults. Additionally, there are 17 bonus traits that are given based on the aspiration chosen. Sims also receive a unique trait upon death that describes how they passed and their abilities as a ghost, which there are 28 possibilities.

Children operate differently when it comes to traits, as they are still developing their personalities. There are eight toddler traits that are specific only toddlers and once the toddler ages up to a child they can choose a smaller number of normal traits.

Children and Teenagers often go through phases and are given temporary traits that influence their behavior in a drastic way. For example, children who go through the “I’m a bear!” phase will wear a bear suit instead of their normal clothing.


sims needs

Needs or motives are things that Sims need to stay alive and happy. There are six needs total energy, hunger, bladder, fun, social, and hygiene. Needs will slowly become depleted and the further the needs are depleted the more stressful the Sim will feel.

While only one need will lead to starvation and death, depletion of the other needs will make your sim very uncomfortable and unable to perform various tasks. Raising needs quite simple energy can be filled by napping or sleeping in a bed.

Beds and sleeping are better for energy gains while napping should be saved for the last resort. Energy should be prioritized as the more energy a sim has the more they can do during their awake hours. Hunger can be filled by eating, Sims receive moodlets for meals that are exceptionally good or contain fresh ingredients. They also receive meal moodlets for upgraded fridges and when using microwaved quick meals.

Quick meals are great for Sims who are in a rush, however, they don’t satisfy the hunger bar. The best option for raising hunger would have your Sim make food and use the leftovers options, as it doesn’t expend much energy for a Sim to have leftovers vs cooking constantly.

The bladder need is pretty self-explanatory and can be raised by allowing the Sim to relieve themselves using a toilet or bush. If a Sim doesn’t make it to the bathroom in time they will wet themselves and become embarrassed. The fun moodlet can be raised by doing various things like reading, playing video games, playing chess, or even going out with other Sims.

When this need is depleted Sims become tense and need to relieve their stress. Social is also pretty self-explanatory Sims are social creatures while some Sims are more outgoing than others they all have a social need. Raising this need is very easy even if a Sim is a total loner, Sims can invite people over, talk to a family member or chat online with others, all of these things will raise the social need easily.

The last need is hygiene and again this is also pretty self-explanatory, Sims can take a shower, bath, wash their hands and brush their teeth to raise their hygiene. Showers or baths are the most efficient way to raise the hygiene bar but using hand washing and teeth brushing in between can help keep it in the green for longer.

Emotions & Moodlets

Emotions & Moodlets were introduced to the game in Sims 4, the game allows Sims to have a performance boost in Skills, Careers, Social and Romantic Interactions. Some emotions can also cause negative things to happen. There are eight positive and seven negative emotions that Sims can experience.

Emotions are formed from moodlets that are given to Sims as they experience in-game events. Each moodlet contributes to a mood and the number of moodlets that becomes dominant determines the Sims current. For example, if a Sim has a moodlet that +3 Focused and another moodlet that said +1 happy, the Sim would remain focused until the focused moodlets ran out of time.

Sims moodlets come from a variety of things, objects that have an emotional aura, various objects, activities, and traits will influence what moodlets a Sim receives. Fine is the default or neutral state for Sims and happens when a Sim has no moodlets.

The eight positive moods are happy, confident, energized, flirty, focused, inspired, and playful. The seven negative emotions are angry, bored, dazed, embarrassed, sad, tense, and uncomfortable. A Sim can gain a happy mood from having a nicely decorated home, having a good meal, listen to music, having all needs satisfied, and healthy green tea.

Sims can gain a confident mood by brushing their teeth, psyching themselves up, and by using confident auras. Sims can gain a energize mood from taking a brush shower, having a high fitness level, and oolong tea. Sims can gain a flirt emote by freshening up, romantic interactions with other Sims, researching pick up lines, and trying out outfits.

Sims gain a focused mood if they browse Simpedia, play chess, use the observatory, or study fossils among other activities. Sims gain an inspired moodlet by taking a thoughtful shower, admiring art, browsing art on the web. Sims gain a playful mood from taking a bubble bath, watching the comedy channel, playing with their pets.

Angry Sims can soothe their anger by drinking chamomile tea, working out their frustration with a punching bag, or taking a cold shower. It’s important to keep anger in check because it can become a fatal emotion. Bored Sims simply need more stimulation by working on a skill or changing your Sims interactions.

Dazed Sims simply need to wait out their moodlets, Sims can become dazed by losing a fight or having a voodoo doll used on them. Embarrassed Sims need a break from the world, clicking on a bed allowing them to hide from the world for a while will help with their embarrassed mood.

Sims can become sad from having a low social bar or when sad events happen, such as losing a loved one. Sad Sims can call the sadness hotline and talk to someone to help get themselves out of the emotional state. A tense Sim needs to do something fun to help reduce their tension, bonus points if it’s something they enjoy doing a lot. Uncomfortable Sims needs to raise their need bars and clean the areas around them.


sims 4 skills

Skills in Sims 4 are activities that Sims can gain experience and proficiency, money, fame, and promotions. The skills unlock the moment Sims do an activity related to that skill. For example: if a Sim cooks they automatically unlock the cooking skill and if they get high enough in cooking skill the gourmet cooking skill automatically unlocks.

One of the easiest ways to learn the basics of skill is using skill books. Skill books can be purchased or read at a Library. Volume one of a skill book will help a Sim reach level 4 in the skill, however, the Sim must re-read the book. Volume two will take a Sim up to level 7 and volume 3 will take a Sim up to level 9.

In order to master the skill, the Sim must actually use the skill. Another way to learn skills is to simply do actions that will help you gain experience. For example, a Sim can learn the guitar by practicing and they can continue to gain experience and eventually mastery by practicing the instrument instead of using skill books.

There are a few things that affect how quickly skills are gain. If the Sim is in the ideal mood for using that skill the gains will happen quicker. Additionally, if the lot the Sim is on has a study spot lot trait they will gain a small skill boost when learning a skill. Other lot traits can also affect different skills. There are 40 different skills a Sim can master.


sims careers

Careers have been a part of the Sims game since the very beginning. Careers are one of the most traditional ways for a Sim to earn money and rewards. Sims can find a job using their phone or computer and jobs pay the day that you work.

Each job has various skills and tasks a Sim must complete in order to earn promotions. Promotions bring with them bonus pay, higher hourly pay, and vacation days. Career levels scale to the level to the same level of the skill. So for example a when a Sim reaches level 10 in their career they should also have mastered the skill that goes with that job.

Sims are also given daily tasks to complete each day which help fill their job satisfaction bar and allow for promotions as well. Players can choose how hard their Sim works and must deal with the consequences of that. For example, a sim who often leaves work early will not gain promotions as fast as a sim who is working hard.

However, the Sim who is working hard will often become tense and stressed and need extra attention paid to their fun need. Each career also has career branches that can be chosen when a Sim reaches a certain point in the career track, this cannot be changed once one has been selected.

Sims also gain vacation days from working, all Sims start with 3 vacation days and as they work their shifts they will gradually accrue vacation days. Vacation days allow Sims to take a day off work while also being paid and they can be saved up indefinitely. In order to take a vacation day Sims must call in, they can do so as early as 24 hours before their shift as even right before their shift starts.

Once a Sim has reached level 10 in their career they can still receive rewards for filling their performance bar. If a Sim works until they are elderly they can retire and receive a payment that was in proportion to what level the Sim was at in the career. Teens and adults can also work part-time jobs to earn money as well. There are 26 careers in total, three of those are active careers where the Sim can be followed and controlled during work.

See some of our career guides here:


Whim or wants are an important part of gaining satisfaction rewards for your Sim. Whims are thought bubbles that appear over your Sims head icon in the bottom left corner. These whims are simply things the Sim wants to do right now and they are based on the activities the Sim has been doing lately and their emotions.

For example, a Sim who is spending a lot of time learning a new instrument will have whims related to learning the instrument. The first whim is generally related to this Sims mood and changes often. The others are based on activities and may not change as often. In general, pursuing whims will probably interrupt your Sims daily life but the reward can often off-put then interruptions.

Each whim complete gives a Sim a certain amount of satisfaction points that can be used to by rewards in the store. It’s easier to get a permanent reduction in bills, hardly hungry, or savant rewards when you have a steady amount of satisfaction points coming in from completing whims.

So there you have it, a guide to understanding and playing Sims. However, I don’t want players to forget that Sims is all about what you can dream up. Let your imagination run wild, do challenges, build crazy buildings, or have way too many kids. It’s all up to you, Sims put the power of the story into players’ hands. So go out there and have some weird Sims fun!


Question: What type of game is Sims 4

Answer: Sims 4 is a simulation game, centered around creating and controlling a Sim.

Question: What consoles is Sims 4 available for?

Answer: Sims 4 is available for PC, Xbox, and PS4.

Question: Where can I buy Sims 4?

Answer: You can buy the base game and all packs on Origin for PC, and the game stores for Xbox and PS4.

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