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Screenshots courtesy EA and listed modders.
As someone who used to enjoy something as simple as pitching a tent outside growing up and ‘camping’ in the backyard, bringing camping into Sims 4, the most popular life simulation game of its kind, made sense to me. But in 2021, many simmers may have stopped camping or forgotten about a hidden gem of the Outdoor Retreat game pack: herbalism.
Herbalism in the Sims 4 is one of many skills you can develop that not only offers gameplay but may guide you to a unique challenge or a way to distinguish your sim’s personality a bit more.
This under-explored skill will be able to science and nature-minded sims, works well with other career tracks, and may even appeal as a side hobby for a sim in the scientist or even medical career track from the Get to Work expansion pack.
Still, herbalism isn’t just a simple skill you pick up. In addition to the Outdoor Retreat games pack, you’ll need some savvy to find, collect, and identify plants, and the perseverance to make use of your new plant sample collection.
In this guide, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about herbalism in the Sims 4, from how to become an herbalist, to finding and identifying plants, and, of course, making herbal remedies.
How Do you Become an Herbalist in Sims 4?
Step One: Arrive in Granite Falls
The herbalism skill is available with the Outdoor Retreat game pack, the first DLC add-on that was released in 2015; you can buy it on Origin.
To begin acquiring this skill, schedule a vacation to Granite Falls Forest, the camping ground world that comes with Outdoor Retreat. To travel and plan a vacation, use your smartphone and navigate to travel. You can also navigate to the general world maps tool and select the Granite Falls world. As with any other world, you may travel solo, or with other Sims.
Once you arrive in Granite Falls, you’ll see lush pine trees, nestled beside lakes and valleys. I’ve always wished that this world was residential as well because it really is picturesque. You’ll have the option to either rent a tent or a cabin for your stay. You’ll also be able to go hiking, interact with park rangers, and have campfires.
If you’re feeling lost, I recommend visiting the ranger’s station. The ranger’s station allows you not only to buy the supplies you’ll need during your stay, but also can help guide you to different regions and activities. As you do explore, the main thing you’ll need to be wary of is bears. Though they won’t cause physical harm to your sims, they will make your sims tense, which is not the ideal mood for exploring the herbalism skill.
Step Two: Finding and Collecting Plants
Next, head out to the main forest regions of Granite Falls, This is the best way to start learning and acquiring the herbalism skill. You can also supplement your skill by reading herbalism books, which are located at the ranger’s station.
Look carefully as you explore. You’ll be able to collect what will be marked as ‘unidentified’ plants and herbs. Herbs can be found nearly anywhere with granite falls. For plants, and identifying more, you may also want to pick up the gardening skill in the Sims 4.
Having trouble finding herbs? Look low to the ground and also be on the lookout for sparkling. A sparkling plant will indicate an herb you can collect and identify.
Search and collect as many herbs as you can, they head back to camp to get some rest. Try to enjoy the rest of your vacation, and be ready to start identifying what you’ve collected after a nice night roasting marshmallows and telling stories by the campfire.
Step Three: Identifying Plants
Identifying plants is essential– both to level up your herbalism skill but also to ensure they are safe, or how to use them. Never simply eat herbs without first attempting to identify them. Again, keep in mind that the more you collect and read, the more you’ll be able to identify.
To attempt to identify, click on an herb that you’ve placed in your inventory. You’ll have an option to “attempt to identify.” Your sim will harvest and take a tiny bite. Regardless if you’re successful or not, you’ll continue to build your herbalism skill. Keep trying, collecting, and reading, and once you reach level 5 of the herbalism skill, you’ll be able to successfully identify all collected herbs.
How do you Befriend the Hermit of Granite Falls?
This may seem like an unrelated question, but there is a hidden area of Granite Falls that you must access should you want to make the Fungal Infusion Fertilizer (see chart below), which can be very useful for evolving plants while you’re gardening. Becoming friends with the hermit also happens to be part of the new outdoor enthusiast aspiration.
Not only that, but the hermit’s home is a great place to collect additional plants and insects– and is enjoyable to explore.
Step One: Locate the Hermit’s Home
Visit Granite Falls and begin exploring the forest. As you choose the explore option, opt to continue to step forward and keep trying until you get an option to “Go through the Web,” which will take you to what is known as the deep woods. There will be a new pop-up that allows you to “Ignore the Object,” or “Sally Forth.” Click on Sally Firth, and then “Approach the Sim.”
You’ve now found the hermit and the secret area where they reside.
Step Two: Becoming the Hermit’s Friend
Becoming friends with the hermit is honestly not any more difficult than befriending any other sim. Simply spend time where they reside and interact with them. Bringing a tent may be a good idea, because that way if your sim gets too tired, you won’t have to make your way back.
Step Three: Learning the Fungal Infuser Fertilizer Recipe
Once you’ve become good friends with the hermit, they should share with you the recipe for the Fungal Infuser Fertilizer recipe. This is required- without this, you won’t have access to making the recipe.
Step Four: Finding Dust Spirits
One thing that the hermit won’t do for you, no matter how close you are, is to find and collect dust spirits for you. In addition to befriending the hermit, dust spirits are also required to make the recipe. I actually appreciate that this adds a little challenge, as opposed to the hermit handing you everything that you need.
Finding dust spirits can be tricky, but there are a few places you may have some luck. One location you may have luck with is near the fishing spot near the entrance to the Deep Woods. Dust Sprites seem to like to be near water, so rivers and even leading up to the waterfall are possibilities. You can find them on the small hill beyond the waterfall too. But keep in mind that they move often, so you can’t expect to find them in the same location from day today.
In fact, it appears that dust spirits come randomly– and if you recently found one in location, I recommend waiting a while until visiting that location again. Mostly, persistence is key when it comes to finding dust spirits…
How do you Make Herbal Remedies in Sims 4?
Luckily, the herbalism skill isn’t just limited to collecting and identifying plants. You can put it to use, once you can successfully identify, by making herbal remedies. Many herbal remedies also require insects– which you also find in Granite Falls. To find insects, you just have to keep an eye out and be quick.
New recipes become available the further up you go with the herbalism skill. From insect repellent to the elixir of fertility, here are the different herbalism remedies you can create with the Outdoor Retreat game pack, organized by the herbalism skill level which they unlock at.
A few of these herbal remedies involve adding or removing emotional moodlets, while some cure ailments, such as insect bites. Just one, if made correctly, has a pernicious effect.
Note that brewing (on a stovetop) ingredients of higher quality may result in better results. Your herbalism skill level impacts this, and the strength of your herbal remedy.
|Herbalism Skill Level||Name||Required Ingredients||Use|
|1||Insect Repellant||2 noxious elderberry, 2 basil||Protects against biting insects|
|1||Sadness Alleviation Lotion||2 elderberry, 1 firefly||Removes sad moodlets|
|1||Fungal Infusion Fertilizer||3 morel mushroom, 2 false morels, 1 blackberry, 1 dust spirit*||Evolves plants for the gardening system|
|2||Deodorizing Cream||1 elderberry, 1 strawberry, 2 parsley||Satisfies hygiene need|
|3||Soothing Skin Balm||2 chamomile, 2 basil, 1 locust||Treats insect bites|
|4||De-Stressing Decoction||2 chamomile, 2 muckleberry, 1 walking stick||Removes stressed moodlets|
|5||Tummy Therapy||2 huckleberry, 2 sage, 1 termite||Removes nausea|
|6||Clear Mind Distillation||2 toxic chamomile, 2 huckleberries, 2 parsley||Adds focused moodlet for 4 hours|
|6||Fireleaf Extract||2 poison fireleaf, 2 morel mushroom, 1 fire ant||Adds extremely uncomfortable moodlet for 8 hours|
|7||Natural Herbicide Oil||2 toxic chamomile, 3 fireleaf, 1 stink bug||Removes weeds|
|8||Energizer Infusion||3 muckleberry, 2 poison fireleaf, 1 dragonfly||Adds energized moodlet for 4 hours|
|9||Rage Relieving Salve||3 noxious elderberry, 2 fireleaf, 1 tomato, 1 rainbow firefly||Removes angry moodlets|
|10||Elixir of Fertility||4 false morel, 2 sage, 1 bee, 1 will-o-wisp||Increases probability of multiple births for a pregnant sim (twins or triplets)|
What are the Best Sims 4 CC and Mods for Herbalism?
One thing that surprised me but probably shouldn’t have? There are some great mods to enhance your experience with herbalism skills. Mods and custom content are available to both PC and Mac players, though sadly they are not available for Sims 4 on the console. Simply download from a secure site and place it in your mods folder. Any compressed folders will have to be unzipped using something like The Unarchiver.
Here are my top picks for mods that can enhance your gameplay and help you make the most out of the herbalism skill in Sims 4.
New Herbalism Potions by Little MsSam
LittleMsSam is among the most talented and popular creators for mods for Sims 4, always delivering quality custom content, even when it’s a small addition, and that’s the case here. This small mod offers a fairly impressive package of new herbal potions you can brew, extending your use of the herbalism skill. I’ll include a chart below of the new potions you’ll get. These also even include a few occult-themed potions, should you own Get to Work (aliens) and Vampires.
|Herbalism Skill Level||Name||Required Ingredients||Use|
|2||Self Made Medicine||2 Chamomile, 2 Basil, 1 Lemon||Cure all sickness|
|4||Diet Potion||1 Elderberry, 1 Parsley, 1 Apple||Slow, healthy weight loss|
|4||Pure Fat||4 Elderberry, 4 Plantain, 4 Strawberry||Slow, healthy weight gain|
|6||Einstein’s Potion||2 Toxic Chamomile, 2 Huckleberry, 2 Carrot, 1 Grape||Build skills faster|
|7||Beam Me Up||3 Noxious Elderberry, 2 Fireleaf, 2 Lemon||Summons alien encounter (only YA and up)|
|8||Vampirism||4 False Morel, 2 Sage, 4 Wolfsplane, 4 Plasma Fruit, 1 Mosquito||Changes sim into a vampire|
|8||Alienator||2 Noxious Elderberry, 2 Basil, 1 Quill Fruit, 1 Glow Orb, 1 Fang Flower||Changes sim into an alien|
|9||Humanization||3 Muckleberry, 2 Poison Fireleaf, 4 Dragonfruit, 2 Cowplant Berry||Turns a sim back into a human|
|10||Resurrection||4 False Morel, 2 Basil, 2 Death Flower, 1 Potion of Youth||Brings sim back to life|
As you can see, this is quite an extensive list for a mod, but it won’t take too much space in your mods folder. Download Here.
No Insects as Ingredients Mod by LittleMsSam
This mod accomplishes just what it sounds like: potions that once required insects as ingredients no longer will. This mod is a nice little tweak for anyone frustrated with finding insects, or who simply don’t like the concept of using insects as primary ingredients for these potions. Do note that this mod will then slightly change the needed ingredients for those potions, as is indicated on the download page. Download Here.
Herbalism Aspiration by MarlynSims
Ever want to make more out of the herbalism skill? While the aspiration that comes with Outdoor Retreat taps into it some, I like this custom aspiration from MarlynSims to make the herbalism skill just a bit more significant in your sim’s life. The aspiration is a short one, with four levels, complete with an award trait that adds buffs. The idea is that this is for a sim passionate about alternative medicine– a great compliment, perhaps for a sim living off the grid. Download Here.
Cauldron Herbalism Mod by icemunmum
I’ve always thought it would only make sense to be able to brew herbal potions just as you can magical ones– and this mod by the talented creator, iceman mummy is a simple fix for that. If you own both Outdoor Retreat and the Realm of Magic game pack, this mod enables you to brew herbal potions in cauldrons and is compatible with the expanded potions mod from LittleMsSam, though there is also a separate download for those who don’t have that mod. It’s easy to use: the mod simply adds a ‘Brew Herbalism Potion’ interaction for cauldrons, making it another one of those simple, but helpful fixes. Download Here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answer: Elderberries are most prominent in warm growing seasons, particularly in Summer if you have Seasons installed. All ingredients for the herbalism skill, however, can be found either in Granite Falls or through the gardening system. Elderberry may also refer to the Elderberry family, who resides in Britechester and came with the Sims 4: Discover University expansion pack.
Answer: Finding any herb for the herbalism skill in Sims 4 is a matter of trial and error, and takes some deep exploration of Granite Falls Forest. To locate a locust, search within the park. They can sometimes be found near the waterfall, and are easiest to find in the morning.
Answer: Granite Fall is a vacation world, just as is the case with the world that comes with the Jungle Adventure game pack. This means you may travel and visit at any time, and stay for a bit, but you cannot permanently live there. The only caveat to this is that there is a mod that swaps all residential worlds with all vacation worlds– but in reality, it’s not practical, as now most of the sims worlds you play in will be vacation worlds.
The herbalism skill can provide a great challenge in Sims 4, but also can be pretty handy for emotional buffs and elements, and the best mods just add a few more perks.
Can’t be bothered to work your way up the herbalism skill? You can cheat the herbalism skill by opening up the cheat command and entering: stats.set_skill_level Major_Herbalism 10.