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Sims 4 Roommates Guide: Will You Love It?

Latest posts by Erin Jamieson (see all)

I have to admit, as a college student I was never a fan of roommates, especially after having a bad experience with one locking me out of my room–but one place I always have loved roommates? In the Sims. And Roommates in the Sims 4 is no exception.

Roommates in Sims 4 liven up your playing experience, add a touch of realism, and allow you to watch personalities to support each other, or clash. Since much of the Sims 4 feels harmonious and very player-controlled, I enjoy the more spontaneous and potentially contentious side of adding a roommate.

Roommates in Sims 4 are a mix bag of challenge, interest, and even frustration. The key is to understand how to get the most out of them to enhance your playing experience, whether your Sim is studying for a degree at the University of Britecheter or the Foxbury Institute, or even just looking for someone to split the rent with.

Consider this your guide to roommates in the Sims 4, and how to make the most out of them.

Are Roommates new to Sims 4?

Roommates were not first introduced in Sims 4, but actually, go back to Sims 2. From Sims 2 to Sims 3 and now Sims 4, the roommate’s system added away in The Sims Franchise to have a more realistic play experience, and, as the Sims does best, replicate real life.

While I didn’t fully appreciate the roommate’s system in Sims 2 at the time, now I see how this system, from game to game, adds that touch of fun and nuance. Here’s how roommates in the Sims progressed from game to game.

Sims 2 Apartment Life

Roommates did not come to the Sims 2 until the release of the popular Sims 2: Apartment Life Expansion. This expansion marked the first time Sims could live in apartments instead of single-family homes, a system that would be replicated but tweaked in both Sims 3 and Sims 4 expansion packs.

Available only to Sims living in apartments, the roommate system was fairly simple but revolutionary at the time. In fact, it marked the first time a Sim in a household was not playable by the player, aside from NPCs for hire, like maids.

While roommates had lives of their own, including careers, you as the player were not able to control them. Roommates could be selected using the computer, a newspaper, or placing an ad.

A fun feature of roommates in the Sims 2 Apartment Life is that Sims would occasionally get phone calls from townies requesting to be their roommate. You also had the option of asking any townie to be a roommate depending on how high the relationship was.

Sims 3 University Life

Roommates did not again return with apartments, as was likely expected. Though Sims 3: Late Night reintroduced apartments, in fact, the roommate system returned until three years later, when the Sims 3: University Life expansion pack was released.

In some ways, this makes sense, as roommates are a natural fit for such a pack, but it remains curious to me they weren’t integrated with the apartment system. Like roommates in the Sims 2, roommates in Sims 3 were Sims that shared your living space and had their own lives, separate from your control.

Roommates could be selected by phone and also dismissed. If you got fed up with having a roommate, the game also allowed you to dismiss them altogether by using the Real Estate departure on your phone; otherwise, dismissing your current roommate would spawn a new one.

With high enough of a relationship, you could pursue romance and even propose.

New Features

I also want to note how the roommate’s system in Sims 2 and Sims 3 brought with it new features to the Sims Franchise. In addition to having members of the household that were non-playable, roommates were notable for changing gameplay up a bit for a few reasons.

Unique Interactions

In Sims 3 University Life, there were interactions specific to having a roommate. These included “Mooch,”; asking your roommates to clean or fix broken objects, or even fix a meal. This was especially handy and, if you played it right, could almost function as a maid service without paying the price. If nothing else, it also made for interesting dynamics and even storytelling possibilities.

Lockable Doors

Though not specifically tied to roommates themselves, lockable doors became a must, especially in Sims 3 University Life, as you could keep the room to yourself and your roommate and keep out wandering students–which could be a positive or negative depending on your relationship.

Assigning Beds

Assigning beds was another improvement brought with roommates in previous Sims games. This was a nice way of keeping your bed separate from your roommate and avoiding all too annoying issues of trying to go to bed at the same time your roommate does. Plus, it added another touch of realism.

Splitting Rent

Of course, one of the biggest perks roommates brought to the Sims was the ability to split the rent. From simoleon-strapped university students to beginning career Sims living a new life in an apartment, this was enormously helpful and came without the stress of having to control yet another Sim for the sake of more income.

Roommates in Sims 4: A Brief Guide

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Sims 4 followed the tradition of adding roommates in the game with a university pack. The Sims 4 Discover University expansion pack introduced the roommate’s system yet again, borrowing from Sims 2 and Sims 3 features and adding some of its own.

Compared with other games, Sims 4 roommates have a few more options, and they are also surprisingly useful outside of the university context. Here are my tips for making the most out of them.

How to Get a Roommate

There are two main ways to get a roommate in Sims 4 without the use of mods (discussed later).

First, you need to own and have Discover University involved, but, interestingly, you can use the system anywhere in any context, even outside of the campuses of the University of Britechester and Foxbury Institute of Technology. This is in part because Discover University, unlike Sims 2 University and Sims 3 University Life, allows your Sims to live in any world while earning their degree.

Option One: Place an Advertisement

Your first option is to place an advertisement, a good go-to for the less social Sim. Gone are the days of physical newspapers (a feature I still miss) so you’ll need to place your ad on a computer.

  • Select “Household” and “Advertise for Roommate” on the computer menu
  • Wait 1-3 days for responses
  • Potential Roommates will show up at your residence. You’ll see a “Potential Roommate: label when you hover over the Sim.
  • Introduce your Sim to the potential roommate(s) to get a sense of their personality. Chat for a while to exchange information and interests.
  • Observant Sims can learn the traits of another Sim more quickly.
  • Using the “Get to Know” and “Ask about Career” interaction are two good ones to start with
  • Hover over and select “Accept Roommate.” Note that potential roommates will always be happy to accept your offer.

Option Two: Ask a Sim

For this option, you need to at least have some relationship with another Sim. This is my preferred method if my Sim already has a good friend who’s also looking to split the rent, or if I have a specific storytelling need in mind. Another perk? You also won’t have that sometimes irritating 1-3 day waiting period.

  • Click on a friend, acquaintance, or romantic partner and choose “Roommate” then “Ask to be Roommate”
  • Other Sim will accept or turn down the offer.
  • Unlike the ad option, there is a bit of a challenge.
  • Sims turn down offers because they are happy with their current living situation, due to an issue in the relationship, or even other factors beyond your control
  • You can cheat, essentially, by manually moving the Sim in first using the “Manage Household” feature on the worldview. If they are already living in your household it is unlikely they will turn down the opportunity to be your roommate.

Managing Life with Roommates

Whether you have one roommate or many, they certainly mix up your everyday gameplay. While roommates can provide companionship and help pay the bills, I also find them an interesting challenge, and there are a few things you’ll need to consider to make life easier.

Bedrooms and Decor

While there is only so much you can do if you’re living in a dorm room (dorms you can decorate but only edit using a cheat) there are plenty of ways you can prepare for a roommate. Ensure you have enough beds, desks, and chairs in bedrooms so your Sims won’t fight over limited supplies.

The decor will encourage different moods; hover over the item in the catalog to see. Depending, you may want the decor to influence focused moods, inspired, or peaceful moods. Start off on a good foot, too, and assign beds right away. This, again, will avoid fights over one bed and other annoyances.

Finally, if you are using the roommate system in one of the dorms, I highly recommend locking the door for everyone but your Sim and their roommate(s).

Parties and Other Distractions

If you’re living in a dorm especially, your roommate may throw parties, whether your Sim is out or in. These parties can include juice kegs and involve several other Sims, meaning if you’d hope to get your Sim studying, it could be a big distraction.

There isn’t much you can do but send your Sim to a common room or library to study in the meantime. Of course, you can always join in. Unless your roommate has an affinity for parties, these are more sporadic.

Cleaning

Of course, it depends on the roommate, but roommates can be quite messy–especially if you’re unlucky enough to have one with the Slob trait. Unlike in Sims 2, it’s a bit harder to get your roommate to be your personal maid. The best bet is to have your Sim to their part, making sure to clean daily and remove spoiled food, which will keep your roommate in a better mood.

Meals

Again, unlike roommates in Sims 2: Apartment Life, Sims 4 roommates won’t necessarily do things for you, so keep this in mind when it comes to meals. While the roommate can take care of themselves, I recommend making an effort to serve family-style meals instead of single servings if you have time, then storing leftovers.

Just keep in mind that the roommate won’t care if you need food, so make sure that you have enough for your Sim, too. Cleaning out the fridge frequently is also important. And if you’re aware that your roommate is a vegetarian–of if your Sim is a vegetarian (a trait that came with Sims 4: City Living) it’s easier to make vegetarian meals.

Upkeep

Another recommendation I have for making Sims 4 roommates more enjoyable to continue to do your part to keep it a nice place to live. Upgrade items either using a skill or swapping out cheaper ones with more expensive ones as you can.

This is especially a good idea for electronics that break, or for beds and sofas that are making either of your Sims uncomfortable. Because Sims 4 emotions are ever-present in the Sims 4, you want to keep your Sim and their roommate(s) in as good of a mood as possible.

Asking a Roommate to Move Out

Of course, despite these efforts, I have sometimes gotten to the end of my rope with a roommate, or just decide I’m no longer interested in having roommates. Navigate to the Roommates social menu and ask them to move out. Occasionally, roommates will decide to move out themselves, sometimes due to lifestyle changes like finding a romantic partner.

Common Roommate Bugs

Unfortunately, with roommates come bugs and glitches, too. Most of these are luckily easily resolved, though you can always reach out to EA Help if you’re experiencing an issue specific to your game. If you are a mod user, always double-check that your mods are updated and not a cause of the problem, or adding to it.

If your roommate is frozen, or not taking care of their own needs, there are a number of things you can do.

  • Exit and restore your save
  • Exit the lot and return
  • Using the “Make Happy Cheat” to satisfy needs or Reset the Sim.

FAQs

Question: Why can’t I get a roommate in the Sims 4?

Answer: You can’t get a roommate in Sims 4 for several possible reasons: The most common problem is not having enough beds. Whether your Sim is living in a dorm or elsewhere, you need to make sure you have a bed for every roommate. This will also prevent you from placing an advertisement for a potential roommate. If you do ask some Sims to be your roommate but they refuse, chances are that they are tied to a different living situation.

Question: How many roommates can you have in Sims 4?

Answer: In Sims 4 you can have 8 sims, as all households are limited and you also need to have enough beds for every roommate you wish to have. Since you can have 8 sims total, this is the cap number for all Sims and pets in that household, nonplayable roommates included.

Question: How many beds do you need for roommates in Sims 4?

Answer: For roommates in Sims 4 you will need enough beds for each roommate you have. Double beds count as a single bed if you have multiple roommates, so your best bet is to aim for a single bed for each roommate. In fact, if you don’t have enough beds, the roommate option may not show up.

Question: How do I make roommates happy in Sims 4?

Answer: To keep roommates happy in Sims 4, think about it as you would real life. Keep the rooms tidy; prepare foods and leftovers; regularly maintain appliances, and try to engage in social interactions. Nicely decorating the living space and adding comfortable furniture will also help manage moods. Finally, having enough bathrooms protects against embarrassing situations.

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