The Sims™ 4: Beginners’ Guide (Gameplay, Cheats, and Mods)

Here’s a beginner guide to the basic gameplay + some mods and cheats for beginners and advanced players. If you are somewhat like me and you want to make sims more fun then I hope you’ll find something useful in the guide. If you enjoyed please leave an award or a like. Thank you!



Created by Electronic Arts and developed by Maxis, The Sims was released in 2000. Since then, there have been four instalments in the series and various spin-offs and mobile versions of the game.
The Sims is a single-player interactive life-simulation game that gives you the power to create and control your own Sims character. You can create families, build homes, and complete various day-to-day activities such as sleep, eating, working, etc.

Gameplay depends on the user’s play style. Some prefer to build while others like creating a storyline to follow. Career and lifestyle goals can be followed or ignored, which means the game can be tailored to suit anyone.
The Sims 4 game can be played on a PC (Microsoft/macOS), PS4 and Xbox One.


  • Play how you want. There’s no concrete, correct way to play The Sims 4.
  • Keep your Sim’s mood up.
  • Make sure your Sims’ needs are met.
  • Debugging cheats are your friends.
  • Find inspiration in the gallery.
  • Only buy expansion packs, game packs, and stuff packs you really want.


Step one is creating your sim. The tutorial version is more limited than usual to allow you to get used to the basics. In regular gameplay, you can choose your own traits as well as an aspiration from a larger selection. To edit the appearance of your sim simply click on them and then go through the options. Clicking the head of your sim offers options for facial features, hair, and accessories while choosing the body of your sim will open options for clothing. Sliders on the left adjust basic body types and clicking each individual section of the body or face allows for more complex manipulation.
The whole process of making a sim might take you a while if you are exploring your creativity, especially if you use CC (Custom Content) – but more on that later on. You can take your time and create yourself, a friend, or an imaginary person and you can customize literally anything.


Bladder needs are met with a toilet and hygiene needs with a bath, shower, or sink. Hunger is replenished by clicking on an oven, fridge, or microwave and selecting a meal to cook. You can also select quick meals from a fridge or coolbox. Energy is replenished by sleeping in a bed or napping on a bench or sofa. You can also boost it temporarily with coffee. Fun and social needs are a little more flexible and less obvious. Social bars are filled quickest with any face to face interaction but there are other options. Sims can also chat online or by using their phone. They can also watch TV, listen to music, dance, etc.


Every home should have the basics that your sims need, and those are:

  • Bed
  • Toilet
  • Shower
  • Fridge
  • Stove / Microwave
  • Computer
  • Trash Can
  • Smoke Alarm
  • Creative Outlet
  • Bookshelf

  • The tool panel is divided into two parts. The first part is the picture of a house divided into numerous parts. It includes all available build features from roofing to room tools to even the terrain tool. The navigation is intuitive here, so just looking through the options a few times should be enough.
  • After selecting a part of the house, such as the room tool, a smaller menu will pop up on the right side of the house, along with a variety of options. For doors and windows for example, this menu gives the option of different heights depending on the wall height used.
  • The Sims 3 camera mode is generally more builder friendly thanks to its easy rotation.
  • Some tools are not marked down. Pressing G for instance will remove the grid, which might be better for Buy Mode. Pressing down the ALT key will allow you to place objects outside of the grid. ALT also allows you to rotate an object freely while dragging it.
  • As for cheats, some of the most important ones for Build and Buy Mode include the “bb.moveobjects” cheat, as well as “bb.showhiddenobjects”. Make sure to first type in “testingcheats true” to even enable the use of cheats in the first place.

  • Generally, it’s better to build a smaller house at first and then expand from there. Bigger houses will be awkward to size down, even if it’s still possible. However, with a small house you can just add more rooms or expand existing rooms to fit your needs. You could even go for a second floor or a basement.
  • Another general mistake is going for a single, box-shaped house. This can make all of your builds look incredibly dull and similar in the long run. In order to bring a house to the next level and give more dimension and depth, the shape should be a little more complex. You can start from a box, and build from there.
  • Creating a roof is one of the toughest aspects of building. That’s because the tools for roofing are limited compared to the tools meant for building walls and floors. Due to this, when you start building a house, try to consider the shape and the size of the house from the perspective of the roof first.

  • It’s not all just about the house itself. Dressing up the lot will significantly improve the look of any build. Again, even if your house is a typical L-shape suburban home in Willow Creek, having an interesting garden can give the house some personality.
  • The terrain tool can also revolutionize how you build your simple homes, so don’t be afraid of play around with it and come up with crazy ways to present your house. Terrain paint is also an excellent tool which can be used to give the bright green grass some variation and depth.


You can look for a job in The Sims 4 using your Sim’s phone or any computer and clicking the Find a Job interaction. Alternatively, you can also click the Find a Job option from the Career Panel.

Careers are a good way to make money that fits in with the storytelling playstyle. There are several different types and each one includes options, with some more rewarding than others.

  • Rabbit hole careers will send your sim to work each day via a rabbit hole event. All you need to do is watch their mood, improve their skills as required, and choose their working level.
  • Semi-active careers will give you a choice between doing a rabbit hole work event or completing two tasks at home instead. These give a little more flexibility to your day.
  • Active careers will enable you to accompany your sim to work, directly influencing their job input. If you work in the Scientist career, you’ll also collect a large number of items as part of your daily tasks, which can be sold for an income boost.
  • Part-Time Careers – These careers are exclusive for teen Sims. They pay less per hour, but some part-time jobs are more flexible in work hours as teens can choose between morning or afternoon shifts.

In terms of salary, the highest paying rabbit hole careers are the Astronaut and Secret Agent careers, followed by the Criminal career. For those choosing semi-active careers, the Social Media and Style Influencer careers bring the most financial rewards, while the most lucrative active career is Acting.

The final way to make money is by simply collecting things. Sims can fish, mine deposits for gems, harvest plants, and more. There are so many collectibles around the world that many skint sims can make their money simply by picking them up.

Every job level in any career in The Sims 4 has corresponding promotional requirements that your Sims have to meet to get a promotion. These requirements change and get harder as your Sims work their way up the career ladder.


Fishing is a free form of making money on demand. Fishing will earn you lots of cash once you’re catching the big ones available at later skill levels. Be sure to sell your fish, because them being in your inventory raises a household’s bills.

Gardening is one of the most involved Skills in the game, given the need to graft plants and maybe even enter a rocketship to complete your collection and make your dream garden. This is perhaps the biggest earner, though you need to stay on top of it as plants can die. If your goal is only to make money, focus on produce that sells for more on an individual level. See the plant list in the linked gardning guide to get an idea. In general roses or pomegrantes are accessible and make more than apples and spinach..



Step 1 – Speak To The Locals In Strangerville – After entering Strangerville, the first step to solving the mystery is speaking to the locals. As you begin to chat with people they will start to give you clues about the town and what’s happening.
Step 2 – Gather Evidence – Soon you’ll be able to visit the secret lab, so secret its name is blanked out on your map. Once there you’ll need to gather as much evidence as you can.
Step 3 – Gain Entry To The Underground Chamber – Once you have a keycard you’ll gain entry to a chamber, allowing you to dig deeper into the mystery and analyze the things you find.
Step 4 – Check Your Surroundings – As you uncover more of the story your surroundings will change. Keep an eye on the sky, the ground and even inside the lab to see what is happening. The town won’t look like this for long.
Step 5 – Meet Mother – Finally, your sim will come face to face with mother, the cause of the chaos. Now you must follow the instructions given in order to save the town.


Step 1 – Sylvan Glade – ylvan Glade is one of the secret lots that can be discovered within the breezy and fresh world of Willow Creek, one of the default worlds that come with The Sims 4.
Step 2 – Visit The Crick Cabana Lot – First of all, proceed to visit the Crick Cabana Lot which is located at the end of the street.
Step 3 – View The Tree Over And Over – Once you have identified the odd tree, proceed to “View” it a few times until a new interaction appears. You should be able to “Water” this tree now.
Step 4 – Answer Me These Questions 3 (or maybe 4…) – When the magic doorway is revealed proceed to Explore the tree. When your Sim delves into the bowels of the tree, they will be met with a series of questions they must answer.
The answers are:

– Follow the Sound

– Follow Downstream

– Enter the Mist

– Travel to the Glade

Then get ready to enter the Glade.
Step 5 – Bask In The Glade’s Amazingness! – Congratulations. You have made it to Sylvan Glade! Have fun exploring and seeking out wild and rare collectibles. It features a few special surprises such as rare fish, frogs, and plants within the surrounding area.


Step 1 – Forgotten Grotto – Forgotten Grotto is another secret lot that is located within the dusty hot world of Oasis Springs, another one of The Sims 4 default worlds that are included in the base game.
Step 2 – Get to Handiness Level 10 – That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. You are required to get your Sim up to level 10 in the handiness skill.
Step 3 – Desert Bloom Park Bound – Within Oasis Springs, proceed to explore the lot, Desert Bloom Park.
Step 4 – Again with the Questions (3 in total) – After entering the abandoned mine entrance, you will be met with a series of questions.
The answers are as follows:

– Take the wide path

– Climb the ladder

– Step onto the ledge

After answering the series of questions, the player is then allowed to enter the Grotto of Wonder.
Step 5 Shiny Forgotten Grove – Congratulations! You have made it into the Forgotten Grotto; a place of mysterious wonder, filled with unique and rare metals, minable rocks, fish, and plants. The hard to catch Batfish is a resident here (and unique to the Grotto) so, ensure that you catch one before you leave.


Step 1 – Deep Woods – If you readers out there have The Sims 4: Outdoor Retreat expansion pack, I’m happy to inform you that it has a cool secret location that you can discover quite easily!
Step 2 – The Journey! – First of all, proceed to enter the Granite Falls National Park neighborhood. Zoom all the way out and proceed to position the camera as per the above photo.
Step 3 – More Questions – Seriously; more questions? Yes, once your Sim has started to explore the cave you will be met with a few questions.
Proceed to answer them as per below

– Step Forward

– Go Through the Web

– Sally Forth

– Travel towards the Sim

Let the Sim lead the way towards those deep woods.
Step 4 – Deep Woods, Here We Are! – Fantastic work! If everything went according to plan, you should be in Deep Woods, where you can go forth and do a wide range of things.


Enabling cheats:

  • On PlayStation: Hold down all four triggers at the same time
  • On XBox: Hold down all four triggers at the same time

You will see a thin white line where you can type on the top left corner of your screen. To Enable cheats, just type in testingcheats true/on
testingcheats on =enables cheats
testingcheats off =disables cheats


  • cas.fulleditmode =enables you to costumize your sim as you please
  • offspring.scan =if you own littlemssam’s ultrasound mod this allows you to be able to go to the gynecologist and find out the gender of your baby.


  • Money (amount of money you want): (the amount of money you put in) Simoleons
  • Money Cheats: Kaching: 1,000 Simoleons
  • Motherlode: 50,000 Simoleons
  • freerealestate on =this cheat allows you to buy any lot no matter what’s on your wallet


  • to level up skills just type in this: stats.set_skill_level Major_(skill) (level)
  • stats.set_skill_level [skilltype] [1-10]

To fill a sims needs, just hold shift and click on them. Options should appear. Click “Cheat Need” Then click “Make Happy.” To fill needs to the household, hold shift and click on the mail box, click on “Alter Needs” then click “Fill household needs”


  • bb.ignoregameplayunlocksentitlement = opens all career locked items on build/buy
  • bb.moveobjects =this allows you to move objects freely
  • bb.showhiddenobjects =unlocks all sims 4 debug objects
  • bb.showliveeditobjects =unlocks items that are in the world such as trees, bushes, fences
  • bb.enablefreebuild =allows free build in any lot, residential and non residential
  • [] keys are used to “[” increase an objects’s size and “]” to decrease an object’s size or in some cases SHIFT + ] / SHIFT + [
  • ( and ) are used to “(” lift an object or “)” to bring down an object


  • Sim – Allows Sim to be modified, except name and inherited traits (Modify in CAS)
  • Sim – Reset a Sim (Reset Object)
  • Sim – Add the Sim to the current family (Add to Family)
  • Sim – All motives are full and mood is Happy (Cheat Motive > Make Happy)
  • Sim – Motives change dynamically (Cheat Motive > Enable Motive Decay)
  • Sim – Motives remain static (Cheat MOtive > Disable Motive Decay)
  • Object – Resets object
  • Dirty-able Object – Makes object dirty
  • Dirty Object – Makes object clean
  • Mailbox – Resets mailbox
  • Ground – Teleports your Sim to that vicinity

The most normal and natural death of all is old age. This frankly boring death is achieved when Sims naturally reach the end of their lives.

Starvation is a classic Sim death, present since the very first game. It happens when Sims are deprived of food for days on end.

Death by fire can be achieved in several different ways. For those with the base game, the easiest way is by putting rugs in front of open fireplaces or cooking with low skill level on a cheap stove.

Drowning Sims in pools is a classic. It’s not the quickest method but it is one of the easiest and all you need is either a pool and a fence or the water garden from Get Famous.

Emotional deaths are some of the most difficult to cause, although sometimes they will unexpectedly trigger. They are caused by extreme emotions of playfulness, embarrassment, and anger.

This death is easier to cause than you may think but it happens in two stages. First, a sim will become dazed and then a second jolt of electricity will finish them off. The dazed moodlet and subsequent death can be caused by repairing electrical items or being struck by lightning (for those with Seasons.)

The overexertion death is often referred to as death by woohoo, although that’s not the only way to trigger it. It only works with elder Sims but is one of the easiest ways to skip the elder life stage and make it look like an accident.

Cow Plants first appeared in The Sims 2: University and have been taunting and killing Sims ever since. In The Sims 4, they were in the game right from the start.

WISHING WELL (Romantic Garden Stuff)
The wishing well doesn’t just grant wishes, it can also cause bad things to happen, including death.

SAUNA (Spa Day)
Sims who spend too long in the Spa Day sauna will end up never leaving, thanks to death by overheating.

PUFFER FISH (City Living)
Eating poor quality Puffer Fish Nigiri is a risky business and can lead to death, although eating it isn’t a guaranteed trigger.

SUNLIGHT (Vampires)
Vampires don’t like the sun. They can earn some traits to counteract this a little but mostly keeping them outside during the day will end in death.

Temperature deaths are caused by wearing the wrong clothing outdoors. All Sims have a cold weather and hot weather outfit option and they should change into these when they leave the house, otherwise, disaster will strike.

Another death that only affects elders, the flower arranging skill comes with dire consequences.

POISON (Jungle Adventure)
Jungle Adventure contains many hazards in the dangerous jungles and temples of Selvadorada. They can be quite difficult to trigger but are entertaining and unique. Sims can be poisoned in a variety of ways and if they don’t discover and purchase an antidote they die after a few Sim days.

Rabid rodent fever is the slightly less virulent return of the guinea pig disease from The Sims. It can be contracted from any small animal in My First Pet Stuff.

NIGHT WRAITH (Realm of Magic)
The Night Wraith death is a semi-hidden almost certain death. It occurs when a spellcaster ends up with the Night Wraith curse, which can be triggered automatically or forced.

Casting spells fills up a meter for spellcasters. If this meter gets too full then a Sim will become overloaded and can die. It should be noted that Spellcaster ghosts are incredibly powerful beings.

MURPHY BED (Tiny Living Stuff)
The classic murphy bed death makes a return with the Tiny Living Stuff Pack. Sims who aren’t careful can end up trapped in the mechanisms and never return.

BEETLE JUICE (Eco Lifestyle)
A little known about death, this is triggered by the beetle juice drink, a new addition to the game with Eco Lifestyle that can be crafted at level 10 mixology skill.

FLIES (Eco Lifestyle)
Dumpsters can become filled with flies and they aren’t always friendly. If you don’t sort your trash then the insects will soon come buzzing.

Snowy Escape added a number of vending machines to the game so your Sims can buy a variety of different items. However, the machines come with a catch, items can get stuck on the way out.

Mountain climbing can be dangerous and inexperienced Sims should be careful when going climbing. You’ll need to build skill on the climbing walls, get the right equipment and make sure the weather is fine.

Cottage Living adds the ability to purchase and raise chickens. There are also rabbits which will wander around your lot and can be interacted with. However, both of these animals can be dangerous.


The simple bed is a classic. Found in every pre-built home, a double bed is the easiest and most common WooHoo location in the game. It’s often used as a staple for regular family-based gameplay.

Hot tubs used to be specific to the Perfect Patio Stuff pack but since the 20th anniversary of the franchise, the base game now has a hot tub with a roof.

Simmers with the Spa Day game pack can enjoy some WooHoo fun for two in the sauna, as long as it isn’t occupied by any other sims.

Sims with some skills, or access to some nerdy places, can craft a rocketship for an out of this world WooHoo experience.

The Sims 4 has no sensible sized telescope. Instead, it has a ginormous backyard observatory. It’s ridiculous in size but it does have room for two.

Outdoor Retreat allows your sims to pack up a tent and take to the hills for some adventures and some canvas-covered WooHoo. You can buy tents from the ranger station in Granite Falls, or alternatively, place them into your Sim’s lot or inventory straight from the build and buy catalog.

Get Together brings sims together quite literally in a very small space, just big enough for two.

The Anything Goes Party Bush is the perfect place for alfresco fun. It was first introduced in Get Together, and you’ll find the bushes in various lots around Windenburg. Jungle Adventure also added a slightly different version of the bush, which is scattered around Selvadorada. Both bushes are available to buy in the build catalog, as well as being spottable outdoors.

If you’re into supernatural WooHoo then you’ll be pleased to know that vampires can WooHoo in their coffins, although regular sims will be disgusted by the idea and refuse to participate, regardless of romantic status.

A nice moonlight walk to the lighthouse can be a very romantic date, and in Brindleton Bay you can take it to the next level.

Another alfresco location, those piles of leaves you see if you have Seasons installed aren’t just for decoration. Sims can also play in them or enjoy a little WooHoo.

The sleeping pod from Get Famous is the most futuristic-looking bed your sim could ever wish for, it also functions exactly as a bed does, which means you can WooHoo in it.

The money vault that comes with Get Famous will keep your sim’s simoleons safe. It also allows for a little fun.

The island of Mua Pel ‘Am on Sulani is a beautiful and natural island with off the grid lots and a stunning waterfall.

The Discover University expansion added the chance for sims to have a little fun in the showers. In crowded dorms, there’s no better place than the dirty looking shower cubicle in the corner. On second thoughts…

If you want to do the dirty in the actual dirt then dumpster WooHoo is for you. This versatile item, introduced in Eco Lifestyle, offers your sims a lot of options.

If you head over to Batuu you’ll discover that the dwelling in Black Spire Outpost where you freshen up and change your clothes can also be used to WooHoo. Simply click on the building and select the option to head inside to start the fireworks.

The unique WooHoo for Snowy Escape can only be accessed during the new Mt. Komorebi exploration social event. It’s an ice cave right up at the top of the mountain, which can only be reached if the weather is good enough to leave it uncovered.

If you head over to the Onsen then you’ll discover that your Sims can WooHoo in the hot springs, in a similar manner to hot tub WooHoo. Just be aware that this is a public lot and other Sims can and will see you and they won’t be happy.


  • CC comes in two types, Maxis Match (MM) that tries to match the style of in-game items, and Alpha, which doesn’t. We take a look at some options for both types of custom content.
  • Maxis match content matches so well it can be difficult to work out what is custom. Especially now since some CC is officially in the game. These guides will help you find extra items that won’t look out of place.

One of my faves are:
The CC Kween
Urban Sims
House Of Harlix
Nolan Sims

To add CC to your computer you need to download it and go under :
Files – Libraries – Documents – Electronic Arts – SIms4 – Mods
and paste them in there

After that you need to enable the Custom Content and Mods in the sims 4 game and restart it to apply all changes


The Sims 4: My Wedding Stories – As the name states it revolves around weddings.
The Sims 4 Star Wars: Journey to Batuu – For Star Wars fans.
The Sims 4: Dine Out – Restaurants for dates and fun times.
The Sims 4: Jungle Adventure – Exploring and vacation.
The Sims 4: Outdoor Retreat – Targeted at fans who want camping in the game.
The Sims 4: Dream Home Decorator – It’s the perfect pack for players who love interior design.
The Sims 4: StrangerVille – Inspired by Netflix’s Stranger Things, this add-on sees your Sim tasked with investigating and solving a conspiracy-themed mystery in a rural desert town.
The Sims 4: Realm of Magic. – If you want magic in your game, this is the pack for you.
The Sims 4: Spa Day – Saunas, massages, meditation, and especially yoga are superb new ways for Sims to unwind, plus there’s a terrific selection of clothing and objects.
The Sims 4: Vampires – Essential for supernatural fans.
The Sims 4: Parenthood – Essential for family players. Parenting becomes a big deal here, as the way a Sim raises and disciplines their kids – in areas such as manners, responsibility, and empathy – affects their behaviour and personality growing up, helping to form who they are when they turn into adults.


The Sims 4: Tiny Living Stuff – Great for builders in particular. Inspired by the popular tiny house challenge.
The Sims 4: Bowling Night Stuff – If you’re looking for a new social venue, then consider adding a bowling alley to your world.
The Sims 4: Paranormal Stuff – For supernatural fans, much of the focus revolves around living with spectres in haunted houses, but there’s also a freelance paranormal investigator career, a Medium skill, the return of Bonehilda, a useable séance table, and some terrific and thematically-fitting objects that all combine for a cohesive spooky experience.
The Sims 4: Nifty Knitting Stuff – It’s always great to get a new hobby for Sims to do, as Sims increase their skill, they’re able to make anything from beanies and socks to poufs and toys.
The Sims 4: Laundry Day Stuff – Addition of being able to use washing machines and tumble dryers enhances everyday life.
The Sims 4: Moschino Stuff – Show your love for fashion by dressing your Sims in the latest Capsule Collection.
The Sims 4: My First Pet Stuff – Welcome home a new small animal and show off your love for Cats and Dogs with The Sims, my First Pet Stuff. Teach your Sims how to care for smaller household.
The Sims 4: Toddler Stuff – Give your toddlers new ways to express their personalities, burn off energy, and make friends.
The Sims 4: Fitness Stuff – Elevate your Sim’s fitness and embody an active lifestyle. Challenge your Sims to scale the rock climbing treadmill as a fun activity.


The Sims 4: Get to Work – Get to Work introduces some new career options for your Sims, with the added twist being that you can follow them around at work
The Sims 4: Get Famous – The idea of gaining celebrity status and fans.
The Sims 4: Eco Lifestyle – As the name suggests, this expansion largely focuses on going more eco friendly.
The Sims 4: Cottage Living – An expansion worth considering for those who find the idea of farming and cottagecore appealing, Cottage Living puts a spin on the standard gameplay by letting Sims essentially live off the land and raise animals such as cows and chickens.
The Sims 4: Discover University – This expansion adds, not surprisingly, university life to the game
The Sims 4: City Living – If you want to rent small apartments and enjoy the bustle of the city instead of owning a house in the suburbs.
The Sims 4: Island Living – The island world presents a more relaxing and carefree vibe that encourages you to soak in your surroundings.
The Sims 4: Get Together – Create and join Clubs with distinct interests, personalities, and styles where you can set the rules, define their look, and customize their hangouts.
The Sims 4: Cats & Dogs – As the name states you can own and customize your new pets.
The Sims 4: Snowy Escape – World like the Japanese-inspired Mt Komorebi, covered in snow.
The Sims 4: Seasons – The calendar feature is a game-changer for The Sims 4, as the addition of the four seasons (with weather, temperatures, and seasonal events).


The Sims 4: Country Kitchen Kit – adds a range of vintage kitchen furniture
The Sims 4: Bust the Dust Kit – adds vacuum cleaners and vacuuming gameplay
The Sims 4: Throwback Fit Kit – adds a range of ’90s-inspired fashion
The Sims 4: Courtyard Oasis Kit – adds a range of items inspired by the riads of Morocco
The Sims 4: Industrial Loft Kit – adds a range of items inspired by the converted warehouses of Brooklyn, New York
The Sims 4: Fashion Street Kit – adds a range of clothing inspired by Mumbai’s fashion scene
The Sims 4: Incheon Arrivals Kit – adds a range of clothing based on iconic Seoul airport fashion
The Sims 4: Blooming Rooms Kit – adds a variety of plants for indoors use
The Sims 4: Modern Menswear Kit – adds a range of clothing items for adult masculine Sims
The Sims 4: Carnaval Streetwear Kit – adds a range of clothing and accessories inspired by Brazil’s Carnaval

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