Unwind on the tropical island of Sulani. New island-based careers, like lifeguard and conservationist. Plenty of new island-themed clothing and furniture options. Meet a mermaid.
Not for Sims who would rather hang out at home over having an oceanic adventure.
Available for PC, Xbox One, and PS4. Create Sims with distinct appearances and personalities. Tons of expansion packs to keep the game fresh. Easy to build the perfect home.
There are so many additional expansion packs, only the most dedicated fans will buy them all.
Fully customize cats and dogs for your Sims. Many breeds to adopt. New animal doctor career path. Pet lovers will enjoy the expansive new Brindleton Bay area.
It’s a shame that a new pet takes up one of the eight family member slots per home.
Make a family of detailed vampire Sims. Vampire-Sims sport strange supernatural powers. New Forgotten Hollow for vampire socialization. Vampiric lifestyles drastically affect the core game.
There aren’t too many new things to try out in Forgotten Hollow.
Inexpensive expansion. Adds over 40 new home objects to give your backyard a summertime makeover. Includes wind chimes, exciting lawn water slides, garden decor, bird feeders, and more.
Not for Sims fans who prefer to keep their Sims indoors.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Ever wonder how you can live vicariously through an interior designer, evil boss, or high-profile celebrity? Now you can thanks to The Sims games — and before you know it, you’ll be addicted.
Imagine doing everything you’ve ever wanted to do, but on a smaller scale. When you play The Sims, you’re able to dive into exciting experiences, as well as find yourself in precarious situations. In fact, you might even get caught up with monsters or suffer from the plague. As existential as The Sims can be, there’s still a bit of luck and randomness involved in gameplay, which is why it’s remained captivating and engaging for almost 20 years.
It’s an understatement to say the possibilities are endless with The Sims, so we’re here to guide you through your first gameplay experiences. Read our buying guide to learn about the base game, a broad range of expansion and activity packs, and our favorites.
The Sims has an Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rating of Teen because of some crude humor and suggestive themes. For the most part, it’s a kid-friendly game without gratuitous violence or salacious content. While it’s intended for teens, many kids ages eight and above are capable of playing the game. If they’re experienced gamers and independent readers, then they’ll do well with The Sims.
The Sims is a simulation game. Unlike other video games with matches, mini games, or definitive endings, The Sims is an open-ended game. That means you can log several or hundreds of hours of gameplay trying to level up without winning.
In fact, there’s no actual “winning” in The Sims. Rather, it’s an ongoing game that measures success in a complex rubric, so you’ll have to satisfy a lot of in-game requirements to level up your character’s skills or home. As expected, it takes considerable dedication to develop each aspect of the game. Some gamers marvel at the limitless gameplay potential, while others can become bored with repetitive activities and quests.
If it can be done in real life, then you can probably do it in The Sims. That means eating, drinking, working, and yes, going to the bathroom. Certain activities level up your skills, such as reading or enrolling in a class. Others, like decorating, don’t have a direct impact on your character except for improving their mood and making their home more aesthetically pleasing.
If you’re new to The Sims, it’s important to understand the lingo behind the game. The term “The Sims” is inclusive and pertains to all games, packs, and activities related to the Sims universe and gameplay. The Sims 4 is the base game, which is required to play expansion, game, and stuff packs.
Base game: The Sims 4, has plenty of content and gameplay. It’s fun and easy to learn, which is why it appeals to non-gamers, new gamers, and even experienced gamers. Have fun customizing your home and your character’s appearance, or dive into development by doing your best to perform at 100% across the board. Trust us, it’s just as tough to do it in The Sims as it is in real life.
Expansion packs: These have themed content and new worlds or lifestyles to explore. The Get to Work expansion lets you experience the trials and tribulations of various professions. The Cats and Dogs expansion lets you live your best life as a pet owner or veterinarian (and you still need a pooper-scooper).
Game packs: These are medium-sized packs that add new experiences in thematic ways. Unlike expansion packs, game packs are focused on immediate experiences as opposed to brand-new worlds. In the Dine Out pack, for example, you’ll enjoy managing a restaurant and putting out fires (literally).
Stuff packs: These are essentially accessory packs for themed outfits and furniture. Some will piggyback onto expansion or game packs, such as the Toddler Stuff pack, which is ideal to play with the Parenting game pack. These are especially popular for gamers with secondary interests in fashion or interior design.
Q. Is The Sims 4 compatible with Mac?
A. It is, though it’s a digital-only release. You’ll need to create an account on Origin if you don’t already have one. Once you’ve purchased the game, you’ll download it onto your Mac and redeem your product code to start playing.
Q. The characters in my game aren’t speaking. How do I adjust settings so I can hear what they’re saying?
A. The Sims don’t actually speak intelligible words. There are, however, sound effects that accompany their moods and reactions. In terms of the information they’re communicating to you, simply follow the text prompts on the screen.
Q. Will I need to upgrade my PC to play The Sims?
A. It depends on how new your PC is and whether it meets the game’s minimum requirements. You’ll need to cross-reference specs before shelling out lots of simoleons (money), so visit the EA website for more information.