How To Play The Sims 4 – The Basics

Sims 4 is an amazing life simulation game. Where you have limitless options to customize your lifestyle. From building a customized house to creating your best athlete, singer, or dancer. Sims will give ideas that will make you not want to turn the game off! It’s up to you to see what your Sims character will live up to.

Because the game has so many features to offer straight from the start, many people get lost sometimes in realizing how they should begin the game to become successful in achieving their dreams. This guide will show you the basic ideas for starting your Sims 4 journey!

How to Play the Sims 4 – The Basics

Main Menu

This game is often referred to as a “Sandbox” game, meaning that there is no ending for this game, there are no certain missions that can lead to an end of a story. You make your own story.

When you first start the game you will be led to the main menu of the game. Here you will be able to see the latest news of the game, upcoming events, and features. You will also be presented with the “Packs” menu, here there are more playstyles for the game itself, meaning even more content and more fun!

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All these packs give you more content, just different styles of playing, some are in the city, others in snow areas, and others are with pets in mountains.

Vanilla Sims (Customization)

Once you press the New Game button, you will begin creating your first Sim, Sim is referred to a person in the game.

You can create multiple Sims and make your journey, or you have the option to create only one Sim with a story mode.

The first menu will be the Sims customization, here you have the option to randomly create a Sim or customize it. To manually customize your Sims, you will need to click on her body and some menus will pop up and offer you different ideas on how you want to make your character look.

On the top left side of the screen, when pressing on the green diamond, you will be able to see a few more options on what type of a lifestyle you want your Sim to be. You will be able to change the gender of the sim, Male or Female, can make a Sim to your liking age, Baby, Child, Teenager, Young Adult, Adult, Elder.

There is an option to change their voice pitch, make it higher or lower, and you even have an option to set up the walking style of your Sims.

The new game menu will not ask you if you wish to add more Sims characters to your story, once finishing up creating your first Sim, you will already have a button on the left bottom corner of the screen with a little “+” icon. Here you will be able to add another Sim and you can do it in 3 different ways:

  • Play With Genetics (This is an option to randomize a similar-looking Sim to the current one)
  • Add Sim From the Gallery (Adds an already saved Sim)
  • Add New Sim (Create a brand new one)


This is the personality of the Sims that you are creating. Setting up the pattern on what type of Aspirations you want the Sims to be, is the way that the Sims will interact with other people. Do not feel stressed about picking your aspiration. You can change it at any time in the game. You can choose from 11 Aspirations, which are:

  • Athletic
  • Creativity
  • Deviance
  • Family
  • Food
  • Fortune
  • Knowledge
  • Location
  • Love
  • Nature
  • Popularity

All these Aspirations serve differently and they all have certain traits that you can add. In this situation, we have a Sims with a Bodybuilder Aspiration, and with the Active, Loves Outdoors and Bro trait. All these traits have their effect. Hover over with your cursor to see what effect they give to your Sims.
It is good to note that traits cannot be changed during the game without using cheat codes.

Moving in & Basic Settings

Upon finishing creating your Sim, you will be given an option to join a world, you will be given 3 residential worlds that you can move in, and they are:

  • Willow Creek
  • Oasis Springs
  • Newcrest

Upon pressing on each of these worlds, you will be presented with a lot of occupied buildings that are taken from NPC’s in the game where you can interact with them. There are outlined plots with Green lines on the ground meaning that those are the ones where you can afford. The world is split into a few areas, more expensive areas, cheaper ones, and affordable ones.
Hover your mouse over the green outlined area to see pieces of information about it and you can also purchase it that way.

Once you have selected the house of your liking, press on the blue truck on the right bottom corner of the screen to move in.

When you have decided on which house you will want to move into, you will have 3 options to choose from:

  • Unfurnished (Just the house with no furniture at all)
  • Furnished (Some randomized furniture comes with the house)
  • Bulldoze Lot (Clear the whole house and only leave the plot)

When you finally decided on what type of house you will want to live in, you will start playing the game. You can move around the camera with your “WASD” buttons, rotate it by pressing into the mouse wheel, and move around with the mouse, for zooming in or out you need to press on the mouse wheel and control your field of view.

On the bottom left side of the screen, you have your Household Funds which you can get by getting a job and earning money. You will need that for purchasing different furniture, improving your house or even buying a new house.

The next icon is the little house button, when you press this button it will take you to your current house, just in case you get lost.

Your Sim will have a phone with some interesting options to interact with. And you also will have a small head icon that looks like your Sim character. This option will move the camera to the current location of your Sim.

Keeping an eye on these Sims is very important. They can do things on their own and get into some messy situations that is why you have the play/pause options just in case you want to work on a house and need more time.

On the right-hand side of the screen, you will see a few more options that are connected to your character that are:

  • Aspiration (Here you can do missions for leveling up your aspiration and get rewards, also be able to change an aspiration in the same window)
  • Career (Find a job and earn money for your future Sims life)
  • Skills (Earn skills by doing everyday activities with your Sim)
  • Relationship (This is where your Sim can build different relationships with random Sims in the world)
  • Inventory (Collect items that you gather through every day playing, also able to sell them)
  • Simology (Here is where you can view your statistics for the Sim)
  • Needs (The most important panel is needed, this is what will alert you and tell you what your Sim needs to keep him/her alive, make it love or hate life, it’s recommended to keep all bars on green to make sure your Sim lives a healthy life)

From doing various activities your Sim will give you alerts on how it feels and what to do in order to make it feel better.
Note that if you keep forcing your sim to do various activities that it does not like, the Sim can die.

On the top right corner of the screen, you will have camera viewing options for your house. There are three viewing settings for your walls that you can use to see better inside your house. You can change your walls to be down, up, or just cut them away.

Where your funds are, different actions will appear that you can control regarding in what situations you are in, this will affect your Sim in its statistics.

The last important setting for the game is “Build Mode”, this is the part where you can customize your plot and your house. Keep in mind that all this costs money, so make sure to plan everything out in order to fill your desired needs.

When you have opened up this option you will be able to see white square lines that are all over the floor of your house and plot, this is your customizable area where you can play with.

Written by Borut Udovic

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