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October 16 - Everyone ready for the Friday Highlight? It's ready for you here.

The Apartment Switch - A Drifter-Inspired City Living Challenge

About The Apartment Switch

Still working as intended with all new expansion packs! - added rule in Getting Started about mermaids for Island Living

The Apartment Switch is a generational challenge all about building, decorating, making money, and most of all learning about the "City Living" Expansion for The Sims 4. It was heavily inspired by the Drifter Challenge by @Vihisha Tak'Nai and the Movin' On Up challenge by ImaginingMystic. It also could be said there's a little of a Legacy Challenge by PinStar in it as well. It requires, obviously, that you own Sims 4 Base game and the City Living expansion, but can be completed without any others. The challenge takes place exclusively in the San Myshuno neighborhood in Sims 4, although travel to the other neighborhoods is not restricted. There are also two difficulties available for The Apartment Switch, Normal and Extreme, but I'll explain more about them later.

What's a Switch?

A "Switch" is a single challenge inside of the Apartment Switch challenge. The Apartment Switch is made up of six of these Switches, each intended to be played over the course of a single generation. You are penalized for taking more than one generation to complete each "Switch," but you don't fail the challenge for taking longer. The term "Switch" came about when I needed a way to easily refer to each separate challenge within the whole The Apartment Switch challenge.

Each Switch is made up for four interlinked challenges each requiring that you build and/or decorate an apartment. In other words, each switch is four apartments long. With six individual Switches, this means that by the end of the challenge you will have built and/or decorated twenty four total apartments.. and what an achievement that will be!

At the beginning of each "Switch" your heir will be forced back to starting with 0 Simoleons. This is most definitely on purpose to make the challenge.. well, a challenge. Each Switch can be played separately with a brand new sim, but it's meant to be played with an heir from the previous Switch. However, inside each switch you won't be starting back from 0 for each successive apartment. In other words, feel free to save up as much money as you wish before moving onto the next apartment within a switch. Having that buffer can make the next apartment much easier.. but waiting more time before moving will make getting all your goals done before the next challenge harder.. so the two must be balanced carefully.
Post edited by IllusoryThrall on


  • IllusoryThrallIllusoryThrall Posts: 1,103 Member
    edited October 2018

    The rest of this post is devoted to some general information about the challenge. Be sure to read it carefully before you move on. After that, move onto either my "Getting Started" picture tutorial on my website or the post after the main rules here, and then through the six switch pages/posts as you play. I separated everything out so that people who don't want spoilers can avoid them easily. I include the links to all Apartment Switch rule pages and forum posts here, that way you can get around easily, but the pages are all directly linked, as well.

    The Apartment Switch on my website
    Getting Started picture tutorial on my website | Text tutorial on this post
    Switch One on my website
    Switch Two on my website
    Switch Three on my website
    Switch Four on my website
    Switch Five on my website
    Switch Six on my website

    Feel free to post and or discuss your challenge in this thread. I'm hosting the challenge information on my website (linked above).
    Post edited by IllusoryThrall on
  • IllusoryThrallIllusoryThrall Posts: 1,103 Member
    edited February 2017
    Main Rules - These apply to all Switches, all of the time, so read them carefully.
    • No cheating! That means no "Kaching" or "Motherlode" cheats to help you make money. The only cheats allowed are "bb.moveobjects on" to help you decorate and "money 0" when you're starting up a new Switch.
    • You start each Switch with nothing. Make sure to sell off anything you have in your inventory. If there's a collectible (i.e. photo) that you simply can't part with, you will have to pay the value of this out of your pocket BEFORE buying anything else. Things like frogs that can be bred and career reward items are not to come with you when you move to the new switch.
    • This challenge is designed to be played without mods. You may use them, however, so long as they don't affect game play in any "cheat-y" ways. If it's questionable, just assume it's a no. (On MC Command Center, I know that a lot of people use to help the game's story progression out in the background, so as long as that's all you have it set to do, you're welcome to use it.)
    • As mentioned in the part about creating your sim: aliens are okay, vampires are not. This determination was made because of vampires' differences in aging. So, no moving in or playing a vampire in this challenge.
    • Heirs must be made through “try for baby” with someone living in the apartment with your sim. They do not have to be married, but they do have to be living with you.
    • No bringing in a spouse, roommate or child without them having a place to stay/sleep. This means a bed of their own (for a roommate), a double bed for a spouse to sleep in with you, and a crib for the new baby (you are also allowed to let the game provide the crib). If you adopt, the child will need a bed appropriate for their age before they move in.
    • Moving in a roommate to help make money is okay, but think hard before doing this because not only will they have to have a place to sleep, but you're not allowed to move them back out again if you change your mind. (Again, previous household members other than your heir are not allowed to be moved in at any time.)
    • Any funds a roommate or spouse bring in must be cheated away with the “money” cheat – you have to make the money yourself not get it from moving random sims in. When a townie or NPC sim moves in with, say, the 20k starter money, you deduct that from your total cash after they move in because technically it’s not money you “earned”. Just write down your total before the sim moves in and make sure it’s the same after they’re moved in. (use the cheat code box - control-alt-c - to "testingcheats on" then "money 78" (where 78 is the total funds you had before they moved in), then "testingcheats off" and close the box.)
    • All sims in the household may be controlled! (That means they can all help (or not) and contribute to the money being made via job, collecting, or crafting.)
    • Lot Traits can be added to the list, but never taken away. The traits that the apartment came with must stay, but you’re welcome to add other traits to fill up the three slots. If you ever have a question, or think a trait got removed accidentally, just check the Switch page that you're on for a listing of what traits your current apartment is supposed to have.
    • Each apartment must be within the target value amount before moving. Example: your very first apartment has a listed "value" of 8000-10000 simoleons. That means it needs to have a worth of at least 8000, but not be worth more than 10000. To see an accurate total, always exit out of build mode and go back in to make sure everything is depreciated and tallied. If you go over the value amount, simply delete items until you're back to within the target amounts. This rule is so you're leaving affordable apartments behind you.. and also so you have an idea of what quality furniture to use in your decorating. (Example: if you're working on the first apartment on each Switch, it's meant to be a "starter" apartment, and you'll use low quality items to make it more affordable.)
    • When looking at your apartment to make sure it's "done", make sure that all the walls and floors are painted, and it generally looks like a completely decorated home.
    • Feel free to use clubs and parties as much as you wish. The story is yours to tell, if you want to!
    • No aging up sims before it's their birthday. In other words, it has to say "0 days until ____ (age)" before you use birthday cake. This is also true for babies - wait until the game tells you in your notification window that it's the baby's birthday.
    • Aspirations can be changed at any time freely. Go ahead and make as many lifetime happiness points as you can, and spend them as you wish.
    • If your rent bill has come due (Every Monday at 10 AM in Sims) and you have the target value completed, you still must pay your rent BEFORE you move - no getting out of paying rent by moving to the next apartment. Keep this in mind when moving into new apartments. Sometimes it's better to wait so you're not caught in the red when rent comes due and you just moved in!
    • You are not required to stay at least a week in each apartment - if you have the apartment value up and are ready to move, feel free to move!


    It is possible to score the Apartment Switch Challenge, but not necessary. If you're just not into counting points, that's perfectly fine! I added a point system just so players who want can a measure of how well they did at the challenge. (Face it, some people like using points for their challenges.) I tried to make the point categories simple so it's easier to remember and keep track of them.
    • 20 points: Finishing a apartment within a Switch (or you can count it as 80 points for each full Switch completion).
    • -50 points: Needing another generation to complete the Switch before having an heir ready to move on. (This penalty can be applied more than once if you really take a long time.)
    • 10 points: for getting married and moving in a sim OR for moving in a roommate.
    • 10 points: for a single baby being born and raised to at least teen.(Usually, the heir, but you can have more if you're really into collecting points.) You also get this for alien abduction births. (Twin or triplet birth is a separate bonus, you don't get to add extra points for them.)
    • 25 points: for a twins birth and raising them to at least teen. (That way you don't get points for babies born but taken away by the social worker.)
    • 40 points: for a triplet birth and raised them to at least teen.
    • -10 points: for each baby taken away by social services. Naughty player!
    • -20 points: per sim death by anything other than old age.
    • -15 points: for each power or water outage due to non-payment of bills.

    I have the points set up so that you get 100 points for completing a switch with a married couple and one child, their heir, at young adult stage and ready to move on.. but, there are ways (obviously) to make more or less than that. 100 points per switch is a successfully completed Switch challenge, with 600 total for the full challenge. How do you think you'll measure up?

    Tips and Tricks
    • Make sure to save up enough money ahead of time to move into the next apartment. Failure to do so can make the challenge tougher. I have the minimum "move in amount" listed for each apartment so you will know if you need to save up extra to move into the next apartment.
    • Try having the heir at around 5 days before Adulthood on your main sim. Any later and you run the risk of your heir having to live on his or her own for a while before they get to Young Adult and are ready to move to the next Switch. If you don't think you'll have enough money to move on before your heir grows up, you can wait a bit longer to have the baby and move someone else in to take care of the child. Teens, technically, can survive on their own for a few days, but they won't be making any money, so have that all done before your main sim passes away.
    • Even toddlers can breed frogs! It may sound silly, but the money from breeding frogs regularly on all of your sims can really add up and help you out in the challenge! (Especially those high value Whirlyflower frogs!)
    • You can use any method of gaining money and furniture that doesn’t involve cheating. i.e. Jobs, collecting, crafting, fishing, festivals.. etc. If you can figure out a way to get a garden in your itty bitty apartments, that’s okay, too.
    • You are more than welcome to move in more people (roommates) to help you get the funds required for decorating and building, but do remember each one of them will require a place to stay and your space in each apartment is limited. (Space in the penthouses, however, is far less limited, so keep that in mind.)
    • About the household and personal inventories: to avoid your apartment value decreasing upon move out, consider purchasing duplicates of favorite specialty items for their new residence. (For example: the armchair from the author career or the fridge from the chef career.) Do remember, however, to re-check your house value before you move if you take items with you - items in your household inventory do not count towards your net worth.
    Post edited by IllusoryThrall on
  • IllusoryThrallIllusoryThrall Posts: 1,103 Member
    edited July 2019
    Getting Started for The Apartment Switch

    This is a step-by-step guide to getting your Sim and game set up for playing The Apartment Switch challenge. If you have any questions about how to do any of the things listed, check out the "Getting Started" picture tutorial on my website.

    Step 1: Decide Which Difficulty You’re Attempting

    There are two difficulties in Apartment Switch – Normal and Extreme. The normal challenge is for anyone who wants to give this challenge a try, no matter your experience with sims. There is no pass/fail with this challenge. If you need to take longer on a particular Switch, that’s perfectly alright, but it will affect your score overall (if, indeed, you decided to keep score). Extreme adds some layers of difficulty and is for more advanced and or brave players who really enjoy building and decorating for your sims.

    Normal Difficulty (for people who want to just decorate)
    • The walls inside each apartment are already built, although you’re welcome to move or remove them if you so choose. You’ll be moving into each apartment “unfurnished” not “bulldozed.”
    • No travel restrictions.

    Extreme Difficulty (for people who like building from scratch)
    • All you start with is a shell of an apartment. No walls, and sometimes very little flooring (in the case of two story apartments, often the floor isn’t made). In other words, each and every apartment is completely “bulldozed” before you move in.
    • You’ll also be building your own commercial lots in San Myshuno, one per Switch. Because of this, travel is not allowed to these six lots until you “unlock” them. Travel to other neighborhoods is not restricted so long as you have 250 in your sim’s bank account. This means that, until you make your first 250, you’ll be staying in your “home” neighborhood. Most times, this will be made by collecting items around the area.

    Step 2: Sim Creation

    Your first task is to get a sim ready to move into their new home. There are two basic options for doing this:

    Option A: Start with a brand new sim

    This is pretty self-explanatory. Start a “New Game” from the main menu and create your sim. There are no restrictions on traits or aspirations for your sims. Feel free to create them however you see fit. (Cannot be a vampire, however – I explain why later. Aliens and mermaids are okay, though. Mermaid would definitely make things difficult/interesting, but because they do age, they're not disallowed.) One of the Switches does require completing a specific aspiration, but that’s not to say you can’t change out and work on other aspirations. Careers aren’t picked in CAS, so we’ll discuss those later.

    Option B: Start with an heir from a previous challenge

    If you’re coming right off of, say, the Drifter Challenge House 24 (the final house) or Build Newcrest, you can just continue that family and or story by using an heir from the final house/build.

    Do keep in mind, though, that they can’t be older than the first day of their Young Adult stage. I’m not restricting how much they have in skills.. but be smart about it. The challenge won’t be fun to play if there isn’t a challenge, so using a “super-sim” (one with really high skills) will be detrimental to your challenge. As in Option A, there are no restrictions on traits or aspirations. Feel free to create them however you want. Three, they cannot be a vampire – I explain why later. (Aliens are okay, however.) Careers are discussed later.

    Also, you have to start with a single sim, so bringing other household members from past challenges is a no-no. (Also, no bringing in past household members to your family after starting the Apartment Switch Challenge. Sims you move in must be either game-created – i.e. NPCs or Townies – or brand new “starter” sims that you pre-populated the world with.) To achieve this, split your previous challenge’s household to separate the heir, and then you’re ready to go on.


    Once you have your sim created to your satisfaction, save them and move them into Bargain Bend in Willow Creek. They’re not going to stay there, but you have some set-up to do before you move them into their first apartment and start playing.

    Step 3: Game Set up

    There are a few things you need to do before starting play in your challenge. Remember, our starter sim is still in Bargain Bend in Willow Creek.
    1. Go to the menu, then to Manage Worlds, then, go into San Myshuno
    2. Evict all sims living in apartments in San Myshuno. Yes, all of them. Eventually you’ll be building/decorating those apartments too, so it’s easier just to make them empty to start with. To do this, click any apartment that has a grey plumbbob over it then evict the household through the bottom right menu. Do this for all the sims living in San Myshuno. There’s no need to delete the evicted households, but you can if you want. No changes need to be made to any other neighborhood. If you choose, they can even be completely empty.
    3. If you’re playing on Normal, you’re ready to move your sim now. Move them from Bargain Bend in Willow Creek to 910 Medina Studios in San Myshuno. This can be done either in manage worlds or by going into play mode and moving them with the phone. Either way, you move into the apartment unfurnished.
    4. If you’re playing on Extreme, it’s best to take the time and bulldoze all lots in San Myshuno. To bulldoze, click on the lot, then the “build” button in the lower right hand corner. Then, once it loads, click the bulldoze button in the top middle of your screen. Then, lastly, back to manage worlds in the upper right of your screen. Repeat this for all San Myshuno lots – yes, that even includes the commercial lots! You will need to place elevators, mailboxes, and trash cans on the two penthouses before exiting build mode on those two lots. (The third “penthouse” is actually just a regular house building lot, so it doesn’t need them.) To do this, just click the requirement while you’re in build mode. Then place down each item needed. It doesn’t really matter where you put them in the penthouse (or on Stargazer Lounge, just so that it has those three items there before you leave build mode. The trash chute will require a wall. I stuck down a trash can instead, and it worked, so whichever you do is just fine. For StarGazer Lounge, don’t add anything but those three items, it will show up as an incomplete venue. Your San Myshuno will look like this – terribly bare, but then, that’s the point of the challenge! Finally, move your sim into 910 Medina Studios with the “bulldoze” option selected.
    5. Set Game Options as follows: Autonomy: Full, Auto age (played sims): yes, Auto age (unplayed sims): checked, Sim Lifespan: Normal, and Fill Empty Homes: Checked. The challenge ui and traditional social menus are up to your personal preference, as are the other options available.
    6. Now, go to play mode with your sim and hit pause. Use control-alt-c to bring up the cheat box, Type in “testingcheats on”, then “money 0” then “testingcheats off”. Use control-alt-c again to make that cheat box close. You should have seen all your sim’s money magically disappear.

    You’re all ready, now go to the Switch One page/post to find the rules for your first Switch challenge. I put each Switch on a separate page so those who don’t want spoilers of what’s coming will be safe.
    Post edited by IllusoryThrall on
  • IllusoryThrallIllusoryThrall Posts: 1,103 Member
    edited October 2018
    Sharing Your Challenge

    Part of the fun of doing a challenge is sharing what you made with other people. Obviously, you don't have to, but I want the option to be there. There are three ways I made of sharing your content - feel free to use any or all of them!
    1. Posting on the Forums - Posting here or or on the individual "Switch" pages. Links are included above in the "Contents" section
    2. Using the "#apartmentswitch" hashtag - I invented the #apartmentswitch hashtag so that everyone can find items you upload to the Sims 4 Gallery. This includes any rooms, apartments, and/or sims you create while playing the Apartment Switch challenge. Of note: Apartments can not be uploaded in their entirety unless you use the trick listed on this page: You can upload separate rooms, though.
    Post edited by IllusoryThrall on
  • IllusoryThrallIllusoryThrall Posts: 1,103 Member

    First of all, I want to thank Vihisha for her fabulous Drifter Challenge. Without that challenge, this one never would have happened. Second, thanks for the Movin' On Up challenge, because, again, without trying that challenge, this one would not have happened. I must also send a really big thank you to my teenage daughter, who was instrumental in helping me flesh out the challenge and wading through the craziness of the initial play testing. Those being said, I must also thank my play testers and fellow Drifters who helped in so many ways to make this challenge a reality. Special thanks go to @Vihisha , @Illusie , and @misfit091376 who went above and beyond helping to get this challenge to get going!

    Challenge Background/History

    Originally, I designed the challenge to be played directly following a trip through the Drifter Challenge so as to contribute to building your own full world. Another challenge it would fit very well with is the Build Newcrest challenge, and you're always welcome to also try building any other neighborhood the Sims 4 puts out.

    Initially, I had a five round challenge in mind - hence the initial play tests on a five round challenge. But the longer I worked on it, the more it made sense to go to a six part challenge instead of the five. It just fit together better.
  • AllieMacAllieMac Posts: 925 Member
    So excited that it's out now!! I should be starting mine soon!! Still haven't locked down with Sim I want to use. Those pesky little details get me every time. :)
    OriginID: txalikat2
    Drifter Challenge Blog:
  • IllusoryThrallIllusoryThrall Posts: 1,103 Member
    Aww. Thanks @AllieMac .. I'm sure you'll have fun with it with whichever sim you choose or make. Starting a new challenge is always so exciting!
  • misfit091376misfit091376 Posts: 992 Member
    I'm so excited to see this out! I've had so much fun with it :)
  • IllusoryThrallIllusoryThrall Posts: 1,103 Member
    @misfit091376 - Oh, I have too. Just wait until you see what's in store in Switch Two. I'm testing it now and it's a ton of fun learning new stuff!
  • AllieMacAllieMac Posts: 925 Member
    @IllusoryThrall My daughter is sick today, so while she's sleeping, I decided to get my toes wet. I've created a new founder, cleared out my city and moved her into the first apartment. Of course her name led me to imagining a background for her, which I HAD to include in her little bio. But I'm NOT going to write another story, nope no way no how. Ok so maybe I did already take a few screenshots and figure out her personality and I might just have some ideas for her introduction, but that's it I swear!

    Hmm I do have a bit of free time today, I wonder how hard it would be to set up a separate blog.

    I'm in trouble now. I can feel it already. *evil laugh* but I'm gonna drag y'all with me!!
    OriginID: txalikat2
    Drifter Challenge Blog:
  • IllusoryThrallIllusoryThrall Posts: 1,103 Member
    @AllieMac Oh dear. I drug you into another story, didn't I? It shouldn't be too hard to set up another wordpress.. once you've figured one out, the second is easy. I just chose to put all of my blogs on the one wordpress site for my own sense of organization.. but keeping things straight with links to previous and next storylines can get tedious at times. Doing a second site eliminates the need for that. I can't wait to see what you come up with!

    I'm enjoying the heck out of my Apartment Switch playthroughs (I have two going for testing purposes) and I'm not even story-blogging them. I already have an entire post of pictures for Switch Two and I can't post those for fear of spoiler-ing things until the 26th! (So I'm trying out wordpress' little "schedule" feature at the same time. haha!) I love getting in my little simmie's heads and seeing how life works out for them. I like this decorate-build-move thing.. it keeps the challenge from feeling stale after a while. Just enough like Drifter that I still love it, but different enough to not be a clone. The more I play this and Drifter, the more I'm starting to think I may never go back to my Sims 4 ISBI Challenge. Too boring.
  • illusieillusie Posts: 11,599 Member
    @IllusoryThrall how exciting to see the challenge is up! It's a fun challenge! Thanks for creating this {hugs}
    I'm currently playing switch one. I don't have as much time as I want to play the sims, but hopefully this week will be better.

    @alliemac, I'm looking forward to see your story!!
  • IllusoryThrallIllusoryThrall Posts: 1,103 Member
    @illusie Thanks! Your help is so great. Play as much as you can, no need to rush yourself.

    It is exciting to have this challenge out there with you guys giving it a try. So far, I've had a lot of fun with it. Switch Two testing is coming along nicely.
  • misfit091376misfit091376 Posts: 992 Member
    I don't think @AllieMac can play without doing a story ;) I'm off to play some more (after getting caught up on blogs)!
  • IllusoryThrallIllusoryThrall Posts: 1,103 Member
    Switch Two testing is going well! I'm learning so much as I test.

    Also, I updated Switch One with one change for those doing Extreme. Now you build the Arts Center, not the Karaoke Bar. I discovered I had the wrong lot being built as I tested Switch Two.. so if you're playing along on extreme, make a note of it.
  • AllieMacAllieMac Posts: 925 Member
    @IllusoryThrall I found the reference to the 3 skill point max rule. It's on this page, the 6th bullet under the Main Rules heading. And I would assume in the same spot on your blog. :)
    OriginID: txalikat2
    Drifter Challenge Blog:
  • IllusoryThrallIllusoryThrall Posts: 1,103 Member
    @AllieMac Perfect, thanks. I kept overlooking it, apparently. Removed. :smiley:
  • IllusoryThrallIllusoryThrall Posts: 1,103 Member
    Updated to add the links to Switch Two!
  • IllusoryThrallIllusoryThrall Posts: 1,103 Member
    Due to delays in the testing process and real life getting in the way, Switch 3 will be out 3/12 instead of 3/5. Having only one week for testing turns out to just not be enough!
  • IllusoryThrallIllusoryThrall Posts: 1,103 Member
    Switch Three is progressing nicely through testing, and should be out this weekend on schedule. I'm having a lot of fun with this challenge, even though I'm essentially playing it twice through on each switch (one on normal, one on extreme). I think I'll be keeping to the one switch per two weeks publishing schedule, it's just too hectic trying to get both difficulties through testing in just one week.
  • illusieillusie Posts: 11,599 Member
    @IllusoryThrall you are going so fast with playtesting. It's impressive.
  • IllusoryThrallIllusoryThrall Posts: 1,103 Member
    Edited contents above to add links to Switch Three! Switch Four is due out 3/26 just before I head out of town for spring break week. The posts of me playing Switch Three testing are in the queue for publishing on my blog, and will be released one per day over the next five days (the first is out tonight). So if you're not worried about spoilers, feel free to go check those out.
  • IllusoryThrallIllusoryThrall Posts: 1,103 Member
    Edited contents above to include Switch Four's links. Leaving on a week's vacation this morning, so I'll be posting the rest of my testing posts on my blog when I get back April 2nd. The next switch is due out in three weeks on April 16th.
  • misfit091376misfit091376 Posts: 992 Member
    Have a fun vacation!!
  • IllusoryThrallIllusoryThrall Posts: 1,103 Member
    @misfit091376 We had a great time. Glad to be back home now, for sure, though!
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