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New Simmers, welcome! - Community’s tips & tricks to get started

EA_MaiEA_Mai Posts: 1,766 EA Community Manager
Now that we are staying at home, many new players are discovering The Sims for the first time. We all have been there at some point: our Sims’ first kitchen fire, their first bladder failure... many amusing and surprising moments to live!

But I think it’s safe to say all of us also looked at our first Sims at some point and wondered: ‘What do I do with you?

ts4-20th-anniv-sale01a2x.jpg.adapt.1456w.jpg

To all of you who have been playing this ‘virtual dollhouse’ for a while now: let’s welcome new players by helping them discover what makes The Sims special and showing them what’s so great about this game: the community!:

What are the things you wished you had known when you were getting started with The Sims?
Share your tips, resources and expertise below!


To all of you who are new to The Sims: read, enjoy, and welcome to the party! You can also ask your gameplay questions in this thread - no question is too basic, we have all been there. No judgement here! :)

Comments

  • EA_MaiEA_Mai Posts: 1,766 EA Community Manager
    I'll start! :) :

    Building can be a bit scary at first. It takes some time to learn how to get the best of the game’s building tools so don’t get discouraged if your houses look like giant boxes or the roof is not quite how you were hoping for. Practice makes perfection!
  • simgirl1010simgirl1010 Posts: 16,287 Member
    I've found the Gallery to be an invaluable source. I cannot build and have absolutely no desire to build. There are so many awesome builders in the community so I download all my lots and then make any necessary design changes to suit my purposes.
    Plus I prefer to spend my time on live gameplay.

    My favorite game feature would have to be toddlers. They're adorable and oh so realistic. 💗

    Since this thread expressly asked for tips on the Sims 4 all I'll say about the previous versions is that you can find information on them in other sections of the forum.

    Have fun and as @EA_Mai said don't hesitate to ask questions. 😊
    One Man's Trash Is Another Man's Treasure
  • MrosarroMrosarro Posts: 4 New Member
    I have a photo studio built on retail lot does anyone know how to get my photog sim moved in?
  • TennedraTennedra Posts: 25 Member
    What I wish I have known when getting started is when you buy your first pack, know a little bit about them. There's some info about a pack in the main menu of the game, but you can also search on YouTube, this forums and other websites to see others' opinions. I didn't know anything about any packs when I started and end up regretting getting Cats and Dogs as my first pack. I felt like it didn't add much to the game with just it and the base game. I should've started with Seasons or City Living.
  • rosemowrosemow Posts: 153,105 Member
    Mrosarro wrote: »
    I have a photo studio built on retail lot does anyone know how to get my photog sim moved in?

    Hello @Mrosarro :) Your sim can’t have the photo studio as their own home. But they can still live at the photo studio, but need to own a home somewhere else. The home will be where their mail goes to and where kids come home from school. You can still live at the photo studio but will need to have the other home also.
  • SimmervilleSimmerville Posts: 8,064 Member
    Learn how sims age and how you want to play - start with one household, but check out if rotational play is for you. A rotation brings more variety, and it might also trig your stories in many ways. Understanding how sims ageing, career promotions, bills etc are affected by moving about vs staying on one lot is essential to plan a good routine.

    Take your time to enjoy each addition. Getting many new packs added at once might be twice the fun, as some packs even get better when mixed. But the content might also be overwhelming, resulting in getting the feeling of not staying on top of it all. It takes a while to get familiar with new features, ie most packs offer objects with new functionality, more social interactions and some adjusted UI. Careers often bring new stuff at the higher levels, not taking the time to get there means you'll miss some of the fun.

    Check out the buyable extra traits! Some might look pretty useless with the base game only, but with a few packs added, you'll see them in a new light.

    Some packs might not add a lot of obvious content, you might think Seasons is just about weather. But it's not. It changes how you'll see each of your worlds and lots - it brings tons of visual variety to the game, and also challenges you to plan your events differently (who wants their garden wedding in Winter anyway?). Same with clubs system in Get Together, it can be used as a plain club system, but it's also very in handy for bringing sims together - like gathering relatives! Throwing a wedding allows your sim to only invite sims s/he already met, but with a club packed with relatives old Auntie will no longer be left out :)

    Use the gallery if you don't want to build everything yourself, or create all sims. Anything you grab there can be modified by you now or later.
    Simmerville on Youtube | My blog is updated weekly: Simmerville's Sims
    a.jpg
  • Simoleon_KachinnnngSimoleon_Kachinnnng Posts: 13 New Member
    I am new again. I used to have the Sims Deluxe Edition and then moved on and bought The Sims Complete Collection on PC way back in 2005 but then I had to up date my PC because I was still using XP and The sims didn't work any more so I stopped playing for what must be about 13/14years. Just came back and now trying to play The Sims 4 on console and the controls take some getting used to jeeeeeez! I am back to the amateur days of 1 single Sim, good old square stick-o-brick houses with 1 floor and minimal distractions but now my Sim decides he will take food out of the fridge but just dump it on the floor. EAT IT!

    Unfortunately Sims 4 is the only Sims game that I own right now. I take look on youtube now and again for building inspiration and think I can do that, let's go. Somehow once I have finished it looks nothing like anything resembling a good living environment. Already had 1 fire and I guess The Sims 4 fire service are in isolation too.
  • BlackjackWidowBlackjackWidow Posts: 9 New Member
    A couple of things I wish I had known when I started out:

    1. The Pause Button is your friend! You can pause the game and then choose what you want your sims to do & in what order to do them. Use Pause often!
    2. Some actions will multi-task, saving time in filling needs. For instance, they can eat and watch tv at the same time, filling the hunger & fun bars at the same time.
    3. The game will only save your sim to the library when you create them. If you have any sims born in-game or you wish to use your skilled sim in a different save, be sure to save them to My Library in Your Gallery.
    4. Save early - save often - use "save as" to make a backup of a particular time. You can make backups of all of your games by copying the folder "Saves" from your "The Sims 4" folder in Documents to a safe place like an external drive
    5. Sims can die! If you only have one sim in your household and they die, the game will end. You cannot save a game while a sim is dying. You CAN exit without saving, which will mean you restart the game from the point you last saved. If that was 4 hours ago, you will be sad for a number of reasons. See Tip #4 :smile:
    6. Try lots of things! For sure make your sim-self (doesn't everyone start out by making themselves in sim-form?), but once you've explored a few possibilities with your first sim, feel free to branch out. Some people really like creating stories around their sims, others like setting their own goals or playing towards in-game achievements, some like building, some like creating households and still others like doing challenges written by other people. The Sims is such an open-ended type of game the possibilities are almost limitless.

    Have fun! That's really the most important part
  • Seesin8Seesin8 Posts: 29 Member
    Hello.

    The best advise I could give is Shift- Control-C is your friend. MOTHERLODE .

    Shift Click the sim for more options ... Make ALL HAPPY

    Your Welcome.

    Seesin8 (CC)
  • Simoleon_KachinnnngSimoleon_Kachinnnng Posts: 13 New Member
    Instead of motherlode I think using the: money 10000000 cheat may be easier than motherlode because you can just add the amount you want up to 99999999 or somewhere near that amount you can also use it to take away money. Not that I use it because the game would be too easy with all that money. It's a better reward to struggle at first then get a job and work up the ladder and become financially safe enough to live comfortably. I like to give my Sims the bookworm trait and this way I can read skill books and get some decent jobs.
  • SHANZSHANZ Posts: 1 New Member
    My tips as someone who has played a LOT in the past 16/17 years:

    - When you first play, cheat. Cheat a lot. Figure the game out, have fun, build them a mansion and buy an oversized ice cream machine. Make your sims build rocket ships and travel to the moon. Try different aspirations that you're interested in.

    - Then play without cheats. None at all. Try and aim for the life your sim lived after motherlode, complete aspirations without cheating and see where it takes you.

    Ps. You don't have to cheat to be rich. Choose the Kleptomaniac trait and steal from others to sell, marry rich sims and kill them for their money, collect as many items as you can and sell them.

    It's great fun when you play like that, but I definitely think you should discover the game using the cheats first
  • KarimacKarimac Posts: 1 New Member
    I've just recently downloaded TS4 (like 5/6 days ago), I played TS3 many many moons ago.
    I'm finding that I spend most of my time building as I just love being creative (I've been watching a lot of youtube vids and have picked up some amazing tips).
    My problem is, I don't know how to be more inspired to live play as I end up getting overwhelmed with the amount of actions required, especially with more than one sim.
  • PenguinFoopPenguinFoop Posts: 232 Member
    Learn how sims age and how you want to play - start with one household, but check out if rotational play is for you. A rotation brings more variety, and it might also trig your stories in many ways. Understanding how sims ageing, career promotions, bills etc are affected by moving about vs staying on one lot is essential to plan a good routine.

    Take your time to enjoy each addition. Getting many new packs added at once might be twice the fun, as some packs even get better when mixed. But the content might also be overwhelming, resulting in getting the feeling of not staying on top of it all. It takes a while to get familiar with new features, ie most packs offer objects with new functionality, more social interactions and some adjusted UI. Careers often bring new stuff at the higher levels, not taking the time to get there means you'll miss some of the fun.

    Check out the buyable extra traits! Some might look pretty useless with the base game only, but with a few packs added, you'll see them in a new light.

    Some packs might not add a lot of obvious content, you might think Seasons is just about weather. But it's not. It changes how you'll see each of your worlds and lots - it brings tons of visual variety to the game, and also challenges you to plan your events differently (who wants their garden wedding in Winter anyway?). Same with clubs system in Get Together, it can be used as a plain club system, but it's also very in handy for bringing sims together - like gathering relatives! Throwing a wedding allows your sim to only invite sims s/he already met, but with a club packed with relatives old Auntie will no longer be left out :)

    Use the gallery if you don't want to build everything yourself, or create all sims. Anything you grab there can be modified by you now or later.

    That's a thing??? Are they available on Xbox One and if so, where can I get them?
    A couple of things I wish I had known when I started out:

    1. The Pause Button is your friend! You can pause the game and then choose what you want your sims to do & in what order to do them. Use Pause often!
    2. Some actions will multi-task, saving time in filling needs. For instance, they can eat and watch tv at the same time, filling the hunger & fun bars at the same time.
    3. The game will only save your sim to the library when you create them. If you have any sims born in-game or you wish to use your skilled sim in a different save, be sure to save them to My Library in Your Gallery.
    4. Save early - save often - use "save as" to make a backup of a particular time. You can make backups of all of your games by copying the folder "Saves" from your "The Sims 4" folder in Documents to a safe place like an external drive
    5. Sims can die! If you only have one sim in your household and they die, the game will end. You cannot save a game while a sim is dying. You CAN exit without saving, which will mean you restart the game from the point you last saved. If that was 4 hours ago, you will be sad for a number of reasons. See Tip #4 :smile:
    6. Try lots of things! For sure make your sim-self (doesn't everyone start out by making themselves in sim-form?), but once you've explored a few possibilities with your first sim, feel free to branch out. Some people really like creating stories around their sims, others like setting their own goals or playing towards in-game achievements, some like building, some like creating households and still others like doing challenges written by other people. The Sims is such an open-ended type of game the possibilities are almost limitless.

    Have fun! That's really the most important part

    My sims skills reset in a new game, at least, I think they do. I make them all with story mode quiz and I know for sure that the library copy of them does not keep their job in a new game.
    Instead of motherlode I think using the: money 10000000 cheat may be easier than motherlode because you can just add the amount you want up to 99999999 or somewhere near that amount you can also use it to take away money. Not that I use it because the game would be too easy with all that money. It's a better reward to struggle at first then get a job and work up the ladder and become financially safe enough to live comfortably. I like to give my Sims the bookworm trait and this way I can read skill books and get some decent jobs.

    100% agree with that point!
    Karimac wrote: »
    I've just recently downloaded TS4 (like 5/6 days ago), I played TS3 many many moons ago.
    I'm finding that I spend most of my time building as I just love being creative (I've been watching a lot of youtube vids and have picked up some amazing tips).
    My problem is, I don't know how to be more inspired to live play as I end up getting overwhelmed with the amount of actions required, especially with more than one sim.

    Easy, start with just the one. Keep that one at home and focus on needs. Neighbors will wander past your house so you can run outside and meet many people. Focus on needs first, wants later. And last but not least search PenguinFoop in the gallery and download Downward Living and The Modern III They'll save your life!!! Okay, so that's a shameless advertisement but truly, I think you may be inspired by the depth you can go when building. Especially when you see the creative way I made the "Eco-Pool." Pools are awesome again!!!! And just how far down you can go with a garden near the center of the planet!!!

    As for things I wish I knew, I think the thing I wish I knew first and foremost was that this forum existed. But the newcomers obviously know that now. So I would say that the next thing I wish I knew was which packs to buy first. There are so many. I would definitely agree that Seasons is a must. I can't imagine playing without it now. Finally, there's a reason to create a summer and winter outfit!!! Downside, plants grow only during certain seasons (different types for different seasons) unless you plant them indoors. ;) Also, with Seasons, the thermostat will only work in a house properly if every room has a ceiling, including the patios and porches!

    And finally, search "The Vazquez Family Needs Your Help" and become a mentor in the story. Okay, so that's another shameless advertisement. But hey, if I don't advertise them, who will? Right?
    http://forums.thesims.com/en_US/discussion/799243/the-truth-about-sims-whos-pulling-your-strings#latest

    This story helped me become a member!!! Thanks to all of you who have enjoyed it and given feedback!
  • SimmervilleSimmerville Posts: 8,064 Member
    @PenguinFoop You save up award points from the whims (3 small bubbles with stuff your sim wants to do or buy etc. Fulfilling a wish gives typically 25-50 points.). Those points can be used to buy stuff incl traits - I think you find the link by clicking their aspiration. Examples are "frugal" which gives 25% discount on bills, "no need to sleep" etc. There are quite many, including the money tree.

    No idea how this works on other than PC.
    Simmerville on Youtube | My blog is updated weekly: Simmerville's Sims
    a.jpg
  • PenguinFoopPenguinFoop Posts: 232 Member
    @PenguinFoop You save up award points from the whims (3 small bubbles with stuff your sim wants to do or buy etc. Fulfilling a wish gives typically 25-50 points.). Those points can be used to buy stuff incl traits - I think you find the link by clicking their aspiration. Examples are "frugal" which gives 25% discount on bills, "no need to sleep" etc. There are quite many, including the money tree.

    No idea how this works on other than PC.

    Oh wow! I didn't realize that you could buy extra traits in there!!! Then again, I rarely use my AP. I always forget about them. lol
    http://forums.thesims.com/en_US/discussion/799243/the-truth-about-sims-whos-pulling-your-strings#latest

    This story helped me become a member!!! Thanks to all of you who have enjoyed it and given feedback!
  • SolipsySolipsy Posts: 28 Member
    ***I know a lot of people diss the Cats & Dogs pack, but I think it's invaluable. I put two cats in every household I create; since I can pick their traits, I pick the ones that make owning a pet a pleasant experience. Sim cats allow my Sims to fill their social need by talking to them. When a Sim gets a good relationship with the cats, they can pet them & hug them, then reap 250 reward points! 500 reward points without achieving much beyond petting 2 cats. (To me, this is awesome and it's not even a cheat!) The Sims build their reward points quickly and can "buy their way out of" the annoying needs to constantly pee, eat, etc.
    ***Keeping expensive stuff in a Sims inventory will increase weekly bills A LOT. If you find or create high-value items like paintings, for instance. Don't keep them in the sim's inventory.
    ***The best way to get it out of inventory is to sell it or hang it in your Sim's house.
    ***I like to buy one of the storage chests available in build/buy to allow my Sims to keep collectibles in them.
    ***Bills are much higher in Sims 4, even after you "buy" the reward traits of frugality et. al.
    ***If you owned a lot of Sims 3 stuff, check in build/buy for some special table lamps. You might have gotten some included for free that you can buy, and they're not too expensive! They will help boost your Sim's emotional state in a given direction like "Focused." Later in the game, your Sim will be able to create paintings that will boost moods, but the lamps are a non-cheat way, early in the game, to get your Sim "Inspired" while painting or cooking, for instance. These skills increase faster while your Sim is Inspired. Computer and Science skills build faster when "Focused," etc.
    ***Don't forget about those earbuds. Check 'em out!
    ***If your Sim becomes "Very Playful," be careful. It's possible for them to die Laughing. Literally. I recommend that you hit "save" whenever you see a Sim in that mood, so if they die, you can go back to the save and change the circumstances.
    ***SAVE your game before making major Sim Life decisions like getting married or having a kid. Sometimes you will be very grateful, after you play a new scenario, to be able to UNDO it if you hate playing it.
    ***I have one Sim who started the game as an heiress (motherlode!) from the base pack. As each new pack comes out. She's easy as heck to play. but the advantage of playing her as immortal is that she can easily find out what the benefits of a given job are, and whether it's worth having my other Sims do it. She's my test-Sim for how the fame system works, finding fishing spots, etc. I can
    ***I absolutely love to play an active Scientist from the Get to Work pack. What a Sim "discovers," like the Sim Ray, they are allowed to keep. The cloning machine will allow your Sim to replicate endless potions and many collectibles.

    And a gazillion other things... Happy Simming. :)

  • SamlishSamlish Posts: 208 Member
    edited April 7
    This is an expansion/game pack tip since it involves hybrids, but one thing I wish I knew when I started out, please, I beg you, don't add hybrids to your game! Don't mix different occult types! I had a hybrid child once and she disappeared, so I had to age her up to a teenager in an old save file and she came back! If you have hybrids they can cause error codes and more! (From my experience :) )

    Happy simming! :blush:
  • SolipsySolipsy Posts: 28 Member
    Samlish wrote: »
    This is an expansion/game pack tip since it involves hybrids, but one thing I wish I knew when I started out, please, I beg you, don't add hybrids to your game! Don't mix different occult types! I had a hybrid child once and she disappeared, so I had to age her up to a teenager in an old save file and she came back! If you have hybrids they can cause error codes and more! (From my experience :) )

    Happy Simming! :blush:

    I'm such a dork. I've got my ten-year forum-member badge, but I don't know what a "hybrid" is. Could you please explain a bit more? Thanks.
  • Admiral8QAdmiral8Q Posts: 1,157 Member
    Solipsy wrote: »
    Samlish wrote: »
    This is an expansion/game pack tip since it involves hybrids, but one thing I wish I knew when I started out, please, I beg you, don't add hybrids to your game! Don't mix different occult types! I had a hybrid child once and she disappeared, so I had to age her up to a teenager in an old save file and she came back! If you have hybrids they can cause error codes and more! (From my experience :) )

    Happy Simming! :blush:

    I'm such a dork. I've got my ten-year forum-member badge, but I don't know what a "hybrid" is. Could you please explain a bit more? Thanks.

    I'm not sure either, maybe like half alien half mermaid or something?
  • CaprianaBCaprianaB Posts: 371 Member
    Yes, a hybrid is a mix of two or more occults - alien/mermaid, vampire/alien, etc.
  • SamlishSamlish Posts: 208 Member
    edited April 8
    Sorry I didn't clarify! Yes, what @CaprianaB said! Like a half alien and a half vampire mix :)@Admiral8Q @Solipsy
  • RockyMightSimRockyMightSim Posts: 8 New Member
    What I wish I knew and still wish it, is how to goshdarn bild houses. Like, I just can't wrap my head around it. I've seen all the youtube videos and downloaded and edited so many lots from the gallery, but I just can't build! Maybe it's just not for me.,I'll just have to stick to live mode and let others build houses for me :'(
  • WaytoomanyUIDsWaytoomanyUIDs Posts: 452 Member
    edited April 8
    Note that most of the time any combination of a mermaid, vampire, alien, magic user or sim can have a kid and it will just turn out to be one of the 2, for example not an alien vampire from Outer Spaaaace!, just an alien or vampire. Although kids of aliens often turn out blue or green, so you can have a vampire who looks like an alien vampire from Outer Spaaaace!

    The problems come in when the game glitches out or you use cheats or mods to create a sim with the powers of both its parents.

    EDIT: And the best way to learn building is lots of practice. Everyone starts off making boxes, unless I'm trying to recreate a plan my houses still look like boxes.

    Pick an empty lot from the town overview (not the lot your family is living on, that adds pressure and costs money) and just play around in free build mode, getting the feel of the building tools, don't actually try building any thing, just get the hang of the tools, how the room and wall tools work, how roofs work and how you can combine them to cover an odd shaped house, that sort of thing.

    Then try building something simple, doesn't even have to be livable or good looking, just something to test what you know.

    Also, a random hint, the Christmas trees can catch fire when you light them.
    Origin/Gallery ID: WaytoomanyUIDs
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