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SimGuruGraham Explains Neighborhoods in The Sims 4!

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Hi everyone, I’m glad you’re enjoying the interview and the new details! 

I wanted to take a minute to further clarify something that it appears is still causing some debate. 

The Sims 4 doesn’t have “districts”. We have a world (Willow Creek), and within that world is five distinct neighborhoods that all have a different feel to them… think of Los Angeles for example, the neighborhood of Bel Air is uniquely different than Hollywood, but they’re both part of LA. Within each of those neighborhoods are up to five lots, which can be a residential or a community venue. Via the use of Manage Worlds (which replaces Edit Town), you can freely change any of the lots in any neighborhood to be either residential or community. 

(Semi-confusing side note…) We do in fact actually have a sixth neighborhood in Willow Creek, we just don’t refer to it as a “neighborhood” when we’re talking about the game because it has a single large lot in it. You’re free to visit or modify it as you would any other neighborhood, but it was built specifically to be a gorgeous park for Sims to enjoy in the great outdoors. 

The unique difference in The Sims 4 is that there is a lot of game play in what we’re calling the public spaces of these neighborhoods. Public spaces are the areas that are not part of a lot, and now in The Sims 4 we can place all of our interactive objects out into these public spaces. When Sims are on their lot, they will still consider autonomously using objects that are out in these public spaces – they are no longer confined to their artificial intelligence only thinking about what is on their currently active lot. Consequently, more Sims will want to be out in these public spaces; it makes the neighborhoods come alive with interesting Sims to watch or go out and interact with. It’s a fantastic change that helps our Sims feel more intelligent and lessens the impact of a lot edge as an artificial boundary. 

The end result of all of this is that we can pack way more game play into these public spaces than you would have seen in the worlds of The Sims 3. They have lots of interactive elements, they’re beautifully decorated and landscaped, and they’re always lively with your neighbors and other various Sims going about their daily lives. It gives us the added benefit of not always needing a lot to fill a particular Sim’s desire… for example, some of the neighborhoods have typical park objects, children’s playground equipment, and bathrooms out in these public spaces for all Sims to enjoy. We do still use community venue lots for certain things (like the Gym for example), because Build Mode tools have to be used on a lot. 

Now, when you’re traveling between a world, a neighborhood, or a lot, you will incur a short load. There is only one lot that’s “active” at any single time, meaning if you want to use another lot you will travel there. This allows us to have 20 Sims actively running their full simulation at any time in the neighborhood – that area includes both the public space and your active/loaded lot. When you travel between lots in the same neighborhood, everything that was occurring in those public spaces persists… after the load all of the same Sims will still be where they were, doing what they were doing before you started loading. It’s all feels quite natural when moving around the neighborhood rather than being a disruptive experience. 

Counting the number of lots in a single world is a rather arbitrary number in The Sims 4 though, as you can freely travel, move, work, visit, etc, any world, neighborhood, or lot while still retaining the information about who your Sim is, their belongings, their relationships, their family, etc. 

I hope that helps everyone better understand how the game functions! 

catloverplayer wrote: It worries me that sims you download join your household. He said you can kick them out but I’m wondering if this means we don’t have a library anymore so we can transfer our sims to any future worlds.

Hi Cat;

When he said that about downloading the sim and it went into your household that you were playing, I immediately thought about whether or not we could download while in the management section of the game? Like that way you can get what you want and put them where you want and not have to deal with having the new sim in your household if that’s not what you want. I hope that’s how it will work.


This is an excellent point – thanks for mentioning it as I forgot to bring that up during the interview; I was specifically thinking about what you can do in Live Mode. Yes, you can access the Gallery while in Manage Worlds mode and bring in Sims/Households there so that you can directly add them to a new home, merge them with an existing household, or even add them as a townie who doesn’t live in the world. 

There is also a personal “My Library” where you can store Sims, homes, and individual rooms to be accessed while offline, or simply to keep them to yourself if you don’t want to upload them to the Gallery.

About the author

Jovan Jovic

Founder of the Sims Community website. I do plenty of things around here including writing articles such as "Top 10 Disney Princesses in The Sims", social media management, video content creation, streaming and more!

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