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The Sims 4: Getting Started With Building

Whether you have played The Sims before or are new to The Sims 4 you may find that building your own lots can seem difficult or just a little bit overwhelming with all the different features. Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with some helpful tips and tricks on how to not only get started with building in The Sims 4 but also help you improve your building skills.

Pre-Built Rooms (Styled Rooms)

The Sims 4 comes numerous pre-built styled rooms that you can drop straight into your game. Each styled room comes in several different colour swatches and there is plenty of variety for each room type. You can also use the Styled Rooms as a starting point and swap out the interior to reflect your Sims personality even more.

The Gallery

The Gallery is another great resource to discover pre-built rooms and homes from other Simmers across the world. With millions of uploads, there really is something for everyone. You can even upload and share your creations for others to see.


The Gallery is located in the top right-hand corner of the screen and is the icon with the photographs on.

To upload your own creations to The Gallery simply go to the “Save To My Library” icon at the top/center of your screen. Select either the room or lot to be saved and either select “Share Lot/Room to the Gallery” which is at the bottom left-hand corner of the pop-up or “Save Lot to My Library” which is on the bottom right-hand corner of the pop-up.

Remember: If you are uploading to The Gallery, don’t forget to add a description to your build!

Lot Traits

Lot traits are very similar to your Sims traits. They can be applied to most lot types and can help with increasing certain skills and relationships as well as some lot traits changing the way certain aspects of the game happen.

Great Acoustics and Homey are examples of Skill building lot traits whereas Teen Neighbourhood and Private Dwelling can have an effect on gameplay.

Terrain Manipulation

Gone are the days of flat terrain! Now you can have your Sims live on top of a mountain or at the bottom of a valley. Terrain manipulation can seem a little difficult to start with so it may be best to practice on an empty lot until you feel more confident with the tools.

Terrain Tools can be found under the Terrain Tools option in the Build Menu and then by selecting the shovel at the bottom of the menu.

Terrain Paint

Terrain Paints really can help take your builds to the next level. By simply using a Dirt and Sand terrain paint on flower beds or using a different Grass and Flowers terrain paint from the default one on the lot you will notice how much difference it makes. You can even go as far as mixing several different terrain paints together if you want!

You can find the Terrain Paints under the same Terrain Manipulation option in the Build menu and by selecting the paintbrush to bring up the different terrain paints. If you don’t like the way the terrain paint looks or you make a mistake all you have to do is hold down CTRL and you’ll notice a little eraser appear by your cursor instead of the paint brush.

Start Small or Dream Big

You may already have an idea of what kind of home you want to build your Sims but you might not. You might want to start small with a starter home for your Sims, a family home or even build a mansion for them. The possibilities are endless. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to experiment. A lot of building in The Sims is trial and error until you find what works for that particular build or room. You may even find that you like to build in a certain style.  The more you build the more you will get used to the different features of building and you’ll find what works best for you and each of your builds.

Building Shortcuts

Build Mode would not be complete without some super handy shortcuts. You’ll soon find yourself swapping between them during builds with no issues.

HotkeyDescription
F1Live Mode
F2Buy Mode
F3Build Mode
HHand Tool - Allows to grab objects
KSledgehammer Tool - Allows you to delete specific objects.
EEyedropper - Allows to Copy object
RDesign Tool - Allows to recolor objects
GToggles Grid
Ctrl+ZUndo last action
Ctrl+YRedo last action
BSelects Wall Tool
Hold CtrlWhile using the Wall Tool, will delete walls and rooms.
Hold ShiftWhile using the Wall Tool, will toggle between rooms.
+ on numberpadCycle through current held objects color options
Hold ShiftWhile placing build/buy objects to place more of the same object.
DeleteWhile object is selected, to sell/delete object
BakcspaceWhile holding object, will place in household inventory.
,Rotate selected object left
.Rotate selected object right
Hold AltWhile holding object, allows to rotate freely.
Toggle F5Position objects 1/2 and 1/4 distance on grid
Ctrl+FWhile laying floor, allows 1/4 of a tile placement.
Hold AltWhile placing wallpaper, fills straight section of wall.
Hold ShiftWhile placing floor/wallpaper, will fill entire room
[Makes terrain brush smaller, cycle through brushes.
]Makes terrain brush larger, cycle through brushes.
;While using Terrain paint, makes brush softer.
'While using Terrain paint, makes brush harder.
CtrlWhile using Terrain paint, changes to eraser
LCycle through lighting
URotate or move structure/house

Tutorial Links

This is just an overview of what Building in The Sims 4 looks like. Below are some handy links to more building tutorials.

You can find all these tutorials and more by heading over to our The Sims 4 Tutorials and our Building Library pages on the website.

Written by Krista

You'll find me in Glimmerbrook!

8 Comments

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  1. Can you please put the gallery on ps4 or do something special for us? We need more stuff. PC already gets mods and updates first and stuff. Can you please do something for us too to make gameplay better? Im sure more people would play it that way….Plz

  2. Chtěl bych poradit. V The Sims 4 mi nefunguje galerie prostě ji tam nemám a v originu mi nefunguje celý online režim! Hru jsem už několikrát pře instaloval. Kdyby jste mi poradili co s tím byl bych vám moc vděčný. Děkuji.

  3. one thing that would be when viewing someone’s build on the Community is seeing it from in depth point of view. I mean you can only get so much details from the thumbnails. If there was a video tour that would be epic. So Simmers can see all the lil details. It can be like a one minute demonstration. Plus I often wonder if real couples use Sim Builds as an idea for what they like for their own house, or concept.

  4. Krista, would you mind writing an article about getting started with playing mods and custom content for the new players? 😉

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