Island Living The Sims 4 Articles

The Sims 4 Island Living: All About Mermaids

Presented by EA Game Changers

Yep, you read that title right. Mermaids are finally here! They come with The Sims 4: Island Living and they are better and more powerful than ever! Read on to learn more about these enchanting (and sometimes deadly) creatures of the deep sea…

Creating Your Mermaid

Mermaids can be created directly in CAS by selecting the occult option when choosing to add a new Sim to the household. Existing Sims cannot be made into a mermaid in CAS (but they can become mermaids in-game! More on that later!)

Like aliens and vampires, mermaids have both a human form and an occult form. You can dress up their human form the same way you would with any human Sim, but the mermaid form only has one outfit category; swimwear. Mermaids have a variety of customization options tailored specifically for them. You can choose both the style and colour of their fins. Some fin swatches have neat patterns or shimmering scales. For feminine mermaids, you can also choose from a variety of tops, ranging from human swim tops, to coconuts and seashells, to chest scales that extend up from the tail. Mix and match fin and top styles and colours as much as you like!

Mermaids also have some new glowing/patterned eyes and face presets designed just for them. Create the perfect recreation of Ariel, or opt for a style more like the eerie merfolk out of the Harry Potter films. It’s all up to you.

TIP! Don’t want your mermaid to look anything like their human form? Unlink the two forms in CAS and any changes you make to one form won’t apply to the other! Link them again whenever you want a change to stick for both forms. Neat, huh?

Mermaid Biology

Mermaids age at the same pace as human Sims. Sims of all ages can be mermaids, but toddlers and children won’t grow their fins or display any mermaid abilities until they become teenagers.

Mermaids have all the same motives human Sims do except for one. The hygiene motive is replaced with a new hydration motive for mermaids. Mermaids can walk on land as humans, but they can’t stay out of the water for extended periods of time. They need to be in water frequently in order to thrive. The Hydration motive will decay slowly over time if a mermaid is not in water. Baths, showers, and drinking water can help restore the hydration motive, but mermaids are happiest when outside in open waters.

The hydration motive serves a second function; it is also a mermaid’s power source. The more hydrated a mermaid is, the more powers they can use. A dehydrated mermaid will not be able to use their powers. More on that in the next section.

Mermaids will automatically switch into their human form while on land and return to their mermaid form while in water; however, mermaids can wade in very shallow waters in their human forms.

PSST! Did you know mermaids gain Fitness skill from swimming just like human Sims? Since mermaids spend most of their time in the water, this makes them super athletic!

Mermaid Abilities and Limitations

Mermaids do not have a skill tree. All mermaids have the same abilities and limitations, but their traits do influence what actions they can and can’t do. Mermaids with the Good trait will not be able to do any serious harm to human Sims with their powers. Mermaids with the Evil trait will not be able to use certain powers that benefit human Sims. Mermaids that have neither of these traits are more neutral and can use all mermaid abilities.

Every power a mermaid uses costs Hydration Points, which comes from the Hydration motive. Using a mermaid power depletes the Hydration motive. The more a mermaid uses their powers while on land, the faster their Hydration motive will deplete. This means that mermaids are most powerful while they are in water because they have an unlimited source of Hydration Points while in the water.

Ability List

  • Siren’s Lullaby (-30 Hydration) – Can be done both on land and in water. The mermaid can sing a variety of haunting melodies to put other Sims into specific emotional states. This ability works on other mermaids as well.
    • Aegean’s Question – Makes the target Sim Tense.
    • Charmer’s Lullaby – Makes the target Sim Flirty.
    • Inspiring Berceuse – Makes the target Sim Inspired.
    • Night’s Requiem – Makes the target Sim Sad.
  • Mermaid’s Kiss (-30 Hydration) – Can be done both on land and in water, but has a more powerful effect in water. The mermaid can kiss another Sim without needing to build a romantic relationship first.
  • Siren’s Call (-100 Hydration) – Can only be done in water. The mermaid sings a haunting melody to lure an unsuspecting Sim out into the water. When the Sim reaches the mermaid, the mermaid drags the Sim underwater. This immediately depletes all of the target Sim’s motives. If a Sim cannot swim back to shore fast enough after having Siren’s Call used on them, they can drown. Good mermaids cannot use this power.
  • Summon Ocean Threat (-30 Hydration) – Can only be done in water. The mermaid sings to cause the target Sim to flounder and panic in the water. There is a chance the target Sim can drown from this, especially if they recently had Siren’s Call used on them. Good mermaids cannot use this power.
  • Call Clear Skies (-75 Hydration) – Requires Seasons. Can be done both on land and in water. The mermaid blows into a conch shell to change the weather. Cannot be used when the weather is already clear. Evil mermaids cannot use this power.
  • Call Rainstorm (-75 Hydration) – Requires Seasons. Can be done both on land and in water. The mermaid blows into a conch shell to change the weather. Cannot be used when the weather is already rainy.
  • Call Thunderstorm (-75 Hydration) – Requires Seasons. Can be done both on land and in water. The mermaid blows into a conch shell to change the weather. Cannot be used when the weather is already stormy. Good mermaids cannot use this power.
  • Aquatic Lure (-30 Hydration) – Can only be done at fishing spots or on boats. The mermaid blows into a conch shell to attract more fish and rarer fish to that area.
  • Call Over Azure Dolphin (-30 Hydration) – Can only be done while in water. Both humans and mermaids can interact with dolphins, but only mermaids can call them at will without having to become soulmates with one, first. Mermaids instantly become soulmates with any dolphin they interact with.

All mermaid abilities that cost Hydration Points have a cooldown period after it’s used. The more Hydration Points an ability costs, the longer the cooldown period.

For more information about dolphins, check out our article, The Sims 4 Island Living: All About Dolphins!

Other Mermaid Abilities

Mermaids have some other abilities that do not cost Hydration Points. They are just innate perks of being a mermaid.

  • Mermaids can sleep in the water. They don’t need to use beds at all. Combined with the fact that all Sims (including mermaids) can relieve themselves in the water when their Bladder motive becomes desperate, your mermaids can live almost entirely in water, rarely needing to come to shore except to grab a bite to eat now and then. All other motives can be satisfied in the water, including the Social motive.
  • Mermaids can sunbathe in the water; however, if their mermaid form has a special occult skin tone, they will not be able to do this. Occult skin tones do not tan or burn.
  • Mermaids can free dive without having to reach Fitness level 3 first.
  • Mermaids will occasionally make dolphin noises while on land. They will also frequently clasp their hands and hum to themselves while on land.
  • Mermaids turn into their mermaid form when taking baths.
  • Mermaids can swim in swimming pools.
  • Mermaids can talk to fish in aquariums.

Mermaid Limitations

Mermaids don’t have many limitations. The ones they do have are pretty minor, but there are a few things your mermaid Sims will not be able to do.

  • Mermaids cannot snorkel. It’s apparently a touchy subject in the mermaid community…
  • Mermaids cannot use ladders. Their fins make climbing them a bit difficult.
  • Mermaids cannot scuba dive. They don’t need scuba gear to go diving, so they don’t have the option to purchase any; however, mermaids can still free dive and do all the same things scuba diving Sims can do while free diving, so this isn’t really much of a drawback at all.

Becoming a Mermaid

You don’t have to make a mermaid in CAS. Human Sims can become mermaids by eating mermadic kelp.

Mermadic kelp can be purchased for 500 satisfaction points, but if your Sim is the more adventurous type, mermadic kelp can also be found by exploring the cave on Mua Pal’em. Sims also have a chance of finding mermadic kelp while scuba diving.


Once your Sim has some mermadic kelp in their inventory, click on it to have your Sim eat it. They will immediately get an Energized moodlet called Strange Sensations which hints that your Sim should probably find some open water to go swimming in. This moodlet lasts 24 in-game hours.

If your Sim enters the water while they have the Strange Sensations moodlet, they will transform into a mermaid!

TIP! Tired of the aquatic life? Have your mermaid eat two mermadic kelp in a row to instantly become human!

We hope you enjoyed this guide to mermaids! You can help us make this guide even more complete! If you have any other information about mermaids not mentioned in this guide, please let us know so we can add it to the guide with credit given to you!

Special thanks to our readers, Hugandkissasim, Angie, Thomas, and Aria, for providing valuable information for this guide.

About the author


I'm a 28-year-old author and Sims-addict based in Canada. I've been a diehard Simmer since it all started back in 2000 and I'll be focusing on providing you with some great tips and tricks to get the most out of your Simming experience here on SC. When I'm not Simming, I'm writing my next novel. To date, I've published The Heaven Corporation and Wanderer.


Click here to post a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    • You mean your mermaid swims like a human in water? That’s a glitch I experienced once while writing the guide. I just had to send her to land, then send her back in the water and she swam like a mermaid again.

        • I haven’t encountered this glitch. Make sure you are not playing with any mods installed. Even the mods that have hotfixes out are rushed and may not be perfect until the modder has a chance to do a thorough update.

          • if your sim is running on top of the water or swimming on the land press CTRL, Shift, and C at the same time and type in Testingcheats true in the white bar, then Shift + Click on your sim and press “resetobject/resetsim” or alternatively just type in “resetsim (firstname) (lastname)” in the white bar. if this doesn’t work then try moving to a different lot and coming back, or just close the game and reopen it. If this happens with every sim and none of the solutions work then it is either a save file issue or could just be a problem with the entire game, and if it is try repairing sims 4.

    • I had this glitch too but I solved it when I understood it came from mods not yet updated ^^
      But if you are not using any mods or CC then I don’t know how to help you :/
      Good luck though if it isn’t yet solved! :)

  • did anyone konw how a mermaid can use the ladder from the new pack? my mermaid can jump in the water but not just go. the game said she has no idea how to use a ladder. how can she learn it? please help, thanks.

    • Since they can’t use ladders I just put some stairs on the side of the dock. As soon as they get to the shallow area and get their legs back they can just go up the stairs.

  • Is there a way to make your mermaid jump of a deck to dive into the water? I’ve seen that on the trailer but can’t figure out how to get her to do that.

    • Mermaids cannot use ladders but I didn’t have a problem getting mine to jump off a deck into water. Just have her standing on the deck next to the water, then select swim here in the water. She should jump off the deck unless there is an easier path for her to take.

      • Just pointing out that you can use a ladder to jump, dive, or cannonball into the water. I’m not sure if you can use it to climb down into the water (given that you would have human feet until you enter). I forgot to try.

  • My sim has been born into being a mermaid as I have aged them up to a young adult so she is definitely able to have a tail. I designed her mermaid form in cas and everything but when she swims she isn’t a mermaid?! I tried giving her mermaidic kelp and she ate it but still no transformation yet she can sleep and sunbathe with the mermaid picture option ! Helppp!!!!

  • By eating two mermadic kelps in a row and then entering the water, you can make your mermaid sim a human again.

    • Thank you! I just tried it and it worked, though my Sim did not need to enter the water. He was just instantly human again. I will add this to the guide. Thanks for the info! :)

  • i hope there’ll be some mod for mermaids to be able to use ladders cuz the fact that my sim can’t get back directly to her house platform after having jumped to water off it is annoying bxhjssjks

  • overally tho, i LOVE how mermaids look in ts4, the animations are so good and smooth, nowhere near ts3!!
    also i love the fact that they can chill as mermaids in the bathtub now! (although sometimes the sim-to-mermaid change comes late so when my sim flops her “tail” it’s just boneless legs lmaooo)

    the only thing that i feel that’s lacking and would add even more flavour to the game would be maybe some more opportunities for mermaids having tails on land? like, maybe accidentally changing into your mermaid form during a big rain or having to dry off after coming out of a pool would be rly cool! although that would require much more complicated animations + gameplay

  • WHERE IS MY OCEAN WORLD! I WANNA LIVE LIKE A MERMAID. bruu let my live in atlantis and hunt fish and have mermaid neighbors buuu

    • Make sure they aren’t good, or on dry land. It only works when they have a tail, and probably not in pools.

    • Mermaids with the Good trait cannot use Siren’s Call because it’s an action that does serious harm to Sims (it can even kill them in some cases).

      Also, Siren’s Call can only be used when a mermaid is in water. Click on any Sim in the area and select Siren’s Call while your mermaid is in open water.

  • When I used Mermaid’s kiss on his boyfriend, it said that he could now breathe underwater longer, I’m presuming that this will aid him in diving, which is a pretty cool reason to have a mermaid friend as a diver.

    I also tried very hard to kill someone with both siren’s call and Summon Ocean Threat, and neither of them had proven fatal… in fact, it seems to restore their energy need if it’s below about 20%, potentially saving them from drowning if they are already lower than that.

    I also didn’t see anything in the guide about Siren’s call giving you a heaping ton of needs across the board. It restores all of your needs by a substantial amount (I’d hazard a guess at around 40%, although I would have to test it while paying attention to confirm)

    Last thing, I swear… Whenever mermen fish, it gives them a negative moodlet, and when they eat fish it makes them sick for quite a while. This combined with the aquatic lure seems really odd to me, but I suppose it would make sense that they could use their connection with the ocean to aid the human communities they rely upon. The inability to eat fish has pushed my merman to grow a garden, which is surprisingly synergistic given that he can force it to rain whenever he feels like, and mermaids never get uncomfortable from the rain.

    • On further investigation, it’s the Child of the Ocean trait that makes you feel guilty for catching and eating fish. Good to know!

    • Thanks for all this info! I didn’t notice these things while playing, but I will hop in my game again and see if I can replicate this. I was playing with cheats to keep my Sims’ motives maxed so I could focus on the mermaid stuff and not get distracted with satisfying basic needs, so it’s possible Siren’s Call did replenish my mermaid’s motives but I didn’t notice because her motives were already maxed out to begin with.

      I was able to kill a Sim with Siren’s Call, but he died because he didn’t get to shore quickly enough after being attacked by my mermaid. Siren’s Call and Summon Ocean Threat aren’t immediately fatal; they just put a Sim in danger of drowning. They can escape and get to shore before this happens, though.

      • Oooh that makes sense. I was testing this on Makao (after a save of course, I don’t want to drown the sweet heart), and he’s a really good swimmer, so he was easily able to get to safety, it didn’t even cross my mind lol

        I wasn’t intending on deep diving (pun intended) on the functions of being a mer-person, but I quickly discovered how difficult it was to keep my hunger full on an off-the-grid nature lot.

        My initial plan was to be entirely self sustaining without much furniture, but It’s been rough without fishing as an option… I’ve been using the communal fire pit + gardening though and that’s worked really well.

    • I don’t believe occult types of any kind stack, I’m pretty sure they overwrite since they all modify so much.It would be cool if ghost stacked with them though, a ghost mermaid would be a really neat sim!

    • I have a long time vampire and I made him eat kelp to transform him but he didn’t even get the “strange sensations” moddlet. So I guess vampires can’t become mermaids.

  • I‘m stuck in the marine biologist careerpath. Seems like mermaids cannot snorkel(?) and thus cannot do the daily to do.

  • I just found out you can make a mermaid vampire hybrid! I had a mermaid and vampire try for baby and when the baby turned into a teen they had the vampire thirst bar with the hydration bar! and in the ocean he had a tail super cool!

  • Does anyone know how mermaids die (for story telling purposes), except through old age. Like how vampires can die in the sun

  • Hello! I was just wondering about the scales on the mermaid’s face. Are those only available if you start with one of the pre-made faces, or is there a way to get them with an already finished sim?

    • This happened to me too. I fixed it by using the CAS fulledit cheat and brought my sim in CAS full edit mode. His face was still missing, but after I confirmed and left CAS, his face was back to normal.

  • Is it just me, or is the transformation extremely abrupt? I mean, even the Vampires have a particle effect hiding the texture/model swap, and that was only a game pack.

    • With the number of times your Sim interacts with water in this expansion, I’m really glad it’s fast and abrupt. We would be sitting there watching our Sim transform a million times before we could get anything done

  • How can I turn my mermaid sim to a human?
    I liked how I made her but I want to be able to play her as a normal sim too.

  • My two non-mermaid Sims just produced a mermaid baby, I don’t have any cheats or mods installed. Has anyone noticed if having the trait “child of the island” on parents is a factor in producing mermaid babies. This was kind of unfortunate as I am doing the 100 baby challenge and didn’t really want a mermaid. Just thought it was funny very first baby I had since installing the new pack gave me a mermaid.

  • How does one find the ordinary conch shell? Can you cheat to get it through buy mode, or can you find it naturally?

  • Want to Join the family of real mermaid, You can actually become a real beautiful mermaid or merman instead of buying or wearing of artificial mermaid tale. You can get a spell or wear a ring that can turn you into a mermaid at anytime you want to. contact email: joinmermaidfamily @ gmail . com You can explain to us how you want it, our child Melissa is a real mermaid and we have a huge family of real mermaid. In case you are looking for other spells you can also contact us.

  • My mermaid is a marine biologist and she needs to snorkel for her work and she can’t is there anyway to bypass that?

  • I have that Mermaid Swims Like Normal Sim in water. I Disabled My Mods went back in and they were still doing it? I decided to Put My Mods back on but I am Reluctant to make a new Family. I don’t want to Play Without Mods Either Since That’s One Of The Main Reason I Play Sims 4 Is Because I Can Use The Mods.

  • Hi i created my sims to be a mermaid since the beginning and now i dont know what happened but she is not longer a mermaid, what can i do to fix it?

  • I had a young adult female get pregnant by a merman and when the baby turn into a teenager she got all the mermaid abilities but doesn’t get fins when she goes swimming. Is there something special thats has to be done first.

  • Hey not sure if anybody else having this problem wasn’t able to find anything about it . Basically when 2 of my full mermaids try to have baby they keep having a different kind of baby’s that doesn’t look like them at all is this bug or they can’t have biological looking babies? Help plz !

  • I turned my sim into a mermaid by accident (not realizing i was still editing my mermaid, I made one just to see the customizations available) and used the cheat code to revert her to normal
    but now she’s stuck with the mermaid plumbob and she’s classified as a mermaid, even though she’s got no mermaid form.
    any idea on a fix?

    • I would use the full cas enable cheat and then go over her form, and make sure to link the two forms, human and mermaid.

  • My sim was born from two mermaids and is a mermaid, yet when they swim in the water they have human legs and swim like a human. They never, and have no option, to change to a tail. Is this a glitch or is there something I need to do?

    • you didn’t say their age. apparently they don’t get abilities and fins till their teens. I am not sure if that means child or young adult.

  • So uh. I created a mermaid sim in CAS, she had a baby with a human, and the baby turned out to be a mermaid also. I turned him into a human after he reached adulthood by eating two of the mermadic kelps and now he has no familial ties to his mom or brother. In fact, it says the “mommy dearest” next to her name but she’s not in his family tree and the romantic interaction tree opened up between them. Is this a glitch in the game or was the game designed this way purposefully?