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5 Ways Roommates Could Be Improved in The Sims 4 Discover University

Sims 4: Discover University saw the return of many beloved features. Avid simmers were excited to play with bicycles, juice kegs, and secret societies once again. But many players, myself included, often find that the Sims 4 team doesn’t seize all opportunities to really flesh out their game’s features.  For example, if they’re going to include bikes as a new mode of transportation, why not make them available to children? And why not use that as an opportunity to include tricycles for toddlers? And if they haven’t included bunk beds by now, they probably never will.

One of the returning features that I was most excited about was roommates. Ever since City Living, I yearned for the inclusion of non-playable roommates. I wanted to play out my own episode of Friends in my high rise San Myshuno apartments. Ultimately, I was fine waiting for a university expansion to come out if it meant the return of one of my favorite features. But when I installed the game and played around with roommates, both in and out of student housing, I was a little disappointed. Roommates didn’t seem any different than sims who’d been given keys to the residence. They just show up once in a while and triggered passive-aggressive speech bubbles. Boring!

Here are some ways that I thought EA could improve upon the roommate feature:

  1. Better Roommate Selection


    In Discover University, your sim puts an ad out for a roommate and eventually, a townie will stroll on by. Your sim can either accept or reject them as their new roomie. It would be a sleeker, more fun player experience to be able to select sims from a menu, the same way you would if you were adopting children or pets. Additionally, you could have specific interview questions provided in the social menu so that you can really get to know what kind of roommate you’re in for!

  2. Split the Bills


    I was surprised to find that when I did get a roommate, they didn’t help pay the bills! Nor did they trigger any kind of deduction from my sim’s rent. I think that for there to be an incentive to get a roommate, your sim’s rent or bills should be cut by half. The more roommates you have on the lot, the lower your bills! Otherwise, what’s in it for your sim? Some stranger living in their house rent-free, eating their food and walking in on them when they woohoo? No, thanks.

  3. More Roommate-Specific Social Interactions


    As a way to make roommates feel more fleshed out, there need to be more social interactions. I want my sims to be able to complain to their roommates about their stinky tuna sandwiches, ask for next month’s rent, or kick them out for the night when they bring back a hot date.

  4. Roommates Function Like Pets


    I don’t mean that I want my sim to teach their roommate to jump through agility hoops or make them poop in a litter box. I mean that I want roommates to be selectable while being nonplayable. While my sim’s roommates should maintain their autonomy, I want to be able to click on them and see their traits, their job, their needs, etc.

  5. Speaking of Autonomy…


    Roommates are a big part of a person’s life and have the potential to be serious disruptions. I want the same for my sims! Roommates should be able to adopt pets, throw parties, and even get Flirty with the other residents–including my sim.

What are some aspects of the new roommate feature that you would change? Or what other features of Discover University do you have your own strong opinions about? Let us know in the comments!

About the author

Sydney Rakestraw

I’m a Corgi mom, avid reader, reality TV marathoner, and of course, a lifelong simmer, based in Madison, WI.

23 Comments

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  • I do wish we could pick roommates from a menu. Like if we put out an ad then could check who applied on our computers.

    Re #2: Roommates pay you every week, so they do contribute to rent.

  • All of your complaints really aren’t valid. 1) you can ask your friend to be your roommate and they’ll usually accept unless they are part of another household. 2) they do pay a portion of rent. 3) you can complain about general things they do with the “stop that” interaction. I get that it’s not very specific but don’t say that it doesn’t exist. 4) I don’t see why you can’t just ask them their traits & career? There’s really no reason to need to see their needs or other info and think about that realistically. 5) do you really want to add things & people to your household without your permission?

    • To point 5. – why not? Literally the fun part of a roommate is that you DON’T control them. They have their own lives and whims and are not your sim! It’ll add spice and realism – plus a valid reason to kick them out if you decide they do it too much for your liking

    • Don’t let this distract you from the fact that Hector is gonna be running 3 Honda Civic’s with spoon engines. On top of that he just came into Harry’s and ordered 3 t66 turbo’s with NOS’s and a Motec System Exhaust.

    • I’m not so sure about number four, but I completely agree on everything else. Especially number five! How cool would it be if they really had their own lives? Got engaged and asked if they could move their partner in, had kids, adopted pets, etc. I am kind of disappointed with roommates as they are. I really wish you could have a family rent from you at the very least. I built a nice big townhouse before university came out, and I would love it if another sim family with kids and pets could move in to the vacant half, so my sim’s kids and pets could have neighborhood friends without having to go through a load screen to visit them. But as it is, it seems like you can only get single, unrelated sims one at a time as roommates.

    • they pay such a small portion its marginal to what your actual household bills/apartment rent is…..if your sim lives in an apartment with 500 rent a week, your roommate should give 250…not 70 like they do

  • I agree to the comments more than this post. Although TS4: Discover Uni still needs some more features to work on, like this glitch where they continuously complain about the house situation (like lack of shower, toilet, etc) even when you already have it installed, everything said in this post actually exist in this pack. Oh well, guess I’ll continue to troll teh forums

    • I agree, I had two toilets, two showers, nice kitchen, basically everything you would need and still had people move out for not having everything they need to live. Like what do you need, I’ll fix it.

  • You pay bills then a couple of days later roommates give you their share.

    You can ask anyone, they might say yes.

    You can tell them to stop, to clean up, thank them for cleaning, etc. I even had one roommate complain it wasn’t working out well for her and she might have to move.

    I wonder maybe if you didn’t try it out much before writing this?

  • I agree with 1,3,&5 roommates would be a lot more interesting if they had these functions. I think the rent payment just needs a little improvement. I flat out think 4 is unnecessary and not needed.

  • what actually bothered me most was that when my sim lived in university housing, they got a bunch of random roommates. i spent a decent amount of time giving them makeovers in cas (bc we know how bad the randomly generated townies can look) so my sims could get to know them, have relationships with them, etc. but my editing them made them disappear from the lot, and new randomly generated roommates appeared. twas a little upsetting

  • Did you actually play with roommates? Or pets?

    A bunch of people have already pointed out that your points about roommates aren’t valid (they DO pay rent, there are specific interactions, etc.)

    But your comment about them being “like pets” in being selectable, but not playable isn’t true to the Sims 4 either. You can’t select pets to see their traits or needs either, they just take a household slot.

  • Unfortunately EA doesnt nor have they ever cared about depth or quality. They rush lack luster game packs our get there money, and move on to the next pack. The Sims 3 was the best imho, and the sims4 is a pile of shit in comparison.

  • How about an Influence To… social pie menu. Then you could ‘ask’ them to cook or clean or repair things. And my number one complaint is to reduce the amount if mischief/mean socials they use on your sim! I had an awesome BFF in my game and we adored each other and had great times but when I asked her to be my roommate all if her interactions turned cruel or mischievous. I’m not kidding, she literally tricked me with a hand buzzer 5 interactions in a row! I had to constantly cheat to keep our relationship in the green and was glad she decided to move out. I was very disappointed – and frustrated! – with the new roommate system. Not all roommates should be annoying or mischievous by default, only if they have those traits…

    • If you level up the ‘research and debate’ skill you can influence them to cook or clean (although in my experience it is rarely successful). I agree about the nasty roommates, none of my sims have ever had a nice roommate.

  • It’s already apart of the game that roommates throw parties and flirt with the other roommates. There’s even an interaction to complain to them about unwanted pda. Random people will just come in your house and if you hover over them it says “roommate’s party”

  • If you want to have a selected roommate, you just must have a good relationship with him/her and invite him/her.
    In fact, this way I have Grim Reaper as a roommate and the ghost of somebody who I had killed before.