The Sims 4 Bust the Dust Kit offers new gameplay for players who want a more immersive day-to-day life simulation experience. Homes now have a cleanliness level based not only on how often Sims vacuum using the new vacuum objects, but also how clean they keep their home in general. We were pleasantly surprised at just how many things factor into this new cleanliness system and how the cleanliness level affects Sims in different ways based on their traits.
Let’s get into the basics of busting the dust in your Sim’s home!
There are four different levels of cleanliness homes can have now and each floor of your home has its own cleanliness state. You may have a clean first floor, but a filthy basement, for example. Each level of cleanliness comes with either benefits or drawbacks to living there.
You can see the dust level of the home by clicking on the floor and selecting Check Dust Levels. The dirtier a home is, the longer it takes to clean, so it’s best to tidy up a little bit every day to stay on top of things. Letting the house get too dirty can turn into an all-day cleaning spree. The dust piles up more quickly in homes with large families living in them, especially if you have pets in the household. Large families will have to clean more often to keep the dust at bay.
When you first load onto a brand new lot, your home will be in the clean state. This is the highest state of cleanliness. The home will be absolutely spotless and the floor will occasionally shimmer, letting you know that the place is spic and span.
Sims will gain positive moodlets on clean lots, making it easier for them to craft, cook, and work from home.
Despite what you might think, dusty is not actually a negative cleanliness state. Most people’s homes have a little bit of dust here and there, so a dusty home is not necessarily a bad thing in the game. Dusty homes will have light layers of dust here and there. Dust bunnies may start to appear in dusty areas of a house as well. More on dust bunnies later.
Sims in dusty homes feel like they’re someplace cozy and lived-in, so they build relationships faster and enjoy cleaning more.
If the dust is left for too long, your Sim’s home will become dirty. Dirty is a negative state. Dirty homes will have more dust piles, more dust bunnies, and have a layer of grime covering the floor. You will also see dust spores floating around in the air.
Sims in dirty homes gain negative moodlets from the mess that makes it harder for them to socialize and focus on everyday tasks. At this point, you will want to get out that vacuum cleaner and start tackling the problem.
Filthy is the worst cleanliness state. Filthy homes will be covered in a thick layer of grime with debris-filled dust piles all over the place. Dust spores will be seen in the air. The dust bunnies disappear in the filthy state and are replaced with filth fiends; mean, nasty dust creatures that can cause chaos in the home. More on them later.
Sims in filthy homes will be intensely uncomfortable, making it almost impossible for them to do much of anything. The home needs a deep, thorough clean at this point.
Dust Bunnies and Filth Fiends
Dust bunnies and filth fiends are little creatures made of dust and debris. They show up in dusty and filthy homes, respectively. While dust bunnies are largely helpful to have around, filth fiends are more of a menace.
These cute little guys start appearing when a floor of your home reaches the dusty state. They are characterized by their button eyes and light brown noses. They are generally good-natured and helpful to have around your house. They can be befriended and find valuable items for your Sims.
Dust bunnies have a happiness level. You can see their happiness level by hovering the cursor over them.
You can interact with dust bunnies in the following ways:
- Name: This allows you to name the dust bunny. A random cute default name will pop up when you choose to name your dust bunny. You can keep that name if you like it or replace it with a new name of your choosing.
- Feed Dust: Feeding dust bunnies raises their happiness level. There is a short cooldown period for this interaction but dust bunnies can be fed quite frequently.
- Pet: This interaction is greyed out until you’ve raised the dust bunny’s happiness by feeding it dust. Sims will pick up the dust bunny and cuddle it. This raises the dust bunny’s happiness even more.
- Befriend: This interaction is greyed out until you’ve raised the dust bunny’s happiness by feeding it dust and petting it. Befriended dust bunnies do not disappear when the house gets clean. They stay in the home permanently and essentially become a new minor pet for the household (like rodents). Befriended dust bunnies also find better valuables. SimGuruNinja said in the livestream that you can have up to three befriended dust bunnies; however, this may be restricted to one dust bunny per floor. I was not able to befriend a second dust bunny living in a single level home.
- Ask to Search for Valuables: This option is always available on dust bunnies. Your Sim can ask the dust bunny to look for valuables. The dust bunny may bring back a variety of items, such as simoleons, upgrade parts, or collectibles. Happy dust bunnies find better valuables. Befriended dust bunnies find the best valuables. The rewards from dust bunnies can be excellent. I’ve received over §700 from a befriended dust bunny, as well as numerous rare collectibles and a perfect quality harvestable.
- Step On: If you’re tired of having your dust bunny around, you can step on them to get rid of them. Sims may sometimes get a sad moodlet from doing this. Who can blame them? They’re so cute! Poor little dust bunny…
- Vacuum: This interaction is another way to get rid of dust bunnies. It is only available if you have a vacuum on the lot or in your Sim’s inventory. The Sim will vacuum the dust bunny away forever.
Filth fiends start appearing when a floor of your home reaches the filthy state. They are characterized by their glowing red eyes and black noses. They are a more aggressive form of dust bunny that is more of a menace than anything else. They are mean, nasty, and difficult to get along with. At the filthy state, dust bunnies will disappear and be replaced with filth fiends; however, any befriended dust bunnies will stay.
Filth fiends have a mischief level. You can see their mischief level by hovering the cursor over them. Filth fiends with Very High mischief level have a chance at combusting, which can cause fires! Be careful not to let them run amok for too long or you might not have a house anymore!
You can interact with filth fiends in the following ways:
- Name: This allows you to name the filth fiend. A random amusing default name will pop up when you choose to name your filth fiend. You can keep that name if you like it or replace it with a new name of your choosing.
- Appease: Appeasing filth fiends lowers their mischief level. There is a short cooldown period for this interaction but filth fiends can be appeased quite frequently.
- Try to Pet: Sims can try to pet filth fiends, but the interaction usually fails and just results in the Sim becoming too scared to interact with it again for some time.
- Ask to Rummage for Clutter: Your Sim can ask the filth fiend to rummage for clutter. The filth fiend may bring back a variety of items, although they may not be anything particularly useful for your Sim. They can sometimes bring back handy things like collectibles, but more often than not, they just give you trash. Filth fiends with low mischief level are less likely to bring back junk.
- Befriend: This interaction is greyed out until your Sim has completed the Fabulously Filthy aspiration. Only Sims with the Filth Dweller trait can befriend filth fiends. Once befriended, they act much the same way as befriended dust bunnies do and become a permanent minor household pet. Filth Dweller Sims will enjoy their filth fiend’s antics rather than be frightened of them.
- Beg for Mercy: Your Sim can plead with filth fiends and beg them for mercy. This lowers their mischief level if successful.
- Step On: If you’re tired of having your filth fiend around, you can step on them to get rid of them, but this interaction has a chance of failing and just making your Sim too scared to go near them again for a while.
- Vacuum: This interaction is another way to get rid of filth fiends. It is only available if you have a vacuum on the lot or in your Sim’s inventory. The Sim will vacuum the filth fiend away forever. You can always vacuum up a filth fiend, regardless of whether or not your Sim is afraid of it.
Vacuum Maintenance and Upgrades
There are five different vacuums that come with this kit. These vacuums are the only Build/Buy items in the kit, favouring gameplay over new objects. There are two handheld vacuums and three floor vacuums, ranging in price from cheap to expensive. For a breakdown of each vacuum, check out our Bust the Dust Overview.
Vacuums are draggable objects in Live Mode. They can be placed on the lot to decorate your homes or placed in a Sim’s inventory to be pulled out and used by the Sim whenever needed. You can set a specific vacuum as a Sim’s favourite vacuum, which is helpful if you own more than one and would like your Sims to use a particular vacuum.
The expensive vacuums will clean your house faster than the cheap vacuums. In order to keep your vacuum in working order, it needs to be emptied out regularly. The bag or container of the vacuum will become fuller the more you use it. You can visually see this on some of the vacuums. The cheap vacuum’s bag will expand over time and the mid-range vacuum’s container will slowly fill with dirt. You can also see how full the vacuum is by hovering over it with your cursor. If you continue to use the vacuum when it’s full, the vacuum can break.
Vacuums have multiple upgrades that can be done on them to make them more reliable and effective:
- Requirements: Handiness 3, 3 Common Upgrade Parts
- Description: The vacuum will never need to be emptied again
Self-Charging Power Cell
- Requirements: Handiness 4, 3 Electronic Upgrade Parts
- Description: The vacuum will no longer use power, making it functional off the grid
- Requirements: Handiness 5, 2 Common Upgrade Parts, 1 Electronic Upgrade Part
- Description: The vacuum will never break again
- Requirements: Handiness 6, 5 Electronic Upgrade Parts
- Description: Only available for floor vacuums. This upgrade makes the vacuum send out an electrical dust that blasts all dust away within a certain radius. The vacuum is much more effective and cleans even filthy homes much faster.
Other Gameplay Info
Apart from the dust system itself, this kit offers a lot of cross-pack compatibility and overhauls existing base game features and traits. It’s worth noting these things because they all contribute to this kit in meaningful ways. Other small things have been added to the gameplay just for fun. So let’s get into some of those added details now.
- The roombas from Cats & Dogs and the cleaner bots from Discover University are both fully integrated into the dust system.
- Most pets will be afraid of the vacuum; however, occasionally, your pet may be fascinated by the vacuum, instead.
- Maids will now vacuum your house for you. Butlers from Vintage Glamour Stuff do not appear to vacuum by default; however, they will start vacuuming autonomously if your Sim gifts them a vacuum.
- Children can use the handheld vacuums. Doing so builds their character values if Parenthood is installed.
- Sims can now ask or demand that other Sims clean for them. If Parenthood is installed, asking or demanding that your child clean grants Parenting skill.
- The Neat, Slob, Lazy, and Squeamish traits have been given added functionality for this kit. Neat Sims will vacuum more often and enjoy doing so. Slob Sims will not vacuum autonomously and will not be happy if they are forced to do it. They will also gain positive moodlets from being in dirty or filthy homes rather than negative ones. Lazy Sims will be more likely to ask other Sims to clean for them. They will also be more likely to refuse if another Sim asks them to clean. Squeamish Sims will become uncomfortable in dusty/dirty surroundings.
- Vacuuming is not the only way to maintain a clean home. All base game cleaning interactions also contribute to the cleanliness of the home; however, vacuuming is the fastest and most effective mode of cleaning.
- Sims can vacuum their toddlers to raise their Hygiene a small amount. The toddler also gains Fun from this.
- If the dust system is becoming overwhelming for you, you can turn it off in the game settings. Sims can still use vacuums with the dust system disabled.