The Sims 4 Guides

The Sims 4: Build/Buy Hotkey Guide


The Sims 4 build mode is probably the most versatile we’ve seen in the series. It’s definitely one of the game’s strong points but did you know there’s a way to make Build mode even faster and easier to work with? Using hotkeys can save you a lot of time and open up Build mode features you might not have known about!

Next time you’re in Build/Buy, try out some of these hotkey shortcuts to save you some time!

  • B: Just hit the B key to quickly switch to the wall building tool. No need to navigate to it in the menu.
  • E: Switches to the eyedropper tool which allows you to copy items.
  • G: Toggles the grid lines on and off.
  • H: This key is the hand tool. It’s what will allow you to grab and move objects around. Pressing the H key can be a lot faster than clicking the on screen icon.
  • K: Switches to the sledgehammer tool which destroys objects.
  • L: Switches between morning, afternoon, evening, and nighttime lighting. This is a visual change within Build/Buy only. It does not affect the in-game time. It’s just so you can see what your build looks like during different times of day. You can also choose the time of day in your Gallery preview image when you upload a lot by using this tool.
  • R: Use the R key to recolour an item more easily.
  • T: Switches to top-down view. Hit this key again to switch back out of this view.
  • U: Easily move and rotate the entire structure of your building. Useful for when you realise that you don’t like the placement of your build after you’ve already built it.
  • F5: Toggles between full, half, and quarter grid placement mode.
  • F1, F2, F3: These keys will switch between Live Mode, Build Mode, and Buy Mode. Very handy for quickly playtesting something you’ve done in Build/Buy.
  • Hold CTRL: Holding down the CTRL key while using the wall tool will delete existing walls and fence pieces. It will also erase any terrain paint when held down in terrain paint mode.
  • Hold SHIFT: With the wall or room tool selected, holding down SHIFT will switch between the wall and room tools. You can also hold down SHIFT while placing objects in Buy Mode to place more of that item easily without having to grab it out of the catalogue again. With the wall covering or flooring tool selected, holding SHIFT will fill the entire room with that flooring or wall covering. When you’re applying friezes to the exterior of a building, you can hold SHIFT to only apply the frieze to that wall section rather than the entire room.
  • Hold Alt (Option on Mac): With an object selected, hold down the Alt key to place it freely instead of along the grid lines. Moving the mouse left or right while you have an object selected in this way will also rotate the item freely in a 360 degree circle instead of snapping to 90 and 45 degree angles. You can also hold down the Alt key while painting to cover an entire straight wall section with that wall covering.
  • CTRL+F: While laying down flooring, use this shortcut to switch to half-tile mode, which will cut your floor tile square into a triangle. Excellent for creating unique floor designs and patterns.
  • CTRL+Z: Undoes your last action. The game will remember all actions you’ve done during that Build session so as long as you have not left Build/Buy, you can hit these keys repeatedly to undo multiple actions.
  • CTRL+Y: Redoes the last action you just undid.
  • [ and ]: Makes the brush size smaller ( [ ) or larger ( ] ) while painting terrain. With the bb.moveobjects on cheat enabled, these keys will also allow you to scale selected objects to be smaller or larger.
  • , and .: Rotates the selected object left (,) or right (.)
  • ; and ‘: Changes thee brush intensity to be softer (;) or harder (‘) while painting terrain.
  • + (Numpad): With an item selected, press the + key on the numpad to cycle through all the colour swatches for that item.
  • Backspace: You can store a lot of household items much faster by hitting Backspace with the item selected instead of manually moving it to the household inventory.
  • Delete: With an object selected, hit Delete key to sell it.

Here are just a few examples of some of the things you can achieve in Build/Buy using these hot keys:


Did you know that you can unlock additional access points with Hotkeys when creating Roofs?

Simply hold down Shift + C while having a Roof selected to unlock additional manipulation points! This will allow for creating Roofs with more curves.

The Sims 4: Build/Buy Hotkey Guide

You can also make one side longer than the other by holding down Shift while dragging one side of the roof:

The Sims 4: Build/Buy Hotkey Guide

About the author


A cranky old lady who prefers the company of cats and Sims over people. Occasionally peeks out from her lair long enough to chuck Sims articles at innocent bystanders.

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