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How to Play Sims 4: A Beginners Guide

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How to Play Sims 4: A Beginners Guide

Everything you need to know about The Sims 4 Base Game!

Are you a new to The Sims 4? Or maybe a returning player to the franchise, and you don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, as we have you covered with everything you need to know in our How to Play Sims 4: A Beginners Guide.

History of The Sims

The Sims originally released back in February 2000 with The Sims. Since then, the franchise has gone from strength to strength. With four main line games and various spin-offs across multiple platforms, The Sims franchise truly has a variety of content for both new and longtime players.

With the most recent iteration of The Sims games, The Sims 4 releasing back in 2014 the game and the community has grown significantly during that time and shows no signs of slowing down!

Who are we?

We are the Sims Community. A dedicated and passionate group of players who showcase their love for the franchise through the content they create on this website. As we approach our tenth anniversary, we continue to share the latest news and information about The Sims 4, community creations, custom content & mods, walkthroughs, how to play guides and more!

Sims Community Logo
The Sims Community Logo

Getting Started With How to Play Sims 4 Guide

With The Sims 4 becoming a free to play game, you will be able to obtain the Base Game via Origin/EA Desktop App if you are on PC or Mac and the PlayStation Store or Microsoft Store depending on which console you own.

Any additional content in the form of Stuff Packs, Game Packs, Expansion Packs or Kits will still need to be purchased separately from the relevant store front.

Now that you have the game ready to go, you might be wondering what to do next? Well, that is completely up to you.

Let’s take a look at the home screen!

How to play Sims 4 Homescreen
The Sims 4 Home Screen the first time you launch the game.

While the home screen can look slightly daunting at first, it is actually relatively straight forward to navigate.

Navigating the Home Screen

At the top right of the home screen, you will find several different tabs:

  • My Home – This is your main loading screen when you first load up The Sims 4. Here you will find information about the game including the most recent patch notes, scenarios, Gallery Spotlight and more!
  • Packs – The packs tabs shows you all the additional packs for The Sims 4 but broken down into several smaller sections. These include sections for the packs that you own as well as Expansion, Game and Stuff Pack tabs and any Free Packs you own.
  • Kits – Similar to Packs, this tab shows you all the Kits that you own, as well as an overview of all available Kits for The Sims 4.

As for the right-hand side of the home screen, this is where you will find a few more options.

  • New Game – The start of your adventure in The Sims 4!
  • Play Scenarios – Play goal-based stories within The Sims 4 where your choices impact the outcome. Each scenario has different and multiple outcomes, and you can choose any way possible to reach those goals.
  • Gallery – The one-stop place to see creations from players all around the world!
  • Options – The Options menu contains a number of further choices from looking at Lessons, Game Settings, Release Notes, Credits and more.

Note: Once you have started a new game, your screen will give you more options, including Resuming the save that you last played or choosing a specific save game. Your home screen will look similar to this the next time you load The Sims 4.

Sims Home screen
The Sims 4 Home screen when returning to play

What Next?

Now that you are taking your first steps into The Sims 4, you will first be greeted with Create a Sim. There are two ways you can go about making your Sim or even multiple Sims.

  • Explore and play around with the different features of Create a Sim
  • Use the Story Quiz to create your Sims’ backstory and then customize your Sim!
Sims Creation
The Sims 4 Story Quiz in Create a Sim

Both ways are a good starting point for creating your first Household. If this is your first time Creating Sims in The Sims 4 or you are brand new to The Sims franchise, the main thing to remember is have fun exploring what Create a Sim has to offer!

Your First Home

Once you have created your Sims, you can move your Sims into their first home. You will have a budget available to spend on purchasing a home or an empty Lot and create your own home! You’ll be able to choose a home in either Willow Creek, Oasis Springs or the empty world of Newcrest.

With your Sims now moved into their new home, it’s time to begin your Sims adventure! Create your own storyline or legacy and see where it takes you!

Introducing Emily

Emily will be your helping hand, guiding you through different features in game! If you aren’t too sure how something works or need a bit of guidance, you’ll be able to count on her!

If you need to call on Emily, you’ll be able to activate her by selecting her icon along the toolbar on the top right-hand side of your screen!

Emily Sims 4
Where to find Emily, The Sims 4’s New Player Assistant

You can find out more about Emily and her features here!

Common Terms

As you play through The Sims or engage with the community both in game via The Gallery or on Social Media, you may hear and read a variety of terms you’ve not heard before.

We have compiled a list of some of the most common terms relating to The Sims 4!

  • CAS – Create a Sim
  • BB – Build/Buy Mode
  • Townies – Randomly generated Sims
  • Pre Made – Sims created by the Maxis Team
  • CC – Custom Content
  • Maxis Match/MM – Custom Content that matches the game’s art style
  • Alpha – Custom Content that is more realistic and doesn’t match the game’s art style.
  • Mods – Player created game modifications
  • Maxis Mix – A player who uses a combination of both Maxis Match and Alpha Custom Content
  • Challenges – Player created challenges for alternative gameplay options
Sims 4 Gameplay
Playing The Sims Forever in The Sims 4

Resources On How to Play the Sims 4

Want to know more about The Sims 4? Here are some useful guides and resources to get you started!

The Community – Center of How to Play Sims 4 Guides!

Want to find out more about The Sims and the community? You can join players on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and even Discord! Share your stories, highlights, lowlights and more with players around the world!

Want to get connected? Click the image below and join us on Discord!

Sims Community Discord
Sims Community Discord

As this how to play Sims 4 guide comes to an end, there are plenty of ways for you to discover how to Play With Life. Getting started is easy and with the handy points that have been covered in this guide, you’ll find plenty of ways to expand on your own experience in game, create stories, memories and more!

About the author

Krista

Hey, I'm Krista! Long time Simmer and Sims Community Staff. You'll usually find me hanging out in our Discord, in-game or creating articles!

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