Learn how to live off the grid in The Sims 4!
Did you know there’s a base game lot challenge in The Sims 4 called Off The Grid that forces your Sims to live completely without electricity or plumbing? If you didn’t, you do now! Living off the grid can be a fun challenge for players but it’s not exactly obvious how to make the most of this lifestyle. There’s no in-game tutorial to walk you through this particular lot challenge, so we’re going to explain how it all works!
Living Off the Grid in The Sims 4
Enable the Lot Challenge
In order to start living an off the grid lifestyle, you’ll first need to enable this lot challenge. In Build/Buy, open the lot info section in the top left corner and click on the silver trophy to see available lot challenges. Then select Off the Grid from the list.
When you re-enter Live Mode with this lot challenge active, you’ll receive a notification informing you that your household has been disconnected from the power grid. Objects that use electricity won’t work anymore. Your Sims will have to find ways to live without electricity. This might feel like a daunting task at first but once you figure out a daily routine, it becomes easier to live an off the grid lifestyle.
Allowed and Disallowed Objects
Once you’ve disconnected your household from the power grid, you’ll need to make significant changes to your home. None of your lights, appliances, electronics, or plumbing will be functional. You need to swap them out for different versions of these items that are compatible with the off the grid lot challenge.
How do you know which objects are functional off the grid in The Sims 4? Build/Buy has an Off the Grid section! This section of the catalogue contains objects from the lights, plumbing, and appliances categories that are functional with this lot challenge active. They include items like candles, wood-burning stoves, pantries, and ice box fridges.
Any objects purchased from this section do not require electricity or plumbing and can be used on lots that are not connected to the power grid.
Just because you own Off the Grid friendly objects, that doesn’t always mean they will function exactly the same way as objects powered by electricity. Some objects have limited functionality. Others require your Sims to maintain them properly.
For example, off the grid fridges in The Sims 4 won’t keep anything cool unless your Sims make sure the ice box is restocked regularly. Click on your fridge and hover over the Add Ice option to see how much ice is still available. If it’s running low, add more ice to the fridge. Food kept in off the grid fridges that have run out of ice will spoil at the same rate as if they were sitting on a counter. A fridge fully stocked with ice lasts about 24 hours so make sure to check the fridge every day.
Cooking off the grid is a new challenge, too. While Sims can use certain off the grid grills and stoves to cook without electricity, some recipes won’t be available. Apparently, The Sims Team thinks people didn’t bake anything in ovens before we harnessed the power of electricity, so recipes that require the oven portion of your stove cannot be made. We guess bread and cakes didn’t exist before 1879…
Conserving and Gathering Water
Food storage and cooking aren’t the only lifestyle changes while living off the grid in The Sims 4. They’ll need to consciously conserve water, too. Some sinks and baths have limited functionality. Sims are restricted to quickly washing their hands and taking quick and tepid baths. These quick, tepid baths don’t get your Sims fully clean and can leave them with uncomfortable moodlets. Some Sims may get positive moodlets from conserving water, too. If your Sims want a full, proper bath, they will have to gather water themselves.
Sims can gather water from any natural body of water. Ponds, rivers, and lakes can all have water collected from them. Click on any of these water sources to collect water. Collecting water gives the household 5 units of water. Collected water can then be used for bathing.
Sims 4 Off the Grid: Eco Lifestyle Enhancements
Playing off-the-grid with the base game means your Sims will be living a very rugged lifestyle. This can be plenty of fun but for players who don’t want to sacrifice modern comforts, Eco Lifestyle can help. This expansion allows Sims to produce their own power through green technologies like solar panels, wind turbines, and dew collectors. For Sims who just want to save money and don’t care about their eco footprint, there are also gas-powered generators. These generators can also be powered by bio-fuel from insect farms to be eco-friendly. Multiple eco upgrades can be given to plumbing and appliances to make them eco-friendly, too.
Having green technologies or generators to power your home will allow Sims to use electricity and plumbing off the grid. As long as the power they use does not exceed what they generate, they can live like they’re on-the-grid. If they generate more power than they use, they can make money by selling it back to the power company.
Why Live Off The Grid in The Sims 4?
Living off the grid in The Sims 4 seems like a lot of work. And it is. So why do it? Well, there are big benefits to living off the grid. The biggest benefit is it’s cost-effective. You’ll greatly reduce your bills if you don’t consume any water or electricity. You can keep track of your bills breakdown by clicking on the mailbox. You’ll see exactly how much power you’re producing vs. consuming. Your Sims won’t pay anything for power off-the-grid. They will only pay for their property value.
It’s also just a good challenge, especially when you’re not playing with Eco Lifestyle. Not having green tech available forces your Sims to live a very rough, outdoorsy lifestyle. This can be a great change of pace from the predictability of everyday life in The Sims.
Lastly, it’s great for history saves! Simmers who enjoy playing the History Challenge or the Decades Challenge will love this lot challenge! It helps their Sims live lives that are more authentic to earlier time periods.
Looking for an entirely off-the-grid world? We turned Henford-on-Bagley into a medieval village!