Whenever a new expansion comes out for the current version of The Sims, fairweather fans leap to reinstall the game and blow the dust off their old virtual households. There’s no shame in it; dipping in and out makes sense for all but the most enthusiastic fans. Now that The Sims 4 Get to Work has been released, you too may feel the need to catch up on some of what you’ve missed since the game’s release last fall—especially when it comes to mods. It can be nearly impossible to keep up with the variety available even when you’re checking on a regular basis, but considering just how much they can improve your game experience it’s definitely worth the time to dig them up. In case you’re not sure where to even start, here are a few great community mods to ease you back into The Sims 4.
If you’re the kind of player who forgets to save your progress early and often, you’ll probably be grateful to have Temptest’s Daily Save Mod installed in your game. The Sims 4’s native autosave feature has only one slot, meaning that if you aren’t manually saving it will be very hard to backtrack and undo any fatal mistakes you may set into motion. Daily Save automatically saves your game at a set time every day, cycling between seven separate slots to ensure you have plenty of backups in case anything goes horribly awry.
This mod by Shimrod101 is a must-have for those who like to snap pictures of sims and their environments. By default, when your camera gets too close to something in The Sims 4 it will fade away smoothly. Unfortunately the distance at which this starts to happen is a little too generous, so it can be tricky to get a good screenshot when you’re in close quarters. The downside of this mod is that the camera will clip through things instead. You can accidentally end up with some funky geometry in your pics as a result, but if you’re serious about your screenshots it’s an acceptable trade.
There was a point when I might have considered Menaceman44’s Costume Fix as the answer to a problem that didn’t really need solving. The “Up All Night” content upgrade for The Sims 4 includes some strange costumes that are flagged so sims wandering around town can wear all or part of them. This leads to the occasional awkward encounter with a clown or a hotdog on the street—exactly the kind of interaction that defines The Sims, as far as I’m concerned. But it seems that the piece that gets the most use is the hot dog hat, and I could not be more sick of seeing it around. People in suits, dresses, all manner of outfits will stroll down the street, their heads encased in a rounded beige meat helmet. Suffice it to say that it’s lost its zany novelty, so a mod that removes these components from NPC wardrobes is a welcome sight.
Given that the newly released Sims 4 expansion adds several new jobs and ways to earn money to the game, it might seem strange to recommend this mod by Plastibox. The fact is that there’s nothing exclusively “teenish” about The Sims 4’s teen careers. Sometimes full-time jobs don’t suit your sims’ needs. Maybe they have a large household to manage, or maybe they just need to earn a little extra cash on the side until their art starts earning enough to support them. Roles like child care, food service and manual labor may be a perfect fit for some, regardless of age. This may be getting a bit too real, now that I think about it. Regardless, this mod is worth having installed if only to increase your available options.
Update: Mea culpa! It turns out that EA reintroduced the MoveObjects cheat to The Sims 4 in an update last December. Sims fans typing the old cheat code in out of habit will still come up empty-handed, however, since the code itself has been changed to “bb.moveobjects”. Enter that into the cheat console (Ctrl+Shift+C) and you’ll be good to go even without this mod installed.
If you were a savvy builder or decorator in The Sims 3, then the MoveObjects On cheat was your very best friend. It allowed players to place things in-world closer than the game would otherwise allow, and it was most often used to make rooms feel less spread out and more cozy. Clutter in particular (decorative objects used to make a space feel more lived in) went hand in hand with MoveObjects On. The removal of this cheat code from The Sims 4 has ruffled feathers, and even quarter-tile placement mode (which can be toggled on with F5) just isn’t good enough. This mod by TwistedMexi brings it back, and it’s been tremendously well received as a result.
The most extreme uses of EVOL_EVOLVED’s assorted slider mods are sure to be an acquired taste. Sims with gigantic bobbleheads, super-charged biceps or noses a toucan would be jealous of aren’t going to make their way into every player’s game. However, beyond the cartoonish excess is a practical purpose. The Sims 4 only lets you drag a sim’s features so far before it will stop you from going any further, even when you may only want to go a teeny tiny bit further. This is meant to make it easier to make a “normal” looking human, but if you’re fairly comfortable with your character creation skills then taking off the training wheels with this mod can allow you to create even more unique and varied sims.
One of the most persistent issues when you’re building in The Sims 4 is finding just the right window for a given wall space. That’s particularly true if you want more modern framing, since the windows available overwhelmingly favor soft suburban and twee cottage treatments. As much as I wanted to avoid getting too deep into the vast and wildly subjective world of custom content, Mutske’s Modular Windowset is too useful not to mention. These windows take up one tile space each, and when positioned together will form large seamless panes. They’re ridiculously versatile, so if you enjoy experimenting in Build Mode they’re well worth your time.
As I said, I didn’t want to devote too much of this list to custom content like furniture, clothing and so on because it relies so heavily on taste that it’s difficult to include in something like this. But with that said, I just couldn’t write this without including the Hijab Scarf by LumiaLover. Hijabs are an everyday wardrobe staple for millions of people on earth, so it’s a bit absurd that The Sims has never (at least to my recollection) included one in its official content sets. Thankfully, that’s exactly what modders are for.
This isn’t quite a game mod, but rather a handy tutorial from SimsCommunity.net on how to extract some of the sim and household images that are created when you play. Both the bright, cheerful portraits taken of the household when you create them and the emotional sim portraits that change constantly in the lower left corner of the screen are stored in the game’s cache, and it’s a simple enough task to extract them as crisp images with transparency to use for avatars or YouTube thumbnails or blog posts or whatever your heart desires.
This mod by DrChillgood is absolutely not on this list just because the phrase “Emotional Poop Text” is pure gold. It is pure gold, but that’s beside the point. This mod alters a few different things, but the most important change it makes is allowing sims to use an otherwise broken toilet to avoid wetting themselves in public. Your sim will get a debuff for using the facilities until they’re unclogged (and unclogging a toilet will not raise their Handiness skill, because why should it?) but toilet malfunctions will be a lot less dramatic than they are by default. Let’s just call it a commitment to realism.
Janine Hawkins is a games writer based in sunny Canada. You can find her written and video work on HealerArcherMage.com or follow her on Twitter @bleatingheart.