Building Hacks for the Sims 4

Lately, I’ve been getting back into the Sims 4. It’s been about a year since I played with my virtual family, made up of an incredibly ginger me and two randoms. So, instead of picking up where I left off, I decided to start fresh.

Which of course meant I needed a new house.

I recently picked up a few of the older expansions for my game, City Living and Cats and Dogs. And with so many new housing items and possibilities, I wanted to try something I hadn’t really before: I wanted to build my own house from scratch.

You know, one that wasn’t reminiscent of a starter Minecraft abode.

So, after about an hour of sifting through the gallery for design inspiration and discovering that there were a lot of features that wouldn’t download properly even though I had the required items, I decided to look into building options. As it turns out, a lot of those houses likely used cheatswhich can do some pretty cool things.

Here are a few of the handy tricks I discovered for building a less-generic house in the Sims 4!

It’s really, really easy to enable cheats.

Like, really easy. One of the things I’ve decided I really like about the Sims 4 is that the ability to cheat is built right in, so you don’t have to worry about your game getting taken away from you if EA decides to do an audit.

To turn on cheats, all you have to do is press Ctrl + Shift + C, which will open up a little bar at the top. In that little bar, enter your cheat code, and hit Enter. This will enable your cheat.

The two main ones I use are the Move Objects cheat (bb.moveobjects on) and the Show Hidden Objects cheat (bb.showhiddenobjects).

Then, you just press Ctrl + Shift + C again to make the cheats window disappear. Your cheat will still be enabled when you close the window.

The Move Objects cheat is kind of OP.

Once you turn on the Move Objects cheat, you can do a huge amount of things.

Hold AltLets you ignore rules for placing objects on grids
[Lets you shrink objects
]Lets you enlarge objects
0Lets you move objects up slightly
9Lets you move objects down slightly

So if you ever looked at a house in the gallery and wondered how they got an actual car to sit in their Sim’s driveway, it’s just a matter of finding a kid’s model car, and enlarging it a few times so it looks like a real car.

You can also use this to do things like stack couches into sectionals, and so much more!

Pro tip: Although you can shrink and enlarge things like windows and mirrors, it will only affect the frame of the object. It won’t actually change the surface. So you can end up with a big ol’ window frame with an itty-bitty viewing space at the bottom.

The Show Hidden Objects cheat is also super useful.

The whole purpose behind this cheat is to let you buy things from the shop that you wouldn’t normally be able to, like fully-grown fruit trees and ambient lighting.

Once you type its code in, you won’t get a confirmation or anything like you do for other cheats. But when you go to, say, the lighting section in the store, you’ll see a bunch of new ambient lighting options that don’t show when you’re in Play mode.

It’s a small detail, but it’s a great way to avoid using that little puck light every so often so your Sim isn’t living in the dark.

Unfortunately there’s no real way (that I’ve discovered yet) to filter these items, so you’ll have to explore and see what you can find!

It’s best to work with rooms instead of walls.

When I was working on my Sim’s new dream house (which conveniently was based on my own dream house, so I was working from an actual set of blueprints), I stuck to tracing out patterns using the Place Wall tool.

I do not recommend this strategy.

Although it seems like an easy way to get the shapes you want, it does leave you with a series of walls that don’t count as a room. Which means it

  1. Doesn’t get a ceiling, and
  2. Makes it very difficult to place custom roofs.

This is because walls on their own aren’t designed to intercept the roof, so the roof will go right through them into your hallway and block your stairs (may or may not be a specific example from experience). Rooms are designed to be enclosed spaces, so the roof will actually trim itself around the room.

It also makes it much easier to wallpaper and floor your rooms.

It is possible to build custom stairs, but it’s not easy.

One of the biggest selling features of the house design I love so much is its massive curving staircase, highlighted in the round stairwell. Obviously, I wanted to find a way to replicate that.

Turns out short of mods, there’s no real way to build a custom staircase like that in the Sims 4. I also didn’t really find a mod that would do what I wanted, so I decided to stick with the generic double-wide staircase instead and made it work.

There are a few tricks for doing L-shaped stairs in this guide, but I haven’t tried them yet just because the house I was building was almost done by the time I investigated.

So those are the building hacks for the Sims 4 that I’ve discovered so far! Have your own handy hacks? Share them in the comments below!

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