The Sims 4 offers many unique features designed to mimic real life but better. Obviously, the Sims themselves are at the center of the game. Without Sims, there is literally no life within the game. Some players like to make themselves in the Sims, while other players like to use the Create a Sim (CAS) function to create fictional characters. These Sims develop personalities based on the traits that they have as well as their careers, their relationships, and their upbringing.
While the major appeal of The Sims 4 comes from creating and playing with the Sims, many players like the Build Mode more than anything else. In The Sims 4, players can design, build, and decorate their own buildings. For the most part, this means building homes for their Sims to live in. This is one of the aspects of the game that truly allows players to express their creativity.
Building a house from scratch can be a daunting task, though. For new players, keeping it small at first is probably the best way to learn. There’s no reason to tackle a huge construction project just to find that the house looks like one big rectangle. The bigger and more luxurious the home, the more complicated the build process will be. Every player has to start somewhere, but there are tips, tricks, and cheats that will help anyone achieve a beautiful home. This guide will go over some of the best ways to build a spectacular house without frustration.
1. The MoveObjects Cheat Is A Lifesaver
Moveobjects is a cheat that allows for far more customization and style while building. The good news is this cheat is available on PC, Mac, and console, so anyone can use it.
How to Input Cheat Codes On All Platforms:
- PC: Hold CTRL and Shift, then press C
- Mac: Hold Command and Shift, then press C
- PlayStation: Hold the four shoulder buttons at the same time (L1 + L2 + R1 + R2)
- Xbox: Hold the four shoulder buttons at the same time (LB + LT + RB + RT)
Once players have opened the menu to input cheat codes, they’ll need to type “bb.moveobjects” into the bar. This will activate the moveobjects cheat and it will save a Sims 4 builder’s life. With moveobjects, players can move their furniture wherever they want, even if that means overlapping another object. Traditionally speaking, The Sims 4 works on a grid system, so if one item interferes with another item’s grid, they won’t be able to sit comfortably together. Moveobjects negates that worry entirely.
With moveobjects active, players can scale items into places they shouldn’t be. It extends beyond the items’ grids overlapping. Players can place items on top of other items, even if the game wouldn’t normally allow for that. This will probably interfere with the Sims’ ability to interact with the item. If the player decides to put a chair on top of a table for some reason, the Sim physically won’t be able to reach the chair to sit on it. Despite this limitation, this cheat can be used to make attractive decor layouts that wouldn’t be achievable with the base game’s mechanics.
2. Move Items Off the Grid
Once players have moveobjects enabled, they’ll be able to take their customization to the next level by moving items off The Sims 4 grid.
To Move Items Off Grid:
- PC: With moveobjects activated, hold down the ALT key while moving an item
- MAC: With moveobjects activated, hold down the option key while moving an item
- PlayStation: With moveobjects activated, hold down L2 while moving an item
- Xbox: With moveobjects activated, hold down LT while moving an item
With this cheat, players have complete control over where they place an item, if it overlaps with another item, and how they rotate the item. The item in question will no longer snap to the grid. It’s important to remember that if an item is moved off the grid, it can clip. For example, if the player tries to move something too close to the foundation of their house, the item will start to lift off the ground.
Designers remove the limitations of the base game’s Build Mode by combining the moveobjects cheat with the move items off-grid option. This helps things look more natural, as they might in real life. It also gives builders the chance to hide mistakes. If there’s a flaw in the build that can’t be removed without compromising the entire structure, they can stick a decoration in front of it to mask the error.
3. The Curb Appeal Makes the Difference
It’s easy for players to get stuck focusing on the interior of their builds. After all, this is where the Sims will spend most of their time. Sims need to live in their homes, which include all sorts of activities. Daily necessities like cooking, bathing, and sleeping all happen inside the house, so having nice kitchens and bedrooms is important. Sims also spend a lot of their leisure time relaxing or doing hobbies inside their homes, so the interior needs to be homey and inviting.
That said, the exterior of the house is just as important as the interior. Curb appeal is the first impression of any home, real or virtual, so making a good impression is important. There are some important features that make a house look and feel luxurious. Paying attention to details on the roof is a good place to start. Since the roof is often clipped out of the frame so players can see through the house, it’s easy to forget about it. Make sure to craft a beautiful and sensible roof that compliments the house. The game has loads of options for different shapes and tiles.
Other ways to make an impressive house include adding features like porches and gardens. Note that the house pictured above has two porches that run the length of the house’s first and second floors. There’s also a peek of another one that wraps around the back. These porches make the house look more grand and add lots of usable floor space for the Sims too. These areas are great for creating sitting areas, socializing, and grilling outside.
Players can also choose to add a garden or foliage to their yard. Building a beautiful garden around the house amplifies the curb appeal. The nicer the exterior of the house, the happier the Sims will be to live there. Not to mention, they’ll impress all their fellow Sims.
4. Play Around with Water Features
One easy way to add sophistication to any build is to add a water feature. Water features can be built into pools to make a pool area more luxurious or they can stand alone. Water features can also exist inside and outside a home. Depending on what kind of build and vibe the player’s going for will dictate how a water feature is used, where it’s placed, and what style to make it.
The modern aesthetic of the image above features a massive pool that wraps around the front of the house. The pool is framed with a pathway that looks like a sunken extension of the pool. Thanks to its unique shape, placement right in the front of the house, and the way it curves inside the house, the pool can easily be mistaken for a giant water installation. This makes the pool as beautiful as it is functional. This, of course, is just one example of the endless ways a water feature can be utilized, but it instantly adds a feeling of glamor to any space.
5. Pick a Cohesive Theme for the House
When building and decorating a home, one of the easiest ways to make sure it looks cohesive is to pick a theme. There’s no limit to what players can choose for their builds. They can keep it really generic by simply picking a style or color scheme. Choose something like Gothic or modern to dictate what the build looks like and what sort of accessories go into it. Players can go as complex or as simple as they want with their theming. For example, players could decide to build a Gothic-themed castle for their vampire character. The image above depicts a Swamp Witch Cottage.
Other players may choose to take inspiration from other sources of media. Rather than stick with a style or a color pallet, they can model their home after something else they’re passionate about. Builders have created Star Wars and Marvel-themed builds, for example. This option can be a bit more complex and may require the use of mods and custom content (CC), but mimicking the style of something else the player loves can make for the most rewarding build.
6. Make Stairs Beautiful & Functional
Stairs are one of the most important aspects of any multi-level home. Naturally, in order to move from one floor to the next, the Sims need a staircase to walk up and down. Unless they have their own personal elevator, Sims won’t be able to access the upper floors of their house without stairs. Unfortunately, it’s really easy for stairs to be a necessary eyesore rather than a feature of the home. One of the best ways to make a Sims 4 build look great is to map out exactly where the stairs are going to go and find beautiful ways to integrate them. This could be a grand staircase in the entry of a home, a spiral staircase tucked into the corner of a room, or a staircase that wraps around the edge of a room and opens to a beautiful landing.
This sounds like such a simple tip, but beautiful stairs do make or break a home. They shouldn’t be an afterthought. Don’t build multiple floors with the mentality of figuring out where the stairs go later. When considering a multi-level home, stairs should be one of the first concerns. No matter where they go, they will be something that their Sims have to look at and use every day. More importantly, the builder will have to look at them too. If they’re an ugly afterthought, the builder will never be happy with their house. With how many stair options The Sims 4 has, that should never be a problem.
7. Utilize Half-walls & Platforms
When it comes to designing home interiors, it’s easy to fall into the trap of just making rectangular rooms. There’s nothing essentially wrong with that. Most houses are made up of square and/or rectangular spaces that the residents fill with furniture and decor to make the place seem more lively. True architecture isn’t quite so simple, though, and just making squares over and over again will get boring no matter what the player fills it with.
In order to help break up the space and help give individual rooms or open floor plans more dimension, players should consider utilizing half-walls and platforms. Half-walls are great for breaking up spaces in a way that’s both functional and aesthetic. This is a great option for separating a dining space from a living space in an open-concept home. Half-walls can also be great for separating attic or basement spaces. For example, if an attic has a TV area, a play area for the kids, and an office area, half-walls could separate these spaces. This keeps the flow of the house open but still allows for each designated area to have its own space.
Platforms are another interesting way to separate spaces. For example, when designing a bedroom, many people like to build a platform for the sleeping area to separate it from the rest of the room. Players can use platforms to house pianos or add interesting display spaces for massive artwork. Platforms are beautiful ways to add function to a home. Platforms can even be used to create split-level homes.
8. A House Should Feel Lived In
One of the most important aspects of a home is to make it feel lived in. Essentially, this means that there should be more than the bare necessities. Bathrooms should have towels, toothbrushes, and toiletries. Kitchens should have small appliances, dishes, and maybe a cookbook or two. Bedrooms should have blankets and personal belongings. Homes should feature what the Sims who live there are passionate about. If the Sims have children, there should be toys everywhere. Pet owners should have pet accessories in the home. If they’re artists, there should be art supplies and maybe a studio set up somewhere.
At the end of the day, a house that only has furniture and aesthetic decor will never feel lived in. There needs to be books, collectibles, photos, and hobby supplies around the house to make it feel like an actual home. Some homes, like modern-styled homes, may have minimal decor to keep in line with the theme. That said, even these homes should have evidence that someone lives there.
9. Take Advantage of Mods & Custom Content
Unfortunately, this tip only applies to people who play The Sims 4 on a PC or Mac. Console players can’t mod their games the same way that computer players can. If the player is on a computer, though, they can take advantage of mods and custom content (CC) made by fellow Sims players. CC exists for everything. Players can download hairstyles, makeup, and outfits for the Create a Sim (CAS) mode, but they can also download special furniture, fabrics, and accessories that will help them build a beautiful home.
Players who take advantage of CC will be able to achieve builds that players who don’t could never dream of. CC can also make picking and sticking to a theme easier. If, for example, a player wants to build a Star Wars-themed house, then they can search for Star Wars CC created for The Sims 4. With these extra options, they might be able to have an army of Stormtroopers or replicate the interior of the Millennium Falcon.
10. Scale Objects for a Variety of Size Options
The Sims 4 allows players to scale furniture and decor to make them larger. This is a great way to get a variety of shapes and sizes for the decor in and around the house. Technically speaking, players can make the items as large as they want, so they have free reign to do just about anything with these items. This works exceptionally well with plants, lighting, and small decor that could be used to fill a bigger space.
Scaling furniture makes filling empty spaces seem a bit less daunting. This gives players control over exactly how large every piece in their build is. It’s important to keep in mind that if the player decides to make the item too large, it may not fit inside their build. It might also impact how well Sims can interact with and move around the item.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©GameSpot Trailers / The Sims Studio / Electronic Arts / Maxis.