Ever since The Sims 4 launched over six years ago, players have wanted the option to customise the in-game worlds.
Until recently, the option has not been possible without using mods for The Sims 4.
You might have heard about the new Brookheights mod for The Sims 4. It’s an open-world mod that allows you to customise a world, own and drive cars, fill those cars up – and a whole bunch of other things.
But if you are one of the beta testers for the Brookheights mod, you probably noticed that the installation process is quite complicated.
It requires quite a bit of overwriting of your game files and probably isn’t something new or vanilla players want to tamper with.
While there is no doubt this mod is 0nly going to get better, is probably not something players who aren’t used to Sims 4 mods and CC will feel all that comfortable using.
Quick disclaimer. This is by no means criticism of Brookheights. We’re already subscribed on Patreon and have been playing with the Beta – full review to follow but first impressions… it is seriously impressive. This is simply an alternative for players who might not feel comfortable using such high-level mods.
Right, where were we? Oh yes. Mods that make building ‘off lot’ in The Sims 4 possible already.
Another mod that makes it possible to customise worlds in The Sims 4 is the T.O.O.L mod – otherwise known as the Take Objects Off Lot mod.
While this isn’t quite as high-level as the Brookheights mod, it still requires players to be comfortable with using mods in The Sims 4.
Recently, though, it became possible for players to customise Sims 4 worlds without using mods or CC. You will need a few very simple cheats, but it’s well worth it if you want to give your worlds a bit of a makeover.
How to create Sims 4 worlds without mods
The September Sims 4 update came with some interesting additions. A bunch of world objects, most notably building shells, were added to the game’s “live edit” build mode.
The addition of these building shells is one of the big reasons we just wonder whether the next Sims 4 expansion pack might have a “create your own town” theme. After all, it is a theme that featured in a few early surveys about future content.
But you don’t have to wait for an expansion pack like that (if there ever is such a pack) to liven up your Sims 4 neighbourhoods.
You can use these building shells to change the look of your neighbourhood skylines right now.
Customise Sims 4 neighbourhoods with cheats
You do not need any Sims 4 packs to make this work, but the more packs you have , the more options you’ll have for ‘creating’ your own Sims 4world.
First you have to turn on cheats. If you are not familiar with using cheats, you can read our introduction to cheating in The Sims 4.
To customise your Sims 4 worlds, you’ll have to turn on the following cheats:
The shells are not usable by your Sims, but you can get creative by setting different lot types and adding these usable buildings to them to create a very different gaming experience.
The generic lot type allows for a lot of different options to be built on a single lot. You can have a lot of fun with different layouts and different storylines.
After turning on all the cheats mentioned above, you can use the search bar in build mode to search for ** DEBUG ** items. Or, if you are comfortable with mods – you can use Twisted Mexi’s Better Build/Buy mod. It is not required, but it will make things a lot easier.
Once you have found the building shells, you can place them in any lot to create a whole new look for your neighbourhood. If you do not build often, it might take a bit of time to learn how to place these buildings.
The above example places a parking lot for the Eco Lifestyle expansion and a part of one of the uni buildings from the Discover University expansion.
There are loads of options to play around with. You can place the building shells quite close to the edge of the lot boundary and the buildings will remain visible when you switch to the neighbourhood map view.
Just make sure your buildings do not overlap with any of the other shells in close proximity or they will not render properly.
However, in most cases, you will be able to place your buildings ever so slightly outside the boundaries of the lot as you can see below. For this to work properly, you will have to have the move objects cheat turned on.
Here’s a look at how buildings can clip (in this case, the skyscraper is simply too tall to show up properly in Evergreen Harbor).
Antoinette is a recovering journalist, having written for Sports Illustrated, The Guardian, Daily Maverick and others. She has won multiple SAB Journalist of the Year awards, across a variety of categories. She thinks it’s strange writing about herself in the third person, unless she’s playing as herself in The Sims…which she’s been doing for over 20 years.