Sims 4 CC: Maxis Match and Alpha explained

New to CC in The Sims 4 and wondering what the difference between Alpha and Maxis Match is? Here’s a quick explainer.

If you are new to playing The Sims 4 – or just new to using Custom Content – you’ll probably see the words “Maxis Match Custom Content” or “Alpha Custom Content” at some point during your CC splurges.

There is a lot of Sims  4 CC out there and it can feel a little overwhelming trying to figure it all out at first. Fortunately, it is much easier than it looks.  

We’ve slowly been working on curating our Maxis Match CC finds for The Sims 4, but if you first want to get your head around what that even means – let’s get started.

Sims 4 Custom Content (CC) explained

Let’s begin with the very basics and first answer the question: what is Sims 4 Custom Content? Sims 4 CC is simply content for the Sims 4, ranging from Create-a-Sim items to Build/Buy items and everything else – that was not created by EA. CC is not quite the same as mods – mods are files that change the way the game works (but that’s a lesson for another day).

The difference between Sims 4 Maxis Match and Alpha CC

Sims 4 Alpha CC is custom content that looks more ‘realistic’. It doesn’t have to fall into a specific category like skin tones for CAS or furniture, it simply means the texture and meshes that are used in this type of custom content are often more ‘realistic’ looking.

Alpha CC for The Sims 4 works best on higher-spec machines, because of the graphic demands it puts on the game.

Sims 4 Maxis Match CC, meanwhile, is content that blends in better with the textures already in the game. While many creators will still make new meshes and textures for their Maxis Match CC, these will not look as “real” as Alpha CC.

With CC hair, for example, Sims 4 Maxis Match CC will often use the same colour palettes as the game itself. Alpha CC will use custom textures and tones that look more ‘glossy’ rather than matte.

Don’t get us wrong, though, there’s plenty of Maxis Match CC that adds some much-needed realism to The Sims 4. Creators have added things like Vitiligo skin tones and additional wrinkles, tattoos and whole lot of other stuff that fall into the “Maxis Match CC” category to the game.

Before the recent skin tone overhaul, Maxis Match CC creators helped players make their games more diverse and inclusive with custom skin tones.

Maxis Match CC also includes recolours to existing game items or some changes to existing items. This can include things like a Sims 4 base game bookshelf that has had all the items on it removed or a clothing item that has had a swatch added to it.

You can see some of the differences between the two CC options more clearly in the video below. The video is made by YouTuber Elliandra and it is also where we got the cover image for this article from.

The two styles of CC for The Sims 4 are notably different and many players prefer one to the other. That does not mean you can’t mix and match the two, of course – many players do.

For both Maxis Match and Alpha CC for The Sims 4, you should always make sure you read the creator notes. If items are recoloured – whether that is an in-game item or something from another creator – you might require a specific pack or mesh in order for the item to show up in your game.

If you have issues with your CC, read our quick guide for an easy way to fix broken CC in The Sims 4.


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