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Sims 4 Neighbourhood Stories System explained

We say explained, we mean that this is the official blog post released by The Sims team after the Neighbourhood Stories update.

The text below is taken from the official Sims blog post for the Neighbourhood Stories update. You can find the official update notes for the patch that added these changes to The Sims 4 base game was released on 15 March 2022 over here.

Hello, Simmers! Nate here again. As promised, I am back to update you on Neighbourhood Stories!

First, a quick refresher about why I think Neighbourhood Stories are a great addition to The Sims 4 (and super cool, though I am admittedly biased.) The base game is packed with interesting moments that lead to all kinds of life change for individual Sims. However, the Sims living in the active household have the potential to experience so much more life change compared to their Neighbour Sims.

Last November, we rolled out a free update that added a set of life changes for Neighbour Sims who have a personal connection to the active household. You can read all about that in my previous post about Neighbourhood.

Today, I am excited to update you on the new additions to Neighbourhood Stories as we continue to build upon this feature over time.

Neighbourhood Stories System for The Sims 4

The first major addition is life changes for all Neighbour Sims, with or without relationships to the active household. The new Neighbourhood Stories System opens up interesting, autonomous changes all over the world.

?What changes?? you might ask. Neighbour Sims everywhere may now:

  • Adopt young Sims into their household, aged between infant and children.
  • Become pregnant with their Significant Other, and eventually deliver. Family-Oriented Sims are more likely to do this, while Noncommittal Sims are less likely. If a Sim or their SO Hates Children, they will never do this.
  • Some Sims may instead adopt a dog or cat (requires The Sims 4 Cats and Dogs).
  • Join and leave careers. Sim Traits heavily influence these decisions. Elder Sims may decide to retire.
  • Households can move into and out of lots.
  • Die in different kinds of accidents, depending on risk factors such as Age, Traits, and Career.

All these life changes let Neighbour Sims have richer, fuller lives that evolve over time. They grow up in a family, get jobs, move around, raise children, and eventually die (possibly before their time!)

Some of these changes are obviously more significant than others. *cough*death*cough* This brings us back to the second major addition to Neighbourhood Stories?

Configuring Neighbourhood Stories in The Sims 4

A critical part of the Neighbourhood Stories System is a set of new gameplay controls that allow you to tune which life changes Neighbour Sims can and cannot have.


It all starts in the Manage Households panel:

You choose how Neighbourhood Stories affect your game, so the Neighbourhood Stories System can be configured in a few ways:

  • Independent configurations for My Households vs. Other Households. For each group of households in a particular tab, you can choose to enable or disable each type of life change and even disallow all Neighbourhood Stories for those households. This provides a fast and easy way to decide what happens to played households in My Households, versus Other Households out in the world. (Rotational players, we see you!)
    • By default, Neighbourhood Stories is enabled for Other Households and disabled for My Households. Above all else, we want to avoid unintended changes to long-running games that we know you?ve put a lot of love into! 

When you?re ready to configure Neighbourhood Stories, use this button under the respective tabs for My Households and Other Households.

  • Household-specific configurations. Want even more control? Do you have a vision for which households need which types of life changes? You can make it happen! Each and every household can have its own configuration, allowing you to tailor life changes that make sense to that household?s storyline.
  • Global enable/disable setting. If life changes happening all over the world are just not your thing, that?s okay! Neighbourhood Stories can be entirely disabled under Game Options using the ?Reset Custom Configurations? Button.*

*Neighbour Sim friends will still occasionally call asking for advice about life changes unless your Sim?s phone is on silent.

Like other game options, Neighbourhood Stories configurations exist on a per-save basis. Because each of your saves has its own settings, you can switch back and forth between them without having to re-configure anything. Just load up and let the stories roll!

What Are Neighbouring Sims Up To?

One last thing to note: These life changes are happening out in the world, beyond the active Household. This means that sometimes your Sims will never come in contact with the results of these life changes! Still, even if your Sims don?t see it, maybe you want to know everything that?s happened!

On any mailbox, try the new Check Recent Neighbourhood Stories interaction. You can keep tabs on all the recent Neighbourhood Stories. If you?re so inclined, use that information to visit the Neighbour Sims and see their life changes in person!

sims4 neighbourhood stories how it works 2

I hope both you and your Sims will be delighted and surprised by what happens in the world around you!

Dag dag,