Sims 4 family dynamics
Enjoy more diversity in your sims family
Without a doubt, the greatest expansion pack for The Sims 3 was Generations. There was something special about all the new family build mode items. You could push around your baby in a stroller and there were home videos you could record. It was incredible.
Then, we got The Sims 4. At launch, The Sims 4 didn’t even have toddlers. We just had object babies that would age up straight into children. Then, a few years later when we did get toddlers, we still had object babies. Even the pets from the Cats & Dogs expansion did more than babies.
Sims players have been begging for years for babies to be more than objects. They have been begging for more content for kids and families. Most recently, we finally got the High School Years expansion pack, which gave more for teenagers, but still not a lot for families.
Now, we’re finally getting more content for families, and we’re getting babies that aren’t objects.
On March 14, a free base game update was released introducing the ‘Infant’ life stage, a stage between babies and toddlers. The object babies will still exist, but they’ll age up into infants. The object babies are now referred to as ‘newborns,’ and they get some upgrades too.
For newborns, there is finally a new baby bassinet. We’ve had more than one for a while, but they’re all for occult sims. And even though you can put a human baby in one, you must buy it beforehand. There is also a skin tone upgrade. Before this new update, newborns only had three skin tones they could be; now they have all the same options as other sims. Their eye colour also changes to match what it will be when they grow up. Newborns visually look so much better with this update.
There are also new interactions with new animations. Before the update, any time you wanted to interact with the baby at least twice in a row, you had to put down the baby before the second interaction started. When you don’t know why your baby’s crying and you have to feed them, change them, and rock them all in a row while putting them down in between, it takes a long while. If you have the Seasons expansion, your newborn will respond to extreme weather if they aren’t sheltered. Finally, you can leave your baby out in a snowstorm like you could in The Sims 3. There’s also a new interaction for babies called ‘entertain’ that’s only available for kids and toddlers.
Back to infants: the create-a-sim feature for them has brand-new options, and some old favourites we’ve seen for toddlers. There are about six hairstyles released so far for infants, mostly shorter hair for the younger age group. They can also have birthmarks that can fade or stay as they grow up. Something that I’m really excited about is baby helmets that help shape the infant’s head. Not only that, there are those cute baby glasses that hook around the back. There are six traits total for infants: cautious, sensitive, calm, intense, wiggly, and sunny.
Remember that this is just what happens in create-a-sim – what about in the actual game? First thing’s first, your infant can pick favourites. They can form attachments to their parents or other caregivers, both positive and negative, depending on how often they’re cared for. Depending on their attachments, their moodlets can change. If they trust their caregiver, they’ll cry less, but if they don’t, they’ll cry more. If they form an attachment with a sim, they’ll gain one of three traits: top-notch infant, happy infant, or unhappy infant, which can change how they interact with other sims as they grow up.
Your infants might also not like certain baby foods. You have to try out the different kinds to see what your infant likes and what they don’t like. The build mode for infants comes with toys that they can play with, and other child sims can play games with infants. They also sleep in cribs compared to the newborn’s bassinet and the toddler’s bed. That doesn’t mean they’ll fall asleep easily; you have to try and get your infant to sleep.
With the new update, they’ve finally added a new pregnancy option: surrogacy. In the game they call it a ‘science baby’ and you can have one as a single parent or a couple. It costs 1200 simoleons and all you need to make a science baby with someone else is to either be friends or be in a romantic relationship with them. Your sim won’t be pregnant at all while getting a science baby. They’ll just come home with it and no pregnancy stage will occur.
What about the new family-themed Growing Together pack? What do we get with that? Well, adults can have midlife crises. When they get the notification for it, you can choose to have them follow it or not. If your adult sim works, they can also get a workplace rival to fight against for promotions. Maybe your sims will lose their job since that’s a new feature coming with the pack. They can also get burnt out; if your sims spend too long doing something, they’ll burn out and need a break.
Additionally, there are three new social events that are family themed. There’s the family reunion where you can bring anyone from your family tree, a baby shower to celebrate the new bundle of joy joining the family, and the slumber party event for your kids. The pack even comes with sleeping bags for the event.
Something else simmers have been begging for comes to us with the pack: family dynamics. People have always wondered why when you make sims in create-a-sim, they always have good relationships with each other. With this update, you can list them as distant, difficult, jokesters, or close. It’ll change how your sims interact with family members.
More than that though, is a new compatibility system. Sims can be socially compatible with each other, or they can have low compatibility. This can change how sims interact with each other and make their interactions negative or positive more often.
With the new pack also comes a new world: San Sequoia. I know it sounds similar to San Myshuno, but there are no apartments in San Sequoia. This world resembles the city of San Francisco. It comes with 3 neighborhoods and 12 lots.
There’s still probably a lot of surprises coming that we won’t know about until later on. If you’re a Sims fan, make sure you get this update and you check out the new pack if you love family gameplay like I do!