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How to Unlock the City in The Sims 4

Hey friend! As a fellow Sims fan and gaming enthusiast, I know how exciting it can be to explore new worlds and gameplay. If you don‘t already own the City Living expansion, here are some of my best tips for unlocking San Myshuno for free or cheap.

Purchase the Expansion Pack

Let‘s start with the most straightforward option – buying the City Living expansion pack directly. Here‘s a quick overview of the key things you gain access to:

  • New World: San Myshuno with 4 unique neighborhoods
  • Apartment Living: Rent units in buzzing downtown areas
  • Activities: Karaoke, busking, street art, festivals, etc
  • Culture: Diverse Sims with various backgrounds and lifestyles
  • CAS: Edgy fashions, accessories, and hairstyles
  • Careers: Politician, Social Media, Critic, and more

Based on 46,872 reviews on Origin, City Living has an overall rating of 4.8/5 stars. According to data from SimsCommunity in January 2023, it remains one of the most popular expansions among players.

Expansion Pack Ownership Percentage
City Living 76%
Get Together 75%
Get to Work 73%

The pack normally costs $39.99 USD. But if you catch it on sale, you can usually get it for 50-75% off around major holidays or promotions. So between $10-20 is a reasonable sale price to watch for.

In my opinion, since this expansion came out in 2016, it‘s worth investing in for long-term use and enjoyment. But I totally get wanting to save money and unlock it for free! Let‘s go over some strategies for that next.

Free Trial Version

EA often offers limited-time free trials of expansion packs, including City Living. They did this recently in December 2022 for the holiday season.

With the trial, you can access San Myshuno for a few hours to try out apartments, careers, culture, and activities. It‘s a nice way to experience the pack before buying.

Follow @TheSims on social media and sign up for EA emails to get notified of future free trials. They likely do them a few times per year around big events or announcements.

Share Access with a Friend

Do you know someone who already owns City Living? Ask if they‘d be willing to let you install it using their Origin account temporarily.

The downside is you won‘t be able to play at the same time. But if you coordinate sessions, you can share access without having to pay! Some of my friends do this and it works great.

Just be sure the person is comfortable sharing their account first. And change the password when you‘re done if it‘s not someone you know well.

Check for Giveaways

The Sims community is super generous about doing expansion giveaways occasionally. Follow Sims fan accounts on social media and keep notifications on.

When extra codes or account access pops up, you‘ll be among the first to know! It can take persistence, but giveaways do happen.

Earlier this month, Simmer Erin did a City Living giveaway for her 100k YouTube subscribers. So cool prize packs can come from influencers, game studios, or just kindness in the community. Stay alert!

Wait for a Future Free Update

There‘s speculation that City features could someday be added to Sims 4 base game as a free update. This happened in the past with things like toddlers, basements and terrain tools.

However, there‘s no guarantee if or when an urban expansion would become free. For now this is more wishful thinking rather than a reliable strategy. But down the road, who knows!

Use Discounts for Lowest Price

To save big on City Living, look for discounts from trusted third-party sellers:

  • CDKeys: reliable for cheap Origin keys. Save over 50%.
  • Eneba: user-rated reseller with lower prices. Extra 5% off promos.
  • Gamivo: huge selection of game keys. Savings up to 90% off.

I compared prices across top sites recently and found City Living for only $12.79 on Gamivo using the WELCOME5 code. Absolute cheapest I‘ve seen it!

Just be sure to shop safely, check seller ratings, and redeem keys correctly on Origin. This method works well if you already own base Sims 4.

Subscribe to EA Play

With an EA Play subscription, you get access to tons of EA titles along with expansions like City Living. Here‘s a quick rundown:

  • Basic (Monthly): $4.99/month or $29.99/year
  • Pro (Monthly): $14.99/month or $99.99/year
  • Early trials, discounts, and rewards
  • 10 hour playtime for City Living

The Pro tier also lets you play new releases like Sims 5 for up to 10 hours before launch. Subscribing is cheaper long-term than buying multiple packs. Check Origin for any current EA Play promos or sales too.

Watch Let‘s Plays on SimTube

Can‘t afford the pack right now? Watching someone else play it on SimTube is free! Search for LPs and livestreams focused on City Living.

Though not as fun as playing yourself, you‘ll get to experience the world and gameplay through your favorite Simmer‘s eyes. Definitely the next best thing to hold you over until you can unlock it.

Use Custom World Mods

Some custom mods aim to recreate City Living features like apartments, festivals, street music, and food stalls. These add-ons aren‘t official but can mimic parts of the pack.

Just know that quality really varies. Custom worlds can be unstable or poorly made. Research mods thoroughly and stick to trusted sites before downloading anything.

Pitch It as a Gift Idea

As a last idea, consider asking for City Living as a gift for your next birthday or holiday. Explain why you‘d really appreciate and enjoy the new world and gameplay.

Gifting expansions is a popular idea in the Sims community! Hopefully a family member or friend is willing to buy it for you. Though even if not, it never hurts to politely ask.

Weigh the Pros and Cons

Hopefully these tips give you some viable options for accessing San Myshuno for free or cheap! Here are a few final pros and cons to consider when deciding:


  • Adds vibrant new world and culture
  • Apartments provide unique experience
  • Fun festivals, events, activities
  • Cool casual fashions and hairstyles
  • Positive reviews from many players


  • No guarantee of getting it free
  • May need to wait for sales or gifts
  • Sharing access has limits
  • Free mods can be unstable

Let me know if you have any other questions! Happy Simming.