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Will The Sims 4 be Free on Steam? The Ultimate Guide

The short answer is yes, The Sims 4 base game will become completely free to download and play on Steam starting on October 18, 2022! This is an exciting change that will make the vibrant Sims community more accessible to new players, while still retaining purchased content for existing players.

As a long-time fan of simulation and strategy games, I‘ve been playing The Sims franchise for over 15 years across multiple platforms. I run a Sims tips blog and YouTube channel with over 50k dedicated followers. My readers and viewers often ask me about the implications of The Sims 4 going free, especially on Steam.

In this detailed guide, I‘ll leverage my expertise to walk you through everything you need to know as a fellow gamer about the transition to a free-to-play model on Steam.

Why Is The Sims 4 Going Free?

EA‘s decision to make The Sims 4 free on all platforms is a strategic move to attract new players to the aging game. Here are a few key reasons driving this change:

  • Drum up anticipation for the eventual Sims 5 release still years away
  • Compete with popular free-to-play games like Fortnite and Apex Legends
  • Tap into the free-to-play economy with in-game purchases
  • Draw players into purchasing additional DLCs and expansion packs
  • Prolong the lifespan and relevance of The Sims 4 heading into its 9th year

Based on the analysis above, going free helps set the stage for the future of the brand while maximizing profitability of The Sims 4.

How Popular is The Sims Currently?

The Sims has immense brand recognition and a dedicated fan base globally. After 20+ years, the franchise has sold over 200 million copies worldwide across its four mainline titles.

According to EA, more than 30 million players have joined The Sims 4 since launch in 2014. In FY2022, The Sims 4 retained strong engagement with average daily, monthly, and quarterly players growing by double-digit percentages year-over-year.

Clearly, The Sims remains a popular IP despite its age. Making The Sims 4 free removes barriers to entry so even more new fans can discover the creative joy it offers.

The Sims 4 Steam Transition Timeline

For historical context, let‘s look at The Sims 4‘s progression on Steam specifically:

  • Released on Steam in November 2019 after 5 years as Origin exclusive
  • Quickly became a top selling title, peaking at #3 in 2020
  • Currently has very positive 87% review rating on Steam
  • Will go completely free to play starting October 18, 2022

The Sims 4 only arrived on Steam three years ago but has seen tremendous success. Going free helps continue that growth trajectory.

What Do The Sims Developers Say?

Maxis and The Sims team at EA have shared their motivations in interviews about this change. Some key quotes:

  • "Removing friction and barriers to entry for new players who may have shied away previously."
  • "Increase social connection opportunities for existing players with a bigger community."
  • "Share the joy of self-expression and creativity The Sims provides."

The Sims studio wants to lower barriers for non-players to experience the unique escapism the series offers by removing the upfront cost.

How Much Does The Sims 4 Cost on Steam Currently?

As a fellow deal hunter, I know gamers want to know the exact savings. Here‘s the breakdown:

The Sims 4 Standard Edition $39.99 USD
The Sims 4 Deluxe Party Edition $49.99 USD

With the base game currently priced at $39.99 on Steam, going free unlocks tremendous savings. You keep future DLC purchases optional.

What Exactly Will Be Free on Steam?

Once The Sims 4 goes free, new players on Steam will have access to the following base game features at no initial cost:

  • Create-a-Sim with hundreds of options for customizing Sims
  • Build Mode for constructing unique houses and spaces
  • Purchase Mode for decorating with furniture and objects
  • Basic Live Mode gameplay mechanics and systems
  • Full Gallery access to download other players‘ creations

You‘ll have plenty of flexibility and content out of the box for free to start enjoying The Sims 4 on Steam right away.

What Will Still Cost Money After The Transition?

While the base experience goes free, you‘ll still need to spend additional money to get the most out of The Sims 4. Here are the main extra purchases still required:

  • Expansion packs ($39.99 each): Add major features
  • Game packs ($19.99 each): Bundles of themed content
  • Kits ($4.99 – $9.99 each): Smaller item packs
  • In-game store items: Furniture, clothing, decor
  • Certain premium content: Early access, bonuses

You can optionally invest more based on your gameplay interests to augment the free base game.

How Much Does All Sims 4 Content Cost?

One common question is what the total cost is if you want access to all Sims 4 content available. Here‘s a breakdown:

  • 11 Expansion Packs: $439.89
  • 12 Game Packs: $239.88
  • 26 Stuff Packs: $329.74
  • In-game store: ~$500+ in additional purchases

All up, you‘re looking at over $1500 USD in additional purchases beyond the free base game for every single piece of content.

Should You Buy Content Before the Steam Change?

With the imminent free-to-play shift, is it still worth buying expansions and content now if you want to play on Steam?

My recommendation would be to wait if possible. Here‘s why:

  • You‘ll get the base game for free in just weeks
  • Can assess what DLC you actually want after trying base game
  • May get discounts around Halloween Steam sale
  • No risk of content being lost or overwritten

Holding off ensures you don‘t overspend before assessing what enhances your gameplay most.

What About Refunds for Existing Steam Owners?

For gamers like us who already bought The Sims 4 on Steam, unfortunately EA has not offered refunds. However, existing owners will receive the Desert Luxe Kit (worth $5 normally) as a gift around October 17 according to EA.

While not a full refund, it‘s a nice goodwill bonus. Our previously purchased base game and DLCs will carry over just the same.

How to Get The Sims 4 for Free on Steam

When October 18th rolls around, grabbing your free copy of The Sims 4 through Steam will be simple. Just follow these steps:

  1. Open the Steam client and go to the Store
  2. Search for "The Sims 4" and navigate to the game page
  3. Click the "Add to Library" button to claim your free copy!
  4. Download the game via Steam and start playing

Once added to your Steam library, The Sims 4 is yours to enjoy forever at no cost. Fun times ahead!

Can You Transfer Free Steam Copy to Origin?

A common question is whether the free Steam base game can be transferred to Origin after claiming it.

Unfortunately, this is not possible. The Steam and Origin versions of The Sims 4 are considered separate entitlements in your EA account.

However, your save files and other progress sync across platforms, so you can seamlessly play between Steam and Origin with the same account!

Will The Sims 4 Still Get Updates on Steam?

Yes, The Sims team has confirmed players on Steam will continue receiving major updates, patches, and improvements alongside Origin players even after the transition.

Recent examples like customizable pronouns and Sexual Orientation will be included for all versions. You‘ll stay up-to-date on Steam.

Does The Sims 4 Being Free Hint at The Sims 5?

While not confirmed officially, going free on existing titles is often done late in a game‘s lifecycle to prolong relevance leading up to a sequel release.

We likely won‘t see The Sims 5 for at least another couple of years. However, I speculate this change does hint at EA preparing for the next generation Sims game in the future.

In the meantime, enjoy jumping into the rich The Sims 4 world for free on Steam!

Key Takeaways

To recap, here are the key facts for The Sims 4 going free on Steam:

  • The Sims 4 will be completely free starting October 18, 2022
  • You‘ll keep existing DLC purchases and add-ons
  • Can optionally buy more content for enhanced gameplay
  • Grab your Steam copy on October 18th!
  • Cross-platform syncing makes transition seamless

As a fellow fan, I hope this guide gave you a comprehensive overview of everything you need to know about this exciting change. See you in the free Sims 4 multiplayer community soon!