The short answer is yes, as of October 18, 2022, The Sims 4 base game is now completely free to download and play forever on PC, Mac, PlayStation 4/5, and Xbox One/Series X|S. This is an unprecedented move by EA and Maxis after 8 years, but incredibly exciting news for Simmers new and old!
As a fellow gaming enthusiast, I wanted to provide you with a fully comprehensive guide to what this permanent free-to-play shift means. Read on for key details, insights from my experience playing since launch, and tips to get the most out of this awesome free addition to your library!
Hundreds of Hours of Free Simulation Gameplay
The now free base version of The Sims 4 still provides a massive amount of content and limitless gameplay. When I first picked up the game at launch in 2014, I was able to pour hundreds of hours into the base game alone without any expansions. Here‘s a quick overview of what you can enjoy:
- Fully featured Create-a-Sim with tons of customization
- In-depth Build Mode for constructing your dream houses
- Life simulation gameplay – pursue careers, hobbies, relationships and more
- Basic needs system, emotional states, Sim aging and genetics
- Up to 4 different neighborhoods to explore, each with 5-15 residential lots
New players will have their hands full with all of that. And the best part is there are no arbitrary timers or energy limits – you can play as long as you want!
Paid DLC Adds Even More Options
While the free base game will keep you busy for a long time, Maxis has also released loads of additional content packs over the years that further expand the experience:
- Expansion packs ($39.99) – Major additions like Seasons, Get Famous, Cats & Dogs
- Game packs ($19.99) – Focused features like Dine Out, Parenthood, Outdoor Retreat
- Stuff packs ($9.99) – Extra items and cosmetics, like Laundry Day, Backyard Stuff
- Kits ($4.99) – Smaller bundles of clothes, furniture and décor
None of these are necessary to enjoy the free base game, but they offer great options to customize your experience. I‘d recommend waiting for a sale to pick them up – you can often get 50% off bundles and packages.
The Roadmap Ahead – What We Know So Far
While The Sims 4 going permanently free is historic, what about the future of the franchise? Here‘s a quick roadmap of what to expect next:
The Sims 4
- Maxis plans to keep making DLC packs through at least 2023
- There will likely be 4 more expansion packs, focused on highly requested features from the community
- Support and updates for The Sims 4 will continue for years to come
The Sims 5
- A new core Sims title is in very early development, codenamed "Project Rene"
- Built for next-gen consoles & PC, releasing in next 2-3 years
- Will have major innovations like cross-platform multiplayer
So in summary, The Sims 4 will be the free base platform for new players to enjoy now, while veteran players can expect a steady stream of new content for at least the next year. And when The Sims 5 does finally arrive, The Sims 4 will remain free and supported.
Tips to Get Started with The Sims 4
If you‘re jumping into The Sims for the first time, I wanted to provide some tips to help you get started and make the most out of the new free base game:
- Browse premade Sims and lots – The game comes with tons of premade households and locations to explore as a new player
- Start small – Get comfortable with build & buy modes before making a huge elaborate house
- Enable auto-age – Keeps the neighborhoods progressing if you play one family for a long time
- Explore careers fully – Don‘t just earn promotions, experience all the active career events
- Develop your Sim‘s skills and relationships – Two key ways to open up new gameplay options
The most rewarding way to play is guiding a Sim through their entire life, from young adult to elder. But feel free to experiment – the open-ended gameplay lets you approach it however you want!
An Exciting New Era for The Sims Franchise
As a long-time fan, I couldn‘t be more pleased that new players now get to experience the magic of The Sims 4 for free. It opens up the franchise to a wider audience than ever before. And with continued support and new titles on the horizon, the future is bright for Sims fans!
If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out. I hope you have as much fun with the new base game as I did. Happy Simming!