What to watch out for
Content is generally suitable for ages 12 and up. However, there are certain things to watch out for:
Violence is limited to a ‘slapstick’ or cartoon humour. However, characters can be electrocuted by a plug, die in a kitchen fire or get crushed in a fold-down bed among other deaths. Therefore, it may be unsuitable for very young children.
Nudity and sexual content
Players can make Sims have sex (‘woohoo’ in Simlish), which happens under the sheets or in other hidden places, so no nudity is shown. Characters are censored when they use the bathroom or can be seen in their underwear.
If your credit card information is saved on your EA app or other account you use to play The Sims 4, it is very easy to purchase expansion packs, game packs, stuff packs and kits without always needing to confirm purchase details. Make sure to set spending limits and controls where possible.
Custom content and mods
Independent creators develop additional Create-A-Sim (CAS) or build mode items and gameplay functions that are not regulated by The Sims 4. This content is free and very easy to add into the game.
While some of this content includes different hair or furniture styles, other modifications include ‘realistic’ gameplay. This realism may include nudity, drugs, violence and other actions inappropriate for younger players. Custom content and mods are not available on the console version of the game.
Other Sims games
Since its creation, The Sims has had four instalments of the game, five spin-offs and two mobile versions. Many are still available and played by fans of The Sims and have similar content warnings to The Sims 4.
The Sims 3
Although some diehard fans still play The Sims and The Sims 2, it’s the third instalment that competes more with The Sims 4. When The Sims 4 came out, many didn’t like the limitations, so stayed with The Sims 3. It is available for purchase on Steam, and SimPoints are available for additional purchase. These points buy additional items for the game.
The Sims Medieval
Unlike other games in The Sims franchise, The Sims Medieval sends players and their royal sims on quests with a concrete storyline to follow. It was released in 2011 and has one expansion pack, Pirates and Nobles. The gameplay is quite different and may appeal to those who aren’t fans of The Sims. No other Sims game is required for The Sims Medieval.
The Sims Freeplay
Released in 2011, this mobile lifestyle game is still popular and updated regularly. It’s available on Android and iOS for free. In the game, players earn Simoleons (the currency in The Sims) and Lifestyle points, which can be used to move the game forward. There are also Social points available for purchase with real-life currency.
The Sims Mobile
Based on The Sims 4, The Sims Mobile was released for Android and iOS in 2018. It features multiplayer elements and in-app purchases of SimCash, which is also earned through in-game quests. The microtransactions can also purchase additional items, so require extra diligence.
Tips to help children play safely & responsibly