The Sims 4 – What parents need to know

First launched in 2000, The Sims is one of the best-selling video game series of all time and currently has four franchises. The latest being The Sims 4, which has almost 36 million players and delivered its sixth consecutive year of franchise growth.
So, we have outlined what there is to know about the game and how you can help your kids play safely and responsibly.

Overview of The Sims 4 game

Created by Electronic Arts and developed by Maxis, The Sims 4 series was released in 2014. Since then, there have been 11 expansion packs (an add-on you can purchase to provide you with new things to do in the game) released since then, with the latest being Cottage Living.

The Sims 4 is a single-player interactive life-simulation game that gives you the power to create and control your own Sims character. You can create families, build homes, and complete various day-to-day activities such as sleep, eating, working, etc.

There is no defined goal as you are able to make your own decision on what the Sims do.

The game can be played on a PC, Steam, PS4 and Xbox One.

What is the age rating?

It has been given a PEGI rating of 12+.

PEGI defines this rating as ‘ Video games that show violence of a slightly more graphic nature towards fantasy characters or non-realistic violence towards human-like characters would fall in this age category. Sexual innuendo or sexual posturing can be present, while any bad language in this category must be mild.’

What’s great about The Sims 4?

The Sims 4 is the best-selling and longest-running base game of the franchise, drawing in millions of players worldwide. Here are some reasons why it is so popular:

  • Easy to play – A relatively easy to pick up, understand, and play as it doesn’t require much technical thought behind it.
  • Create a Sim – Players can define their Sims physical appearance as well as their personality traits.
  • Sim life and customisation – Players can get lost in the game with the customisation of most of the features such as creating and designing homes. Players can also download ‘Mods’ which are simply game modifications. Some Game Mods may include a new feature, objects, cheat codes and others may just simply fix bugs on the game.
  • Sim language – The Sims act realistic and have their own language called ‘Simlish’ – which has gained popularity among the gaming universes. The popularity of Simlish has even led to Katy Perry recreating one of her songs in the language!
  • Several releases – The Sims franchises range from one to four so there’s plenty of options to choose from.
  • Big community on YouTube – Influencers like to live stream or upload previous recordings of The Sims 4 gameplay. Influencer James Turner has received hundreds of thousands of views for his videos.
  • Twitch community – The Sims 4 is also popular due to its 4.8m followers on their Twitch channel. Their channel offers gamers to watch live streams of the gameplay, get news of new game releases and updates, and other help with the game’s features.
    Not sure what Twitch is? Check out our guide for information.
  • A form of escapism – The Sims 4 allows players to swap their real world for a virtual one which can be a break from their everyday life.

What to watch out for 

Content is generally suitable for ages 12 and up, however, there are certain things to watch out for:

  • Violence – Violence is limited to a ‘slapstick’ or cartoon humour however players can be electrocuted by a plug or die in a fire – 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, so no nudity is shown.
    Characters are censored when they use the bathroom or can be seen in their underwear.
  • In-app purchasing – There are three types of currency: Simoleons, Lifestyle Points, and Social Points, and can be earned in the game by sending the Sims to work for example. Although there are various ways to earn these currencies in the game, all three currencies can be purchased from the online store.

Tips to help children play safely & responsibly

Create a child EA account

Child accounts limit access to features like online multiplayer modes, purchases, and social media connections. Found out how you can create a child account here.

Enable parental controls

If you play games on Xbox or PlayStation, your Xbox Live or PlayStation Network account has settings to control in-game purchases.

Encourage children to take regular breaks

You can do this by setting an alarm or using the controls on the console or platform that they are using to help them better manage how much time they spend gaming. See our gaming how-to guides to get started.

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