Thursday, April 18, 2024

8 game-changing challenges in The Sims 4 you need to try

The Sims 4 is a game that is, to be frank, a staple for LGBT+ gamers for many reasons. While it could certainly be improved – where the hell are the pronoun options, EA? – the life-sim does more good than not. Lately, it’s also been the only thing I’ve been able to think of and play without interruption. It’s most likely because of the mods, but it’s also because of the vast amount of The Sims 4 challenges I’ve found on YouTube.

These challenges are, well, exactly what they say on the tin: guides that make The Sims 4 different and more intriguing to play than just another playthrough of happy families. While playing the game that way is perfectly valid, some of us crave the drama of doing things a little differently…

After much research about which challenges are the cream of the crop in The Sims 4, I’ve managed to narrow it all down into a simple list of 8. You’re welcome, Simmers!

1 – The Legacy Challenge

The basic premise of the Legacy challenge is that you start off as a lonely, young adult Sim with only 1,800 simoleons to your name. You move into an empty 50×50 lot, and must get through 10 generations of Sims. This may seem easy at first, but you’ve gotta remember that you’re going to need to build a house from scratch AND get a job. It’s not simple, and as someone who is doing this challenge right now… Oh my god, is it difficult to raise children with less than 100 simoleons to my name.

The Legacy challenge isn’t exactly something that wildly changes The Sims 4, but it does encourage you to keep your current family as a blueprint for your future generations and try out new things through each new generation. After all, who wants their Sims to be successful straight away? The best thing about this game is working your way up to the big leagues in the first place.

And if that doesn’t encourage you to give it a go, you can make it harder by turning short life-span on for your Sims – meaning that your Sims can die in the space of what, three works in-game time? Good luck getting to do everything you want to with that one, folks.

Nothing quite brings you together quite like family (EA Games)
2 – One Sim, 7 Babies Challenge

As someone whose lack of maternal instincts somehow got me playing the Virgin Mary back when I was 6 in a school play, you shouldn’t be surprised that this particular challenge isn’t one that’s personally for me… BUT, I’ve heard that it’s very fun for those of you out there who simply want to put your Sim through living hell.

The rules are simple, you must live in a fairly small home and have one unlucky Sim in charge of the household. You are allowed to have enough money to keep your house stocked and your babies looked after, but nothing over the 5k limit. Oh, and you’re also not allowed to have a job that makes you leave the house. Freelance stuff like sculpting and writing is fair game, but anything else? No siree.

This challenge is pretty simple, but it makes you focus on your child Sims and let’s be honest with one another, they aren’t always the thing we’re most bothered about because drama between children…just isn’t all that interesting, is it? This challenge however is still fun, so be sure to give it a go at least once.

3 – Bachelor/Bachelorette Challenge

Created by popular The Sims 4 creator XUrbanSimsX, the Bachelor/Bachelorette challenge is something that fans of the show will immediately recognize. And if the show is as fun as this challenge makes it sound, maybe I’ll have to start watching it for myself, too…

The full rules can be found here, but the concept is that you create a Sim that is a bachelor/bachelorette that’ll be the heart and soul of the playthrough. Give them a bachelor pad worthy of them – and yes, cheats like motherlode are allowed to be used here to help out – and then grab 7 other Sims to move in with you. You can either create Sims yourself or, to make it extra fun, ask some friends to create some Sims and share them with you. The catch is that all Sims MUST have the Romantic trait.

After you’ve got everything sorted, the game can begin. You can go on dates – group and otherwise – and even have other contestants fall in love with one another (stranger things have happened) outside of your main Sim… But remember, there will be eliminations too.

Sims 4 Challenges
Baby here, baby there, baby everywhere! (EA Games)
4 -The 100 Baby Challenge

While very similar to One Sim, 7 Babies, the 100 baby challenge is even tougher because you’re not allowed to cheat or mod at all. Everything must be done by the book, and you aren’t allowed to adopt babies or create your own. You have to start from scratch from the very beginning!

There are even more rules than that, too. You aren’t allowed to get engaged or married until you aren’t of childbearing age. This means you’ll only be allowed to marry your spouse once you reach your time as an elder, which might actually be bittersweet for your Sims last days now that I think about… Anyway.

It’s quite literally impossible to finish the 100 baby challenge with just one Sim, and all your young adult Sims need to move out the moment they hit a certain age. So, at the time of the predecessor’s death or age to Elderly, the youngest Sim will take their place and continue the challenge until they reach that high, high number of 100.

5 – The Not So Berry Challenge

Now imagine this: The Legacy Challenge but like, make it colourful and actually more harder and oh wait there’s a bazillion more rules! Does that sound interesting to you? That sounds interesting to me, and despite having just started a Legacy challenge, I feel myself itching to instead give the Not So Berry challenge a go.

But what is it? Well, The Not So Berry challenge (from creator Lilsimsie) has you creating 10 different generations of Sims BUT, unlike Legacy, these Sims will be affiliated with a different colour and will have different aspirations/traits that are directly related to that colour. The first generation is Mint, which has you take on the Scientist career and gives you the Mischevious aspiration. You’ll play mostly normal outside of hitting your aspiration challenges, but the moment you have a child you must go onto the next colour.

The only downside of this challenge is that it requires you to have some packs and expansion passes to do the full challenge as it was meant to be played. That said, there’s nothing wrong with twisting the challenge to suit you and what you’re going for – especially when the challenge is so fun!

The Sims 4 challenges
What decade is this?! (EA Games)
6 – The Decades Challenge

The Decades challenge is, again, a challenge that’s a little like the Legacy challenge in that you’ll be focused on one family throughout 10 generations. However, before you click off in disgust, this challenge makes it so that each generation comes from a different decade.

That’s right, your first Sim – and their generation – will be set in the 1890’s and that comes with its own set of challenges! You’ll only be allowed to use wood furniture for example, or you have to get married before you can ‘woohoo.’ Then with each generation, you move forward 10 years and slowly develop over time.

The challenge ends when you get to the 2010’s or when you get to the 10th generation. Ultimately, you can make your own rules on what to do with each decade, and can go even further back if you’d like to. Either way, it adds a new, creative element to how you take on challenges in The Sims 4 and I’m so, so here for it.

7 – Three Little Sims Challenge

This challenge is going to really ramp up your patience if you’re someone who, like me, likes to control their Sims the majority of the time and make careful, precise decisions that fits the narrative you’re going for. This challenge is will test you, but it’s going to be worth it.

Create three, very different Sims and place them in one household. For example, one Sim could be a Goth, love alternative music and is Good, while another Sim could be Evil, be Athletic and wear traditional ‘preppy’ or athletic clothing. The third could be something that both mixes the two together, but with a unique streak that still makes them stand out.

With that done, you’ll then take on the role of one Sim each day and leave the others to do their own thing. This can lead to some serious hijinks and sometimes, just sometimes, even death…

Flowers are now a girl’s best friend (EA Games)
8 – Living Off The Grid Challenge

The Sims 4 is very up to date: there’s no longer landlines, everyone – even children – has their own mobile phone, and food just magically appears in your fridge now without you ever needing to go shopping. Oh, and you can make anything you want, even if you don’t have the ingredients available to make spaghetti carbonara stocked in your kitchen. It’s pretty neat.

But this challenge says BAH HUMBUG to that nonsense. How can you make a filet mignon with no fish? It’s poppycock, and so with the Living off the Grid challenge you’re not only going to have to do without electricity, you’re going to have to fish and grow your food too. Also, say goodbye to having a ‘modern’ day job because you’re not allowed to make a living unless you’re using your own bare hands – aka sculpting, gardening, flower arranging, etc.

This challenge compliments the new Cottage Living expansion too, so if you’re looking to jump on into some new challenges within The Sims 4 and that expansion, then look no further than Living Off the Grid!

These are my favourite The Sims 4 challenges, but are there any more out there that I missed and think deserve a mention? Then leave a comment down below.

In other The Sims related news, did you know that there are actually gay townies in even the base game of The Sims 4? Because I sure didn’t! Here’s a full guide on just who is here, and very queer.

Aimee Hart

[She/They] Aimee Hart specializes in queer fandom, video games and tabletop, having started her career writing for numerous websites like The Verge, Polygon, Input Magazine and more. Her goal now is to boost LGBTQ+ voices in the video games industry.