Friday, March 1, 2024

The Sims 4 Neighborhood Stories System update unveiled

The Sims 4 has today updated with a new Neighborhood Stories System – an upgrade that improves the interactivity and general life outside of the playable household. This means that your neighbors aren’t just going to be the same, cookie-cutter NPCs that do the same thing over and over, but will finally have their own lives.

As explained on Maxis’ blog post, the new change grants Sims outside of the active household full autonomy – allowing them to make changes that don’t require you steering them in the direction you want to by playing as them.

A few of these updates, to make neighbor Sims more autonomous, means that Sims are now able to

  • Adopt young Sims into their household, aged infant to toddler
  • Become pregnant with their Significant Other, and deliver
  • Adopt a dog or cat
  • Join or leave careers
  • Elder Sims can also choose to retire
  • Move into and out of lots
  • Die in various kinds of accidents, depending on Age, Traits and a Sims’ Career

That’s a lot of changes, and some may seem to be a tad overwhelming for players who would rather have their neighborhoods a little less autonomous. Thankfully Maxis have thought about this, and have issued the following settings to give players the choice on how The Sims 4 Neigborhood Stories System will play out.

  • Independent configurations: Players can choose to enable or disable each type of life change and even disallow all Neighborhood Stories in specific households
  • By default: Neighborhood Stories can be enabled for Other Households and disabled for My Households 
  • Household-specific configurations: Each and every household can have its own configuration, allowing Simmers to tailor life changes that make sense to that household’s storyline
  • Global enable or disable settings: Neighborhood Stories can also be entirely disabled under Game Options

Previous The Sims games did have this sort of autonomous behaviour, The Sims 3 neighborhood Sims in particular having their own mind to the point that you wished they didn’t so they wouldn’t make decisions you disagreed with. This is probably why you’re able to turn the Neighborhood Stories System upgrade off in The Sims 4.

There will be more updates to the Neighborhood Stories System in the future, and players are encouraged to keep tabs about it via the mailbox system.

Aimee Hart

[She/They] Aimee Hart is Editor-in-Chief of Gayming Magazine. She 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.