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|6 life stages ([[baby]], [[toddler]], [[child]], [[teen]], [[adult]], [[elder]]. [[Young adult]] stage, added in ''[[University]]'', is optional)
|6 life stages ([[baby]], [[toddler]], [[child]], [[teen]], [[adult]], [[elder]]. [[Young adult]] stage, added in ''[[University]]'', is optional)
|7 life stages (baby, toddler, child, teen, young adult, adult, elder).
|7 life stages (baby, toddler, child, teen, young adult, adult, elder).
|Same as ''The Sims 3''. Babies are objects rather than Sims.
|Same as ''The Sims 3''. Toddlers were returned at [[The Sims 4/Patch 46|Patch 46]]. Prior to install that patch, they were objects rather than Sims.
|Babies turn into children after three days, while other lifespans are indefinite. With ''[[Makin' Magic]]'', children can age to adult by using a charm, but their appearances are chosen randomly and may change completely.
|Babies turn into children after three days, while other lifespans are indefinite. With ''[[Makin' Magic]]'', children can age to adult by using a charm, but their appearances are chosen randomly and may change completely.

Revision as of 05:47, September 19, 2018

This is a four-way comparison of the 4 base games in The Sims series; The Sims, The Sims 2, The Sims 3 and The Sims 4, and does not include features from content packs unless otherwise stated.

The Sims The Sims 2 The Sims 3 The Sims 4
Released February 4, 2000 Released September 14, 2004 Released June 2, 2009 Released September 2, 2014
7 Expansion Packs, no Stuff Packs 8 Expansion Packs, 9 Stuff Packs 11 Expansion Packs, 9 Stuff Packs 5 Expansion Packs, 6 Game Packs, and 14 Stuff Packs [So Far]
Isometric perspective with 2D objects and some 3D objects Fully 3D Fully 3D 3D, but world map in 2D
All neighborhoods are the same and pre-designed. Additional neighborhoods can be made if an expansion pack is installed. Later expansion packs add sub-neighborhoods (also pre-designed and added automatically, cannot be removed). Sub-neighborhoods include Downtown, Vacation Island, Studio Town and Magic Town. 3 pre-designed neighborhoods (Pleasantview, Strangetown and Veronaville) which may be (to some extent) tweaked by the player, and terrains may be imported from SimCity 4. Additional neighborhoods built from scratch may be created and added to the menu screen. Additional pre-designed neighborhoods that come from other expansion packs are Riverblossom Hills, Desiderata Valley, and Belladonna Cove. Some expansion packs add the option of attaching sub-neighborhoods, pre-designed or built from scratch, to the main neighborhood. Sub-neighborhoods include College, Nightlife Destination, Shopping District, and Vacation Destination. 1 pre-designed world (Sunset Valley) in retail shipment. Player-created worlds can be created by using Create a World tool. Riverview is available for free download. Barnacle Bay, Hidden Springs, Lunar Lakes, Lucky PalmsSunlit TidesMonte VistaAurora Skies, Roaring Heights, Midnight Hollow, and Dragon Valley can be bought on the official site; Barnacle Bay, Hidden Springs, Monte Vista, Dragon Valley, and Roaring Heights also have limited hard copy retail releases and are also available as direct downloads from Origin. Additional worlds also come with expansion packs: Twinbrook, Bridgeport, Appaloosa Plains, Starlight ShoresMoonlight Falls and Isla Paradiso. Sub-worlds are Shang Simla, Champs Les Sims, and Al Simhara, all for adventure purposes; Sims University, the university world in the game; and Oasis Landing, a sci-fi futuristic sub-world. 3 pre-designed worlds (Oasis SpringsWillow Creek, and Newcrest, which was later added via a free update to the game). The Outdoor Retreat game pack added a vacation destination, Granite Falls. Additional Worlds also come with expansion packs: Magnolia Promenade, Windenburg, San Myshuno and Brindleton Bay. The Vampires game pack adds a residential world, Forgotten Hollow. The Jungle Adventure game pack added another vacation world, Selvadorada.
3 life stages (baby, child, adult). Babies are objects rather than Sims. 6 life stages (baby, toddler, child, teen, adult, elder. Young adult stage, added in University, is optional) 7 life stages (baby, toddler, child, teen, young adult, adult, elder). Same as The Sims 3. Toddlers were returned at Patch 46. Prior to install that patch, they were objects rather than Sims.
Babies turn into children after three days, while other lifespans are indefinite. With Makin' Magic, children can age to adult by using a charm, but their appearances are chosen randomly and may change completely. All Sims age and eventually die, but only on the lot that is being played. Sims from other families will not age. Some life states do not age. All Sims age, on and outside lot, which can be changed in game options. Lifespan, aging, and age duration can be customized in game options. All Sims in all worlds age at the same time, unless changed by the player. Lifespan, aging, and age duration can be customized in game options.
6 skills, 1 secret skill 7 skills, 3 toddler skills, 7 secret skills 10 skills, 4 toddler skills, 10 secret skills. Additionally, 18 skills added from expansion packs and 4 skills added from The Sims 3 Store. 20 skills, 5 skills for toddlers, 4 skills for children. Additionally, 14 skills added from content packs.
Only Adults gain skills. Toddlers and older can gain skills Children and older can gain skills; toddlers can only learn toddler skills. Teens and older can gain skills; children and toddlers can only learn skills exclusive to their age group.
No aspirations. Teens and older have one of 5 aspirations (additional 2 aspirations are added in Nightlife), which affect their Wants and Fears. Toddlers and children aspire to Grow Up. Secondary aspirations introduced in FreeTime. Aspirations are replaced with Lifetime Wishes and Lifetime Happiness Points. Aspirations return: teens and older Sims can choose one of ten aspirations, most of which have two or three variations that act like a Lifetime Wish. Children have four aspirations, with only one variation each. Toddlers don't have aspirations.
No wants or fears All Sims except babies have 4 wants and 3 fears (Additional 2 wants and/or 1 fear, whether they graduate or get expelled at college). Wishes and promises replace wants. No fears. Whims and Goals replace Wishes/Wants. Whims are short-term and may disappear or be cancelled by the player. Goals are linked to Aspiration and remain until they are fulfilled. No fears.
No days of the week, weekend, or days off work or school (Sims would not be fired for skipping work provided they did attend the following day). Sims cannot quit a job unless they get fired or get a different job. 7-day week with different days off depending on job. Children and Teens have the weekend off from school. Able to call in sick to work, or call work to quit. Elders can call in to retire. Same as The Sims 2, except Sims cannot call in sick to work, unless The Sims 3: Seasons is installed but Sims can still miss work at the expense of work performance. With some patches, Sims can take up to 5 unpaid days off work. Same as The Sims 2 and The Sims 3.
Sims do not collect memories. Sims collect visible memories and invisible memory markers for use in gossip. Memories returned in Patch 22, now with screenshots and fully customizable, as well as sharable online. Memories can be collected, but are optional. The player can choose whether or not the game prompts them to capture a memory.
Bills delivered once every 3 days. Bills delivered on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Same as The Sims 2. Bills delivered once per week.
PlumbBob color reflects precise mood: optimum is green, worst is red. PlumbBob color represents approximate mood: optimum is platinum, worst is red. Same as The Sims. Same as The Sims and The Sims 3.
No pregnancy, babies can simply appear after user says yes to random "Should we have a baby?" prompt after romantic interaction, or an adoption opportunity. No genetics other than skin color are passed down. Personality for children is randomly generated. Try for baby may lead to 3 day pregnancy for adult female Sim who is not within 5 days of transition to elder, genetic traits are passed down from both parents. Alien abduction via telescope may lead to 3 day pregnancy for adult male Sim who is not within 5 days of transition to elder. Same as The Sims 2. Alien pregnancy returned in The Sims 3: Seasons. Same as The Sims 2 and The Sims 3. Alien pregnancy returned in The Sims 4: Get to Work
Household accounts screen can be accessed, showing income and expenditure over past 3 days and current day No such screen. Same as The Sims 2. Same as The Sims 2 and The Sims 3.
Buildings limited to 2 floors. Basements, foundations and lofts not possible. Basic roof pitch selector. Buildings limited to 5 floors, or 4 with foundation. In expansions after University, this can be changed to up to 15 floors (without foundation) using cheats. Buildings with foundation can have basements incorporated into them. Lofts theoretically possible. Roof pitch can be changed (first in the cheat console in Pets, and later Mansion and Garden Stuff, where a roof pitch changer is added). Various roof types like pagoda and dome are added via expansion packs. Same as The Sims 2. In addition, basements were included in World Adventures expansion Patch, with 4 floors. Max building height has been decreased to 4 floors. Basements included in Get To Work expansion Patch, with 2 floors. Roofs have received a revamp, and are more easily modifiable.
Children with failing grades are banished to Military School and never return. When a child in the family has failing grades, all children are taken away by a social worker (unless they're at school), and other families may adopt them. Sims with failing grades are never taken away to Military School or by the Social Worker. In fact, they never actually have to go to school. However, players cannot choose an extra trait when they age up. School grades now function like career levels. Every Sim starts at the "C" level, and there are 5 levels: F, D, C, B and A. Some Aspirations require for the child to complete the age state with the "A" grade. Failing school doesn't bring any downsides besides negative moodlets.
Random phone calls pranking or giving out money. Couples will occasionally get a phone call asking if they want to adopt a baby. Phone will also ring to announce Sims being fired from their job. Other Sims never call. No prank or money calls, but friends and acquaintances may call at random. With Nightlife, Sims that were met in gatherings can tell other Sims about how fun the night was, thus random contacts may call up to ask those Sims out. Sims with less than 2 Nice points can make crank calls. Friends may call at random, opportunities also come via phone calls. Teens may pull prank calls if Generations is installed. Friends occasionally call to chat, ask to hang out or invite the player's Sim over. With a high Mischief Skill, Sims can do Prank Calls. In Patch 19, Sims that know the player's Sim can invite them to an event. For example, a child Sim may call another child for a playdate.
Chance cards will force career change when at the top level of a career. Other chance cards may rarely emerge, giving out skills or money, or sometimes having no effect. Chance cards at all levels of career, causing gain or loss of rank, skill points, etc. Chance cards rarely appear and some have almost no effect on the job except for changing careers as in The Sims, and cause various moodlets. Chance cards appear occasionally, on any career level and have an effect on the Job Performance. Some also give various moodlets.
Only Townie-type NPCs are interactive. All other NPCs (e.g. maids, social workers, shop clerks, etc.) are not interactive. All but a few NPCs (drivers, Rod Humble, social workers, etc.) are interactive Almost all NPCs are interactive with the exception of a few such as drivers. All NPCs are interactive.
Children go to a single school. Children and teens go to public or private school. Teens can apply for scholarships and move out to a college, which transitions them to the Young Adult life stage in University. Children and teens go to a single school (5 boarding schools added in Generations). Children and teens go to a single school.

Differences in Create-A-Sim

The Sims The Sims 2 The Sims 3 The Sims 4
Last name is the same for all Sims. Household name is last name of all Sims in the household. Same as The Sims, except when creating University students. In Create-A-Student, there is the option to give different surnames to each individual Sim in the household. Each individual Sim can be given a different last name. Players have the ability to change the household name. Same as in The Sims 3.
Head style determines hairstyle, head shape, hair color, eye color, facial hair, etc. Head style determines only the shape of the Sim's heads. Same as The Sims 2. Same as The Sims 2 and The Sims 3.
Hair color determined by the head style. Hair (and eyebrow) color determined by user with a selection of four colors. Hair and eyebrow colors are individually selected, and certain parts of the Sim's hair can be changed (roots, main, highlights and tips) with the new color chart allowing the player to give their Sim a natural hair color like brown or blonde, give them crazy highlights or select a vibrant color such as bright green or red. 16 hair colors are available in the base game. Hair, Facial hair and Eyebrows can be recolored independently.
Sims have light, medium, or dark skin. Sims have 4 skin tones ranging from light to dark Sims have a range of skin tones with a slider determining exact color, including three natural skin tones and three bizarre colors (red, blue and green). Patches for both Supernatural and Seasons later added more skin colors to choose from. 16 skin colors are present in the game, representing various ethnicities. 3 custom colors, Green, Red and Blue, are also present. Vampire skins are also present.
Body type dependent on types of clothes worn by the Sim. Thin, Fit, and Fat body types possible, with Thin or Fat types available in Create-A-Sim. Independent sliders for muscle tone, body fat, breasts, and a muscle definition slider. Muscle mass and body fat sliders are present. Every part of the body can be resized independently from the others using the new version of Create-A-Sim.
Head style and clothes selected by flipping through all available options. Hair styles, clothes, etc. selected from a gallery of thumbnails. As in The Sims 2, but choices can be customized with Create a Style. Same as in The Sims 2, except now each clothing item has various color presets.
Sleepwear, swimwear, and formalwear are chosen automatically. Sleepwear, swimwear, formalwear, underwear, athletic wear and (with Seasons) outerwear are chosen in Create-a-Sim. Maternity outfits are chosen automatically. Same as The Sims 2, with the exception of merging underwear and sleepwear into one category. Players can select more than 1 outfit per category (with the updated version of The Sims 3). Outerwear can be customized if Seasons is installed. Same as in The Sims 3, with the exception of Career outfits no longer modifiable and a new set of clothes, called Party and used during various Social Events, was added.
Jewelry, shoes, glasses, etc. not customizable, determined by the Sim's body or head style. Glasses may be taken on or off, other accessories are determined by Sim's outfit. Bon Voyage (and every EP after) introduces user control of jewelry. Shoes come with bottoms or one-piece outfits, and are uncustomizable. All accessories, jewelry and shoes may be customized. Same as in The Sims 3.
Sims' personalities determined by 25 Personality Points placed in 5 different categories. Players are not required to use all points. Same as The Sims, except Aspirations were added, and all points must be assigned to a category. Personality Points and Aspirations are no longer used, instead replaced with a new trait system allowing players to give their Sims a unique and more realistic personality. Traits determine which Lifetime Wish matches with Sim's personality although this can be selected individually of trait too. Every Sim begins with 3 traits at the Young Adult stage, and has to choose an Aspiration. A Bonus Trait is given depending on the chosen Aspiration. The Aspiration can be switched at anytime. Completed Aspirations can give unique traits and Traits can be bought in the Rewards Store in the Aspirations tab to which Sims can have 20+ Traits
No Family Tree.

Relationships between spouses, siblings, and parents/children can be established in Create-a-Sim. Family Tree available in relationship panel.

Relationships between spouses, siblings, parents, fiancés and boyfriend/girlfriend are established in Create-A-Sim. A Sim's Family Tree is available to view on their main panel.

Same as in The Sims 2, minus the fact that the Genealogy tree wasn't present in the base game, and was re-added in the Valentine's Day update.

Feature comparisons

This table shows which notable game features or objects are introduced in which pack for each game.

The Sims The Sims 2 The Sims 3 The Sims 4
Arcade machines / tables Vacation University Late Night Get Together
Archery range Vacation None The Sims 3 Store None
Apartments / penthouses None Apartment Life (apartments) Late Night (penthouses) City Living (apartments and penthouses)
Aquarium Base Game, Hot Date, Superstar (large)

Unleashed (small)

Base Game, Pets, Apartment Life (large) Base Game (small)

High-End Loft Stuff, The Sims 3 Store (large)

Late Night (aquarium wall)

Base Game (small)

Spa Day, Dine Out, Cats & Dogs (large)

Basketball Base Game Freetime The Sims 3 Store City Living
Bonehilda Makin' Magic None Supernatural None
Bowling None Nightlife University Life Bowling Night Stuff
Bubble bar/blower House Party, Superstar University Late Night City Living
Buffet table House Party Base Game Base Game Luxury Party Stuff
Campfire / bonfire House Party

University (bonfire)

Bon Voyage (campfire)

University Life

Outdoor Retreat (campfire)

Get Together (bonfire)

Cellphone / smartphone None University (cellphone) Base Game (cellphone)
University Life (smartphone)
Base Game (smartphone)
Christmas tree Livin' Large Holiday Party Pack The Sims 3 Store Holiday Celebration Pack
Cowplant None University The Sims 3 Store Base Game
Crystal ball Livin' Large None The Sims 3 Store None
Dance sphere None Nightlife Showtime None
Dartboard Hot Date Base Game Late Night Get Together
Diving board Base Game Base Game Base Game (Patch 42) Get Together
(diving platform)
DJ booth House Party Nightlife Showtime Get Together
Dragon Makin' Magic None The Sims 3 Store None
Drink fountain House Party None The Sims 3 Store Luxury Party Stuff
Fireworks Livin' Large Holiday Party Pack World Adventures, Seasons (Fireworks)

Into the Future (DigiPlosion)

City Living
Greenhouse None Seasons The Sims 3 Store None
Guitar Livin' Large University Base Game Base Game
Hot tub Base Game Base Game Late Night, Outdoor Living Stuff, Showtime, Seasons, Island Paradise, Into the Future Perfect Patio Stuff
Hotel / resort system Vacation Bon Voyage Island Paradise None
Jungle gym Base Game Apartment Life Base Game Base Game
Karaoke machine Superstar Nightlife Showtime City Living
Keyboard Superstar None Late Night City Living
Laundry system None None Ambitions, Town Life Stuff, University Life Laundry Day Stuff
Love bed Livin' Large Apartment Life High End Loft Stuff None
Massage table Superstar Bon Voyage The Sims 3 Store Spa Day
Mechanical bull House Party None Showtime None
Microphone Superstar (Singing) Apartment Life (Singing) Showtime (Singing)

Base Game (Comedy)

City Living (Singing)

Murphy bed None Apartment Life University Life None
Ownable cars None Nightlife Base Game None
Pets Unleashed Pets Pets Cats & Dogs
Photo booth None Nightlife Showtime, University Life None
Piano Base Game Base Game Late Night Base Game
Pinball machine Base Game Base Game The Sims 3 Store None
Pool slide Vacation Seasons Island Paradise  None
Pool table Base Game University, FreeTime, Apartment Life Showtime, University Life, Into the Future None
Punching Bag None Base Game

World Adventures (Training Dummy)

Base Game
Restaurant system Hot Date Nightlife The Sims 3 Store Dine Out
Restorable car None Freetime The Sims 3 Store None
Rollercoaster Makin' Magic None The Sims 3 Store None
Sauna Superstar Bon Voyage The Sims 3 Store Spa Day
Snowboard half-pipe Vacation None Seasons None
Soccer net None Freetime Seasons None
Swimming pool Base Game Base Game Base Game Base Game (Patch 7)
Tea Set Makin' Magic Bon Voyage The Sims 3 Store Base Game
Tent Vacation Bon Voyage World Adventures, Island Paradise Outdoor Retreat
Violin None Freetime The Sims 3 Store Base Game
Weather / seasons None Seasons Seasons Seasons
Wedding arch and wedding cake None Base Game Generations Base Game
Wishing well None Seasons The Sims 3 Store Romantic Garden Stuff

See also

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