In The Sims series, the game camera is the feature which shows the simulated world on the player's screen.
In addition to using the buttons in the user interface, the camera can be rotated by using the , and . keys, and zoomed in and out by using either the + and - or z and x keys. The camera can be panned around using edge scrolling, by right-clicking and dragging, or by using the WASD or arrow keys. In 3D games in the series, the camera can be rotated (horizontally) and tilted (vertically) around using the Ctrl + Right mouse combination[TS2][TSS][TS3][TSM], Shift + WASD keys[TSS] or Ctrl + WASD or Arrow Keys[TS3][TSM] (Windows and Mac OS X); the right analog/C-Stick (all consoles except the Wii); C + Control Stick[TS2 PC](Wii). Starting with The Sims 2 and The Urbz: Sims in the City, the camera control can be reverted to "The Sims 1 Style".
Hotkeys can also be used to control the camera. Pressing ⏎ Return[TS2] or ⌅ Enter[TS3] causes the camera to focus on the selected Sim. In The Sims 3, ⇧ Shift + ⌅ Enter shifts the camera to the active household's home lot.
In the original PC version of The Sims, the camera was limited to an isometric perspective. There were four viewing angles, each of which was 90 degrees apart; and three zoom levels.
In addition to the controls in the Control Panel, the , and . keys would rotate the view—, went right and . went left. Zoom could be controlled with the + and - keys.
In the console versions of The Sims, The Sims Bustin' Out and The Urbz: Sims in the City, the camera is in 3D format and the control is similar to the one used in The Sims 2 and The Sims Stories. The player can control the camera using the Right Analog Stick or C-Stick. In The Urbz: Sims in the City, the camera control can be inverted, similar to "The Sims 1 Style" in The Sims 2 and The Sims Stories. Also in The Urbz: Sims in the City, the camera can be brought to ground level as in The Sims 2 and The Sims Stories.
The Sims 2 and The Sims Stories
The camera is now in 3D, which allows the view to be rotated 360 degrees and tilted up and down. "The Sims 1 Style" of camera rotation can be selected in Game options. The UI controls,
. keys, and
- keys work as in The Sims, although the 3D environment allows for smooth zooming instead of being limited to preset zoom levels. If the mouse has a scroll wheel, it can be used to zoom in and out. The camera can also be controlled by using the middle mouse button (if present), or by holding down the Ctrl button and the right mouse button. As in The Urbz: Sims in the City, the camera can be brought to ground level.
The Sims 2 introduced a "cameraman mode" that can be toggled by pressing Tab ↹, which will allow the player to move the camera around in first-person perspective. The camera can be raised or lowered by pressing Q and E, respectively. The camera can be panned around using the WASD keys, and zoomed in and out with a fisheye effect using + and -. Pressing Tab ↹ again or pressing ⎋ Esc will exit cameraman mode.
The Sims 2 Console games
The camera works as in The Urbz: Sims in the City, except that the camera controls can be set to either Direct or Classic Control (The Sims 2 and The Sims 2: Pets).
The Sims 3 and The Sims Medieval
Camera controls in The Sims 3 and The Sims Medieval are the same as The Sims 2 and The Sims Stories. However, the CTRL + WASD/Arrow Keys can now be used. More options have been added to the user interface to control the camera, including a tilt button to til the camera angle up and down. Options to pan the camera to the currently selected Sim or to the active household's home lot were added. Prior to version 1.3 of The Sims Medieval, lots did not have 3D view, and only a Stage view was allowed. The Sims 3 and The Sims Medieval can still be set to use the "The Sims 1 Style" of camera control, but this now allows the vertical camera control to be used.
With the open-world concept of The Sims 3, the camera can be zoomed out to map view either by clicking on the Map View button, or by zooming out in live mode and then click on the grey magnifier icon that appears. The player will be given a birds'-eye view of the entire world, and can move the camera around the neighborhood freely; however, they cannot tilt the camera angle. Exiting map view will cause the camera to zoom back down to ground level.
The Sims 4
The camera system in The Sims 4 is again similar to its predecessors, with a 3D camera that can be rotated and tilted. By default, it can only be panned by clicking and dragging, and zoomed by scrolling in or out. As an optimization for tablets/touchscreens, the camera cannot be rotated up and down unless The Sims 3 camera is enabled, which allows rotating by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Tab (Command+Shift+Tab on Mac), being more suitable for desktop computers and laptops.
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