Two alternate life states exist in The Sims and its expansions, though they are not well-defined and do not grant any changes in a Sim's behavior.
When Sims die, they become ghosts (you think I was born yesterday? We all know that!). In Livin' Large, pleading with the Grim Reaper may result in him bringing a recently deceased Sim back as a zombie. If Unleashed is also installed, these zombies can be restored by Miss Lucille, who can be found on community lots in Old Town, though she cannot restore their personalities. Also in Livin' Large, Sims using the chemistry set might make a purple potion that can temporarily turn a Sim into a monster.
It could be said that witches and warlocks come with Makin' Magic, but being magical is not treated as a life state in that expansion. Sims who take up magic still look and act the same, and the terms "witch" and "warlock" are not used.
In Makin' Magic, one of the charms that can be made is Beauty or Beast. This charm allows a Sim to temporarily change his or her appearance, and some of the available choices resemble life states from later games, such as werewolves and vampires. While players may choose to treat this as a temporary transformation or an illusion, the in-game effects are the same either way. The Sim who has been "charmed" is still a normal Sim; the charm only affects the Sim's appearance and does not affect the way the Sim behaves or the way other Sims react to him/her, and the Sim gains no extra abilities or interactions.
The Sims 2
Most expansion packs for The Sims 2 added an alternate state in which Sims can exist. Some added sentient creatures which Sims cannot become, but which can be playable Sims. These states have unique triggering techniques, advantages and disadvantages. These states are:
- Normal Sim
- Ghost (Not playable)
- Mannequin (hidden)
- Zombie [TS2:U] [TS2:FT] [TS2:AL]
- Vampire [TS2:NL]
- Werewolf [TS2:P]
- Servo [TS2:OFB] 
- PlantSim [TS2:S]
- Bigfoot [TS2:BV] 
- Genie [TS2:FT] (Not playable) 
- Witch [TS2:AL]
- Spectral cat [TS2:AL]
Each life state offers new opportunities for the Sim, making certain aspects of play easier to handle and others harder.
The Sims 3
The Sims 3 and its expansion packs, as of 22 October 2013[update], feature 15 life states. Official game text recognizes certain kinds of life state as "occult", and occult Sims cannot be given makeovers by stylists. Prior to The Sims 3: Supernatural, Ghost was not considered an occult status according to the game files. With Supernatural, players are able to create some occults with a Supernatural Type selector in Create a Sim. These life states include normal Sims, ghosts, vampires, genies, werewolves, witches, and fairies.
Several states in Supernatural (i.e. Toad Sims, Tragic Clowns, and Zombies) are not considered to be occult. They are merely temporary states and can only affect normal Sims. The state can be cured by removing the moodlet with the Moodlet Manager or drinking the Cure Elixir.
- Imaginary Friend[TS3:G]
- Time Traveler[TS3:ITF](hidden)
- Temporary state
The Sims 4
Only the Normal Sim life state was initially included in The Sims 4, but a patch reintroduced the ghost life state. With Get to Work, aliens were made available in Create a Sim for the first time in the series. In Cool Kitchen Stuff, Sims can obtain the appearance of a PlantSim by eating Plant Matter ice cream; however, the effects are only temporary. With Patch 49, PlantSims were properly added in with improvements, albeit still being a temporary state. With Vampires, vampires were made available in Create a Sim along with customizable vampire features and new powers. In Jungle Adventure, skeletons were introduced as a temporary life state with some special abilities.
- Normal Sim
- Ghost (Temporary for 4 hours by drinking Ghost Goo serum[TS4:GTW])
- Alien (Temporary by drinking Alien Aura serum) [TS4:GTW]
- Vampire [TS4:V]
- Temporary state
- PlantSim (Obtainable through the ice cream maker or through eating the forbidden fruit; the duration of the effect will differ, the former being much shorter)
- Skeleton (Obtainable through a cursed relic)[TS4:JA]
- Pack leader is considered as the life state for dogs in The Sims 2: Pets, because of their unique appearance and ability to nibble Sims and turn them into werewolves. However, it is not possible to become a pack leader.
- Spectral cat is considered as the life state for cats in The Sims 2: Apartment Life, because of their unique appearance and abilities. They will never age, have no gender, are unable to breed, are immune to the Tempus Interruptus spell, and do not have the bladder need.
- Unicorn is considered as a life state for a horse, because of their unique appearance and ability to bless or curse a Sim.
- The Sims 3: Pets is the only expansion pack in the series to feature a non-humanoid occult life state, the unicorn.
- The Sims 3: Supernatural is the first expansion pack in the series to feature more than one playable life state.
- Mannequin is just a custom skin color that can be accessed in The Sims 2 Create a Sim debugging mode. The game however does not support babies being born with this skin tone. Doing so will cause the game to crash. The players are required to use a mod to prevent the crash and allow the baby to be born.
- Even though ghosts have been featured in all games of The Sims series, The Sims 4 is the first game in the PC series in which ghosts can be manually directed to use ghostly abilities, rather than that being something that was only an autonomous action. In The Sims 2 for consoles, ghosts can use their special interactions while socializing with other Sims, but no other ghost abilities than those.
Notes and references
- This state is not part of normal gameplay. It can only be created by using the Debug Mode of Create a Sim. Because of this, some players do not consider it a true life state.
- A Sim cannot become a Servo, but Servos are playable Sims
- A Sim cannot become a Bigfoot, but a Bigfoot can become a playable Sim
- In The Sims 2: FreeTime, the Genie is a special case, as a Sim cannot become a Genie, and the Genie cannot become a playable Sim. Some players do not consider it a true life state.
- Some means of producing zombification are permanent, but the difference is that the Sim receives a "Zombified!" moodlet that does not expire rather than one that expires in 2 days. See List of Moodlets/Activities
- Prior to The Sims 3: Supernatural, a ghost does not count as an occult.
- SimBots are playable Sims. Unless The Sims 3: Supernatural is installed, a Sim cannot become a SimBot, nor can a SimBot become a normal Sim.
- SimBots also appear in the The Sims 3 Pets for console
- Late Night trailer
- Unicorns only appear in The Sims 3: Pets for PC/MAC
- In The Sims 3: Showtime, a Genie can become a playable Sim. Unless The Sims 3: Supernatural is installed, a Sim cannot become a Genie, nor can a Genie become a normal Sim.
- A Time Traveler can not become a playable Sim without mods.