A neighborhood in The Sims series is a place that consists of lots. Initially, neighborhoods were small (10 lots in The Sims base game) and consisted of only residential lots, but later expansions for The Sims allowed community lots to be added. This pattern was continued into The Sims 2, which provided the customization of placing down new and removing existing lots. In The Sims 4, neighborhoods are also known as districts and are organized together as part of a larger world.
The Sims 3 does not feature the concept of neighborhoods in the same way as other games in the series; instead, gameplay takes place in an open world where Sims are free to roam anywhere on the map.
Within a neighborhood
In The Sims and The Sims 2 Sims travel from one lot to another, with nothing in between. The player will see them leave the lot they are on and disappear, after which a loading screen will appear. The player will not see them again until they reappear on the destination lot.[notes 1] This is the same in The Sims 4, but Sims can also travel to public areas in the loaded neighborhood. Visiting another lot in the same neighborhood, or going anywhere outside the neighborhood, brings a loading screen.
Traveling between neighborhoods, in the sense of being able to go from one to another, then return home, is not possible in The Sims or The Sims 2. While The Sims 2 allows an inhabited lot to be placed in the Lots and Houses bin, and allows that lot to be placed in a new neighborhood, actually doing that is not recommended, as it damages both neighborhoods if any household members had relationships with, or any sort of memories of, Sims or pets outside the household.
In The Sims 4, Sims can easily travel and move between neighborhoods, but only those Sims in the active neighborhood can be fully controlled. Sims outside the loaded neighborhood can be partially controlled, however. Households can be moved between different neighborhoods in the same world, or between different worlds, without issue.
All games allow traveling between a base neighborhood and its sub-neighborhoods. The Sims 2 also allows direct travel between sub-neighborhoods that can be reached by taxicab, car, or walking. In most cases, traveling to a sub-neighborhood is as easy as traveling from lot to lot within a neighborhood or sub-neighborhood. However, vacationing, traveling to more exotic sub-neighborhoods, generally requires more planning.
The Sims Online neighborhoods
There were originally twelve neighborhoods in The Sims Online. Later, these neighborhoods were merged to become EA Land.
The Sims neighborhoods
- Neighborhood 1 is the first and only neighborhood in The Sims.
- Neighborhoods 2, 3, 4 and 5 are added in Livin' Large and The Sims Deluxe Edition.
- Neighborhoods 6, 7, and 8 are added in House Party.
- Every neighborhood has the same layout, but only Neighborhood 1 and Neighborhood 2 have pre-made houses and residents. In neighborhoods 3 through 8, Sim Lane will be empty.
- Unleashed expands all the neighborhoods in the Sims to include the Old Town residential and community lots.
- Downtown[Hot Date][notes 2]
- Vacation Island[Vacation][notes 2]
- Old Town[Unleashed][notes 3] is the originally unseen part of the neighborhood that Sim Lane connects to.
- Studio Town[Superstar][notes 2]
- Magic Town[Makin' Magic][notes 2] is the only sub-neighborhood that Sims can live in, but its lots must be bought with MagiCoins.
There is a technique that makes it possible to have an infinite number of neighborhoods, which involves copying an empty neighborhood folder from the Sims folder in "Program Files" and renaming it "UserData(any # > 8)
The Sims 2
When a player chooses a premade neighborhood from the main menu to play in, the player is greeted with the story mode window that introduces the captured lives of every resided family of the hood. Custom neighborhoods can also come with a story made by a player, though the mode doesn't open by default after entering the neighborhood view.
Unlike in The Sims, all sub-neighborhoods, barring secret sub-neighborhoods, offer residential as well as community lots. Downtown and shopping district sub-neighborhoods are essentially treated as extensions of the neighborhood, but colleges and vacation destinations have the following restrictions:
- Only young adults can live in college sub-neighborhoods. Only teens can move in, and this triggers the transition to young adult. Moving out of the college sub-neighborhood triggers the transition to adulthood.
- Sims living outside of a college sub-neighborhood cannot enter it unless invited by a playable young adult.
- Sims are unable to live full-time in vacation destinations, although they can own and visit a holiday home there.
Pre-made sub-neighborhoods are not attached to the main neighborhood by default, except for secret sub-neighborhoods. These sub-neighborhoods can be attached to the neighborhood at any time, and the player can optionally create new ones. Multiple sub-neighborhoods of the same type can coexist with each other. If Seasons is installed, the player can customize which seasons appear for each individual neighborhood, and in which order they appear in.
Sub-neighborhoods can be deleted at any time; all Sims in the neighborhood will be moved into the family bin. Players cannot delete a sub-neighborhood if it is the only one of that type. For example, players cannot delete a Downtown sub-neighborhood if it is the only one left; they must create a new Downtown sub-neighborhood in order to delete the existing one. Players should not delete sub-neighborhoods that contain gravestones, as doing so may cause neighborhood corruption.
Creating a neighborhood
The Sims 2 allows players to create all-new neighborhoods and sub-neighborhoods from scratch. Players can use neighborhood terrain templates that were included with the game, or can use SimCity 4 to create custom terrains. After choosing to create their own neighborhood from the existing terrain templates, the player must then give the picked neighborhood a name and select a terrain type (Lush, Desert, Dirt or Concrete). After the loading transition, in which stealth hoods are loaded with along, the player can then choose to give it a description in the main menu.
Players have much greater control of customizing a neighborhood to their liking. After clicking the button labeled as "Lots & Houses", the player can place down, move and rotate or remove a lot. Additionally, the player can decorate the neighborhood with trees, ponds, stones, landmarks, effects and more.
List of neighborhoods
- Riverblossom Hills[TS2:S] was added to help the player explore Seasons.
- Desiderata Valley[TS2:FT] was created so the player can learn more about hobbies.
- Belladonna Cove[TS2:AL] was introduced for players to experience living in apartments.
- Sim State University[TS2:U], a college campus often associated with Pleasantview
- La Fiesta Tech[TS2:U], a college campus often associated with Strangetown
- Académie Le Tour[TS2:U], a college campus often associated with Veronaville
- Bluewater Village[TS2:OFB], was added to help the player learn more about owned businesses
- Twikkii Island[TS2:BV], a Pacific Island themed vacation destination
- Three Lakes[TS2:BV], a woodland/mountain themed vacation destination
- Takemizu Village[TS2:BV], a Far East themed vacation destination
List of terrain templates
The Sims 3
The Sims 3 does not feature neighborhoods in the same sense as other games. Instead, The Sims 3 introduced the concept of an open world. Sections of the worlds may be informally divided into neighborhoods, but this is strictly at the player's prerogative.
The Sims 4
In The Sims 4, neighborhoods are considered to be smaller sections of the world they are in. A neighborhood consists of a number of confined lots, as well as an area that provides a few gameplay objects. Sims can visit a neighborhood by travelling to one of its lots. Neighborhoods themselves do not retain the open world concept of The Sims 3; Sims are able to move freely within the public spaces of that neighborhood, but visiting any lot will incur a loading screen. Moreover, only one neighborhood can be loaded at a time; Sims outside of the loaded lots cannot be directly controlled. To a certain extent, tasks can be given to members of the active household that are not on a currently loaded lot; the tasks they can perform vary based on the Sim's location, and can range from building a skill or relationship, fulfilling needs, or changing one's behavior in work or school. The player can switch over to the lots that these Sims are on in order to control their actions more directly, or they can bring them to the current lot.
Neighborhoods provide a purely cosmetic atmosphere with their physical appearance and backdrops; however, these cannot be customized or changed in-game.
The Sims Stories
In The Sims Stories series, only one Sim is playable in the neighborhood until that Sim's storyline is completed. After that, every family in said neighborhood becomes playable.
The Sims console games & The Sims Social
- In The Sims for console, The Sims Bustin' Out for console, and The Sims Bustin' Out for handheld, the neighborhood is named SimValley.
- In The Urbz: Sims in the City for console, the neighborhood is a city named Urbzville.
- In The Urbz: Sims in the City for handheld, the neighborhood is a small city named Miniopolis.
- In The Sims 2 for console, the neighborhood is not named, but it consists of three districts, Pleasantview, Strangetown, and Melbourne.
- In The Sims 2 for GBA, The Sims 2 for Nintendo DS, and The Sims 2 for PSP, the neighborhood is Strangetown.
- In The Sims 2 Pets for console the neighborhood is Whiskerton and The Sims 2 Pets on GBA is Barkersville.
- In The Sims 3 for console, the neighborhoods are Moonlight Bay (Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3), Vista Beach (Wii), Beacon Bay (Nintendo DS), and an unnamed world known as Nintendo 3DS neighborhood (3ds).
- In The Sims 3: Pets (Console), the neighborhood shipped with it is Maple Coast (Xbox 360 and Playstation 3), and Port Abel (3ds).
- In The Sims Social, the neighborhood is called Little Haven.
- In The Sims Mobile, the neighborhood is called Briny Heights.
- Prior to The Sims 2: Nightlife, the player would then have to select their destination from a neighborhood view; Nightlife introduced the ability to select a destination in advance.
- Downtown, Vacation Island, Studio Town, and Magic Town are the same for every neighborhood in The Sims.
- Old Town proper is the same for every neighborhood in The Sims, but adding it to a neighborhood will not affect that neighborhood's version of Sim Lane.