The Sims 4 Keyboard Shortcuts

Game Controls & List of Hotkeys to Help you Play

The Sims 4 features plenty of keyboard shortcuts to help you do things more efficiently. Remembering them all can be difficult for new players, so this list of the game controls should help you to play more efficiently and maybe do some things you didn't know you could do. You can bookmark this page with Control + D.

Camera Controls

Change Camera Type
Note on the controls below: These assume you are using the Sims 3 style Camera. You can change to this camera type by using Control + Shift + Tab or pressing Esc > Game Options > Controls and Camera > Sims 3 Camera. This is easier for Sims veterans as it is the same as The Sims 3. It's MUCH easier to change the angle of the view and rotate the screen. I also suggest you make sure edge scrolling is on, as it's easier to move about the neighborhood, but that is a personal preference. You can still move around by holding right click.

Taking Screenshots and Making Videos of Sims 4
'C' and 'V' will take a Screenshot or record a Video, respectively. These are stored in Documents/Electronic Arts/The Sims 4/Screenshots and The Sims 4/Recorded Videos. You can record video and take screenshots while in build mode to show off your skills!

Camera Controls for Playing in Live Mode or Build Mode

Explore My Mods! Color Picker for Builders, Seasons Tuner, Dine Out Reloaded and a Gameplay Overhaul! Like other modders, I've been working to make The Sims 4 a better game. Check out my many mods here!

that Sim, if already selected
HotkeyWhat it Does
HomeWalls Up
EndWalls Down
Page UpGo up a floor
Page DownGo down a floor
Hold Right-ClickMove Around the Neighborhood - better than below
W or Up ArrowMove View Up
A or Left ArrowMove View Left
S or Down ArrowMove View Down
D or Right ArrowMove View Right
Shift + EnterCenter on Current Lot
Left-click Sim PicSelect that Sim
Left-click Sim PicMake Camera Go to
Right-Click Sim PicMake Camera follow that Sim
Hold Mouse WheelRotate View or Tilt Camera Up/Down to change angles.
Z, X, or Scroll Mouse WheelZoom In and Out
CTake a Screenshot. In Game Options you may select to include the Game Interface in Pictures.
VBegins/Ends Video Recording. Find Video Settings in the Game Options
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Live Mode Hotkeys

HotkeyWhat it Does
EscBrings up main menu or cancels something
Left Click Object or SimInteract with that Object or Sim
Left Click on Selected SimGo Jogging, Change Outfit and other Possibilities
Left Click on GroundOrder Sim to go there if you select Move Here.
EnterFind Active Sim
Space or NSelect the next Sim in the Household
Left Click Sim PortraitSelect that Sim
GShow Aspiration Window. Click Gift to go to Rewards, Star to Change Aspiration
IShow Sim's Inventory
JShow Career Tab
LShow Skills List
RShow Relationship Panel
YShow Simology (Traits, Age) you may Click Stats here to see them
OShow Sim's current Need Levels. Clicking a Need Icon Orders the Sim to fill it
MGo to Map Mode
~ (Tilde), 1, 2, 3Pause, Speed 1 (normal), Speed 2, Speed 3. P also Pauses the Sims 4.
Control + Shift + CAccess Cheat Console

First Person Mode Hotkeys

The Sims 4 November 13, 2018 patch introduced a first person mode to the game. Here are the controls for this mode of play. Click Here to Learn More About First Person Mode and see a Video Demonstration.

HotkeyWhat it Does
Shift + TabEnters and exits First Person View
Left ClickInteracts with objects and Sims, allows you to move. Sims and objects must be in view.
Shift (Hold)Allows you to move the mouse while in first person, letting you click things in the game interface without moving the camera.
Right ClickBrings up 'Move Here' to help you to get around doors and walls that you cannot see through.
TabRemoves the interface as it normally does
CtrlSeems to re-center the camera to where the Sim is looking
Mouse WheelAdjusts Field of View (FOV) which can let you see more on the screen, while also helping to compensate somewhat for motion sickness. Scroll down to increase FOV (zoom out on Mac) It should come on slower if you are afflicted. You can, of course, reduce FOV by zooming in but it's not recommended unless you specifically need it.

Buy & Build Mode Hotkeys

Build Mode Controls
When you destroy buy mode objects in buy/build mode, you will get some of your money back. This applies whether you are using the sledgehammer or the hand tool with delete. Build mode objects/walls/patterns specifically grant a full refund, as they do not depreciate in value like chairs/electronics/etc.

The Design Tool is super useful for making a room's color scheme match up. By pressing 'R' you can select objects that have already been placed and pick one of the available color schemes for that object. This lets you see how it will match other objects in the room.

Objects removed by placing a room on top of them or by other means may be found in your Household Inventory.

HotkeyWhat it Does
F1, F2, F3Live Mode (Normal Gameplay), Buy Mode, Build Mode
HSwitch to Hand tool, allowing you to grab objects
BBrings up the Wall tool to build... Walls
Ctrl (Hold)While using Wall tool, hold control to delete walls and rooms.
Shift (Hold)While using Wall/Room tool, this will toggle between the two
EEyedropper. Copy an object quickly
KSledgehammer - allows you to click to destroy objects
RDesign Tool. Recolor Objects to create Color Schemes
+ (Numpad)After selecting an object, but before placing it, pressing + on the number pad will cycle through color options for that item, allowing you to find what looks right for that room.
Control + ZUndo last action - it remembers multiple actions so long as you don't leave build/buy mode.
GToggles the Grid
Shift (Hold)Hold while placing Buy/Build Mode object to place more of the same object without having to select it again
BackspacePress while holding an object to place it in the Household inventory. Great for storing multiple things quickly.
,Rotate selected object left
.Rotate selected object right
Hold Alt w/ ObjectWhile holding an object, this allows you to position it anywhere as opposed to on the Grid
F5 toggleThis will let you position objects relative to the grid, but at 1/2 to 1/4 the usual distance. Good for precision.
Control + FWhile laying floor. Do 1/4 of a Tile at a time (little triangle) for artsy Design
Hold Alt while PaintingFills a straight Wall with the selected Wall Pattern
Hold Shift: Walls and FloorsWill fill an entire room with the selected Floor or Wall Pattern
[Make brush size smaller while painting terrain. Also cycles through square/circle brushes.
]Make brush size larger while painting terrain. Also cycles through square/circle brushes.
;Makes brush softer when painting terrain
'Makes brush harder when painting terrain
CtrlHold while painting terrain to erase and change terrain to default.
Control + Y Redo last action you undid, should you do something on accident or change your mind.
DeleteUse while object is selected to delete/sell it
TSwitch to top-down view. You can press it again to go back to your previous view
LChange lighting from Morning to Afternoon, Evening and Night to preview how things look. Does not change actual time.
UPush, then click house to relocate the entire structure on the lot. It may be moved or rotated.

Other Controls - Gallery and Camera
Pressing F4 will open the Gallery, where you can view other players' creations and add them to your neighborhood. There is a lot to this, and we'll eventually make a guide to inserting homes and Sims from the Gallery, but it's pretty easy.

You should also be aware of the camera controls button in the top right corner.

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Comments (80)

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New
Kylesays...
When I press delete it doesn't sell it it moves it to the family inventory.
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Admin
Playalotsays...
I don't know why that is happening! Maybe try dragging the item to the sell button instead. I'd still quit out of the game and delete the cache files though.
Deleting cache files
If you still have problems consider posting on the forum where we can help you further.
Misc. Help -Forum
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New
Bisays...
Are you on a mac, if you are on a window you put an item in the household inventory with Backspace and Delete to sell
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New
Basil Fusays...
Is there a section of your webpage where I can find answers about the Game Options?

Specifically, is there any difference if I enable or disable "Uncompressed Sim Textures"? If my computer could handle Ultra Graphics Quality, could I safely tick the Uncompresed Sim Textures?
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Senior
MrsFlynnsays...
If you feel like your computer can handle it, I'd say go ahead and do some testing. It's more of a personal preference as to have uncompressed Sims textures on or off. If you find that while on it causes lag or slowness for you turn it off.
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New
Niyasays...
Tongue Hi, Carl this helped me alot everything I've learned I got from this site I just wanted to say THANKS! for all the tips and lists of cheats! You've helped a lot of people, Lol your like my Sims 4 HERO☆
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New
Phoebe Lyonssays...
I try to record videos on the Sims 4 but every few minutes it stops recording. Does anyone know why this is happening or how I can fix it? Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
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Senior
MrsFlynnsays...
There may not be any way to change this. I've looked in Game Options > Screen Capture and there doesn't seem to be a place to set a time limit.
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New
nurahmanisasays...
How can i change my object's colour with my own colour design?
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Senior
MrsFlynnsays...
EA has not given Sims 4 a color wheel to be able to pick your own colors. So you have to go with what color choices that are given.
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New
Loz0215says...
WHY IS MY SIMS NOT WORKING RIGHT NOW IVE TOGGLED FULL SCREEN
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Senior
MrsFlynnsays...
I'm not sure. You haven't really described the problem well enough. Sims 4 not working because it's on Fullscreen, doesn't give us a whole lot to go on.

My first thought is to quit game, and try loading it again to see what happens. If you're able to load the game to Main Menu. Change back to either Windowed Fullscreen or Windowed mode to see if that helps you be able to play again.
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New
Sansicalsays...
Some of my keys arn't working like wasd and the speed keys are working but I can't pause or use cheats and the keys arn't broken because I've checked
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Senior
MrsFlynnsays...
This has come up recently in Carl's forum. It seems this is a reported bug, but there is no definite "fix" for it, that I've found. There are a few tips in the link below that might help.

Keyboard not working
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New
purplesays...
but using the plus sign on a macbook air does not work to change the color
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Admin
Playalotsays...
Thanks for letting us know.
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New
JOHN CENAsays...
How am I supposed to get rid of all that interface, to see just the screen? I saw it in a video once
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Senior
MrsFlynnsays...
Press the Tab key to hide the UI when taking screenshots.
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New
FriendlyNeighborhoodHufflepuffsays...
Is there a hot key for placing things in the family inventory? Every now and then I'll be tapping away at my keyboard in Build/Buy mode and it'll say that whatever item I was holding is now in the family inventory. It doesn't hurt anything, but it'd be cool if I knew so I could avoid accidentally hitting whatever key it might be (if there is one.)
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Admin
Playalotsays...
Not that I am aware of, maybe you have stumbled across a new one! Let us know if you figure out which key is doing that! Smile
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Regular
lilysays...
I see many youtubers change the colors of an object, without the Colors Schemes. Does anyone know how?
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Admin
Playalotsays...
If you mean cycling through the various swatch options on an item then you hold the item and then press the + sign on your numpad. (The area on the right of most keyboards with numlock and all the numbers.)
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New
Kelsysays...
Is there an alternative to this if you are on a laptop and don't have numpad?
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Admin
Playalotsays...
Not sure, have you tried the +/- signs?
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New
Marthasays...
When I try to move objects up using the 9 key it always drags me to the corner of the lot! Any help?Huh
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Admin
Playalotsays...
Do you have the cheat bb.moveobjects on activated and are you still holding the object with the mouse cursor as you use the '9' key?
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New
Juliansays...
guys im confused on how to remove the build options at the bottom of the screen in build mode so that im left with the full screen of my interior home or exterior. pls help thx <3
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Admin
Playalotsays...
Choose an item from the main build window (the picture of the house on the far left of the bottom of the screen while in build mode. As an example try the tree icon which says 'Outdoor Plants' when you hover your mouse over it. This opens the window. Click that object again in the main menu (house picture) and this closes the window leaving the bottom of your screen empty.Smile
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New
Evansays...
hey I was wondering if theres a way to remove the map shortcut? its right beside the camera left turn button, and I often accidently click it and then it goes into a big laggy load to the map screen. it looks like there isn't a way to remove it but if anyone knows thanks
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New
Cassiesays...
I have a keyboard that has a number pad and when I try to use the + key to switch between colors, all it does is zoom in. How do I fix it?
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Admin
Playalotsays...
Sometimes when the item is rotated this happens. Try just placing the item directly into your build, without letting go, and then cycle through the colors as you can always place it exactly where you want it once you have the color chosen.
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New
pandasays...
My page down and page up keys are not working, for example pressing the page down key would usually move me down a floor, however as it is also the number 3 (on the right hand side of the key board next to enter) it is making the time speed up instead. I don't know why it had done this but it is really starting to get in my nerves!! If anyone has any resolution to this please let me know!
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Senior
MrsFlynnsays...
Deactivate Origin in Game -- Open Origin, Select Origin > Application Settings > Origin In Game and click the on/off switch to disable Origin In Game.

If it's just an issue with Sims 4 and the keyboard, a couple/few tips that I have seen that might help are:

Switch from live mode to build/buy mode and back.

Press the Esc key or the Enter key, or M key to travel somewhere has been reported to help.

Quit fully out of game, and restart the computer then get back into game.

I'm not entirely sure if any of this will help, as it seems this is a reported bug, but there is no definite "fix" for it, that I've found.
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New
Tillsays...
For some reason, when I try to change the direction of flooring with </> all the camera does is rotate. I've tried looking it up how to do it, but it doesn't work for me. Any help? (I have tried the sims 3 & 4 camera, as well).
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Admin
Playalotsays...
Make sure you just have a single tile selected and not the tool that will cover the entire floor with the chosen flooring.
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New
Tillsays...
awesome, thank you so much!!
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Regular
Hannahsays...
I play on my macbook retina, and I used to use ` for pause (top left on my keyboard) on windows. But it doesn't work on my mac. I don't wanna use p or 0 because that's on the right side of my keyboard. Does anyone know how to change hot keys???
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Senior
MrsFlynnsays...
I don't think there is a way to change the hot keys on TS4.
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New
Gwensays...
For some reason in build mode,, it only has short walls there's no choice on heights. Can someone tell me how to fix this?
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Admin
Playalotsays...
There are 5 different heights available after you have selected the half wall drawing tool. So once you are in build mode and have clicked on the 'wall' tool another mini menu appears on the left side of the UI. Top icon=full sized wall, middle icon=half walls and clicking on that takes you to where you can choose which size/height you want, the last icon takes you to the half wall trims.
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New
Rosie Jane Wakerley-Palmersays...
how can you use facetime while playing the game and while you can see yourself playing the game
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Admin
Playalotsays...
You'd need an external recording program for this. Nothing in-game provides this service.
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New
Wolfsays...
My pc dont have numpad so ı dont have plus thingy. What do I have to do to change color
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Admin
Playalotsays...
You can just use the swatch examples in build mode to look through them and then place down the one you want. Click on the little swatch color option menu to the left of each item in the build/buy mode and then mouse over each color to see how the items looks. Or you can place the item then use the Design Tool from the top of the UI (looks like a fan) and click through the color items on the placed item. I very rarely use the +/- shortcut as I prefer to see the item in place without having to remain holding it.
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New
kittysays...
I want to add more money to purchess big homes. Right now i can add $ while building mode but i cant get rid of all options from bottom, no live mode opt
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Senior
Playalotsays...
Sorry, I'm not sure what you are asking. We have a guide to cheats if that's any help.
Cheats Guide
To be in live mode on a lot it has to be occupied and you would have to play that sim, you can mark them as unplayed once you are finished.
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New
Catssays...
I'm trying to record videos but even tho i'm pressing V to start and end it's not recording at all :/ anyone know how I can fix this? It's weird considering it was working fine before I update my game to the newer version...
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Senior
Playalotsays...
Check that the 'v' key isn't bound to another program maybe? Other than that just use the in-game UI.
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New
Suesays...
Hi .. thanks for these tips ! But please when I want to lift up an object by clicking 9, it lift up my object but at the same time it goes to another corner... same thing when I make an object smaller ,I press ] , it makes the object smaller but at the same time it zoomed like if I pressed the X key. Sad
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Senior
Playalotsays...
Try holding 'alt' at the same time.
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New
Josays...
In my game, I can only change one item's swatch once when it's been placed and after that if I want to change the swatch on any item I have to sell it and buy a new one, choosing the swatch in the menu. I thought that the cycling tool would be a way for me to get around it, but whenever I press plus (on the number pad), it just zooms in just as it would if you pressed the plus button that was next to the backspace button. I'm using Sims 3 camera. Any help?
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Senior
Playalotsays...
You have to be holding the item still and can't have placed it down in-game yet. Mouse-click-hold on the item in the catalogue and then move it to somewhere in the room but do not release the mouse-click. If you place the item and then pick it back up the +/- keys will control the camera and will not switch through the swatches.
It works with TS3 camera mode as that is all I have ever used since launch.


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