The Sims 4 Eco Lifestyle Expansion
Gameplay Features and Major Additions in The Pack
Eco Lifestyle Logo and art EA provided.
The Sims 4 Eco Lifestyle Expansion releases June 5, 2020 for both PC/Mac and the Xbox One and Playstation 4 consoles. For the first time in the Sims 4 era, the console players will enjoy a simultaneous launch of a new Expansion. This DLC's entire focus is a new environmental system that allows players to change the world they live in, for better or for worse. It features other things that will help you to achieve that goal. You can see my 10 Things to Know guide video below, which will help get you up to speed, or read below for info here on the site.
Eco Lifestyle Guides
A guide to ten features we know of in the Sims 4 Eco Lifestyle Expansion Pack.
A Sim is ill from polluted air in Evergreen Harbor.
Eco Lifestyle features a new Eco Footprint system that determines how polluted each neighborhood will be in a sense of air quality. Sims choke on polluted air in an Industrial neighborhood, while those in a Green one enjoy great air quality and great views - Sun Rays and Auroras can be seen in these worlds.
These "layer changes" are limited to the new world, which is an important thing for some players to realize. You will have global impacts on Sims in another world like San Myshuno or Willow Creek, but the trash will not pile up outside the player's lot the way it will in Evergreen Harbor.
Unfortunately, trash is not tied to Eco Footprint at all. The trash in each neighborhood (even the green one) is there when you first move in. While you may have some role in cleaning up the air via the Eco Footprint system, it requires you to pass a Neighborhood Action Plan to get the trash cleared up. So, do not be misled, it's not possible to make a world trashy. This is how they start, and there isn't more to be seen there. There are two paths you can take - Modern Development or Green Initiative. One of these makes modern homes, the other attempts to bring nature back to the area. Both of them clean up the trash.
I'm more than a little disappointed that player input has little bearing on the trash levels, and that this is not dynamic in some way. Many players were excited to play in a trashy world, but now that I've touched the pack I know this is not possible in the way people were thinking. You can have smog in any world, but trash is limited to Eco Lifestyle's Evergreen Harbor. It doesn 't get worse than seen, and players can only impact air quality via build mode choices and a few select activities.
Sims can dumpster dive, and perhaps find materials that will help them to craft. They may even find furniture, apparently.
Players get to choose if they want the world to be in a polluted state or if they'd like to clean up via either letting it stay as it is, or passing those Modern/Green Initiatives via neighborhood action plans. You will need to make modifications in order to play in an Industrial world. See my Eco Footprint page to understand fully how this works. The system can also be disabled in the game options menu, and there will be cheats you can use to decide which world type you'd like to live in.
Solar panels, dew collectors, and wind turbines are all featured in this pack and will impact a home's bills.
Supporting the Eco Footprint system are new wind turbines, solar panels, and dew collectors. This reduce your bills when used on a lot. If you generate more power than you need, you'll be able to sell that electricity back to the local power station for a credit on your bill (or turn a profit and let The Man pay you). Alternatively, you can store excess power and water. Storing power in particular is useful if you plan to do a bunch of crafting and are playing on an Off The Grid lot. Running that Fabricator will take more energy than you normally use, but you can lean on your stockpile to get the work done.
As part of the new patch that came with this pack, players will for the first time be on the hook for power and water usage in their homes. A new bill interface has been shown that will state how many "kwh" or gallons/liters your lot is using in some simplified way. Leaving televisions on, or leaving a toilet leaking will run up your bill so it's best to stay on top of things. You can learn more at the June 2020 Bills and Inventory Patch Page that I made.
Community Shared Lots
Community shared lots allow you to repurpose the land to let neighbors do something useful with the wasted space.
Players are able to use a new lot type - shared community spaces. These are kind of like abandoned lots, and the community can decide what it wants to do with them. You could host a weekly workout, or turn it into a public garden or maker space for the new crafter career. These can be placed in any world you can live in.
You will have to use the voting system to change these lots, though not much about this has been released to the public just yet. What we do know is that you get a currency called Influence. This is used to vote on what the community lot will be, or more broadly on negibhorhood action plans (NAPs). Neighborhood action plans influence the entire neighborhood and may influence Sim behaviors, such as the Sims with bags on their heads in the trailer or "free love" which makes jealousy reactions disappear.
Voting will play a role in the community shared lot's fate. In this shot, vertical gardens can be seen - a new feature of this expansion.
Reduce and Recycle: Maker Career
The new crafting career makes use of recyclables and old bits and pieces to create new things.
While you can certainly take part in recycling and other activities like that, repurposing things and crafting are a big part of the new crafting career that comes with this pack. Almost anything that can go in your inventory can be recycled, and perhaps other things. So you can break down things like vegetables, or mySims collectibles to get bits and pieces that can be used to craft other things.
A Sim straight up sucks the pollution out of the air with her invention.
There are two new skills - first is fabrication, which allows you to use the fabricator to craft furniture. This skill also covers candle making, though this is done at the new candle dipping station. A second skill, juice fizzing, allows your Sims to brew craft 'juices' from many produce ingredients. Depending on how many produce are put into the machine, you may get only one 'brew' or a six pack. Players who master the skill will get the 'Affizionado' reward trait, though we don't know much yet about what this does.
Hugging your bugs seems to do something, for one or both of you. The new bug motel probably helps in some way. Probably.
In the trailer, a Sim is seen hugging a bug that many of us swore was a chick. It was not, to our great disappointment, a chicken or other fowl. It was a grub. This is the new bug hotel, which will let Sims grow bugs for a variety of purposes. You can for instance create cricket flour, or turn them into a bio-fuel. They also function as an ingredient for a variety of tasty dishes, but sustainable insect-based protein diets are a part of many cultures worldwide. This will probably serve Sims well when they choose to live off the grid, among many other features that support that playstyle in this pack.
The Sims team tweeted a gif of a Sim carving meat from a wall. This is created from the new vertical garden object. If you massage the meat, you can improve its quality. If you neglect the meat, it'll dry up and turn into jerky. Yes, you read that right.
A Sim crafts candles. Evidently, the candles can melt down!
Nature overtakes an old industrial area in a pristine world.
A community shared lot transformed into a maker space.
A sim dying by flies.
Eco Lifestyle Guides
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