The Sims 4 Eco Lifestyle
How The Eco Footprint Works in Eco Lifestyle
How to see Eco Footprint: Click the little button up top in Map view. You will need to turn it back off to travel to a lot.
The Sims 4 Eco Lifestyle features an all-new Eco Footprint system to represent the player and neighborhood's impact on the environment. This new system doesn't work the way I thought, at all. So here's an explanation of what's going on and how players might see trash in worlds that are fully green!
Eco Lifestyle Guides
Eco Footprint Basics
Recycling does not seem to play a role in Eco Footprint at all.
Eco Footprint is a stat seen near the game clock, and operates on a neighborhood level. So Port Promise can be Industrial, while Grim's Quarry is Green. Neutral is the in-between value. The meter's far left is green, while far-right is industrial which is extremely fitting.
What Moves It?
You can see which items have Eco Footprint effects in Build Mode.
Eco Footprint is largely based off scores that are calculated on your lot, and in the neighbors' home lots. You may have heard that the game got updated to change wall coverings, floors, and windows (among other things) to now have Eco Footprint, Environmental (for mood), and Fire Resistance stats. So, what the home is built out of is going to move that needle for your own lot and the whole neighborhood.
Placing high end electronics can make it more industrial, but if you upgrade them, you can make them conserve power and not make them green exactly but at least neutralize their impact. Planting produce and flowers will help, but planting trash plants is considered more polluting. Firing off a rocket is extremely bad for the environment and is thus an industrial activity in the game.
What Does It Do?
Auroras and Sun Rays are the main benefits of a Green Eco Footprint, along with no coughing.
Eco Footprint controls benefits or penalties you will have neighborhood-wide. In a green world, you'll have sun rays and at night Auroras. Sims can bask in sun rays to get a quick happy boost. In Industrial worlds, you'll have smog and Sims will be interrupted by coughing. This is the only effect Eco Footprint has in other worlds, aside from any as-yet undiscovered gameplay boosts as they may impact gardening etc. I'll be returning to this concept.
It Drifts To Where It Belongs
In Live Mode, hover over this area near the game clock to see your neighborhood's Eco Footprint. This may work in other areas, but you unfortunately cannot vote on their NAPs (even via cheating).
Something important about this is if you happen to use a cheat to set your world to industrial, you will find it gradually drifts back to where it belongs. If you want to lock it in, you are going to need a mod. This means console players can do nothing. All the neighborhoods in Evergreen are seemingly on their way to neutral due to the way the system works. I attempted setting my world to Industrial and then went to game options and disabled "Build Mode Objects Grant Gameplay Effects" but it was still drifting back to where build item stats would put it.
So, if you want to make your Sims Neighborhood have a Green Eco-Footprint you need to build with green materials, and place objects like the new solar panels, wind turbines, and dew collectors. Other means of power and water generation are more toward the industrial side. Like using regular fuel instead of bio-fuel. If you struggle to move the needle, go into build mode and make modifications to the neighbors' homes to improve the neighborhood's average in order to make it green. You could just add a bunch of windows with green values, and change all wall coverings to be green. The fact that this costs you nothing is frustrating to me, because it means my Sim's actions matter less.
Going Industrial for a Dirty World
One big problem with this pack is that when you start in Port Promise - the only Neighborhood that starts Industrial - is that it is on its way to Neutral when you start. Because of the building materials used in neighborhood homes. The only way to fix this is to probably demolish the homes and start over, or else change all wall and floor coverings to be industrial. This is a blow for me, because I did want to play an Industrial world but I feel like the game just won't let me without a bunch of effort.
Trash in Green Worlds
Trash is unrelated to Eco Footprint, and I found this to be a bit of a bummer.
People came out and corrected me early on, that trash can be in Green neighborhoods. They were right. What I expected of this system is not what we got. Player interactions have nothing to do with trash. Trash is a world layer that is set on all 3 neighborhoods in Evergreen Harbor. They start that way, and only one thing will change them. The trash will go away if you pass the Modern Development or Green Initiatives Neighborhood Action Plans.
No other worlds will have trash aside from Evergreen Harbor, and it only has one variant so cannot grow 'worse' than what you see when you start. You choose one of two visual layers there, and these options do not exist in other neighborhoods outside Evergreen. No trashy Willow Creek or Oasis Springs. This was a disappointment and still is, because I wish they had at least done the base game worlds.
Eco Lifestyle Guides
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