The Sims 4 Eco Lifestyle
Making Insect Farms with Eco Lifestyle's Buggy Bug Houses
Nurturing a Grub in my Sim's Insect Farm from The Sims 4 Eco Lifestyle.
The Sims 4 Eco Lifestyle comes with a new Bug House object that lets you create an insect farm. While great in concept, they have some serious issues right now that require a mod to fix. Unfortunately, players on The Sims 4 for Xbox One and Playstation 4 can't use mods so I want to lay out what's wrong in order to help those Simmers decide if this pack is right for them.
Eco Lifestyle Guides
How to Make an Insect Farm
Insect Farms can be easily found in the new Off the Grid mode's Outdoor Activities tab.
Find the Mitey Mitey Home Insect Farm in Buy Mode > Off the Grid > Outdoor Activities. This new item functions a lot like the bee box, but allows you to choose one of four insect types for each house. The insects have various benefits, which we'll talk about next. Fair warning - the clean out interaction doesn't clean up their poo or something! It resets the whole thing, so don't be like us and do this on the first day to lose the colony and have to start over.
Which Insects to Grow?
Insects are primarily a source of Bio Fuel, which can be used on Eco Lifestyle's new Generators for Off the Grid play.
There are four types of insect - Grubs (the ones confused for a baby chick), crickets, beetles, and bombardier beetles. This last type can sometimes set your Sim on fire if you have a failure while interacting with them. They require either level 9 Mischief or level 5 Homestyle Cooking.
What Do They Do?
Bio Fuel is used on the new Generator objects, which can pollute with regular fuel but do not when you load them with sustainable fuels.
Each insect has a unique thing you can farm from them once a day when they are healthy enough and fed. The bugs can only be harvested once each 24h, so you must choose which type you want to farm.
You can collect the following from them:
- Bio Fuel - This can be farmed from all four bug types. A unit of biofuel can be used to power generators without causing pollution. When you use regular fuel made from bits and pieces in a generator you move the Eco Footprint toward Industrial.
- Grub Meal - Unsurprisingly, this comes from Grubs. This appears to mainly be used on a grill where you can make "mealworm dogs". Yum.
- Cricket Flour - The most versatile of the food ingredients, allows you to make 3 or 4 dishes at the oven and requires the least experience. At level 1 you can cook Popcorn Crickets.
- Bombardier Beetle Nuggets - These require Level 5 cooking to use at the oven. Bombardier beetle stir fry looks disgusting, but it's in good company here.
So the main purpose of these is to feed your Sim when you play Off the Grid and do not want to let them simply magic ingredients out of thin air, and rather live off what they have. Unfortunately it doesn't seem there is much to them, just regular recipes and regular buffs if you make it high quality. I may have missed at least one thing, but in the end it appears the insect farms are good for feeding your Sim and fueling your generators to produce power during Off the Grid play, or in order to offset bills when you have a regular home and want to keep a lot of bugs around. Personally, I think the game has enough of them.
Caring for Them and Why This is BAD
The health stat is not replenished enougy by the Nurture interaction. Given he only hugs one of them, how am I to be surprised?
Your insects have two stats - hunger and health - which must be kept up, else your bug farm will die with dead bugs all around on the ground. Hunger is simple. You don't need anything to feed them, just feed 'em with a few Simoleons and call it a day. Or, collect compost from Dumpsters and you'll be able to feed them that. It's $5 your saving, just sayin. You can start over at any time by cleaning out the bug farm, or simply feed them when dead. Here's the problem...
Insect Health is impossible to keep up with, and clearly wasn't tested beyond the first day. You see, you need to hug the bugs via the Nurture command and it is supposed to replenish that. It would appear that Nurture doesn't restore much health to the bugs. This is incredible realism on The Sims part because bugs do get absolutely nothing out of a hug from a human. In fact, I'd say it would be a stressful situation if they had typical brains.
So with 6 insect Farms, I needed to hug bugs all blasted day, 5x to get them from Declining health to Growing. It took 5 hug animations, which is super long, to get 1/5th of the way there. In all, it meant hugging bugs until my Sim peed himself and me cheating needs to keep going. It took me 24 hours. I'd say with about 8, you could not possibly keep their health up and would be playing whack a mole going around different farms.
This itself is clearly a bug, and a big one. It takes one feature from this Expansion and makes it unusable for console players. If on PC, you're in luck. LittleMsSam put out a mod that fixes exactly this issue, making the hug animation shorter and making it give a lot more Health stat so the bugs will be happy and healthy. You can download it here.
Eco Lifestyle Guides
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