Author: Carl

10+ Mods That Add or Improve Gameplay in The Sims 4

Back in late September, I did a video showcase of the very talented LittleMsSam covering a small portion of her 100+ Sims 4 mods all in one video. Here’s a list of the mods covered in video format, with links to each for your Simming pleasure. They’re listed in the order they come up in the video, not by how impactful they may be. You can head to a big list of LMS’s mods here.

#1 Live-In Business

LittleMsSam’s live-in business mod lets you operate one of several kinds of home business. You can run a retail shop, day care (for kids or pets), live-in bar, club, cafe, or vet clinic. Businesses are created by putting one of the appropriately-named Lot Traits on your Sim’s home lot. It’s extremely simple to use – just click a door to open your business for the day.

I tried the live-in store because it actually functions without Get to Work and I found that pretty fascinating. It doesn’t feature the retail perks, employee management, and all that as a result but it gives your Sims a simple way to make money off objects they’ve crafted or painted and the situations you can find yourself in – like by running an at-home day care – can be pretty funny as seen in my video above. Here’s a link to her Live-In Business Mod

#2 No Auto Grab After Cooking

This simple mod, named exactly after what it does like many of LMS’s mods, will stop Sims from grabbing a plate immediately after cooking something. Why might you want this? In order to stop the constant need to battle your Sim to put a plate down just to have a family meal where everyone eats at the same time. Like normal people do. You can download it here.

#3 No Strangers Knocking At Your Door

Think about your daily life, and how many people just randomly show up to pay you a visit. If they do, you almost certainly know them right? They’re also probably your friends. Sims have this tendency to be overly-friendly, but LittleMsSam’s No Strangers Knocking Mod will fix that. This simple mod adds a friendship requirement before Sims pay you a random visit.

#4 Send Sims To Bed

I used this little mod with great effect with a live-in Day Care. With this, you can use the Sim you’re controlling to send other Sims to bed. Click a bed, select send to bed, and the Sim you select will head off to sleep. You can download it here.

#5 Claim Objects

Nobody touches my computer unless I want them to, and it’s probably the same at your home. When Sims visit, they have a tendency to get really rude and use objects you might consider personal to your Sims. It’s the same with families – Sims might have their own tv or computer in a bedroom that you’d like to keep others away from without the need to fully lock a door for specific Sims. This is especially helpful in common areas. With Claim Objects you can define objects as off-limits to Sims’ autonomous behavior. Grab this one here.

#6 Sell on Simbay

This one’s kind of weird. You can already sell objects via your inventory, but Sell on Simbay gives a little realism to the system. Click a computer, sell on Simbay, and the object will be removed from your Sim’s inventory and money deposited. It’s kind of a way around inventory management, and lets you sell up to four items per day. Here’s a link if you’re interested.

#7 No Insects Herbalism

Herbalism has a fatal flaw, in that it requires insects from Outdoor Retreat’s Granite Falls. What this means is, you’re stuck going on a vacation to collect insects just to make use of the skill. No Insects Herbalism changes the crafting requirements of the various salves and tinctures from that Game Pack and gives you a way around that problem while encouraging other forms of collecting. Link.

#8 Live-In Services

Want your own butler? How about a gardener. Live-In Services requires you to provide a bed and pay a daily fee for the service you choose. This is a really nice mod for families in Sims 4, giving them more time together while housework can be done by a professional. Nannies, maids, and gardeners can be hired using the phone and you then assign a bed with a couple clicks. Here’s a link to the mod.

#9 Sell From Aquariums

This is a part of the previously mentioned Live-In Business Mod. I just find it very cool – you can make a nice fish shop by stocking up aquariums. Sims will come and visit your aquariums and buy fish one at a time. It does require you to stock them, but adds another play-style. Make a fisherman, stock up the good/high value fish and sell them from your home lot.

#10 No Restaurant Bill When Being Invited

This is another good example of LittleMsSam’s style. She’s fixing tons of little problems in the game. Things that annoy people. Ok, so your Sim gets asked out only occasionally, and when they do they are the one paying for the meal? C’mon, at least sometimes the person inviting would pay. Well, as you may have guessed this one will put a stop to that strange behavior. Here’s a link.

#11 No Sick, Sad and Dirty Cats and Dogs in Brindleton Bay

The NPC pets in Brindleton Bay have a really rough life. They’re frequently sick and clearly in a bad way, because they spawn with such low needs. This makes Brindleton Bay a better place to visit or live by artificially improving their needs when they spawn. Sims is a cheerful game, not meant to be such a downer. Download here.

#12 Let Friends Age Up

Let Friends Age Up allows you the player to choose when NPCs age up, even with aging off. You can hold one big birthday party for everyone and age up the whole group at once. This makes sense on a level given a group of friends should always age at the same pace. In Sims you can have one a teen while another is still a child. Let Friends Age Up fixes that dilemma. Find it on LittleMsSam’s site here.

#13 Roommates

The Sims 4 completely ignores a common situation in life – having a roommate. With LMS’s roommates mod, you can have a roommate that pays rent, and is completely outside your control. This is something that players frequently want, because it adds some spice to the game. Using LMS’s Roommate Service on your Sim’s phone, you can select from a variety of roommates who will help pay the household’s bills. Here’s a link if you’re interested.

Small Mods Package

LMS is an awesome modder and has a huge selection of 100+ mods for you to choose from, and many of them work together. I had over 50 mods installed at one time, because of the Small Mods Package she provides. This gives you tons of little mods all in one zip, that fix little issues or improve gameplay in some way. These are all named appropriately so you’ll know exactly what they do. Even if you weren’t interested the mods I listed above, there may be some that interest you in this package. Just be sure to look through them and only put the ones you really want in your mods folder.

In Closing

If you download LMS’s mods, please read the descriptions to understand fully what they do. They sometimes have a choice you need to make that can prevent the mod from working. This is often fairly simple, just delete one of the files (appropriately named) based on which you’d like to choose. It’s always important to read what the modder has to say about their own work before you go asking them for support. The answer’s often obvious. Since I will send some people her way, I just wanted to make sure people understand that.

Spells List Updated & Info on Charge

A Sim casting a spell in The Sims 4 Realm of Magic Game Pack.

I’ve just taken the time to update all the spells in the spell list, with a little info on their effects, and how they are impacted by spellcaster charge.

Here’s a link to the spell guide.

I’m proud of this one, I think it turned out great eh? But there is more to learn about charge and I need to get this into various guides. Here’s why:

I learned some interesting things while doing this. For one, being in a charged state while drinking a potion is a good thing. It makes it less likely you’ll fail, as does the My Power Grows moodlet that Sims get every time they rank up as a Spellcaster past the final rank. However, being Overcharged (or, worse, Dangerously Overcharged) will make your Sim more likely to get a bad effect from a potion.

The My Power Grows is something you’ll get repeatedly while playing a Spellcaster. Every. Single. Time. you gain a rank once you’re Overmax, this buff appears. It has a ONE DAY duration, so it’s incredibly powerful given it increases spell success, potion success, death by overcharge, and gives a +2 Happy moodlet. A huge boost that those high level casters don’t really need, but at least it is one instance of this pack making you work for it a little.

I have plans for a potion guide soon, but it’s a bit more complicated. Potions have their own effects, but they can also fail. What about quality? So I need to make a table that shows all that information along with ingredients for players to have a nice quick reference on everything.

One final thing. I learned that different curses come from different activities. Look for a curses guide in the next 48h, where I’ll share exactly how you get them and perhaps help you get a specific one (or what activites to avoid if you hate a particular curse).

All in all, I’ve enjoyed Realm of Magic coverage. If you have not seen my review, check in the site news. There is both a text and video format. They aren’t the same, but make the same points. i’d say the video is a bit more refined than the text because it was done after a bit more thought and tries to be respectful of Realm of Magic’s strengths.

Sims 4 Realm of Magic is Available Now. Here’s My Opinion On the Pack

This.. is the Magic HQ. There’s next to no lore here, down to the name of the area.

I was initially very excited to get my hands on Realm of Magic, and definitely liked the amount of effort they put into ensuring there is a nice catalog of spells and potion recipes. I am grateful for the opportunity to play with it over the weekend thanks to the EA Game Changers program.

Bella Goth makes potions in the Magic Realm. The whole gang’s invited, it turns out.

The new world is definitely pretty and unique. It always appears to be a bit dark but it presents a nice contrast to all the spell particles you’ll encounter there. It’s pretty small though. There’s a lot of pointless, unused space and it feels like everything could’ve fit into the one large lot at the center. There are portals to help you get around, but once you’ve got a broom (or the Teleport spell) you’ll completely ignore them.

You just ask, do a fetch quest that takes less than 2 mins, and you’re a Spellcaster. This moment foreshadowed how easy everything else would be.

Digging into spells was my priority #1. I was at first really enjoying myself. It felt meaningful to get the first few spells, but that feeling would quickly change as I came to realize how ridiculously easy everything is. Sims has never been hard, per se, but I found that you can simply stand about practicing, talk to the Sages in the Magic Realm, and swiftly collect every single spell in probably a couple days’ time max. We’re talking Sim days here. The only barrier is the level of your caster.

Duels are cool at first, but other Sims repeat these animations so frequently they lose all meaning.

I discovered there is actually very little to do in the Magic Realm, and not a lot going on there. Random Sims like the Goths show up and reveal they, too, are spellcasters. Evidently everyone is one. The same animations repeat endlessly with there being no purpose to the duels. It’s all eye candy with no substance. Yet, it’s not really eye candy at this point because Sims 4 is not designed to take advantage of modern hardware at this point.

With all 3 “Sages” here, I simply ask them each for a spell and potion recipe – and bam, 6/39 learned. Now while on cooldown, I can practice magic and fill in the blanks then continue to farm them for spells.

At one point I gathered all 3 Sages around my Sim, talked to them and asked for potion and spell recipes repeatedly and knocked off about 10 of the 39 items in just a couple Sim hours. This is the moment that my usual regret for how simple things have become crept up on me and changed my opinion. Fundamental problems with the way the system is designed and feeds you spells rapidly are not likely to be fixed. Even if it is, it’s spoiled the adventure of building up my spellcaster for the first time.

There’s a spellcaster perk system, which gives you some choices… but since you can get them all, a smart player will pick up the XP gains and boosts to leveling and just speed up the process.

Games give players rewards and players enjoy unlocking new abilities and growing in power. This is the appeal of a Spellcaster system in Sims 4. We already know it’s going to be OP as hell, and we’re not wrong to assume that. It’s quite fine. You should be smoking normies as a Spellcaster. It’s to be expected, right? The problem is I got so stuffed full of spells at such a rapid pace I stopped counting and appreciating those rewards. Everything was handed to me on a silver platter and I maxed out really fast.

I’m a total bully, yeah. They’re frozen for a couple hours, but other than -10 relationship there isn’t any point to this. Just enjoying tormenting Sims, and that’s the case with a lot of spells. Does it matter to make an NPC Sim -10 Sad for 4 hours?

If you just want to play the same old Sims with a super-powerful witch wizard spellcaster whatever, you got it. Just don’t expect new types of effects. There are a couple but nearly everything that came with Spellcasting is from some other ability in the game, like resurrecting ghosts or scientists’ freeze ray ability. It’s almost like a greatest hits of special abilities including cloning. Potions include a lot of let-downs for me. I don’t like emotional boosts and I feel there isn’t any reason to make a Sim sad or to have two Sims fight, because there is very little going on with friendships/rivalries in the game. It’s only to satisfy my own cruelty as a player.

You can completely fill needs 4x with one apple. With excellent quality crafting it jumps to 6 potions. They can fail, sure, but the cure for failure is at your fingertips as well.

The balance here is completely non-existent and in fact destroys much of the game’s loop in caring for your Sims due to what seems to be an oversight. For instance there is a potion that replenishes needs to full. Now, ingredients should gate potions to help balance things out right – you can make a few of these, and take advantage of them at times… but the problem is , the required ingredient for that potion is.. an apple. One. Apples are common and extremely accessible. If you find one apple, successfully brew a potion with it, you not only get the potion.. you get four of them. Four full days of need refills from a single apple. I don’t know how well you play the game, but I am of the opinion you will most certainly pick up another apple within those 4 days.

Forcing Sims to fight or kiss, morphing a Sim into an object. It’s not the spells that are a problem so much as there not really being any purpose to any of it.

It was expected to make the game easier to be a Spellcaster. I just didn’t really want it to be this easy. Every other potion but the needs one takes some other form of ingredient that might be harder to come up with. Like, a specific type of element or crystal. RNG will keep you in line on those, but when you can never sleep, never poo, and have no need to eat, it almost doesn’t matter. Once you have acquired a duplication spell those remaining few gates are removed because you’ll have infinite… nearly everything.

This is really strange. This is the Untamed Magic Sage in my living room, who has a strangely townie-look to him when in another outfit. He won’t teach me spells outside the realm, which gives me a reason to visit there I guess.

RoM turns The Sims 4 into your personal playground. You can bully Sims however you want, just not kill them. No one in your family ever need suffer. RoM is probably worth the $20 when compared to other packs, I just hoped for more unique effects and a pacing that made each new spell unlock feel meaningful. The ability to live in the Magic Realm, or more to do there, would have helped.

Even though Spellcasting isn’t a skill, I’d wager it takes about the same time to max out. This is a trend that has been going on a while now – a more recent example is the decision to offer the player a Mermadic Kelp for 500 satisfaction in the rewards store. No reason to look for it, when it’s available right there. Grafting was destroyed in Summer 2018. You can still do it, but you can buy rare seed packets for $1,000 Simoleons or, as with RoM, get a death flower from one of the shops.

My Sim dies to overcharge. It is entirely avoidable with a rank 1 perk that lets you discharge magical energy. Making magic more costly or dangerous might have helped with some of Realm of Magic’s problems.

There are only 3 spells that have any kind of requirement to attain, and they’re all exactly the same. Hit the max rank, have a little friendship established with the Sages, and ask them for the final spell. Done. Now just grind each of the practice magic abilities you have by clicking your Sim, and you’ll pick up the remaining spells in those schools. Just as easy as asking for the power to be a Spellcaster in the first place. Even minor hurdles and complexity to this system would’ve been more entertaining than just giving it to you.

Want more spells? Just ask every few hours.

Realm of Magic is the ultimate power injection for players of the Sims ,and it’s power that is handed to you rapidly, from the first needs potion you’ll learn all the way to the ability to bring back the dead. Because there is so little to do in the Magic Realm, you will quickly return to the same game, just with no need to do any of the micromanagement and routine stuff that makes Sims.. the Sims. It’s a power fantasy and you are likely to get some kicks out of it, but you will feel no sense of accomplishment along the way.

The Sims 4 Realm of Magic Features Deep-Dive

A Sim is becoming a Spellcaster

Maxis held a Realm of Magic Deep Dive livestream today, and I’ve summarized it. This kicks off my major coverage of Realm of Magic. I went video first because it’s the least time consuming and I’ll need a lot of my own pictures and don’t want to replace tons of them.

Sims 4 Realm of Magic Features Review

Tomorrow night I’ll begin with coverage of Spellcasters. We learned a good bit about their Magic Charge system, spells, curses and alchemy among other things.

The magic charge system is not a typical mana pool, but rather a meter reflecting how much energy your Sim has accumulated from harnessing magic. Build up too much of this energy, and you put your Sim’s life at risk.

However being overcharged can be beneficial. When a Sim is in overcharge mode, their spells may have a more potent effect but also have a higher failure rate. This sort of reflects their need to control the magical energy they’re attempting to use.

Perks can help you to manage your Spellcaster’s charge meter. Don’t overdo it!

When a Sim’s Charge Meter is at full and you cast another spell, there’s a chance your Sim will explode in energy. However, familiars can be there for you. One of their purposes is the ability to absorb a killing blow. They can only do this every so often, however, and taking another while they are on cooldown is likely to be fatal. A minor criticism (or questions) I have about this system is: exactly when is this going to be useful? Are other magic users going to be attempting to kill me? Or is it only to protect me from my own excesses, using magic to tidy up and conjure up a roast turkey.


Three sages – masters of their own magic school – can help teach your Sim spells. In “magic HQ” they are denoted by symbols like this one.

Sims can learn spells in several ways. You can win them in duels, forcing your opponent to teach you something. You can also scour the library of the magic realm’s main building, dubbed “Magic HQ” by Maxis where you might find a dusty tome with a spell you don’t know. You can buy them at a store or just ask nicely of one of the sages. They’re more likely to accept if you’re on friendly terms.

A Sim uses a teleport spell in The Sims 4 Realm of Magic Gameplay Trailer


Having one of your spells backfire, you can pick up a curse. This is mildly reminiscent of the Fame Quirks system of Get Famous, only not so based on actions. Curses stick with your Sim permanently if you do nothing, but there are at least two ways to cure them that we know of – craft a potion or use a spell that specifically removes curses.


Sims can work together to make potions faster. Up to four may work on a cauldron at one time.

There are 15 total potion recipes to learn, and vendors in town will happily sell you ingredients – even rare ones – like death flower. Potions don’t seem to take a lot of ingredients but it does limit the player’s capacity to craft them. Using a cauldron, up to four Sims can work together to create a potion faster. However if something goes wrong they may all take a hit – in the livestream, both Sims got knocked out when something went wrong.

More to Come

I have lots more to share and will work on pages for the various systems over the weekend. While info will be sparse (and based almost entirely on the livestream) I will fill it out with full spell lists and info on familiars, potions and playing a spellcaster in general starting on Monday.

Sims 4 Snowy Escape

The Sims 4 Snowy Escape launches November 13, 2020 and my coverage has started. Until I get my review ready, you can learn about the following:

Snowy Escape Cheats
Lifestyles in Snowy Escape
Climb Mt. Komorebi
Sentiments in Snowy Escape
Rock Climbing
Skiing Skill
Snowboarding Skill

Sentiments & Platforms (Free Patch!)

I've released a guide to Sentiments in The Sims 4 & Snowy Escape.

There is a new platform tool in The Sims 4. There's also a new Sentiments system, but it'll take some time to create a guide to that. Players can also use rental lots in any world now by changing lot types of builds in manage worlds.

Best Mods in Sims 4

I've created a massive List of The Best Mods in The Sims 4 that should be very helpful to new players and those who have not yet explored modding and how much it can do for your gameplay.

Search my Sims 4 Site

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