The Sims 4 Building Tutorials:

Using Building Cheats to Enhance a Project

by Norma Blackburn

Sims 4 Building How-To's: enhancing builds with build mode cheats

There are a few cheats we can use while building in Sims 4. Usually very easy to use, they can enhance our builds and can help to make them look more realistic.

To use cheats, first you need to open the cheats console by pressing Control + Shift + C. Type the cheat in and press enter. To close the console, press Control + Shift + C again.

The Sims 4 Building Cheats for PC, Xbox and PS4

A Guide to using The Sims 4's building cheats, which includes controls that are easy to miss that let you resize objects and fine tune placement. Features the new live mode edit objects that were patched into the game in July 2019.

The Sims 4 Video

Move Objects Cheat

Possibly one of the most used cheats in building. To activate type bb.moveobjects on and retype to turn the cheat off. With this on, you will be able to place items in places that the game would not normally allow. You can place things closer together or even touching. With this cheat, you could combine two pieces of furniture to make one larger pieces, for example, two Unabashed Sofas at right angles to each other make a nice corner lounge. Join tables together to make larger tables. Be aware though, that combining items can affect your sim's ability to use part or all of the item or can cause strange visuals when they do use it. It's a good idea to test objects placed with this cheat, especially if you intend to share the build.

Sims 4 Building How-To's: moveobjects cheat
Click to Enlarge. Use the moveobjects cheat to combine furniture

The move object cheat does have some limitations. While it will allow two windows to be placed on one section of wall, it will cause some strange visuals. Sometimes too, the game will not acknowledge that an item is placed in an unusual place and again, some strange visuals could result when a Sim uses that item.

Sims 4 Building How-To's: game doesn't recognize when something is placed using a cheat
Click to Enlarge. The game doesn't always recognise when something is placed using a cheat

While the move objects cheat is activated, we can also adjust the height at which something sits. Pick up the item and press the 9 key, every time you press the key, the item will be raised a little. When it's at the desired height, release it and it will stay at that height. To lower something use the 0 key instead. This is useful for placing things on surfaces that the game would not normally allow.

Sims 4 Building How-To's: make cosmetic bunk beds
Click to Enlarge. Use moveobjects cheat and raise a second bed to make a set of bunks - unfortunately, they can't be used

Show Hidden Objects

Another well used cheat in building, this one allows us to use items that we normally can't buy. To activate, type bb.showhiddenobjects into the cheat console. For now, there seems to be no way to turn this cheat off other than exiting the game, so be aware, especially if you are playing a competition game where cheats are not allowed.

This cheat lets us select many items that we cannot usually buy, from full grown fruit trees to the little things our Sims use in everyday activities. Included in the hidden objects are lights. The hidden lights are particularly useful as they can make a room lighter without adding more conventional lights.

Sims 4 Building How-To's: Add extra lights with hidden lights
Click to Enlarge. Use hidden lights to add extra light to a room




Enlarging an item

Not really a cheat, the enlarging feature is still useful when decorating a house. In Build mode, pick up an item and press the ] key and the item will be enlarged a little. With each key stroke, the item will be made slightly bigger. While items can be made larger, they cannot be made smaller than the original size. To reduce the size of something that has been enlarged, hit the [ key until the required size is reached. While most items can be made bigger, a few do not enlarge well. While window and door frames will enlarge, the hole in the wall will remain the original size. Likewise mirrors do not enlarge well.

Sims 4 Building How-To's: plants enlarge well, other objects do not
Click to Enlarge. Some things like plants enlarge well - others like windows and mirrors do not

Free Placement and Rotation of Objects

Another trick that is not really a cheat is free placement and rotation of objects. Normally when you place an item, it will be locked to the grid. Pick up an item and go to place it somewhere. You will see it has a footprint. This footprint shows how many grid squares the item will need and when you place it the footprint will automatically lock to the grid on the floor.

By holding the ALT key when you place something, the grid will be ignored and you will be free to place it anywhere. Things moved this way will still have the footprint that says how many squares of floor space is needed. Unless you also use the moveobjects cheat, items cannot share the same space. Combining the moveobjects cheat and holding the ALT key will give more placement options.

Sims 4 Building How-To's: stop grid snap when making a lot
Click to Enlarge. Normally, objects snap to the grid. By holding the alt key they can be placed anywhere

Free rotation is similar to free placement in that we are not restricted in how we rotate an item. This trick is dependent on you using the Sims 3 camera mode. To switch into Sims 3 camera mode, select the Options menu in the top right hand corner of the screen. From there select Game Options and then Controls & Camera. Check the box that says The Sims 3 Camera. Apply the change and return to the game. Alternately, you can switch between the Sims 3 camera and the Sims 4 camera by holding CTRL + Shift + tab. With the Sims 3 camera, you will be able to rotate an item you are holding simply by dragging it instead of having to use the < or > keys. Rotating something this way, you will still be restricted to 45 degree rotations but by holding the ALT key as you drag, you will be able to rotate an item freely.

Sims 4 Building How-To's: hold alt and use the sims 3 camera mode to freely rotate objects.
Click to Enlarge. By holding the alt key and using the Sims 3 camera mode, we can freely rotate objects

Sharing houses and rooms built with cheats
If you share a house or room you have built using some or all of the cheats, there are a few things to consider. Not all things placed with the showhiddenobjects cheat will transfer through the gallery, some are just not designed that way. The invisible lights will only transfer if you save and share an entire lot. If you only share a room, hidden lights will not be included. Objects placed using the moveobjects cheat may transfer correctly, but there is a chance that they will not. Items transferring could also depend on individual games being up to date. In earlier versions of the game, some items did not transfer through the gallery the way they were intended to by the builder.

Other Building Guides

Sims 4 House Building
Building Cheats
Counters and Islands
Decorating Inside Homes
Decorating Outside/Landscaping
Island Living (Stilt Foundation, Glass Floors)
Roofs
Split Levels and Lofts
Stairs and Basements
Terrain Tools


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Comments (91)

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New
SleepySlothsays...
Recently I've noticed that using the 9 and 0 keys to raise and lower objects is not working anymore. I'm not sure if a recent patch changed the keybindings but now when I use those keys in build mode it only zooms my camera out extremely far. Do you know if they changed the keybindings?
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Admin
Playalotsays...
I'm presuming they haven't as 0 and 9 are still working for me. Have you tried deleting the localthumbcache.package file from your The Sims 4 folder to see if that clears it up for you?
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New
Leesays...
I too am having the same issue with 0 & 9 no longer raising/lowering items. Any fix for this yet?
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New
Skirt1212says...
bb.moveobjects is not WorkSad
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Admin
Playalotsays...
In live mode pause your game and press Control-Shift-C altogether to open up the cheats console.
Next type or copy testingcheats on and press enter.
Next type or copy bb.moveobjects on and press enter.
If you want to also freely rotate an object hold down the alt key while you are still holding the object and either use the mouse wheel down and pivot or the direction arrows.
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New
Micheal Bohmersays...
Actually you don't have to type 'on' or 'off'. When you initially type bb.moveobjects it turns it on and when you next type bb.moveobjects it turns it off.
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New
Andysays...
How do I rotate objects when I have a scandinavian keyboard?Smile
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Admin
Playalotsays...
Sorry, haven't got a clue!
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New
brookesays...
When i put in bb.showhiddenobjects it doesn't work and when i put in bb.showhiddenobjects on it says command failed and ive tried it with testingcheats on too
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Admin
Playalotsays...
Maybe a mod conflict? I've just tried it and it worked in my game. Did you check in the build UI under Content (on the right) to see if the 'unlocks' tab was there? If it is there then the cheat has worked.
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Regular
Emilysays...
Wow thanks a lot!Laugh This web sight is amazzzing Smile
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Regular
catsays...
What works for bringing the fence past the boarder i want to bring my fence out all the way to the end of the lot and haven't figured out how to do that.
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Admin
Playalotsays...
There is no way of editing the world. In The Sims 4 we can only edit inside the lots boundary and even then not all the way to the edge.
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New
Missysays...
Hey,
Does anyone know how i can turn the Von Haunt Estate into a residential lot rather than a public place?
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Admin
Playalotsays...
My understanding is that they can not be changed unless you use a mod. Unfortunately the only mod I could find has not been updated since late 2015 and so is now incompatible.
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New
Basilsays...
I have two giant glass panels stuck at the edge of the lot and the game would not let me click on them or delete them no matter what cheat codes I use. Any suggestions would be most appreciated.
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Admin
Playalotsays...
This seems counter intuitive but have you saved your game and quitted? I had something similar and eventually sort-of rage quit lol. Next time I went back in the item had been removed. Apart from that 'suggestion', I'm not really sure. Unsure Maybe building a basement under the items might force the game to remove them too?
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New
Basilsays...
The first panel was created by a glitch when my an older household of my sims attended a party at that lot. The sims could not even enter the house as there was no front door. Since the glass panel appeared I have tried revisiting that lot with other household, deleting that resident lot, and using various available cheats such as bb.moveobjects, bb.enablefreebuild. I could not move the glass panel, and had only two options: Reset (debug) and Set as head. Neither was helpful. I could not delete the glass panel. Worse still, clicking Set as Head created a duplicate glass panel, and now I have two giant glass panels at the edge of an empty lot.
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New
Kayceesays...
Is there a cheat to make terrain paints usable on a penthouse?
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New
Martasays...
I can't nor have I ever been able to increase/enlarge an object! How is it done???? I have a standard keyboard: the key 9 also has ) ,if I press SHIFT, and ] ,if I press ALT GR. Is that the problem?? Please help! Unsure
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Admin
Playalotsays...
Chose an item out of the buy menu, say a pot plant. While still holding it in place press the ']' key. If the pot plant doesn't become larger wiggle the mouse a bit and often that will make the enlargement work. To make it smaller again press the '[' key (square bracket). This all has to be done while still holding the item in build mode.
Some items need 'shift+]'. No idea why the cheat works like this but at least you do not need testingcheats on enabled.
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New
Martasays...
Thanks, I'll give it a shot later.
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New
Niamhsays...
Does anyone know how to get objects to face angles other than 45º, 90º, 180º etc?
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Admin
Playalotsays...
If you mean items like a chair for example, if you hold down alt you can rotate the held item while holding it with left click mouse button being held down and then release it when it is placed as you want. For buildings etc they can only be rotated on those set degrees.
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New
Sidney Morgansays...
Ok so I need help I used the Basic testing cheats on cheat and then I shift clicked the mailbox and then I it this feature wich was set as head and I didn't know what he did so I clicked it and now my person has a mailbox for a face how do I undo this. PLEASE HELP ME!
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New
Sidney Morgansays...
Ok nvm I figured it out. Thanks anyways guys.
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Regular
Nicolesays...
Instead of alt, what can i use for Mac?
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New
Kayesays...
Stuff wont merge and 9/0 does not work. But alt and [/] are fine. I used this cheat yesterday but now it doesn't work.
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Admin
Playalotsays...
Do you mean the bb.moveobjects cheat? I'm not really sure exactly what you are having problems with.Unsure
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Regular
Hollysays...
Okay, so I got the hidden objects cheat to work. Best day ever. But then i shut the game down.... when i started it back up, i copy and pasted the cheat back in again and it isn't functioning the same way. The first day I was able to buy the ponds, full grown fruit trees, collectables, etc.... but now the only debug items I have access to are collectables....has this happened to anyone else? Is it fixable?CryingCryingCrying
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Admin
Playalotsays...
Once you have entered the bb.showhiddenobjects cheat, on the left side search panel type in debug. Click on one of the debug words that come up after you hit search and this will take you to the objects that you are looking for.
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New
Socksays...
I can use most every other cheat, even bb.movobjects but I can't use Alt to move objects.
Help!! Sad
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Admin
Playalotsays...
Press Alt key down and then click on an object. Move it while still holding Alt down and while you have it selected with your mouse. Don't need any other cheats on to use Alt in this way.
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New
Calliesays...
The alt trick seems to only work for floor objects. I was hoping to move some windows closer together using it but it won't work for windows or doors :(
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Admin
Playalotsays...
Windows can only be moved vertically and doors can only be placed in different horizontal spots even with cheats.
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New
Tammi Bradleysays...
Hey Carl,

Any cheat for "fixed objects?" I.e., apartment entry door placement... I want to move it two squares over!!!
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Senior
Playalotsays...
No cheats. These areas and the objects in the inaccessible areas are simply... not editable! Basically they are locked as part of the world and can not be unlocked with cheats.
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Regular
Sophiesays...
Works Fine! but it does not let me make a bunk bed with a desk underneathSmileTongueGrin
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Senior
Playalotsays...
Actually you can do that with the MOO cheat using the 0 and 9 keys to raise/lower objects. Sims just kind of teleport into the raised bed which does look a bit weird but still allows them to sleep. Smile
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New
Mitchsays...
Does anyone know if raising and lowering objects with the moveobjects cheat is possible on console?
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Admin
Playalotsays...
You could try asking your question on our console thread.
TS4 Console Thread
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Regular
Maddiesays...
How do you change a special venue into a residential?
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Admin
Playalotsays...
You need a mod to be able to do that. Unfortunately the only mod I knew that did this is now broken. Try googling or sites like modthesims.
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New
Sudesays...
Thank you very much (I 'm from Turkish Laugh)
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Regular
Emmasays...
OK, so I can’t size things up. However, I can size things down... what’s up with that? And is there a way for me to size things up??
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Admin
Playlotsays...
Yes, sometimes you need to use the square bracket key and the shift key as well as wiggling the item while still holding it. Both sizing up and down are done the same way, holding the item and then pressing the left bracket key [ for sizing down and the right bracket ] for sizing up.
The 'shift key plus square bracket' is the old way to enlarge items and for whatever reason it is still sometimes needed.
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New
Hphowsonsays...
I've tried basically everything for the sims 4 version of buydebug. I made sure the cheats were enabled and I tried it these three ways; bb.showhiddenobjects, bb.showhiddenobjects on, bb.showhiddenobjects true, and none of them seem to work Crying I just want the plants so I don't have to grow them myself. It takes forever for the lemon trees to be harvestable!
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Senior
Playlotsays...
Well, good news and bad news. To access buydebug go into build mode and then enter the cheat 'bb.showhiddenobjects' and then in the filters on the right hand side under content choose 'debug'. The you can use the search bar on the left to find what you want.
Bad news is you won't find fully grown plants, they turn into newly spawned versions which you will need to wait until they grow to harvest.


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