Limiting Population in Long-Term Neighborhoods (Sims 2)

Limiting Population Sims 2

There was a time that I never worried about limiting population in my Sims 2 neighborhoods. I let my Sims have as many babies as their little hearts desired.

But the time has come, after three years of playing the same ‘hood and having a baby EXPLOSION in my Strangetown Livestreams, that I must make some changes. 

Neighborhoods can quickly become overpopulated and overwhelming if you don’t do something to control the population – especially if you play wants-based like me. 

UPDATED: 05/29/2021 – I was still allowing too many children. Reduced the max number to either 1, 2, or 3 children, depending on aspiration. Also, reduced risky woohoo percentage to 10% from 20%. 

Number of Children by Aspiration

From now on, I’ll be using the Sim’s aspiration to decide how many children they can have – anywhere from 1 to 5 kids per Sim/couple. I also count adopted children as part of their total. 

  • Romance – 1 Child
  • Pleasure – 1 Child
  • Knowledge – 2 Children
  • Fortune – 2 Children
  • Popularity – 2 Children
  • Family – 3 Children

If two Sims in a relationship have different aspirations, I’ll add them together and divide by two to determine their optimal number of children. For example, if a Romance and Family Sim get married the equation would look like this:

1 (romance) + 3 (family) = 4

4 / 2 = 2

Total number of children for this couple would be two.

In the event of an odd number – such as a Family (3) and Knowledge (2) getting married, I will round up to the highest number. In this case, three.

If a Sim has MORE children than they should (according to aspiration) due to having twins, I allow them to keep the extra child. 

Preventing Pregnancies

Once a Sim or a couple has reached their ideal number of children based on the chart above, I will place the female Sim on birth control. She will remain on birth control throughout her child-bearing years. 

It is possible that birth control can fail. If that happens, I allow the family to keep the accidental child. The only exception is if the Sim is a female romance Sim. Then, she has a chance of giving the baby up for adoption according to my gameplay rules

To place a Sim on birth control, I use ACR (autonomous casual romance). Click the adjuster and select Sim Settings > Pregnancy > Birth Control is OFF (to turn it on). 

Sims 2 Birth Control - Limiting Population
Turn birth control on/off using Sim Blender.

In addition, I set Ideal family size using Sim Blender here, too. But I don’t trust it completely, so I also manually use birth control when needed. 

I also place a Sim on birth control for two days anytime they roll the fear of having a baby – unless they are already pregnant, of course. If after two days, they no longer have the fear of having a  baby, I remove them from birth control. If they do still have the fear, they remain on birth control for another two days. 

Risky Woohoo

I used to set my risky woohoo percentage to 20% using ACR, but this resulted in too many accidental babies. I’ve since reduced it to 10% for all my neighborhoods. 

Ending Pregnancies

I will end a Sim pregnancy if the following conditions are met:

  1. The pregnant Sim rolls a fear of having a baby while pregnant
  2. The pregnant Sim is in the first trimester of pregnancy (before the first baby bump appears).

If the Sim has a visible baby bump, it’s too late and the pregnancy cannot be ended. 

To end a pregnancy, I use Sim Blender. Select Pregnancy > Sim Name > Terminate Pregnancy. 

Sims 2 Terminate Pregnancy - Limiting Population
End pregnancies using the ACR adjuster.

I also use a miscarriage mod, which adds a possibility of miscarriage. Again, this is rare but it can happen (just like in real life). Sims who’s hunger or energy get too low may miscarry, so if you take good care of your Sims it will hardly ever happen. I have had about two or three miscarriages in ALL of my ‘hoods. 

Death and Disease

Another method of population control in my neighborhoods is allowing Sims to die of disease. I use more realistic disease mods and when a Sim dies, it is almost always permanent. I rarely resurrect dead Sims – only if another Sim has both the desire and the means (without cheating) to do so. And this is very rare. 

I’ve had two deaths due to the flu in my three year old-Pleasantview, which isn’t many compared to the population. But still, it helps. 

I also use mods that make fire more deadly, allow death in childbirth, and increase the chance of Satellite death. These are still all rare occurrences, but they can happen and will help a bit with population control. (See my Sims 2 mods list here.)

Brandi Broke dies in childbirth.
Brandi Broke dies in childbirth.

These are the ways I am limiting population in my Sims 2 neighborhoods. Now, I’d love to hear from you! How do you keep your long-term ‘hoods from getting too large? Do you limit the number of babies your Sims can have or do you have some other method? Leave a comment and share! 

47 thoughts on “Limiting Population in Long-Term Neighborhoods (Sims 2)”

  1. One question. How do you do this if people switch their potential baby daddies or baby mommas? Like do you calculate it as if they had no children at all or do you calculate it with the children they already have seperatly again or do you count ALL children no matter if its a stepchild or not with it?

    • I honestly don’t have this happen in my game very often. I rarely have divorces. The only Sims who tend to do this are Romance Sims in my game, and I only intend to allow them 1 child no matter who their partner is (unless they marry). If a married person divorces and has another partner after that, I would just recalculate. If they are already at the limit, I wouldn’t let them have any more. I would include step kids. I might break this rule if the new partner is a family Sim or someone who has NEVER had their own bio child. It would be on a case-by-case basis.

  2. I’ve also been limiting the population, but never thought about aspiration based number of children. Good idea! The way I’ve been controlling the amount of babies is:

    1. Risky woohoo is only 5% (even with this number my sims have quite a few accidents)
    2. Don’t allow pregnancy if the child won’t have time to age up to at least a teen, preferably closer to YA/A, before the mother ages to an elder.
    3. Don’t always lock baby wants immediately, see if they persist. Especially if the want is one of those that almost always roll after certain events. For example a family sim wanting another child when one ages up.
    4. Ignore endless wants to woohoo

    Haven’t done much to make the game more deadly to my existing sims yet, but may have to look into that too, haha.

  3. 4 children still seems a lot for a popularity sim. A Popularity/Romance couple would be 3 children. I would decrease it to 3 and maybe Fortune down to 2, too. But you probably put more thought in this than I did.

    • The way I see it, Popularity Sims are typically outgoing and love things like birthday parties, making friends, and having lots of people around. That’s why I allow them to have more children – because more children = more people in your life. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • This reminds me of my Angela, who got 3 children via acr before the age of 25, was super busy and a total mess. But at least every time a baby was born the meet someone new want go fulfilled. ๐Ÿ˜€ That was quite sad actually

        Personally I don’t let them try for a baby. If they have a tfb baby want, I let them do a casual wohoo (15% chance in my game) each day. I also often don’t lock tfb wants, especially for family sims, if they already have two children, because they roll it after each baby to toddler birthday. So they just do a casual woohoo while they have the want and don’t have the fear. It works quite well, despite 18h pregnanca span in my game – except for Angela, of course.

  4. Cindy, I find leaving autonomous try for baby off with a lower risky chance (10% and less). If a sim wants to try for baby I allow it but otherwise they may not ever become accidentally pregnant and therefore may never have children. I have had situations where a sim got pregnant and then right after risky pregnant but I feel thatโ€™s something that can happen in real life as well.

    • I love my accidental pregnancies too much to do this! But it would definitely be a good solution if that didn’t bother you!

  5. I do mainly two things to prevent the overpopulation:
    1. I never use Try For baby myself. If the sims are doing it via ACR autonomy, it’s fine. When I force them to do woohoo it’s always risky.
    Thanks to that 3+ child family are very rare. If a sim rolls the want to have a baby I lock that in but still do nothing with it.
    2. I ban the family aspiration for sims from the bigger families. If a newborn’s personality is suited for family aspiration I either reroll the baby or I try to find them the other aspiration instead. Examples of families like that are the Curious/Smith or Pleasant/Burb.

    I also use mods for deaths, I modified a miscarriage mod to have the higher chances.

  6. wow this is really interesting! i’ve had almost the same issue on my pleasantview, where dina had like 5/6 children and she’s not even a secondary family. i decided to limit my population from now on, i love making babbys, but it can be very overwhelming ๐Ÿ˜…

  7. I have always found your 20% high but I understand it’s based on normal fertility whilst not using birth control.
    My two biggest things :
    -I have my risky set to 10%. I based this on how in our society most people plan their families one way or another and thus mine is based on failure /typical use for birth control, rounded up. This means I generally don’t put sims on birth control.
    -I also, just like with engagement and marriage, prefer for my couples to be in agreement about their wants. If the male in the relationship wants a baby but the female doesn’t, I generally don’t allow try for baby because she has to carry it. If it is the other way around I might have them try for baby, if I think it makes sense. I make an exception for romance sims sometimes since they generally don’t roll the want for a baby if I think it would make sense for them to have one with their partner.

  8. I also calculate the number of babies allowed through aspiration, but I do it differently: Family, Pleasure, Popularity – 2 children Wealth, Knowledge, Grilled Cheese and Romance – 1 child Then I calculate the allowed number of the two sims. I love your blog, I always check for updates ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. This is something I have never considered. When I first started reading I thought having too many people in a hood would crash your game or something. I have a long-term neighborhood filled with fairytale characters that are always marrying and having babies with each other and it never bothered me to control so many people (Sleeping Beauty alone has about 10 children, some of them already have kids of their own, and she is constantly wanting more babies, so I just let her). I also hardly kill these sims and hardly ever let them age up, making them drink the life elixir. I guess it fits my magical narrative that nobody dies and are always happy procreating.
    But it’s interesting to see different gameplay ideas. I might apply your technique when playing with the premade neighborhoods sometime.

  10. I have to say this because no one mentioned it so far – I do have poisoned wine and ehm functional crate of axes ehm for storyline purposes. Very effective in maintaining population ๐Ÿ˜€ I donยดt use it very often because I love my sims, but yeah some of them can be evil. Like if sim wants to see a ghost of another sim, then this can be an option for wants based game.

  11. I have this problem in my current Pleasentview. Everyone and their mothers had twins: Cassandra had twins,, Dina and Nina had twins, the Burbs had twins and Angela just gave birth to twins… And it’s going to be hell to pair them up together because it was also a boy epidemic. Good thing most of the kids are also knowledge, so maybe some of them will live at their parents basements forever.
    Usually I put a cap of 3 children per Sim as a maximum (sorry Brandy, no more babies), they only get to try for baby if 1 Sim wants a kid and only if none of them are parents already, after that, both Sims must have that want, if they try and they dont get pregnant, I unlock it and they have to reroll. I allow risky woohoo but only at 5% chance, so far, just 1 accident

  12. Thanks for the post Cindy! I love reading your gameplay rules and it has really gotten me back into TS2 and made my experience with TS2 so much more fun. I was just thinking about this when Cassandra rolled a want to have 10 babies and my immediate thought was… how am I going to play 10 new Goth families when they grow up and start having their own kids? I’ll definitely include something like these rules in my game!

  13. What about a lovechild? In a custom neighborhood I’m playing, a female sim got pregnant by another male sim while she is married and gave birth to her.

  14. Hi!
    Well, I just do it randomly, but not every sim gets a baby, if they don’t want to, or if it’s not an accident, or if I don’t want those particular two to have a kid. To be honest, all my female sims are always on birth control, I like sim babies, but not too many xd and i look on the families also, if some of them looks like not the big family, I don’t do them more than one child (i want those genes! xD). Sometimes I hesitate and those are rare occasions when I pause for a moment and think if I would like for this particular family to have more kids. And even then my sims don’t usually fulfill my wishes (for example, Emily and Eric Crumplebottom had one daughter, and when she was a kid, Emily rolled a want for another kid, I wanted them to have a son, but for no avail, they’ve tried once a day for like 15 years and now they’re both after 40 and I’ll probably won’t see another kid).
    So, to sum this up:
    1. Birth control from the first day of adulthood (I don’t like them being like 20 and popping babies, if birth control fails, it’s okay)
    2. Thinking if i like a family to have a kid, if no, they won’t have one (unless birth control will fail, I had like a streak in one family, when birth control failed xD).
    3. And when I hate a family to have a kid for some reason, I check after every woohoo if she got pregnant and if she did, i have her take morning after pill (with ACR there is this option :))
    4. And after a round when EVERY mother died in childbirth and was saved by her partner I’ve decided: life is life, no more begging for life with the Grim. Nope. Just nope. It breaks my heart to see them go and I may break this rule for my fav sim maybe… or if I need her to be alive for the second child (I play beginning of pleasantview, so not every mother can die in childbirth xd).

    Current generations is almost entirely build of knowledge and fortune sims (chosen by their signs or mine “oh, you look like a fortune to me”), so I won’t see too many babies from them xd

  15. I’m thinking about don’t let the sims plead for the dead ones when the woman dies from childbirth at all, or only if the sim who pleas is a family sim or knowledge (Not really sure about this yet). Because in one round two sims almost died and I’m let their partners plead because I’m so soft heart and both the women were family sims (now I’m were thinking about the disaster that I’ve done!!!) And I’m with the triples and quads mod that can’t be a good Idea when comes to over population. But my risky woohoo is 10% and my try for baby is the default but I’m gonna lower. If I keep the mod I’m gonna look how to tune the twins odds because it’s 15% and in the vanilla game it’s 10%. I’ve never played anything beyond the 1 generation but marticore video about her mistakes scared me. I think that lower the risky woohoo to 10% or even 5% would be good for your game because like me you can’t simply ignore their wishes, I’m determined to almost never use the try for baby interaction too and if I do, the odds gonna be really low, I’m thinking about 30% or 25%if the default it’s 50%, something like that. I’m was playing with 15% but belladonna cove have so many family sims, they wished for a baby soon I started to play, what ended with 6 babies (2 are twins, so less possibilities for marriage) and one pregnant sim for another round, but it’s the biggest neighborhood anyways.

  16. I have a simmilar way to determine how many kids a sim wants. I’m counting
    6 for Family
    3 for Knowledge
    2 for Fortune
    1 for Popularity
    0 for Romance, Pleasure and Grilled Cheese.
    But I also take secondary asp. (and zodiac for premades where the zodiac doesn’t correspond with their aspiration) in account. First aps. counts double. So for example Cassandra Goth in my game:
    Family/Popularity/Virgo: 6+6+1+3=16 16/4=4 so it’d be four kids for Cassandra.
    Now she’s married to Darren Dreamer. He’s Knowledge/Family/Aries so:
    3+3+6+1=13 13/4=3,25
    Together they are somewhere over 3,5 so it’d be four kids for them. Since Darren already has Dirk they had three kids together.

  17. I have the same mods you do, the more dangerous fire, deadly illness, miscarriage etc. I’ve not started a system related to aspiration which is a really good idea. I have just had Cassandra die in childbirth (I was speechless).

    I do keep ACR turned on, but turn auto try for a baby off if the sims can’t afford a child, If they have had a risky woohoo I will sometimes let them take the morning after pill, which I do via the acr adjuster (rather than sim blender) which actually gives you the option to take morning after pill.

    I will occasionally ‘write a sim out’ similar to a soap opera. For example if a sim splits with their spouse, the mother might move to the city with the kids. Or say a sim goes to college, maybe after leaving for college they got a lucky break and found a job in another neighbourhood. I also put some playable elders in the retirement home once they’ve been an elder for a while and let the children/grandchildren inherit the house early.

    I also remove all jealousy from my romance sims regardless of their relationship status using the ACR adjuster. I’m thinking of having Nina move in with Don as he has always been her ‘booty call’ and they can just live as friends with special privileges! It would be good company for him after Cassandra’s passing.

  18. Hi Cindy!
    Your blog and let’s plays have breathed new life into my enjoyment of the Sims (Sims 2 especially)! Your rules provide a structure to what my gameplay tended to be (but it was very haphazard and messy :D)
    I’m wondering, what happens with secondary family aspiration sims? Have you considered taking secondary aspirations into account?

    • I am currently experimenting with NOT playing with secondary aspirations, so I’m not really taking it into account. But I could see possibly averaging a Sim’s main and secondary aspiration to reach their number of children. For example, a Romance/Family could have four kids instead of one. That would also mean MORE kids when I’m trying to have less, so not sure I would do it in my game. To make things less complicated, I’ll probably just go with their primary.

  19. I love this and was just thinking about how to implement something like this as there are too many babies in my game (Brandi Broke out of control) and my risky is 10%.
    I will definitely be using this. Do you consider alien abduction babies to be accidental? Also how does this work for the have 10 babies wants and ltw?

    • Hi! I think turning down the risky percentage is a good idea too. I’m considering turning mine down to 10% also. I do consider alien abduction babies to be accidental, but I also count them toward the household’s number of children. They work the same as regular babies for LTW and 10-baby wants, I believe.

  20. Hi Cindy,

    This is a wonderful idea, I think I’m going to adopt these rules into my game and set the ideal family size in ACR. I have the same issue with having too many babies – I LOVE the genetics in Sims 2 so I always have huge families to see all the genes, lol. But I find myself overwhelmed with all the sims and it’s hard to keep track of them. It’s also hard for me to get attached to them in bigger families and I’ve been toying with the idea of how to fix this.

    All I’ve done so far is just keep my risky woohoo at 10% and set my ACR timer to 4x. I used to have it at 2x but that made way too many babies for my liking!

    • I am the same way! I love to see the genes! But it does get overwhelming, so I have to reign it in. I also set ACR to 4x because anything else is too much IMO. I think I will decrease my risky percent to 10% too.

  21. I only allow my sims to try for baby once per marriage. I also always give family sims the super fertility aspiration benefit. I don’t play with risky woohoo. The only family I allow to have more kids is the Smiths because they have extra rooms in their house so I always have them have kids or adopt when they are no longer able to have biologically to fill the rooms

  22. Hi Cindy! What do you mean by rounding up? for example if i have a knowledge sim and a family sim get together their allowed baby number would be 3.5. Do i round it up to 5 or to 4?

  23. I find this very interesting as a starting point – I also include the life time wishes in my game. Especially for family sims: If a family sim has the desire to reach the top of the educational career, they will only have 3 kids to have time to focus on their career – if they want to marry six children of or have six grand children they could have 4-6 kids for example.

  24. Hi Cindy,
    I have an idea for a rule concerning step-children that would still fit well here. How about you average out the number of MORE kids the individual Sims would have. Taking Vidcund and Holly for example in your Strangetown stream. Vidcund has already 2 children, so he would have 0 more children, but Holly has 0 children and is allowed to have 2. (0+2) : 2 = 1 That would mean they are allowed to have one more child.

  25. Great idea! I met this issue before in my hoods so I decided to try a new approach, which is kind of hard to keep up with but for now, I am happy with that:
    1. only 10% chance in risky woohoo, maybe I will reduce this to 5%, cuz I AM VERY LUCKY YOU KNOW; also, I have almost all of your mods (thank you very much, it really added some spice to the gameplay!); also, I turned off autonomous try for a baby in ACR since it resulted in way too many children
    2. I don’t let sims woohoo more than 1-2, max 3 times a day, even if they want more – I think this is not very realistic; also, I ignore wish having 10 kids, cuz I know in the future that will be a pain in the ass
    3. if the person gets pregnant, and he/she is in the 1st trimester and has no wish to have a baby, I look at fears (if parents don’t want to have a child, then I terminate the pregnancy), and on serious/playful personality points of parents, then I do my decision basing on it. Usually I run random.org from 1 to 10. Let’s say, a person has 4 playful points, so if a random number will be from 1 to 4, then the person does not care about it, and happy to keep up with this accident. If a number is from 5 to 10, then he\she took that seriously and does not want to let accidents change his\her life that much. I do this calculation for both parents, and if one wants to keep the child, and the other – not, then I would randomize 50 to 50 if they are living together (you know, simulate the situation when one parent convinces other to some decision) or just let the one who is going to give birth decide what to do with her\his body, depends on the case.
    4. if it happened that the person didn’t show pregnancy (didn’t have morning sickness, it happened to me quite a few times, damn you Lilith, trojan horse :D) and we had the second trimester, then I look on grouchy\nice points. The system similar to above. If random goes to grouchiness, then I make a conclusion person does not want to keep a child and does not want to rise it, and does not care about the thing the child will be in an orphanage. If random goes to niceness, it means that even if the child was not expected, parents are ready to give it a try. Again, if one parent wants to raise the child, and the other is not, I go to 50\50 random or, if they are living apart, I can just let the child live with the parent who wanted to keep the child.
    I like this cuz for me it really mirrors sims personality (the more sim serious is, the less chance the sim would keep the unexpected baby), and even if they are extremely nice or serious, there is always a small chance, that in this particular case they will decide to betray their usual preferences, but, ofc, if the person has 0 or 10 points, there is no place for randomness. I also used to let family sims always keep a child, but after the case when Samantha Ottomas gave me 4 babies in a row (scripted twins, and right after birth they made other twins WITH 10% CHANCE OF BEING PREGNANT, and I just went mad), I guess I will not look at it anymore lol.

    Sorry for this long read, hope it wasn’t so boring to read with awful English and not having an ability to explain what I mean haha
    Thank you for all the great content you do for us!

  26. I am using this new limiting system in my rotational play in pleasantview…i had two female Sims die of childbirth (Brandi broke, right after she gave birth to baby boy Clinton – it happened when Dustin was in school, so i had baby beau and Clinton taken away by social services, but I got them back – and Cassandra dreamer, right after she gave birth to her second child with Darren) and I let them die…now I want to see what happens next!

    • That’s what I used to do, but after three years in the same ‘hood things get a little overwhelming!

  27. I use inteen and acr. Anyone who uses both of these knows that teen girls are SUPER fertile. So, when my girls age up I’ll use their logic skill and health interest points as a guide. If one or both of is 4 or higher I will put that girl on birth control. I think that they are either responsible, smart or educated enough to realize the risks. I like to have some accidental teen pregnancies, but not all the time. I use this same method with uni girls too.

    I also care about the combinations of couples. And the whole ~personality~ of the sim. If I have a couple where female sim is family and male is fortune, I usually consider they to be quite conservative. So, I but them first to build home suitable for kids before trying to conceive, and the female sims would be homemaker without the kids before that. Then two fortune sims are power couples, so of course they don’t have many kids to ruin their careers. Daa’ah.

    I also don’t really try to pair up my sims (except family sims, especially females!). So their fertility will decrease, and I am not having that many accidental pregnancies.

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