The Sims 4 Mods List for Improved Game Play

Sims 4 Recommended Mods for Improved Gameplay

This is my Sims 4 recommended mods list for improved game play. These are the mods I use along with my gameplay rules to achieve my specific play style. 

Please note, some of these mods may not be fully updated to the current game patch, depending on when you’re visiting this page. Always double-check to make sure they’re updated before downloading or they may not work as intended. 

Tip: I recommend organizing your mods by creator, as this makes updating easier. You can just check each creator’s website for updates when a new expansion or patch is released. 

LAST UPDATED: 01/11/2024

Essential Mods

Although I play with all the mods on this list, there are a few I could not EVER play without. These are my must-have mods for Sims 4.

  • Have Some Personality Please – Adds more personality to your Sims. For example, romance Sims are more likely to do romantic interactions and mean Sims are more likely to do mean interactions. Removes idle chat and makes several other improvements. 
  • Hopes & Fears Mod – Overhauls whimsets for Traits, Aspirations, Careers, Skills and more by adding new Wants to these sets, specifically custom ones. Necessary if you play wants-based like me.
  • MC Command Center – This is Master Controller for Sims 4. Click here to see my MCCC settings.
  • UI Cheats Extension – Allows you to click on the UI and enter cheats directly. Example: Click on simoleons and change the amount. Click on relationship bars to change relationships, etc.
  • Smart Sim Randomizer – Automatically gives all Sims likes and dislikes that actually make sense – based on their traits and with some level of randomization. 

Aspiration & Trait Mods

These are my favorite mods to add new aspirations and traits to the game or improve the ones we already have. 

  • Grow up Aspiration – Adds the “grow up” aspiration for children from The Sims 2.
  • Lifetime Aspirations Mod – Changes the in-game aspirations to have a single goal instead of tiered goals, designed to take most of your adult Sim’s life. (Makes the aspirations more like Sims 2 lifetime wants).
  • New Emotional Traits – Adds several new emotional traits to the game. I do not use the extreme versions. I only use calm, insecure, oblivious, restless.
  • New Hobby Traits – Adds several new hobby traits to the game including artisan, movie buff, and tinkerer. 
  • New Spa Day Traits – Adds two new traits to the game for Spa Day – health nut and high maintenance.
  • Personality Mod – Adds 12 reward traits to the Reward Store. Each of these traits are inspired by the six Aspirations from Sims 2: Family, Fortune, Knowledge, Pleasure, Popularity and Romance and there are primary and secondary versions of each. New wants are also included for each trait. (Allows you to play Sims 4 more like Sims 2.)

Autonomy Mods

These mods affect autonomy in the game. It’s one of the biggest problems in The Sims 4, and these mods can make the game much more enjoyable. 

Club Mods

These mods affect the club system that came with the Get Together expansion pack.

  • Custom Club Activities – Adds a ton of new club activities. I like the ROM additions such as practice magic and read magic tomes, but it adds stuff for all expansions.
  • More Club Activities – Adds herbalism, practice archaeology, collecting, and many more. I use these for my club system.
  • More Club Icons – Adds a ton of new club icons for Get Together. I couldn’t live without this anymore because I use clubs extensively in my game.

Environment Mods

These mods change or modify the game environment in some way.

  • Out of the Dark – An indoor lighting mod that improves the look of the game in dark areas (the blue tint is gone and shadowed objects look softer).
  • Purple Skies – An outdoor lighting mod that completely overhauls the Sims 4 outdoor lighting (and makes it look better in my opinion). NOTE: Make sure to read installation instructions. This mod does not go in your mods folder!

Finance Mods

  • LittleMsSam’s ATM Cards & Credit – I use the ATM machines in my banks. They allow your Sim to apply for credit. Compatible with the SNB mods below.
  • Sim National Bank (SNB) – Creates an extensive financial/banking system similar to real life including bank accounts, direct deposit, bill pay, property tax, rent, and more!
  • SNB Bills – Makes you setup your utilities when moving in and you have to pay a deposit just like IRL! Also overhauls the EA Bills system, making it more realistic.

Fix & Overhaul Mods

These mods fix some annoyances with the unmodded game or overhaul existing systems to make them better. 

  • Career Overhaul Mod – This mod is a comprehensive overhaul of the game’s careers aimed at making career progression more difficult and engaging. 
  • Complete Cooking Overhaul – Allows your Sims to go grocery shopping and purchase ingredients for cooking meals plus so much more (cookbooks, more realistic ingredients, custom recipes.
  • Less Musical Chairs – Fixes the unbearable group chat issue where Sims keep getting up and moving around from chair to chair constantly. (This mod hasn’t been updated for years, but still seems to work fine for me.)
  • Sim Spawn Overhaul – Restricts townies to their home town so you will only see Willow Creek residents walking around in Willow Creek, etc. Has other options too. I use all of them for the best experience.

Hobby & Skill Mods

These mods impact hobbies and skills – like woodworking or handiness – in the game. 

  • The Hobby Mod – Adds 14 Reward Traits to the game, for children through to elders. Each of these traits are inspired by the Hobby Tracks from The Sims 2 Freetime, plus a few new categories to fit The Sims 4. Also adds  new wants related to the hobby traits.
  • Woodworking Table Rework + No Autonomous – Increases time it takes to craft items and increases their retail price, plus stops Sims from autonomously using the table. 
  • More Woodworks – Adds the ability to craft more items and furniture from the woodworking table. I use this mod so my carpenter can sell more useful items in his shop, but it’s also nice if you want to furnish a home using only what your Sim builds. 

Lifestyle & Sentiments Mods

These mods tweak the lifestyle and sentiments systems to make them more realistic and fun to play.

Likes & Dislikes

These mods add custom likes and dislikes to the game:

Miscellaneous Mods

These are mods that don’t fit into any other category. 

  • Basemental’s Alcohol – Sims get drunk and have hangovers. Place a bouncer on bar lots and teens who try to drink will be asked for ID. Teens can buy fake IDs. Bouncers tell your Sims to leave if they get too drunk.
  • Flea Market Appears Every Sunday – Makes the flea market festival appear in town every single Sunday instead of every other Sunday.
  • Less Frequent Surprise Holidays – Reduces the appearance of the annoying surprise holidays. 
  • Lock Door for Chosen Sims – Allows you to lock or unlock doors for specific Sims. Very helpful for businesses as you can lock doors for everyone but employees. 
  • No Chatter Clutter – Reduces the clutter of the “Friendly” pie menu, removing unnecessary interactions.
  • No City Living or Island Living Names – Sims are no longer spawned with names from these expansion packs.
  • Quick Shower/Bath – Get the optional no-towel add-on if you don’t want your Sims walking around in towels all the time.
  • Transfer Inventory – Allows you to move all items from your inventory into the refrigerator with one interaction (instead of individual stacks).

NPC & Townie Mods

These mods impact NPCs and townies in the game. If you don’t know the difference between Sim types, here’s a lesson. NPCs are service Sims like butlers, maids, vendors, etc. Townies are the randomly generated homeless Sims found in “Manage Worlds.” Playable Sims are those created by Maxis (or you) that live in houses in the worlds.

  • Better Butlers – Fixes a lot of the issues with Butlers in the game. Has a lot of optional add-ons, too.
  • Assign NPC Jobs – This mod lets you assign NPC-only jobs (nanny, gardener, food delivery, etc.) to existing Sims.

Pregnancy Mods

These mods impact pregnancy in the game. 

  • Relationship & Pregnancy Overhaul Collection – (This mod was previously known as Woohoo Wellness.) Adds pregnancy wishes and preferences (some Sims may not want to get pregnant), birth control and condoms, interactions and reactions matching a Sim’s pregnancy wishes, termination of pregnancy, and much more! This has become a must-have mod for me and I couldn’t go back to playing without it.

Retail Mods

These mods impact the game’s retail system that came with the Get to Work expansion.

  • Entrance Fee on Community Lots – I use this mod to charge a cover to enter bars and clubs.
  • More Buyable Venues and Venue Types – Adds custom venue types to the game including ownable bars and clubs. Works well with the Entrance Fee mod above.
  • Retail Overhaul – Must-have for retail play. Allows you to hire certain employees including  the store owner and Sims from your own household. Also makes your employees actually work!

Retired Mods

These are mods I have used before, but I’m no longer using in my current gameplay. I am leaving them here in case anyone sees them in old videos or streams and still wants them.

  • 50% Lower Salaries – No longer required since I started using the Career Overhaul mod that includes this function.
  • 50% Lower Salaries for Eco Lifestyle and Snowy Escape – No longer required since I started using the Career Overhaul mod that includes this function.
  • Bookshelf Edits – Bookshelves come EMPTY with no free books and Sims cannot purchase books through them. I like my Sims to visit the bookstore to purchase books. NOTE: This became too tedious, so I removed it.
  • Simulation Lag Fix – This mod alters the game’s time speeds so that sim autonomy does not cause massive simulation lag in instances where there are many autonomy requests. NOTE: I now use a simulation lag fix from a different creator that works better for me personally, but this is still a good mod!
  • Meaningful Stories – I am not currently using meaningful stories, as I found that it amplified the emotions too much for my liking.
  • Mortem – Overhauls the death system and makes it more realistic. No more vanishing corpses – your Sims must handle the body and everything that comes with death (funeral services, condolence visits, etc). NOTE: I found this to be too fussy and expensive for my Sims, especially when I’m playing a legacy challenge. It’s a good mod for realism, though.
  • University Required Degree for Promotions – No longer required since I started using the Career Overhaul mod that includes this function.

Romance & Relationships Mods

These mods impact romance and relationships in the game.

  • Wonderful Whims – Offers plenty of social, relationship, and pregnancy enhancements in forms of Attractiveness, Impressions, Personality Archetypes, Menstrual Cycle, Birth Control and many more. It’s wicked whims without the “wicked” parts. I love the realism this adds to my game, especially the “attraction.” Now you will know who your Sim is attracted to. Disable any parts you don’t like. See my review of this mod here.

User Interface (UI) Mods

These are mods that change or modify the game’s user interface. 

  • Expandable Build/Buy Catalog – This mod allows you to expand the catalog in build and buy mode like you could in Sims 2 and 3.
  • More CAS Columns – Allows for more columns in CAS. I use the 4 column version, but there is also a 3- and 5-column version.
  • UI Cheats Extension – Allows you to click on the UI and enter cheats directly. Example: Click on simoleons and change the amount. Click on relationship bars to change relationships, etc.

University Mods

These mods impact the University experience in some way. 

Default Replacements

These are the default replacements I’m currently using in my game:

  • Felicity Eyes – Default replacement eyes.
  • Papillion Skin – Works as of the December 2020 update.
  • Kijiko Eyelashes – These are not technically default replacements, but I use them to remove and replace the Maxis eyelashes. 
  • Zerbu’s Presets – Again, not technically defaults, but I use these with my defaults in CAS to make unique Sims. Provides a TON more presets for face shape, noses, cheeks, lips, eyes, etc.

72 thoughts on “The Sims 4 Mods List for Improved Game Play”

  1. Hi Cindy! I was wondering how you manage the overlap between Wonderful Whims and Relationship & Pregnancy Overhaul. Looks like they both have periods, birth control and an attraction system.

  2. It’s almost 2 am…I need to stop downloading mods and sleep. Between you and Puck it looks like I’m set. Never played with mods before, just cc. I do have a question. Do you know if the Patron version of NPCC is working as of January 2022? Considering biting the bullet and paying for it but I won’t unless it’s working…

    Love your videos and blog posts. I think your playing style is really unique and sim-spiring. πŸ™‚ Have a lovely day!

    • Hi, unfortunately it has not been updated for the latest patch and there’s no word from the creator. I’m very disappointed because I cannot play without it! So, I’m back to Sims 2. Hopefully, he will update soon. I think even if you’re not a Patron, you can see when the last update was made on his Patreon page. Sorry! I really hope someone else can create a mod that does the same thing in the future.

  3. the location of “retired mods” is a bit confusing and i would place it at the bottom. where it currently is makes it look like everything underneath it is retired, even with the separate headers.

  4. sorry if this is not spose to be here lol but just wanted to say your totally my idle ^.^ i love your youtube channel and have been watching it a long time, Thank you for what you do ^.^

  5. I started modding to hell and back in ts4, and I’ll probably continue that trend when I get the other games. But I don’t know how to get ts2 or how to get my ts1 game to work.

  6. Hey Cindy! First of all, I love your play style and just checked out your video about the Personality Mod with new whims and wanted to try it out, so I’m downloading these mods (right along with The Sims 4 again). I wanted to let you know that I can’t access the Mean Slap mod, it just takes me to the creator page. πŸ™ It’s not a deal-breaker or a necessity, and I don’t know if anyone else is having this problem, but I thought I’d bring it to your attention. That’s all, can’t wait to try these out in my game once it’s done redownloading!

  7. Hi Cindy! Just wanted to let you know that under the ‘Club Mods’ you say that clubs came with get to work instead of get together. It’s not a huge issue but it did confuse me for a second πŸ˜‚
    Thank you for this list! It has single-handedly saved my Sims 4 game!

  8. This is a great list but I thought I’d let you know that the link to the snow accumulation fix mod now leads to a Patreon 404 error.

  9. I just got the whim overhaul mod and already noticed a big difference while playing. First mod I’ve added to Sims 4 so far! No more sims wanting to buy a bee box. Yay!

  10. Hey Cindy! Love your mod list, I’m using the majority of these for my own game <3

    I did notice however that the walkby overhaul mod you have actually removes the npc dorm roommates in discover university. So fletcher for example would be alone in his dorm (I used the celeb quarantine). I ended up using lotharihoe's simspawnoverhaul which fixed the issue as I want roommates.

    I'm not sure if you have encountered this issue or not (or it could be completely fine in your playthroughs) but thought I would let you know πŸ™‚

    • Thanks for letting me know! I have only experienced this when I was using NPCC, but not walkby overhaul so I wonder if it’s a conflict somewhere. I will check out the other mod too!

    • Sorry for the re-reply! Lol. But I just had a look at Lotharihoe’s mod and I think it looks better! Good find! I will try this out and if it works for me, I’ll update the list to use this one instead of the other one!

  11. Hi Cindy!

    I came across your mod list about a month ago and cherry picked a few I thought would give me a good introduction to mods and suited my gameplay style.. safe to say I think I’ve been back almost every day to download at least one more! Lol.

    I was wondering, I’ve become quite frustrated with the social interactions such as “friendly” listed alphabetically, as some of the more meaningful interactions are towards the bottom of the alphabet.. do you know of any mods that might change this up?

    Thanks again for this list, truly game changing!

  12. This is a great list of mods! I’ll try your style of playing sims, because usually I just lose fun far too quickly.
    But it seems that the downloads from Brazen Lotus aren’t working any more..

  13. Thank you so very much for this comprehensive list. My game play has been much more fun, and I actually spent a few hours playing (rather than just building). I thought I’d share a mod I came across that gives teens aspirations and is modeled after the Lifetime Wishes of TS2. I’m going to try it out. It’s by SimmerJohn over at MTS.

    Once again, thank you, Cindy!

  14. Hey, I want to suggest a mod, called sim spawn overhaul by lotharihoe, which is similar to the walkby overhaul and the celebrity quarantined in del sol valley, but combined. Maybe Zeoro’s mods work better at restricting celebs since they are more dedicated? ? But my experience with sim spawn overhaul is pretty nice, so if anyone sees this comment, just letting you know that there is an alternative, with one less mod to mange. Also lotharihoe is a good modder as well, with some pretty neat mods and a funny name.

  15. Hey Cindy! I absolutely love the way your sims looks in the sims 4. What default skin or facial details do you use? Have a great one! :))

    • I second this question, your sims’ skin looks gorgeous! I’m pretty sure it’s an overlay, since it works okay with the newest update.

      • Hi! I’ve added a default replacement section to the list with links to the skin and eyes I use. It’s not an overlay, but a replacement. πŸ™‚

  16. I gave up on The Sims 4 but now you made me want to give it another go so I redownloaded it!
    Unfortunately it is SUPER laggy on my pc so I guess I’ll have to just stick to The Sims 2. Such a shame.

    • Do you have Eco Lifestlye? This pack makes the game lag, but if you disable it things go back to normal. If you don’t, I’d recommend getting the Simulation Lag Fix and Simulation Unclogger.

  17. This is so cool. The Sims 2 was actually my first sims game, so it’s nice to see the timeline the way you did it. Looking forward to what you’ll do with Strangetown!

  18. Thank you! I’ve been looking for ways of improving my Sims 4 experience but didn’t know what I wanted, lol. Thanks to your list, I have started my own new save file with a view to doing a long term world. Thank you, thank you, thank you! ps, did I say thank you?!

  19. Hey Cindy – A few of of the mods from no longer work, unless I’m doing something wrong. I tried to download Walkby Overhaul and Age Behavior Tweaks and both give an error message that they are bad files.

  20. Could you update with which ones are free vs which ones have a payment block? I was so excited to implement these, thought about it all of last night and all day at work and all the ones I was most excited for have a pay wall. I wish they just charged a decent price for the mod instead of the monthly payment thing (totally understand that is out of your control, thanks for all you do!).

    • Hi! All of the mods on this list are free. None are behind a paywall. Some of them link to Patreon, but that’s just where the creator hosts them and they do not require payment to download them. Which ones are you having an issue with?

      I just double-checked to make sure nothing changed and I was able to download them all with no problem. I did have one link that was incorrect, but it just directed to the creator’s main page (and I’ve fixed it now).

  21. This, together with your save files for fixing the stories of our sims, is pure gold! Do you play the Sims 4 as you play the Sims 3?

  22. I think the same thing as you about the sims. I really liked your videos. Thank you for producing this wonderful content. Love from Brazil.

  23. Thank you for all your time and energy into this, yet again. I have most of these mods but definitely downloading the ones I don’t have.

  24. Thank you so much for this list! I’m (really, really) trying to get back into 4 by making an integrated world/save file thing and the banking mod and home business will definitely help for sure!

  25. Omg thank you very much, I wish all of this mods came in spanish too, but that is kinda asking too much, but probably after the new pack release, and all of this mods have time to update i’ll be downloading each and every one of them! I’m so excited! Lots of love from Costa Rica!


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