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 UPDATE: 04/20/2021 – Newly added mods are in Bold. 

Table of Contents

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. 
  • Less Musical Chairs – Fixes the unbearable group chat issue where Sims keep getting up and moving around from chair to chair constantly. 
  • Meaningful Stories – a mod pack that redesigns the mood and emotions system of The Sims 4. This collection of changes big and small aims to allow your sims to feel more human, to make the events in their lives feel more meaningful, and to turn managing their lives into a more interesting challenge.
  • MC Command Center – This is Master Controller for Sims 4. Click here to see my MCCC settings and/or import them into your game. 
  • Quicker Sim Autonomy & Simulation Lag Improvements – You will need an account at Sims Asylum to download this mod. I use this instead of the Simulation Lag Fix because I find it works better in my game. I use the TS33(Default) version.
  • Simulation Unclogger – Detects when a Sim causes the simulation to get stuck, rendering the game unplayable, and attempts to fix it.
  • Whim Overhaul – This is an overhaul of the EA whim system which enhances the chances for family based whims and tunes down whims to buy new stuff. Special whims for: pregnancy, elder life stage, childhood phases, etc. 
  • 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.

Aspiration & Trait Mods

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

  • Get to Work Active Career Aspirations – Adds career-based aspirations for the active careers from Get to Work (Doctor, Scientist, Detective, plus an extra – Frankenstein).
  • Grow up Aspiration – Adds the “grow up” aspiration for children from The Sims 2.
  • 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.
  • Trait Overhaul – This mod makes the existing traits more meaningful.

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. 

Build/Buy Mods

These mods impact the in-game build and buy modes. 

  • Brighter Foundations – Brightens foundations and fixes the issue of them being too dark and their colors never matching anything else.

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.

Environment Mods

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

  • Cube Map Remover – Removes the white square cube maps that give the game objects weird and unattractive reflections.
  • Into the Light – Lighting mod that removes blue auras from around Sims and helps them blend into the world better. 
  • Out of the Dark – Lighting mod that improves indoor lighting, especially at night. Use together with Into the Light for the best experience. 

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.
  • SNB & SNB Bills – Creates an extensive financial/banking system similar to real life including bank accounts, direct deposit, bill pay, property tax, rent, and more! The Bills mod makes you setup your utilities when moving in and you have to pay a deposit just like IRL! I also use the SNB Financial Center Lot Trait that allows you to create realistic banks for your Sims. 

Fix & Overhaul Mods

These mods fix some annoyances with the unmodded game or overhaul existing systems to make them better. Not listed are ALL the mods by Bienchenmods. I use a lot of her small fix mods, so please check out the website and see which ones appeal to you. There are too many to list here. 

  • Bite the Dust – Fixes just about ALL the issues with the Bust the Dust kit. 
  • Books Fixes & Edits – Gives books their proper covers when displayed and books lacking a display will now have one. Useful if you run Sim-owned bookstores. 
  • 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.
  • Eat & Drink Faster – Increases the speed at which your Sims eat and drink, plus makes them prefer tables for eating.
  • 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.
  • Waste Manager Rework – The game will now generate a service sim, like the mailman, that will come empty your garbage cans every Monday and Thursday, at around 6 A.M. I also use the optional mod to add the recycle lot trait to all residential lots by default so garbage pickup happens on every lot. 

Hobby & Skill Mods

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

  • 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.

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.
  • 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. 
  • Contextual Social Interactions – I use the main mod and the cheating module; adds new social interactions only available when a certain event happens (such as cheating), and makes the event affect other Sims if they’re told about them. 
  • 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. 
  • Mean Slap – Adds a new interaction to the “mean” category – the same animation as slap ’em silly. 
  • 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.
  • NPCs Fuck Off – Stops NPCs from interrupting and initiating conversations with playable Sims. 
  • Purchase Custom Seeds – Allows you to purchase seed packets for custom harvestables from garden planters or computers. 
  • Quick Shower/Bath – Get the optional no-towel add-on if you don’t want your Sims walking around in towels all the time.
  • Slob Sims NOT Uncomfortable with Low Hygiene – Sims with the slob trait will no longer get the uncomfortable buff for low hygiene. 
  • Transfer Inventory – Allows you to move all items from your inventory into the refrigerator with one interaction (instead of individual stacks).

Pregnancy Mods

These mods impact pregnancy in the game. 

  • Miscarriage Chance – Adds a chance of miscarriage, death, infertility, with several options and add-ons to choose from.
  • Woohoo Wellness and Pregnancy Overhaul Mod – 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 (optional). I only use Part 1 of this mod. 

Realm of Magic Mods

These mods tweak aspects of the game from Realm of Magic – spells, spellcasters, etc.

  • Spellcaster Tweaks – Tweaks several aspects of casting spells and learning them in Realm of Magic. This makes playing a Spellcaster more challenging and entertaining. 
  • Untamed Magic is Untamed – Makes the untamed spells Inferniate, Chillo and ZipZap deadly. 

Retail Mods

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

  • Mannequin Uncapper – Increases the number of mannequins you can have on a retail lot.
  • Ring Up Customers at Register – Your Sims now ring up customers at the register instead of using the tablets (can still use tablets if you want).
  • 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!
  • Retail Shoppers Keep Stuff They Bought – Sims now keep the items they buy from your store owner. It will be in their inventory when you play them next. 

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.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • NPCC & NPCC Retail – Allows you more control over NPCs in the game, such as how many are generated and which Sims are used for roles. The public version hasn’t been updated, so I can no longer recommend it.
  • 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.

  • IR Divorce – Ask for a divorce and file divorce papers to get your Sims out a marriage.
  • NEW IR Cheating – An overhaul of the game’s jealousy system making it better and adding more depth. This mod requires XML Injector
  • 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.

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:

  • Eyes #15 by Aveira Sims – These are broken and you’ll have to fix them yourself using the default replacement fixer listed in the Tools section below.
  • 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.

Sims 4 Tools

These are not really mods, but various tools and programs I use to improve my gameplay. 

  • Default Replacement Fixer – I used this tool to fix the broken default replacement eyes I wanted to use. Also works for makeup, skin, and other defaults broken by patches.
  • World Renamer Tool – Allows you to rename the worlds to anything you like. Requires using Sims 4 Studio. 

As always, please let me know if you find any broken links or mods that have been removed and I will update the list. 

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

  1. 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!

    Reply
  2. 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!

    Reply
  3. 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.

    Reply
  4. 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.

    Reply
  5. 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?

    Reply
  6. 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!).

    Reply
    • 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).

      Reply
  7. Hey Cindy – A few of of the mods from patreon.com 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.

    Reply
  8. 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?!

    Reply
  9. 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!

    Reply
  10. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  11. 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! :))

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
      • 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. 🙂

        Reply
  12. 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.

    Reply
  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!

    Reply
  14. 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..

    Reply
  15. 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!

    Reply
  16. 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 🙂

    Reply
    • 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!

      Reply
    • 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!

      Reply
  17. 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!

    Reply
  18. 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.

    Reply
  19. 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 😂
    Thank you for this list! It has single-handedly saved my Sims 4 game!

    Reply

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