The modding community for The Sims 4 is absolutely huge. To new or returning players, though, it can often be hard to keep up with the best mods to download to shake up gameplay, CAS, and occults like Mermaids.
In 2021, The Sims 4 currently has over 40 total expansions, game packs, stuff packs, and kits to give Simmers a whole lot to do. With the incredible modding community, however, this can be taken even further.
Each new pack release in the game sees the army of modders on Tumblr, Patreon, and sites like ModTheSims jumping in to improve features or expand upon them. After trawling the internet, we’ve put together a list of our personal best mods for The Sims 4.
- How to install Sims 4 mods
- How to enable mods in The Sims
- Are mods available on console?
- Sims 4 Gameplay mods
- CAS mods in The Sims 4
- The Sims 4 Build/Buy mods
- Sims 4 horror mods
Before you start shopping around for the best mods, you’ll need to know how to add them to your game. Luckily, installing mods in The Sims 4 is a much easier process than in the past:
Installing mods on PC and Mac
Once you’ve downloaded the mods you’d like to use you’ll first need to locate your Mods folder. This can typically be found under ‘Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 4\Mods‘. After locating that, you’ll just need to move the files across to the correct folder:
- Locate the folder that you’ve saved the mods you’ve downloaded to.
- If the file ends in ‘.package‘, or ‘.ts4script‘, simply move it into the ‘Mods’ folder.
- Some files you download will be in a Zip file. Extract this by right-clicking, and place the extracted contents into the ‘Mods’ folder.
- Some zips may contain images and text documents that provide further details on the mod. These do not need to be placed into the folder.
- That’s it! Your mods are installed.
Following installation, you’ll need to enable mods in-game.
Mods won’t work straight off of the bat in The Sims unless you’ve signified to the game that you want them to appear:
- Once you’ve launched the game, select the ‘…’ icon from either the main menu or the top right of the screen when in-game.
- Click ‘Game Options‘.
- On the left side of the window that pops up, you’ll see an ‘Other‘ tab. Click that.
- Make sure that both ‘Enable Custom Content and Mods‘ and ‘Script Mods Allowed‘ are checked.
- Press ‘Apply Changes‘ and then restart your game.
Any mods that you’ve now downloaded should be working. If you want to check what mods the game recognizes that you’ve installed, select ‘View Custom Content‘ once you’ve restarted to see what appears.
Unfortunately, mods aren’t available on console platforms. Though unlikely at this stage of the game’s lifecycle, if this ever changes, we’ll be sure to update you here with the necessary steps.
With the release of Island Living, many Simmers we excited to be able to become a mermaid with the introduction of the fan-favorite Occult. Despite this, the gameplay included for mermaids is incredibly, well, shallow.
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SpinningPlumbobs has expanded what the life state can now do, from adding the ability to dive for and consume kelp, sleep below the surface of the ocean, or dive down to the deep depths of the ocean at higher fitness skill levels to return with rare fish and “interesting items”.
The mod also introduces Kelpies and Sea Witches, bestowing the Sim with unique interactions and powerful spells.
MC Command Center
Arguably one of the most well-known mods for The Sims 4 (and for good reason), Deaderpool’s MC Command Center allows in-depth control over many aspects of the game’s functionalities.
From simple things such as allowing you an easy way to add skill points, relationships, to fine-tuning populations and limiting those horrendous situational outfits NPCs spawn with, this mod is a must-have for any player.
It even brings in a form of story progression, allowing non-played Sims to get married or even have children without needing to play them yourself, and also can move homeless Sims into empty lots.
With extra optional modules that you can download to add precisely what it is you want to your game without all of the fluff, there’s something for everyone.
Sims 4 Graphics Rules Overhaul
While not technically a mod per see, according to creator Simp4Sims, this free download is the “first and only of its kind available for download”.
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It works by tweaking some of the visuals present in The Sims 4, improving game elements such as LODs, shadow quality, distance blur, and edge smoothing. It also has the option to remove depth of field, removing the blurry filter you’ll often see in the distance of a world.
Resorts & Hotels mod
Looking to give your Sims a little break away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life? KawaiiStacie has got you covered. With this mod, the fan-favorite hotels feature present in previous Sims titles is available once more. Whether you’re looking to head to a vacation destination or dive headfirst into your Sims’ dream of owning one, there are plenty of choices here.
Your Sims will be able to request food and live the life of luxury as they’re waited on and cleaned up after on their getaway, and potential owners have a new resort skill to progress through, allowing them to fully reap both the rewards and Simoleons.
Want to take control of any pets within your household? This free gameplay mod lets you do just that! With Playable Pets, you can tell your Sim pets where to go and what to do!
While pet Sims don’t have as many interactions as their Human and occult counterparts, there’s still enough options here to make this mod essential for anyone who has pets in their household.
The Sims 4 Farmland mod
If you miss the open-world feature of The Sims 3, this free Farmland mod has got you covered. Well-known community Mod creator, Arnie, has pulled off the unthinkable, reshaping the Sable Square neighborhood of Brindleton Bay into something truly fantastic.
Featuring a semi-open world, the typical 5 lots that originally shipped with The Sims 4 Cats and Dogs are still there, but the surrounding area has been opened up further and expanded, with open venues dotted around such as graveyards, supermarkets, a jazz bar, and parks to explore (without loading screens!)
With huge plots of farmland to be purchased that are ripe for growing crops and raising livestock on, rideable horses, and even sheep and pigs, this mod is the perfect accompaniment to the newly released Cottage Living.
There’s even a Story Mode to take part in, as you aid George and his wife Adele by completing tasks and uncovering the mystery of just how their farm burnt down.
Arnie even has plans to bring a World Edit feature to the area – so there’s no better time to dive in and experience this mod for yourself.
Srsly’s Complete Cooking Overhaul
Srsly Sims has seriously shaken up the gameplay loop of cooking within The Sims 4, with the aim of making it more immersive. You’ll have to shop for groceries, including all of the items already in-game alongside brand new ones, from tasty ramen to Poptarts. You can even display your items in retail stores!
Recipes have been overhauled to require a more realistic amount of a particular ingredient, and foods that were previously unable to be cooked at home, such as Pizza or experimental recipes are now fair game for your Sims to whip up. The gorgeous array of new, custom recipes will have your stomach grumbling away in no time, too.
Store fruit in bowls, place bread into bread bins, and even limit inventory sharing between different storage items. This mod truly breathes new life into gameplay, and is a perfect addition to any Simmer’s world.
This free gameplay mod by roBurky completely revamps the mood and emotion system that’s present at default in The Sims 4. Aiming to help your Sims “feel more human”, the mod brings in more subtle changes to the emotions, making it so that Sims aren’t able to flip flop between emotions without experiencing what’s in between those emotions, too.
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Meaningful Stories is perfect for players that appreciate a slightly more challenging system to work with. Now, Sims are also no longer ‘happy’ by default – making it so that events such as gaining a new partner contribute more fully towards this emotional state.
Their moods are also now much less predictable, but these moods are, in turn, more consistent. Moodlets received can also vary in strength, adding the need to react more closely to what’s going on instead of being able to fix a negative moodlet in a flash.
World Map Replacements
The map of The Sims 4’s worlds and neighborhoods can now be transformed into a stunning painterly style with NoirSims’ fan art map mods. Though a few of the maps are still missing, a large portion of them are available for download, giving your game a visual refresh when adding lots, moving Sims, or simply traveling from one location to the next.
UI Cheats Extension
Tired of having to manually enter cheats each and every time you log into the game? Modder Weerbesu has got you covered. With over 25 new clickable elements within the game’s UI, you can quickly rectify your Sims’ needs, add money, remove traits, and more, to get right back into play without needing to spend time typing things into the cheat bar.
Slice of Life
Want to give your Sims some more personality to make them more unique? Slice of Life includes 16 personalities based on Myers-Briggs that affect the day-to-day life of your Sims, including elements such as their hobbies and overall moodlets.
Slice of Life not only does this, but with packs such as ‘My Phone Pack’, ‘My Health Pack’, and ‘My Beauty Pack’ which adds elements such as a makeup skill and wearable perfume or cologne, this free mod truly takes The Sims 4 to the ultimate next level.
Road to Romance
Looking to inject a little more love into your Sims’ lives? Look no further than this mod. Bringing in a brand new skill, Romance, along with a new mood, Affectionate, this mod shakes up the way that love works. Initially, they’ll struggle with their romantic relationships as they slowly progress through the skill, also impacting the moodlets that they can receive.
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From brand new interactions that are earned as you progress through this new skill, your Sims will become total schmoozers as they unlock new interactions such as ‘Charm the Room’ and the ability to tell others that they love them.
You can also take your Sims to couple’s counseling and online dates! Road to Romance is the perfect mod for any storyteller.
Zero’s Gameplay Mods
Modder Zero has a huge archive of free gameplay mods that are incredibly useful for expanding play in The Sims 4. Whether that’s improving upon Spellcasters, Ghosts, and Vampires, expanding Aliens into Doctor Who Time Lords, or tweaking autonomy actions for your Sims, there’s a whole lot to choose from.
Zero’s mods are broken down into packs from the game and further broken down into separate files, giving you complete control over precisely what’s being changed in your game.
Stand Still in CAS
Many of the animations Sims tend to do in CAS can be incredibly frustrating, and these two mods that were previously out of date from Shimrod101 and Shooksims have been updated by MizoreYukii over on ModTheSims.
There are a total of three versions to choose from, with the first two featuring different CAS poses, so pick the one you prefer most. The third mod only tweaks and removes the annoying Occult life state animations that are present.
More Columns in CAS
Are you a custom content hoarder, do you have all of the packs or both? Spend too long scrolling down an infinite list of clothing and hair to find what you’re looking for?
Weerbesu’s ‘More Columns in CAS’ mod expands the default columns into either 3, 4, or 5, depending upon your preference.
Old School CAS Room
Fans of older Sims titles will remember the room that featured in games like The Sims Bustin’ Out or The Sims 2 and 3. While the fourth and first iterations of the game feature a plain, colored background, the other titles had a physical room that you’d create your Sims in.
This mod aims to bring back that nostalgic feature to the game. With different options to choose from regarding the room’s wall and door colors, you can minimally customize this backdrop to your liking.
CAS Lighting – City Light
Consider yourself a serial photographer in The Sims? Create a Sim can be a fantastic place to capture a stunning headshot of your favorite Sim, but there are a few lighting mods that can help to take them to the next level without the need for much post-processing. SimplyAnjuta has a couple of lighting mods available, but their ‘City Light’ variant has to be one of our favorites.
Casting a soft glow of red and purple around your Sim, this mod will allow you to create dazzling shots that your Sim would be proud to have placed on display around their home.
Want to add some more variety to the Sims in your game? This script mod adds another slider to Sims while in CAS, allowing you to make them shorter or taller, simply by dragging on their feet.
This does cause animation and clipping issues in-game, especially when hugging or kissing another Sim. Ultimately, though, the tradeoff for that is arguably worth it.
Luumia CAS Overhaul
Any long-term Sims fan will know that Luumia has been an essential modder in The Sims 4 community, providing skin overrides, lighting overhauls, and currently missing features like body hair.
This mod aims to improve CAS from a visual perspective. It adds a soft backlight around your Sims and a lighting overhaul that aims to give “Sims and Pets a sense of depth”.
There’s also a whole range of different backgrounds for CAS itself, from pastel, gradient pinks through to a chroma blue or green that’s useful for editing photos.
Ever wanted to search for items by color? Or be able to have the game’s hidden debug items enabled to appear in the catalog? Better BuildBuy has got you covered. The most obvious addition is expanding the number of items you can see in the catalog at any one time, but there’s lots more.
You can show or hide both Maxis and custom content, tweak lighting colors like you can in Live Mode, and use filters that break down each individual kit or display Live Edit items (items that are seen throughout the game’s worlds).
Perfect for those that are looking to clutter up their homes, this mod by Picture Amobae lets you place a ‘shelf’ that can be moved around to help you clutter up anything that’s against a wall – from kitchen counters to shelves, or even fridges!
The shelf also sticks out from any item that you place it on while in Build/Buy, making it a lot easier to move around. You can then make the ‘shelf’ invisible so that it looks just as if you’ve placed all these items directly on whatever surface you’ve chosen.
Ravasheen’s Game Mods
Ravasheen’s mods fit right in with the world that Maxis has created, perfectly pairing with and expanding upon what’s already on offer.
From a functional bar cart that takes away the need to have a large bar in your home, to vending machines, off-the-grid items, or indoor mats that your pet can go potty on, you can take your game to the next level with all of their mods.
Despite being an incredibly simple idea, mirrors aren’t able to be moved up and down walls like paintings are. Picture Amobae’s mod rectifies this, allowing you to freely place the mirrors where you see fit.
You can choose from a merged package that enables the function of every mirror across all packs, or download them separately if you don’t own them all.
Want complete control over things outside of your lot in The Sims 4? TOOL can do just that. Standing for Takes Object Off Lot, this mod by TwistedMexi gives builders complete freedom to mold their vision for lots even further.
With the option to rotate, size up, size down, elevate and move objects around on and off of your current lot, this mod is an absolute dream for builders who are looking for that extra bit of control to truly bring their vision or a story to life. You can even replace apartment windows with completely new ones!
What’s more, if you’re using Better BuildBuy above, you can also use this in build mode, instead of being restricted to using it in Live Mode without it.
Vampires Can Kill
Want to make the Vampires in your game just that little bit more deadly? This mod by Zero gives you the option to do just that.
Including a whole host of options to fine-tune just how spooky you want your toothy terrors to be, you can turn a peaceful, idyllic neighborhood into one where it might be better to stay indoors!
Zombie Apocalypse mod
Killer vampires not enough for you? How about flesh-eating zombies? Look no further than this spooky mod by SACRIFICIAL.
Turn your Sims’ world into an apocalyptic zombie survival, giving you plenty of opportunities to take down those brain-hungry Sims. Only requiring the Base Game, this mod is even compatible with the likes of Meaningful Stories, mentioned earlier on in our list.
Partner up with other Sims in the world to take down these flesh-hungry fiends, or assume the role of a villain and spread the virus to create an army of zombie Sims! There’s even a shop full of a whole host of survival items you’ll need to acquire to stand a chance at staying alive: increase your survivability by purchasing ammo for weapons or even gas masks to prevent infection.
So, there you have it. Our list of the best mods you need to install in The Sims 4.
Check out our other guides to improve your experience in The Sims 4: