The Sims 4: Cottage Living expansion pack is dropping July 22, which means another big update for The Sims 4, which has arrived two days before the new expansion pack. The biggest feature that the update brings is the ability to create ponds. That’s not all though. Along with the usual bug fixes, there are some new objects to check out, as well as some tweaks to the game. Look out for some new paintings, a new food delivery service, and the ability for children to garden and groups of Sims to cook together.
Let’s take a closer look at what the latest Sims 4 patch brings to the game.
WATER TOOL, STYLE, OBJECTS, AND EFFECTS
Probably the biggest part of the update is the ability to create your own ponds and other bodies of water. Ponds have been present in previous Sims games, and now The Sims 4 has them as well.
You’ll notice that the Build Mode UI will look a little different after the update. There is a new category called Outdoor Water Décor. This will allow you to add pond plants, items, and effects to your ponds. The Terrain Tools category has also been updated to feature the new water tool.
In order to create a body of water, you must first dig a hole. To do this, open up the Terrain Tools category and select the Lower Terrain tool. By holding down the left mouse button on the ground, you can dig a hole. Once you’re satisfied with the hole, next open the Water Tool. You can use the Raise Water tool or Fill to Height tool. By either pressing or holding the left mouse button with the Raise Water tool on the hole, it will fill up with water. Fill it up as much as you like. The Fill to Height tool will fill the hole with water right up to the top, depending on the height adjustment you’ve set using the slider. You can also use the Lower Water tool to reduce the amount of water in the hole. If you want to get rid of the water in the hole, use the Remove Water tool and then select the body of water.
In the Water Tool category, you may also notice the Water Depth Map. This tells you where in any bodies of water your Sims can swim or not. If the indicator is green, it’s shallow enough for them to swim, but if it’s blue, it’s too deep and out of bounds. The Water Depth Map can be toggled on and off by checking the box next to it.
Once you’ve got your pond, there’s lots you can do with it to make it look even better. You can change the style of the water. The update comes with four new water styles designed for ponds: scummy, mossy, leafy, and plain. If you’ve got other packs installed, the water styles from those packs will also be available.
There are also some new objects that you can decorate your pond with, such as water reeds and logs and water lilies. There is also a special object, a fishing sign, which you can place in your water, allowing Sims to go fishing in your ponds. Note that you must add some fish to the water first before you can go fishing.
Finally, there is a neat little feature that allows you to add some effects to your ponds, to really bring them to life. There are 10 altogether. These effects include fish, dragonflies, fireflies, ducks, swans, and even alligators! To add an effect to your pond, simply select the effect you want and then place it on an empty tile on the water. When you enter Live Mode, you’ll see whichever effect appearing either in or over the water, depending on the effect. (Note that the fireflies effect won’t appear until it is dark.)
This is a brand-new feature in The Sims 4. Lot challenges adds some spice to your gameplay, depending on the lot challenge you’ve chosen. For example, you might experience the odd earthquake, or have to go without plumbing and electricity. Only one lot challenge is available for the base game: Off-the-Grid, but if you have some packs installed, more become available. There will also be 2 lot challenges added with The Sims 4: Cottage Living expansion. Some lot challenges won’t be available to certain types of lots.
To add a lot challenge to any lot, in Build Mode, open up the Lot Info in the top left corner, then select the Traits Panel, where you’ll see the Traits and Challenges panel. The lot challenges is the trophy icon on the right. Select it to bring up all the available lot challenges, then select the challenge you want.
The challenges available and their associated packs are:
- Creepy Crawlies (Jungle Adventure game pack)
- Cursed (City Living expansion)
- Filthy (City Living expansion)
- Gremlins (City Living expansion)
- Grody (City Living expansion)
- Landfill Lot (Eco Lifestyle expansion)
- Off-the-Grid (Base Game)
- Quake Zone (City Living expansion)
- Reduce and Recycle (Eco Lifestyle expansion)
- Spooky (City Living expansion)
- Volcanic Activity (Island Living expansion)
With Cottage Living installed, you get 2 additional challenges: Simple Living and Wild Foxes.
CHILDREN CAN NOW GARDEN
Before this update, only teens and older could garden. This update changes that. Child Sims can now plant, water, weed, and harvest plants. Children who garden will build the Mental skill. Note that some gardening interactions for children can only be unlocked at certain Mental skill levels.
Across all The Sims games, cooking a meal was a task that only one Sim could do. Not anymore, thanks to this nifty little feature. Sims can now cook in groups of up to 5, including child Sims. Select any cooking appliance (refrigerator or stove) or any empty countertop and select the Cook Together With… option. You can choose which Sims will cook together and what dish they will make. They will gather together in the kitchen and get to work on their individual tasks. Cooking together builds relationship between the Sims and also gives them the positive Cooking Memories moodlet.
2 cool new paintings have been added to The Sims 4 base game. Look for them in the Paintings & Posters category under Decorations. The paintings can be found close together and cost between §750 – 800. These paintings are special because they were made by some talented artists from the LGBTQ+ community and will look really nice anywhere on your Sims’ lots.
The paintings and their artists are:
A new afro hairstyle is available for your Sims. Check it out!
ZOOMERs FOOD DELIVERY
A pizza delivery service has been in The Sims 4 since the base game, but with this latest update, you can now have more types of food delivered to your Sims’ doorsteps.
To order with this service, select your Sim’s phone, open the Household panel, and then select Order a Delivery. You’ll get a choice of either pizza delivery or the new Zoomers Food Delivery. You’ll get a menu of dishes to choose from. The prices for each meal varies. You can order more than one. Deliveries cost §10. Once you place your order, a delivery person will arrive shortly at your Sim’s property. Get one of your Sims to accept the delivery and it’ll appear in their inventory.
CALENDAR INTRODUCED TO BASE GAME
The calendar feature was originally part of The Sims 4: Seasons expansion pack. This is now available for The Sims 4 base game. The calendar gives you an overview of the days and even weeks ahead in your Sims’ schedule, so you can see any upcoming events such as birthdays. You can also see when your Sims are at work or school.
NOTEBOOK NOW HAS ITS OWN BUTTON
Just a minor thing to note, but the notebook that was once part of your Sims’ phone now has its own button next to the phone button.
FIND AN NPC WITH THE CAMERA
Have you ever struggled to find an NPC on a lot? This new neat little feature solves that problem. You can find any NPC currently on a lot by selecting the Sim in the Relationship panel, then selecting Focus the Camera. This makes the camera jump over to the NPC, so you no longer have to get frustrated as you struggle to locate a particular Sim. You can also lock the camera onto them by selecting Lock the Camera on the Sim in the Relationship panel.
BB.MOVEOBJECTS CHEAT AND GALLERY
Before, if Sims 4 lot builders had used the bb.moveobjects cheat to make their creations, they would have to mention it in the lot’s description in the Gallery so that people downloading it would have to activate the cheat. A subtle tweak with the update saves builders this job. Now, if the cheat is used, the game notifies people downloading the lots so they know to activate the cheat before placing the lot.
COTTAGE LIVING SPECIAL PRE-ORDER OBJECTS NOW AVAILABLE
If you’ve already pre-ordered The Sims 4: Cottage Living expansion pack, you’ll get a nice little surprise after your game updates and you load the game. As a special gift for getting the new expansion pack, you’ll get 3 exclusive new objects, which are:
- Bramblewood’s DeLIGHTful Tree (§30)
- “Onward” the Adventurous Gnome (§100)
- Scenic Commuting Bicycle (§100)
To find each of these objects in Build Mode, the tree is under Plants/Trees, the gnome is under Decorations/Sculptures, and the bicycle is under Activities & Skills/Active. Be aware that these 3 exclusive objects will only be available to get until September 2, so keep that in mind if you’re thinking about getting The Sims 4: Cottage Living.
That about covers it! You can now add ponds to your Sims’ lots, children can now garden, Sims can now cook together, you’ve got some new paintings you can hang up in your Sims’ lots, and there are some handy tweaks to the game. Happy playing, and don’t forget that The Sims 4: Cottage Living expansion pack comes out July 22!