The Sims is one of the most popular life simulation video game franchises of all time, allowing players to create virtual people called "Sims" and place them in customized houses and neighborhoods. With The Sims 4 being free-to-play as of October 2022, now is a great time to jump into the game if you haven‘t already.
However, you may be wondering how to get access to all the additional content like Expansion Packs, Game Packs, and Stuff Packs without spending any money. While there are no official ways to get these packs for free, this guide will cover some tips and tricks to install extra Sims 4 content at no cost.
Can I get official Sims 4 expansions for free?
Unfortunately, there is no legitimate way to obtain official Sims 4 DLC packs for free. Electronic Arts and Maxis develop expansions, game packs, and stuff packs as paid content to enhance the base Sims 4 experience.
The only time EA has offered expansions for free was temporarily during promotions. For example, they previously gave away the Desert Luxe Kit for free for a limited time. But most of the time, you have to purchase DLC packs to access that content.
Is there a way to get free Sims 4 custom content?
While official EA packs cost money, there is a ton of free custom content created by fans you can add to your game. Custom content (CC) refers to mods, clothing, objects, hair, and more made by independent creators for The Sims 4.
Here are some tips to get great CC for free:
Browse sites like ModTheSims, The Sims Resource, Tumblr, Patreon, and more – Thousands of creators make custom clothes, furniture sets, gameplay mods, and more available for download. Not everything is free, but you can filter for free content.
Follow CC creators on social media – Creators often share free content or free download links with their followers that aren‘t posted publicly. Social media is a great way to find exclusive freebies.
Look for "MAXIS Match" content – Maxis Match CC is designed to blend seamlessly into the game‘s original art style, so it looks more natural. Searching "MMCC" can help find lots of free options.
See if creators offer free starter packs – Some creators will offer small free CC packs as a sample of their work, then charge for full packs. Grabbing free starters is a good way to build your library.
As long as you stick to downloading from safe, reputable sites, you can curate tons of CC for your game at no cost.
What are some good Sims 4 mods that are like free DLC?
Mods are a type of custom content that modify or add new gameplay functionality to The Sims 4. Modders have created some mods that feel almost like full-fledged expansion packs with the amount of content and features they include!
Here are some of the best free Sims 4 mods that offer expansion-like experiences:
MC Command Center – This is an essential mod for controlling advanced Sim settings and automation. It includes bulk actions like mass outfit changes and AI improvements. A must-have free mod!
UI Cheats Extension – Lets you trigger cheats and teleport sims through clickable UI elements instead of console commands. Extremely useful for building, money, careers, relationships, and more.
Basemental Drugs – Adds fully-functional drug dealing, use, and addiction systems including cannabis, cocaine, mdma, opiates, and more for adult gameplay.
WickedWhims – Adds explicit adult/sex animations, nudity, attraction systems, pregnancy risk handled realistically, and more for 18+ players.
Extreme Violence – Allows Sims to engage in very graphic violence including serial killing, police investigations of crime scenes, prison system, and more for mature players.
Life‘s Drama – Adds deep interpersonal relationship systems like trust, memory, fame/reputation, breakups requiring counseling before remarriage, and more for storytelling.
The Sims modding community has created so many high-quality mods that add gameplay comparable to paid packs. Be sure to browse sites like ModTheSims to uncover more free mods tailor-made to your gameplay interests.
Could I theoretically pirate Sims 4 packs?
Technically, it is possible to illegally download pirated copies of The Sims 4 expansion and stuff packs. However, I absolutely advise against this for a few key reasons:
It‘s unethical and illegal – Pirating copyrighted software like Sims packs is intellectual property theft. Doing so deprives EA/Maxis of earnings for their work.
You won‘t get updates – Pirated packs won‘t automatically update. Since Sims packs get ongoing patches/fixes, pirated copies become outdated.
You could get viruses – Pirate game sites are filled with malware risks. It‘s unsafe to download illegal copies from sketchy sources.
Your account could get banned – EA may ban accounts caught illegally accessing pirated content. Don‘t risk losing your purchased games by pirating.
You can‘t play online – Playing on the official Gallery or multiplayer requires an unbanned, legitimate game version. Pirated copies are offline-only.
For ethical reasons, and to ensure you get the best gameplay experience, I strongly recommend only using legally purchased content or free custom content for The Sims 4.
What are some key things to know before installing CC & mods?
Custom content and mods can add so much to The Sims 4! However, there are some important things to keep in mind before you start installing downloads from the web:
Place CC/mods in Documents > Electronic Arts > The Sims 4 > Mods – This ensures the game correctly loads custom content. Don‘t just extract files randomly to your computer!
Check CC/mod requirements – See if they require specific game packs to work properly, as well as whether they‘re up-to-date with the current game version.
Avoid outdated mods – Mods not updated in 2-3 years are unlikely to work properly with newer versions of The Sims 4. Find recently updated mods for best results.
Install one package at a time – Adding many CC/mods at once makes troubleshooting issues harder if something‘s conflicting. Add new packages gradually in small batches.
Scan downloaded files for viruses – Ensure CC/mods packages don‘t contain viruses before adding them to your game by scanning with antivirus software.
Following these tips will help make sure the new custom content you install works properly without causing conflicts or glitches in your game.
Step-by-step guide to installing CC & mods
Now that you know some key tips, let‘s walk through the full process for safely installing custom content and mods:
1. Download CC/mods safely
- Only download from reputable sites like ModTheSims, Tumblr blogs, Patreon creators, etc. Avoid sketchy sources!
- Make sure files use the .package or .ts4script format. Other formats likely won‘t work.
- Check reviews to see if others had issues with that content.
2. Create a Mods folder
- Open File Explorer and navigate to Documents > Electronic Arts > The Sims 4
- Create a new folder called "Mods"
- This is where you‘ll add CC/mods so the game recognizes them.
3. Add downloads to Mods folder
- Open your downloaded CC/mods .package or .ts4script files
- Extract them if they‘re in a ZIP folder
- Copy/paste the files into your Mods folder
4. Enable mods & custom content
- In the Sims 4 main menu, go to Game Options
- Select "Enable Custom Content and Mods"
- Restart the game for changes to take effect
5. Check new items in game
- Launch Sims 4 and visit Create-A-Sim or Build Mode
- New CC clothes, furniture, etc will be available to use
- Mods will alter gameplay based on what they change
And that‘s it! With those steps you can safely add tons of new customization options and expanded gameplay via CC and mods. Just be sure to follow modders‘ instructions so packages install smoothly. Have fun enhancing your Sims 4 game for free!
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I get Sims expansion packs for free?
There is no legitimate way to get official Sims 4 expansion or game packs for free unless EA offers promotions temporarily giving some away. You can get high-quality custom content made by fans for free, but official DLC requires purchase.
What risks are there to using pirated Sims packs?
Using pirated Sims 4 packs carries risks like viruses from unsafe sites, lack of updates causing glitches, account bans by EA, inability to play online multiplayer, and most importantly – it‘s unethical and illegal.
Do I need to pay for custom content & mods?
Not always! Many talented creators make CC and mods free to the community. Some do charge for certain premium packages via Patreon or site memberships, but you can find plenty of great free options.
What are the best sites for finding free custom content?
Top sites for CC/mods include ModTheSims, The Sims Resource, Tumblr, Patreon creator pages, SimsFileShare, Sims 4 Updates, SimsDom, Pinterest, and more. Just search for "free downloads".
Can custom content break my game?
Poorly made or outdated mods have the potential to cause weird glitches or even game crashes if they conflict. Read reviews and descriptions carefully to avoid problematic CC. Keeping your mods updated helps avoid issues.
Is it safe to download custom content?
Downloading CC is safe as long as you use trusted sites and creators. Avoid shady sources. And always scan .package files with antivirus software before adding them to your Mods folder, just in case. This keeps your game protected.
How do I remove custom content I don‘t want?
To remove custom content, delete the .package file associated with that item from your Mods folder while Sims 4 is closed/not running. The next time you launch the game, that CC will be gone. You can remove as much CC as you want this way.
Can I get in trouble legally for using custom content?
Generally no, as long as the content you‘re downloading is freely available for anyone to use. Do not share paid or early-access CC that a creator hasn‘t authorized for public release yet, as that does violate most creators‘ policies.
Does EA allow mods and custom content?
Yes, EA/Maxis officially allow Sims mods and CC. Custom content addons only enhance the player experience. Just be sure to use mods responsibly and avoid pirated content, as that violates EA‘s rules. Otherwise, custom content is approved.