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How to Get The Sims 4 City Living Expansion Pack for Free

Living in a vibrant city full of festivals, culture, and constant entertainment sounds amazing, but the high cost of rent, transportation, food, and activities can make it tough to afford. As a Sims gamer on a budget, how can you get all the experiences of urban living in The Sims 4 City Living expansion without breaking the bank? Don’t worry – with some savvy strategies you can enjoy everything this pack has to offer completely free.

As an experienced Simmer, I’ve found foolproof ways to get City Living for free through smart gameplay. In this beginner’s guide, I’ll walk you through my best tips, tricks, and hacks for experiencing big city life as a new Sim in San Myshuno without spending a single Simoleon.

Take Advantage of Free Trials to Get Started

The easiest way to access The Sims 4 City Living for free is to use the 10-hour free trial for EA Play members. Here’s how it works:

  • Sign up for an EA Play subscription on your gaming platform for as low as $4.99/month.
  • Download the Origin launcher and log into your EA account if you’re on PC.
  • Search for The Sims 4 City Living expansion pack and select “Try Now” to begin a 10-hour trial.

This trial gives you a solid chunk of time to experience apartments, festivals, careers, and everything else the pack offers completely free. According to SimsVIP, you can extend the trial indefinitely by changing the date on your computer before the 10 hours runs out.

Once your trial ends, simply cancel EA Play membership before you get charged a subscription fee. For just $5 you can enjoy City Living for much longer thanks to this sneaky trick!

Use Custom Content for Free Expansion Features

Custom Content (CC) is player-created mods and assets you can add to your game for free. The Sims has a talented community creating tons of high-quality CC that unlocks features of paid expansions without spending any real money.

I scoured sites like The Sims Resource, Tumblr, and Patreon to find the best CC that replicates what City Living offers:

  • Apartment builds and furniture to decorate your starter place for $0.
  • Hip urban fashion like jeans, crop tops, dresses, and city hairstyles.
  • Posters, paintings, and clutter objects to personalize your pad.
  • Functional vending machines, arcade games, and street art.
  • City backdrop skylines for your rural save files.

Follow the creator’s instructions to add CC to your mods folder. And don’t forget to credit artists when sharing your city-inspired Sims online! Custom content is hands down the easiest way to gain expensive city swag and style for free.

Choose an Empty Apartment to Start

When creating a new household in San Myshuno, opt for a basic empty apartment rather than furnished ones that cost §2000-§8000 per week. Empty studio apartments start at only §0-§500 per week.

This blank canvas approach allows you to slowly decorate over time as you earn Simoleons. Here are my top tips for furnishing an empty starter apartment on the cheap:

  • Scavenge – Loot trash containers and piles for free household items to sell or use. I once found a rare Moroccan lantern worth §1200!
  • Salvage – Harvest useable wood and parts from your finds to build DIY furniture at the woodworking table in the Spice Market.
  • Browse – Check apartment neighbor‘s door inventories daily for freebies. Knock and request to browse their fridges, bookshelves, decorations, etc. My neighbors let me keep a vintage drumset!
  • Forage – Search parks and community lots for harvestable plants to eat or sell at the vendor stall. Fishing is also profitable.
  • Create – Use the easels around the city to paint artwork you can sell. Same for selling woodworking projects or homemade jams and confections.
  • Upgrade – Fix up used appliances, electronics, plumbing, etc. with repairs and upgrades then resell at a profit margin.

With time and resourcefulness, you can turn an empty studio into a trendy downtown loft using found objects and salvaged goods from around the city!

Share Expenses with Roommates

Living solo in the city quickly burns through cash. Inviting roommates to share your apartment saves big on bills plus unlocks better furnishings and amenities.

Each roommate automatically contributes funds to the household account weekly. More roommates equals more perks:

  • 1 Roommate – Unlocks the double bed so you don‘t sleep on the floor.
  • 2 Roommates – Doubles the household funds from §200 to §400/week.
  • 3 Roommates – Unlocks the stainless steel luxury fridge.
  • 4 Roommates – Unlocks the glass dining table and modern sofas.

Ideally choose roommates with traits like Neat, Outgoing, and Responsible. Avoid ones with conflicting traits to yours like Slob, Mean, or Erratic which can cause constant tension.

Who you select as roommates makes all the difference. Friendly and ambitious types will improve your social life and career prospects. I once had a Politician roommate who funded our apartment with her huge salary and gifted us amazing furniture!

Develop Profitable Skills

Building your Sim’s skills strategically unlocks lucrative opportunities to grow your bank account. Focus on improving skills that match their career goals and personality.

For example, an aspiring entertainer should develop comedy to tell jokes at open mic nights and get gigs performing standup at lounges for tips. A bookworm can improve writing skill to sell novels and screenplays once successful.

Some of the most profitable skills to develop when starting out include:

  • Cooking – Write a cookbook or sell quality meals from home.
  • Guitar – Busking in the Arts Quarter can earn §20-50/hour once skilled.
  • Charisma – Fast-tracks promotions at high-paying corporate careers.
  • Handiness – Repair and upgrade used electronics, appliances, furniture for big profits.

Other money-making skills are Fishing, Gardening, Video Gaming, and Painting. Choose one that fits your Sim and focus on daily practice to profit from their talents.

Utilize All Free City Services

The city offers awesome free services you should exploit fully to save money as a new resident. Why spend cash when you can enjoy free entertainment, activities, and professional services?

Here are the best freebies across San Myshuno’s unique districts:

  • The Spice Market – Workout at the gym, woodwork at the public station, enjoy live music, and eat free food samples from the stalls.
  • The Fashion District – Window shop high-end stores and salons or score free beauty makeovers from flyers around town.
  • Uptown – Play basketball at the court, feast on free drinks and meals from the Humor & Hijinx Festival, and enjoy comedy shows.
  • The Arts Quarter – Attend galleries and paint in the public arts center courtyard for free.
  • The Technology District – Get career counseling and skill-building services at the library. My Sim got a free guitar lesson!

Taking full advantage of the city’s generosity lets you save money for more important goals like career supplies or your dream apartment.

Start a Garden for Free Fresh Produce

Urban gardening may seem impossible but the starter apartments actually include a small garden plot! Starting a patio garden is an easy way to supplement your grocery budget with homegrown fruits, veggies, and herbs.

I recommend beginner-friendly crops that give the most bang for your buck:

  • Carrots – §3 for 6 harvests worth §11 each, so §66 total profit
  • Potatoes – §5 for 5 harvests worth §14 each, so §65 total profit
  • Tomatoes – §8 for 10 harvests worth §16 each, so §152 total profit

Within a few Sim weeks, you can harvest enough fresh produce to feed yourself and sell the surplus. Those stats are from SimsVIP Gardening Guides which are super helpful.

Once you save up more, invest in a money tree. Each money fruit harvested is worth §20-100! I easily earned §2000 from a single money tree over its lifetime. Gardening takes patience but pays off big time.

Befriend Neighbors for Insider Perks

Making friends with your neighbors is key for getting established in the city and saving money as a new resident. Fellow apartment dwellers will hook you up with freebies, deals, and valuable local secrets.

Here are some sweet perks I’ve gotten from befriending neighbors:

  • Free household items, ingredients, and dishes added to my personal inventory or dropped at my door.
  • Access to their rare books, musical instruments, gaming consoles, and other expensive possessions. Borrowing saves you from buying your own.
  • Insider tips on upcoming auditions, job openings, advice for festivals, and secret fishing spots.
  • Higher cooking skill neighbors will happily whip up free excellent quality meals for you.
  • Leftovers and additional servings from their family meals. Just show up at dinner time!

I cannot emphasize enough how crucial it is to know everyone in your apartment complex and surrounding neighborhood. These connections are your ticket to succeeding in the city without going broke.

Attend All Festivals for Freebies

The city’s lively events and festivals have tons of free activities along with opportunities to earn Simoleons. Never skip out just because funds are low – these events give you a chance to score cash and rare collectibles.

Here are lucrative things to do at each festival:

  • Spice Festival – Enter the spice contest to win §100-500, sell collected spices for profits.
  • Humor & Hijinx Festival – Stuff your face in eating contests to win §50-200.
  • Romance Festival – Get relationship boosts that lead to wealthy romantic partners who pamper you with gifts.
  • GeekCon – Play video game tournaments to win limited-edition collectibles to sell for §200-1000 each!
  • Flea Market – Gatheroddities and salvage to upcycle into furniture and décor to sell at your booth. I earned §2000 last market day!

Attending events also improves your social status and street cred. Don‘t let low funds stop you from enjoying everything these festivals have to offer.

Advance Your Career strategically

Climbing the career ladder in a highly competitive field like Politics, Tech, or Social Media means starting from the bottom making pitiful wages. But as you gain skills and get promoted, your weekly salary increases dramatically.

Here are my pro tips for advancing quickly when starting out:

  • Make Connections – Befriend your boss and coworkers for faster promotions. Actions like Flatter and Get to Know work wonders.
  • Impress the Boss – Complete daily tasks under the specified time and maintain high performance by staying Focused at work.
  • Pass Presentations – Use your day off to build key skills needed to pass the next promotion requirement.
  • Do Freelance Gigs – Take better paying odd jobs on the side like manual labor while working towards your dream career.

Bringing in §500-1000 more per week from promotions and side hustles makes all the difference when trying to move up in the city.

Pet Adoption for Profit

Adopting a cat or dog costs §0 at the shelter but pays off through providing companionship and services worth way more down the line.

Here are some financial perks of pet parenthood:

  • Dogs can be trained to sniff out valuable collectibles around the city for you to sell. My Boston Terrier regularly digs up rare crystals and metals worth §200-500 each!
  • Cats hunt treasures and gifts nightly to surprise you with like furniture and decorations, saving you tons of shopping expenses.

Just be sure to budget for pet supplies and the occasional vet visit. I’ve found adopting a furry roommate hugely improves your Sim’s mood and quality of life in the city while saving money.

Use Reward Perks Wisely

Completing goals, aspirations, and daily tasks earns satisfaction points you can redeem for special rewards that make city living way more affordable.

Here are the best freebies to unlock ASAP:

  • Metropolitan – Trait that gets you 50% rent discounts on city apartments. This one is a must!
  • Always Welcome – Enter any apartment without invitation. Raid neighbors‘ fridges!
  • Landlord Connections – Negotiate super cheap rent prices on all apartment tiers.
  • Free Services – Make all bills, repairs, and city services free forever!

Redeem these immediately to slash expenses and access everything San Myshuno provides.

Budget Smartly

No matter your income, budgeting is essential for affording city life. Here are my best money management tips:

  • Review weekly expenses and look for areas you overspent. My Sims always go crazy on spa days when stressed.
  • Meal plan and shop as roommates to avoid food waste. Use up leftovers and perishables first.
  • Make repairs ASAP before appliances break and cost more to replace.
  • Walk more to reduce transportation costs.
  • Limit eating out and going to clubs. Pre-game at the apartment first. BYOB!
  • Set weekly limits for discretionary purchases like video games and new clothes. Fun stuff can wait.

Roommate meetings to review budgets and financial goals keep us on track. Budgeting is a skill that takes discipline – but pays off when you’re broke in the city.

Living in San Myshuno for free takes some savvy planning and commitment. But it’s absolutely possible to experience everything this iconic Sims expansion has to offer without going bankrupt. Start with the tips that fit your gameplay style and slowly work towards your dream urban lifestyle. Soon you’ll be thriving in the big city like a true local without spending a dime!

Let me know if you have any other great ideas for living in The Sims 4 City Living for free. I’m always looking to step up my money-saving game!



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.