As an avid Sims player, I know how frustrating the grid system can be. You have this perfect decor or layout in mind, but the snapping grid makes precisely placing objects a challenge. Thankfully, with a few simple tricks, you can easily move items freely without grid restrictions in The Sims 4.
In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll cover everything you need to know about free placement, from cheating to toggle tricks to mod recommendations. By the end, you‘ll have the skills to create the customized Sims homes you‘ve always dreamed of, without limitations or obstacles in your way. Let‘s get started!
What is Free Placement and Why Use It?
Normally in The Sims 4‘s build and buy modes, all placeable objects snap to a restrictive grid system. This grid helps keep items aligned but limits where you can place them.
With free placement, you can freely drag, rotate, and place items anywhere without snapping to the grid. This allows true precision placement and alignment not possible otherwise.
Below are just a few examples of what you can do with free placement activated:
- Place objects in exact spots, like hanging art at specific heights or angles.
- Rotate and align objects more precisely.
- Layer objects directly on top of each other.
- Move items partially below the ground for unique effects.
- Create new shapes and sizes by combining objects.
- Fix small alignment or placement frustrations quicker.
As a fellow Sims decorator, I love the extra creative freedom free placement unlocks. Keep reading as I walk through how to start moving objects more freely in your game.
Method 1: Use the bb.moveobjects Cheat
The easiest way to enable free placement is via The Sims 4‘s built-in cheats. Here‘s how:
Step 1) Open the Cheat Console
From build/buy mode or regular gameplay, press
Ctrl + Shift + C on your keyboard. This opens the cheat console.
Step 2) Enter bb.moveobjects on
bb.moveobjects on in the cheat console box then press enter.
Step 3) Get Notification the Cheat is Active
You‘ll see a notification that "Object movement cheating is now enabled."
Step 4) Move Objects Freely
You can now pick up and freely drag objects anywhere without grid restrictions. Go wild!
Step 5) Disable Later If Desired
When finished, open the cheat console again and enter
bb.moveobjects off to turn the cheat back off.
bb.moveobjects cheat is the quickest, most flexible way to unlock free placement in your game. I probably use it in 9 out of 10 builds!
However, it does come with a few downsides to consider:
- Must be re-entered each gaming session.
- Allows objects to clip through walls/floors.
- Some players prefer not to use cheats.
Let‘s look at a few alternative options that avoid cheats entirely.
Method 2: Use the ALT Placement Hotkey
My second favorite free placement technique doesn‘t require cheats at all. Instead, it uses a handy keyboard hotkey combination.
To use it:
1) Select the object you want to move off the grid.
2) Hold the ALT key on your keyboard.
3) While holding ALT, move the object freely wherever you wish.
4) Once placed, release ALT to set the object.
As long as you hold ALT, that object ignores grid snapping. But unlike the moveobjects cheat, the object won‘t clip through walls or allow as free of placement.
I love this ALT method when I just need to make small precision alignments and don‘t want to constantly re-enter the cheat. It takes just seconds to align a picture frame or scoot an object over a few pixels!
Method 3: Toggle Grid Snapping With F5
Rather than completely disable grid snapping, you can press
F5 to cycle through different snap settings:
- F5 Once: Switch to half-grid snap intervals.
- F5 Twice: Switch to quarter-grid snap intervals.
- F5 Again: Turn off grid snapping completely.
- F5 Once More: Return to the full grid.
Being able to quickly cycle between quarter, half, and full grid is super helpful. I use F5 constantly when building!
For example, I‘ll use the quarter-grid to get an initial placement perfected. But then toggle back to the full grid to check alignment with walls. The ability to quickly toggle with F5 gives you flexibility.
Just like the ALT method, objects moved while gridlines are hidden won‘t clip through other objects like the free placement cheats allow.
Method 4: Permanently Disable Gridlines in Settings
All the methods above turn off grid snapping temporarily. If you want to disable grids permanently, head into game settings:
1) Open Settings – Access the settings menu from the main menu or by pressing
Ctrl + Shift + C then typing
settings in gameplay.
2) Go to Game Options – Click on the Game Options tab in settings.
3) Toggle "Disable Gridlines" – Check the box next to the "Disable Gridlines and Snapping" option.
4) Click Apply – This saves the change permanently.
Now grids will be disabled by default whenever you enter build or buy mode, until you re-enable them.
I don‘t recommend fully turning off grids forever, as they are helpful for general building. But temporarily toggling them off here can save you a step.
Precise Object Moving With Keyboard Shortcuts
When moving objects freely, I like to use a few shortcut keys to get precise alignments:
9 and 0– Hold to nudge objects left/right one grid space.
7 and 8– Hold to nudge objects backward/forward one grid space.
4 and 6– Hold while rotating to turn objects 15 degrees.
Try combining these hotkeys with the free placement methods above for ultra-precise positioning!
Must-Have Mods and Custom Content
An active Sims modding community has created some amazing build mode tools that complement free placement:
TOOL by TwistedMexi
Adds dozens of handy construction helper objects plus better snapping tools, automatic alignment guides, and more. I can‘t build without TOOL!
Better BuildBuy by TwistedMexi
Improves default build mode with 1 degree rotation, pixel perfect object movement, advanced clipping options, and precise coordinate entry. A must-have.
T.O.O.L by Scumbumbo
Mod that expands the in-game Multi-Functional Table object into the ultimate object manipulation tool. Lets you freely move, clone, and rotate items.
Explore sites like ModTheSims, Tumblr, and Patreon to find the latest mods that enhance building with no restrictions. These tools open up even more possibilities!
Step-By-Step Guide to Freely Placing Objects
Let‘s walk through the complete process of activating and using free placement in The Sims 4:
Step 1) Enter Build or Buy Mode
From the neighborhood or lot screen, click the hammer icon to enter build mode or house icon for buy mode.
Step 2) Enable Free Placement
Choose your preferred method:
- Cheats: Press
Ctrl + Shift + Cand enter
bb.moveobjects onthen hit enter. Get the notification it worked.
- ALT Shortcut: Nothing to enable, just get ready to hold the ALT key.
- F5 Cycling: Tap F5 once or twice to hide gridlines.
- Permanent Toggle: Ensure Disable Gridlines is checked green in settings.
Step 3) Select an Object to Move
Pick any object on your lot you want to reposition, or go into buy mode to grab a new item.
Step 4) Move Object Freely
Click and drag the object to any position desired without grid snapping limits. Can finely adjust with nudge keys.
Step 5) Adjust, Align, and Snap to Grid
Use shortcuts like ALT or the nudge keys to perfectly align. Toggle gridlines back temporarily if needed.
Step 6) Repeat for Other Objects!
Freely place bookshelves, sinks, rugs, artwork, lights – anything! Get creative.
Step 7) Don‘t Forget to Disable
When done, turn grid snapping back on with
bb.moveobjects off or pressing F5.
And that‘s it – follow those steps and you‘ll be moving objects freely in no time. Keep reading for pro tips to level up your skills even further!
Expert Tips for Free Placement Success
Here are my best tips for mastering object movement without grid restrictions as a Sims builder:
Use ALT when moving for precision – Holding ALT as you drag objects lets you make micro adjustments.
Temporarily toggle the grid – Quickly press F5 to turn on grids, align an object, then turn back off.
Combine free placement with asymmetry – Break symmetry and perfection for more realistic, organic designs.
Take breaks if frustrated – Walk away and come back with fresh eyes if having trouble.
Refer to screenshots or plans – Use references images to recreate specific room layouts.
Save frequently – Save your game before doing major renovations.
Work bottom up – Place flooring/foundations first, then objects on top.
Use height to your advantage – Adjust object heights and partially sink into ground for depth.
Don‘t forget lighting – Ensure rooms are still well lit after moving things around.
Playtest gameplay – Move around in Live Mode to make sure objects are still usable after changing layouts.
Most Common Free Placement Questions
Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about The Sims 4‘s build mode grid system:
How do I permanently turn off the grid?
In Settings > Game Options, toggle the "Disable Gridlines" checkmark to permanently hide grids.
What is the ALT placement trick?
Holding ALT while dragging an object lets you temporarily ignore grid snapping for that item.
Does free placement work on console?
Yes! On controllers, hold the left trigger while moving objects to temporarily disable grid snapping.
What if I want gridlines back?
Press F5 to cycle through the quarter, half, and full grid options again.
Can I rotate objects more precisely?
Yes, use the 4 and 6 keys to nudge rotate objects by 15 degree increments.
Do I need mods?
No, but mods like TOOL, Better BuildBuy, and T.O.O.L add even more features.
Why do objects jump back when I move them?
This is the grid snapping. Be sure to disable grids first via the methods mentioned earlier.
Unleash Your Creativity!
As a fellow Sims 4 player, I hope you found this free placement guide helpful. With a bit of practice using the tricks outlined here, you‘ll be able to precisely place objects faster than ever.
No more limitations or frustrating grid alignment when trying to build your dream Sims homes and rooms! Combine these tips with custom content downloads and mods to fully unleash your interior design creativity.
The cheat console, F5 cycling, ALT hotkey, precise movement shortcuts, and other pointers in this guide have taken my own Sims 4 building to the next level. I‘m able to create spaces, shapes, layouts, and designs that follow my own vision rather than being restricted by the grid.
Now it‘s your turn! So open up The Sims 4, and start moving and aligning furniture, artwork, counters, wall decorations, and other objects exactly where YOU want. Before you know it, you‘ll have the perfectly designed and customized home you‘ve been imagining, without grid snapping obstacles in your way.
Have fun, and happy Sims 4 building! Let me know if you have any other questions.