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Is there a way to get Sims 4 packs for free?

I know this is the question on every Sims 4 fan‘s mind! With dozens of exciting expansion and game packs available, it‘s tempting to want them all to maximize your gameplay options. But at $40 per expansion and $20 for game packs, buying everything at full price really adds up.

So you probably want to know – is there any legitimate way to get Sims 4 DLC for free or at least cheap? As a fellow Sims enthusiast myself, I totally get the desire to save money and not miss out on content. I‘ll share everything I know about the options based on my own experience as a bargain-hunting Sims player!

Official freebies from EA/Maxis

Let‘s start with the obvious option – official free Sims 4 packs offered directly by the publisher Electronic Arts (EA) and the developer Maxis. The good news is EA/Maxis do occasionally give away some content for free for a limited time.

For example, in 2017 they gave away the Toddler Stuff Pack for free to all players, in celebration of finally adding toddlers to the base game (a heavily requested feature previously missing). Pretty sweet!

More recently, around Christmas 2021 they gave away the Decor to the Max Kit for free as a holiday gift. Kits are a new form of DLC containing themed cosmetic items, so it was a nice little bonus.

However, these official freebies are very rare and unpredictable. EA has not provided any sort of roadmap or commitment to regularly releasing free content updates. So far they‘ve mainly done freebie giveaways for PR value around major game updates.

You definitely can‘t count on occasional free content as a steady way to build your Sims 4 collection over time. That Decor to the Max Kit was the first such freebie in years.

I also wouldn‘t recommend getting your hopes up too much for any upcoming major DLC being given away free right at launch. That seems unlikely based on EA‘s past behavior. Occasional free stuff is more like a nice surprise treat.

The base game itself becoming fully free in October 2022 was a huge milestone though! Now anyone can easily try out The Sims 4 for the first time without paying.

However, EA has clarified that expansions and game packs will continue to be paid DLC. So the free base game is more like a demo to get you hooked, while additional content will remain premium purchases.

Custom Content from the creative community

Beyond official DLC, a treasure trove of user-created custom content for The Sims 4 is available thanks to the talents of the creative community!

Sites like The Sims Resource host a massive library of CC creations that players freely contribute, including:

  • Thousands of unique clothing and hair options
  • Furniture sets for any decor style you can imagine
  • Gameplay modifications and additions
  • New objects like cars, electronics etc

There are even dedicated custom content creators who make Sims 4 mods and assets as their full-time job, releasing new ‘packs‘ through Patreon subscriptions.

So with a bit of searching, you can find CC adding tons of options beyond the base game for free. It offers a flexible way to enhance your game without being limited to official DLC.

The catch is that custom content can‘t fully replicate major gameplay features and world locations introduced in official expansion packs. Stuff like the magic realm in Realm of Magic, fame systems in Get Famous, or Japanese inspired Mt Komorebi world are unique to those packs.

But CC is a nice supplement, letting you selectively expand on areas you care about like build/buy objects or CAS clothing. And again, it‘s completely free!

According to a 2021 survey of over 9000 Sims players, 61% said they use custom content regularly. So it‘s clear the community content is hugely valuable to players seeking to expand their game at no cost.

Catching discounts during sales

One of the most cost-effective ways I‘ve built up my Sims 4 collection is by waiting for discounts during major seasonal sales!

During Steam sales, Origin sales, and events like Black Friday, you can reliably find the majority of Sims 4 DLC packs heavily discounted. We‘re talking 50%, 60% or even 75% off in some cases!

For example, during the last Steam Summer Sale in June 2022:

  • Expansion packs dropped from $39.99 to just $19.99
  • Game packs went from $19.99 to only $9.99
  • Stuff packs were $4.99 instead of the usual $9.99

As a comparison, The Sims 3 operated on a similar model back in the day – charging full price at launch, but permanently reducing older DLC during sales.

So with The Sims 4, I made it my strategy to focus on only buying packs I really wanted during these seasonal sales. That way I could steadily build my collection year after year at reasonable prices, without going overboard.

According to data from SteamDB, the Spring, Summer and Winter sales tend to offer the best Sims 4 discounts historically.

Signing up for email alerts from stores like Steam can notify you of upcoming major sales. Then you can plan out which 2-3 packs to target buying discounted at each sale. Slowly but surely, your library will grow!

With this patient approach, I‘ve been able to pick up all the expansion and game packs I‘m most interested in over time – without draining my bank account. Give it a try next time the big seasonal sales roll around.

Trying "free" DLC with subscriptions

Another way you can sample Sims 4 DLC for free is through subscription services like Xbox Game Pass and EA Play.

These give subscribers access to a rotating selection of EA games and content as part of the monthly membership fee. The available Sims 4 DLC varies over time based on agreements between EA and the subscription companies.

For example, right now EA Play members can play the base game plus the Cats & Dogs expansion and Dream Home Decorator game pack at no extra charge.

So as a subscriber, you‘re able to try out those expansions free as part of your membership! Of course the downside is that you lose access if you unsubscribe from the service.

Think of it more like getting to preview packs temporarily rather than owning them forever. But it‘s a nice perk for the subscription cost, and allows you to experience the DLC risk-free to see if you enjoy it enough to buy permanently at full price later.

Between sales and subscriptions, you can really maximize sampling Sims 4 DLC at minimum cost before deciding what‘s worth buying forever at full price.

Sharing purchased DLC in your household

Here‘s another money saving tactic if you have family or roommates who also actively play The Sims 4. You can share your purchased DLC at no extra cost within your immediate household!

All you have to do is log into the same EA account on all your different devices. Any expansion or game packs bought by one player will automatically become accessible to everyone else logged into that account.

So for example among 3 roommates, you could take turns each buying a different expansion pack during sales. You‘d all split the cost, and then share access to the purchased DLC you collectively "own".

Over time, your shared household library would build up with all the best packs! And you‘d only have to pay 1/3 the price each rather than the full amount. Just make sure to coordinate who‘s buying what, so you don‘t accidentally end up with the same pack purchased twice.

For a shared family computer, just log everyone into the same EA account and all household members can enjoy full access to DLC bought by any individual. No extra licensing needed!

Supporting alternative life simulation games

This final option is more long term, but if you end up feeling unhappy with The Sims 4‘s paid DLC model even after utilizing the above savings tips, there are emerging alternative life sim games you can keep an eye on!

The most promising Sims 4 competitor on the horizon is Paralives – an indie project by French developer Alex Massé. The core idea is aiming to capture the creative, open-ended spirit of The Sims franchise in a new modern package built from scratch.

But the really interesting part is Paralives plans to utilize a subscription-based model for monetization. Rather than splitting the game into endless paid DLC packs, players would just pay a monthly fee to access full native content.

In theory, this model incentivizes the developer to release steady new content updates rather than relying on intermittent big box expansions. It remains to be seen how Paralives will successfully compete once launched.

But supporting projects like this helps encourage innovation in the genre toward more player-friendly business models. Sending feedback and feature suggestions to indie developers can also help shape these titles into something you‘d happily swap to long-term.

I‘m definitely keeping Paralives on my radar as an alternative down the road if I end up losing patience with The Sims 4‘s glacial DLC pace and pricing. You may want to check it out too!

The bottom line

At the end of the day, there is unfortunately no way to access all Sims 4 expansion and game packs 100% free through fully legal methods. Electronic Arts is upfront about this being a premium piecemeal game requiring ongoing purchases.

However, you have excellent options to obtain DLC free or discounted by:

  • Claiming occasional time-limited freebies EA offers
  • Using the abundant free custom content from the creative community
  • Buying during major sales when possible to save 50% or more
  • Trying packs temporarily via subscription services
  • Sharing costs across your immediate household
  • Supporting upcoming alternative life sim games with fairer monetization models

With the right balance of patience, bargain hunting and supplemental CC, you can build up a solid Sims 4 collection at a reasonable price. My recommendation is to focus on buying 2-3 discounted packs per major sale that appeal most to your personal playstyle.

I hope these tips help you on your quest to get more Sims 4 content while saving money! Let me know if you have any other creative ideas for scoring deals. Happy Simming!



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