ByNicole Carpenter, writer at
Nicole has a cat named Puppy. @sweetpotatoes on Twitter.
Nicole Carpenter

You can force your Sims into all manner of things in The Sims 4. You can go to work with with your Sims, you can force them into a fitness club, or send them to the spa.

Before The Sims 4: City Living, all of this was relegated to the suburbs. With the new expansion—released November 1 on PC and Mac—your Sims are moving to the city. You know what that means—the joys (and terrors) of apartment living. It's things like living very close to your neighbors; a good thing if you're pals, but bad if they're noisy.

Dealing with a Sim landlord will certainly be a blast, too. In The Sims 4, just like real life, you'll have to decide whether or not your Sim can fix a problem herself, or if you'll have to start bugging the apartment owner. Lest we forget the pests that often come with apartment living—rodents and bugs.

Here's everything you need to know about moving into the The Sims 4's city of San Myshuno.

Choosing an apartment

There are four neighborhoods to choose from in The Sims 4:

  • Spice Market: An affordable, older neighborhood with a focus toward cultural events.
  • Arts Quarter: An increasingly expensive hub for artists of all kinds.
  • Fashion District: A more modern area of the city inspired by real world cities Tokyo and Shanghai.
  • Uptown: Where the richest of the rich lounge by their rooftop pools.

Each district has five to seven apartments available for rent—though some are occupied, but you're able to move families around—for a variety of price ranges. And that's important, especially if you're starting with a new Sim. Money's tight—you're going to have to settle for a place with some charm.

Rent, which is paid weekly, begins at $300 and tops off at $7,500. When moving in, a deposit is also required, but this is a one time thing. Prices go up if you choose to buy your Sim a home that's furnished, too. The price your Sim will pay in regards to rent is based upon a number of factors: location, size, and lot trait.

Location refers to the district and particular building an apartment is located in; a penthouse in a high-rise building in Uptown is going to be more expensive than a cramped studio in the Arts Quarter. But that doesn't mean it's always better, at least for a particular Sim. Is your Sim an artist looking to be surrounded by culture? Maybe the luxury high-rise isn't the ideal location, after all.

Size refers to, well, the size of the apartment—the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, floors. All of the apartments have floor plans already, but they're not untouchable. A one bedroom in the Spice Market goes from $500 weekly, while a two bedroom bumps the price a bit. However, you can knock down walls and make a one bedroom into a two, but it'll be cramped.

Lot Traits

Lot traits, for the most part, are adjustable—but they still play into price of an apartment. It's something you'll want to consider when choosing an apartment for your Sim to live in. Lot traits are connected directly to particular dwellings; they're automatically assigned to the apartments in City Living, but you'll be able to change many of them on each lot. Basically, they influence little stuff that happens around the lot—is it haunted? Is it a historical site? Is there a romantic aura? Is it just perpetually filthy? Are there loud neighbors? Lot traits are special little bonuses—or annoying penalties—that come along with apartment living.

Here is the full list of interchangeable lot traits:

  • Chef's Kitchen: Food prepared in a kitchen with this trait will taste better.
  • Quake Zone: There's a risk of minor tremors in apartments with this trait.
  • Good Schools: Kids on these lots will probably get better grades.
  • Mean Vibe: Something about this trait makes it easy to get angry.
  • Home Studio: This trait ups creativity on the lot.
  • Sunny Aspect: These lots are generally more uplifting and energizing.
  • Cursed: Bad things happen at lots with this trait.
  • Grody: Sims get easily grossed out at bathrooms with this trait.
  • Gremlins: Things break all the time.
  • Penny Pixies: Random money is found everywhere!
  • Party Place: Parties here are always hopping.
  • Filthy: If you want your place to always feel dirty.
  • Haunted: Ghosts, y'all.
  • Romantic Aura: This trait makes it easier to fall in love at your place.
  • Great Soil: For those apartment dwellers who want to have green thumbs.
  • Child's Play: Kids learn faster.
  • Homey: A trait that allows Sims to be extra talented at domestic duties.
  • Fast Internet: Especially important if your Sim loves videogames or programming.
  • Great Acoustics: Sims on these lots learn music skills quicker.
  • On Ley Line: Uh, more babies.
  • Science Lair: Those interested in logic and science will want to apply this trait.
  • Convivial: It's easier on these lots to gain skill in charisma.
  • Natural Light: This trait is perfect for painting and photography.
  • Gnomes: Things breaking a lot? This trait adds night gnomes that fix things.
  • Bracing Breezes: Lots with this trait inspire Sims to work out.
  • Private Dwelling: Visitors will avoid lots with this trait.

Some traits are assigned lot traits that you'll just have to put up with—it's the sort of stuff that gives apartment living it's... charms.

These are the traits in The Sims 4: City Living that can't be removed:

  • Romantic Fireplace: Why would you want to remove this, anyway?
  • Needs TLC: Apartments with this trait will typically have lower rent, because they'll always need a little extra work.
  • Quiet: Folks in quiet apartments are extra lucky. It's never noisy.
  • Historic: Historic apartments have a plaque on the wall that can't be removed.
  • Lively Neighbors: Neighbors who are loud at night. And all the time.
  • Serviced Apartment: A maid service is included with the rent at these apartments.
  • Great View: The view from these apartments just makes Sims happy.

Building inside apartments

Building in The Sims 4: City Living is essentially the same as it was pre-expansion, but with one difference—size constraints. Apartments are smaller than homes, and when building, there's no way to expand past what your Sim is renting. That said, you can build however you'd like inside your own Sim's apartment. There's more freedom in the few spots in the city that aren't for rent; there's one house and a couple penthouses that allow for multiple floors, including outdoor space. As expected, though, they're pricey.

The Sims 4: City Living expansion pack is available on PC and Mac for $39.99. The Sims 4 standalone game is required to access the expansion.

Are you going to buy The Sims 4: City Living? What are you most looking forward to?


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