The Sims 4: High School Years gameplay livestream is out! Take a look below as we dive into the new world of Copperdale and all of the glorious new features that come with this pack!
The full stream is about 2 hours, but you can continue below to check out some of the highlights
Starting off strong, the base game update leading up to High School Years is bringing Body Hair to the game! This includes categories for arms, legs, back, and chest.
Both body and facial hair can be toggled for growth progression – allowing your sims to both grow facial and body hair, and to be able to groom/shave said hair.
Along with that, the transition from child to adult wouldn’t be complete without acne! This has been stated to be a rather simple feature, in that sims now have a basic skincare routine where they can wash their face with cleanser to help prevent and clear up acne.
While we’re still talking about CAS, there are several more goodies making their way into the game.
A “Teen” aspiration category is being added, with four aspirations: Live Fast, Admired Icon, Goal Oriented, and Drama Llama. (We probably all know a few people in the Drama Llama category!)
- Live Fast is, as it sounds, all about living in the moment and enjoying all that being a teenager has to offer.
- Admired Icon is all about having your peers look up to you – you might even be the next top style icon on Trendi!
- Goal Oriented sims are driven by their internal desire to get things done – although not many details were shared in the way of what might entail.
- Lastly, the Drama Llama sims will thrive on the social chaos that is often synonymous with the high school experience.
Along with that comes a socially awkward trait, that is exactly as it sounds. Teens with this trait will generally struggle more with social situations at large, while being more comfortable around other sims who they are close with.
There is also the bonus trait, “Relatable,” that allows teens to build relationships faster with other teens.
Likes & Dislikes
Sims are also getting a slight refresher in their Likes and Dislikes, as the fashion-forward world of High School demands only the hottest looks on Trendi. “Fashion” Likes and Dislikes have been added, allowing sims to have more of a preference in their styles and how they present themselves to the world.
Now for one of the biggest new features! High school and the journey into adulthood is often a path of self-discovery, so with that come new options for customizing your sims’ orientation!
The default settings – should you choose not to adjust this – will be the equivalent of how a sim in the game will currently act. If you do wish to change the orientation details, you’ll be able to set:
- Romantic Attraction: either Male or Female, neither, or both.
- Exploring Romantically: Yes or No. If yes, this sim may be accepting of romantic interactions with genders other than their defined interest.
- Mess Around With: Male, Female, neither, or both. Sims that have an option checked for this setting will be able to propose “Become WooHoo Partners” with sims that match their preference – effectively separating romantic and physical relationships.
These settings can be configured in ways that allow a wide mix of sims to be created, including asexual or aromantic sims.
Do note, though, that all of these settings are still based on the male/female binary, depending on the frame you’ve set for your sim. This is coded into the framework of the game.
Stepping out of CAS and into the world of Copperdale, let’s take a look around!
There are three neighborhoods: Rockridge Heights, which contains “the” school. I say it’s “the” school, because sims will commute from other worlds to Copperdale – as it is the only high school.
We have Prescott Square, which is named after the founding family of the town, and this area acts as a town square of sorts. This is also home to the soon-to-be notorious ThrifTea boba tea/thrift store combo.
Lastly, we come to Plumbite Cove. What teen coming-of-age story doesn’t feature a carnival at some point?! Check out the pier, grab a bite to eat, and check out the rides! Just don’t get caught doing any kind of, er, extracurricular activities on the rides. Getting caught woohooing on the rides will get you banned!
Once school is back in session, you will now have the option to follow teens to school as an active career!
The school day starts with a bit of free time to get yourself situated, and then it’s off to your first class! Sims will attend two classes per day, with a lunch break in between. Each day sims will have different classes, and there will be different scheduled events – such as a sporting event, prom, or exams – yikes!
Make sure to pass your exams, or else you may not be allowed to graduate! This can effect your sim later on – they will have a more difficult time with getting into college, or also getting certain jobs. It will not be a complete roadblock, though – it’s said that there will still be other ways that sims can get around this limitation.
If you’re of the mischievous type, make sure that you be careful! If you get caught up to no good, you’ll be on the hook for detention. You might want to wait until the teacher isn’t around before you try to prank the whiteboard!
You may also find the new “relationship economy” taking effect around the school, as sims can now autonomously ask you out on a date, ask you to prom, or even break up with you! This feature sounds like it will come into play nicely with the other recent story progression updates.
The school is fully customizable! You can go into build mode and tear the whole thing down if you want. We are looking forward to seeing what kind of new builds the community will come up with!
What high school experience would be complete without prom? Prom takes place in the auditorium, a completely separate lot from the high school. The prom is fully customizable as well, in that you can build it to be whatever style or theme you want.
Sims can attend prom alone, with someone as friends, or as a date.
This brings promposals – your sim can put in some extra work with a go-big-or-go-home gesture to present their crush with a promposal sign.
For the more low-key among us, you can also ask sims by slipping a note into their locker. You can also take the completely normal method of simply asking a sim directly. Their response will depend on your relationship, and if you intend to go as friends or as a date.
If things go in your favor, you might even get elected as prom royalty!
Wants & Fears
While playing, you may notice that whims seem a bit different. They will be turning into Wants and Fears instead!
Wants and fears will be interlaced into a sim’s personality more than standard whims. Wants will be classified into three categories: long-term, short-term, and reactionary. Reactionary wants will be based on what a sim is doing or where they are at any particular moment – for example, a sim at gym may get a reactionary want to exercise and workout.
Fears will be developed over and can be more applicable to your sim based on traits. If a sim experiences a fire, for example, they may gain a fear of fire. These fears then branch out in a way that your sim can continue to harbor a particular fear, or they can try to face it and get over it.
Wants and Fears will be arriving in the base game update prior to release of High School Years. There are also some unique wants/fears coming in the pack that are specifically tailored towards high school.
Social Bunny App
When you’re not busy studying – or when you SHOULD be studying – you may be distracted by the new Social Bunny app. This serves as part of the smartphone refresh for your sims and acts as a full-fledged social networking system. Sims can post status updates, and view and react to other sims’ status updates. You might even try to slide in your crush’s DMs.
Thriftea & Trendi
If you’re more of the out-on-the-town type, swing by ThriftTea! You can grab some delicious boba tea, and then get to work planning the hottest fashion trends* for the season! The ThriftTea shopping system functions like a thrift store. You will see a random selection of items, rather than all of CAS. The items available will rotate, so you’ll always find something new! You can then use those items to style new looks, and list them for sale on Trendi. (If you make a sale, you even have to have your sim ship the items to their new home!) Depending on the popularity of the looks you style, you might even see sims showing up around town wearing them!
*Llamacore is obviously going to be the most popular style. No doubt about it.
If you’re more a connoisseur (of llamas, of course) you can also purchase new looks from Trendi. It looks like you don’t actually get to see the looks ahead of time, but they are tagged by the overall style of the items you’ve used. Once you’ve purchased one, it’ll appear as a shopping bag within your sims inventory where they can then put it on.
Round Walls & Windows
One last feature to touch on from the trailer – round walls!
Yes, we are finally getting rounded walls. They come in the form of quarter-rooms. They are similar to the current implementation of curved fences, where they are placable as an item. (Versus dragging them out with the build tool.)
There is a new window included that automatically adjusts itself to curve to match the wall. Meanwhile, existing doors and windows will be sorted by if they are supported on small or large curved walls. Most narrow doors and windows will work on a curved wall, as they don’t stick out too much. Wider 2 and 3-tile doors, arches, or windows will not always fit on curved walls.
Note that existing doors and windows will NOT actually adjust their shape to fit the curve of a wall.
One last bonus window is this window that sims can actually open and go through:
Note that this window requires a landing on either side for sims to be able to step out on to. If on an upper floor, they also need some method of getting down – such as the conveniently disguised trellis ladder!
We can’t wait to see the depth that these updates are going to bring to the game. The orientation system is going to allow for a significantly more robust experience, in terms of both representation and storytelling. The new traits and aspirations will really help to round-out the overall high school experience. This pack should have enough content to keep everyone occupied for quite a while!
The Sims 4: High School Years is set to release on July 28th, 2022 for PC, Mac, and console.