The History of The Sims 4

The Sims 4! If you’re anything like me, you’ve clocked a few thousand hours on it since it released and probably won’t stop anytime soon. But since the game came out, it’s been through a lot of iterations and changes, so I’m going to explore the entire history of The Sims 4 here today. Interested in learning more about a specific pack? Just click on it on the table below and you’ll be taken to that pack’s information. Reading up on the game for fun? Get a snack or drink (you’re in for a long one!) and keep scrolling.

Historical Index

Base Game

Expansion Packs:

Get to Work Get Together City Living Cats and Dogs Seasons
Get Famous Island Living Discover University Eco Lifestyle Snowy Escape

Game Packs:

Outdoor Retreat Spa Day Dine Out Vampires Parenthood
Jungle Adventure Strangerville Realm of Magic Star Wars: Journey to Batuu

Stuff Packs:

Luxury Party Perfect Patio Cool Kitchen Spooky Movie Hangout
Romantic Garden Kids’ Room Backyard Stuff Vintage Glamour Bowling Night
Fitness Stuff Toddler Stuff Laundry Day My First Pet Moschino Stuff
Tiny Living Nifty Knitting Paranormal Kits

September 2, 2014: The Base Game Releases

The Sims 4 came out at midnight at the beginning of September in 2014. It had a lot of new and improved features from past installments, including a completely revamped create-a-sim and build/buy modes. It did lack many of the features players had come to expect from the series’ mainline games, however–swimming pools and the toddler lifestate were both missing from the game at launch, among other things. Not to worry, though! Toddlers, pools, and more were later added to the game as free updates, fleshing out the base game even more.

January 13, 2015: Outdoor Retreat

Outdoor Retreat was released in January of 2015 and is the very first DLC that was released for The Sims 4. As a game pack, it was an all-new type of pack for the Sims franchise, and came with a larger array of gameplay items than a stuff pack, but less than an expansion, for an in-between price of $19.99 USD. It came with a variety of new features, like the herbalism skill and a new aspiration, “Outdoor Enthusiast”. The biggest new feature was the ability for Sims to go on vacation. The new world in the pack was Granite Falls, a woodsy area where Sims can travel but not permanently reside. If you love the idea of having your sims live like transcendentalist writers, Outdoor Retreat might just be the pack for you.

March 31, 2015: Get to Work

The very first expansion pack for The Sims 4 released in January of 2015 and came with a variety of exciting additions to the game! Expansions are the largest DLC packs for The Sims and retail for $39.99 USD. The most prominent added feature is the three new active careers: doctor, detective, or scientist. These career paths allow players to follow their Sims to work and do their daily tasks, greatly expanding gameplay from the typical “rabbit hole” careers. Another big addition was the ability for Sims to own their own businesses, which they could build themselves or purchase preexisting in the new world of Magnolia Promenade. If you love the idea of acting out your very own Sims version of Grey’s Anatomy, this pack is probably one to add to your list!

May 19, 2015: Luxury Party Stuff

Luxury Party Stuff was the very first stuff pack added to the Sims 4, a continuation of the stuff-pack format from previous games that once again retails for $9.99 USD. Luxury Party comes with a lot of fancy CAS items for Sims to celebrate in and a spotlight new item: the buffet table. This table allows Sims to stock up with a variety of snacks and desserts for their partygoers without having to prepare everything individually. There are a few more build/buy items as well, but nothing noteworthy. If you want your Sims to party like money is no object, Luxury Party might be a pack you’d like (Though if you spend most of your time building it might not be your thing!).

June 16, 2015: Perfect Patio Stuff

Perfect Patio Stuff came out in June 2015 and brought back one of Sims fans’ favorite items from past games: the hot tub. Hot tubs have been beloved in the Sims franchise since the very first game, and players were ecstatic to see its return via this stuff pack. Perfect Patio also came with a variety of high-end outdoor items, like outdoor couches, a fancy grill, and stone counters, and a few CAS items. If you want to create an HGTV-worthy exterior for your Sim homes, this pack might be of interest to you, but if your Sims are anything like me (vampires who never see the sun), other packs might be better fits.

July 6, 2015: Spa Day

The second game pack for The Sims 4 came in the form of Spa Day! The pack comes with the Perfect Balance Spa lot, which is fully outfitted with all the new gameplay objects. These include yoga mats, massage tables, and meditation stools. Practicing yoga or meditation will allow your Sims to improve with the new Wellness skill, which also comes with the pack–if they get good enough at it, they’ll literally start floating when they meditate, which I think is unfair because all that happens when I meditate is falling asleep on the floor. I like being able to let my Sims chill out for a little bit of their days using the yoga mat, but if you prefer taking away pool ladders and starting fires this pack might have the wrong vibes for your playstyle.

August 11, 2015: Cool Kitchen Stuff

The most important game addition from the Cool Kitchen pack is by far the ice cream maker. Your Sims can make tons of different ice cream flavors to share with friends and family, which is a smaller feature but a very cute one! It also comes with new kitchen counters and cabinets, as well as a pretty large selection of CAS items for a stuff pack themed around kitchens. If you’re looking for something small to spice up your game or just love ice cream, this might be a good addition to your game.

September 29, 2015: Spooky Stuff

Spooky Stuff came out just in time for Halloween 2015! While some Simmers were a little confused as to why it was being introduced before a full seasons pack, others loved the spooky vibes. Most of the pack is made up of spooky CAS costumes and makeup to celebrate the Halloween spirit, including some for children. There were also a few build/buy items included, like a ghost themed wallpaper and haunted flooring, though I’m not sure how much use they would get in a day-to-day game. If you spend most of the year planning your Halloween costume, this pack will probably spark (spooky) joy for you.

December 8, 2015: Get Together

The second expansion pack released for The Sims 4 was Get Together, which focused on fleshing out the relationships between Sims. This included the ability to start and join clubs with specific activities, forming groups with other Sims to hang out, and throwing wild parties in the new world of Windenburg. Windenburg is inspired by villages in Northern Europe and as such the expansive build/buy selection follows suit. Two new skills were introduced in Get Together–DJing and dancing, both of which your Sims can work on at new objects, the DJ station and dance floor. Get Together is a great pack for people who want their adult Sims to have lots of friends with similar interests, but if you play a more solitary game it may not be for you.

January 12, 2016: Movie Hangout Stuff

2016 started off with a brand new stuff pack, Movie Hangout Stuff! The most exciting brand new gameplay objects were by far the projector screen, which allows Sims to gather around the big screen to watch movies together, and the popcorn maker, which does…exactly what it sounds like in the name. There’s also a pretty good variety of Bohemian CAS items and build/buy objects, both of which flesh the pack out to be more than just a movie screen and some popcorn. If you can already picture your Sims munching on popcorn under the stars, this pack is probably for you–but if you haven’t seen a movie in ten years, it might not be.

February 9, 2016: Romantic Garden Stuff

Romantic Garden stuff was released just in time for Valentine’s Day 2016. This pack really focuses on creating a romantic outdoor space for your Sims, so it comes with a lot of Victorian-style build/buy items. The most important of these is the wishing well, which Sims are able to wish upon–but watch out, their wishes won’t always be granted! Sims can also splash in the water fountain and wear a variety of romantic CAS items for adults and children. This is a very specifically oriented pack, and as such it might not be for you if you don’t intend to build romantic gardens or use the CAS items. If you love the romantic vibes, however, you’ll probably love it.

June 7, 2016: Dine Out

The Sims 4 got its third game pack with the release of Dine Out! Dine Out came with a lot of exciting features, one of which is in the title–the ability to go out to restaurants and eat with your Sims. On top of this, players could design and build their own restaurants and their Sims could be restaurant owners, in charge of managing staff, dishes, and uniforms. Dine Out is a great addition even for people who don’t plan to own or build restaurants. Dining out is a great activity for any Sim to break up daily life. Unless your Sim is a vampire. This might not be fun for them.

June 28, 2016: Kids Room Stuff

The first ever pack focused on a specific age group was Kids Room Stuff. This pack comes with (of course) a full set of furniture for child Sim rooms, but if you’re not a builder don’t worry–there’s also a large selection of CAS items, all for kids. One of the new gameplay items is the puppet theater, which Sims can use to tell stories to friends and family. Secondly is the electronic battle station. Much like in a very popular pocket-monster-inspired franchise, child sims can battle using cards of their favorite creatures. If you play with a lot of families, you’ll really enjoy this pack! If you rarely have child Sims in your household, this pack probably won’t be your cup of tea.

July 19, 2016: Backyard Stuff

Backyard Stuff is exactly what is sounds like–a backyard pack! The main gameplay object is the lawn slide. Sims can use lawn slides to do tricks and impress their friends and family and can even add bubbles to up the fun. Outdoor build items can be used to decorate and furnish yards, while laid-back CAS pieces work to make Sims look as chilled out as possible. Feeling nostalgic for your childhood lawn slide? This pack can bring some of those feelings back. Still have rug burn trauma from your childhood lawn slide? You can sit out this pack.

November 1, 2016: City Living

City Living is the third expansion pack released for The Sims 4 and came with a lot of big changes to gameplay. The new world, San Myshuno, is diverse and bustling. Your Sims can live in the big city by renting apartments, though noisy neighbors are a concern. If they really want to fit in, they can wear new city inspired fashions. Weekly cultural festivals will help your Sims learn more about the city and the world around them. Two new careers were added as well–politician and critic. Politican Sims protest for change until they can be elected, while Critics write about the best and worst that the city has to offer. If you want to expand your Sims’ worlds, City Living is the pack for you. Prefer the suburbs? This pack may not float your boat.

December 6, 2016: Vintage Glamour Stuff

2016 closed out with the release of Vintage Glamour Stuff. As one would think based on the name, the pack comes with a wide variety of vintage-inspired CAS items. The most important new gameplay object is the vanity table, which involves a brand new “apply makeup” interaction. Simmers who own this pack can also hire butlers for their households. Butlers clean up, cook, and repair things for your Sims, but they’re not cheap. If your Sims have the means, however, they’re well worth it. If you love vintage fashion and furniture, this pack is likely a good fit for you. However, if you’d rather all of it be left in the past, you’re likely better off passing on Vintage Glamour.

January 24, 2017: Vampires

Vampires was one of the most anticipated packs for The Sims 4. The biggest new feature it came with was the ability to turn your Sims into vampires. Vampiric Sims can’t go in the sunlight or eat real food, so be careful when deciding on making one! From there, your Sims can learn and wield supernatural powers and become the leader of their own vampire coven. In the pack’s new world, Forgotten Hollow, Vampires can live in a dreary world without direct sunlight, keeping them safe from the sun. If you love supernatural stories, this pack will probably be lots of fun for you! If you prefer more realistic tales, this pack won’t be for you.

March 29, 2017: Bowling Night Stuff

Bowling Night Stuff introduced…well, bowling to the game! New retro-inspired CAS items make Sims look like they’re ready to bowl in present day or the 1950s, while the throwback build and buy items are ready to make any space look like a blast from the past. The biggest new addition in this pack is that Sims now had the ability to go bowling and play against their friends. Builders also gained the ability to create bowling alleys of their own to share on the gallery. Love retro fashion or bowling? This pack might just be a strike. Prefer other sports? This pack probably isn’t for you.

May 30, 2017: Parenthood

I’ve stayed pretty un-biased so far, but parenthood might just be my favorite game pack ever released. This pack adds in the parenting skill, helping adult Sims to learn how to nurture and interact with their younger relatives over time. Young Sims have different traits that can be nurtured or ignored, meaning the adults around them have a real influence on how they grow. Child and Teen Sims can also have mood swings and phases, meaning their caregivers will have to adapt to their new needs. Combine all that with a ton of CAS items and my favorite kitchen set in the game, and you have one heck of a pack. If you play with families a lot, parenthood is a no brainer purchase. If your Sims rarely have kids, it may not be your cup of tea.

June 20, 2017: Fitness Stuff

Fitness Stuff launched in June 2017, adding some new exercise-based features to The Sims 4. The new gameplay object introduced was the climbing wall. Sims could scale the climbing wall to gain fitness skill and learn more advanced climbing techniques. The pack also featured a variety of athleisure apparel for Sims to work out in and sleek build/buy items to make a modern gym. If your Sims tend to be active or you love rock climbing, you’ll probably enjoy this pack–but if your Sims like to stay on the ground (or the couch), it might not serve your gameplay.

August 24, 2017: Toddler Stuff

Toddler Stuff was the first pack introduced focusing on the toddler lifestate. As such, it came with a selection of CAS items for toddler Sims and playground equipment for them in build/buy. Toddlers can burn energy playing on these new items and parent Sims can now host playdates for multiple toddlers to spend time together with friends. If you play with a lot of toddlers (100 Baby Challenge folks, I see you) this pack will probably help flesh out your game. If you would rather a dog than a toddler, keep reading for packs that might suit you better.

November 10, 2017: Cats and Dogs

The Sims 4: Cats and Dogs released in 2017 and quickly became the best-selling piece of DLC for the entire game. Cats and Dogs introduced a whole new area to CAS, the cat and dog creator. The creator allows simmers to create specific breeds and mixes of dogs and cats. New build/buy items to help feed and care for pets were introduced in-game, along with a wide variety of furniture. Another new feature is the ability to become a vet and run a clinic. Brindleton Bay, the new world, is based on a Northeastern harbor town and is made for pets and their owners to explore. If you love your irl pets and want to recreate them in game, this pack is going to be one of your favorites. If you’re not an animal person, you might want to stay away.

January 16, 2018: Laundry Day Stuff

Laundry Day Stuff released in January of 2018 and was the first community-voted pack to be released for the game. The biggest new addition in laundry day was the ability for Sims to wash and dry their clothes. This can be done via washing machine and dryer or washtub and clothesline. Country-inspired build/buy items were also introduced, focusing on wood and wicker. Rustic CAS items were also introduced, focusing on simple looks and quick hairstyles. If you’re looking for something to spice up your household gameplay, laundry can be a fun addition. If you already hate doing laundry irl, you should probably skip this one.

February 27, 2018: Jungle Adventure

Jungle Adventure was the 6th game pack to be released for The Sims 4. The main focus of the pack is to explore the jungle for priceless artifacts à la Indiana Jones. The jungle can be found in the new world of Selvadorada, where Sims can travel and befriend locals to learn more about the culture. If Sims make it far enough into the jungle, they can discover a hidden temple to search for even more expensive relics. To make sure their finds aren’t fakes, they’ll have to inspect them at the archaeology table. If you love Indiana Jones, this pack will be one of your favorites. If you prefer Star Wars, there’s a pack coming later that you’ll probably prefer.

March 13, 2018: My First Pet Stuff

My First Pet Stuff came out in March 2018 to mixed reactions. Four new small animals were introduced–the hamster, rat, pygmy hedgehog, or mini bubalus. New costumes for cats and dogs were introduced as well. Pet-inspired furniture and decor was also added, like new dog and cat beds. Many players took issue with much of the content being focused on cats and dogs, since these items required having Cats and Dogs in order to function. If you already have Cats and Dogs and really want some new content for pets, this pack might be a good fit for you. Otherwise, My First Pet Stuff likely isn’t for you.

June 22, 2018: Seasons

Another author bias here: Seasons is my favorite expansion pack by far. The main addition of the pack is weather and, well, seasons! New seasonal events and holidays help Sims get in the spirit of the season. Players can even create their own holidays and traditions at different times of year. Holiday decorations in build/buy allow Sims to get festive, from their fences to their bedrooms. Sims can become gardeners, branching into flower arrangers or botanists depending on their interests. Different plants flourish at different times of year, so make sure to keep track! If you want a better life simulation experience, I can’t recommend Seasons enough. If you love the eternal Sims summer, this pack might not be your cup of tea.

November 16, 2018: Get Famous

Get Famous is the 6th expansion pack released for The Sims 4. A brand new fame system was introduced, allowing Sims to go from 1-star ingenues to 5 star worldwide celebrities. The more famous Sims become, they gain perks and quirks that characterize their public (and private) personas. The new acting career is an active career, allowing players to travel to set with their Sims to help them flourish as actors. Streetwear and celebrity inspired CAS items help Sims to look the part of young stars while lavish golden or mid century build/buy items help Sims live stylishly on a budget–or without one. The new world, Del Sol Valley, is based on Los Angeles–the perfect locale for your rising Sim-stars. If you want your Sims to be the next big thing, you’ll love Get Famous. If you don’t want anything to do with the simlebrity life, you can skip it.

February 26, 2019: Strangerville

StrangerVille is certainly one of the strangest Game Packs for the Sims 4, no pun intended. The new town of StrangerVille is full of mysteries and secrets for your Sim to unravel. Sims can join the new military career in order to find out more about the town’s secrets, or go out on their own to figure out what happened to the possessed Sims of Strangerville in the secret lab. Desert and military inspired CAS items and rustic build/buy items round out the pack’s content. StrangerVille is one of two narrative-based packs for The Sims 4, so keep that in mind when considering a buy. If you love shows like Stranger Things, you’ll likely enjoy the story of StrangerVille, though if you prefer more realistic storytelling, it may not be for you.

June 21, 2019: Island Living

Island Living was released in June 2019 and introduced chill island vibes to The Sims 4. The new island world of Sulani brought with it oceans to swim in and boats to sail in. Sims can become conservationists, lifeguards, or do odd jobs in order to make Simoleons. The new mermaid lifestate allows scaly Sims to walk on land and gain tails in the water. The culture of Sulani runs deep, and Sims can learn more about it from ancestor Sims around the island and at cultural events. Island-inspired CAS and build/buy items mean Sims will fit in in their new island home (just be careful not to get any tan lines when sunbathing!). If you love the beach and want your Sims to catch some rays, Island Living is definitely for you. If you’d rather stay dry (and inside), you can pass on this pack.

August 13, 2019: Moschino Stuff

Moschino Stuff is the 15th (👀) stuff pack for The Sims 4, and is a partnership between EA and the high-end fashion house Moschino. The CAS items are a capsule collection inspired by The Sims or other items from Moschino collections. Sims can join the new freelance fashion photographer career in order to shoot the latest trends and fashion and become the next big thing. New build/buy items are all studio inspired and can be used to make the fashion photo studio of your Sims’ dreams. If you love Moschino or high fashion, you’ll probably enjoy this stuff pack. If you prefer everyday or casual looks, maybe stick to other packs instead.

September 10, 2019: Realm of Magic

Realm of Magic was released in September 2020 and is focused on…well, magic! The new world of Glimmerbrook features a portal to The Magic Realm, where veteran magic users live. Sims can become spellcasters or brew potions with enough skill. They can even get into spellcaster duels with other magical Sims. Magical familiars will aid and protect your Sim and can be personalized to your Sim’s needs. Witchy CAS items and mystical build/buy pieces help players make their Sims appear just as magical as they are on the inside. If you’re still waiting for your Hogwarts letter, this pack is definitely up your alley. If you prefer more grounded gameplay, you should probably look for a different pack.

November 15, 2019: Discover University

Discover University was one of the most requested packs for The Sims 4 before its release in 2019. The new world of Britechester features two higher learning institutions: the high-tech Foxbury Institute and the historic University of Britechester. Students can explore town on the new bikes and attend classes, which impacts their grades. Sims who graduate with a degree start off higher in their chosen career path, so it’s definitely a good choice to go to school! Sims can also play on the esports or soccer teams for scholarship or just for fun. College-inspired CAS items and build/buy options help make the college experience feel real. If you’re nostalgic for college or looking forward to it, I would definitely recommend it. If you aren’t into the college vibes, there are other packs that would suit you better.

January 21, 2020: Tiny Living Stuff

Tiny Living was a completely new pack concept for The Sims franchise, but not an unwelcome one. The pack brings the small, tiny, and micro home classifications into the game, each class with its own perks for Sims living there. Multi-functional build/buy items like the murphy bed/couch combo help maximize small spaces. Another great space-saving piece is the all-in-one Stereo, TV, and Bookshelf–your Sims have all their entertainment needs covered in one place. Cozy CAS items will have your Sims looking just as cozy as their tiny houses are. If you love building or want some perks for living small, this pack is a great addition to your game. If you’re more of a mega-mansion player, this pack probably won’t be your favorite.

June 5, 2020: Eco Lifestyle

Eco Lifestyle focuses on living sustainably in-game. The new world of Evergreen Harbor has lots that can be voted upon and turned into community centers using Neighborhood Action Plans. Sims can dumpster dive or produce their own power using solar panels in order to help the environment. The world around your Sims will change in response to how much they work to help the environment through voting and personal actions. The world will become cleaner and greener if your Sims are proactive, or smoggier and full of litter if they aren’t. If you like the idea of working to save the Sim world, this pack is a good choice for you. If you’d rather focus on other gameplay aspects, look into other packs instead.

July 28, 2020: Nifty Knitting Stuff

Nifty Knitting Stuff was another pack that players voted for. The main aspect of the pack is of course the knitting skill, which can be used to knit clothing, decor, or even plant hangers. Rocking chairs are the main build/buy item that was added along with other cozy and crafty build/buy pieces. Sims can sell their crafted goods on Plopsy in order to make a living off their skills. Handcrafted clothes finish off the CAS selection. If you love crafting irl and want your Sims to take part as well, this is a great pack to add to your game! If you’re not the craftiest, it might not float your boat.

September 8, 2020: Star Wars: Journey to Batuu

Star Wars: Journey to Batuu is the second narrative game pack for The Sims 4. Your Sims can enter the world of Star Wars and work with The First Order or Resistance to change the fate of the galaxy. Sims can complete missions to gain reputation points and even meet Star Wars characters. Your Sims can even get their own lightsaber and droid to accompany them! Star Wars inspired clothing and build items help immerse players into Batuu. If you love Star Wars or have been to Batuu irl at Disney World or Disneyland, this pack is probably a good pick for you! If you prefer more “down to earth” gameplay (pun intended), you can skip this one.

November 13, 2020: Snowy Escape

The Sims 4: Snowy Escape was released in November 2020. The new world, Mt. Komorebi, is inspired by the mountains of Japan. Sims can learn how to ski or snowboard and test their skills going down the mountain. Sims can chill out in the hot springs, go hiking, or make hot pot with friends and family. Japanese-inspired build/buy items mean you can build a modern abode or a very traditional one in Mt. Komorebi. The new lifestyle feature manifests in response to your Sims’ continual actions over time. If you love the snow and winter sports, this is a great pack for you. If you prefer the heat, Island Paradise might be a better pick.

January 26, 2021: Paranormal Stuff

The Sims 4: Paranormal brings greater detail to the ghost lifestate. The new Haunted House lot type means that your Sims might not be alone in their homes 👀. In order to remove these unwanted roommates, Sims have to remove cursed objects, perform séances, or commune with the dead. Bonehilda the skeleton maid makes her return to the franchise in this pack as well. Once your Sim has gained enough of the new Medium skill, they can become a Paranormal Investigator, purging other Sims’ homes of spirits. Bohemian build/buy and CAS items make the pack feel fleshed out (pun absolutely intended). If you love ghosts or just love the boho aesthetic of the objects in the pack, this is a good buy for you. If you’re anti-ghost (or anti-boho, I guess), Paranormal Stuff might not be the best pack for you.

March 2, 2021: Kits

Kits are an all new pack type for The Sims 4! Categorized in the game’s code as stuff packs, these mini content packs retail for $4.99 USD. Three kits were released in March 2021: Throwback Fit, Bust the Dust, and Country Kitchen. Throwback Fit features a variety of 90’s inspired CAS items. Bust the Dust comes with a new gameplay aspect, dust and vacuums. Country Kitchen has a new rustic kitchen set in build/buy. These kits are very specialized, so you’ll probably know if you want them based on their specific focus.

The End?

If you read this entire article, I love you forever (and hope you took me seriously when I said to get a snack or drink!). If you’re up for more reading, be sure to check out our most recent articles, and if you want to do more looking than reading be sure to check out our Maxis Match lookbook.

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