4 Ways The Sims 4 Can Help You Plan Your Actual Life

If you thought this iconic game was just a way to pass time, think again.
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The Sims franchise has been a big name in the casual gaming community ever since the release of the first game in 2000. Its appeal lies in the opportunity it gives players to escape their real lives and create one that they can control. Given how customizable everything is, it's easy to see why millions of people (myself included) stay glued to their screens playing.

The latest installment, The Sims 4, is available on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. As for the cost, it will run you for about $50 on all available platforms.

While the game is commonly used for recreational reasons, some of the features are surprisingly useful for planning out real aspects of your life. For instance, I've spent hours using the game to try out different design choices or to practice videography. When the Create A Sim, Build Mode, and Camera Mode features are used in creative ways, The Sims has much more to offer than meets the eye. 

For starters, here are 4 ways you can use The Sims 4 to be productive and plan for your real life. 

1. Designing A House or Apartment

sims 4 house building
Image Source: Easy Render

As someone who is crazy about interior decor, my favorite feature of the game is Build Mode. In this mode, you have the opportunity to build your home from the ground up. You can start with an empty lot of land and the foundation yourself. Not to mention, the game boasts a variety of different furniture items and other home customization tools.

These features are beneficial because the player can replicate their own home in-game and use the build tools to try out different designs for their real-life spaces. Or, it can be used to build a 3D replica of the player's dream home. There are a few limitations, such as not always being able to place an item exactly where you would want it or not having enough cash. However, these issues can easily be fixed with mods and cheat codes. 

2. Trying Out Potential Outfits & Hairstyles

sims 4 clothing looks
Image Source: Sims Community

While The Sims has always had a reputation for its superior character customization screen, Create A Sim, the updates to the latest game took it to another level. The Sims 4 has received plenty of well-deserved hype for its super-detailed face and body morphing tools. You can manipulate even the smallest features, making it easier to create a Sim that looks exactly like you. 

From this point, you can dress your Sim in different types of clothing to see what styles might look good on you in real life. Or, you can do what I did and switch up your Sims hairstyle to get inspiration for new looks. I'll admit it - I definitely cut my Sim's hair before doing my own big chop, just so I'd have an idea of what I might look like.

The Create A Sim tools can even tweak features like your nose, butt, and stomach. If you're wondering what you might look like after a BBL or lipo, making these changes to your Sim might give you a good idea. The best-case scenario is you create a Sim that looks just like you, and watching him or her running around will give you a newfound appreciation for the body you already have!

3. Practicing Digital Arts

sims 4 camera mode
Image Source: Sims Community

If you aren't familiar with The Sims 4's Camera Mode tools, I'd recommend playing around with them. Not only do they give you the opportunity to take in-game screenshots and pictures of your Sims, but the latest installment also allows you to record video clips. These features can be used to do a variety of different things.

Being able to fully control the world is useful for putting together scenes. In the past, I've utilized the recording feature to shoot short films, which I put together using video editing software. As someone who was looking to practice the craft and get better, having the game was a lifesaver when I wasn't able to get out and take real-life shots. Some of the video tools include a fishbowl view, slow panning, and zoom, which can make for some pretty dramatic shots.

The camera controls can also be used to set up photoshoots for your Sims. This might seem silly, but it's actually a great way to practice using different camera angles. If you search online, you can find cheat codes to make your Sim freeze in a certain position. This will solve the problem of trying to capture still photos when the Sim keeps moving while idle. Camera mode is also useful for practicing styling and lighting choices, depending on the scene you set up. 

4. Learning Time Management

sims 4 time in game clock
Image Source: Pinterest

This benefit doesn't have to do with a specific feature, but rather the gameplay in general. If there's one thing I've learned after putting hours of my life into this game, it's how to manage time. Time moves a lot faster in the game — one hour in the Sims universe is one minute real-time — so trying to cram in everything you need to do can be challenging.

Much like real life, you have to plan for all the little things you have to do while factoring in mandatory engagements. For instance, your Sim might wake up fully rested at 6 AM, but they have worked at 8 AM. You still have to fulfill your Sims's needs (hunger, cleanliness, etc) before they go to work or they will have a bad day. If two hours (really, two minutes) isn't enough time, you'll either have to skip a step, or wake up earlier and miss out on sleep.

Details like this are what make the game so irresistible. It mirrors real life but gives you just enough control to live the way you've always wanted to. Seeing the effects that improper timekeeping has on my Sim reminds me of the importance of staying on top of everything, and some of the time-keeping strategies I use in-game have spilled over into my actual life. 


Whether you have been an avid player for years or you're just getting your feet wet, it's easy to see that The Sims 4 is so much more than your average simulation game. When combined with a few cheat codes and outside-the-box thinking, the features can be applied to solve real-life problems such as modeling interior design & fashion choices, practicing cinematography, and learning to keep up with time. Whether you're in it for the practicality or the perfect life, it's definitely a title to have on your must-buy list!

Blogger & content writer located in sunny San Diego. When she’s not working the 9-5, you can find her bingeing Netflix shows & sipping wine.

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