Everything we hope to see in The Sims 4 in 2021

From an auto-roof function to functioning farms, here's what's on our Sims wishlist.

Steph Panecasio Former Editor
Steph Panecasio was an Editor based in Sydney, Australia. She knows a lot about the intersection of death, technology and culture. She's a fantasy geek who covers science, digital trends, video games, subcultures and more. Outside work, you'll most likely find her rewatching Lord of the Rings or listening to D&D podcasts.
Nicole Archer Associate Social Producer
Nicole is a Social Media Producer based in Sydney, Australia. She has a background in history and is happy to talk about the Great Fire of London at length. When not writing about video games, the internet, or television, she's probably looking at cool rocks.
Shelby Brown Editor II
Shelby Brown (she/her/hers) is an editor for CNET's services team. She covers tips and tricks for apps, operating systems and devices, as well as mobile gaming and Apple Arcade news. Shelby also oversees Tech Tips coverage. Before joining CNET, she covered app news for Download.com and served as a freelancer for Louisville.com.
  • She received the Renau Writing Scholarship in 2016 from the University of Louisville's communication department.
Steph Panecasio
Nicole Archer
Shelby Brown
6 min read

There's plenty more to come from The Sims this year.

The Sims; screenshot by Shelby Brown/CNET

The Sims 4 has something different for every player. Some build sprawling lots full of clutter that look like they're taken from a magazine; others put hundreds of hours into the same family, building a legacy that spans generations.

One thing that unites all Sims players? Speculation. For the last few years, The Sims has released new content on a regular basis: one expansion pack, one stuff pack and one game pack per year. 

This month, the stuff pack for 2021 was officially announced: Sims 4: Paranormal Stuff. It's filled with spooks, haunts and a Paranormal Investigator career to boot, and reception from fans and influencers alike has been positive. But Paranormal Stuff is only the first in a series of addendums to the franchise that'll land this year.

Already the community is convening on Reddit and social media to discuss what else might be on the horizon. Here at CNET, we've got some dedicated Sims 4 fans who are already excited at the thought of what might be coming. Here's what else we hope to see in 2021.

Steph Panecasio

Associate Editor

The first thing my little Simmy heart craves is an overhaul of the education system. I want to schmooze headmasters to get my kids into private school again. I want customizable uniforms. I want schools that cater to different skills. I want a Go to Work style active career where you run a daycare and have countless screaming toddlers all needing to learn how to use the potty. I want the chaos! I live for it!

While we're on the topic of younger age groups, I'd love to see a return to the Sims 2 FreeTime style hobbies, where children and teens can grow their skills during after-school activities. I want my baby ballet dancers to go to dance class, my tech lovers to go to chess groups and, even if we move away from skills themselves, I want more range for teen jobs. Clubs are great, but I don't always want these activities to be active, you know?

As for a more substantial change (expansion pack, I'm looking at you) I think the rallying cry of players who want a farming pack will hit its apex this year -- and I'll be contributing my voice to it. It never used to be something that would gel with my play style, but I think it's safe to say that farming (with chickens and goats!) will make a lot of players very happy -- and make Rags to Riches challenges much more interesting. Plus it'll make it a lot easier for me to create weird Sim cults, but that's a story for another time.

The last thing, which is more of a weird hope than an actual expectation: I'd like to see The Sims 4 provide more interactions around death. Sure, there are countless ways that Sims can die, but though ghosts can hang around and bust up your appliances , when a sim dies there's very little pomp and circumstance. I want to see a graveyard lot (it makes sense with Vampires; there's precedent!) and the capacity to hold an actual funeral. All I'm saying is, the Sims is a life simulator, and part of life is death.

Shelby Brown

Staff Writer

The Sims became such an for me in the early months of the coronavirus pandemic. When I wasn't playing the Sims, I was watching YouTubers play The Sims -- whether causing mass chaos, struggling to complete the 100-Baby Challenge (I think I tapped out at 65 babies) or building jaw-dropping properties.

It might sound small, but I miss some of the Sims 2 features -- granted this might just be nostalgia talking, since the Sims 2 era was really when I got into the franchise. I'd like to see the memory scrapbook feature come back. I think it would round out the Lifestyles and Sentiments feature that was recently added with Snowy Escape. One of my favorite worlds to play in the Sims 2 was Veronaville -- particularly the Montys and the Caps. The Sims 4 needs to bring back those deep narratives in the premade families, as well as the ability to build deeper narratives in new family creations. 

I love that Sims could live in Mount Komorebi, basically a vacation world, in the Snowy Escape expansion pack. To be able to make a home in Granite Falls? Yes, please! 

Story-driven aspirations like the Strangerville Mystery were fun, but there's not a huge amount of desire to replay it after you "solve" the mystery. The Jungle Adventure pack came close, but the Star Wars: Journey to Batuu really showed off the game's potential. The world was massive, and there were so many ways your story could shake out, just by which Sims you encountered first and what you asked them. A potential patch to the older games opening up the world -- so you're not having to fast-travel by car everywhere -- would be so cool. 

Also, it's 2021... can we finally get names for the debug items so they're easier to search? 

A more builder-friendly pack -- even just a stuff pack -- would be awesome. One of my favorite building pastimes is constructing rundown lots or finding them in the gallery and flipping them. A stuff pack with some busted, creepy items could also be of interest to simmers who love the supernatural packs. 

Nicole Archer

Social Media Producer

I am a big builder when it comes to The Sims. Ever since I started playing it at the tender age of 9 years old, I've loved planning out all types of houses for my Sims: quaint farmhouses with cute barns (give us the farming pack, EA ). Grand Gothic castles with creepy dungeons. Small squares; big squares! 

To me, the Sims 4 build mode is the best build mode and gives players the most flexibility and creative control. However, I still think it's missing a few things. The roof design feature in Sims 4 is tricky to master. There's no auto-roof function, so you're left having to manually design and place the sections of the roof yourself. It's finicky and annoying, and all separate parts remain separate. There's no option to group the roof together and resize it all at once. I miss the auto-roof function of Sims games gone by -- bring it back, I say! 

Sims 3 World Adventures gave us the worlds of Shang Simla, Champs Les Sims and Al Simhara -- Simlish versions of China, France, and Egypt. They were great worlds with heaps to discover, like crypts, collectables and curses. We even got mummies! The Jungle Adventure and Snowy Escape packs are two of my favorite expansions in Sims 4 -- not just for gameplay but for the great additions to build and buy mode. But why stop at Japan and South America? Let's bring the whole world to our Sims. Plus, I really miss the Nectar Maker. 

I want more cultural diversity in build and buy mode. Except for the items you get in free updates and expansion packs, the items and styles you're given for customizing your world are quite... WASP-y. EA is great at giving us free updates to inject the world with more culture: from the Day of the Dead update to Chinese New Year, to hijabs and the wonderful Hispanic Heritage Month update last year. EA has shown that it's serious about increasing diversity in the Sims, given the latest update regarding skin tones -- but it just makes me hungry for more, and I can't wait to see what EA gives us next. 

We also need burglars again. I miss the sheer panic you feel when that funky music plays and you see a comically sneaky thief sneak into the house and steal a few things. I miss seeing the disappointment on theives' faces when you remember to install a security alarm and they get caught. It's the little things that matter, really.