Making Sims can take a long time. You have to hand-pick their personality traits and lifetime ambitions, which means you actually have to sit down and think about a particular character to play. That can take a while, and when I’m feeling particular, it’s taken at least an hour. It can be really easy to just pick the same traits over and over when you just want to play a new Sim, but it also means that I have a half dozen nearly identical Sims in my towns. A recent update to The Sims 4 has made this process a lot easier, though, thanks to a little personality quiz.
After last week’s update, when you open up Create A Sim, you’ll get a prompt to create your Sim’s “Story,” which does a little more than just picking a few traits for them. It’ll also pick a career and some skills, and sometimes, it’ll make you a vampire. You can still make a Sim the old-fashioned way, and you can also make tweaks to your Sim after you’ve completed the quiz, but after making a few Sims this way, I’ve gained an appreciation for rolling the dice.
Here’s a Sim I whipped up in literally a few seconds. I answered a few questions about what this Sim likes to do on the weekend, whether or not they’re into romance, or if they like gardening—the questions are random, and you can always skip over one if you keep getting the same few questions over and over. I got a Young Adult Sim with points in the DJ Mixing and Video Gaming skills. She’s a Hot-Headed Serial Romantic who likes music and hates children. I actually almost never play Sims that have these Skills or Traits, and the idea of working with this character instead of making yet another painter has made me more excited to play. I can just imagine the kind of life she’d live—a jet-setting DJ who doesn’t want to settle down. Maybe she’s a bit of a diva.
It’s so easy to get in a rut making the same Sims over and over—if you already know what parts of the game you think are fun, you want to return to them. There’s a lot of game in The Sims 4, though, and when all your lots are full of the same Sims who have the same interests and the same goals, the game feels very stagnant. These new Stories encourage me to explore parts of the game that I haven’t looked at for ages.
I was so inspired by making just that one Sim, who I dubbed Janae, I decided to use the Stories feature to make the rest of her family. Her mom Beth wants a huge house, but is lazy and just a teeny bit evil. Beth is married to Kendrick, a Snob who loves the outdoors. Although Janae is trying to live up to her materialistic family’s expectations, her older sister Aniyah is a noncommittal slob who is trying to figure out if she can get another undergraduate degree. It took about 10 minutes to make all these Sims with distinct personalities.
I’m sure I’ll make a few Sims the old-fashioned way here and there—I’ve been wanting to make the leads from Fire Emblem: Three Houses—but right now, this is the easiest way to jump in the game and start playing. More than that, it gets me in touch with parts of The Sims 4 I haven’t explored. It doesn’t quite feel like a brand-new game, but it has found a new way to surprise me.