The Sims 4 is getting three big additions in as many months, developer Electronic Arts just announced. The first, launching today, brings ghost Sims back into the mix. Next month, the game will get swimming pools. And come December, Sims will get some new careers. All will be free for Sims 4 players.

There's some other stuff coming to The Sims 4 before the year is out as well. Alongside the ghosts that are arriving today, for instance, EA is also adding a set of Star Wars-themed costumes for the Halloween season and several new eye colors for Sims. EA is also making a handful of new cheats available. Sims 4 players can get the new stuff today by simply downloading the latest patch for the game through Origin. As with the ghosts, all this other stuff is free if you already own The Sims 4.

EA didn't give an exact date for either of the next two additions, nor did they specify what additional careers will be added in the December update. And there's still no word on whether The Sims 4 will be getting new toddlers at some point in the future. As for the burning question of a Mac version of The Sims 4, all they had to say was: "We know our players on Mac are looking to hear more. We are working on it. When we have more to share, we'll bring the news to you right here."

Ghosts are the most important addition arriving today by far. Much like toddlers and swimming pools, their absence in the latest installment left many fans of the series upset and disappointed.

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I spoke to Sims 4 executive producer Rachel Franklin over the phone yesterday about the new update, and she emphasized that much like the new Sims themselves, the ghosts in The Sims 4 will have a wider range of abilities than the ones in previous installments. They can multitask the same way they did when they were alive, and they'll be subject to all of the same emotional whims as well. The main difference here is that when a ghost Sim gets into a particular mood, their entire character lights up with a particular color—red for angry, pink for flirty, and so forth. And yes, "flirty" means that ghost Sims can pursue romances with other Sims living or dead, so you'll be able to live out your Patrick Swayze fantasies anew.

What stood out to me in Franklin's description is the fact that ghost Sims carry over certain traits depending on the way they died. If a Sim went up in flames, for instance, he or she will try to start some new fires in the afterlife. So be careful not to upset these ghosts—unless you're looking to make some more, that is, which is totally valid as well. A Sim that died from a particular emotion (anger, embarrassment, and hysteria are the three deadly ones in The Sims 4 so far), meanwhile, will radiate that emotion and affect the living Sims around them.

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Here's a quick guide that Franklin provided for how to reintroduce ghost Sims to your household and get started with the afterlife:

  • When a Sim dies, they become a non-playable ghost.
  • Use the "Invite to Household" interaction to make a ghost into fully playable member of your household!
  • Ghosts can have relationships, get married, woohoo, hold jobs, build aspirations, earn traits, or just be!
  • Ghosts have a unique post life experience based upon how they died…
  • Sims that died by hunger seek to satisfy their hunger in the afterlife.
  • Sims that died by overexertion and old age find they prefer to take it easy in the afterlife.
  • Sims that died by fire have a new interaction available to them...my advice, try and not make them angry.
  • Sims that died by an emotional death can radiate their emotion onto other Sims.
  • Sims that died by electrocution, when angry, have a unique interaction to break electronic devices. They also seem to really enjoy the "Hand Buzzer" social.
  • Sims that died by Cowplant have the desire to harm and help the plant world. They can cause plants to die when in a negative emotion, but will care for plants when in a positive emotion.
  • Ghosts can possess objects, and they can repair broken objects when possessed
  • Ghosts have new interactions available to them, such as "Ghost Scare," "Pass Through," and "Talk About Death."
  • Level 10 Gourmet cooks have a new recipe "Ambrosia", which can be used to bring a Ghost to life (or give a Sim renewed life)!
  • There is a new gardening flower type, the Deathflower, which can be used by a Sim to save themselves or another when visited by the Reaper!

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Despite their otherworldly abilities, ghost Sims are still subjected to the same household limitations as living ones. That means you can have a maximum of eight playable Sims in a particular household. Nonplayable ghosts, meanwhile, go about their business the same way that living NPCs do once they come out of the tombstone at night. Franklin noted that it's technically possible, therefore, to create a world in The Sims 4 filled entirely with ghosts. Killing all of them might be tricky, though. So if you're anything like me and want to get started on a post-apocalyptic Sims wasteland, check out our guide on how to kill in The Sims 4.

UPDATE (1:11 pm): And the update is now officially live and available to download. As with all Sims 4 patches, it should begin downloading and updating automatically once you launch Origin before beginning the game proper. I also put in an extra line above to respond to questions in the comments about a possible Mac version of The Sims 4.

To contact the author of this post, write to yannick.lejacq@kotaku.com or find him on Twitter at @YannickLeJacq.