The new Sims 4 expansion pack tries to make high school less terrible
Are you still afraid of your nerve-wracking and embarrassing high school years? The upcoming Sims 4 expansion pack, High School Years, lets you take another chance at cultivating your ideal coming-of-age experience. The new bundle is available now on Steam, Origin, PlayStation, and Xbox.
Ahead of launch, the Sims 4 developers held a preview demo showing off a whole new realm of play for teenage Sims. Looks like High School Years will check all teenage milestones. Until now, players had to rely on mods, the Teen Hangout Lot trait, and imagination when it came to having a dynamic experience with teen Sims.
As a fan of Legacy Challenges, I’m excited to see how the new expansion pack and update will add an extra level of gameplay detail and give my Sims meaningful backstory. According to the developers, the High School Years pack was inspired by teen drama series like Riverdale and Euphoria. Since the pack primarily expands on one stage of your Sim’s life, the possibilities are endless when it comes to interactions with other released packs.
The number and depth of additions, along with scheduled updates to the base game, make High School Years one of the most feature-rich expansions The Sims 4 has ever given us.
Here’s what players can expect in the new pack.
Class is in session at Copperdale High
High School Years introduces the world of Copperdale with seven new lots, including Copperdale High, local hangout ThrifTea, a library, and the high school principal’s mansion. When your teenage Sim’s school day begins, you’ll be prompted to join them in school or send them alone, similar to some careers in The Sims 4 Get to Work.
High School Years actually lets you see inside Copperdale – even the classrooms. This is a feature I always wanted when playing Discover University. Your Sim can still participate in class, do homework, study, and take weekly exams, but now your teenage Sim will earn skill points while in class. Before, players would need a separate mod for this.
According to the developers, the high school terrain is fully customizable. If the class is not in session, you can completely remodel the school in Build Mode.
After the bell rings
Lessons and studies are only part of the High School Years package. Unlike Going to Work, after the school day is over, your teenage Sim can hang out on campus. The pack will feature extracurricular activities like cheerleading, sports, and the chess club. Teen Sims will also have new school-related calendar events. If you join the football team, for example, you will have new interactions with your teammates, the risk of rivalries and more.
Your Sims can also experience the two most typical high school events: prom and graduation. These events are also customizable with special interactions, like voting for prom royalty, asking your crush to dance, becoming class valedictorian and more.
Your teenage Sims can also hang out off campus at popular spots like Plumbite Pier and ThrifTea, a thrift store/boba tea cafe. The Pier is a great hangout for teenage Sims, with new Woohoo locations like the Haunted Mansion, Tunnel of Love, and Ferris Wheel. Just be careful not to get caught!
More expression for teenage Sims
In addition to teenage milestones like prom, sneaking out after curfew, and pranking classmates, you can also give your teenage Sim a more fleshed-out personality. The pack includes new teen-specific aspirations like Drama Llama, Admired Icon, Goal Oriented, and Live Fast.
These aspirations, along with the choices you make in high school, affect the rest of your Sim’s life. For example, if you skip too many classes, you risk being expelled. Without a high school diploma, you will be excluded from university or certain careers. But don’t worry: if your troublemaking Sim changes their mind, they can complete their high school years online.
The pack comes with a slew of new Create-A-Sim items to nail your teenage Sim aesthetic. As a bonus, there’s also a chance your Sim will start a new fashion trend in town. If you are successful, you might see classmates or townspeople wearing your outfit. And every teen’s sanctuary – their bedroom – will also have dozens of new ways to personalize it.
Players can also fully lean into the tough teen years with hair and shave options, acne, and a wants and fears system, which are instant goals for your Sim, like Whims.
The pack will also allow you to set your Sim’s sexual orientation. This will be coming in a base game update, like the ability to customize your Sim’s pronouns. The Sexual Orientation Update not only builds your Sim’s story, but it also impacts other Sims. When interacting with other Sims, it’s less likely to spam interactions until you get romance options. You can even customize your Sim to be asexual or aromantic. According to the developers, these updates will allow LGBTQ+ players to see themselves better reflected in gameplay.
Check out the trailer here: