The Sims 4 Wants and Fear Explained
How do cravings and fears work in The Sims 4? Patch 132 for The Sims 4 adds support for the High School Years expansion, but it also brings some of its greatest features to the base game for all players. Ever since The Sims 4 launched in 2014, Sims’ short-term desires have been governed by “whims” – small optional goals heavily influenced by their immediate context, which award a handful of reward points upon completion. But High School Years and patch 132 overhaul and even rename this system: it is now called “desires and fears”, reminiscent of the equivalent functionality as it appeared in The Sims 2.
However, it’s not a simple remake of The Sims 2’s Wants and Fears system. Instead, this latest iteration of the feature adapts a few familiar aspects of The Sims 4’s simology into something a bit new. . Confused? Read below for a full explanation of how Wants and Fears work in The Sims 4.
How does Wants work in The Sims 4?
At first glance, Wants in The Sims 4 are much the same as Whims they replace. They appear in the same area of the screen, just above a Sim’s character portrait in Live Mode, where there are slots for up to three wishes at a time. The payment in reward points for fulfilling a need is also the same as for whims: around 25 to 100 points. (For context, the most basic rewards store bonuses cost 1,000 points.)
However, in the past, the left hand quirk slot was reserved for very short-term goals based on a Sim’s current emotional state, and the quirk dissipated as soon as their predominant emotion changed. It completely disappeared. Instead, each of the request slots now contains a different type of request:
- long-term desires in the left and middle slots. These are goals that will take a bit of time to complete, like leveling up in a skill or getting a promotion at work, and are determined by your Sim’s personality. This need can be pinned down to keep it from cooling off; but if you leave it unpinned, it will reroll the least often of the three slots. They are usually worth around 100 reward points.
- short-term desires in the left and middle slots. These goals are also based on your Sim’s personality, but can be completed in a few hours of gameplay at most. A Sim might, for example, want to listen to their favorite genre of music, talk to a friend, or perform an action related to one of their traits. Like Long Term Wishes, these can be pinned, but they will refresh multiple times per game day if you leave them unpinned. They are usually worth around 25 or 50 reward points.
- reactionary desires in the right slot. These have replaced mood-based quirks, but instead of being based on your Sim’s current emotion, they’re much more context sensitive. For example, if there’s a festival in your Sim’s neighborhood, they might want to buy lunch at a nearby food stand; or, if their energy needs are low, they will often develop an urge to go to bed. These desires cannot be pinned and will disappear once your Sim is no longer in the situation that caused the desire to appear.
So what really differentiates desires and whims? For one thing, your Sim gets a positive positive mood every time they meet a need, no matter how small. Additionally, the desires system also eliminated some of the more generic quirks that always seemed to crop up with irritating regularity. If you’ve been a Sims 4 fan for a while, you probably know each of your Sims randomly deciding to buy a bee box just because it’s spring, or delve into occult research just because it’s springtime. there is a computer nearby. Wants are much more influenced by a Sim’s personality, so you’ll see less wants to buy something randomly.
The system of desires introduces an additional wrinkle. If you didn’t want to work on a whim, you can always dismiss it by clicking the cross in the corner of the icon, in which case it would usually be replaced with a new one immediately. This option is now gone, meaning you have to wait for a will to re-roll on its own if you choose to ignore it. There’s a cheap rewards store option that lets you clear all of a Sim’s wishes in one go; but otherwise, the trade-off of the new system is that wants are much more integrated into your Sims’ personalities than whims, but are less under your direct control.
How do fears work in The Sims 4?
If you remember The Sims 2, you might remember that in the original version of this feature, Fears rolled the same way as Wants. They appeared in the same part of the UI and were essentially the reverse of wants: you could lock them, satisfy them (if you wanted your point pool to suffer), and they relay once or twice a day from game. In The Sims 4, fears work quite differently.
Fears in The Sims 4 are temporary traits a Sim is at risk of acquiring when they have a negative experience, and can be viewed alongside the Sim’s other personality traits on their Simology panel. These fears can be the result of anything, from witnessing the death of a loved one (which will give them the Fear of Death trait) to not having desires fulfilled for a period of time (which which will give them the Unfulfilled Dreams trait).
A Sim with an active fear in their traits panel will occasionally see a fourth wish appear in a new wish slot. This need will have a distinctive jagged edge around its icon, and while satisfying it is a positive outcome for them, much of it stems from their fear. This additional need may involve confronting the fear directly or simply asking a loved one for reassurance about the issue that worries them.
Unfortunately for your Sims, fears don’t go away on their own like desires eventually do. But they aren’t stuck with those fear-for-life traits either. Fulfilling certain conditions will eventually dispel a fear and the trait will disappear. The fourth wish they cast due to their fears will often be a helpful indicator on how to deal with it.
Here’s a comprehensive list of all the fears we’ve seen so far, their causes, and how to overcome them:
|trait of fear||Caused by…||Solved by…|
|To be mislead||Not interacting with a romantic partner for a while or having a bad mood after WooHoo||“Talk about relationship fears” with your partner|
|To be judged||Be the recipient of average social interactions||“Understanding the Differences” with the Hated Sim(s)|
|Cow||Being swallowed by a Cowplant||Milk a Cowplant while in a confident mood|
|crowded places||Being on a terrain heavily populated by NPCs||Perform fun social interactions in a large group|
|darkness||Encountering a supernatural Sim at night (especially if it’s a negative interaction)||Being out at night while being in a confident mood|
|Dead end job||Not having been promoted recently||Use the “Regain Passion” self-interaction before going to work|
|Death||Witnessing the death of a loved one||Successfully use the “Discuss Fear of Death” social interaction on another Sim, or give a Death Flower to the Grim Reaper|
|Failure||Performing poorly at work or school, or making shoddy crafts||Use the workday interaction “Ask for a performance review” or show off something you’ve created|
|Fire||Witness to a fire||Put out a fire|
|Ghosts||Meeting a ghost (especially if it’s a negative interaction)||Use the “Fight” Mean Social Interaction on a Ghost|
|Swimming||Having a negative mood while swimming (triggers randomly)||Swim for an hour while feeling confident|
|Unfulfilled dreams||Not having fulfilled a recently promoted need||Fulfill a need and/or “Discuss your fears” with other Sims|
For all the cheats you can use to help you take ultimate control of your game, check out our list of The Sims 4 cheats. be purchased, be sure to check out our guide to the best expansions for The Sims 4.