Things you didn’t know you could do in build mode

The Sims 4 has been out for many years at this point and has expanded beyond gamers’ wildest dreams. There are enough mods to change the game, and enough cheats and game packs to crack even the best of computers.



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While the fourth version of the original life sim game brought many new features, some builders have yet to learn the real ins and outs of Build (and Buy) mode. There’s so much lurking just beyond the surface that could only be discovered by accident – here we’ll highlight some of those lesser-known features that lurk in the creative mode of The Sims 4.

Updated July 14, 2022 by Russ Boswell: The Sims 4 is still going strong with consistent updates, DLC packs and developer patches, giving players even more tools and items to place in their worlds. With each new patch or update, savvy builders find new and exciting ways to add specialty items to their builds. Sometimes it can be difficult for players to create their exact vision due to some restrictions while building, but that hasn’t stopped imaginative creators from using a few tips and tricks to get everything exactly where they want it. To better highlight them Building tips and tricks in The Sims 4the following list has been updated with more information and entries.


13 Place items in hills and mountains

There are plenty of decorations players can use to accent their home’s exterior, including great landscaping options with trees, rocks, and other nature-based organic elements. Unfortunately, some of these things look less than “natural” when players try to place them thanks to the various grid and collision systems found in build mode. Luckily, there is a way to place these objects in such a way that they appear to protrude from hills and mountains if players are looking for something truly personalized regarding the areas surrounding their home.

To use this cheat, players can first establish a foundation in the hill or mountain they want to use, then place a variety of objects on it. After placing the objects in the right place and at the right height, they can use the breaking tool to destroy the foundationwhich will then cause the objects to be “absorbed” by the surrounding ground.

12 Double basements

The basements were built in sims since The Sims 2 – a revolutionary sequel to the hit game from Maxis. The basement has always been buildable under any home and has few restrictions – allowing for pools, multiple rooms, and more.

But, some players will not know that in The Sims 4, two basement levels can actually be built! This includes split level capability – which really adds a new architectural perspective to any underground facility. The second level can be created the same way as the first: by using the basement tool or by moving under the ground and building a normal room.

11 Grid snap options

Maxis has added something very practical for The Sims 4, hidden though it is. When placing furniture, it can often be a pain to get it to line up only to the full square size of the grid – but note that there are smaller lines in between.

By pressing the F5 key, players can switch between fitting furniture in full, half or quarter size grid. All of these size options can be seen mapped out on the floor. It adds a natural touch to the rooms. Who leaves such a space between a bed and a nightstand anyway?

ten Vertical Trim Sections

It may seem very complicated but here we go: the vertical trims on wallpapers that have multiple separate sample parts will only work on the outside corners of a walled room.

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Specifically, those wallpaper designs that have a few different pieces – one is plain brick, the other has a left or right pillar? They are for corners. However, they can be a bit funky to place. Fortunately in The Sims 4, they will only apply the pillar design to the outside corners, not the inside of a room.


9 Floor tile sizing

Just like most of the other articles of The Sims, flooring (carpet, tile, linoleum, etc.) is available in square units and conforms to the grid’s solid squares. This, as with furniture, can be circumvented with some quick know-how.

By pressing Ctrl + F, after selecting the desired flooring, will allow players to use the 1/4 tile shape. This means accessible diagonal edges – or some outrageous geometric patterns, if the house calls for it. It is assumed that the F key is used because it means “floor”.

8 Secret basement entrances

There are many handy cheats that players can use to “break the game” by adding special access to floors and other areas without using cheats or mods. One of the coolest things players can do is create a hidden basement by using a Murphy Bed object and having their Sim open the bed so it’s at the top of a staircase . To do this, players will first need to place a descending staircase in the room of their choice, then place the Murphy bed so that it covers the hole made by the staircase.

This may take a bit of trial and error, and players will need to create a wall (probably from the debug menu) of bricks or other material to help hide the inevitable cavity created behind the bed behind it. -same.

seven Resize elements

Does the potted plant on the kitchen table look a little…small? How about this gazebo – too big? Well, there is another hidden aid that can help fix this cosmetic mess.

Select the object of your choice, then press and hold Gap. Then press right or left square support keys – it’s ok increase or decrease element size. The right is scaled up, the left down. There’s also no limit to the number of different size options for each object, so the results can get a little weird!


6 Free Object Placement

Similar to the ability to snap objects to smaller grid lines, there is also a tool that lets players move furniture freely inside the square grid.

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Players can move objects as they please by holding ALT, while the item is selected. The grid will be ignored and the element can be planted at any time. Using this still has constraints when placing next to other elements, walls or terrain boundaries. Despite this, it means that those cluttered meters look a lot more realistic.

5 Rotate items

Another hidden object placement ability that The Sims don’t talk to you about be able to rotate elements easily. This requires using the Sims 3 camera – an option in the settings menu that changes the angles and the way the camera moves (to be better, in our opinion). This is accessible by holding CTRL + Shift + Tabtoo.

When using this camera mode, players can drag an item to flip it instead of having to use the “greater than” and “less than” symbol keys. This can be used with the ALT key to override the hard 45 degree rotation lock.

4 Move objects on the wall

This is yet another movement hack! Let’s be honest, Maxis doesn’t make any of this obvious, even in the build mode tutorials. This particular hidden feature involves wall elements – windows, paintings, lights, etc.

As with the ALT and rotation tricks, objects placed on the wall can be moved, instead of only having their given place on the wall. By hitting 9, these objects can be moved up and down on the wall. If you use the Sims 3 camera, players will have to hold CTRL+9 for it to work.


3 Create the illusion of large windows

Players are probably familiar with the tool that allows them to create taller walls, which will help stretch their rooms up and give them more space, but what players might not know is is that they can also create the illusion of a wall window using this tool.

If players create a taller wall and insert a taller window into it, then simply go back to the taller wall and resize it with the tool to be shorter, the window (or door) will remain approximately the same size than when put on. This can be a really unique way for players to create large archways and stretch windows without creating a bigger space overall.


2 Kitchen counters

Kitchen counters seem to have endless options, even without diving into their submenus. Automatic counters are an option in The Sims 4, which means the counters will nest automatically. Disable it and many options will appear.

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In addition to the color swatch options, there is the choice of the shape of the counter: there are corner pieces, for interior and exterior, triangular end counters, and even island pieces that can be used alone or with the connecting pieces. Most countertop designs come with different options, so be sure to check that out in every kitchen build!


1 Cabinets

Prefab Sim houses often have interesting kitchen layouts that include kitchen cabinets in different shapes and sizes – but how is this achieved? Again, by disabling auto counters, Simmers will find many more uses for the items listed. As with countertops, different styles will have different cabinet shapes.

In addition to regular square cabinets, there are thinner and wider ones for different spaces – and shorter ones that fit perfectly in items like ovens or refrigerators. There are even double-tiled cabinets that can reach to the floor if Sims decide they need extra storage.

The Sims 4 was released in 2014 and is currently available on PC, Playstation 4, Xbox One, and macOS.

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