Are you undecided and don’t know whether to install Sims 3 or 4? Sims 3 vs Sims 4 is a legit dilemma many simmers face, as both have so much to offer. Read on to discover what you can expect from TS3 and TS4, and what the key differences in features between the two are.
sims 3 vS sims 4: Which is better?
Sims 3 or Sims 4? Simmers who transitioned from The Sims to Sims 2, and later Sims 3 and Sims 4 know the thrill of welcoming the new series. Every franchise brought more new options, an improved CAS, more build/buy choices, and a bunch of other improvements. The more the game evolved, the more advancements the players got. However, does this means that the Sims 4, being the latest, is by default the best Sims game ever?
Well, it depends on a lot of factors. There are many Simmers out there who chose to stick with Sims 3 even after the Sims 4 and its DLCs were released. The truth is, although Sims 4 is the newest, has by far the best graphics, and is more aligned with the latest world and gaming trends, Sims 3 still has a very special place in the hearts of many gamers.
So, to help you decide which one works better for you, we will now explore what makes each special. No player is the same, so we will compare key elements of both games, such as CAS options or playable worlds to help you decide which one truly clicks with you. Buckle up, This is your ultimate Sims 3 vs Sims 4 battle!
Customizing looks in CAS
Let’s start with creating families in CAS first. Many Sims 3 lovers would argue that styling Sims in TS3 is more fun and allows for far more customization of clothes, all thanks to the fabulous color wheel. In Sims 3 you are not limited to color styles that come with clothing items, but can choose any pattern you like and create completely unique looks. This applies not only to clothes but also to skin color and hair, meaning you are free to pick a very specific shade of green for your Sim’s hairstyle if you desire.
Sims 4, on the other hand, allows for easier face and body customization. All features can be adjusted by clicking on a body part, dragging, and distorting it. Styles, on the other hand, are much more fixed, as Sims 4 styling is limited to palettes of presets. Sims 4 hair, skin tone, and clothes are based solely on swatches. There is no style customization with the color wheel or endless experimentation with patterns. However, when Sims 3 vs Sims 4, Sims from the Sims 4 look far better and much more realistic and it is easier to make non-generic faces.
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The open worlds of Sims 3 vS loading neighborhoods of Sims 4
The Sims 3 needs to have a point for its open worlds system. Open worlds allow players to explore neighborhoods seamlessly on foot and visit lots after a few minutes of jogging. There are no loading screens when switching from one place to the next, and we can just zoom in on the map or zoom it out to make our Sims go where we need them to be. As a result, exploring the world is more fun and spontaneous.
This applies not only to visiting lots but roaming around the free world in general. Sims could freely explore every corner of the world map in one go- all while you are watching them do so. You can simultaneously keep track of what all your Sims are doing, even if they are at different locations by moving the map.
The Sims 4 worlds are a bit different. If we choose to explore neighborhoods, we need to make Sims travel and wait for the loading screens. With that in mind, the Sims 4 makes travel more efficient and saves you time going from point A to point B. When comparing Sims 3 vs Sims 4, loading time in TS4 when Sims are traveling is short for the most part, and you won’t have to follow your Sim around the town.
Customizing Worlds and moving around
Both games allow players to customize lots as they please. However, the Sims 3 doesn’t only have an open, fully explorable, but also a fully customizable world. Players are allowed to place empty lots anywhere they like on the map, as long as there is enough space for a lot. Lots and buildings are easy to move, and if you chose to do so, you can easily rearrange parts of your neighborhood. This also means that you can build homes and place lots on hills and steep terrains.
When comparing Sims 3 vs Sims 4, TS4 has no open worlds or a bunch of extra lots, which also means fewer glitches and smoother gameplay. Players are unfortunately unable to add more lots to neighborhoods, which means they can only build on existing lots or renovate the existing homes. Lots are pretty flat by default, but you can change the terrain on your lot using terrain tools.
traveling and connecting
While Sims from the Sims 3 can explore their world without limitations, Sims from TS4 can go to other towns and travel without restrictions. The Sims 3 restricts travel to destination worlds only. In Sims 4, Sims can explore all towns, be those destination worlds or not.
Townies from Sims 3 worlds don’t mesh. If you choose to play Twinbrook, for instance, you can interact only with Sims who live there. In Sims 4, this is not the case, and you can easily bump into Sims from Bridgestone Bay, even if you live in Willow Creek and Sims can easily travel between worlds.
Unlike the Sims 4, The Sims 3 has cars and motorcycles to help Sims move around, adding yet another dose of realism. It’s easy to bump into fellow townies as you stroll down the streets of your TS3 world.
Have another read on SNOOTYSIMS: The best Sims 3 expansion packs (RANKED)!
graphics and aesthetics
Graphics in Sims 4 are top-tier. Everything in the game, from public parks to Sims’s clothing and rooms looks magical. The Sims 4 bring, highly animated, and has stunning cartoon-like aesthetics.
Everything is bright, light, textured, and colorful, and it’s really enjoyable to be just looking at the screen. The aesthetics of Sims 3, on the other hand, is less colorful, but this can be a good thing if you prefer more realism. However, this element of the Sims 3 vs Sims 4 battle is susceptible to subjective tastes, as no player is the same.
Build/Buy key differences
One of the biggest advantages of The Sims 3 is the ability to customize the color of pretty much anything in the build or buy mode, from furniture to walls and floors. Everything in a room can have the same pattern, which gives so much space for creative home design.
However, The Sims 4 makes a home feel more like home. While there is not much color and pattern customization in TS4, you can not only easily drag and rotate, but also scale and adjust objects to make them a perfect fit for your space. The Sims 4 really lets you make the most of every corner of your home and put more objects together. Homes look more modern and realistic, and furniture is more functional. Sims can easily move around in small and stuffed places, and you can even add a bunch of paintings next, above, or below one another, without too many space restrictions. Three wall heights and matching doors, roof trims, and complete rooms are a nice addition, too.
On top of that, the Sims 4 has a fully integrated Gallery that lets you browse and share your Sims 4 creations, from furniture to whole homes and pretty Sims. This is a great time saver if you don’t want to spend ages creating and building, and just want to get on with playing. The Sims 3 has an Exchange site that has a similar purpose but is not directly integrated.
More on SNOOTYSIMS: Speaking of build/buy objects, you should definitely explore this variety of the best Sims 4 Furniture CC!
Sims’ Behaviors & Personality
TS3 keeps track of a lot of things, from skill challenges to the number of butterflies in your collection or how many times you’ve cooked a meal. Everything feels more like a mission and can motivate you to play, helping you come up with creative mini-challenges for Sim along the way.
The system of wishes allows you to set small milestones, too, and they are more-less based on what you are currently doing with your Sim. Sims seem to be highly responsive and will immediately follow your commands without much procrastination or looking around.
However, thanks to the SmartSim feature, Sims in TS4 are far more impacted by their surroundings and more expressive with their emotions. Their behavior feels less robotic and moodlets are everything. Sims live more in the ‘’here and now’’ and this makes them more humane, and more easily triggered by simple things like unpleasant social interactions. On top of that, wants & fears will make them act more spontaneously, and these will mostly reflect their personality and social needs.
As of recently, the Sims 4 also has a new life stage, the infants, which are not present in the Sims 3, which adds to the natural progression of stories. There are many character nuances like pronounces, likes, and dislikes, which add more color to how Sims interact.
The Sims 3 has 11 extensive expansions, along with a few stuff packs. Together with the final EP released, the Horse Ranch, The Sims 4 has 14 expansion packs, and a few cool-themed stuff packs, too. When comparing Sims 3 vs Sims 4, there is not much difference in terms of how expensive or fun expansion packs are. All have unique themes, and a lot of what we’ve seen with Sims 4 packs is inspired by previous Sims games, especially the Sims 3.
While both the Sims 3 and The Sims 4 offer equally fabulous DLCs, the Sims 3 base game seems to offer slightly more in terms of play options. When Sims 4 was initially released, it was less well-rounded, and the Sims 3 base game looked more complete. However, some features that were initially missing, like toddlers or pools were additionally added with later patches. Still, the Sims 3, as a standalone install seems to give more options to explore than the Sims 4 base game.
I think you’d want to give these Sims 3 mods a try!
recap: which one is better?
Having in mind all we’ve mentioned above, we can say that only one thing is certain: Sims 3 vs Sims 4 is a tough battle. Despite one being better than the other in one segment, and vice versa, player preferences will always differ. This is the recap of the best features of Sims 3 and Sims 4 compiled into one table:
|SIMS 3||SIMS 4|
|Great style customization in CAS||Easier customization in CAS|
|Open world system||Faster loading|
|Better customization of worlds||Smoother gameplay|
|The possibility of adding more lots to the world||Better graphics and aesthetics|
|Spontaneous exploration of the world of residence||Easy travel and interconnectedness of all worlds|
|Easy style customization in build and buy||More efficient build/buy and better use of space|
|Highly responsive Sims||In-game Gallery|
|Easy to track achievements||More spontaneous and expressive Sims|
|Well-rounded base game||More DLC’s|
We also recommend viewing this breakdown of which game is better by SatchOnSims
Both Sims 3 and Sims 4 have their strengths and weaknesses, so neither can win this battle. It comes as no surprise that there are as many simmers who prefer the Sims 3 as there are those who will choose Sims 4 any time of the day. This was our overview of the key features across different elements of the game. Weight the pros and cons of each yourself as no player is the same. Whichever you choose, it won’t be a miss. Happy simming!