If you’re looking to add another dimension to your Sims experience, or you’re just curious about how to make your game harder, lot challenges might be just what you’re looking for.
The Sims 4 comes with over a dozen lot challenges, and we’ve ranked them from the easiest to most difficult to deal with. Check out our tips for how to make even the hardest challenges more bearable, and how to combine lot traits to make unique (and extra tricky) challenges for yourself!
Lot Challenge Traits
Each of these lot traits add new challenges to your gameplay experience. Some are relatively simple and easy to handle while others are incredibly complex and difficult to manage.
13. Quake Zone
Lots with the Quake Zone challenge will experience tremors and the occasional earthquake, which will make your screen shake and cause sims to feel tense or scared.
In the Sims 3 Ambitions, sims who work in the firefighter career are often called in during earthquakes, as there will be fires, gas leaks, and trapped sims in need of rescuing. Unfortunately there are no features like this in the Sims 4, so overall it’s a pretty low-stakes lot challenge.
Easiest way to combat this lot challenge: Do activities with your sims that grant multiple positive moodlets to counteract the effects of tremors and quakes. Moodlets stack so as long as there are more positive effects than negative, your sim should feel okay.
It’s as if there are evil creatures hiding in the walls that come out at night to wreak havoc! At midnight when your sim is away or sleeping, objects will mysteriously break with seemingly no cause. Your sim better be handy if they want to combat the little goblins wrecking their stuff!
Easiest way to combat this lot challenge: Add the Gnomes trait to your lot. Gremlins will still wreck the place if everyone is sleeping, but gnomes will repair the damage the same night. You will still need to clean up puddles and the like but it’s much easier to manage.
Filthy lots are similar to grody lots in that they’re just nasty places to be. In this case, objects will become dirty much faster than on other lots, but unlike the grody challenge which gives your lot an overall icky vibe, filthy lots can be bearable if taken care of.
Easiest way to combat this lot challenge: Have a neat sim in your household, and/or hire a butler or maid. A butler would be better since they’re live-in and always on duty.
10. Landfill Lot
A landfill lot is a place where sims will come to dump their junk. Townies will leave garbage and broken appliances wherever, and the lot moves towards an Industrial Eco Footprint much faster. If trash isn’t cleaned up, it will turn into a trash plant and will make sims nearby feel uncomfortable. Appliances can sometimes be repaired and claimed by your sims.
Easiest way to combat this lot challenge: Since this challenge isn’t available for residential lots, just don’t spend a lot of time visiting!
9. Reduce and Recycle
Outdoor trash bins no longer magically send your sim’s garbage to the dump. Trash will need to be sorted and your sim may find recyclables or compost, or they can just send it all off to the dump if they can’t be bothered to go through it. If you don’t keep on top of things garbage can pile up pretty quickly and generate roaches or flies.
Easiest way to combat this lot challenge: Get in the habit of disposing of your trash regularly and make it part of your sim’s daily routine.
A grody lot is one of those places where everything is just…gross. The floors and counters are always sticky, the walls have a film on them, the plumbing leaks, and there are probably mice. If your sim eats or drinks anything while on this lot or tries to use a bathroom, there’s a good chance they’ll see something that makes them feel nauseous. These are the kind of lots that neat sims have nightmares about.
Easiest way to combat this lot challenge: Give your sim the Slob trait so they don’t care about how nasty everything is. Making them a Glutton might help with questionable food, too.
7. Spooky (formerly “Haunted”)
Spooky lots have something about them that attracts random ghosts to the area. They will show up late at night and scare your sims, and occasionally mess with or break things on the lot. They’re kind of a nuisance, but if your sim is an outgoing night owl they might just turn this challenge into a great way to meet new people!
Easiest way to combat this lot challenge: Get your sim’s handiness skill up to fix broken objects and distract ghosts with friendly interactions.
6. Wild Foxes
Every single lot in Henford On Bagley has the Wild Foxes lot challenge. This trait causes wild foxes to run around your lot and occasionally invite themselves inside, causing mischief by stealing eggs and attacking wild rabbits and chickens.
You can protect your chickens from wild foxes in a few ways. Befriending them and giving them treats will convince foxes to leave your chickens alone, or you can install a fox alarm on your coops. Pet dogs can scare them away, and llamas will also scare and spit on them. Adding roosters to your coop will also help protect your chickens, and evil chickens can even kill them!
Easiest way to combat this lot challenge: Protect your chicken coops with any of the methods listed above, or just don’t have any chickens.
5. Creepy Crawlies
Lots with this challenge have bugs or bats that will randomly show up and terrorize your sims. They’ll be left feeling uncomfortable and may suffer bites or stings from the unwanted attack. Having spider repellent in your sim’s inventory can protect them from being bitten by an arachnid, which has a chance of making them very sick if it occurs.
Easiest way to combat this lot challenge: Keep spider repellent on hand and do fun or relaxing activities to calm your sim down after an attack.
Cursed lots are just oozing with bad luck. Fires are more common, sims are more likely to die of electrocution or exhaustion and tense or uncomfortable moodlets will remain for longer. Sims will also have their bladder need decay faster and they have a chance to be bound to a voodoo doll just by being on the lot. It can be a very dangerous place to hang out, especially if your sims is clumsy or prone to bad luck!
Easiest way to combat this lot challenge: Make sure the lot has adequate fire protection systems, save before attempting to repair anything, and give your sim the Steel Bladder reward trait.
3. Volcanic Activity
The name is pretty self-explanatory for this one. Locations with this lot challenge will experience what it’s like to be near an active volcano, which will randomly go off and cause all sorts of chaos. The ground shakes, steam vents may erupt from the ground, and volcanic lava will rain down on the lot from above which, on rare occasion, can cause a fire. Larger eruptions can destroy things in your sim’s home.
Lava bombs are extremely dangerous while still hot, and touching them may cause your sim to burst into flames. Once they’re cooled off your sim can crack them open for a chance to nab a collectible.
Easiest way to combat this lot challenge: Take shelter to avoid lava bombs and don’t touch anything until it’s cooled off! Add a sprinkler system and/or smoke alarm in case something catches fire.
2. Simple Living
Sims living on a lot with this challenge cannot make any food that they do not have the ingredients for. This includes quick meals! If your sim wants to cook something they will need to acquire all of the necessary ingredients by foraging, gardening, fishing, or purchasing from a vendor or delivery service. You also need to make sure you have enough of each ingredient if you want to make larger meals.
This lot is especially challenging if you have children, because they can no longer make themselves quick meals and cannot cook without supervision. Be sure that the fridge is always stocked with leftovers so your young ones don’t starve!
Easiest way to combat this lot challenge: Keep your fridge stocked with ingredients and/or limit the types of foods your sim makes so you only need a small number of components. Go out to eat, buy food from vendors, or order delivery if you want something you can’t make.
Off-the-grid lots are not connected to the city’s power or water systems and will have to go without, or generate their own. Appliances that function off-the-grid are mostly limited to grills, coolers, and cheap or old-fashioned stoves & fridges (with a limited menu), and sims will have to wash laundry by hand and hang dry.
A small number of cheap or old-fashioned looking sinks, tubs, and showers will function as well as an extremely limited toilet selection (in addition to any potty/woohoo bushes you might have). When a sim bathes they will not fill their hygiene bar in one go, as the water will be a bit chilly and unpleasant to stay in for longer than necessary. Sims can also shower in the rain when the weather permits, and if you have Island Living you can shower in the waterfalls.
You can only light the lot with candles and fires, although fish tanks are considered off-the-grid so if you want to be cheeky you can use those for light as well. Luckily most outdoor and hands-on activities already require no power, so you will still have many ways to skill build or keep your sim entertained.
There are a few ways to make this challenge easier on sims, particularly if you have Eco Lifestyle. Sims can harness power from the sun by using solar panels, from the air by using wind turbines, or they can use a Household Power Generator. Handy sims can even upgrade their treadmill to generate power when they’re using it!
Sims can gather water for their homes anywhere that they can swim or fish. There are dew collectors and the Atmospheric Water Generator in Eco Lifestyle, which can pull moisture directly from the air. You can also add ice to your refrigerators to make your food last.
There are discounts on your lot bills for being off-the-grid (as you’re not consuming any power or water) and you can also get a refund by selling back your excess production.
Easiest way to combat this lot challenge: Use solar panels and water collectors liberally so your household produces everything it needs, or limit the amount of objects on the lot that require water or electricity to function.
Bonus Round: Haunted House Lots
Haunted Houses are a unique lot type that come with their own special set of lot challenges. Flickering lights, spooky tendrils, creepy dolls, and mysterious symbols will leave your sims stressed out and too scared to sleep. Spectres will visit and while some are friendly, others are incredibly hostile and may try to hurt your sims. After a few nights you’ll start getting tormented by a very evil presence that will continue to bedevil your family unless you call in some other-wordly assistance.
Easiest way to combat this lot challenge: Build up your Medium skill, fill your house with sacred candles, and get to know Guidry the ghost.
Combining Lot Challenges for A Dimensional Experience
Here are a few ideas for combining lot challenges to have an even deeper, more nuanced experience. We can’t promise they’ll be easy to play, but if you like a challenge hopefully you’ll find them fun!
The Local Dump: Combine Filthy, Grody, and Landfill Lot challenge traits to make your community lot into a nasty dump site instead of a haven for recyclers. Making it Off-the-Grid will also ensure that there’s no running water to wash off the filth afterwards.
Just Plain Bad Luck: Gremlins, Simple Living, and Reduce & Recycle will have your sim struggling between gathering the ingredients needed to make a meal, repairing the appliances needed to cook and store those ingredients, and managing all the garbage they’ll produce with constant repairs and spoiling food.
Old Abandoned Building: Cursed, Creepy Crawlies, Filthy, and Off-The-Grid traits will give you a lot with no power, no running water, bats living in the rafters and bugs in the walls, with decaying gas lines that could burst into flames any minute and internal wiring that can shock a sim to death.
After the Apocalypse: Off-The-Grid and Simple Living will force your sims to be completely independent, living off the land and what they can make with their own hands. Add in Quake Zone and Volcanic Activity to make the environment incredibly hostile to your sim and a struggle for survival. You can throw in Wild Foxes too if you want some fauna running around too, which will make getting white meat and eggs even harder.
Horror House from Hell: Add lot challenges to haunted houses to make them even worse: Gremlins, Spooky, Creepy Crawlies, and Cursed challenge traits will make your haunted houses even more chaotic and put your sims into a situation where they feel like their house is really out to get them.
Lot challenges are designed to make the game more difficult, and with this guide you should be able to navigate those challenges easily and go even further with your own bespoke challenge combinations. Hopefully you have a lot of fun playing these lot traits and have some cool new experiences. Happy simming!