The very idea of a multiplayer version of The Sims 4 is something that heats us all up! For many years rumors have circled around the community that the developers of the game are secretly working on an online version, a next generation Sims game that will sweep us all off our feet! But is there a multiplayer mod that players can download and use to play with one another? Continue reading to find out!
The Sims 4’s Multiplayer origins
Back when it was still in development, the Sims 4 was known as “Project Olympus” and was intended to be an online multiplayer game. Due to mixed responses from testers as well as the disastrous launch of SimCity, EA changed their minds and launched the Sims 4 as a single-player game like its predecessors. YouTuber and EA Game Changer Plumbella has an informative video about the history of Project Olympus that goes into more detail:
When you think back to how bare the base game was at initial launch, it makes sense that features like Toddlers weren’t included because the game never planned on working that way in the first place. To their credit, the Sims team has continued offering new and improved free content which makes it a much more robust base game now than it was back in 2014.
It has been confirmed that the Sims 5 will have multiplayer aspects although we don’t know yet what that will look like; fortunately they seem to be optional features and players who want to stick with the single-player experience will be able to do so.
Mods for Multiplayer in the Sims 4
While there have been several multiplayer mods that have come and go, there are currently two that are actively working and available for download that we’re going to outline. Be sure to make backups of your game before trying either of these mods!
SimSync is a Sims 4 multiplayer client that allows cross-compatibility between PC and Mac players, and their website boasts over 732,000 downloads of the client as of the time of this writing. With this mod you can play with as many others as you want, though they recommend no more than 8 players which is the typical Sims household limit. You can visit their website here to download, and check out their helpful installation guide here.
S4MP – Sims 4 Multiplayer Mod
S4MP is the mod you’ve seen in action in the many multiplayer videos shared by the likes of DrGluon, lilsimsie, James Turner, Plumbella, CallMeKevin, SpringSims, and other prominent members of the simming community. The mod is designed to work cross-platform with up to 12 players, and has been selected to join the ModSquad as part of the new The Sims & CurseForge collab. Learn more at their website and check out their handy installation tutorial here.
The Sims 5: Multiplayer Considerations
Many players are excited about the impending launch of the Sims 5, with some especially excited about the multiplayer aspects coming to the game. While first looks are promising in regards to the customization and quality of the Buy Mode content, it’s important to remember that everything we’ve seen is just conceptual so far and that things may change significantly over time. When the Sims 4 launched as a retrofitted single player game it was missing many things that wouldn’t have fit into a multiplayer experience, and it’s reasonable to assume some of those features will be missing from the Sims 5 as well:
- Toddlers, pets, & other NPCs: unplayable characters in multiplayer games often serve a purpose, like starting a quest or serving as a merchant. In that respect, toddlers and pets are generally useless. It’s possible that these features will be missing from the Sims 5, or at the very least be limited to single-player areas.
- Taxing effects like weather and higher-end graphics: servers already expend a lot of effort hosting players and whatever gameplay elements they’re running. Effects like weather, high-end graphics, and even certain animation types might be too much for a multiplayer server to handle and may be cut from the game.
- Full access to CAS and Buy/Build content: multiplayer games quite frequently lock content behind events, achievements, etc. Even the Sims 4 has had limited-time events take place with content you can’t get now unless you know how to get into hidden & locked parts of the game catalogs. If EA decides there isn’t enough engagement for their multiplayer portions of the Sims 5 they may choose to lock certain things behind “playwalls,” forcing players to engage with gameplay they don’t want and/or going without content they want to access because of the strings attached.
- Always Online shenanigans: If you’re playing a single-player game or single-player parts of a multiplayer game, you should not have to be online to play! EA tried to force players Always Online when SimCity launched which only exploded in their faces. Hopefully they learned their lesson and will not try to implement such a policy for Sims 5 players because it’s not only a nightmare when servers are overloaded or down, but it also limits players who may not have reliable internet access from playing the game entirely.
- Cost: The price of video games has risen exponentially since the launch of the original Sims 1. I recently did the math and found that the entire DLC catalog for the Sims 4, not counting sales or bundle prices, is just under $1,000 USD as of the time of this writing! Adding a multiplayer aspect to the game in addition to typical cost increases could mean one of two things for players; the base game and DLC could all end up even more expensive, or each pack will have significantly less content to try squeezing out as much money as possible.
- Hacks & Attacks: if you’re familiar with the Girl Doll Dressed virus from the Sims 3, you know that it’s possible to spread corrupt content even on the exchange. As far as we know, that doll wasn’t made with nefarious intent but imagine the damage that could be done to players’ games if someone launches an attack on purpose. We’re not saying it will happen, but it’s something to consider with the Sims 5 entering entirely new gameplay territory.
For simmers who simply cannot wait for the launch of the Sims 5 to get their multiplayer fix, there are mods available to scratch that itch. While they may not work 100% perfectly it’s incredible how compatible intrepid modders have been able to make this content with the vanilla game, and you don’t have to sacrifice much to get it working. So link up with a friend or 7 and get out there into Simlandia together!