“What are the best Sims 4 expansion packs?” is a loaded question. It really comes down to a matter of a player’s style and preference. Some gamers play the Sims to live a quiet life of a scientist, while others want to party their hearts’ desires. Some want to fulfill their nerdy interests in-game, and there are those who want to live their interior designer fantasy.
Whichever of these simulated realities you’re interested in, there’s a high chance that the team behind Sims 4 has you covered. Expansion packs, game packs, and stuff packs, coupled with various Sims 4 mods, can help you create whatever you want. If you are interested in Sims 4 Cheats, you can learn about that here too.
What are The Sims Expansion Packs?
Published by Electronic Arts in Y2K, The Sims series is one of the biggest selling video games of all time. All releases since their first title were catapulted to worldwide acclaim. As of late, at least a hundred million people have experienced playing The Sims.
When you play The Sims, you create virtual people with individual whims, traits, and personalities. The game does not have a set goal nor rules. You help your virtual people create houses, start families, and please their desires. The format became so popular that games like Animal Crossing have emerged with the popular Sims format as an obvious inspiration.
Sims gameplay fuels one’s imagination. Your Sims’ personalities and lives are not set in stone when you start playing. Like in real life, they will have their share up and down days. As their controller, you will ideally help them through all their life’s experiences.
Even though The Sims gameplay is already very customizable, it was almost always set in one or two locations. But what is life without vacations, pets, university, concerts, and spooky stories?
In an attempt to mimic real-life experiences, Electronic Arts and Maxis created expansion packs for The Sims 4. In these, your Sims get to lead a life as dynamic as yours.
The Sims 4 Expansion Packs
Expansion Packs, Game Packs, and Stuff Packs: What’s the Difference?
Expansion packs offer a more diverse roster of Sims gameplay. Before diving deeper into why you should buy them, you might have heard of The Sims’ game packs and stuff packs.
EA sells three types of extra Sims content. These are expansion packs, game packs, and stuff packs. The difference between the three is the gravity of the changes they make to the base game.
An expansion pack offers the most gameplay changes in theme. Examples of these are its offerings of tropical islands, new careers, universities, and seasons. These packs can bring new worlds, jobs, people, and traits to your Sims game. Compared to the other two, expansion packs have a wider, broader appeal.
Come Sims’ game packs, this broad appeal is reduced to niche themes. Game packs bring new stories with specific, overarching objectives to your Sims’ world. Available themes for these packs are vampires, magic, spa days, and much more.
The last of the EA pack offerings for the Sims is the stuff packs. These give the least amount of changes to your game. Buying them gives you access to new furniture and objects, which you can use in customizing your game. However, some of these items can also bring new object interactions.
Why Should You Get These Packs?
While stuff packs are the only packs focused on giving you new objects, the other packs bring new items as well. All these packs, whichever you choose to buy, will bring new colors and designs to your Sim world.
If you’re the Sim player that cannot get enough of the interior design features of the game, buying these packs is worth it.
For Sim Culture Expansion
The thematic changes brought by expansion and game packs massively affect the lives of your Sims. These packs come with new stories to build a more diverse world around your Sims.
People enjoy playing The Sims because of its customizable features. With these packs, you are tweaking already-customizable features even further.
For Fan Service
A lot of Sims players are invested in the lives of not just their characters but also of the world’s default characters. Bella Goth, the Landgraabs, and Don Lothario are beloved characters that fans always want to see more of.
The Sims’ lore goes far deeper than everyone else expected, and with each game update, you get more opportunities to learn about this simulated world.
For More Fun Gameplay
The mini-adventures you can go on with each pack breathes new life into your game. As the game simulates real life, you may slowly begin to realize that even your Sims can settle on a routine.
Vacations, spa days, and even vampires can keep you from mimicking the monotonous nature of doing the same things over and over again. Even if the Sims are hyperbolic with their interpretation of life, this is what gamers love about it. If it were an exact replica of our lives, what would be the point of playing it in the first place?
The Best Sims 4 Expansion Packs
This list starts off with the most popular and well-received expansion pack of The Sims 4. Some call it one of the best Sims 4 expansion packs, and you will understand why after you read about what it can offer.
As the name suggests, the Seasons expansion pack adds a stronger concept of time to your gameplay. With a calendar, your Sims can plan around the changes in season. Your Sims’ birthdays no longer have to come at random, and you can plan earlier than you normally would. Holidays and weather changes are the most important features of this expansion pack. You can make your own holidays, too, and plot your calendars as you would in real life.
This pack redefines your gameplay with these features alone, but the Botanist career is also its unique selling point. Start your career by planting at home and harvesting via changes in season. Being in touch with your simulated environment is easier with the Seasons expansion pack because it solidifies time in your Sims’ lives. With life, we are almost always waiting for the next event or activity.
Scheduling around time keeps your Sims on the tip of their toes and keeps you from easily tiring from their lives.
- New careers
- Plan more events
- Weather changes
- Stricter structure of dates
This expansion pack adds a new world to your game. In this world, you get to have the University of Britechester and Foxbury Institute. These two campuses offer different environments for your Sims. The former has a more formal Cambridge University feel, and the latter takes a more modern approach to learning.
Between these two universities, you can choose among 13 degrees and the various classes that come with them. But the possibilities do not stop there as you can also choose a major for your Sims.
As far as the broke college student trope goes, your Sims can also start riding bikes. Another fan-favorite feature is finding a roommate to live with to split your household expenses. Living with them will not give you access to their controls, but some argue that this is the best thing about it.
Discover University is one of the best Sims 4 expansion packs because it brings an entirely new dimension to the base game. The changes are massive and detailed, and you will not regret grabbing this expansion pack.
- Two new universities
- Unique Interactions
- New items (Bikes)
- Complete life stories for Sims
- Overwhelming University requirements
- Household maintenance is more difficult
Cats and Dogs
Even in the real world, getting a pet is the easiest way to spice up your life. The Cats and Dogs Sims 4 expansion pack does the same thing for the same reasons.
To start off, this expansion pack includes the new world of Brindleton Bay, a haven optimized for outdoor activities with your furry friends. You can play fetch, take a walk, or visit the park with your pets in this idyllic neighborhood.
Notably, you can also visit your vet and treat your pets from ailments or fleas. Should you be so interested, though, you can also become a town veterinarian. Build your clinic and run your business as you want to. A bonus is meeting other Sims’ pets along the way.
If you are more interested in owning a pet, pet customization has come a long way since The Sims 2: Pets. The Create a Pet tool now boasts customizable outfits alongside the standard appearance and behavior customizations.
If you don’t want to go about the entire customization process, there are also stray pets up for adoption in Brindleton Bay. Your Sims can become a home for a homeless animal, and it is still heartwarming even if it is all virtual. The best Sims 4 expansion packs tend to be rooted in this virtue.
After creating your pets, add them to your Sims’ households. From there, watch the man-and-animal companionship flourish. These animals are real game characters, so the way you interact with them changes how they interact with you.
- New world and neighborhood
- Brand new characters to play with
- New career options
- Updated customizable features
- More bills to pay
- Household maintenance will skyrocket
The Sims has always been up to date with their references and stories. They follow the times, and Eco Lifestyle is proof of that.
The gameplay for Eco Lifestyle centers itself on three environmentally-damaged towns. These are Conifer Station, Port Promise, and Grims Quarry. Each town will need help in overcoming water, air, and land pollution.
By bonding together, Sims can generate their own energy sources, grow their own food, and make sustainable buys. Keep track of the change they make through visible eco-footprints. These will show how each action can impact your surroundings.
Your buying habits will also change with this expansion pack as you are given more options to build your own furniture. When redecorating, you can also just opt to recycle your items instead of simply selling them.
As you build your craftsmanship, you can choose to become a Freelance Crafter full-time. Another job offering in this pack is the Civil Designer.
This is one of the best Sims 4 expansion packs you can add to your world. Its features are fresh and give you a brand new set of eyes to see the world in.
- Awareness of environmental matters
- Three new towns
- New careers
- Eco-footprint feature
- Eco-footprints can make you enjoy some fun jobs and activities less
- Too many features
The predecessor to Eco Lifestyle’s environmental theme is Island Living. Released last year, some call this expansion pack one of the best Sims 4 expansion packs of 2019.
Explore the untouched islands of Sulani and take a breather from your usual city life. Your Sims can jet ski, go diving, party until sunrise, and help preserve the island’s life.
This expansion pack brings more new career options compared to others. Purchasing Island Living gives you access to jobs such as Environmental Manager, Marine Biologist, Diver, Fisherman, and Lifeguard.
Boating around the island can surprise you. Keep your eyes peeled for mermaids. The best part about this feature is that mermaids are playable. These have also been a fan favorite since the expansion pack’s trailer release.
- Awareness of environmental matters
- New Islands and vacation spots
- New careers
- Too many tasks to carry out in “saving” the island
- Less integrated with the other worlds
Riding on the wave of environmental consciousness is the first stuff pack on this list. The Sims 4 Tiny Living stuff pack introduces your Sims to carbon footprint reduction through environment-friendly furniture.
This pack is not limited to new items since it offers new goals for your tree-hugging Sims. One popular competition amongst players is tiny-house building. The winner is the Sim that creates the tiniest yet the most practical living space. Smaller houses also tend to benefit your Sims’ skills and moods, so it’s not all about the competition.
In recent memory, it seems that the best Sims 4 expansion packs are those that bring awareness to real-life issues. While the game is an escape for some, it also gives people a chance to imagine an ideal world.
- New items
- Environmental awareness
- New goals and competitions
- New avenues for your building skills to flourish
- No new worlds
- Focused mainly on the design aspect of the game
One of the earliest expansion packs released for The Sims 4 is City Living. This pack introduces you to the city of San Myshuno and its festive towns, Spice Market, Arts Quarter, Fashion District, and Uptown.
Owning up to its name, getting the City Living expansion pack assures festivities and events around the city any time of the day. The night is always young in San Myshuno. Bar hopping, street painting, karaoke nights, and food fests are some of the activities you can join in on. San Myshuno also has its own Geekcon, a homage to the famous Comic Con.
As for your Sims’ living spaces, this expansion pack offers new lot traits and designs. If you can afford it, you can live the high life in a penthouse. Low on money? There are smaller apartments for you around the city. Each home can have its own traits, from spooky to chill.
This expansion pack also offers new career options for your Sims. City Living opens up possibilities for a career in politics, food/art criticism, and social media.
- Four new towns
- One new neighborhood
- Apartments and penthouses
- New activities and festivities
- Career choices
- Apartments are isolated
- Festivals can get repetitive
- Interactions are limited
Get To Work
Get To Work is another Sims 4 expansion pack that makes a positive mark on your gameplay experience. Sending your Sims off to work no longer consumes your day, as you can follow them to their offices.
There are also four new careers for you. Your sims can now choose between becoming a Doctor, Detective, Scientist, or a Businessperson. With the last career, experience building your own retail store and making some of the items you sell yourself.
It is important to note the biggest change this expansion pack offers is not yet mentioned. This is seen as one of the best Sims 4 expansion packs because it brings aliens to your world.
More than just the Magnolia Promenade neighborhood, Get To Work also introduces you to planet Sixam, where there are playable alien Sims. Dress them up, bring them to your human world, and have fun.
- Aliens and planet Sixam
- New careers
- Visit your sims’ offices
- Two new skills (Baking and photography)
- Glitches in the pack (careers and aliens)
Get Together is another expansion pack concerned in Sims’ world-building. Once you get this pack, prepare to be winded by the world of Windenburg. This area is populated with luxe and cultured lifestyle, as well as people.
Clubs are the main feature of this expansion pack. You can join and create clubs with different interests, goals, and personalities. Each club is distinct from one another and follows different sets of rules. The aesthetic look of each club varies, too.
Your Sims can organize into groups of eight Sims per club. For meetings, you can set dress codes, activities, and proper decorum. Your Sim’s new set of friends can also enjoy a round of foosball, darts, and arcade games together. When partying, they can discover their DJ and dancing skills.
This expansion pack creates many avenues for your sim’s social skills to blossom. Clubs are a great way to build relationships with others, whether that reality is simulated or not.
- Customizable Club features
- New skills
- Emotional texting feature
- Other features are not as helpful or popular as the clubs
Build your name and your brand with The Sims 4 Get Famous expansion pack. Bringing the land of Del Sol Valley to your game, this pack features new career options and an expensive lifestyle for you to explore.
Any Sim can now become an actor or a content creator, and progressing these careers requires interaction. A fame system will be the judge of your success in these fields.
Once successful, you can build yourself a mansion with bougie features like a money vault. Other than this, you can consider launching your own brand if you get high enough in the celebrity food chain.
This expansion pack received mixed reviews from critics and players. However, there are some players that think it is one of the best Sims 4 expansion packs available. It will come down to a matter of preference, but who doesn’t want to live like a celebrity for one day?
- Career offerings
- Luxury items (Money Vault) and mansions
- Del Sol Valley
- Not as many features as other expansion packs
Realm of Magic
This is the first game pack on the list and is considered one of the best Sims 4 expansions you can buy.
Realm of Magic adds two new worlds to your game, Glimmerbrook and the Magical Realm. In these worlds, you can cast spells, duel with fellow wizards, and interact with mythical creatures. This is the closest you can get to living out your Harry Potter fantasies.
As with all the other packs, your skills will only advance if you keep practicing them. Become a good enough wizard, you can start saving lives. If you want to lead a more low-key lifestyle, hone your craft with cauldrons, spell books, and magic brooms.
Fly around the realms and discover new skills for your sims.
- New skills
- Best aesthetic features
- New creatures
- Flying around a magic broom is enough of a reason
- Less integrated with the other worlds
This game pack offers your sims a new story to explore and tell.
Discover and investigate a conspiracy in the town of StrangerVille, where residents are a tad bit weird. Help StrangerVille Sims overcome their fears and hypotheses on town conspiracies.
In solving these issues, your Sims can work from home full-time as a Military employee. This new career will help you focus on aiding town conspirators and discovering the truth under all of the noise. Confront government agents and scientists in the process.
- Story-driven with a unique theme
- New careers
- No new skills
- Not much replay value
Get the Jungle Adventure game pack if you are at your wit’s end with your Sims’ routines. This pack provides you with an escape to the world of Selvadorada, where food, music, and archeology meet.
Your Sims can explore the jungle and its local cultures as they hop from temple to temple, looking for treasure. Whatever they find, they can bring home and boast about it to friends. With this on the line, your Sims are ready to ace the obstacles thrown their way.
A bonus is a new archaeology skill, which will come in handy as your quests become harder. There are also other skills for your Sims to learn, and all these skills will prove useful once they come back home.
- New skills
- Entire new world for your game
- Less integrated with the other sims worlds
Beyond the glitz and glam of the magical packs come The Sims 4: Parenthood. This game pack is all about enhancing your Sims’ domestic life. Parents, after all, affect the lives of their children greatly. The Sims games should be reflecting that.
The Parenthood pack empowers adult sims to shape the lives of their children. They can do this by having their own parenting styles. As this pack also grants rebellious personalities to children, it is also fitting that parents’ attitudes have a response.
Parent Sims can now also teach their children life lessons, guiding them through their lives. This game pack is perfect for legend players because running 10 Sim generations can be anything but peaceful.
As for the children, youthful sims are now susceptible to acne and cursing. Improved grades will also have more to show for in this pack, as well as children’s “phases”.
The best Sims 4 expansion packs build on what is already working. Parenthood does that, and the pay-off is exquisite.
- New skills
- More realistic relationship between children and parents
- Makes domestic life interesting
- Only for parent Sims and domestic Sims players
Spa Day is one of the earliest game packs released by EA for The Sims 4. Its concept is simple, but it brings a lot of new moodlets and items to your game.
Add a touch of luxury to your houses by having your own sauna rooms and massage tables. You won’t need the Get Famous expansion pack to feel like an elite anymore, though that pack offers more than just a lifestyle.
Going back to Spa Day, you can take special baths, meditate, and light your beautiful home candles. You can also take mud baths and yoga classes, especially after building a spa. You can help your Sims refocus their centers and rest from their hectic adventures. If your Sim needs to feel a certain way, there are a lot of object interactions that affect their moodlets.
- A lot of moodlet opportunities
- New building type
- New object interactions
- Sports and wellness outfits
- No new stories to tell
- Mainly for aesthetic purposes
Another favorite game pack is The Sims 4: Vampires. True to its name, the pack offers gothic-themed features and a neighborhood with a vibrant nightlife.
The neighborhood of Forgotten Hollow is full of long nights and supernatural events. Other than this, The Sims 4: Vampires is loaded with new skills like the Vampire Lore skill and the Pipe Organ skill. The former is exclusive to vampiric Sims while the latter can be enhanced by any Sim.
Yes, you read that right. You can have vampire Sims now, too.
Best of all, this game pack brings more of the supernatural into your world. Build your Sims’ vampire powers and wreak havoc around town. Subtle but interesting features also include new plants such as Wolfsbane and new lot traits such as “Registered Vampire Lair”.
- New lot traits
- Brand new skills for regular Sims
- Vampires and vampire skills
- World-building opportunities
- Limited gameplay
- Smaller town compared to other packs
In collaboration with the luxury brand, The Sims 4: Moschino offers your Sims off-the-runway items. Dress your Sims in luxury from head to toe, and always be photographer-ready. As you can already tell, this stuff pack is best paired with the “Get Famous” expansion pack. You are right. With both in your game, expect a slow-burn career leading to an extravagant lifestyle.
The best feature of this stuff pack is that it also brings a new career. In line with fashion, your sims can now become Fashion Photographer freelancers. Start from the bottom of the industry and build your way up to having your own studio.
- New career
- Best Sims clothing
- Perfect for pairing with other packs
- No new stories to tell
- The pack is more face-value than others
Nifty Knitting Stuff
The newest stuff pack is The Sims 4: Nifty Knitting Stuff, released in July 2020. Its timing ripened with the COVID-19 pandemic as this pack is for homebodies of all ages. Children, teens, and adults can join in on the fun of knitting. Just grab some yarn from your baskets and start.
Sit around the comfort of your own home and knit clothing and/or accessories for your Sims. If you are confident in your Sim’s knitting skills, you can make a living out of selling them on Plopsy (inspired by popular online store Etsy).
This pack also keeps you company with two new radio stations, Focus and Metal. Your Sims no longer have to sit in their own silence when knitting.
- New items
- Skill sets broaden
- Suitable for Sims of all ages
How Do You Install Expansion Packs?
The most common way of purchasing expansion packs is through Origin. If your packs do not automatically install, you can use this as your guide.
Installing Through Origin
Open Origin and log in to your account. Then, go to the “My Game Library” tab, click The Sims 4, and click “Show Game Details”. Choose which packs you have to install. If you have not bought any yet, you can opt to buy it from this tab.
Click download after choosing your packs, and then wait for the program to finish installing. Once done, you can now play the pack/s on The Sims 4.
Installing Through Product Code
Open Origin and then enter your EA account information. Click “Redeem Product Code” under Origin’s pull-down menu if you are on PC. For Mac users, you can find this under the “Games” pull-down menu.
Enter the product code in the discs and go to the “My Game Library” tab. Choose the pack/s you want to install. Once clicked, choose the “download” option.
Wait for the program to finish installing. Once done, you can now play the pack/s on The Sims 4.
Installing Through Disc
Though becoming a less common avenue for PC gaming, others do still prefer having a disc to install their games with.
Insert your disc into your disc drive and follow the instructions as they are written on the screen. Enter the product code on your disc when asked to do so. Open your Origin account after a successful redemption.
On Origin, go to the “My Game Library” tab. You know you are successful if you can view your packs on the page. After installing the packs, open your Sims 4 game and play on.
The Sims 5 Updates
Even though expansion packs are the best way to keep your Sims gameplay fresh, it does not hold a candle to The Sims 5’s hype. The best Sims 4 expansion packs may keep you busy, but many prefer a new installment to the series over these.
Here is what we know so far from the development, release, and expectations surrounding The Sims 5.
It has been over five years since the last Sims game was released. From this, we can deduce that EA takes their time in refurbishing their simulated world.
So far, all people know about The Sims 5 is that it is inspired by The Sims Online. We should expect online interactions to be much more popular around the Sims world. Many speculate that the game will be based on the cloud.
Other than this, people should expect better graphics for the game. The Sims 5 follows the lead of next-generation consoles as the game will potentially be accessible to all of them.
Due to unfortunate circumstances, there are no new updates on the development of the game. COVID-19 lockdowns prevent production companies from all over the globe to keep working on their titles, and Maxis is not exempt from this.
There is no set date for The Sims 5 yet. It is unlikely that it is aiming for a 2020 release, as there have been no updates on the game since before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Still, hopes are high for a 2021 release.
The Sims 5 Features
Maxis mentioned that The Sims 5 may be fully online. Because of this, many suspect the game to be an open-world experience. In this world, you now inhabit the same simulation as your friends’ (or online neighbors).
Because of the game’s probable open-world settings, some hope that The Sims 5 is multiplayer. Its online features can have you and your friends work on the same goals at the same time.
One large benefit of this is throwing parties where people cooperate. It is not unknown how Sims parties sometimes fail to gather all guests in one room. Options to meet new Sims with real people controlling them can make for more fun parties and interactions.
More Customization Options
The Sims 4 broke a lot of barriers in terms of graphics, sales, and reach. As of June, the game had over 10 million active users worldwide. However, it got rid of a few successful aspects of the Sims world.
For The Sims 5, people hope that the people at Maxis work on making Sims with more personalities. They once had Sims with five personality traits for The Sims 3, so it is a possibility.
As for world-building, many hope that The Sims 5 gives its players more liberty in making their worlds. As seen above, Maxis and EA have the last say on what is in each world and what stories are featured. Many hope that the fifth installment of the series brings back the beloved “World Create” mode.
What The Sims 4 Expansion Pack is for you?
There are many ways to design your Sims’ worlds. Your choice of the best Sims 4 expansion packs can help you in building these.
You can opt for an intricate, domestic lifestyle with expansion packs like Parenthood, Get To Work, and Spa Day. On the other hand, you can create a world full of mystique and horror. Packs like Realm of Magic, Jungle Adventure, and Vampires can take you there.
Expansion packs are not a one-size-fits-all situation. Your preferences across each will vary, and the fact that these are sold separately rather than together makes for a more diverse game.