Keeping your digital doppelganger alive and well in The Sims 4 is no easy task. Aside from worrying about constantly feeding them, players have to keep these virtual people emotionally and physically happy. For franchise veterans this might not be a big deal, but for those who are new to the series or haven't picked it up in awhile, the process can be overwhelming. Of course, we here at Prima Games have you covered from all angles. Not only do we encourage you to pick up the Official Strategy Guide, but we're also going to bombard you with tips and tricks to keep things rolling smoothly.

Taking Care of Your Sim’s Needs

Just like in previous installments of the game, each Sim has needs that must be met. In The Sims 4, there are a total of six categories that players must keep a watchful eye on. When the game begins, these needs will be displayed with a green bar, and that's the color you want them to be at all times. If you neglect one or more of them as the day drags on, the bar could turn from green to yellow, and even orange and red if things get really bad. Once you get a red bar, there can be some serious consequences, so it's best to stay on top of things as best you can.

In order to check on your Sims and ensure that all their needs are met, click on the smiley face that is in the bottom right corner of the screen. For a full list of needs and the horrible things that can happen if you neglect them, check out our Official Strategy Guide.

Understanding Your Sim’s Aspirations

In The Sims 4, aspirations are long-term goals that will help give your Sim something to work toward. It's also a choice that you'll face right from the Create-a-Sim screen, so understanding the implications of your decision is very important. Here’s the good news. Just as aspirations can change for any human being at any given time, you can also alter the hopes and dreams of your Sims should you decided mid-game that something isn't right. To do this, simply click on the star in the bottom right corner and go to town.

Let's briefly get back to how aspirations affect your Sims throughout their lives. For starters, aspirations will impact their personalities, but also choices when it comes to their careers and skills. To give you an example, if you were to choose the Fortune aspiration, this would cause your Sim to earn more money from their choice of career, where as the Knowledge aspiration might help level up your skills at a slightly faster rate. As mentioned earlier, however, if you choose an aspiration and don't feel that it's paying off, you can always switch things up and go in a completely different direction.

Your Sim’s Emotional Wellbeing

Just as emotions can have an impact on every aspect of our lives, and vice versa, it also applies to your Sim. Their emotional state can dramatically alter the experiences they have throughout the day, just like events throughout the day can alter their emotions.

Let's take the shower, for example. In The Sims 4, the type of shower you take can alter the mood that you're in when it's over. A brisk shower will leave your Sim energized, while a steamy shower will leave them feeling rather flirty. If you're looking to inspire your Sim, you could even go with a more thoughtful shower experience. That's just the tip of the iceberg, however, as your Sims can be influenced by things such as books, television or even having good and bad days at work. To understand this game concept completely, why not check out the Official Strategy Guide? We may suggest it a lot, but it really is the best place to become an expert in Simology.

Understanding Relationships + Social Lives

In The Sims 4, socializing isn't optional. It's a need for each and every Sim in the game. No matter what type of Sim you create, they need to get out of the house and interact with others, and doing so will start to develop two different kinds of relationships.

The first type of relationship is the basic friendship, and this is something that will exist (whether in a positive or negative way) with every other Sim you meet. The second type of relationship is romantic, but this won't be a factor with everyone.

Because relationships play such a large role in the game, it's something that (just like needs) you want to stay on top of. You can view your Sim's social needs by clicking on the smiley face in the bottom right, but you can also view and study your individual relationships as you are speaking or interacting with others. To do this, simply click on the Long Term Relationship window at the top of the screen. This will give you a good idea of where you stand, and the things you need to work on if you hope to woo Bella Goth from her longtime mate, Mortimer.

Sims 4 Digital Guide

Learning + Developing Skills

Skills have always been important in The Sims, and that is no different with The Sims 4. However, learning skills is handled a little bit differently than in the past. This time out, Sims who are teenagers or older will start without any skills at all, but can quickly learn them by doing everyday tasks. For example, your Sim could pick up the cooking skill by trying to make them a meal, although the level they start at might cause the food to be inedible.

This is where the different levels of skills come into play. Your Sim may learn the cooking skill just by starting to cook, but they'll need to develop that from level one to 10 if they hope to master it. The best part is, as they level up, a batch of new options will become available. Sticking with cooking, once you hit level five, you'll unlock the gourmet cooking skill, and this allows your Sim to prepare different recipes than they could in the lower levels.

As we've mentioned before, these beginner's hints are just the tip of the iceberg. The Sims 4 is a complex game that will take you quite a bit of time to master, but you can make that task easier on yourself by checking out the Official Strategy Guide. It takes the concepts and introductions we've given you here and fully explores them. Don't you owe it to your Sim to help them become the best doppelganger they can possibly be?