Heavy Petting: The Sims 4 Adds Pools

Who lives in a house like this?

Swimming pools are an iconic murdermachine in The Sims, but one can also use them for swimming. I know, I’d almost forgotten too. Pools were absent from The Sims 4 at launch, but EA this week added them as part of their plan to patch in things one would expect in a Sims game. Enough grumbling, they’re here now and lawks, what pools they are! I had never before considered the possibility of a house bulging with swimming pools like beautiful glass pustules.

Pools in The Sims 4 can be built on top of and all over houses, Maxis explain, enabling gorgeous aquatic architecture. Pools also bring swimming costumes, poolside socialising, drowned ghosts, and other watery things. Do watch this trailer, as some of those pool designs really are splendid:

Maxis are embracing the oddity of Sims bugs too, as the patch notes also include changes like:

  • Children will no longer levitate when attempting to blow out the candles of a cake on a counter.
  • Fixed an issue with Ghosts possessing Grills, that would cause them to open the grill, examine the contents, close the grill, and then jump in. We have informed the ghosts that the contents of the grill will have no bearing upon their dietary preferences, nor will they be viewed any differently for choosing to possess a grill when they just feel like possessing a grill.
  • Fixed an issue where Sims refused to clean up books if the action was initiated through the bookshelf. It seems Sims prefer to be told directly, rather than the bookshelf leaning over and whispering “Hey, my books are showing.”
  • Fixed an issue that resulted in elder female Sims forgetting they had two legs, and instead walking with a one-legged stutter step, “Pardon me m’lady, but you have two legs.”

A good series for entertaining patch notes, The Sims.


  1. Ahtaps says:

    When you read those patch notes after seeing Twitch chat for a while (where Grill == Girl) they go to a very weird and awkward place very quickly.
    In other news, the Sims are something I’ve always been curious about when hearing the fascinating and humorous stories but I’m always worried that if I delve into it, nothing exciting will happen for me. I demand my digital homunculi amuse me!

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      It can happen, especially if you’re fixated on certain goals, even more so when you’re a new player that doesn’t know how to best optimise everything, in which case you would more or less end up in an infinite cycle of needs fulfilling and work hours.

      It gets better though, and as you ( as the player ) get better you’ll be able to obtain more rewards, including the elimination ( or sharp reduction ) of a lot of needs, which help immensely your sim to actually, you know, have a life.

      I wouldn’t say that you NEED those perks especially if you’re experienced, but they can really be something big when you want to control more Sims at once, which can get pretty hardcore if you want only the best for them.

      A tip would be to either start with just one sim or alternatively if you want a family i would advise against being too much ambitious. Try to have fun with them rather than asking for the best. The latter can come with time.

      • aleander says:

        It can happen, especially if you’re fixated on certain goals, even more so when you’re a new player that doesn’t know how to best optimise everything, in which case you would more or less end up in an infinite cycle of needs fulfilling and work hours.

        Great, an existential crisis, just what I needed at 3pm.

  2. Harlander says:

    Give them their due, those are some fancy looking pools.

    Hey, hivemind, have you considered a semi-regular feature on funny patch notes? ;)

    • DrollRemark says:

      Eww, no thank you.

    • JohnnyPanzer says:

      When I was beta testing Star Wars Galaxies, the patch note “Admiral Ackbar is now wearing pants” made me sit up and take notice. Sort of ruined all future funny patch notes for me…

  3. padger says:

    Latest Sims is pretty good, I think. Does feel like a basic shape to plug DLC into, however, and if they stick to that pattern with the series people are going to drift away, imo. You want to get a big whack of stuff for the base game.

    (That said, what is there to drift to? Not like anyone has created a successful rival.)

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      I think TS4 is the one with the most potential given the right amount of time.

      Some of the best features of TS3 were lost, but then again they didn’t really go away without something else in return, especially the way better tools all around and some more variety in the basegame, especially on activities and jobs.

      Sure, we lack the “base” jobs ( which are coming with the next patch btw ) but then again TS3 only had the boring ones, just as it had only the base skils. All in all, to be fair, TS3 screamed ” I need expansions! ” just as much if not more than TS4. It was better received because it was a big shift coming from TS2, with the open world and CaSt, but that also created a lot of problems which got even worse as expansions piled up.

      TS4 feels reasonable. It added a lot of cool things and most of what it did cut was performance related. Any loading time i get is far shorter than the time needed to save the game in TS3 ( and saves got often corrupted ), there is no stuttering and everything is smooth. I can see it getting exponentially better with expansions rather than being destroyed with problems.

      As a last point, they at least removed the store, which is a big thing, and the planned monthly schedule for free content patches is something rather huge, if it keeps going. Even if it doesn’t hold for another whole year, you’ll still get a far meatier basegame than any other Sims game at the end of the cycle.

      • richlamp says:


        The Sims 4 base game is clearly the best base so far. I think a combination of expansions/rose tinted nostalgia glasses stop people from seeing that.

        I can understand why someone would still prefer to play a fully expanded Sims 3 over the Sims 4 but 4 has the potential to be something special.

        And my girlfriend and I haven’t come close to tiring of the base game so far.

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      Well, as you note, there really is no competition. There have been a few games that tried to mimic the style of the Sims, such as the atrocious Singles, but they’ve never come close to the robust features and game design of The Sims. In fact, nearly every Sims-like game that has come along has been a disaster either due to bugs or to a severe lack of content. The Sims is a very complicated game series to develop. Not just the AI routines, but the entire thing; making sure that animations work when they’re supposed to and that all of the various object tags are correct, that they work with each age group, each sex, and that the various model types for the SIms (skinny, fat, etc.) don’t cause issues. It’s a really big undertaking. And that’s just objects. Now include baking the map, walkmeshes, jobs, interactions, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.

      As far as content and expansions, the Sims 2 really set the bar with expansions, University and Seasons being the two biggest ones for me. It’s hard to put as much content as was in all of the expansions into the base game of the sequel, so Maxis usually just puts some of the bigger features from the previous production run into the sequel’s base game and adds additional flair and functionality with the expansions. It would take a very long production cycle to make The Sims 4 be as feature-complete as The Sims 3 with all of its expansions, and I doubt EA is fine with Maxis taking a decade to make a Super Complete The Sims sequel that will have 5 or 6 expansions worth of content at launch and would probably cost around $150 to $200, or more.

      I’m not accusing the OP of this, but I have noticed in other comments on The Sims 4, Blood Bowl 2, and a few other titles that there’s this idiotic trend of thought that I keep seeing where people think that developers are required to have all of their prior expansion content in a sequel. Which is insane. I don’t recall people shitting all over Starcraft because Blizzard decided to release expansions rather than put everything in the base game. Speaking of which, where is the irate hate for Blizzard taking 3 years to release their first expansion? I honestly can’t help but think that these people making these demands don’t have any understanding of how designing and building games works. Because, if they did have any semblance of understanding, I would think they would immediately realize how asinine their demands are.

      All that being said, I haven’t played Sims 4 yet. I was on the fence for a while, but after watching some livestreams and Let’s Play vids, I’ve changed my mind and will likely be picking it up as an XMas gift to myself. There are certainly things to complain about with The Sims 4, but there are also features that are a noted improvement.

      An example of things being removed, but tweaked to be better is this: The Sims 3 has open towns, where you can wander wherever you want without a loading screen. Which is great, but this causes a bit of a performance hit, too. Sims 4 has neighborhoods with about 5 or 6 lots in each one and requires a loading screen when you wish to visit another lot. However, you can visit lots from other towns with only a loading screen. In Sims 3, you had to pack up your house and move if you wanted to go to visit another town. Is it perfect? No, but it’s a nice trade-off, ands one that I’m certainly willing to accept.

  4. johnny5 says:

    Well I’m glad they added pools, but the lack of open world is a deal breaker for me. I don’t plan to ever switch over from the Sims 3, even if they added all the content that should be base game by now like Seasons.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Seasons should have been basegame in TS3 too since it was an expansion for TS2. TS3 received the same amount of flack on release, with people raging that we got “just” an openworld in exchange for all that stuff. This cycle is neverending and sooner or later TS4 will be in the spot TS3 is now.

      Let’s please abandon this bandwagon.

      • stupid_mcgee says:

        “Let’s please abandon this bandwagon.”

        Yes, please. It’s silly. Fundamentally silly and asinine.

    • RedViv says:

      Thus spoke johnny5. He rotated on his chair for a while, moments stretching to minutes stretching to hours, pondering what signs the world would send next, the concept of time losing all meaning. A short growl from below encouraged him to seek out the kitchen.
      On his return he carried a plate of crêpes, two broiled hens, and a jug of finest freshly tapped wine. Finishing up this fine meal, entertained by the Complete Tolkien-Jackson Deluxe fusion of the Hobbit and LotR films run twice over, he finally was greeted with what he had been waiting for. The light at the end of a tunnel of boredom. His six ingame week savegame of TS3 had finally loaded up.
      Johnny5 smiled.

      • guygodbois00 says:

        Thanks for the excellent comment. Great read. +1, etc

      • SanguineAngel says:


      • WaytoomanyUIDs says:

        I dunno what you guys do to your save games, longest a save is ever taken to load for me in TS3 is 5 minutes. Then I learned about turning off Memories and running the save through Save Cleaner, and it went down to 2. And IMO that’s still to long.

  5. Monggerel says:


  6. Mungrul says:

    The best thing about Sims 4?
    While people are criticising the removal of things like Create-a-Style and the open world, these serve to make the game buttery smooth.

    When Sims 4 came out, I went back and reinstalled Sims 3 and all the expansions I had for it, and it runs like a dog. While the framerate is constant and high, the game is constantly hitching as it loads everything into memory.

    And I’m sure this is purely down to the sheer amount of stuff available in any given scenario. Custom coloured everything, swathes of unique game world objects with massive amounts of interactions that increase depending on other content you have installed, massively long load-times, even on SSD, just assets overflowing.

    Sure, when it’s playable, it’s a joy, with seemingly limitless things for your Sims to do. But the performance is just unacceptable.
    Sims 4 has quite obviously been reined back in scope to ensure when it DOES expand, it does so gracefully.
    I must admit, I’m finding I’m already pushing the limits of what I can do with the Sims 4 in its current form, but I can understand why they’ve changed the things they have. It’s going to age a lot more gracefully than Sims 3.

    Loss of Create-a-Style still stings though.

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      Create-a-Style was a brilliant idea, but I can certainly understand cutting it. I can only imagine that it must have been a bit of a pain to deal with, on the development side, and added a bit more loading overhead, since The Sims is such a content-rich game and it would have to load all those preferences for everything every time it loaded an interior and Sim.

  7. Bugamn says:

    Did they just embrace pools as death chambers in that trailer?

  8. LionsPhil says:

    HAH! We knew they’d add this back in as exploitative early DL—

    —wait, what? Patch? As in, free?

    It’s like I just don’t understand you any more, EA.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      HAH! Last thing we know, DA:I might even turn out good! Imagine that!

      In all seriousness though, i heard the reviews are going to come out one week before release, this bodes really well. Sure, their confidence might be misplaced but it’s still nice.

      BTW, next free patch is gonna be more jobs ( and rewards ).

  9. narutofan595 says:

    Is the house pictured above available to download into our games?

  10. KaitlynQu33n says:

    I think this base game exceeds all other base games so far in The Sims franchise, as it should. People should not be comparing The Sims 4 to any other game because 1) it is a completely new game 2) it is only a base game, it is not built but over a decade like the other games. The graphics exceed any other game.
    As for these “open worlds” people are wanting, The Sims 3 was very laggy, it had a lot of problems and what they have learned from that is it is just not possible to keep everything open, the game just crashed too much and you’d have to have a super computer to be able to run it smoothly for hours like most sims players want to do and in a closed world it would take just as long as with a loading screen to reach a lot as it would with an open world because it takes so long to load and you aren’t wasting sim time & your time. However, I don’t think its unreasonable to ask for open neighborhoods, having 4-6 houses loaded with public space would be nice, but for now, it’s fine how it is and I don’t really think the producers will ever open up the neighborhoods, let alone the entire worlds.
    As for content of this game, there are more items than any other base game, I think i saw where someone counted over 1,000 items. That is impressive and gives us more to work with within just a base game.
    Build mode has improved severely compared to past games, it is easy to use, but has enough tools to satisfy those of us who love building and get very detailed. There are a few things to work on but most things will just be added with time.
    CAS has also improved greatly. Customization is a huge part of this game and i think they have hit the nail on the head with CAS. With the base game there is a huge variety of clothing, accessories, and hairstyles.
    Now i think gameplay is lacking. There is a lot of detail in animation and landscaping which i greatly appreciate because it makes the game feel more real but there is not a lot to do with your sims. This is expected out of a base game though, and I felt this way when I played The Sims 2 base game, and the sims 3 base game. More things to do with your sims will come with EP’s.
    I like how they are adding things in patches, such as pools and ghosts. These things are classics in the Sims franchise and is to be expected in a base game, even if it’s a few months late.
    Another thing that I don’t think would be a huge lag on the game is just a color wheel, we don’t need the entire CASt, but I think a color wheel for CAS and build mode is necessary. We don’t need all the obscure patterns we had before in sims 3, but we need at least a color wheel!
    Now I have a huge complaint. Careers, mailmen, cars, any other services, paperboy. We don’t have cars, we don’t get into taxi’s, we don’t see the pizza man pull up to our curb, or the mailman, we can see our sims walk onto the trolley’s, our sims just walk off the lot and go *poof* when they go to their job. This is worse than “rabbit holes” at least when we had rabbit holes in The Sims 3 we go to see them walk into the building that coordinated with their career, now they just disappear and it just feels so fake. I wish they would make a separate world that had a few neighborhoods and in these neighborhoods would be buildings for careers, city hall, business complex, a restaurant (or 2), police station, Fire station, hair salon, spa, movie theatre, grocery store, bookstore, library, hospital, schools. Maybe have City hall, Police station, Fire station and hospital all in one neighborhood, the main part of the town. Have the business complex, 1 resturant, school, library, and bookstore in one neighborhood. Then have the grocery store, spa, salon, movie theatre, and another restaurant in this neighborhood. Then have a neighborhood with a bar, a gym, a lounge, other entertaining places. Then have a main park with a family area for barbeques, have an area dedicated to new sports (soccer, basketball, volleyball, tennis) swing sets, basic park things. Then they can name this world “Business District” or “Downtown” obviously I do not expect something like this in a patch, maybe a EP with a theme along the lines of “ambitions” “open for business” “downtown”
    This world would open opportunities for sims such as entertaining places to be, new skills, new jobs (nursing/doctors, part time jobs[grocery store clerk, spa assistant, book store clerk, ticket taker @ movie theatre], teachers, fire fighter, policemen, Politian, businessmen, journalists, cooks, stylists, musical entertainers, composers)
    Most of these places would most likely be rabbit holes but at least you have the feeling of going downtown and enjoying a movie like you did in the sims 3. Rabbit holes are not your enemy, but in some cases they were over used, like at restaurants, grocery stores, spas. Maybe schools.
    This is the only real thing that I think is missing from the base game, but I doubt we would get something like this in a patch.
    Overall this game is a step up from any other, just lacking some content and depth that the sims 3 base game had.