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The Sims 4's High School Years update has added some deeply unfortunate bugs

Nightmarishly rapid ageing and a desire to commit incest being the worst ones

The Sims 4 High School Years is launching today, but its release looks set to be overshadowed by a couple of major bugs introduced by its supporting update, Patch 132. The patch came out on Tuesday and, if you've played The Sims 4 since then, you'll have automatically downloaded it unless you've been playing offline. While the patch's release coincides with the High School Years expansion and supports a number of its features, it also added several new elements to the ever-evolving base game. These include long-time fan requests like sexual orientation customisation, body hair options, and the return of a wants and fears system in the style of The Sims 2.

Unfortunately, as is often the case, some bugs reared their ugly heads not long after the patch was released; and on this occasion, the problems they cause are hard to ignore. For one thing, it seems The Sims 4's infamous "incest glitch" is back once again, almost as quickly as it was last patched out, with the new wants mechanic causing teenagers to develop a desire to date their favourite siblings. It's not a good look, although mercifully so far it seems like toddlers and children are at least being left out of the unpleasantness on this occasion.

One thing younger Sims aren't immune to, however, is the rapid ageing bug which seems to have affected all save files using "short" or "long" lifespans, which are available as part of The Sims 4's gameplay modification options. Instead of their age counter ticking up once per in-game day, Sims in these saves are ageing much faster, and the unnerving result is a cradle-to-grave cycle that can last just a few real-world minutes.

Luckily, there's a work-around for the ageing bug, although it's not an especially brilliant one. Players whose games are affected are recommended to hold off playing anything other than a default ("normal") lifespan save until the issue — which is already actively under investigation by the dev team — is resolved. This apparently means starting a brand new save if you don't have one handy, since it seems adjusting the affected saves' lifespan settings or even turning ageing off altogether isn't necessarily halting the problem once it begins.

This isn't the first bit of Sims DLC released in recent months to be plagued by glitches early on. However, an overwhelming urge to mack on your sister is definitely more problematic than, *ahem*, rubbing your ear on your new spouse's face during the wedding reception.

The Sims 4 High School Years will release later today (July 28th) for £35/$40/€40. It brings with it a franchise-first in the form of on-screen high school activities; along with other new and returning features including amusement parks, fashion preferences and thrifting, and an overhaul of in-game social media to better reflect the tastes of Generation Z. If you buy the pack before September 8th you'll also get access to the exclusive three-item Vibing Streamer Gear digital add-on… although, given what's going on, you might want to hold off playing altogether until the next patch comes through.

About the Author

Rebecca Jones avatar

Rebecca Jones

Guides Writer

Rebecca can usually be found working through her latest fiction-induced anguish by recreating all those lovely doomed characters in The Sims. She is known for being able to work Tomb Raider or Ace Attorney into any conversation, no matter how seemingly unrelated the topic. She also loves horror games and will play them at any opportunity, despite the fact that they make her so panicked she once threw her controller in a self-defence reflex. (The controller survived; Rebecca's dignity did not.)

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