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The Best Sims 4 Challenges - 10 Ways to Make the Sims 4 Harder (without mods)

I don't know about you, but sometimes I find playing the Sims with a perfect, financially secure family who are all good people tends to get a little boring! That's why I've come up with a list of ways to make The Sims 4 more challenging and create an uphill struggle for your Sims. Because if we all have to suffer and have human experiences so should they - it’s only fair!

1 - Simple Living Extreme

I personally love playing off-grid farming-style games in the Sims and I feel like there’s always a lot to do on the farm which keeps things busy. One way to make this style of gameplay even more challenging is to use the Simple Living Lot Challenge, which means your Sims can only cook when they have all the necessary ingredients for a particular dish in their fridge. However, I like to take this a bit further and set myself the extra challenge of never being able to order food or seeds. Essentially, this means any food your sims cook has to be made from scavenged, fished, or home-grown ingredients. If you want to make it even harder consider keeping plants outside so that you can only eat produce that’s in season. This challenge is especially difficult when combined with the Off-Grid lot challenge because if you run out of power for even a few hours lots of the produce in the fridge will go off, leaving your sim hungry.

  • Apply the Simple Living and Off-Grid lot challenges

  • Any seeds must be scavenged for and found in the world

  • All plants must be kept outdoors so that they can only grow in-season

  • You cannot order food or ingredients - fish, scavenge or grow them

2 - Roommate From Hell

One fun thing to do now that there are sentiments in the game is to create a household where people have bad relationships. For example, you could create two roommates who despise each other and regularly argue. This will give them negative sentiments toward each other and make them angry or sad often whenever they're at home. As a result, it will be harder for them to build their skills and you as a player will have to be more active in going out and meeting other people to fulfill their social needs. To make the lot even more uncomfortable, you can add the Mean Vibe lot trait. This trait will cause Sims to become angry more quickly than usual, contributing to the chaos.

  • Make two roommates who are enemies

  • Apply the Mean Vibe lot trait

  • Let the chaos erupt

3 - Part-Timer Challenge

Something I do a lot when playing is preventing my Sims from having full-time jobs or careers in order to limit their income and have more time to do hobbies and social activities. It’s honestly quite hard to survive paying bills if you work as a part-time barista or only do a few odd jobs per week. Not making much money also makes the game feel more realistic as you are usually struggling to make ends meet and have to second-guess purchases or wasting money on drinking or eating out.

  • Sims are only allowed to hold part-time jobs or do three odd jobs per week

  • Sims are not allowed to make an income above 100 Simoleons a week from hobbies or skills outside of work

4 - Rags To Riches Extreme

Another way to create money problems for your Sims is by taking on the Rags to Riches Challenge. This challenge involves starting with no money or house and working your way out of poverty. If this isn't difficult enough for you, there are additional rules you can add to make it even harder. One way to do this is to set the rule that sims aren’t allowed to sell items from their inventory without using a retail store or selling table. You could also deduct money from the household funds whenever you travel to a new location. And, if you want to be really extreme you could ban them from using public showers or grills so that they have to live completely in the wilderness.

  • Start on an empty lot with no money or possessions

  • You are not allowed to get a job

  • You are not allowed to sell items from a Sim's inventory without using a selling table, retail store or going in person to a shop

  • You are not allowed to use public showers or grills to make food

  • Whenever a sim travels, deduct 20 Simoleons from the household funds

5 - Fast Mode Challenge

This next one is maybe more on the stupid end of these challenges but one super easy way to make the sims more difficult is playing the game on really high speed. This gets super chaotic super quickly especially if you have free will turned on and multiple sims in the household. But if you’re just looking for a fun and quick challenge to play you should try it out and see how well you can manage everything.

  • Play the game on speed 3, no pausing or slowing down allowed!

6 - Maximum Chores Challenge

Now, this may seem obvious, but many times when playing, impatience gets the best of us and we help clean up plates or garbage on our Sim's lot. To make your Sim's life harder, refrain from helping them do anything and consider adding extra chores for them to do on a daily basis. In addition to general cleaning, add laundry baskets and daily tasks such as brushing your Sim's teeth. You can also use the Reduce and Recycle Lot Challenge that came with Eco Lifestyle to add dealing with garbage as a new chore.

Another thing that makes things easier is cooking everything in big servings so that there are always leftovers. To make things more challenging, try having your Sim cook single portions of everything they eat instead, which will take up much more time. You can also extend this challenge to raising children. For example, impose rules such as only feeding toddlers in a high chair or not allowing them to use iPads to build skills. All of these constraints will make it more difficult to help your Sims with their needs and create extra daily challenges in the game.

  • Sims must brush their teeth twice a day

  • Sims can only cook meals in single portions

  • Every chore that can be added must be added - i.e. add laundry and the Reduce & Recycle lot challenge

  • Toddlers can only be fed in high chairs

  • Toddlers are not allowed to use iPads to build skills

  • Children and teenagers must always have an adult help them with homework

7 - Runaway Teen Pregnancy Challenge

Now, another classic Sims challenge that always makes the game harder is the runaway teen or runaway teen pregnancy challenge. In this challenge, you run away from home and have to raise a baby with no money or house - in a similar starting fashion to Rags to Riches challenges. Although this challenge is already difficult, you can make it even harder by imposing some extra story rules. For example, the teen must avoid speaking to adults or family members in order to stay a "runaway". Another way to increase the difficulty is to use testing cheats to alter your household funds every time your Sim leaves a child alone. This way, even with a part-time job, they will still need to pay for childcare costs. You can also set rules for skill levels and school grades your child is required to have before aging up to extend the challenge further.

  • Start on an empty lot with no money or possessions

  • The teen is not allowed to have a job until becoming a Young Adult, though can opt for a part-time job or do odd jobs

  • The teen is not allowed to age up until mastering one skill

  • The teen is not allowed to talk to Young Adults, Adults or Elders

  • The teen is not allowed to go to High School

  • If a child is left alone, deduct 20 Simoleons per hour while away for childcare costs

  • Toddlers can only age up after maxing out two skills

  • Children and teens can only age up after achieving an A in school and maxing out two skills

8 - Demon Child Challenge

Also along the same vein of using children to make the Sims harder is by playing a single-parent family with children who have difficult traits. In general, I notice players tend to create Sims with only ‘good’ traits and I feel like this gets boring really quickly. Try making a Sims with at least one negative trait every time and the game will start to get a lot more complex. However, for this challenge specifically, I like to make a child with all bad traits. This creates chaos for the struggling parent and it’s super fun to play as the naughty child.

  • Create a single-parent family

  • Any children must have only negative traits

  • A child or teen can only age up when all of their Character Values are within the negative trait range

9 - No Build/Buy Mode Challenge

Now this next challenge is super hard! The goal is to fully furnish your home without buying any furniture from Build Buy mode. This means that everything you own must be found on community lots, in dumpsters, or crafted using the Handiness, Fabrication, and Painting skills. If your Sim is a kleptomaniac, you can also swipe objects from other Sims to create your perfect home. There are a lot of skills and ways to acquire objects in the Sims right now especially if you have expansion packs so there are a lot of creative ways to approach this challenge.

  • Start with an empty shell of a house

  • You cannot buy any furniture from Build/Buy mode

  • The challenge is complete when you have a fully functional house and no longer have to use community lots to shower, eat or sleep

10 - Extreme Lot Challenges

I've already mentioned a few of the lot challenges you can use to make things harder for your Sims. However, stacking these challenges up can really add an element of randomness and danger to the game. For example, lot challenges like Gremlins will cause your appliances to break more often, resulting in more death and fire risks than normal. Other challenges, such as Volcanic Activity and Grody, will result in negative moodlets and reactions for your Sims when performing everyday tasks. Just add a few of these challenges to your lot and things will start to deteriorate really quickly!

  • Apply every single lot challenge at once and see how long you can survive

Thanks for reading! If you have any other challenge ideas, I'd love to hear about them in the comments below :)

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