The next Sims 4 expansion pack is just around the corner, and it brings with it a lot of new content.
The Sims 4: Cottage Living sees your sims move to the idyllic countryside location of Henford-on-Bagley. It’s based on the most picturesque, storybook English country villages, filled with thatched cottages, animals, and friendly neighbours. You can visit your local pub, make friends with the wild rabbits, and have a nice chat with your pet cow.
Like every Sims 4 expansion, Cottage Living adds a lot of new content and systems into the game. We’ve summarised the main new additions below, so you know exactly what you have to look forward to.
As you’d expect, Cottage Living adds in a truckload of new items to the game. The new clothing is country-inspired – there’s khaki bodywarmers, plaid shorts and wellington boots aplenty. You can add thatched roofs to properties you build, and new furnishings have a homely, rustic vibe to them.
In Cottage Living you can raise your own cows, llamas and chickens. You’ll need a cow shed and/or chicken coop to do so, but there’s no limit on how many you can place (as long as you have the space. You can collect milk from your cow, wool from your llama ands eggs from your chickens – and you can create bonds with each of your animals. Just like human sims, you’ll have a bond meter which improves the more you interact with them. You can also befriend wild foxes, rabbits and birds. Unfortunately, you’ll not be able to make these same interactions with pets if you have the Dogs & Cats expansion.
Rare animal produce
Depending on how you treat your animals, you’ll get different produce from them. When they’re very happy and well-looked after, there’s a chance you’ll get rare eggs, wool and milk. If you consume it, it’ll give your sims beneficial properties. Or if you choose to sell it, it’ll be more valuable.
‘Simple Living’ mode
Perhaps the biggest addition to The Sims 4 is ‘Simple Living’. It can be turned on as a lot trait, and doing so essentially disables the ‘magic fridge’ which is so synonymous with The Sims. If you opt for Simple Living, you won’t be able to go to your fridge and make any meal you want; you’ll only be able to make things from ingredients you have. You can go shopping, but most of your produce will come from your own animals or your own plot – you can grow fruits and vegetables. It means your sims can be much more self-sufficient and, played right, you won’t have to rely on a career to make a living.
Order and purchase groceries
If you don’t want to eat only the produce you’ve grown or collected yourself, you can purchase items. You can visit a market stall in the village, which will let you buy what you need, or you can use your mobile phone to order a delivery.
We’ve had ‘lot traits’ for a while, which assign one particular trait to a lot. Cottage Living enables ‘lot challenges’. They’re similar to lot traits, but you can have more than one of them assigned at a time.
The new area introduced by Cottage Living is called Henford-on-Bagley, and it might be the most picturesque of all of Sims 4‘s locations yet. It comes complete with a park, featuring ancient ruins, a village pub, a village square, and the main residential area. There’s a handful of residential lots and two main areas to travel to – the pub/town square, and the park.
Weekly village fairs
Once a week, there’s a village fair held in the town square of Henford-on-Bagley. It’s a good time to mingle with residents, and you can even take part in a weekly competition. Maybe you’ve grown a huge vegetable that you could win a prize for?
You now have a calendar you can access right from the bottom menu. It’ll show you what events are coming up and, specifically for Cottage Living, it’ll tell you what contest is coming up at the next village fair. You’ll need time to prepare your entry, of course. The calendar will be coming to everyone who owns the Sims 4 as a free update.
NPCs will give you errands
There are a number of NPCs around Henford-on-Bagley, all eager to get to know you. Talk to them, and some of them will have errands they’ll need help with; small tasks for your sims to complete. It’s a great way of integrating into village life.
Go fishing for your supper
A river runs through Henford-on-Bagley, and at certain points of the river you can stop to go fishing. Whatever you catch can be yours to keep – you can even cook it for a meal if you’ve opted for Simple Living.
You can die by angry chicken
We’re yet to see this one in action, but you might want to be nice to your chickens: there’s a new way to die in the Sims 4, and it’s all because of them.
New type of ghost
If you happen to get one of your sims killed by that afore-mentioned angry chicken, your sims can turn into a whole new type of ghost. Spoooooky.
Cook together with your children
Children will be able to accompany adults while they cook, learning basic skills in the kitchen (and all-important family bonding time). This won’t be exclusive to Cottage Living either – it’ll be available as a free update for all Sims 4 owners.
Go for a picnic
New to Cottage Living is the ability to pack up your own picnic and go take it outside. You can prepare your own food, pack it in a picnic basket, and add that to your inventory. Then, you can head to the park (or wherever you want to picnic), unpack it, and enjoy.
New cross-stitch skill
There’s a brand new skill for your sims to learn: cross-stitch. Like painting, your sims will eventually create beautiful works of art that you can display or sell.
New ‘animal enthusiast’ trait
All sims have a primary trait, and Cottage Living adds a new one: animal enthusiast. If your sim is an animal enthusiast, they’ll be happiest when interacting with animals, and have a number of animal-related goals to work towards to truly reach their life’s potential.
New ‘lactose intolerant’ trait
Yep, your sims can now be lactose intolerant. Unfortunate if you’ve got your own cow and are relying on a largely-dairy lifestyle.
New ‘country caretaker’ aspiration
Your sims can now aspire to be a ‘country caretaker’. This will go hand-in-hand with animal enthusiast, with your sim’s life goal being to take care of the world and animals around them.
You’ll have new plants that produce different kinds of berries in Cottage Living. You can grow blueberries, raspberries and, er, chocoberries!
New woohoo spot
Finally, the most important update: Cottage Living brings with it a new woohoo spot. You can make sweet, sweet woohoo in the animal shed. Let’s just hope the cow isn’t home at the time.