If you’ve ever approached a new save file in The Sims 4 with a goal in mind—whether that’s becoming a world famous chef or a Sim serial killer—chances are you made it happen without too much trouble. Your Sim's entire life of building up a career or raising a family can play out in just a few hours. I wish real life was that easy, but I often find myself looking at my family of accomplished Sims and asking: “What now?”
That’s where Sims challenges come in. These player-made rulesets can add a bit of purpose and motivation to your playthrough, giving you a few clearly defined goals and restrictions for when the default Sims experience leaves you at a loose end.
Although The Sims 4 now has official challenge-style modes called Scenarios, Sims players have been making up their own rules for years. Throughout the nearly 25 year history of the Sims, players have created and iterated upon countless challenges ranging from the mundane to the charming to the flat out disturbing. Here are six of the best across the board (with no mods or expansions required!).
Rags to Riches Challenge
Rags to Riches is perhaps the most popular challenge in The Sims 4, and for a good reason—it fulfills nearly every player’s goal of raising rich Sims. To challenge yourself to Rags to Riches, start a new game, ship your Sim off to an empty lot, and use Sims 4 cheats to wipe every last Simoleon from their bank account. (Ctrl+Shift+C to open the cheat console and the code “Money 0” is the quick and easy way.)
From there you’ll couch surf, gym shower, and forage your way to financial freedom. Or, if you’re feeling particularly devious, you can also steal, lie, and cheat your way there. No judgment.
Technically that's the entire challenge: find a way to get rich. If you want more structure, SnootySims’ rules entail meeting a set of goals like becoming a homeowner, starting a family, and growing a career. Looking for added difficulty? Try only earning money through the non-career path of your choice, like painting, gardening, or stealing. SimishGamer, who SnootySims credits for the original challenge, also has a harder version called the Rags to Riches Mega Challenge.
100 Baby Challenge
Albeit mildly tedious and disturbing, the 100 Baby Challenge is a classic test of endurance that fans have embraced since The Sims 2. It's been transformed countless times over the years to keep up with new games and expansions. The main goal of this one has stayed the same over time: Have 100 babies with just one matriarch per generation.
Sims have pretty short lifespans and the challenge rules prevent you from having a baby with the same Sim twice. That means it can be a bit tricky to accomplish this in under a few generations, not to mention the horrible conditions you’ll probably create for your poor Sim babies. But if you’re on the hunt for even more of a challenge, in line with Snarky Sims’ original ruleset, try throwing a few occult children into the mix and keep their status a secret to any outsiders.
Legacy Challenge (and its many variations)
The Legacy Challenge has spawned the greatest number of variations out of any Sims 4 challenge. You’ll start this challenge similarly to Rags to Riches—alone and on an empty lot. The difference here is that your goal is to build a family and grow it for a set number of generations, making it more of a test of familial bonds than financial growth.
The original Legacy Challenge is a great pick on its own, but most players opt for a different variation, and there are a lot to choose from.
- Keep your family going for 26 generations in the Alphabet Legacy Challenge
- Make your way through 10 colors and defined personalities in the Not So Berry Challenge
- Live through history (and the invention of new technologies) in the Decades Challenge
- For a much faster pace, there’s the Nightmare Legacy Challenge where you’ll have to complete an aspiration, reach level 10 of your career, have a kid, and max out 2 skills for 10 generations, all while playing on the short lifespan setting.
Black Widow Challenge
If the 100 Baby Challenge sounds appealing but is still a little bit too wholesome for your cold-hearted tastes, the Black Widow Challenge is the way to go. In this challenge, you’ll get settled in town, build a relationship with a romantic interest, and hold the wedding of your dreams. Lovely, right? Don’t get too attached, because you’ll have to get caught cheating on your spouse, kill them off, and marry the Sim you cheated on them with, only to cheat and kill again and again and again.
Continue the cycle until you reach a milestone of your choice—some goals players have added over the years have been collecting 10 spouse graves or maxing out your Charisma and Cooking skills before death, the latter presumably being to lure new victims in with ease.
Runaway Teen Challenge
Similar to Rags to Riches, in the Runaway Teen Challenge you’ll find yourself starting out broke and scrounging around for resources. This time acting as a teenager on the lam, which comes with more restrictions. Since you're afraid of getting caught, you can’t work, attend school, use your phone, or talk to adults.
Instead, you’ll have to fend for yourself using the same techniques as in Rags to Riches, just with a lot more difficulty and waiting around to grow up. As detailed in Stormy Dayz Gamez’ rules, your best bet here is foraging and gardening until your Sim’s birthday comes up. Then these restrictions will drop and your playthrough essentially becomes a slightly different version of Rags to Riches, just with a slightly sadder backstory (but a much greater sense of accomplishment).
The Apocalypse Challenge has one of the most detailed rulesets in the Sims 4. In the wake of an apocalypse, your Sim’s career will determine the role they play in rebuilding society. When you start out though, things are going to be pretty rough for a while. According to the original rules, you’ll have to work your way to the top of each career before removing each career’s associated restrictions, whether that’s being unable to sell build mode items until becoming a top investor or being forced to have babies and being banned from showering (yikes) until growing into an ace reporter.
It’s a tough challenge to take on, but if you’re up for the task of rebuilding Sim society, there’s a detailed score sheet that’ll help you track which of the challenge’s many restrictions are left to clear.