The Sims 4 Cottage Living Expansion Pack introduces farming, livestock, canning, cross-stitch, and more in the charming town of Henford-on-Bagley.
After many years of fan requests, the ability to farm comes to The Sims 4 in The Sims 4 Cottage Living Expansion Pack. In The Sims 4 Cottage Living, Sims can enter a new town called Henford-on-Bagley near the swimmable Bagley river and will build a rustic cottage, grow their own food, raise and interact with new animals, and run errands for their neighbors or participate in challenges. Based on a simple country lifestyle, Cottage Living brings many new gameplay mechanics to the Sims franchise and offers fans new ways to tell their stories.
While the main features of The Sims 4 Cottage Living are farming and raising livestock, there are also many smaller features fans can look forward to. Sims can finally order groceries, and rather than always having a chance to cook any recipe that suits them, what they can cook will depend on the food they have available in their fridge. The DLC also comes with a new Aspiration, two new traits including the dietary trait Lactose Intolerant, several wild animals like foxes and rabbits, new activities and skills like canning and cross-stitch, and new mechanics specifically for child Sims and family players.
In a special press preview event, developer Antonio Romeo, better known as SimGuruRomeo, highlighted four key features of The Sims 4 Cottage Living. These include:
- Get Cozy: Players build and decorate their own cottage and get to know their neighbors and villagers, including the infamous Agnes and Agatha Crumplebottom who finally make their Sims 4 debut. Sims can run errands for NPCs to earn rewards.
- Plant Your Roots: Sims can plant their own oversized vegetables or purchase fresh food from vendors in town or at the fridge to cook new recipes.
- Have a Cow: Sims raise, breed, and befriend cows, llamas, and chickens and get new resources like milk, wool, and eggs. The quality of these resources will depend on the Sim’s relationship to the animal and the animal’s happiness level. Sims can also interact with adorable rabbits, colorful birds, and sneaky foxes, though these are not domesticated.
- Feed Your Soul: Sims can get to know the rich community of Henford-on-Bagley, designed after the English countryside. They can craft preserves to keep or sell or cross-stitch artwork for their home. They can even enter their produce, pies, and livestock at Finchwick, the weekly town fair for prizes.
In addition, fans can expect new country-themed Create-a-Sim and Build and Buy items to help them craft their perfect cottagecore dream. This includes the Animal Shed item, in which only one cow or llama can be kept at a time (and which serves as a new WooHoo spot), the Chicken Coop, which can hold up to eight chickens and chicks, and the Garden Patch, which can grow four small, two medium, or a single large crop. Sims 4 players who purchase the DLC before September 2 will also receive three free bonus items: a lighted tree, a statue of a gnome riding a chicken, and a rideable bike.
There are multiple new interactions for both Child and Adult Sims to use with animals. Sims can feed llamas and cows special treats to change their color, chat with and pet or brush them, and unlock costumes to dress them up. Players will need to be careful to avoid a new possible Sim death, Death by Chicken or Death by Rabbit. These can occur if Sims manage to anger either kind of animal. If they befriend birds and rabbits in the wild, like at Cordelia Falls in the Bramble Wood area, Sims can add a bird home or rabbit home to their lot, and these creatures will help them with their gardening and sometimes bring them gifts. Sims can sing with birds to improve their relationship and have a Disney moment where birds will soar around them and sit on their finger to join the song. If fans have The Sims 4 Cats and Dogs, pets will react to the livestock and help defend their owners and livestock from foxes, but they won’t interact outright with the new animals.
The Sims 4 Cottage Living also comes with a new mechanic called Lot Challenges. Stemming from Lot Traits, these challenges make home life more or less difficult for Sims. Players can choose whether wild foxes can come to their lot and terrorize their chickens, birds, and rabbits, whether they want to try to live entirely Off the Grid, and whether they want to live off their own land and produce all their own food. Lot Challenges can allow players a chance to tell new stories and roleplay bygone eras before the rise of modern technology.
For fans not yet interested in the Cottage Living Expansion Pack can also benefit from a base game update coming at launch. This update will include the ability for Adult and Child Sims to cook together as a family and for Child Sims to garden on their own, both of which help develop their Mental skills. They can also make use of the Water Tool, a terraforming option that will allow them to dig holes and trenches and fill them with water of varying depths. Players can even stock these ponds with fish and place a fishing sign to make a custom fishing spot with the rarest offerings in the game. Most exciting, the Calendar, a feature introduced in The Sims 4 Seasons, will officially come to base game when Cottage Living releases. Soon, Sims can always plan events in advance and know what festivals and activities are coming up in their neighborhood.
There is great potential for The Sims 4 Cottage Living to be one of the fan-favorite Expansion Packs, especially given how long fans have been asking for farming. While the crop-growing mechanic is still somewhat shallow, and while fans still can’t own or ride horses like they could in The Sims 3, features like llamas, canning, cross-stitch, improved family play, and NPC quests are welcome additions that keep The Sims 4 somewhat distinct from its predecessor.
The Sims 4 Cottage Living launches simultaneously for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on July 22, 2021. Screen Rant attended a special preview event and received an Early Alpha PC Code for the purpose of this preview.
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