The Sims 4, the latest instalment in the hugely popular life simulation game franchise, was announced by EA in May 2013 but didn't hit the shelves until September 2014, followed by the Mac release in February 2015.
But when are the next the Sims 4 expansion packs coming out, and what will they be called? Here, we bring you the official Sims 4 release date news, and also take a closer look at the new features, screenshots and trailers for the PC game.
If you're looking for information about the version for consoles, visit The Sims 4 for PS4 & Xbox One latest news.
What are the current The Sims 4 Expansion Packs?
EA launched The Sims 4 on PC in 2014, then in February 2015 for Mac as a digital download from the Origin store. If you already downloaded the game for PC but now wish to play it on your Mac, you can do so simply by using the product code on the box. All buyers of the Mac version will get a PC copy and vice versa.
Since then, EA has released several expansion packs and stuff packs for players of The Sims 4, the first of which arrived in April 2015. It was called The Sims 4: Get To Work, and introduced new career paths for Sims. The Sims 4: Get To Work expansion pack is available from the Origin store for both PC and Mac here.
The second expansion pack for The Sims 4 was announced in August 2015. It's called Get Together, and it was released in December of 2015. You can find out more about The Sims 4 Get Together by reading on, and it's available to buy now here.
The third Expansion Pack released by EA for The Sims 4 is called City Living, which arrived in November of 2016. You can find out more below and buy City Living now here.
When is the next Sims Expansion Pack coming out?
On 21 August, EA announced a long-awaited Expansion Pack for The Sims 4: Cats & Dogs.
Not only will you now be able to add furry family members to your game, you'll also be able to embark on a new career path as a vet, running your very own clinic. It's just cats and dogs for now, though we're holding out hope for more diverse animals in the future.
The Sims 4 Cats & Dogs will be available for £34.99 from 9 November. You can pre-order it here.
The Sims 4 Expansion Packs: What's new in Cats & Dogs?
Cats & Dogs brings lots of the elements that we loved in The Sims 3 Pets to the newer version of the game, with a new Create A Pet tool to allow you to personalise your cat or dog's appearance. You can even dress your pet in various cute accessories.
We spoke to Sims 4 executive producer Lyndsay Pearson at Gamescom 2017, who told us that the big focus of the new expansion is customisability.
"We wanted to make it really easy to make your pet. We took a look at how we approached Create A Sim for The Sims 4 in the first place, and really made it feel easy to push and pull things, and make your Sim look like somebody you know, and we took the same philosophy and put it on pets.
Because pet coats are such a big deal, we had to give you that extra level of ‘I need that white spot on the eye, or the white paw, that white tail,' whatever it may be."
Cats and dogs in The Sims 4 have minds of their own, which means you'll be able to train them and watch their personalities develop. Pearson told us that she thinks "people will really be surprised at how much personality comes out."
As for why it's taken so long to get pets into the game? "Cats and dogs, aside from building the game in the first place, are probably the hardest thing we do," she explained. "They are a completely different setup from a human obviously. They don’t share any animations or technologies or models."
The new veteniarian career lets you run your own clinic, hire staff and look after all of the animals in the neighbourhood.
Talking of the neighbourhood, it's new. You'll now be able to explore Brindleton Bay, a coastal town that's perfect for pets, with beaches and a lighthous and a harbour.
The Sims 4 Cats & Dogs will be available for £34.99 from 9 November. You can pre-order it here.
The Sims 4 Expansion Packs: What's new in Get To Work?
The Sims 4: Get To Work brings three new active careers that offer fully playable career venues, which means you'll get to go to work with your Sim. It also brings businesses to The Sims, so you can have your Sim set up their own bakery, clothing boutique, art gallery, bookstore and more.
The three playable careers are Doctor, Police Officer, and Scientist. As a Doctor, your Sim will spend their day treating patients, performing surgeries and delivering babies. As a Police Officer, you'll investigate crime scenes, interrogate Sims and arrest criminals. And as a Scientist, you'll get to build inventions, collect unique specimens and decide whether you want to use your creations for good or evil.
There are many cool things your Sims can do as a doctor, for example. They can determine a co-workers Hotness, determine the gender of a baby on pregnant Sims, cure patients (how many can you cure in one day?), X-Ray scan an Alein, be surprised by outbreaks and other random events, and make house calls for other patients.
The Sims 4: Get To Work also brings with it new objects, new skills including Photography and Baking, and if that's not enough, you also get Aliens (random!).
The Sims 4 Expansion Packs: What's new in Get Together
Get Together, which was the second full expansion pack to arrive for The Sims 4, will introduce lots of new features for the socialites among you.
An all-new world called Windenburg brings with it a new hedge maze to explore, new natural pools and some ancient ruins for the more adventurous Sims. Your Sims can also visit new cafés, pubs and clubs with new objects and activities including foosball, bonfires and dance parties.
New skills include DJ and dancing, and you can throw parties absolutely anywhere.
There's also set to be a new walk-in closet (which is also a new location to WooHoo if that's what you're into), and an exclusive private island to visit within Windenburg.
You can watch the trailer below.
The Sims 4 Expansion Packs: City Living
EA's third expansion pack brings a new city called San Myshuno to the game, and that city features four different neighbourhoods. There are new careers including politition, social media and critic career paths, the latter two of which have never been seen in The Sims before.
You can now move your Sims into apartments, you can take them to Karaoke bars, Geek Con, the Spice Festival and lots more.
The Sims 4 Game Packs: Outdoor Retreat
Smaller expansions are available in the form of Game Packs, which rather than bringing a whole new neighbourhood with thousands of new features, tend to focus on a smaller area of life that'll bring some new fun things for you to experience with your Sims.
The Sims 4's first game pack, Outdoor Retreat, launched in January 2015. It sits between Expansion Packs and Stuff Packs both in terms of price and content, with new items as well as new gameplay elements that'll add hours more fun to the game.
Outdoor Retreat introduces a new destination that Sims can travel to. It's filled with woods and forests that include new herbs and insects, and also make the perfect location for camping and hiking. New outdoor activities include stargazing and roasting marshmallows around the campfire, and you'll be able to build your Sim's new herbalism skill to create helpful remedies.
The first game pack comes at a price of £14.99 and is available to download now from Origin.
The Sims 4 Game Packs: Spa Day
The second game pack is called Spa Day, and was released on 14 July 2015. It brings with it a venue building, which (you guessed it) is a spa! Perfect Balance Spa invites your Sims to get a massage, have a mud bath, do some yoga and enjoy the sauna to improve their new Wellness skill.
Plus, there are new outfits, objects and decorations, including a new tropical fish aquarium (cool!).
You can buy The Sims 4: Spa Day for £14.99 here.
The Sims 4 Game Packs: Dine out
The latest Game Pack to be released is called Dine Out, and arrived on 7 June 2016. It introduces restaurants to the game, and also lets you build and run your own restaurant should you choose to. There are new items, new Create a Sim elements and new cooking and food features too.
The Sims 4 Game Packs: Vampires
Vampires arrived in early 2017, bringing with it the ability to create Vampires that have various powers and weaknesses. It also brings a new residential world called Forgotton Hollow, plus lots of new items and traits that fit the theme.
The Sims 4 Game Packs: Parenthood
The most recent Game Pack is called Parenthood, which takes children and teenagers to a whole new level in The Sims. There are lots of new traits for younger Sims, and those traits are learned or forgotten through persistance from the parent Sims. Parents can choose to be strict, for example, or nurturing.
This follows the addition of the new Toddler age group via a free update to The Sims 4 in January.
The Sims 4 Stuff Packs
In addition to the full expansion packs and the smaller game packs, The Sims 4 also has Stuff Packs.
Essentially, they add a bunch of new objects to the game. The Luxury Party Stuff, for example, will get you new party outfits, buffet tables, chocolate fondeu and more.
The Perfect Patio Stuff pack offers new garden furniture including hot tubs, and several new outdoorsy outfits.
And the Cool Kitchen Stuff pack gets you (you guessed it) new kitchen stuff! That includes counters, cabinets and appliances.
With Spooky Stuff you'll get Halloween-related items and costumes, as well as a new spooky party option.
Movie Hangout stuff gets you Bohemian clothing, a home theatre and new items like a Popcorn maker.
Romantic Garden Stuff brings new outdoor objects and even a Whispering Wishing Well, but be careful what you wish for!
Kids Room Stuff adds new items for children's rooms as well as new hair and clothes for them.
Backyard Stuff does exactly what it says on the tin, with loads of new stuff for your backyard!
Vintage Glamour Stuff is a lovely one, with Old Hollywood inspired clothes, hair and items as well as a new butler feature.
Bowling Night Stuff offers new Bowling Lanes for players to build in the neighbourhood, as well as other bowling themed items and clothing.
Fitness Stuff introduces a new rock climbing treadmill and lots more including new fitness clothing.
The newest is Toddler Stuff, which includes new clothing items for Toddlers (which were only introduced back into the game in January), as well as new playground equipment and toys. Toddler Stuff will be available from 24 August.
They cost £7.99 each and are available to download by following the links below to the Origin Store:
Cool Kitchen Stuff on the Origin Store.
Perfect Patio Stuff on the Origin Store.
Luxury Party Stuff on the Origin Store.
Spooky Stuff on the Origin Store.
Movie Hangout Stuff on the Origin Store.
Romantic Garden Stuff on the Origin Store.
Fitness Stuff on the Origin Store.
Bowling Night Stuff on the Origin Store.
Vintage Glamour Stuff on the Origin Store.
Backyard Stuff on the Origin Store.
Kids Room Stuff on the Origin Store.
The Sims 4 updates
Now that we're in the digital age, this gives EA a chance to add some improvements to The Sims 4, and some fun and exciting tweaks, through DLC packages that are free to the user. EA has already updated the game with lots of free improvements, including ghosts (which can actually be playable characters), a Star Wars costume set, and new Career paths and rewards.
Community requested improvements (it's nice to know that EA is listening) include eye colours and the return of pools.
Most recently, The Sims 4 was updated with new gender customisation options that aren't restricted by gender boundaries that were previously in place. You can now create a Sim with any type of voice, walk, physique, clothing and hairstyles no matter which gender you choose.
On 2 February, which also marked the 15th anniversary of The Sims, EA introduced geneology to The Sims 4, meaning you can see all of the previous generations in your Sims 4 family.
Then, at the end of March, EA rolled out another free update that introduced Basements and a fourth top-floor, an upgrade to the easel, two new hairstyles and a Bunny Egg Hunt that continued until the end of April.
The Basement update means you can add two floors to your house below ground level, and the fourth top-floor now means you can have up to six levels in your house.
As for the easel upgrade, Sims can now paint portraits of what they can see in the world, which is kinda cool.
On 11 June, Newcrest arrived. It's a new world with 15 empty lots ready for you to fill with whichever houses and buildings you choose. It's cool to have a blank canvas that you can build from scratch. There's also a new Custom Room tool and a Welcome Wagon from new neighbours.
On 9 July, an update brought half walls, locked doors, doors for men and doors for women (called King's and Queen's Doors).
On 6 August, brought dishwashers into the mix.
In October, The Sims got more jealous thanks to an update to reactions, and in December of 2015, The Sims 4 was updated to include bigger reactions to fire and death.
On 4 February 2016, The Sims celebrated its 16th birthday. To celebrate, EA released an update with new posters and decorations, the Grilled Cheese from The Sims 2, the Kleptomaniac trait from The Sims 3 and a new non-playable character - the Gardener.
On 21 April 2016, EA introduced the Tragic Clown, which makes your Sims really sad so watch out for him!
In June 2016, EA opened all of the Create a Sim content and gender customsiation options became available to both sexes.
Also in June, a new Monster Under the Bed feature was introduced.
In July of 2016, Nannies were added, and in August new Sim Cell Phone cover customisation tools were introduced.
In September, Mexican Day of the Dead items became available, and in October in preparation for City Living, new lot traits were added and a new copy and paste function for build mode.
Then in January of 2017, Toddlers were added.
The Sims 4 new features: Sims 3 vs Sims 4
The developers have redesigned the Create a Sim studio in The Sims 4 to let you completely customise the look of your Sim by clicking and dragging directly on the Sim's body, rather than using the sliders found in The Sims 3. We've not tried it yet, but we imagine this is going to make creating a Sim a whole lot more enjoyable and less frustrating.
There's also a new Styled Looks feature for those of you who want to create Sims quickly, offering up a range of pre-set outfits and styles to choose from.
"Create and control the most intelligent and relatable Sims ever with new intuitive design tools," EA explains on it’s The Sims website. "Customise your Sims' appearances, personalities, aspirations, walk styles and even their relationship to others.
The Build Mode improvements mean changing the size and shape of rooms will be less of a headache – you can click and drag them to whatever shape and size you want, just like you did when you created your Sims. You can also simply pick up a room and move it elsewhere.
Other new features include the new use of emotions in The Sims 4, which are designed to make more interesting storylines for your Sims, and the new interactions that'll stem from these emotions.
"Play with life like never before in The Sims 4," The Sims 4 says on its website. "The choices you make influence your Sims and everyone and everything around them. These moments create delightful and exciting results throughout gameplay."
You can personalise your Sims' appearances, fashion, walk-style and voices, and give them uniques personalities that are defined by their traits, aspirations and skills.
"You control the mind, body and now the heart of your Sims," reads EA's website. "For the first time, you control your Sims emotions. The Sims you create are full of life defined by their unique personalities and their emotions."
"Emotions give you new choices that impact your Sim and shape their stories in The Sims 4. Control how your Sims respond to other Sims, objects and moments in the game."
There's also an improved genetics system too, as well as new multitasking capabilities and advanced party options. You can find out more about these new systems on The Sims blog.
Another thing we're pleased to hear but also a little dubious about is the system requirements for The Sims 4. The Sims is notorious for being glitch and crashing (normally when you haven't saved in ages), but EA says its working to improve this with The Sims 4.
The Sims 4 producer Ryan Vaughn has said that a new "SmartSim" technology powering game means that players on lower-end machines will have a better experience on The Sims 4 than they did with The Sims 3.
"We know that our players have a wide range of different PC specs. We ant to make sure that somebody playing on a lower end machine has just as great an experience as somebody on a higher-end machine," he said. "Right now, we're doing a lot of work to optimise the game's performance, cut down on loading screens and make sure everything still looks as beautiful, and the Sims feel as vibrant and that your gameplay is just as much fun regardless of what spec you're playing on."
A new world called WIllow Creek launched with The Sims 4, which includes new, vibrant characters, too.
There are some elements of The Sims 3 that are missing from The Sims 4, though. There's no 'Toddler' life stage (at least at the moment, but it could be added in an update like swimming pools were earlier this year), and there's no open world. Instead, the neighborhood is separated by loading screens.