How to live off the grid in The Sims 4

Living off the grid in The Sims 4 was really hard. When we got the off-grid feature when Island Living came out, it was a bit lacklustre, but thankfully there have been some updates made to improve how the off-grid feature works and be more fun to play.

Off-Grid Lot

In order to make your sim's house officially off the grid, you need to add the lot line off the grid. This can be done by entering construction mode and going to the houses icon in the top left corner of the screen.

You will see all the lot sections you can choose from and they will be in alphabetical order. The description of the off-grid lot tract says "This lot is not connected to the public grid and most items that use Energy or Water will not function as expected. Will your sims be able to survive without the comforts of plumbing and electricity? Natural living has its advantages, such as no bills."

Once this is activated for your plot, the water and electricity will immediately be turned off and you will have to figure things out to live off the grid.

Information on invoices and tax benefits Tax

The best part of living off the grid is that you not only save money on your bills because you are not using electricity or water, but you actually get money back in the form of tax breaks.

If you only have your sims living off the grid with no other tax breaks, you will get 75 simoleons from your monthly bills, making it easier to pay your lottery taxes each week. These 75 simoleons break down in three ways:

No power consumption while off-grid
No water consumption while off-grid
Discount on property tax for living off the grid

Off-grid functionality

There is a section of items to choose from to add to your home that will have limited functionality, but is enough for your sim to survive. The two main places that off-grid effects are your bathroom or your kitchen.

Baths

In the bathroom there are 3 items you need, a sink, a toilet and a shower/tub. You need to make sure you choose items that work off the grid from the off grid category in construction mode. These items will function slightly differently from a normal bathroom set.

A toilet that is off-grid will have a water-saving flush. A sink will allow you to quickly wash your hands or brush your teeth quickly. A bath or shower will allow you to take a quick, lukewarm bath/shower, this is fun because your sim will jump into the shower or tub for a few seconds but his need for hygiene will not be completely filled with just one of these showers.

Kitchens

In the kitchen you can have a fridge and a cooker, as long as you choose one from the Off The Grid category. However, they will have different functionalities. First of all, your options for meals are severely limited. When you click on a cooker you will see the option Cook Off The Grid and there will be five options to do, which are:

  • Grilled cheese
  • Eggs and Toast
  • Tomato soup
  • Popcorn Crickets
  • Fish on a stick

You are also able to prepare any kind of salad or fruit salad as they do not need any power to cook.

The refrigerator has also received an off-grid upgrade. You can now add ice to a fridge which will allow your fridge to stay cold for 24 hours so that leftovers stay fresh in a fridge. When you mouse over the Add Ice option on your fridge, it says "fridges will now keep food even without power, until the ice melts..." and below that description you'll see the percentage of ice left which gives you a rough idea of how much time you have before you absolutely have to add ice.

The grills you might have outside yours (or inside, no judgement) can function normally as they are powered by propane or coal or something instead of power.

How to illuminate your home

An off-grid house in The Sims 4 will have its challenges when it comes to lighting. You can't just use lights with bulbs and get on with your life. Your options are much more limited to candles, lanterns and fireplaces. However, you might want to place some regular lights in your home for times when you might have a surplus of energy which we'll talk about shortly.

Off-grid category

With the June 2020 update to the game we were given an off-grid category in build mode. Everything in this category will run off the grid when you don't have a surplus of water or energy. It includes cookers and fridges that allow you to have some off-grid options and any item that doesn't require energy or water. Use things here, there are tons of options!

Ways of obtaining water

If you wish to have water available for your sim, you may want extra water that you collect yourself. You can go to any fishing place or bathing water (e.g. Sulani's ocean) and choose Gather Water which will store some water in your lot and allow you to take regular showers or baths, use a toilet without flushing to save water, or use the sink normally.

Once your sim uses up all this water he has collected, the batch will go back to being off the grid and these regular options will go away until you collect no more water.

If you have The Sims 4: Eco Lifestyle you will have a lot more options to get water. The first option is the Dew Collector, this will collect water every morning but it won't be much but it will allow you to take a normal shower every day if you wish. This dew collector requires no effort other than having it outdoors somewhere in your lot. The dew collector will have an ecological influence on your ecological footprint and be good for your world.

The other option is the water generator. This is the least desirable option if you want your world to go green as it has an industrial footprint and will have a negative impact on your world. You also need bits to add fuel to the water generator. Once you have added the bits, you can click to start the generator and water will be created to be used by your lot.

Ways to gain power

I have yet to find a way to get power without The Sims 4 Eco Lifestyle installed in your game.

If you've installed The Sims 4 Eco Lifestyle, you'll have a few options for powering your lot that will look fantastic off the grid. The first are solar panels that can be placed on the roof of your house or on the ground depending on the type you buy. You also have the option of getting a wind turbine to get power. Both of these options will have a green footprint.

You also have the option of upgrading a treadmill to make it generate power instead of consuming it. To do this you'll need to be at level 5 in the dexterity skill and have two parts electric upgrade and three parts eco upgrade. When you do this every time you use the treadmill, you'll get some excess power to use for your sims.

Finally, you have the option of using a power generator. This option will work for an industrial footprint, so it may not be the best option. You will have to give the generator 25 bits to make it work. Note: don't click the danger button! It shocked my sim by making her dizzy and started a fire.

Final thoughts

Living off the grid in the game is a great option for a sim who is making a career and has little money, or a family who just wants to be kinder to the environment. Luckily, there are plenty of options for living off the grid and it can be a lot easier than we thought. Enjoy the game!

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