The Sims 5: Everything you need to know

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The Sims 5: Everything you need to knowEA

The Sims 5, working title Project Rene, is official and in development.

Yes, The Sims 4 remains a huge hit, supported by an ongoing stream of content and a passionate and vibrant community – we've given our takes on the best Sims 4 expansions and deals and the best Sims 4 kits, and there's some amazing Sims 4 mods and custom content out there.

In 2023, 1.8 billion hours were played in total. That's a lot of hours. Imagine how many Sims 4 cheats were used in that time.

However, the current game's ongoing success doesn't mean the people at EA and Maxis aren't planning for the long-term future of the franchise. On October 18, 2022, EA and Maxis offered a first glimpse at that future by announcing Project Rene.

Nearly two years since that announcement, a lot of questions remain. Here's everything you need to know about The Sims 5.

the sims 5 prototype scene, lighting

The Sims 5 potential release date: When is it coming out?

While Project Rene has been officially unveiled, the release of the fifth core Sims game still appears to be a long way off.

EA hasn't given an official release window, but we might be looking at a possible 2026 or 2027 launch.

When The Sims 5 was announced back in October 2022, development was just getting started. In fact, Lyndsay Pearson – VP of Franchise Creative for The Sims – suggested that it would be a "few years" before its launch.

She also confirmed the team would continue to provide ongoing support and new content for The Sims 4.

"Today marks the start of our journey over the next few years," she said at the time, explaining that the team wanted to reveal the project early so Simmers could be "a part of our development journey".

the sims project rene

However, updates on Project Rene have been very sporadic, despite some playtests taking place.

The last official update from the team came in September 2023 (approaching 12 months ago at this point), which is perhaps surprising considering the initial desire to keep the community looped in. This hints that there is still an extremely long way to go before the project is ready.

When The Sims 5 does launch, it seems a safe bet that – at the very least – the game will be on PC and Mac via the EA app (and maybe Steam and Epic Games Store).

One interesting detail is that the team is exploring the possibility of the game being played on multiple supported devices at the same time. In a preview in 2022, a player was customising a single build simultaneously on a computer and on a mobile device.

"Same experience, different screens," Pearson said at the time.

the sims 5 devices

Grant Rodiek, who was Project Rene's game director until January 2024, said that the intention was to play to each platform's strengths.

"You can have that deep dive [experience] at home on your PC, play for four hours, change every single thing about a piece of furniture that you imagine... But then, on the go, you can grab your phone and maybe it's a different experience," he said during January 2023's Behind The Sims stream.

"Maybe you're grabbing archetypes, preselecting templates, or grabbing the stuff that you've already created. But what this means is that you can now play The Sims wherever you are, without barriers, without restrictions."

Although the PlayStation and Xbox versions of The Sims 4 launched more than three years after the PC version, the past few years have seen feature parity (excluding mods) between all platforms and packs being released on the same day for everyone, suggesting that the console versions are being taken more seriously than before.

So with that in mind, we would be surprised if console players had to wait for an extra three years for The Sims 5 compared to PC players.

nintendo switch oled model

The Sims 5 on Nintendo Switch: Will it happen?

A Nintendo Switch version of The Sims 5 would be highly requested. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee given EA's comparative lack of support for the console. The Sims 4 isn't on the Switch at all.

That said, an experimental early build of Project Rene was seen to be running on a mobile device, although we don't know the specifics and whether it's a streamed version or not.

Might that suggest it's possible for the game to be playable on Nintendo's handheld in some form? Time will tell.

The other thing to note is that a successor to the Switch is rumoured for a 2025 release. With Project Rene still a while off from a full release, it could be that the game could make an appearance on Nintendo's next console instead, if EA was interested.

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The Sims 5 multiplayer: Is it confirmed?

One of the big questions about The Sims 5 is whether or not it will be multiplayer. It's quite a contentious issue, to say the least. The franchise is known for being a single-player experience, and original plans for The Sims 4 to be a multiplayer title were not received well by the fanbase before a U-turn happened.

The answer is yes, there will be optional multiplayer aspects in Project Rene. But it's unclear how multiplayer will work at this stage.

We do know that EA and Maxis plan to give Simmers more tools than ever to collaborate with others – perhaps an expansion on The Sims 4's popular gallery feature – when it comes to user-generated content.

There will also be privacy settings, so you can choose to play solo or with close friends if you'd rather.

And an official FAQ confirmed that Simmers can have a fully single-player experience and ignore all of the multiplayer features.

sims 5 project rene sharing

Project Rene game director Grant Rodiek said during January 2023's Behind The Sims stream that the game can be both single-player and multiplayer.

"We know that our players want to have that intimate personal experience where they're exploring stories and ideas in single-player, but there are also really cool things you could do with others, where you could share and create with your friends, the people that you want," he explained.

Rodiek stated that The Sims 5 is "not an MMO", adding: "You can play on your own, on your terms, and then again, when you want on your terms, you can invite others to come and play with you."

We expect more details about how everything works in the months and years ahead.

the sims 5 prototype, socialisation

The Sims 5 free-to-play: How will expansions work?

After much speculation and rumours over Project Rene being free-to-play at launch, EA finally confirmed in September 2023 that the game will be free for everyone to download when it's officially released.

VP franchise creative Lyndsay Pearson said that Simmers will not need a subscription to play, and there will be no "energy mechanics" limiting playtime either.

Of course, The Sims 5 will be monetised, and Pearson offered the first details on how expansions and other paid content will work.

"Beyond regular updates to the core game, we will sell content and packs, but we want to change that mix a little bit," she said.

the sims 4 seasons

"In The Sims 4, the only way to experience any weather was if you purchased Seasons. Now, in Project Rene, we might introduce basic weather to the core game for free for everybody. And then a pack for purchase might be focused on winter sports and could include activities like ice dancing or a snowman-building competition.

"Building this way means that down the line, we could use wind or rain or clouds for other pack themes as well.

"It's a little early to know exactly where we'll draw the lines, but it's important for us to lower those barriers to play and give everyone the broadest shared systems because that feels like the best foundation to grow from."

the sims 5 prototype, neighbourhood

The Sims 5 gameplay: Will it be open-world?

One drawback about The Sims 4 is the lack of an open world, so what about Project Rene?

In June 2023's Behind The Sims stream, the development team revealed that they were working on prototypes exploring how Sims would behave and interact in an open neighbourhood. This isn't confirmation that the game will be open-world, but it does appear that they want neighbourhoods to feel more lived-in than they do in the current game.

"Sims don't just live at home," one member of the team said. "They also exist in a broader neighbourhood, full of Sims.

the sims 5 prototype animation

"So we've made some simple prototypes to explore what these Sims do during the day, where they go, what they see, and the schedules and routines that they have as they mill about the neighbourhood with you."

That's not the only thing they showed in the June 2023 stream, as they also offered glimpses of prototypes relating to lighting, animation, hairstyles, and simulation.

When it comes to animation, the team said that their aim was to communicate better how Sims are feeling through their postures, attitudes, and emotions.

sims 5 project rene build

The Sims 5 news: What else is in the game?

During the October 2022 stream, EA and Maxis shared some early concepts for The Sims 5 that showed off greater customisation when it comes to builds.

Individual items can be customised. Examples demonstrated include the headboard and footboard of a bed and the shape and placement of the cushions on a sofa. We also saw a colour picker, so players aren't restricted to a limited number of swatches, and different surfaces and components can have different colours and patterns.

The sneak peek also showed a player precisely positioning a sofa's cushions including rotating them.

That's all we officially know in terms of features for The Sims 5, but we can make some educated guesses about what else might be in the game.

the sims 5, project rene, build

The Sims 4 has made significant improvements over its lifespan when it comes to diversity and inclusion, from customisable pronouns and asexual/aromantic representation to a greater variety of skin tones, hairstyles, and eye presets.

Clothes, build/buy items, and foods representing different cultures have been added over time, while the High School Years expansion took a step in representing neurodiversity with the Socially Awkward trait. In early 2024, vitiligo was added to the game.

The franchise's marketing in recent years has honed in on the 'Play With Life' branding, so we can expect The Sims 5 to continue in this direction and be more inclusive from the beginning.

As an example, the team has previously been transparent about technical limitations preventing them from having 'mechanically' non-binary Sims. This is something that will surely be addressed when building the next game from scratch.

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Physical disability representation is an area that is lacking in The Sims 4. In October 2021, the team responded to a petition by saying that mobility items were "at the top of our minds" and "at the top of our list". There's been little talk about them since then, but we hope we'll see something at some point.

Aside from diversity and inclusion, one common request for The Sims 4 from players is cars.

In March 2021, the team acknowledged the request, elaborating in an Inside Maxis stream: "To bring new content into the game, it involves many, many processes. We have to take important steps that are a part of the game development process and often that takes a lot of time.

"Sometimes there's also foundational technology that we need to work on, and sometimes we have to dig into the designs very deeply to make these things happen."

It's unclear what the chances are of cars coming to The Sims 4, but the high demand will have also filtered down those working on The Sims 5. So there's hope yet.

the sims 4 nifty knitting stuff pack

The Sims 5 trailer: When can I watch it?

Given that there's currently no release window for The Sims 5, it's probably not surprising that there isn't a trailer yet.

When something does drop, we will update this page.

The Sims 4 is available on PC, Mac, PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.


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