The Sims 4 is a cozy game with light supernatural elements, meaning we’re not in the game for the scares. Even so, there’s something to be said for ghosts in the previous installments of the games, who acted like… well, ghosts. In The Sims 4, however, ghosts feel a bit more like irritating, slightly transparent neighbors than they do departed spirits.
When a Sim passes away, you lose the ability to control them without mods, but that doesn’t remotely stop them from interacting with all manners of things in your household in a way that’s more annoying than spooky haunting. This spooky season, I’m wishing for ghostly Sims to be just a bit more scary and a bit less intrusive, and I’m not the only one.
Ghost Sims Won’t Stop Calling
One of the primary complaints about the Sims 4 spin on Ghost Sims is that they just plain act too much like they’re still alive.
Case in point, your Sims will often continue to receive social invitations by phone call from their deceased pals. You get the exact same message pop-ups as when they were alive, except their face is now translucent. As much as it’s nice to still hang out with your pals beyond the grave, it really doesn’t do much in the way of making ghosts feel like, well… ghosts.
This is especially irritating when navigating a negative mood because your Sim is devastated about the recent death. Yet, their phone is still blowing up with communications from the dearly departed. I don’t think it’s too much to ask to say that ghosts in the Sims probably shouldn’t retain their phone plans from the beyond.
Spirits Eating all Our Food
Another thing that makes ghosts more irritating than spooky in the Sims 4 is how they tend to engage with your home. If a member of your household dies and becomes a ghost, they’ll often stop by to visit. Whereas in previous Sims games, this was a scary experience that would leave your living household members terrified, in The Sims 4, it’s mostly just a mess you have to clean up.
Ghost Sims will do things like break into your fridge and steal those leftovers you were saving for when your living Sim got home from a long shift at work. Not only do they eat your food, which they presumably don’t need to do since they’re dead, but they leave dish messes that only your corporeal Sims can clean up.
Ghosts Really Hate Music, Apparently
On top of that, when ghostly Sims do decide to do a bit of haunting, it tends to be in the form of “possessing” a household item and causing it to break. Simmers have noticed that ghost Sims tend to get obsessed with a specific household object, breaking it repeatedly when they stop by to visit. This often has no relationship to who they were in life and is another mess you have to clean up after them.
While a little haunting would be a nice touch for ghost Sims, it would be better if it came in the form of something spooky and tied somehow to their real-life grudges and likes rather than just randomly breaking your stereo every time for eternity.
Play a Ghost For All The Mundane Thrills of Normal Life
With the aid of cheats and mods, you can choose to add a ghostly Sim back to your household in The Sims 4. However, doing this doesn’t result in a thrilling supernatural adventure to the afterlife. Instead, your ghost Sim household members have the same needs, whims, and lives as your living ones. The only difference is they’re seethrough and will change colors depending on their current mood.
This is a huge disappointment for Sims fans who enjoy a supernatural twist on the game, as being a ghost doesn’t really have much impact on gameplay for that character. Let us do a little walking through walls and haunting when we’re playing as ghosts, please, and thank you!
All in all, there’s a lot to be desired from the way ghosts of Sims past engage with the world in The Sims 4. Sims fans, myself included, would love to see ghosts that are a bit more ghostly in future iterations of the game.