(Last updated 7/19/2020, for Sims 4 patch 184.108.40.2060)
Here’s the few mods I really would really rather not play The Sims 4 without. These are mostly default replacement textures, small fixes and mods that tune the game closer to my preference. This list does not make up the entirety of my current mod folder, but it mainly consists of things that I think are vital to an enjoyable game experience.
Downloads that have been taken down by their creators, but that I still retain the files for, will not be included on this list.
MC Command Center: Think of this as more like an extended options panel instead of a single mod. It adds new menus to the PC and individual sims allowing you greater control over your game. I personally use it to adjust life stage lengths to my liking, slow relationship decay and add a small chance of pregnancy to the ‘safe’ woohoo interaction. It also adds a degree of Sims 3-style story progression to your worlds.
Uncomfortable Overhaul: Makes the ‘Uncomfortable’ mood function more like the ‘Happy’ one. Points in ‘Uncomfortable’ now boost other negative emotions, making them far more likely to become to the primary emotion than was the case in vanilla. It seems like the mod creator has merged this in with a larger mod, but the standalone version still seems to work for now.
Contextual Social Interactions: Adds a few new social interactions that allow sims to talk more often about recent events with one-another, with appropriate reactions from the recipient sims.
Quick Go For Walk with Dog: In my opinion, this makes owning dogs actually viable. Dog walking seems to be balanced around the Brindleton jogging routes, and no other worlds were considered. The result is that ‘short’ walks can last over 4 sim hours. This mod adds a 4th option.
Small Laundry Overhaul: This a nice little suite of mods that contains things that make playing households with multiple laundry hampers more bearable. Also makes using washtubs less… wet.
Longer Sit in High Chair: Fixes the issue of toddlers demanding to be let out of high chairs as soon as they’re placed in there.
Random Small Mods: Once again I don’t use everything from this pack but the Discover University robotics adjustments are a godsend and help re-balance the whole skill. I also use the mod to allow you to add stoves to dorm lots because, hey, I lived in a dorm with a stove.
More Costumes for Holiday Tradition: Adds the costumes from the Spooky Stuff pack to the costume menu for Seasons.
Genetic Moles and Freckles: Overrides the base game moles and freckles to make them inheritable.
Hopefully everything on this list will only ever be here temporarily, as Maxis have had a pretty good track record of fixing things they broke… eventually. But, quite often, modders can get there faster.
Simulation Lag Fix: Causes the random hangups and time rollbacks that sometimes happen in The Sims 4 to… not do that anymore.
Fix Capped Lot Taxes: The June 3rd 2020 (just before Eco-Living released) patch messed up lot tax calculations, resulting in some very low bills. If you want to read an interesting write-up of what exactly went wrong with the math, read this. Anyway, this mod changes your bills back to their intended amount.
Neighbourhood Action Plan Autonomy Fixes: Stops an extremely intrusive bug where the behavior of every single active Eco Living NAP is being applied to all sims in the world, as well as an issue regarding NAP-related autonomy cancelling player queued actions. This one is game-saving.
Eco Lifestyle Interactions Fixes: Fixes some less game-breaking, but still annoying NAP-related bugs.
Random Bug Fixes: I only use a couple of fixes from this pack but it’s nonetheless a good set of small fixes to look through, to see if you need any of them.
Quick Note: The June 3rd 2020 patch broke default replacement eye textures. If the links below haven’t been updated since then, you can use this tool to fix them.
Pyxis’ Summer Skeletons Skin: My preferred skin DR. I use the ‘shiny’ version.
Qahne’s Alien Replacement Skin: Replaces the rainbow skintones for aliens in The Sims 4 to more similar to The Sims 2’s minty green. Why? Nostalgia. Due to the way skin works in The Sims 4, this can be used in conjunction the above skin replacement.
Chisami’s Moe Thing Baby Default Replacement: This wasn’t originally listed because I had thought this mod lost to the ages when the creator deleted the post with the download link from their tumblr. But a trip back to 2015 via the Wayback Machine showed that the files are still accessible on their Box account. An accompanying package that adds matching alien versions can be found here.
Noodles’ Clarity Eyes Defaults: This lovely set now covers not only humans but every life state (including Evil Twins!).
Pyxis’ Aloha Eyes for Pets: The above Clarity sets don’t cover animals so I mix and match with my second favorite eye set. They don’t have the exact same look but they’re both high quality sets.