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The Sims 4: Wants And Fears, Explained

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  • How Do Wants Work?
  • How Do Fears Work?

In The Sims 4, Wants and Fears are a game-changing feature. Influenced in real-time by the actions and consequences of the world around you, your Sim could find themselves with a devastating fear of flames after experiencing a house fire – or develop a fear of being cheated on after underperforming at WooHoo with their partner.

Whims are a thing of the past, and you'll develop an extra Want after acquiring one of almost 20 Fears. Here's a look at how the new system operates.

How Do Wants Work?

Remember Whims? Those little thought bubbles hovering by your Sim's head in the lower toolbar which served as optional Wants, earning you Reward points in the process?

Well, those have been scrapped in favour of reviving their more powerful predecessors.

Wants are urges and desires your Sim develops over the course of their day. Depending upon your mood, relationships, job performance, and more, your impulses will lead your wants in different directions day by day.

Sometimes your Wants will be influenced by low Needs, such as wanting to bathe if you're feeling grungy from low Hygiene. Other times, you may want to get flirty with the neighbours after being introduced to a titillating new acquaintance.

To save a Want from being refreshed, you can click the thumbtack icon next to it to pin one Want at a time if you're planning to fulfill it eventually.

How Do Sims 4 Wants Differ From The Sims 2?

Unlike in The Sims 2, neglecting to pay attention to or fulfill wants will cause your Sim to develop a fear of unfulfilled dreams. This seems to be a way for the game to steer you towards incorporating Wants and Fears into your regular gameplay.

Wants and Fears were a dedicated part of The Sims 2 from the get-go, with them being featured in their own panel below the Needs menu. The Sims 4 Whims used to be on a toggle, giving you the ability to opt out of them for a less autonomous experience if you wanted to focus more on creating storylines without the guidance of in-game RNG.

Now, replaced by mandatory Wants, there is no way to escape your Sim's independent desire to have a say in their own lives – like it or not!

Wants and Fears can also be dictated by any active Traits or occult type specifics pertaining to your Sim. Vampires won't be afraid of the dark, for example, and won't want to visit the beach, whilst Paranoid Sims will be warier of crowded spaces.

If you see a spiky-edged Want, this is an opportunity for your Sim to challenge an active Fear of theirs to get rid of any debuffs incurred by said Fears, such as the Uncomfortable moodlet that becomes active for Sims in busy places if they have a fear of crowds. We will go over each Fear and how to face them below.

How Do Fears Work?

Fears are temporary Traits that appear in your Simology panel alongside regular and acquired Traits that you gain over time.

Much like Traits influence how your Sim feels under certain social or personal situations, Fears will negatively impact your Sim or make them more susceptible to negative moodlets that would not otherwise be triggered without Fear.

Unlike in The Sims 2, you will not wake up with new Fears each day but rather will gain them passively as your Sim experiences life. This means that your Fears will only go away under specific circumstances – and that you could end up with far more than only three Fears at any given time.

To get rid of Fears, you'll have to face them head-on. If you don't, your Sim will experience stronger and stronger negative moodlets that will incapacitate their normal day-to-day lives.

Here are the Fears that have been triggered by the community so far and how to face each one.

Note that your Sim might experience these Fears with or without the described triggers, and these triggers could be affected by current issues that have yet to be patched out. For example, you cannot get rid of your fear of fire by extinguishing the same fire that gave you the fear in the first place!

All Sims 4 Fears And How To Face Them

FearTriggerHow To Face It
Fear Of FailureCreating a subpar item, such as a food dish or carving, or achieving poor work performance if in a job that doesn't require creating objects.Create an item of excellent quality and select the 'Show Off Work' interaction to become recognised for your work, or select the Ask For Performance Review option.
Fear Of FireWitnessing a fire break out in front of you.Gather your courage and extinguish a fire yourself!
Fear Of DeathWitnessing a close friend or family member get reaped by the Grim Reaper.Discuss Death with a friend, or present the Grim Reaper with a Death Flower.
Fear Of Crowded PlacesBeing somewhere busy, such as Sports Day or Prom.Whilst influenced by a Confident moodlet, conduct a Funny interaction in a crowded place. If you're not feeling Confident, your attempts at humour will fall flat.
Fear Of Being Cheated OnIgnoring your partner for a long time – or feeling embarrassed after performing poorly at WooHoo with them.Discuss Relationship Fears with your partner to clear your conscience and receive some reassurance from your beloved. Or, y'know, break up with them.
Fear Of Unfulfilled DreamsNot completing Wants frequently enough.Complete a Want and then select Talk About Fears with any Sim you feel close to in order to get rid of this Fear and any negative moodlets.
Fear Of Being JudgedPeople being mean to your Sim.Select the Sim who was nasty and choose 'Work Out Differences' to make peace and find common ground.
Fear Of Dead End JobNot being promoted for a long time at your job.Before heading to work, click 'Regain Passion' to feel reinvigorated.
Fear Of GhostsNegative interactions with ghosts will give you this fear, including being scared by Temperance, the angry ghost, if you live in a Haunted House.Put 'em up and select the 'Fight' option under the Mean interactions menu to exorcise your demons in a physical way.
Fear Of SwimmingGoing for a swim whilst low on Energy or influenced by other negative moodlets.Go swimming whilst feeling Confident.
Fear Of The DarkIf you have any Occult type Sims active in your world, interacting with one negatively will trigger this Fear – such as having a rampaging werewolf terrify you.Whilst Confident, hang out outside at night time.
Fear Of CowplantsGet eaten by a Cowplant and live to tell the tale.Milk a Cowplant whilst feeling Confident.

As more Fears get patched into the game, we will discover more and more ways for your Sims to become petrified by the world around them.

Some High School Years-specific Fears include:

  • Fear Of Homework
  • Fear Of Exams
  • Fear Of Failing After-School Activity
  • Fear Of Disappointing Parents
  • Fear Of Disappointing Dead Parents

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