The Sims 4: High School Years Overview

The Sims 4 brings new depth to the teenage life stage with the high school years, offering interactive teen school days, teen relationship dramas, several after-school clubs, and some new hangouts. The collaboration with Depop also introduces thrift stores, fashion trends and the in-game fashion app Trendi. It’s a much-desired crowded offering after the sporadic releases of last year, but does it live up to expectations?

Interactive School Days is a staple of the high school years, with all the other features built around it. Copperdale High School serves as a focal point for teenage Sims to explore relationships, find their style, and find out who they are. This is confirmed by senior game designer Jessica Croft, who says, “The high school experience is the cat’s backbone, while the drama, discovery, and excitement of being a teen is the soul.”

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As always, this expansion includes building and purchasing items, clothing, and gameplay items. All of these are teen-focused and blend well together to create a cohesive and unique aesthetic. Building and buying focus on school items as well as bedroom furniture, since teens’ bedroom is often the way they express themselves. The character can also be found in teenage wardrobes, which are treated with a wide range of different items, including many that mix and match well, allowing Sims to find their own style.

For builders, the first thing you’ll notice is that Copperdale High School has been designed to be renovated. The virtual main building has three floors and includes a range of basic facilities, while the auditorium has several mandates, including its decoration for prom, graduation and job fair. You can freely edit both parts from the world list, without cheating. This means that your teens can attend the type of school they want, whether it’s one with the best facilities, or anything much more. This is a big bonus for anyone who wants to customize the school experience, or even just change around uneven cafeteria chairs.


The set of items is solid, with a large number of samples available and a few distinct styles that suit not only teens but older Sims as well. For those who have Discover University, the items are completely complemented by the housing items that you can find in this expansion, which means you can build a very spacious school. The customization options for teen bedrooms are also a great addition for those who hate building but love to decorate. The themes are flexible, and include clutter and wall decor items, you can place them all just about anywhere to add instant personality to a room.

The main thing that is missing from you is the prom decor. The trailer and the initial hype seem to include a lot more customization than we actually see. There are a few decorations, including curtains, streamers, and balloons, but they’re completely neutral. If you want a more specific theme than a general color scheme, you’ll need to venture into other packages.


When we move on to Create A Sim, things get a lot more diverse, especially since the additions include collaboration with Depop. “Increasingly, there’s very little distance between the way people express themselves in real and virtual life, so it’s a really interesting place for us to show up,” says Steve Doll, the fashion company’s director of brand. Depop’s contribution focuses on the new Thrift Store, which allows Sims to search for different outfits every day. Many of these products are designed by Depop sellers, including Selena Williams, who says, “I feel like I can bring the thrift store experience to users’ fingertips…and that makes it a lot easier, especially when you don’t have a lot of time or even Know where to start.”


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Fashion is of clear importance in this pack and it includes multiple styles. Sims can also become Simfluencers and set their own trends, sell fashion on Trendi and inspire others to dress like them. “Fashion is one of the main ways teens can begin to represent the identity they began to form in their critical teen years,” says George Pegola, lead producer of the pack. “We knew fashion would be key to supporting self-discovery and would create a lot of fun play.”

Although your Sims will look great, and can visit some amazing locations, it is the gameplay that really needs to be in this package, but unfortunately, this is not achieved as hoped. The high school years aren’t broken at a level that makes them unplayable, but some weird mistakes can make high school life more difficult. Some things, like the main chant for combat, also make storytelling a challenge.

Going to school works like an active profession. You can submit Sims on your own or select Teen Sims that you want to be able to control during the school day. Once at school, Sims have tasks to complete, the difficulty here is the fact that the day feels very rushed, and Sims don’t always do what you ask. I’ve found that, especially when it comes to exams, my Sim likes to get up from the office and walk around, making sure he fails and pays his grade. I tried a different Sim, but got the same results. Getting these scores back up can be a difficult and several days task.

Classes are short, but there are no interactions available during them, so you can’t choose to work harder, pass notes, or any other typical school behavior, unless you get a rare random popup notification. However, you can get in trouble for being late to class – which is easy to do since it can take up to an hour for your Sim to get to class, depending on the size of the school. Sims caught disturbing the lockers can face detention – or even death if their jokes go wrong. The second death in the group comes for those highly skilled in mischief who mess with urban legends.


Between morning and afternoon classes, you can have some lunch and mingle with your classmates. Socialization can also happen through posts and direct messages on Social Bunny, a new app on your phone. If you choose to join an after school club, these take the form of rabbit hole career events that happen several times a week. The combination can make a Sim’s school life seem quite chaotic. This is further compounded by the fact that there is a prom every week, or at least it’s meant to be. Some of the other events seem to go beyond that, making the prom look less than hoped for. You can’t cancel a concert either, although you can just ignore it. Graduation doesn’t happen until your Sim is older and can no longer go to school.

Cooperdale’s New World also includes some unique locations. ThrifTea allows Sims to search for new outfits while drinking bubble tea, and is a favorite hangout for young people. Instead, the city has a library, park, and unmodified sidewalk area that includes a ferris wheel, a tunnel of love, and a haunted house. Sims of young age and above can enjoy some risky rides while riding, but watch out. If you get caught you can be banned from the area!

Overall, there is a lot to do in this group, however the school day feels a bit rushed and boring. A few different ways of approaching the classes could have helped with this, as in the long run. The length is associated with a short life, but there is little flexibility. Teens are definitely feeling energetic now, and new clothes, in addition to adding acne and body hair, help give them a more distinct style and appearance than adults. If you enjoy this phase of life, there is a lot to do, but some elements of the game definitely look lackluster. The patch fixed the most problematic issues, including incest and inappropriate desires, but there is still some work to be done.

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