Matt Bird writes all sorts of nonsense, but he dedicates a large chunk of his time to writing game walkthroughs.
Most of the fun in the Create a Sim segment of The Sims 4 comes from messing with the features of your sim, but looks are only half the battle. You also need to determine how your sim will act, and as far as playing the game goes, this aspect of character creation is far more important than the size of your sim’s cheeks or the colour of their underwear. This is where Traits come in.
What Are Traits?
Traits dictate your sim’s personality. Each sim is allowed to begin with four Traits (two for children and three for teens); one is a Bonus Trait tied to their Aspiration, while the other three are chosen from four categories. Traits range widely in their effects, and they will colour how your sim interacts with the world from the moment they’re born to the moment they die. Once chosen, Traits cannot be changed. (Unless you cheat.)
Because some Traits conflict with other Traits, you cannot create certain combinations in a single sim. For example, one sim cannot be both Evil and Good, nor can that sim be both Neat and Lazy. That does not stop you from making two sims with opposing Traits, however. Let the odd couples roll!
Emotional Traits tie directly into The Sims 4’s emotions system. Sims with any of the Traits listed below are more likely to jump to the associated emotion when they’re neutral or in a good mood (with an exception), and will more quickly become that emotion if they’re already moving in that direction anyway.
Active: The sim likes to exercise, and will jump at any opportunity to jog, pump iron, box, and so forth. They become Energized very quickly when exercising. Active sims can also Pump Up other sims through conversation, increasing the chances that the second sim will also become Energized. Active sims like to remain active, and will get cranky if they aren’t given regular chances to work out. Active sims cannot be Lazy.
Cheerful: The sim is Happy most of the time, and it takes more than average to push the sim out of the Happy emotion. Cheerful sims are better at handling adversity than most other sims, and will quickly recover from adverse conditions. Cheerful sims cannot be Gloomy or Hot-Headed.
Creative: The sim is often Inspired, and has a tendency to excel at creative endeavours such as painting, writing, or playing / composing music. Creative sims can Share Creative Ideas with other sims, potentially sparking the Inspired emotion. Creative sims like to engage in fun projects often, and will become upset if given few chances to create.
Genius: The sim tends towards the Focused emotion, and gets a lot out of intelligence-based activities such as reading books. Genius sims can Share Ideas with other sims in conversation, spreading their Focused mood around as a result. Genius sims will get upset if they’re not given regular opportunities to expand their horizons with mental activities.
Gloomy: The sim likes to be Sad, and their Share Melancholy Thoughts conversation option can invoke similar feelings in other sims. While Sad, Gloomy sims gain a bonus to any Creative skills. So it’s not all bad. Gloomy sims cannot be Cheerful or Hot-Headed.
Goofball: The sim is a nut, and tends to be Playful most of the time. Expect plentiful pranks and jokes. Playful sims cannot be Snobs.
Hot-Headed: The sim likes to be Angry, and will often get Angry for no good reason. You may want a punching bag to calm these sims down, and you most certainly don’t want them around sims that enjoy Mischief (unless you want your sim angry, anyway). Angry sims can use the Rile Up option to invoke anger in other sims. Hot-Headed sims cannot be Cheerful or Gloomy.
Romantic: The sim enjoys being Flirty, and will probably develop romantic relationships with other sims rather quickly. Flirty sims suffer if they don’t get regular chances to, y’know, flirt, and should socialize often.
Self-Assured: The sim is very Confident, and will probably do well at work. Good for career-minded sims who want quick advancement.
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Hobby Traits are tied to activities. Taking these Traits will make your sim particularly happy when engaged in a particular activity. Mind that this does not always mean the sim does the activity more quickly.
Art Lover: The sim likes art, and will gain art-based Moodlets often. Viewing and discussing art becomes more focused for Art Lovers.
Bookworm: The sim loves to read, and will get lots of Moodlets related to reading. Most Bookworm conversations will have at least a few dips into the literary world.
Foodie: The sim likes their food, and will eat at every occasion. Foodie sims get bonuses from eating good food and become Happy very quickly - but on the flip side, eating spoiled food will cause the Foodie’s mood to plummet faster than usual. Foodies can Watch Cooking Shows if they have a television. Foodie sims cannot be Gluttons. (This sounds weird, but if you think about it…)
Geek: The sim is a biiiiiiig neeeeeerd. They like to read sci-fi novels and play video games, and will become particularly unhappy if not given opportunities to indulge their loves. Geeks are great at finding collectibles when left to their own devices, and have plenty of nerdy conversation pieces.
Music Lover: The sim loves music, and will get a lot of music-related Moodlets. You’ll want instruments and a good stereo system for Music Lovers.
Perfectionist: The sim is exacting. Perfectionists are particularly good at crafting items (food, books, comedy routines, etc.), and though they take longer in the creative process, the results are usually of a superior quality. That said, a Perfectionist who fails will plunge into the deepest depths of despair, so, uh, practice often. Perfectionist is a great Trait for sims that work at home.
Lifestyle Traits pertain to how your sim acts on a day-to-day basis, and typically how they react to their environment. When it comes to maintaining a tidy, happy house, Lifestyle Traits often play a huge role in making your life easier—or much harder.
Ambitious: The sim has high career-based aspirations. If the sim does well in their career, their mood will soar; if not, they’ll crumble. Ambitious sims become particularly antsy if they aren’t promoted in rapid succession, so you’ll want to pay close attention to career requirements each day. Ambitious sims cannot be Lazy.
Childish: The sim likes the same things kids like and do very well around children. You’ll want to stock your house with lots of toys and put the Kids Network on the TV. This Trait is not a good idea if you plan on keeping your sim childless, or if there isn’t at least a park nearby. Childish sims cannot be Snobs, Evil, or Hate Children.
Clumsy: The sim messes up a lot when it comes to physical activities. Unlike other sims, however, Clumsy sims laugh off their failure rather easily. Not a great choice if you want a sim that is meant to excel at sports.
Glutton: The sim likes to eat a little too much. Gluttonous sims will constantly seek out food, and can eat food of any quality with no ill effects. They’ll even go so far as Rummaging for Food in garbage cans. Ew. Gluttons become very upset if they don’t get to eat on a regular basis. Gluttonous sims cannot be Foodies.
Insane: The sim is, well, crazy. Insane sims will have abrupt, unpredictable mood swings, and there’s no way to tell how they’ll react to changes in conversation or the environment. Insane is a lot of fun if you want a sim that’s difficult to control, but it’s not so good if you have a plan for your sim.
Lazy: The sim is lazy. ‘nough said. Lazy sims get a lot more out of acting the couch potato or sleeping, and they don’t like any activity that’s physically demanding. Exercise is right out for Lazy sims, and housework doesn’t go over well. Expect your house to be a pigpen. Lazy sims also want comfortable furniture, so you’ll have to spend more to keep them happy. Lazy sims cannot be Active, Ambitious, or Neat.
Loves Outdoors: The sim likes to be outside, and will become Happy rather quickly if allowed to spend time beyond the walls of their house. Outdoorsy sims make great gardeners.
Materialistic: The sim enjoys material possessions, and can brag about their swag to other sims. Materialistic sims become depressed if you haven’t bought them anything new in a while, so this Trait is mainly good for sims with high-paying jobs that can support their spending habits.
Neat: The sim enjoys a tidy house, and will have fun cleaning up. Neat sims are the most likely to clean your house without prompting. They also become very depressed when their house is not up to spec. Having one Neat sim in your house is a good way to ensure that the place stays clean, as they’ll happily drop everything else to tidy. Neat sims cannot be Lazy or Slobs.
Slob: The sim couldn’t care less about remaining clean. Slobby sims don’t mind if their house is a mess, and remain unaffected by unclean surfaces or trash heaps. Adding to this, Slobby sims dirty their surroundings at an accelerated rate, regardless of what they’re doing. (Slobs may also care less about Hygiene, but I haven’t tested this enough yet.) Slob sims cannot be Neat.
Snob: The sim is high-brow, and likes the finer things in life. Snobby sims can critique objects they deem to be of low value, and tend to prefer either Snobs. You’ll have a difficult time keeping a Snob happy with a starting money pool of $20,000 minus the cost of a house. Snob sims cannot be Goofballs or Childish.
Social Traits affect the sim’s interactions with other people. Depending on how you choose, your sim can range from the life of the party to the biggest jerk in the world.
Bro: The sim is a bro, with all that entails. Bro sims enjoy sporting events, and will become Energized more quickly by Watching Sports on TV. Bros also do very well around other Bros.
Evil: The sim is the biggest jerk in the world. Evil sims thrive on foul Moodlets, and tend to enjoy enraging or otherwise mucking with the lives of other sims. All the negative conversation options that will foul the mood of other sims tend to benefit Evil sims. On the flip side, they hate Good sims. Evil sims cannot be Childish or Good.
Family-Oriented: The sim places great emphasis on family, and will receive a ton of Moodlets related to family interactions. Family-Oriented sims can also Boast about Family to other sims. Family-Oriented is an ideal Trait for parents, couples, or siblings who live together; solo Family-Oriented sims will suffer pretty badly. Family-Oriented sims cannot Hate Children or be Noncommittal.
Good: The sim is a do-gooder. Good sims enjoy positive Moodlets, and receive several conversation options related to their happy view of life. Good sims don’t get along with Evil sims, because, obviously. Good sims cannot be Evil or Mean.
Hates Children: The sim detests anyone who isn’t at least a teen. Sims who Hate Children have several conversation options for irritating or demeaning kids, and will suffer quite badly if they Try for a Baby. Sims who Hate Children probably shouldn’t have kids of their own, as they become Angry around children. Sims who Hate Children cannot be Childish or Family-Oriented.
Loner: The sim likes to be on their own most of the time. Loner sims tend to be shut-ins, and don’t suffer if their Social need drops. On the flip side, Loners suffer in social situations, and they become Tense or otherwise uncomfortable when speaking to Strangers. Social careers are not a good choice for Loners, and rejection in general does not go over well with Loners. Loner sims cannot be Outgoing.
Mean: The sim thrives from the negative emotions of others. Mean sims enjoy pranks or mischievous comments, and receive big boosts to their mood after winning a fight. Mean is a good pairing with Evil… and possibly Loner, since no one will ever want to talk to your sim ever. Just saying. Mean sims cannot be Good.
Noncommital: The sim thrives on change, and doesn’t want to be chained down. Noncommital sims won’t want to stay in the same relationship or job forever, and get big boosts to their mood when quitting or breaking up. Noncommital sims also take longer to receive the Propose option than most sims. Don’t expect Noncommital sims to get very far with relationships or careers, in short. Noncommital sims cannot be Family-Oriented.
Outgoing: The sim loves to chat. Outgoing sims enjoy social interactions, and most of their Moodlets have to do with positive communication, whether they’re chatting with good friends or absolute strangers. Outgoing sims tend to have a lot of friends. Outgoing sims cannot be Loners.
The following Traits are bestowed by choosing a particular Aspiration. Bonus Traits tend to improve your sim’s chances of achieving their Aspiration over the long run.
High Metabolism: Paired with the Athletic Aspiration. Sims with a High Metabolism don’t gain weight or lose weight as quickly as other sims. Sims with a High Metabolism tend to work out a lot. Sims that cook for a living may also want a High Metabolism, as they’re around food enough for weight gain to be a potential problem.
Muser: Paired with the Creativity Aspiration. Sims with Creativity receive skill boosts when they’re feeling Inspired. Artistic or writing sims should be Musers.
Dastardly: Paired with the Deviance Aspiration. Dastardly sims have stronger, and generally more successful, Mean interactions with other sims. Dastardly sims are usually criminals, as well as Evil and Mean.
Domestic: Paired with the Family Aspiration. Domestic sims receive bonuses to their relationship gains with family members. Good for homebodies, or sims that want a lot of children.
Essence of Flavor: Paired with the Food Aspiration. Sims with Essence of Flavor are just plain better at cooking and mixing drinks. Any sim planning to become a caterer will want Essence of Flavor.
Business Savvy: Paired with the Fortune Aspiration. Business Savvy sims earn more money at their jobs. Anybody who wants to succeed at their career will want Business Savvy. Also a good idea for Snobby or Materialistic sims that demand a lot of cash to remain happy.
Quick Learner: Paired with the Knowledge Aspiration. Quick Learners learn skills more quickly. Overall a fantastic Trait, and useful to just about anyone.
Alluring: Paired with the Love Aspiration. Alluring sims have more success at seducing other sims using Flirty interactions. Want a lot of boyfriends / girlfriends? Give Alluring a try.
Collector: Paired with the Nature Aspiration. Collector sims will find rare collectibles more often when they’re out searching. A great pair with Geek and Loves Outdoors.
Gregarious: Paired with the Popularity Aspiration. Gregarious sims build friendly relationships more quickly. Not quite as quickly as Domestic sims become chums with their family members, mind, but appreciably faster. Careers that require a large social network will benefit from Gregarious.
In addition to all the Traits listed above, there are several Reward-based Traits that your sim can purchase via Satisfaction points. More details on these Traits, and how to purchase them, can be found in this article. Reward Traits tend to be very powerful, though on the flip side you’ll have to get through a lot of Moodlets to earn one. Have fun!