How to Live Off the Grid in The Sims 4

Recent world events may have you dreaming of just disappearing to the wilderness. Live out your off-the-grid fantasy through your sims. You can live a grid-free life with new Sim 4 patches combined with additions from expansion packs.

It isn’t only a way to play out a fantasy. Off-the-grid living provides gameplay advantages and extra difficulty that deliver a fresh challenge to managing your sims life. You’ll be able to make use of all those Sims 4 expansions you’ve been collecting. Your sims will also have reduced utility bills. Since you’ll be finding ways to collect water and power, they won’t be paying for those sweet, sweet simoleons for them. The sims government even offers tax breaks for off-grid living.

There are some disadvantages to braving a completely independent sims life. The game can be a little inconsistent with what objects do or don’t work off the grid. Your sims cooking options will be rather limited. You’ll also need to download mods or purchase expansions to get the full off-the-grid experience.

The extra challenge of off-grid sims life makes for beautifully crafted lots and a unique feel to the gameplay.

What is Off the Grid Living?

If you’re going to simulate something, you have to understand what it is. You can think of off-the-grid living as a lifestyle centered around environmentally friendly practices and complete separation from constant internet-connected devices like smartphones, computers, and electronic media.

Some people go off-grid to cut the expensive costs in their lives and achieve true independence. Others go off-grid to get away from the social culture of the connected world and restore their mental health. They build homes that offer self-sustainability by growing their foods and purchasing only from local markets, supplying their own water needs, and generating power on their own.

To put it simply, here are the qualifying traits of an off-grid home:

  • Capability to sustenance farm
  • Ability to generate power
  • Access to a water source(rain collection, well, or body of water)
  • Can function independently in remote locations

It used to be a central concern to eliminate electronic technology, but modern off-the-grid living can incorporate internet and media access as well. The central concern is the independence of the basic needs.

Starting Your Off the Grid Lot

With our new understanding of off-grid life, we can start to think about our Sims 4 off-the-grid project. Below this guide will break down how to set your lot up to be off-grid and the challenges you’ll face to create a working home.

Off the Grid Lot Trait

Step one is to set your lot to be off-the-grid. You can do this through the lot traits settings. This lot trait launched with Sims 4: Island Living. Luckily, it was patched into the base game. So, you don’t have to purchase the Island Living expansion to try making an off-grid home.

To find the lot traits, go into build mode by pressing the build mode button in the top right corner of the screen or by pressing F2 while in-game. From there, click on the small house icon in the top left corner. Here you will find the settings for your home’s lot traits. You can have 3 active traits at a time.

Some fun traits to pair with the off-the-grid traits are Clothing Optional and Natural Light. If you’re not a fan of the Clothing Optional trait, the Home Studio or Great Soil traits also work well. Feel free to experiment with different combinations. You can always adjust the traits later to suit your needs. Just be sure that the off-the-grid trait is enabled.

What You’ll Need

The off-the-grid lot trait affects objects that use electricity and water. That means you’ll have to work with limited access to objects. You won’t be able to rely on electric appliances for your sims.

To get a good assessment of what you can use, filter your buy objects list by selecting the off-the-grid objects category. It’ll save you some time in hovering over objects to read the details. You may still have access to a decent amount of items if you have specific item packs and expansions like Tiny Living.


Lighting is going to be a bit more challenging as regular lights won’t work when you live off the grid sims 4. You won’t be able to hang fixtures all over the place. Candles, lanterns, fireplaces, and windows are going to provide all the light you need. Luckily, there are a few different lights that are labeled as candles. Just keep an eye on the object details. If you’re sorting by the off-the-grid category, you’ll be able to find exactly what you need.

For modders, try to pick up objects packs that are centered around outdoor activities. It’s difficult to know if objects are made for off-the-grid use until you can inspect them individually. Just look for ‘candle’ or ‘lantern’ in the details. If it acts as either one, you’ll be able to use it.


Good news! You won’t have to sacrifice your toilet. Most toilets will work off the grid. However, showers and sinks are a different story. If you have the Island Living pack, you will be well equipped with outdoor showers and sinks. If not, you’ll have to experiment with different sinks to find one that works. For showers, the shower/tub combo from the base game is useable off-grid. The shower that comes with Strangerville also functions off-grid.


You’ll be limited to specific stoves to cook with. The Wood Burning Cookstove and the YumCooker are the most often used for off-grid lots. However, you will have full access to the list of outdoor grills in the game. There are plenty of grilling options, so you won’t have any trouble keeping to your special aesthetic.

You’ll still be able to use a refrigerator off-grid. However, it does require that your sims fill it with ice daily. You can also opt for small cooling units like a MegaCooler mini-fridge instead.

Feeding Your Sims

Using a Wood Buring Stove will severely limit your sims’ recipes. They’ll be stuck on a steady diet of grilled cheese, eggs and toast, tomato soup, fish on a stick, and popcorn crickets. It works, but it doesn’t offer nearly the same variety as using an outdoor grill. I recommend installing both in your home.

You’ll be able to have your sims prepare cold dishes with no problems. This means you can store food so you always have a heavy supply of fruit salad and dry goods.

Taking Care of the Utilities

This is the biggest challenge to living off-grid both in Sims 4 and the real world. Providing your home with enough electricity brings a quality of life that would make the kings and emperors of the medieval centuries rage in jealousy. Giving up those beautiful life conveniences to gain true independence is a heavy deed.

What if you didn’t have to give it all up? If you have the Sims 4: Eco Lifestyle pack, you don’t.

Generating Power

Without the Sims 4: Eco Lifestyle pack, you will be living off the grid without power. With it, there are a few different ways to generate power for your Sims home. First, there is the standard power generator. It costs 25 bits to function, and the game considers it a heavy polluter. It’s also a bit bulky.

Then you have the renewable energy sources from solar panels and wind turbines. Solar panels will have offer greater versatility as they can be placed as an array on the ground or neatly tucked away on your home’s roof. The wind turbine has a great aesthetic and is a functional addition to your off-grid Sims home.

Collecting Water

Off the grid means no city water. You’ll have to have your sims find ways to collect the water they need to comfortably live in their off-grid home. There are three reliable ways for your sims to get collect their water supply:

Gather water – This is the main way to get the water you need for your sim’s toilet, shower, and sinks. Your sims will find water in natural sources like fishing pods, oceans, pools, and lakes. This will be a regular task as sims use a lot of water and will run through their reserves very quickly. When your sim’s water reserve runs out, the options to use the shower or flush the toilet are removed.

Dew Collector – This only nets you enough for a single shower. It is an object added in the Sims 4: Eco Lifestyle that collects morning dew.

Water Generator – If you don’t want your sims frequently spending time gathering water from the neighboring ponds, the water generator is the solution to your sim’s water needs. It’s a bulky piece of equipment, and it requires fuel, but it provides the most amount of water out of the collection options. Even though it comes with the Sims 4: Eco Lifestyle, this generator adds a pollution footprint to your lot.

If you’re looking to have your sims live the most eco-friendly lifestyle, then get used to them traveling to water sources to fill their reserves. Otherwise, you can find an appealing way to hide the water generator in your home’s design.

Sims 4 Expansion Packs to Achieve Off the Grid Living

To get the full experience of off-the-grid living in The Sims 4, you will need at least two expansions packs; The Sims 4: Island Living and The Sims 4: Eco Lifestyle. These two expansions add the objects and functionality you need to really get an immersive experience out of your off-grid sim’s lifestyle.

Sims 4 Island Living

The Sims 4: Island Living expansion pack is the seventh full expansion to come to the game. It allows your Sims to live in the world of Sulani. Sulani is a tropical island with beaches, deep water, and volcanoes. This expansion adds a new career, tribal culture events, island clothing, and an array of objects to complete the experience.

The addition of fish traps and outdoor off-grid appliances is what makes this add-on a necessary piece of Sims 4 off-grid living.

Sims 4 Eco Lifestyle

Eco Lifestyle is arguably the more important expansion to have off-grid living. It introduces the objects necessary to make your Sims capable of sustainable off-grid living. It brought solar panels, wind turbines, dew collectors, and water generators into the fray. It even enabled the ability for the Sims to scrounge through garbage to find items to recycle.

It also introduced an environmental decision-making system that affects the state of the world your sims live in. If you make poor decisions that pollute the environment, the skies will fill with smog, and the water will become dirty. The more eco-friendly decisions you make, the cleaner and healthier the water and skies will be.

It also adds a list of home décor objects that are themed around upcycling. These items can give your off-the-grid home the self-made aesthetic that independent lifestyles give off.

Laudry Day and Tiny Living Stuff Packs

Along with the two expansions, there are a few item packs that help to make the off-grid sims experience more immersive. Laundry Day gives you access to the use of clothing lines and handwashing clothes. These will be useful for your Sims that can’t use a washer and dryer.

Sims 4 Tiny Living introduces a set of objects meant to reduce your Sim’s home footprint. These items will help your Sims to reduce the amount of energy they need to produce. While you may have enough solar panels to light up the entire city, you can still add a little more eco-friendly awareness by reducing your Sim’s electricity use and increasing their contribution to society. Or not.

You can take it further by downloading community mods that add extra features for off-grid living. Be careful when using player-made mods as updates in the core game can render them unusable, and it may take time for the creator to update them accordingly. However, if you’re confident enough to give them a try, here are a few of the best sims 4 mods you can search for to add extra depth to your Sim’s off-grid lifestyle:

  • Foraging Mod
  • Water Pump Mod
  • Chicken Coop Mod
  • Gardening Signs Mod
  • Storage Containers
  • Fire Barrels
  • Compost Toilet
  • Rain Barrels
  • Essential Oils
  • Clothing Line
  • Shelter Tree log

Live Off-the-Grid

Now that you’ve set your lot with the right lot traits and made sure your Sims 4 game has the items you need to succeed, you can start designing your off-grid living Sims and put them to work. They can enjoy the freedoms provided by their independence and hard labor while you watch from the comfort of your Sims 4 laptop.

Or you can be a kind Sims overlord. Design a home that works off-the-grid with the most convenience possible. Find a way to automate energy and food needs while separating them from the gravity of modern society. No matter how you choose to treat your Sims, they will be ready to live completely independently of Sim Society.