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The Sims 4 adding sexual orientation in free base game update

The new feature arrives this month.

The Sims 4 will allow players to set a Sim's sexual orientation in a free base game update coming this month.

Releasing alongside the upcoming teen-focused High School Years expansion pack, the update introduces three new details to fill in inside Create-a-Sim mode, which were shown by George Pigula and Jessica Croft – lead producer and lead designer respectively on the new pack – at a virtual preview event attended by Digital Spy.

They are as follows:

This Sim is romantically attracted to... – with 'Men' and 'Women' as checkbox options (one, both, or none can be selected).

This Sim is exploring romantically – with 'Yes' and 'No' as radio options.

This Sim is interested in Mess Around with... – with 'Men' and 'Women' as checkbox options (one, both, or none can be selected).

the sims 4 high school years

Right now, Sims in the game can flirt and engage in romances with anyone, regardless of gender. But with these new options, a Sim's sexual orientation will determine how they will respond to advances from a masculine or feminine Sim.

For example, players can create an asexual Sim by leaving the 'Mess Around' question (which sets who Sims would consider 'WooHoo'-ing with) blank. Likewise, a Sim can be aromantic by not selecting anything for the 'romantically attracted to' question.

As for the 'exploring romantically' options, Croft explained: "[One] story we wanted people to be able to tell, which is common in the teen experience, is somebody that is still trying to figure out who they are. They're still trying to understand who they like and who they're interested in.

"If you set your Sim to explore romantically, then their orientation may shift through gameplay and you may end up in a very different place from where you began."

the sims 4 high school years

Related: The Sims 4 Werewolves review – one of the best packs in years

The team worked with GLAAD and the It Gets Better Project to "get a broader range of feedback on how to actually accomplish this in a way that uplifts and celebrates" the LGBTQIA+ community, said Croft before she acknowledged one current issue with this new feature.

A previous update introduced customisable pronouns for all Sims, but the sexual and romantic attraction questions only have gender binary options, with non-binary not mentioned at all.

"This is largely a technical limitation," Croft said. "At this point in time, we don't actually have 'mechanically' non-binary Sims. We recognise that these are steps in a journey, and it's a journey we're still plotting out."

She added that the new system had been designed to be "easily expandable" so that the developers might be able to address this and make further changes to the feature in the future.

"We understand that this is not the finish line, but this is a very important V1 (version 1)," she said.

the sims 4 high school years

Players can change a Sim's sexual orientation at any time by going back into Create-a-Sim. And Pigula confirmed that many of the premade characters and NPCs would have their orientation set – but only ones created starting from this next expansion.

It means that the previous NPCs in the game won't be updated with this in mind, but for the newer characters, players can learn about their orientation as their own Sims interact with them.

The Sims 4: High School Years will launch on PC, Mac, PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S on Thursday, July 28.

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