8 best Sims 4 expansion packs in 2022: Seasons, High School Years & Cottage Living

A cat and a dog from The Sims 4 Expansion Pack sitting next to one another with the game's logo in the centerEA / Maxis / YouTube: The Sims

With over ten Expansion Packs available for The Sims 4, it can be hard to decide which ones are best, so read on for a roundup of our favorites as of 2022.

The Sims 4 has plenty of content for Simmers to sink their teeth into, with each one expanding the scope of gameplay, Create a Sim, and Build/Buy modes even further with each pack released.

From introducing cute, cuddly pets and other animals for you Sims to care for in both Cats & Dogs and Cottage Living, to the re-introduction of colleges in Discover University, or the possibility of superstardom in Get Famous; there is copious amounts of content to explore in the game.

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High School Years is the latest Expansion Pack to enter into the mix, taking the total of this DLC type up to 12 — so let’s break down eight of the best Expansion Packs in The Sims 4 as of 2022 and some of their coolest features.

The best Sims 4 Expansion Packs in 2022

An image of two Sims chatting in The Sims 4EA / Maxis
Since its release in 2014, The Sims 4 has seen a dizzying amount of new content through Expansion Packs and more.

8. The Sims 4 High School Years

A high school corridor in The Sims 4EA / Maxis
The Sims 4 High School Years adds much more gameplay to a teen Sim’s life.
  • Release date: July 28, 2022

Adding more gameplay to the teen life state in The Sims 4, High School Years brings in a boba tea-meets-thrift shop lot type alongside a brand new world, Copperdale.

While you’re there, alongside a selection of delicious drinks, you can head onto the new app, ‘Trendi’, to design, purchase, and sell looks that include unique items which can only be found in-store.

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In the halls of Copperdale High, teen Sims can attend classes, decorate their lockers and create promposal signs to invite their crush to the flashiest event of the season — prom! After-school activities allow your Sims to become cheerleaders or to sign up for the football team, but if your Sims prefer more mentally-challenging programs, the chess or computer teams are where its at.

There’s a funfair to visit, complete with a Ferris Wheel, Tunnel of Love, and a House of Horrors (though these are all rabbit holes) and even ice cream and snack stands — corndog, anyone?

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What’s more, teen Sims will need to deal with typical, stressful situations like acne, all while being able to engage with friends on the new phone app, Social Bunny.

You can read our full review of The Sims 4 High School Years here.

7. The Sims 4 Get Famous

An image of a actor Sim getting their hair and makeup done in the Get Famous expansion trailerEA / Maxis / YouTube: The Sims
Step into the spotlight with Get Famous’ active Acting career.
  • Release date: November 16, 2018

Introducing the sun-soaked, aptly named suburban world of Del Sol Valley, The Sims 4 Get Famous brings with it a whole host of new gameplay additions. If you’re looking to turn your Sim into a global superstar or take up the mantle of a livestreamer, you’ll be able to do just that. Similar to the bonuses introduced in Vampires, famous Sims can also unlock additional benefits by spending fame points on perks (who doesn’t love free gifts in the mail?!)

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Quirks are also obtained throughout gameplay as they become more famous, ‘bestowing’ them with everything from a ‘Stan’ that obsesses over and follows them around, to becoming an Emotion Bomb that causes them to fly off the handle at the drop of a hat.

What’s more, there’s even a brand new active career that’ll allow you to head off to work with your Sims: Acting. Featuring different themed gigs for your aspiring actors to take up as they work to reach celebrity status, the career’s gameplay loop has plenty of trademark humor here to keep things from tiring too quickly.

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6. The Sims 4 Snowy Escape

A group of Sims dining together in Snowy EscapeEA / Maxis / YouTube: The Sims
Snowy Escape introduced a gorgeous world, Lifestyles, and wintry activities reminiscent of The Sims: Vacation.
  • Release date: November 13, 2020

The Sims 4 Snowy Escape brought in more features to flesh out your Sims, and in turn, their lives. Alongside the free, Base Game update of Sentiments, 16 Lifestyles were introduced as part of this Expansion Pack.

Gained by the interactions that your Sims perform over time, they can become ‘Adrenaline Seekers’, a ‘Workaholic’, or even a ‘Junk Food Fiend’. Many of these also have their own additional features, with ‘Health Food Nut’ giving Sims the option to cook healthy alternatives to certain meals.

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Mt. Komorebi — Snowy Escape’s new world — brings with it a brand new lot type (the Onsen Bathhouse) and wintry sports activities, perfect for those Sims seeking a restful break or plenty of thrills. Here, your Sims can zip down a snowy hill on skis, a sled, or a snowboard as they hone their skills, or tackle rocky mountains as they attempt to climb (and avoid an untimely demise from missing their footing).

5. The Sims 4 Discover University

An image of a Sim in the Discover University Expansion Pack trailer with robots in The Sims 4EA / Maxis / YouTube: The Sims
Discover University sends Sims off to college as they work towards their future.
  • Release date: November 15, 2019

Re-introducing one of my all-time favorite features back into the latest iteration of The Sims, Discover University lets Sims who are Young Adults or older step into the world of further education. Adding the historical University of Britechester and the modern Foxbury Institute campuses, Britechester’s new world houses the only locations where Sims can head off to get their college degree.

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With both campuses having their own student organizations to join — including the Art Society for Britechester and Bot Savants for Foxbury — and Distinguished Degrees being locked to a specific school, you’ll need to decide which of the two fits your Sims’ futures best and which leads into their ideal career.

Each location has a relatively open plan, and while each class is, disappointingly, a rabbit hole, brand new bicycles mean that Sims can zip to and from class in style (and attempt to make up for that long lay-in). Dorms make a return, adding brand new storytelling possibilities as your Sims navigate having to reside with different personalities while juggling their life and coursework.

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It’s not all hard work though, as Sims have plenty of options to chill out and enjoy their time at college; with juice kegs, ping-pong tables, and even a craftable quadcopter drone to utilize in their downtime.

4. The Sims 4 Island Living

A sim floating in the ocean and another on a canoeEA / Maxis / YouTube: The Sims
Explore the ocean or take it slow and drift around in Island Living.
  • Release date: June 21, 2019

Bringing in what is arguably one of the most beautiful worlds in the whole of The Sims 4, Sulani, Island Living adds swimmable oceans, Mermaids, sunbathing, and the Conservationist career, to name a few.

While the Mermaid occult is one of the most underwhelming and underdeveloped of those on offer in The Sims 4, Island Living still maintains a high spot on this list due to the vast amount of other features included.

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An active volcano looms large, with the ever-impending threat of eruptions, and Elemental spirits and Kava Parties add a rich layer of culture and lore to the world. The island even changes over time as you interact with it and clean it up (or alternatively, don’t).

Sims can even take up Odd Jobs, a new feature that allows them to make some Simoleons by completing tasks set by other Sims.

Out in the ocean, Sims can head into the blue for a dip, nip around on a canoe or an Aqua-Zip, or lean back into the slower lifestyle of the island and laze around on a floating lounger.

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3. The Sims 4 Cottage Living

A llama being brushed by a Sim in Cottage LivingEA / Maxis / YouTube: The Sims
Cows, llamas, and chickens — oh my! Cottage Living introduced ways to live off of the land and connect with nature.
  • Release date: July 22, 2021

Arriving when the Cottagecore trend was at its peak, The Sims 4 Cottage Living is undoubtedly one of my favorite packs ever from The Sims. While this is definitely due to the pack’s British theme overall (you can nip into The Gnome’s Arms pub for a spot of fish and chips) — something that hadn’t been done until this pack — it’s just a feel-good, beautifully detailed Expansion Pack that lets Sims live off of the land and connect with nature.

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In Cottage Living, you can raise and keep your own animals, from chickens to cows and, of course, llamas (would it be The Sims without them, after all?) and each one also provides their own produce which can be used in different ways. What’s more, the pack ships with two unique Lot Challenges — ‘Simple Living’ and ‘Wild Foxes’ — with the former requiring ingredients to be bought, grown, or collected before being able to cook a particular recipe. They can even take part in Canning to preserve fruits and vegetables, something that screams nostalgia and took me right back to a similar feature from The Sims: Livin’ Large (is this giving away my age?)

If you Sim fancies themself to be a little crafty too, they can even take up cross-stitching to create beautiful designs, and more can be unlocked by progressing through the new skill or by completing the quest-like Errands, which are in part, somewhat similar to Island Living’s Odd Jobs.

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Sims can even live their Disney Princess fantasy and befriend and sing to birds (alongside foxes and rabbits) — and who knows, they may even flitter around you as you do!

You can read our full review of The Sims 4 Cottage Living here.

2. The Sims 4 Cats & Dogs

A veterinarian in The Sims 4 with a dog and another simEA / Maxis / YouTube: The Sims
The Veterinarian’s active career was introduced along with Sims being able to own furry friends in Cats & Dogs.
  • Release date: November 10, 2017

What’s The Sims without furry friends for them to share their life with? The Sims 4 Cats & Dogs ranking so high on this list is likely no surprise, and it’s not hard to see why. Being able to create (or adopt!) your very own cat or dog to accompany your Sims throughout the ups and downs of their life adds even more storytelling and gameplay possibilities for Simmers to tuck into.

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Here, you’ll be able to train your pets, get to know them, and even give your Sims the Cat Lover or Dog Lover traits — proving them with powerful bonuses to forming relationships with their animals faster.

Cats & Dogs even introduces a brand new career: Veterinarian. Alongside this is the new Vet Clinic lot type, meaning that if your furry family members become a little sick and under the weather, you can whisk them off to receive treatment in a flash. You’ll need to own one of these clinics to be a vet, though, giving you the option to care for and look after your game world’s animals whenever they’re in need.

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1. The Sims 4 Seasons

A screenshot from The Sims 4 Seasons trailer with Sims on an ice skating rinkEA / Maxis / YouTube: The Sims
Sims can experience the four seasons, rounding out gameplay to make the world feel more alive.
  • Release date: June 22, 2018

Without question, my top pick for The Sims 4’s Expansion Packs is Seasons.

Weather and the seasons themselves are an absolute game changer in The Sims, from both a gameplay and a storytelling perspective. Introducing different temperatures along with outfits that can be created for days that are hot or extra chilly, your Sims will experience everything from blistering sunshine through to the ground being covered in a beautiful blanket of white snow.

What would seasons be without Holidays, too? These events allow you to experience everything from Love Day, New Year’s Eve, Winterfest, and Harvestfest. Sims can even take up beekeeping with Burtie’s Bee Box, letting them collect honey and even form a relationship with the flying critters. In the winter, they can create Snowpals and snow angels, and children or teens can even opt into the new Scouting afterschool activity to earn trophies and earn a trait that boosts how quickly a Sim can gain skills.

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Skating even comes back in Seasons, and can be found throughout certain worlds at particular seasons, allowing them to either roller skate or ice skate depending on the time of year.

Perfect for the springtime, the new Gardener career gives those green-thumbed Sims a chance at becoming botanists, and the new Flower Arranging skill lets them create gorgeous bouquets to be sold in exchange for some hard-earned Simoleons.

With Seasons, your Sims’ lives are that much more fully realized and complete, and without it, it feels as if the game is missing something.

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So, there you have it – Dexerto’s roundup of the seven best Expansion Packs in The Sims 4 as of 2022. Make sure to check back as new packs release, as who knows, this ranking could shift around over time.

For tips, tricks, and guides relating to The Sims 4, make sure to check out more of our content:

The best Sims 4 mods to download | All cheats in The Sims 4 on PC and console | How to make money fast in The Sims 4

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