The Sims 4: For Rent preview – Every major new feature

Here's everything you need to know about The Sims 4: For Rent Expansion Pack.
the sims 4 for rent expansion pack

The Sims 4: For Rent was recently announced by EA and Maxis as the latest Sims 4 expansion pack designed to overhaul and expand gameplay for long-time players. But while many critics reduced the pack down to being a ‘landlord simulator’ – as it adds the ability to buy and rent properties to other Sims – a recent gameplay preview suggested For Rent is significantly deeper.

The landlord mechanic is actually less important than For Rent‘s major functionality: allowing players to finally build multi-home plots where families, friends, and strangers can live together in segmented residences.

In addition, it also introduces a fresh new Southeast Asian-inspired world called Tomarang, new world events and lot challenges, and even new foods and cooking appliances, in a similar vein to Home Chef Hustle.

Here’s every new feature included with The Sims 4: For Rent.

New World: Tomarang

the sims 4 for rent features tomarang
Image: EA / Maxis

The Sims 4: For Rent will introduce the new world of Tomarang to players. As mentioned, this world is inspired by Southeast Asian culture, and includes a range of special explorable locations. The primary hub is the Night Market, where players can purchase goods from a range of vendors.

The Night Market includes craft stalls where you can buy special shirts, collectible marbles, a marble jar, and tassels, as well as vegetarian and non-vegetarian food stalls. So far, new foods revealed include Vietnamese Crepes, Milk Tea, Malaysian Satay Soup and Tofu Pad Thai, and there are plenty of other options included.

Beyond the Night Market, you can also explore a Botanic Garden, leave incense or other offerings at the Spirit House, pop into the Lounge, or visit the Tiger Sanctuary.

The Tiger Sanctuary is a garden location where you can see glowing tiger eyes at night (but no standalone tigers) and also take part in a mini point-and-click adventure where you can explore the main garden sanctuary, and sneak in with the tigers for a potential reward or a negative moodlet.

As revealed in our early preview, Tomarang is portioned into two main neighbourhoods – one of is very green and natural, and the other is very urban. Both have empty lots, as well as pre-built multi-family dwellings.

New Lot Type: Residential Rentals

the sims 4 for rent expansion pack
Image: EA / Maxis

The primary feature of The Sims 4: For Rent is the addition of a new lot type: a Residential Rental. These are the lots that can house multiple family dwellings, and they can be purchased or rented by Sims.

In the game, these lots will be limited to six units per lot (although you can use a new cheat to unlock up to 99 units across an entire save – on a single lot, or collectively) with players able to build their new residential how they desire. As detailed, it’s possible to transform these lots into duplexes, townhouses, or trailer parks. Every Sim on the lot will be part of a new community, and will be able to use communal features on these lots.

A new group Potluck Event will bring everyone on a community lot together, and you can also strengthen bonds by hosting parties, or gathering in outdoor settings – by the pool, near exercise equipment, or by the barbecue.

As a landlord, it will be your responsibility to ensure your tenants are happy and satisfied by providing them with healthy, well-furnished home dwellings. You can create units in the build/buy mode, using a drop-down menu to select the unit bounds in the same way you create rooms.

Then, you’ll be able to access a new Residential Rental menu that allows you to set desired rent, and rates your room based on Size, Amenities, Environment, and Maintenance. Each rental unit has Rules you can set – No Loud Noises, Maximum Occupancies, No Trash Overload, No Ghosts – and you can invite tenants in (drawn from your excess Sim library and from a base array of For Rent tenants) from this menu.

Notably, this menu also provides suggestions for amenities – bed, shower, decorations, toilet, etc. – although it appears rooms for rent do not have specific requirements. Really, you can put anything into these units – but that said, it’s best to provide good amenities, or you’ll have immediate trouble on your hands.

Should you have misbehaving tenants, you can Justly Evict them as punishment. You can also Unjustly Evict your tenants, to negative consequences (although these were not fully detailed in our preview). You will need to wield your power with good intentions, although there are opportunities to perform bad deeds.

New Event Types: Maintenance Events

With the responsibility of being a landlord will come new Maintenance Events designed to test your mechanical skills. On occasion, properties you own may have trouble like Insect Infestations, Mould Infestations, or Tenant Revolts, which each unique event requiring you to take action to solve it.

A Tenant Revolt will require you to exit your home and bargain with striking renters by promising them new conditions, or fixing what they’re complaining about. A Mould Infestation requires hands-on scrubbing and cleaning, or deployment of the special Mould-Be-Gone item. If you leave this infestation too long, your tenants can become very sick and eventually, they will die. Likewise, Insect Infestations must also be cleared as soon as possible.

By default, these events will only happen on separate properties you own, but you can also toggle them to appear on your own lot by adding them in the Lot Traits menu.

New Build/Buy Mode Objects: Pressure Cookers, and More

the sims 4 for rent gameplay
Image: EA / Maxis

There are plenty of new build/buy furniture items included with For Rent, as you’d expect from a major expansion pack. That includes new house plants, fan boxes, air conditioning units (functional and non-functional), an electric fuse box, new fridges, counters, cabinets, tables, chairs for adults, chairs for kids, floor mats, paintings, cabinets, lotus lights, mirrors, tea sets, colourful fences, floor signs for businesses, and new roofs. There is also a new hopscotch activity set for kids, and perhaps most notably, new pressure cooker and kettle appliances.

The pressure cooker will aid the cooking of new recipes, and should add greater functionality for kitchens, alongside the new kettle appliance.

Beyond these, there are also new purchasable ‘grunge’ decorations – as in, pieces of mould, cracks, and dirt you can place onto your walls for a more rundown look.

New CAS Traits: Cringe, Wise

As with all new expansion packs, For Rent also introduces a bunch of new features for Create-A-Sim (CAS) mode. There are some plain new clothes for adults included, a tiger onesie for infants, and a range of new hairstyles including ponytails for children and adults – but there are also some brand new traits in this pack: Cringe, Wise, Child of the Village, and more.

While not everything was fully detailed in our preview, we did learn Cringe involves dabbing a lot, and that Cringe Sims can learn to ‘Embrace the Cringe’ as they awkwardly chat to their companions.

New Interaction: Snooping

the sims 4 for rent expansion
Image: EA / Maxis

Another new addition to The Sims 4 in For Rent is slightly more salacious. With Sims now able to live in closer quarters, there’s plenty of room for added drama and in-fighting, in the form of secret trading and confrontation.

There are two major new interactions included in the expansion pack to light this fire: Snooping, and Breaking In. Yes, your Sim will now be able to break into their neighbours’ homes – not to steal anything, but to uncover their secrets. When you Break In to a home, you’ll be able to Snoop the furniture to uncover unique secrets (in our preview, one of them was about a Sim abandoning a dog by the roadside, and feeling guilty) and then you may confront the Sim about this secret.

Snooping can also be performed in the outside world – you will now be able to spy on Sims as they share deep conversations with their friends, and then bring up these secrets to exploit Sims later down the track. We advise using this power wisely – lest the entire neighbourhood go to hell.

The Sims 4: For Rent Expansion Pack launches for PC and consoles on 7 December 2023. Find out more on the EA website.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.