A lot of the time it can feel as if The Sims 4 is lacking in outdoor activities. Thanks to The Sims 4 Seasons, and the addition of weather, I’ve found myself wanting to take my Sims out and about more than ever before (especially when the sun’s out). Unfortunately, there’s only so many times you can visit Magnolia Blossom Park or play basketball in the Spice District before going insane! With no new features to play around with, one way of combating the boredom is to refresh and renew your community lots. Trying a new twist on an old classic can not only be a fun way to challenge your building skills but will provide you with somewhere fresh and exciting to take your Sims!
To give you some ideas about how this might be done I’ve built an Open Water Swimming Lake in The Sims 4. Pools have been around since (almost) the start of the Game but through this build I’ve been able to make them feel new and interesting once again!
Selecting a Location
Deciding which of The Sims 4’s Worlds to begin building in is always a bit of a challenge. The perfect location can make all the difference, especially when it comes to taking a great screenshot. I knew I wanted this build to have a European feel and, as I was attempting to emulate a lake, I knew I needed the lot to feel somewhat rural. I decided on the countryside neighbourhood in Windenburg. Surrounded by trees and woodland, this 64×64 lot came with everything I wanted. This lot also has the added benefit of being surrounded by natural lakes and a river. My faux lake fit in perfectly!
To help my build blend into its surroundings, I chose to place down similar trees and plants to those you can find in the rest of Windenburg. This helped to make my lake look less like a manufactured pool and more like a natural part of the environment.
Creating the Lake
Building a lake in the Sims 4 is actually a really easy task but looks super effective when done well. I began this build by using the Custom Pool Tool to create a pool. The great thing about this particular build tool is that it allows you to create a pool in any shape you like, you’re not limited to rectangles. Lakes are rarely ever a perfectly symmetrical shape and so using this tool to create crevices and strange angles allows you to build something a little more realistic.
To truly transform this pool into a lake, I changed the colour of the water to one of the natural water colours – this one is from Jungle Adventure – and added in some algae and lily pads. As there is no way to remove pool trims in The Sims 4 I swapped out the plastic looking default trim for one of the stone trims from Get Together. This stone trim looks more natural than the plastic alternative and suits the style of this build much better. To make the space feel even more realistic, I also added in lots of plants, trees and rocks to the edge of the lake. I placed these objects haphazardly, resizing the plants and rocks and overlapping them with one another to create a wild-looking environment (for more information on resizing check out our Resizing Guide).
Creating the Waterfall
My favourite feature in this build is the waterfall. Waterfalls are something that always look impressive in a build and I love to add them in wherever I can. Before building your own waterfall it’s important to enable MoveObjects (type bb.moveobjects into the Cheat Bar) as most of elements of a waterfall require this cheat. To create this particular waterfall I first began by adding a selection of rocks to one of the corners of the lake. I used the Right Square Bracket Key to size-up the rocks and, with MoveObjects enabled, blended the rocks together to create something that looked like a small cliff or mountain.
The waterfall itself is made using Large and Medium Spraying Water Emitters. I used the Nine Key to lift up the individual water emitters and place them at a suitable height. Placing multiple emitters in a row creates a continuous wall of water that looks exactly like a waterfall!
Although the lake takes up the majority of this lot, I left myself with enough room to add in some other features. I wanted this lot to function properly as a pool so I built some changing rooms and a place to shower.
I also created a reception area. I really enjoy building places like this. Although it won’t function as a reception and is only for decoration, I had a lot of fun adding in a desk and cash register. To make this section of the build look more commercial, I placed down some folders and filing boxes and filled the wall with chalkboards and other wall decorations.
Swimming isn’t the only activity your Sims can take part in on this lot. I decided to add in a couple of hot tubs, as well as a swing-set, monkey bars, and water balloon bucket. Although there aren’t a huge number of outdoor activities for your Sims to take part in in The Sims 4 by placing multiple activities on one lot you can keep your Sims occupied for much longer!
This lot also contains some grills and picnic benches. Although these are items you’re more likely to find in a park, I think they fit in well amongst the trees, plants and general outdoorsy style of this build!