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As of the latest Sims 4 patch (June 2020), ladders have made a return to The Sims franchise.

The Basics

Ladders can be found in the Build Mode Catalogue by opening the “Stairs and Ladders” menu and clicking on the Ladders tab.

The June 2020 patch added one ladder to the Game, the “Classic Wooden Ladder”, which comes with 16 swatches.

Ladders can be placed anywhere on a lot providing there is at least one tile in front, to the left, or to the right of the top of the ladder. This tile will ensure Sims are able to exit the ladder.

Sims can exit and enter the ladder from three sides, indicated by the green arrows that appear at the base and top of the ladder when it is selected. As long as at least one of these sides is left open, Sims will be able to use the ladder. This means it is possible to partially enclose a ladder in walls, and to place a ladder perpendicularly against a wall.

Ladders can also be placed against foundations.

Clicking on a ladder will bring up an interface that allows you to copy, move, or rotate that ladder. This is the same interface that is used when moving rooms, staircases, and columns.

If you have already placed a ladder, altering the height of a room, wall, or foundation will cause the ladder to automatically lengthen or shrink.

A ladder placed against a short wall.
A ladder placed against a medium wall.
A ladder placed against a tall wall.

The shortest a ladder can be is one metre – or four slats – high.

When placing a ladder in The Sims 4, the ladder will by default, ascend from the floor you are on to the floor above. Holding down the Ctrl Key whilst you have a ladder selected will reverse this, causing the ladder to descend to the floor below instead.

Placing a ladder on edited terrain will automatically flatten any terrain directly beneath the ladder.

Terrain before a ladder is placed.
Terrain after a ladder is placed.

Ladders will change in length depending on the space between the ground and the tile the top of the ladder is connected to. In the image below you can see an example of three different ladders connecting three different terrain heights to the same building.

Limitations

Ladders cannot be used by toddlers or pets which may be something to consider when building. Sims also cannot carry pets or toddlers up a ladder.

An example of an unusable door.

Doors cannot intersect ladders. Although, with MoveObjects enabled, it is possible to place a door directly in front of a ladder, Sims are unable to climb up the ladder and open the door. Sims require at least one empty tile in front or to the side of the ladder in order to use it. Click Here for more information on using the MoveObjects cheat in your builds.

Ladders also cannot be stacked. Whilst it is possible to create a ladder that connects the ground level to a fourth storey, it is not possible to have a ladder running through multiple floors.

Ladders are only ever able to connect one storey to another.

An example of “stacked” ladders.

Ladders cannot be placed against a diagonal wall. Ladders can only ever be rotated at 90 degree angles.

The width of a ladder cannot be altered.

Almost all of the restrictions on ladder placement detailed above also apply when MoveObjects is enabled. Ladders must be connected to a tile in order to be placed even if MoveObjects is enabled.

This means that it is not possible to use ladders for decorative purposes (it would not be possible to create an unusable bunk bed for instance).

Potential Uses and Building Ideas 

Ladders can be used in a variety of different builds to serve a number of purposes. Not having to rely on stairs to move Sims from one floor to another opens up many new possibilities for builders.

The images below show ladders being used on the exterior and interior of a tree house.

Ladders also allow builders to create realistic mezzaine levels. Here you can see an example of a ladder being used in a log cabin build.

If you have Tiny Living Stuff installed, ladders are a very useful way of connecting one floor to another without going over the tile-limit. Unlike stairs, ladders will only ever take up one tile of space.