The best Sims 4 Expansion Pack in 2024

A header image showcasing the best Sims 4 expansion packs.
(Image credit: Electronic Arts/Future)

If you’ve been enjoying the free-to-play life simulation game The Sims 4, then you’re likely wondering which would be the best Sims 4 Expansion Pack for you. The best Expansion Packs are those that introduce whole new worlds, a raft of new items, and loads of fresh mechanics to enhance your experience. 

Given the number on offer and the fact that buying all of the Expansion Packs would be pretty pricey, you might be wondering which would be the best for your specific wants and needs. After all, everyone plays The Sims 4 in their own way, with some choosing to focus solely on character creation or the in-depth building mechanics, while others prefer a more well-rounded life simulation experience. We’ve created this guide to the best Sims 4 Expansion Pack in order to help you choose, offering top recommendations in a number of popular categories. 

We have considered a range of factors that might make one particular Expansion Pack the most worthwhile for you. In addition to exploring what we consider to be the best Sims 4 Expansion Pack overall, we also have some great options for those who prefer to spend their time building, picking out clothes and hair for their Sims, or engaging in hands-on gameplay.

 Best Sims 4 Expansion Pack 2024 

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The Sims 4 Seasons DLC

(Image credit: Electronic Arts)

1. The Sims 4 Seasons

The best Sims 4 Expansion Pack overall
Why we love it

The Sims 4 Seasons offers the perfect balance of new gameplay, useful build mode items, and versatile clothes and hair options. 

The Sims 4 Seasons is our top choice when it comes to the best Sims 4 Expansion Pack overall. We consider it to be an essential expansion given the sheer amount of compelling new content that it brings to the table. As the name would suggest, The Sims 4 Seasons focuses on introducing various real-world seasons into the game, with different weather events and a rotating array of activities available during each one. 

While the sunny spring and summer seasons offer the perfect chance to get to grips with the new gardening career and skill set, it’s also ideal for those who like watching their Sims unwind in the sun. Brief storms can impact the well-being of your Sims in exciting ways, with those scared of the thunder cowering inside while others can enjoy splashing around in puddles. The arrival of fall and winter then transforms maps with an attractive layer of hazel leaves or a light dusting of snowfall, offering the chance to build (or destroy) snowmen and, of course, get into snowball fights. The ability to design separate outfits for different temperatures adds a welcome extra degree of customization, giving you more opportunities to experiment with looks and means that your Sims will dress realistically depending on the weather. 

Outside of these new mechanics, The Sims 4 Seasons has plenty to offer in terms of build mode items, clothes, and hair. Seasonal decorations can add a lot of flair to your builds, and the abundance of versatile clothing options themed around both hot and cold weather massively expands your wardrobe. You get the option to ‘Woohoo’ in a leaf pile, too, which we think is well worth the price of admission alone.

The Sims 4 Eco Lifestyle DLC

(Image credit: Electronic Arts)

2. The Sims 4 Eco Lifestyle

The best Sims 4 Expansion Pack for building
Why we love it

The Sims 4 Eco Lifestyle packs an attractive new world and a tonne of sleek, modern build mode items alongside some intriguing new mechanics. It’s a must-have Expansion Pack for those seeking to build contemporary homes. 

The Sims 4 Eco Lifestyle stands above the rest if you’re after the best Sims 4 Expansion Pack for building. Sustainable living is the main theme of the pack, which introduces the new world of Evergreen Harbor and challenges you to live environmentally. The overall look of the world reacts to your eco-footprint, becoming grungy and unpleasant if you let the trash pile up or use lots of electricity. It’s an engaging mechanic, but we think the best part of this pack is easily its build mode items.

The Sims 4 Eco Lifestyle includes a range of new furniture options inspired by modern designs. Its new windows and doorways are incredibly useful, while the new chairs and shelves look much slicker than those of the base game. Environmental elements like solar panels or portable generators can help add character to your creations, whether you’re trying to create a fancy apartment building or a self-sufficient underground bunker.

The clothes and hair included in the Expansion Pack are fantastic additions, too. There are some stylish modern hairstyles for both masculine and feminine presenting Sims in here, plus a good selection of eclectic patched-up blouses, shirts, and jeans that are perfect for that upcycled look. 

One thing to bear in mind, however, is that this pack introduces Neighbourhood Action Plans that are passed by vote across the week, and some (like one that forces all Sims to wear an ugly paper bag on their heads at all times) can be pretty annoying. Thankfully, there is an option to disable NPC voting, which stops it from becoming an issue.

The Sims 4 Get to Work DLC

(Image credit: Electronic Arts)

3. The Sims 4 Get to Work

The best Sims 4 Expansion Pack for gameplay
Why we love it

Few Expansion Packs offer quite as much hands-on gameplay as The Sims 4 Get to Work, which transforms your Sim’s career as a Doctor, Scientist, or Detective into a much more interactive experience. 

The Sims 4 Get to Work is our recommendation for those looking for the best Sims 4 Expansion Pack for gameplay. Centered around improving the experience of sending your Sims to work, The Sims 4 Get to Work introduces three active careers (Detective, Doctor, and Scientist) that give you loads to do. Rather than seeing your Sim vanish off into the void for a few hours every day, active careers offer full control of your Sim while they are at the workplace. 

We’re particularly big fans of the Detective career, which plays out like an off-beat crime drama as you travel to crime scenes, collect witness statements, and interrogate suspects. Doctor and Scientist offer a similar level of depth, and it is hugely enjoyable to discover everything that each new career has to offer. Some of the clothes, hair,  and furniture options included as career rewards are very compelling, too, giving you an extra incentive to get to grips with each of them.

The Sims 4 Get to Work adds the ability to set up your own retail business, too. Although this isn’t quite as fleshed-out as the full-blown careers, creating your own cute bookshop or charming bakery is a pretty alluring prospect. The new build mode items are predominantly mainly focused on these retail settings, so this is a pack to avoid if you’re purely searching for new ways to decorate your homes.

Bizarrely, this pack also adds alien Sims that you can encounter in the wild or during your career as a scientist. Alien Sims sport bright green skin and the ability to disguise themselves as regular Sims. With the option to create your own Alien Sims, this is a fun little bonus for those keen on experimenting with supernatural life states.

The Sims 4 Cottage Living Expansion Pack

(Image credit: Electronic Arts)

4. The Sims 4 Cottage Living

The best Sims 4 Expansion Pack for clothes and hair
Why we love it

The Sims 4 Cottage Living contains lots of fantastic options for those looking for more ways to customize their Sims with super cute clothes and stylish hair.

We think that The Sims 4 Cottage Living is comfortably the best Sims 4 Expansion Pack for clothes and hair. Predominantly themed around a countryside vibe, the selection of cozy baggy sweaters, rustic cardigans, and fashionable dungaree shorts here are perfect for almost any setting. They work well across all age groups, too, with a good set of choices for masculine and feminine presenting Sims. Some standout favorites include the adorable strawberry earrings and a pair of stylish octagonal glasses, which both wouldn’t feel out of place on a viral fashion-inspo Pinterest board. There are plenty of good hairstyles here, too.

The pack’s world, Henford on Bagley, is another highlight. It’s inspired by small English villages and is not only a treat to explore but also makes for the perfect backdrop to show off your new looks. The small handful of very old-fashioned build mode items in the pack are also a blessing if you want to create more traditional European homes. 

In terms of mechanics, The Sims 4 Cottage Living introduces farming, which sees you raising livestock like cows and chickens or growing vegetables to sustain your Sims, as well as entering oversized crop growing contests during Henford on Bagley’s village fair to win celebratory ribbons.

The Sims 4 Cats & Dogs Expansion Pack

(Image credit: Electronic Arts)

5. The Sims 4 Cats & Dogs

The best Sims 4 Expansion Pack for beginners
Why we love it

The Sims 4 Cats & Dogs is a great first Expansion Pack because of its very approachable theme. Alongside plenty of breeds of cats and dogs like Scottish Folds and Corgis, it adds a solid world and a good few mechanics. 

Thanks to the wide appeal of its central theme, The Sims 4 Cats & Dogs is the best Sims 4 Expansion Pack for beginners. The option to add both cats and dogs to your family is brilliant if you’re eager to recreate your real-life pets. They can also be fully customized in the Create-A-Sim menu, with a range of breeds to choose from and even the option to draw their unique coats by hand. Like Sims, cats and dogs have their own personalities and can develop strong bonds with their owners if you take the time to get to know them.

Brindleton Bay, the new world included with the pack, is perfect for beginners, too. It’s a decent size with 16 lots, including a fair few blank ones for building. The coastal theme lends it a unique aesthetic that feels very distinct from the worlds of the base game. Brindleton Bay is also home to a range of locations designed specifically for your Sims and their pets, like a dog park and a vet clinic. This latter location also allows you to begin a career as a vet, treating local pets.

The build mode items here are mainly focused on the pet theme and range from automatic food bowls to fish tanks. There are still a few good items for builders, though, including porthole windows that can really help sell the town’s coastal look. The clothes and hair on offer are a similar story, with the majority of items geared towards the pets themselves, with a couple of options for human Sims thrown in.

Best Sims 4 Expansion pack: FAQs

What is the best Sims 4 Expansion Pack?

The best Sims 4 Expansion Pack is largely going to come down to how you play The Sims 4. That said, we consider The Sims 4 Seasons a fantastic all-around pick and would recommend it to those unsure of which pack to get or where to start. For other options, including the Expansion Pack that is best suited for building, see our full list. 

What platforms is The Sims 4 on?

The Sims 4 is available on most major platforms. This includes PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X and S, Xbox One, and PC. Those on PS5 and Xbox Series X and S will be playing the previous generation releases of the game through backward compatibility, though, so be aware that version does not make use of any more recent console-specific features. 

How much does The Sims 4 cost?

Although it was originally a paid release, The Sims 4 was made free-to-play on October 18, 2022. This means that players can dive into the content of the base game on any platform free of charge. Further packs and add-ons, like those on this list, are then available for an additional fee.

How we made our best Sims 4 Expansion Pack list

Lots of us at TechRadar Gaming have experience playing The Sims 4. This list was first assembled by our most dedicated Sims 4 player, who has spent literally hundreds of hours of hands-on time getting to grips with every single pack and addon that is available for the game. This means that you can be sure that we are well-equipped to guide you through the options that would be best for you.

Furthermore, our writers have spent quite a lot of time in the online community surrounding The Sims 4, giving us even more insight into what players want. This list is also kept up to date, offering you the most accurate information available. As The Sims 4 is still receiving plenty of additional content, you can expect to see new arrivals added to this list if we think that they’re the best. 

 For more games like The Sims 4, see our guides to the best free games and the best single-player games. 

Dashiell Wood
Hardware Writer

Dash is TechRadar Gaming's Hardware Writer. Before joining TechRadar, he was a print journalist writing articles for some of the UK's biggest gaming magazines including PLAY, Edge, PC Gamer, and SFX. Now, when he's not getting his greasy little mitts on the newest hardware or gaming gadget, he can be found feverishly devouring the latest Nintendo Switch otome.