The Sims 4 remains one of the most popular games on PC, despite being over five years old at this point, and it’s mostly remained so popular through a mix of addictive gameplay and a steady release of new content. Therefore fans of The Sims 4 were delighted at the announcement at EA’s E3 press conference of The Sims 4: Island Living, a new tropical-themed expansion. In our Sims 4 How to Become a Mermaid guide below, we’ll talk about getting involved with its most entertaining addition.
Aside from the new resort of Sulani, a focus on conservationism, and the addition of dolphins, Island Living is most notable for introducing a race of sim mermaids into the increasingly-mythological cast (we’ve had vampires in a previous expansion). While your sims can meet the game’s mermaids, what you’ll really want to do is manage them. We’ll show you how to create a Sims 4 mermaid character, how to turn your current sims into mermaids (and how to change back), and just how mermaids work in the world of The Sims 4.
How to create a mermaid character in The Sims 4 Island Living
Let’s start out with the simplest way of managing mermaid sims in the game: building a mermaid character from scratch. Fortunately this is very easy to do, and works exactly the same as it does with vampire characters. An an ‘occult’ to your new sim in the bottom-left hand corner of the character creator, and select the mermaid option. You can now customize your mermaid however you wish, from their hair to their tropical fish tail. When you head into the game, the character will transform automatically to-and-from a mermaid as you order then in and out of the sea.
Sims 4 How to become a mermaid in the expansion
If you’ve already created a sim and you want to turn them into a mermaid, the process is a little more involving. For starters, you may need to have your household set to be “merwoke,” in other words, have experienced mermaids and may do again. While there are reports that you can possibly get the mermaid trait by befriending a dolphin or digging around in the sand, the best way to do it is by going to the area in Sulani of Mua Pel’Am, and then sending your sim to explore a mysterious dark cave near the waterfall, called the Underground Pools.
They should hopefully bring back a collection of Mermadic Kelp, which you can find in their inventory (you can also get it in the Aspiration Store for 500 Satisfaction Points, but that’s the cheater’s way). It can take a little while to get it this way, however, although you’ll get a bundle when you do. You can also get it by talking to mermaids, diving around deep water buoys, and again digging through sand (there’s a lot of that in this game).
Then simply have your sim eat the kelp, and send them to the sea withing 24 in-game hours. Your sim will start to feel a strange sensation, and they’ll transform into a mermaid and start swimming about. We’ll deal with what they can do in a moment. You’ll know it worked from the green plumbob over their head: if it’s got a ring around it, they’re a mermaid now.
Alternatively, if you’re struggling to get Mermadic Kelp and really want to cheat it, open up the command menu and type in “Traits.Equip_Trait Trait_OccultMermaid”. You can remove the trait with “Traits.Remove_Trait Trait_OccultMermaid”.
How to change back from becoming a mermaid
To change back from a mermaid into a normal sim, simply head back to land and your sim will grow legs again, then you can send them back to the sea to make them transform again. If you want to completely take away their mermaid status and all their new abilities, have the sim eat two of the Mermadic Kelp. They’ll return to being a normal sim. Again, check out that sim’s green plumbob if you want to know for sure if it worked. Ring around the plumbob means they’re a mermaid, no ring means normal sim. Easy.
How do mermaids work in The Sims 4 Island Living?
As mentioned, sims do not keep their fish tails on land and bounce around on it, they only transform into a mermaid when in water, otherwise they’ll just look like a normal sim. So why would you want to turn them back into a normal sim? Because while they get new mermaid powers, there’s also a disadvantage, as a mermaid sim’s Hygiene meter is replaced with a new one called Hydration. This means you have to keep going into water to stay happy. This can be the sea, but can also be a pool or bathtub fortunately.
However, the cool mermaid powers hopefully make up for this slight disadvantage. For starters, you’ve automatically got a dolphin friend. When in the water you can summon the dolphin, splash around with them, and play a game of fetch with them, which makes the whole expansion worthwhile in our view. If you have the Seasons expansion Mermaids have the power to change the island’s weather, which you can activate by clicking on them.
They also have the ability to buff other sims in various ways. You can help improve their fishing capabilities at a fishing spot, give a sim +1 happiness by kissing them, or sing various lullabies to add +2 stressed, sad, flirty or inspired. A mermaid sim can also be evil too, dragging other sims under the water or calling other sims to their doom with a siren call, that can get the creepy mermaid +100 to their motives. Maybe it’s best to turn them back into a human, after all.