The Sims 4 Cottage Living Expansion
Raising Farm Animals and Living a Simple Life
Cottage Living brings back the evil chicken. Isn't that all you need to know?
The Sims 4 Cottage Living is available July 22, 2021 and features the first livestock in The Sims 4. I was given the opportunity to play with an alpha build, courtesy of EA Game Changers, so not all my info is final (it may change before release day) however much of what I write here is from publicly available info.
Growing Oversized Crops and talking to a bunny. Cottage Living offers a fantasy life where animals make their own treats.
The new Expansion offers up Cows, Llamas, and Chickens you can care for in a country setting. Wild birds, rabbits, and foxes are also important in this pack and may play a number of roles in gameplay. Let's go over all the new features in the pack and what you can expect from them.
Setting: Henford on Bagley
This was the fair. The town is pretty, though.
The new town is not very large in terms of available lots, but quite expansive when it comes to the size of two of its three neighborhoods. They rival areas such as Windenberg in terms of sheer size. There was room for more lots, so some people are a bit bummed they did not include a few more places to build.
The only important people in Henford on Bagley. These guys give you errands that unlock upgrades to your chicken and livestock pens.
There are several residents of the town that are important to gameplay, including Agnes and Agatha Crumplebottom. Several NPCs serve roles such as shopkeeper, mayor, or tavern owner and offer the player "missions" in the form of errands that can be found in the friendly social menu. These are instrumental to obtaining everything that this pack has to offer, as a few upgrade items and treats can only be found by working for them.
Around half of you will purchase Cottage Living just to require ingredients when you cook.
In the upcoming patch for Cottage Living, there is a new feature coming to The Sims 4. Negative lot traits now fall into a "Lot Challenges" category where you normally assign them, and there isn't any limit to how many you can apply! You can put 3 good ones on, and ALL the negatives if you like, at least as far as we understand.
A new Simple Living Lot Trait will disable the ability to cook without ingredients. It even eliminates "quick meals". So if you want to eat, you need ingredients. This is mostly a challenge at the beginning of the game, but other challenges can present in this pack via the "Wild Foxes" Trait that will make your lot particularly attractive to foxes that interfere with your chicken coops. This idea may be something the developers can expand, to allow us to disable parts of a pack we may not like (negatives, in particular).
I'm only including this on the page so I can clear up something to those not in the know: the pond tool is not coming with the new Expansion. Everyone will be given it free of charge in the upcoming patch. Builders will love this, and James Turner has already demonstrated building a home on top of a pond in one of his videos.
Cows & Llamas
A Happy Brown Cow
The pack features a small barn you can place on your lock and the ability to purchase llamas and cows in various colors. Llamas and cows live quite a long time compared to chickens, but you can only have one per building. Cows provide milk and llamas can be shaved to acquire wool for use in crafting via the new Cross-Stitching skill.
Treats can be crafted at the fridge. You learn the recipes each time your Sim uses a new one.
These large animals require quite a bit of care. They are more likely to get upset by a lack of attention than chickens, and can get dirty very frequently. In addition, you'll need to clean out the pen and provide the animals a food supply. You can feed any animal once, or give it a supply of food that is visible on the side of the livestock pen.
A Rainbow Cow will give you Rainbow Milk
Cows and Llamas can be fed treats that increase their lifespan or improve your relationship with them, but a notable type of treat are those that transform the animals directly. For instance, giving a llama a spicy treat will give you a red wool, and feeding a gold treat to a cow will give you golden honey milk. These are harvested once, then the animal returns to its normal state.
Sometimes, your chickens will successfully defend themselves against a fox attack. Other times, the little thieves make out with an egg.
Chicken coops can also be purchased and each coop can house up to 8 chickens or roosters. If you have a rooster, you'll sometimes get eggs that can be incubated to hatch a baby chick. There are no baby cows or llamas, but chickens grow up and it can be cost-effective to wait out a chick growing to a hen or rooster.
Golden Chickens can lay golden eggs, but also cast spells. Of course.
Chickens provide eggs daily, if they're hens (of course) and require just as much care as cows and llamas. If you do a social nearby a group of chickens they will all benefit from the attention you've given them, so there isn't any need to continually socialize with chickens. This is something I'm really fond of in Cottage Living.
Chickens stay the same until death, but Cows and Llamas will revert to normal after one milking or buzz-cut.
Because cows and llamas transform after only one harvest, I like chickens much more. If you feed a chicken a golden egg, it will stay a golden chicken. Plus, nightmare treats will transform a chicken into an evil being that can and will attack foxes and the grim reaper on sight. Don't mess with it too much, or it'll kill you. I'm serious, but of course you are given a warning when the evil chicken is about to go Velociraptor on your Sim.
There are about 5 different fairs you can attend in Cottage Living. Try to win first place one time, so you can complete the tutorial.
There is a weekly event in this pack where the Finchwick Fair is held in the town square. Each week, there will be a themed competition, such as to bring in your best chicken/egg, llama/wool or cow and milk. It's also got one for oversized crops. You'll earn participation up to first place rewards but the fair is mostly unexciting.
Wild Animals: Birds, Foxes, and Rabbits
Wild birds and rabbits both give you gifts daily. Exploit this.
The three wild animals in this pack all play at least some role in gameply. Foxes may steal your eggs or attack chickens. Rabbits will interfere with your gardening efforts. Birds, not so much. You can befriend these animals simply by spamming socials, though there is a gifting function where you are meant to learn a gift type they like (this is under-utilized in terms of befriending these animals).
A rabbit becoming my best friend.
Once you've befriended them, foxes can be asked not to attack your chickens any more. Rabbits will help with your garden by eating weeds instead of your crops. Wild birds can be tasked with taking care of insects within a large range around your lot. Birds and rabbits both provide a daily gift to your Sim that can include top-end treats and other rare collectibles.
Oversized crops are not a big deal, but are definitely considered a new gameplay feature. You can also plant regular things on these nice tilled tiles.
Pumpkins, Lettuce, Watermelons, Aubergines, and Mushrooms can all be grown on new patches of land. As they grow, they will merge into one in the center. You're required to fertilize them about once per day in order to get them to become giant. It was not a situation that yielded much money due to the cost of fertilizer, but they can be entered in competitions at the Finchwick Fair.
A New Tutorial
I'm being a bit cheeky, yes, but another tutorial aspiration is included in this pack that tasks you with using all the pack's features. Wow, much excite.
You either love animals or get a bellyache if you eat dairy.
Two new traits are included with The Sims 4 Cottage Living. One is Animal Enthusiast, and makes your Sim have tons of fun being around animals. Basically using this trait my Sim never needed fun or social. You can also be lactose intolerant, which the community was quick to point out is not exactly a personality trait. It may be a trait, yes, but if you only have 3 options not many people would consider being lactose intolerant one of their primary identifying factors. They just don't eat as much ice cream as the rest of us and if they do, they regret it.
The new Cross-Stitching skill has only 5 levels and locks you out for 3 hours when you prick a finger. It also takes materials harvested from Llamas. It gives you a reason to have a Llama.
I'm including this last, because it belongs last. It's an afterthought of a skill with only 5 levels, and very much a rehash of the knitting skill for Nifty Knitting. It almost belonged with that skill. This lets you unlock patterns you get from Henford-on-Bagley residents and by talking to animals and hang them on your wall. It uses llama wool for crafting but is a pretty boring skill in my eyes.