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The Sims 4 High School Years quirk is making classes a bit grim

The Sims 4 High School Years interacts in a rather worrying way with Maxis' Neighborhood Stories feature, and by worrying we mean it's killing the entire school

The Sims 4 High School Years bug: Death looks at a teacher during class

The Sims 4 High School years was off to a rough start, and while Maxis ironed out most of the life game’s new bugs, including the very concerning incest bug, players are still running into a few issues – namely that everyone’s dying in school. The game replaces dead NPCs with other random Sims, so it’s not a massive issue outside planning relationships with the departed. There’s no denying it adds a rather an unpleasant atmosphere to the daily routine, though. Going to school every day is bad enough, but seeing your teacher fall down dead is enough to change anyone’s moodlet permanently.

Or so you’d think. One recent case of instant teacher demise Reddit user hyruleinkling reported had approximately no effect on the class’ moods or even the course of the lecture. Everyone sat calmly until the lesson ended, and then left.

Other instances that players reported were less traumatic, but only slightly. One player said the Grim Reaper was particularly active at their school, taking the principal, lunch lady, and janitor in the span of a week. The Sims 4 then replaced them with townies, some of whom apparently looked almost identical to the deceased.

The foundations of the problem are separate from the High School Years and stem from issues with how Neighborhood Stories work. The system, introduced in 2021, is supposed to make The Sims more immersive by giving NPCs more dynamic lives. In practice, it tends to kill them at random for reasons that are literally as random as you could imagine.

You usually can’t see how a Sim died if you aren’t related to them. One Redditer said they were able to see why a distant family member Sim died thanks to the family tree, and it showed the cause of death was a killer chicken, a potential hazard in the Cottage Living pack. It led some to suggest the game cycles through non-aging deaths at random for these incidents.

The trouble is how frequently Sims die with Neighborhood Stories on. They can literally be walking out your door after a visit and fall down dead. It tends to ruin the fun, as you’d expect, but there is a simple workaround. You can just switch them off in the settings or set NPCs you want to keep around to “immortal” to get around it.

If you’re keen on tinkering even more with your Sims, check out our collection of the best Sims 4 mods for unparallel control over every aspect of their lives (and deaths).