The Sims 4 players clock 1.4 billion hours played in free game in 2022

The Sims 4 players racked up a huge 1.4 billion total hours played in the EA life sim game in 2022, as it became a free game ahead of the announcement of Sims 5

The Sims 4 total hours played 2022 - a Sim wearing an orange floral shirt grins widely

The Sims 4 players have racked up a whopping 1.4 billion total hours played in 2022, EA says, with fans of the probably the most well-known life game making even more Sims this year than last. It’s been a banner year for the series – not only did we get a glimpse at the next game in October ahead of its early access release, but The Sims 4 became a free game as well.

EA reports in its end-of-year breakdown that “Simmers spent 1.4 billion hours in The Sims 4 creating 18.5% more Sims characters than in 2021.” There were of course plenty of reasons to dive into the character creator in 2022 – not only did the game become available to more players than ever thanks to its free-to-play transition, but the Sims 4 customisable pronouns update allows players to alter their characters’ gender identity and pronouns, as well as their romantic and sexual preferences.

We also saw several notable updates to the game in 2022, with The Sims 4 Werewolves expansion jumping out as a particularly dramatic addition to the cast of Occult Sims that you can assign your characters as, or turn into under the right conditions.

It was also announced that renowned modding platform CurseForge would be the central hub of all things Sims 4. The partnership allows players to browse a selection of different mods and add them to their favourites, while simultaneously ensuring fans are safeguarded when playing.

The announcement of The Sims: Project Rene likely also encouraged many players to return to the latest mainline edition – the project is essentially the initial stages of what is likely to turn into a Sims 5, and is already being tested in limited capacity by members of the community as EA aims to build it with the help of Sims fans. You can read our The Sims: Project Rene interview for more on what the team hopes to achieve with early access and improved diversity options and creation tools in the next game.

If you want to join the crowd, you can download The Sims 4 for free. Whether you’re jumping in for the first time or a veteran player, the best Sims 4 mods offer plenty of great ways to improve your game, and our guide to the best Sims 4 CC should help you find some of the best custom content packs and creators to further enhance your experience.