At last, Maxis is giving The Sims 4 sexual orientation options

A free new Sims 4 update is launching later in July with a suite of options to customize your Sims' physical and emotional preferences

EA and Maxis are sending out a free new Sims 4 update that adds a suite of customization options for you to tailor your Sim’s sexual and romantic orientations as you see fit – or, in some cases, as your Sim sees fit. The update, which EA developed in partnership with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, will launch alongside the High School Years expansion on July 28. While it won’t change the preferences of existing Sim NPCs, future Sims and those added in the High School Years expansion will have new orientations.

The new options will live under the “more details” section of the Create a Sim menu, where you choose your Sim’s gender. Here, you’ll find three categories:

  • This Sim is romantically attracted to (Men/Women)
  • This Sim is exploring romantically (Yes/No)
  • This Sim is interested in Mess Around with (Men/Women)

Jessica Croft, lead designer on The Sims 4, said the team wanted to implement a viable way for people who identify as asexual or aromantic to express themselves in detail as well. For example, you can toggle both “mess around” options off and choose a gender for romantic attraction, or eschew romantic relationships while still pursuing physically intimate ones.

If you’re playing High School Years – and, presumably, any new expansions that launch afterwards – the way you go about forging these relationships is also changing. Rather than flattering and knock-knock-joking your way into love and marriage, you need to get to know the other Sim and find out whether they identify the same way yours does.

That identity may change over time if you toggle the “exploring romantically” option on. Maxis said that, just like in real life, the teenage years are for figuring out who you are, so your Sim may start high school with one romantic preference and end up with something completely different by graduation. If you know for sure how you want your Sim to be, though, just choose “no,” and they’ll live with a fixed orientation.

Croft said that for now, the system doesn’t allow for non-binary or transgender options. However, this new update is part of the game’s journey, not the end of it, and it can be expanded on in the future.

If you’re after more ways to tailor your Sims experience, there’s plenty of Sims 4 mods to choose from, like one that make your babies a bit less monstrous. You can also bend its rules to your will with an impressive variety of cheats, including easy ways to get money and defy death.