How to make Sims playful in The Sims 4

How to make Sims playful in The Sims 4
Images via EA | Maxis | GGRecon

Last updated 

13th Feb 2024 11:20


Making a Sim playful in The Sims 4 is just one of the many joyful ways you can have them perform special interactions with one another.

You might need your Sim to become playful to help them achieve a work performance goal, to help when writing jokes, or even to achieve the emotional painting challenge for the game's Painter Extraordinaire Aspiration.

I've broken down all the ways you can get the emotion below, but whatever the reason, you'll need to proceed with caution, as a playful Sim may become hysterical - running the risk of an emotion-induced death. 

How to get playful moodlets

Humour and Hijinks Festival

The Humour and Hijinks festival is an addition that came with the City Living Expansion Pack, and in it, you can opt to either be part of the Jokesters (who use comedy) or the Pranksters (who use mischief interactions).

  • While there, if you drink the yellow 'light' tea at the festival, you become a Jokester and receive a +2 boost to playfulness for six hours
  • You can purchase items from the pop-up stall, including a voodoo doll and bubbles
  • Blowing bubbles can produce a playful moodlet, however, they may also produce focused, inspired, or happy moodlets (the chances are randomised)

It takes place every Monday between 5PM and 10PM in the Arts Quarter of San Myshuno, so you can access it pretty regularly as well. If the Jokesters win the festival, your Sim will receive 500 Simoleons and a mic to practise their comedy routines on.

Playful paintings

A Sim painting a playful painting in The Sims 4
Click to enlarge

This is a more permanent version of the Silly Gummy Bear Pancake recipe (which I'll get into later). To do it, have your Sim create an 'emotional painting' when in a playful mood. Once the painting is finished, your Sim can choose to view it at any time and the interaction can put them in a playful mood - though it's not guaranteed. 

Painting a playful painting is a great idea if you have a career that relies on you being in a playful mood, as you can view the picture at any time, regardless of the mood they're in. 

Tell Jokes (or Do an Impression)

Perhaps the easiest way to achieve a playful moodlet for your Sims is to tell jokes. By queueing up jokes and telling a few at a time to nearby Sims, they'll likely receive a playful moodlet.

A pie menu in The Sims 4
Click to enlarge

Watching other Sims tell jokes will also encourage the moodlet, but you can also do interactions like 'Do an Impression' - and now that interactions are grouped together more specifically, this is even easier to find in the ever-expanding selection.

Once playful, more interactions will unlock, which will be highlighted with a pinky-purple marker in the interaction pie menus (shown in the above image). You can choose these when talking with other Sims to continue to boost your playful moodlets.


A Sim in CAS  with the Goofball trait highlighted
Click to enlarge

Another way you can increase the chances of a playful mood is with traits. Assigning a Sim either the Childish or Goofball traits will increase the odds of them entering a random playful mood. This chance will increase further if they have the Childish trait and play with toys.

Special Recipes

'Silly Gummy Bear Pancakes' is a recipe that only becomes available to cook when your Sim is in a playful mood, which adds a three-hour long moodlet, the 'Gummy Bear Guffaws' to them (but requires level three in cooking to make).

Silly Gummy Pancakes in The Sims 4
Click to enlarge

If your Sim happens to already be in a playful mood, it’s a good idea to cook a bigger batch of these to guarantee a quick way back to the playful emotion later on, as you can get the moodlet from eating these even if the Sim isn't currently playful.

Other playful interactions

Interaction & Details
Being near a playful ghost  
Choose the 'Pull Silly Face' interaction when clicking on a mirror +1 boost for two hours
Drink Sparkling Apple Juice Requires Get Together
Drink the essence of playfulness from a Cowplant  
Drink Café Coffee  
Eat Razzleberries Requires Jungle Adventure
Empathize with flirty Sims  Available if you are playing as an alien
If a voodoo doll is used on your Sim and the 'frolic' interaction is chosen  
Play on a jungle gym or watch kids' shows When playing as a Child Sim
Taking a bubble bath +2 boost for four hours
Use the Foamy Slide Requires Backyard Stuff DLC Pack
Watch a Comedy channel +1 boost for three hours
'Watch funny videos on' action when on a PC +1 boost for four hours

Image of a Sim watching the comedy channel in The Sims 4
Click to enlarge

Other playful items & furniture

The following items can create a playful aura around them:

Item & Requirements
All MySim Dolls trophies N/A
Bars of Gold Level seven of the Criminal career
Captain Rodrigo de Pablo Cask  Level six of the Culinary Career
Commemorative Freeze Ray Level ten of Secret Agent Career 
Duffel o' Cash  Level three of the Criminal Career
Emblems of Espionage  Level two of Criminal Career)
Fuzzread Article Unlocks with level eight of Social Media Career
Hysterical Tiger Hat Requires Deluxe Edition of the base game
I Otter Be A Star Pop ArtL evel five of entertainer Career
My Sims Go! Signed poster Unlocks with level five of Social Media Career
Our Founder Statue Level ten of Secret Agent Career
Playful Plumbob lamp Rewarded for registering owned Sims 3 Expansions
Star Spangled Glasses Requires Deluxe Edition of the base game
Stolen ATM Level six of the Criminal Career
Stolen Necklace of the Late Duchess Pinky Level eight Criminal Career

How to get death by Hysteria

Having a Sim laugh themselves to death is one of the hardest deaths to achieve in The Sims 4. For this to work, you must build up as many playful moodlets as possible and watch as your Sim goes from playful to very playful to hysterical.

Even with the hysterical emotion, I've really struggled to get this death to trigger (even when using mods like MC Command Center to cheat my way up) so keep that in mind when trying to get this result.

Hysteria emotion in The Sims 4
Click to enlarge

Once your Sim is in the hysterical mood state, keep making them tell jokes, take bubble baths, and interact with playful décor. It also helps if they have a roommate who continuously uses the voodoo doll 'Frolic' interaction with them.

Once the death triggers, your Sim will start uncontrollably laughing until they can't catch their breath anymore and Grim ultimately comes for them.

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Now that you know how to put your Sims in a playful mood (if only it were so easy in real life), be sure to check out our homepage for The Sims, where you'll find guides on Doctor diagnosis lists for ill Sims, how to cheat pregnancy, or how to use the Grade cheat for Teen Sims in High School.

Kiera is a former GGRecon Guides Writer.

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