In the upcoming Horse Ranch expansion pack for Sims 4, players will head over to Chestnut Ridge to raise, train and form special bonds with majestic Horses. Prior to the release of the expansion, we had the opportunity to attend a deep dive session with EA.
Sims can work hard and play hard with the animal friends on their very own ranch. The horses available in this expansion pack can be customisable like cats and dogs. In addition to horses, this expansion will also include mini goats and mini sheep and creating their own nectar.
Chestnut Ridge, the location where this expansion takes place in, is a vast American West-inspired stretch of land. Sims can make a life for themselves whether in a traditional log cabin, a modern farmhouse, or a mansion designed to take in the sunset over their property.
As the heart of this expansion, horses will be taking the spotlight with over 30 breeds from Arabians to Clydesdales. These horses can have 3 different traits and its up to the players to decide them.
Players can start off their horses as a foal and can use Traits & Genetics to create a horse to make them exactly what players want to, or choose to inherit those traits from the horse’s parents or leave them naturally born in game. Doing that in game will have a chance for those horses to unlock a secret trait.
On top of genetics, there’s a hefty amount of customisation available where players can customise, such as a horse’s mane, feathers, hair bangs, tails, and much more. There’s also a paint mode which essentially let’s you put all sorts of wacky patterns, which are similar to the cats and dogs customisation. Additionally, players can also add on a bunch of accessories like bows and saddles too.
Other than horses, there’s also a bunch of new clothing and accessory options for your sims, which are Western cowboy themed which fits the expansion. On top of those, there’s new Traits and Aspirations added for sims.
Bonding with your horses will be really important and making that relationship is one of the key parts to training them and gaining those advanced skills. Player’s sims can mount up their horses and ride along in Chestnut Ridge. However, not all sims will start off being adept at horse riding, but as your sims get to know their horses and have good relationships with them, they can level up that riding skill.
Of course, players will need to take good care of their horses, where they’ll need to clean the horse beds, feed them food and water, as well as having them trained to keep them healthy. If you don’t want to do all the hard work though, you can opt to hire a ranch hand to help you out with those chores.
Horses aren’t the only animals added in this expansion, as small animals such as goats and sheep can be taken care and be fed. You can either keep them as cute pets, shear them for wool or milk them. They’re also handy to have around since they can help out with gardening by eating weeds and bugs.
One of the new activities in this expansion pack is making nectar from the fruits that were harvested. Players can choose to either drink the nectar right away, or can choose the keep it and that increases in value.
One of the main new facilities is the Equestrian Centre, where sims can spectate events, send your horses for training, buy or sell horses, or even just check out competitions. Players can also choose to enter these competitions which have different divisions, and winning those competitions will net you Simoleons and plaques to commemorate your progress.
Q&A Segments with the Horse Ranch Expansion Pack Devs
Considering how many pets and animals can now take up family slots, is the team planning to expand how many family members can be in a family?
We don’t have any current plans for that because 8 is a pretty hefty number, and it makes the computer work pretty darn hard. Because we want our game to be accessible to a lot of players, including those on lower spec machines.
What interactions will the sims be able to have with goats and sheep?
There’s the comforting socials like hugging, nuzzling, playing with them, cleaning them, feeding them. Then there’s sort of the areas where you make money from that, shearing them, milking them, etc. The horses also will interact with them as well.
We did a lot of work as well to make sure Sims on horseback can also interact and socialise with other sims, so you don’t have to mount and dismount every time you want to talk to a neighbour.
If you don’t have a good bond with your horse, does it affect how you ride your horse?
It affects your ability to sort of learn that skill. Your horse might buck you off more often or not allow you to mount it early on. But as you socialise with them, they’ll allow you there then you can start gaining that horse riding skill.
How will the championship competitions take place and how will the winner be determined?
They take place at the Equestrian centre, so you can go directly there or from the community board where you can click on that and enter from there.
The winner is determined by a number of factors, there’s the skill level of your horse, there’s also how happy they are. You definitely want to go in when your horses are feeling good.
The Sims 4 Horse Ranch expansion pack will be available on 20th July 2023. For more information, do check out the official website here.