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Original Poster
#1 Old 2nd Aug 2020 at 12:05 AM Last edited by tunafishfish : 2nd Aug 2020 at 12:57 AM.
Default Nothing is Free in the Sims 4
One of my favorite challenges I've played in TS3 was the Nothing is Free challenge. In that challenge, you start with an empty map with only roads and gradually build up the town using one family line to "build" it. In TS3 this challenge takes advantage of the real estate system, but this will just take a lot of crtl + shift +c "money" cheat.

In a new file, bulldoze all the lots, except in Granite Falls, Selvadorada, Strangerville, and the special lots in Sulani Britechester, Willow Creek, and Windenburg. Starting with the single sim of your choice and buy a 50 x 50 or 64 x 64 tile lot then cheat your money down to 0 or just buy plants and rocks until it's all gone. You're gonna need a lot of money so start earning! Give the lot the "Off the Grid" trait since there isn't any infrastructure around. The rest of the lot traits are up to you, but I'm going to say no Tiny House lot traits and no Tiny House zoning unless you go straight for Tier 3 once you start building.You can be "on the grid" once there's two other households and one lot or rabbit hole unlocked.


1. You can't move people in, get married, or have a baby until you have a house.
2. Kids can't attend school until you've earned it. (suggested mod: Kawaii Staci'sBetter Schools Bundle for online school or Don't Take My Child Away to prevent the game from taking them away when their grades hit F)
3. Can't get a job until it's been earned.
4. Each sim can only unlock one rabbit hole or lot, so if you have one sim unlock the athlete career, they can't buy the gym.
5. You can move people in to help open lots, but you need to build them a house and buy it out of house funds before you can move them out. As in: You can befriend and move in a walk-by and use them to earn school, but you can't just kick them out of the house because you're done with them. You have to build them a house and give them the money for it when they go.
6. San Myshuno, Granite Falls, Selvadorada, Strangerville, and the Universities are all locked until certain conditions are met. I'm open to suggestions on how to do this. I was thinking for San Myshuno that once you've earned the Art Center, a lounge, and a karaoke bar, you can start building apartments and settling people in them.Strangerville: have unlocked the military and secret agent careers. For Selvadorada and Granite Falls, earn a park and unlock San Myshuno? For University, unlock the career fields and pay some money?
7. Don't abuse Generic Lots. You can place a basic shelter on there with basic amenities, but no observatories, rocket launch pads, or anything like that.

How to earn Careers

Base Game

Astronaut- Master Fitness, Logic, and Rocket Science, deduct $100,000

Athlete- Master Fitness and Charisma, deduct $75,000

Business- Master Logic and Charisma, deduct $50,000

Criminal- Master Mischief, Handiness, and Programming, deduct $25,000 your other start up costs, "fell off the back of a truck"

Culinary- Master Cooking, Gourmet Cooking, Mixology, and Charisma, deduct $30,000

Entertainer- Master Comedy, Charisma, and all 3 instruments deduct $50,000

Style Influencer- Master Writing, Charisma, Painting, and Photography $100,000

Freelancer- Can only be pursued once the business career is unlocked, then master programming, writing, and painting

Painter- This career never made sense to me. Maybe once an Art Center has been unlocked, you can unlock this career by maxing painting and charisma?

Secret Agent- Master Logic, Charisma, and Mischief, deduct $120,000

Tech Guru- Master Programming, Video Gaming, and Charisma, $50,000 due to angel investor

Writer- Master Writing, Charisma, and Logic $30,000 for a small town newspaper

Get to Work

Medicine- Master Logic and be able to buy the lot

Science- Master Logic, Gardening, and Fishing and be able to buy the lot

Law Enforcement- Master Logic and Charisma and be able to buy the lot

City Living: Careers are locked until you have unlocked San Myshuno

Critic- Master Writing, Painting, Comedy, Cooking, Gourmet Cooking and 1 instrument

Politics- Master Charisma and Logic

Social Media- Master Charisma,Comedy, Mischief, Video Gaming, and Programming


Gardener- Master Gardening, Flower Arranging, and Logic

Island Living

Conservationist- Master Logic, Charisma, and Fitness

Discover University

Education- Master Debate, Logic, Charisma, and Writing

Engineering- Master Robotics, Programming, and Handiness

Law- Master Debate, Charisma, and Logic

Military- Master Fitness, Logic, and Charisma

Eco Living

Civil Designer- Master Fabrication, Logic, and Charisma

Get Famous

Actor- Master Acting and Charisma, $150,000 unless criminal has been unlocked first then $75,000, but you have to pay $500 a week in protection money and bribes to law enforcement.

Cats and Dogs

Vet- Master Logic, Charisma, and Vet Skill

TL:DR You earn rabbit holes by mastering the associated skills and then deducting money from your household's funds to pay for it.

How to Unlock Community Lots

Base Game

Bar- Master Mixology and Cooking and $90,000 from the house's money

Gym- Master Fitness and deduct $85,000 from the house's money

Library- Master Writing and deduct $98,000 from the house's money

Lounge- Master Mixology, Cooking, Comedy or Singing, and a musical instrument. Deduct $95,000 from the household's account

Museum- Master Painting and Handiness, deduct $130,000 from the household's account

Nightclub- Master Mixology, Cooking, and Dancing. Deduct $100,000 from family funds

Park- Master Gardening, Fishing, and Logic then deduct $30,000 from family funds

Pool- Master Fitness, deduct $130,000 from funds.

Get to Work

Retail- Unlock the Business Career, master the associated skill, and own the lot

Dine Out

Restaurant- Unlock the Culinary Career and own the lot

Spa Day

Spa- Max Wellness and Fitness and own the lot

Get Together

Cafe- Master Mixology and Cooking or Baking and own the lot

City Living

Karaoke Bar- Master Mixology and Singing, own the lot

Arts Center- Master all the Arts and own the lot

Island Living

Beach- unlocked the conservationist career. Pay for lot

Eco Living

Community Space- Master Fabrication, own one of every type of insect farm and gotten them up to "excellent" quality harvests, master gardening, painting, and handiness. Pay for lot.

Unlocking School
-If you have the Parenthood Pack, complete the Super Parent Aspiration and master charisma, logic and painting, and pay $30k. You are the pushy parent at the PTA and you have nagged everyone until they've acquiesced and built the school because it's easier than saying no to you.

-If you have Discover University, school is unlocked once the education career is unlocked. Deduct $30k. You are an educator who has decided to start a new school here.

-If you have neither Parenthood nor Discover University, master charisma, painting, and logic then deduct $30k. You manage to convince the town council that it would be better to have the children go to school here than to continue home schooling or attending the county schools.

How to win and lose:

There's no real "win" scenario beyond filling all the lots in the game and created a place that is yours. If your starting sim dies before moving anyone else in or having a baby then you lose.

The Mayflies Legacy- a Random Legacy Story
Field Researcher
#2 Old 5th Aug 2020 at 4:54 AM
omg I've hardly even finished reading this and I'm already so excited. the nothing is free challenge was basically a turning point in the sims for me. like I regularly think back on beginning that challenge and REMINISCE lol!! thank you for converting this for ts4. I'm about to abandon my 7 generation legacy for this.
Original Poster
#3 Old 5th Aug 2020 at 3:30 PM
I love that challenge in TS3 as well, I have such detailed excel sheets for it, lol! I felt my computer groan as I typed this up! Please let me know if you have any changes you think would work better or ideas to incorporate. If you've got Discover Uni, Island Living, and/or Eco Life, please let me know if the unlock ideas would work? I was going off the wiki for that. I also don't have Vampires or Mages so I didn't create any rules for them or their worlds. I'd love to hear what your sims get up to!

The Mayflies Legacy- a Random Legacy Story
Test Subject
#4 Old 1st Feb 2021 at 2:41 AM Last edited by kloving70 : 1st Feb 2021 at 3:54 AM.
Question on beginning game play
Even though the world is empty, there is still some amenities on off lot areas (grills specifically) - are the sims allowed to use these ?

Also a follow up question - when in the challenge can the off the grid lot trait be removed or are the sims to use solar etc power for the duration on the first lot anyway?
Lab Assistant
#5 Old 5th Feb 2021 at 10:56 AM Last edited by Lazurite : 5th Feb 2021 at 7:24 PM.
This seems really fun! But I can't do it with so much missing... I'll have to wait until the extra locations have defined unlock conditions. Also, do all the masteries for each unlock have to be on one Sim?
Test Subject
#6 Old 24th Feb 2021 at 3:30 PM
love this can't wait to start this!
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