Culling – What is it and what does it do ?

What is culling ?

Culling is the process of deleting data to keep the save game smaller and the loading faster. In the Sims 4, there’s two kinds of culling: Sims Culling and Relationship Culling.

How does Sims culling work ?

There’s a set maximum of Sims that you can have in your town. Once that maximum is reached, the culling process hits your game. Ghosts count towards your overall maximum so that you will run into it on longer played games sooner or later.

In my experience, once your game is hit by culling, it doesn’t help much to manually delete Sims to be below the max. They are still culled every night. This will require further testing though.

Culling hits all unhoused, unplayed Sims and all ghosts that weren’t played at the time of their death. They are deleted each night at around 3 am.

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  • Unhoused Sims are all Sims that are not living in a house (they show as not in world in your household manager)
  • Unplayed Sims are all households that you have never switched to. Played household are marked by a little plumbob in your household manager.

How does the culling of ghosts affect me ?

The problem with ghost culling is that it will hit your family tree. Culled ghosts no longer show there which breaks the tree. Also tombstones and potions and other items created by those Sims will have the name replaced with a blank _____

Ghost culling is almost non-preventable without mods (see below).

What can I do to save my Sims from culling ?

There are several methods. Some of them involve mods, other can be done on unmodded games but can be very tedious.

No Mods

  • If you like a unhoused Sim, you need to move him into a house before he is culled.
  • If you have no room in your neighborhood, you can also mark them as played. To do that, you will need to move them into a house and load it. After doing so, you can evict them from the house. They are now save from culling.


  • MC Command Center has two options. You can either turn off culling completely or you can flag the Sims you want to be safe from culling as nd by using the console command.<pictures to follow>

How does relationship culling work ?

Relationship culling will only hit you if you play rotationally. What happens is that all insignificant relationships are deleted on switching. Friends and family members should not get culled. The problem with friends is that the relationships decay over time, so if you don’t keep those up, the relationship will be culled nonetheless.

The effect of this is that you will have to reintroduce yourself to everyone, even if you’re in the same club.

The only workaround is to use a mod that removes relationship culling