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. Currently the maximum is 800 Sims. Ghosts no longer count towards this limit.

Since November 2017 Sims 4 distinguishes between My Households and Other Households. This is to stop the aggressive culling and handle it better. On top of this you will be notified if a Sim with which your active household had a relationship gets culled. You will get a message that they moved away.

It doesn’t matter anymore if your household live somewhere or nor not, if you played them or not. It’s your decision which families are safe from culling. Households will be automatically moved to My Households if you change to them but it’s up to you to remove them again afterwards. Activily played families are always safe from culling.

All households in My Housholds are safe and will not get culled. The player has a choice how many households they want to be able to move to My households. You can choose between 80, 150, 200 or unlimited.

Unlimited doesn’t mean all your Sims will be safe. It just means that you can move as many Sims to My Households as you like. Sims in Other Households will still be culled once you hit the culling limit. For performance reasons this setting is not recommended.

The ideal setting depends on your computer. If yours barely makes the minimal requirements it’s best to leave it on 80 Sims.

Played households are automatically in My Households. To make them unplayed, click on the picture of the household and then the plumbob in the lower right corner. To make them played again, you need to load the household.


The number of Sims in My Households only count Sims in the households – so Sims that died don’t count towards the total unless they are added to the household as ghost. More details below.


How does the culling of ghosts affect me ?

Sims that die will be removed from the active household and place in a hidden one. These are not visible without Mods and no longer available through Manage Households.

If a Sim outside your household dies, you’ll get a message where to find the gravestone of the Sim.

Deceased Sims then get a counter of 90 days. Once there’s only 14 days left on that timer, you will get a message that the ghost <Name> will be removed from the game and you’ll also get a option on the gravestone to Strengthen Connection to Physical World. If you choose this interaction, the timer will be reset to 90 days and it starts over. The ghost will be removed form the game, if you don’t choose the option and the 90 days are over.

If you don’t want to wait for 90 days you can choose Release Spirit to Netherworld which will also remove the Sim from the game.

Since November 2017 culling and removing ghosts from the game doesn’t have any influence on the family tree. Already destroyed family trees can’t be restored. Sims that have been removed from the game still show in the family tree but with reduced information. Unfortunately this still doesn’t work properly, especially if you have large family trees (See AHQ threads below)

What can I do to save my Sims from culling ?

With the November 2017 update it’s easy to save your Sims from culling. Despite of that there’s still mods out there that let you remove the limit completely.

No Mods

Unprotected Sims will be culled every evening once you’ve reached the limit. This can hit any Sim, even if you just started having a relationship with them. Make sure to always move Sims to My Households if you care about them.

Just click on the heart Icon to quickly move a household between My Household and Other Households and vice-versa.

Mods

The following mods have an option to completely stop culling:


How does relationship culling work ?

Relationship culling will only hit you if you play rotationally.  Each night all insignificant relationships are culled from non-active households. Family and friends should not be affected by this process. It can also happen to your friends you haven’t seen/played in a while since relationships also decay over time.

Because of this it can happen that you will need to reintroduce your Sims to others, even if they are in the same club.

Only way to get around this is to use a mod:

AHQ Thread

Culling is supposed to work as described above. Despite of that there’s still some problems with Sims loosing all relationships or family trees that break.

Please click me too on this thread if you’re affected by the issues

Further Reading