EA/Maxis has released Sims 4 and all it’s packs on Steam on June 18th 2020. This doesn’t mean you need to re-buy everything. Origin works just like before. I would actually advise against buying it on Steam again if you already have it on Origin. The Steam version also needs Origin so the advantages are small.
I put together a FAQ below.
This FAQ is updated with new insights if needed.
- Origin: Sims 4 Digital Deluxe + All packs and free content
- Steam: Sims 4 Standard Version + Seasons (Many thinks to EA QA for giving me Steam keys to try this out)
- Can I redeem my Origin Key on Steam ?
- Do I need Origin/EA Account for the Steam Version ?
- Can I use packs I bought on Origin for the Steam Version ?
- Can I use packs I bought on Steam for the Origin Version ?
- Which platforms are supported ?
- Are there Steam Achievements, Badges and Trade Cards ?
- Do packs that I have through Origin Access Premiere work ?
- Will the content from the Digital Deluxe be carried over ?
- How does the Installation work ?
- How do I start the game ?
- How do I uninstall the game ?
- How do I repair the Steam Version ?
- How do the user files work ?
- How do I create a backup with Steam ?
- How can I change the language on Steam ?
- Is there anything special if I have both the Steam and Origin Version ?
- Can I play the Legacy Edition on Steam ?
- In which case should I buy the Steam Version ?
- Are there known issues ?
Can I redeem my Origin Key on Steam ?
Do I need Origin/EA Account for the Steam Version ?
Yes. Once you installed the game, Origin opens and you can either create a new EA account or link with an existing one.
While you run the game, Origin will also run in the background. So both Steam and Origin run.
If you want to unlink your Steam Account later or link to a different account, you’ll need to contact EA Support
Can I use packs I bought on Origin for the Steam Version ?
Yes, this is possible
You only need to rebuy the base game. All packs that you own on Origin should automatically be registered on Steam and show up in your game. For me, this wasn’t exactly true. My Origin installation was not recognized by Steam. I had to download and reinstall all packs that I already have installed on Origin again to make them show up in the game. It wasn’t necessary to re-buy them though.
Can I use packs I bought on Steam for the Origin Version
No, this is not possible. Origin only sees packs you bought on Origin. You need to play with the Steam version if you want to play with DLC from Steam and Origin.
It’s also only possible to connect the base game with Origin. If you bought DLC on steam without the base game, it won’t be possible to use that content. It might actually be impossible to just buy/gift DLC on Steam without the base game.
Which platforms are supported ?
The steam version is currently Windows only. I don’t know if a Mac version is planned or not.
Are there Steam Achievements, Badges and Trade Cards ?
There are a few trade cards. The Achievements are bound to the save game just like they are in Origin.
Do packs that I have through Origin Access Premiere work ?
I think yes, but I’m unable to verify this. There are only a couple packs that are available through Origin Access Premiere though.
Will the content from the Digital Deluxe be carried over ?
Yes. It’s sufficient to re-buy the standard Version. All digital extra content such as digital deluxe, the limited version or the Guitar or the P.R.I.M.A computer will be unlocked automatically in the Steam Version if you have them on your linked Origin Account.
How does the Installation work ?
The installation is done via Steam.
After buying you can download and install the game. After doing so, Steam asks for your Origin Account and you can either create a new one or link to an existing one. If you want your Origin packs to be visible in Steam, you need to link the account that has the packs.
Physically the game installs to the folder you choose in Steam. If you already installed through Origin, then those will be in different folders.
For me all packs I own on Steam were also automatically downloaded and installed, also in the Steam folder. This leads to duplication of all installation files. I’m not sure if that is how it’s supposed to be or not.
How do I start the game ?
There are a few options to start the game
- Through Steam
- Through the shortcut on your desktop (new icon)
- Through Origin (you should now also see the Steam version)
Testing with my installation always started the version I installed last, no matter which shortcut or tile I used on Origin. I don’t know if that’s how it’s intended or if this is a bug or if this has to do with having to different base game versions.
After starting the game, I got a message telling me that the missing packs that I own are now being installed. This never happened (although I turned on automatic updates). A few packs were downloaded on the next start of Origin. It’s all a bit random still.
How do I uninstall the game ?
You can uninstall the game through Origin or Steam.
Both options push uninstalling through Steam. If you have both the Origin and Steam version then the Origin version will also show as uninstalled afterwards although all the files are still there. You can then just reinstall through Origin which is basically a repair only and make everything shown as installed again.
How do I repair the Steam Version
You can repair the Steam version through Origin or through Steam. The process is done through Steam and if it only runs in the background, it can happen that you won’t see the message that a repair is being done, leaving you with the feeling, nothing is happening.
Because of that I would recommend using repair through Steam. This way you see that something is being done.
How do the user files work ?
Steam uses the same User Files as Origin. Mods/Saves and everything else is there from start when you start the game. It’s not possible to have different saves for the Steam Version than you have for Origin. Make sure that you have all the same packs installed before starting an existing save.
How do I create a backup with Steam ?
Since the user folder is the same in both cases, you can use the same method you would for Origin. There’s an option to save your files in Steam but as far as I know that only saves your install files and not the user files.
How can I change the language on Steam ?
The option to change the language is available in Origin as before but the language isn’t actually changed if you do it there. Use Steam to change the language (the process is also a lot faster)
Option can be found in: Properties –> Language.
Is there anything special if I have both the Steam and Origin Version ?
There do seem to be a few issues, especially if the Origin installation isn’t recognized by Steam as it is for me. There shouldn’t be any difference between the Origin and the Steam version other than the Origin version just needing Origin while Steam needs Steam and Origin and that the Origin version doesn’t recognize your Steam content.
Steam doesn’t show DLC you bought on Origin as bought.
It’s also important that the game uses the same user files. You need to make sure you have all the packs you need installed before you start an existing save. It’s also not possible to play one version with and the other without mods.
A few players also talk about issues with the Origin version after refunding the Steam version. It’s probably best to unlink your account first through EA Support before refunding the game on Steam.
Can I play the Legacy Edition on Steam ?
In Theory: No. The Steam Version has the 64 bit requirement and the Legacy Edition isn’t available on Steam to download.
In Practice: It works anyways. Since the Legacy Edition behaves as DLC, you can just get it through Origin and then install in your game. This does only work if you have the base game on Origin as well (untested)
In which case should I buy the Steam Version ?
Probably only if you don’t own the Origin Version already or if you have very few packs.
The advantages of the Steam version are small. You need Origin anyways and there are no achievements – just a few trade cards.
If you don’t have a lot of packs, it can be interesting since prices on Steam tend to be lower. There have been a lot of sales going on in Origin as well though so in my opinion: It’s only for real Steam Freaks that need all their games on Steam.
I think the target audience for the Steam version are people that like to browse for games on Steam and don’t use the rest of the net to find new games that often.
Are there known issues ?
- The hotkey for the Steam overlay conflicts with the hotkeys for FPV. If you want to use FPV in Steam, you need to re-assign the Steam Overlay hot-keys.
- Players that refund the game on steam report that their game was also removed from Origin. If this happens, please contact EA Support to have the game re-added to your Origin library.